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lupus and the brain

672 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  IBDOROTHY
hi, wow i havent been here in a while. anyways, i have some questions that have been bothering me for a while. i have been depresse for about few weeks bf had broken off with me, went through **** and just just isolating myself from everyone..not because of that..just because of feeling down..i saw my doc yest and she suggested that i go to pschyciatrist and she thinks it might be from lupus, if so she will order an mri. i was depress for weeks and lost my appetite and lost weight. does lupus effect the brain that bad? what can happen?
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Yes, lupus can cause depression, but this sounds like it could also be situational depression. Seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist might still be a good idea, but I wouldn't assume its lupus-related at this point, if you didnt have a problem before this. Does your doctor know this change in mood coincided with breaking up with your boyfriend? I think that's an important detail to include.

Good luck, I hope you feel better soon in any case!
i had told her that ive been isolating myself from everyone...and just stying in my room. its also family things not just that. but yeh ive had the downs before the even. so i dont know. right now. im feeling okay.

Yes, Lupus can effect your brain that bad..

Best Wishes,
Hi there,

Yes, depression is a very important part of lupus and many lupus sufferers will also suffer from it and also some times from anxiety, agoraphobia etc. (which are also included in the alternative criteria for diagnosis).

I'm not sure that something will necessarily show up on an MRI. I think that a lot of people will suffer from depression with lupus without any signs appearing on an MRI.

How have you been feeling other than that? Has your treatment made any difference to the pain and other symptoms? I'm just asking as pain and ongoing tiredness can also make us feel very down.

Depending on how bad it is seeing someone professionally to help you overcome it, is a good idea. Depression shouldn't be ignored and can be quite effectively treated and make life much more fun.

hugs :hug:
Sane advise from somone with mental health problems

Hello :) Yes lupus can affect the brain and a mental health team or psychiatric help may be usefull.
Lupus can cause depression and I think also that Hughes syndrome may have links with a number of mental health symptoms.

Mental health help and even medication may be worth looking into, and I think that some of the non medication techniques used to help prevent depression may be usefull for anyone with lupus.

I'm not sure how common my mental health problems are for others with lupus but thought I'd share my experience as I personally had a really horrible mental health problem not long after being diagnosed with lupus when I was in a bad lupus flare up.
The Drs call it "hypomania" or sometimes call it "affective disorder" and basically it was like the "high" that people with bipolar disorder get. The Hypomania was put down to my lupus and even queried as a side effect of plaquenil (allthough I'm still on the hydroxychloroquine and I've not had to have any brain scans or anything).

The main symptoms were elevated mood, increased confidence, and racing thoughts with lots of ideas.
This may sound great to any of you who are depressed but the hypomanic symptoms included a really "messed up" sleep pattern, grandious ideas, pressurized fast talking, writing down everything, confusion, irritability, loss of inhibitions, and spending sprees which seroiusly worried those around me.

I thought I was fine and just "getting better" after starting plaquenil and coming out of a depression linked to geting my lupus diagnosis and having to give my career, but I was seroiusly ill and ended up on a psyciatric ward (I even had to be "sectioned" for a short while as I really did not have the insight to see that my mental health was not normal.)

Since that first experience I've had a mental health team to support me and I'm really pleased with how they have helped me. I'm prone to getting hypomania attacks when my lupus flares up. These manic phases require medication and lots of support from my team whilst I'm in an attack. (I can even have home visit support if needed) However I don't need regular medication for the hypomania unless I'm actually in or just starting to get into a manic state

I have to see my psychiatrist about twice a year just to keep a check on things but fortunately my hypomania has never got as bad as my first attack so I've kept out of the pschyiatric ward (I'm now "officially sane"!:lol: )

My attacks nearly always seem to happen when other symptoms are flaring up and I now know that I'm more sun sensitive than I thought I was, (in the past being out in too much sun without adequate protection has caused hypomanic symptoms to start.)
Just knowing the signs and symptoms to look out for/ knowing I can call the mental health team if needed have all helped me keep this aspect of my lupus in control

If anyone reading this has had a similar or other mental health problem please also don't be affraid to get help because of stigma associated with it being a "mental" problem rather than a physical one. (I say the "mad" ones are those who don't seek help rather than those who do!)

Top ten positive steps for mental health are:-
Accepting who you are
Talking about it
Keeping active
Learning new skills
Keeping in touch with friends
Doing something creative
Getting involved
Asking for help

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I have been put in the mental hospital twice in the past, and was not fortunate enough to get a lupus diagnosis, until 5 years ago. I was told I only had fibro for over 12 years..I also, had hypomania.

Just before, my diagnosis of Lupus, I became psychotic. I was finally, put on Plaquenil, and that seemed to help, but since have become increasingly ill. loss of mental function, and physical decline. I tried other meds for Lupus, and finally, am on a fairly low dose of Pred, and starting dose of Cell Cept.

I do know my last M.R.I. prompted enough concern, for my Neuro, to call my Psychiatrist and send him, my last test result. I just had my Valporic acid raised..for some seisure activity, and to help with recent mood swings..

I would agree that you are under a lot of stress right now, with your recent breakup, so who really knows, how much that plays into your depression.

I think, it would be a good idea, to get followed by a Phychiatrist, as you mentioned..He/she may be able to help sort things out a bit better for you.

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oh my gosh, wheeliefab that is me or when i am bad is me. i finally figured it out last year and i would stay awake for 45 and the most was 63hrs. i did none of the destructive behavior, unless cleaning my carpets at 1am counts. oh yea, and the small 4x8 inch strips i put on the livingroom walls because i couldnt decide. the strips were there for 2yrs!!! i sold my home in oct 07 with the strips. i was worried that i was manic because i had a friend who was. they did brain scans and nothing. i would take lyrica, rozerem, lunesta, ambien and valuim and still would be awake. i finally brought a child proof pair of sissors and non residue leaving tape to the office and told the guys to use it when it became necessary. they laughed. i know i am lucky work wise. you want to stop talking but you just cant. this is my april and may way of flaring, then end of may and june starts the 103 fever, headaches and an assortment of other funs.
i did go see a pysc because i was afraid and she told me it was most likely
the sle/mctd. i was on anti-depress in the past and now i know why i was so depressed. for me the not knowing what was wrong was worse than finally knowing it was not all just in my head. i know this may sound silly and would not have believed it myself but yoga works. i do the bikram which is in the 100 degree plus room for 90min. yoga was too out there for me. i dont chant and have no desire to meditate and was as far away from my sports of choice, boxing and rugby as you could get. i was taking 40mg of flexeril in 4-5hrs and about 8-10 of vicodian a day. it took just a week and the pain was gone. it may not work for everyone and i sure as heck didnt think it would be me but any of you in pain might check with your dr to see if it would be helpful for you. i hope so...
anyway, wheeliefab thanks so much for you information. you have added to my peace of mind. well, what i have left anyway......
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