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When you are coping with symptoms of pain, fatigue, or forgetfulness, you may not be able to work an eight-hour day or even perform simple tasks for your family. You and sometimes those close to you may have to make adjustments to your life.
When doctors cannot explain why you are feeling so ill or help you to feel better, coping with the responsibilities of your life may seem even more overwhelming.
When those around you begin to doubt your complaints, or grow tired of your “invisible” limitations, then you may feel alone, anxious, depressed, angry, or very frightened.
Lupus is not the only illness that may confuse doctors or prolong a diagnosis. But lupus generally takes from three to five years before a diagnosis is confirmed. If a doctor is not familiar with the vague symptoms that are common with lupus, and routine blood tests prove negative, she or he may assume that a person who has lupus is imagining her symptoms or is depressed.
If you think you might have lupus, please consider the following:
- What are the symptoms that someone with lupus might experience?
- How is lupus diagnosed?
- Who has special training in diagnosing lupus?
- Where can I find this type of specialist?
- If I do get diagnosed with lupus, what does it mean? Are there treatments to help me feel better?
- If I do not get a diagnosis of lupus, where should I go next?