I am an absolute believer that the disease itself can cause changes to the brain resulting in personality changes, depression, anxiety, etc. For those afflicted with CNS lupus, it can be devastating.
Another condition that seems to go along with lupus, is Fibromyalgia. It causes an imbalance between the hypothalmus, pituitary gland and the adrenal glands. Signals get mixed up which ends up causing all the pain and fatigue of Fibro.
There's a lot of information out there on lupus, Fibromyalgia and how it affects the central nervous system.
Hey Ginny and Barbarra Lee,
Two differing opinions, and would probably find this same thing in the scientific community. I was hoping I guess that it is, and that maybe plaquenil, and prednisone would be able to help with the depression. but even thinking it now, I realize it makes no sense.
I too believe that Lupus affects our brain in ways that can result in depression, and mood swings. But just one scientific paper is not going to find us any relief anytime soon. And in this paper it talked about prednisone itself causing depression.
"Depression and anxiety are common complaints of SLE patients, the etiology of which may be a direct manifestation of CNS involvement or a secondary response to a life-altering chronic illness. Mood and psychological factors are known to influence reports of cognitive functioning as well as performance on neuropsychological tests. The high prevalence of psychological distress in this population has led some to argue that cognitive deficits can be attributed to the psychological factors of living with a chronic disease. However, high self-ratings of depressive symptoms have been found in SLE patients compared with other chronic disease populations. Kozora et al. found increased self-ratings of depression in their sample of SLE patients without neuropsychiatric symptoms compared with rheumatoid arthritis patients and healthy controls. Significant associations were observed between the somatic symptoms of depression and a cognitive domain score for learning based on performance on memory measures; there was no relation between the cognitive aspects of depression and neuropsychological test performance."
Keep in mind that anyone with a serious and chronic illness can be subject to depression even if the disease itself does not cause it. We all wrestle with our illness and struggle with the idea that it is incurable and life long. At least I am a senior and have less time to deal with it than young patients....small consolation but that does make me focus on enjoying each and every day I have left.
Thank you for your most informative response. I registered at the sight that you provided.
I was surprised and encouraged by the following excerpt from the article.
Hey Ginny, Barbara Lee and Redrose,
Ginnny you said that you are getting the cognitive, and drug therapy for it. What kind of treatment do they give you?
I have cycles of bad days, where anxiety is high, and depression. the good days, I can think well, and feel normal. Each cycle lasts about two weeks.
I was encouraged somewhat by those of you who spoke a while back, about experienciing missing time, and doing and saying things that you do not remember saying or doing. I experience these things too. And just wondered if the cause could be found to be physical, and not just mental. If Lupus affects the brain, Is it a physical effect that maybe presents itself mentally?
Bill's mental effect got better. and that is a good sign.
Bill's findings also state that anxiety and depression are common complaints of people with Lupus.
How do you cope with it? What do you do during the bad days of high anxiety and depression. for me it presents itself in cycles. for about two weeks I am deeply depressed and feel like I have to hold myself together or I will fly apart. and the other two weeks, I feel normal, and not anxious or depressed.
I have it written down to talk to my rheumy about it, when I see him on the 23rd. In four more days. I hate that my appointment is in the middle of these bad days, when I cant think well, and feel such high anxiety levels.
Thanks to all of you for your responses.
I am not trying to be picky, just really want to understand what is going on with you.
What kind of cognitive symptoms do you have? What kinds of mood issue happens to you? How did they find out that your cognitive and mood issues were related to Lupus, or caused by lupus? do you lose the ability to think? to remember? What kind of mood change do you experience? Do you recognize it as it is happening, or do you suddenly find yourself, in a mood that is different to you immediately?
I apologize if I am pushing too hard to define your symptoms... It is important to me to understand. Please tell me if I am asking too many questions.
Thank you for your response
Thank you Redrose for your response. I see the rheumy thursday. I am going to ask him if it is possible that the mental episodes that I have is related to Lupus or Sjogren's. I am wondering if Lupus caused the problems. It would not bring me relief of course, but at least I would have an answer, and I have none at the moment.
I don't know that I have wild mood swings, but I certainly have opposite ones. wake up one morning and depression and axiety are mine for two days, two weeks, or however long. Wake up some other morning and the depression and anxiety is gone to be replaced with good days and ability to think, feel emotions, and speak well. This happens repeatedly and has been doing so for several years.
I don't have much hope for the doctor responding to me positively on Thursday. I don't even know how to proceed if he did want to pursue this avenue of tests. But I am hoping that he will be open to my question, and be willing to proceed with it.
Thanks again RedRose
I see my rheumy tomorrow and will ask him about referral to a neurologist perhaps, to determine if there is cns involvement. I hate to add another doctor, but it sounds like good advice.
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Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus ForumSLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Prednisone(was 15mg, now 8mg), Cellcept, Xanax, Trazodone, Boniva(3mth shot), Wellbrutrin SR, ValtrexLinks: DIAGNOSING LUPUS (4 of 11), LUPUS INFORMATION, LUPUS RESOURCES, Donate to HealingWell, Drug Interactions
Post Edited (Lynnwood) : 10/22/2008 7:27:10 PM (GMT-6)
Thank you for sending this response. I feel for you and wish that I could do something for you. your lack of memory sounds like me. but it comes and goes for me. some times I can think pretty good, and remember things, and other times I can't.
I think maybe that enough research into Lupus causing mental problems has not been done.
this is a day of not being able to think well. My mind seems flighty unable to focus on things.
thanks again Hippie