close family member told me that lupus and my other health issues are all caused primarily by stress

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/5/2010 3:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree that stress exacerbates lupus and other health issues, however I was a bit taken aback by her claim that stress is the primary cause of my health issues (lupus, gastroparesis, autoimmune pancreatitis, RA, etc). I felt that she was saying that it was my lack of handling my stress well that caused me to develop these autoimmune disorders, and that really hit me wrong. I feel that is akin to "blaming the sick person for thier illness" (ie if only you coped better with stress you wouldn't be sick - aka: its' all your fault). I don't take that responsibility for causing my health issues. I believe that my body began attacking it's own healhty immune system and things went haywire. I don't accept blame for this and hope no one else does either. It hurts when loved ones start passing this infomation around ilke its' a documented fact.

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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 9/5/2010 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
sheesh, how rude!
It is not a documented fact, and this "close" family member needs to get their head on straight.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 9/5/2010 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
The cause(s) of lupus are still unknown.  There is a difference between the underlying causes (a set of genes for instance) and the triggers (environmental insults, meds, other diseases, physical injuries, or stress).  Stress plays some kind of a role but for someone to say that stress "caused" your lupus.....I don't think there is any scientific evidence to support such a statement.  Check out this link for a good discussion of the subject.
Just the subject of triggers is a difficult and much debated subject.  I suggest you read the book "The Autoimmune Epidemic" which gives a good overview of AI diseases and some clues as to what might be causing an increase in them in modern life.  You can buy it on
One thing that is for certain....most people are ignorant about auto immune diseases like lupus.  I was before I got sick 5 years ago and would be happy to be ignorant of them again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 9/5/2010 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I suggest that you suggest this person read THE LUPUS BOOK by Dr Wallace. Then maybe they will have a clue. Seriously though this person is showing their ignorance and unwillingness to learn. Family can be such jerks sometimes. You know better and that is all that really matters.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 468
   Posted 9/10/2010 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had people say to me "your sick because of stress", "are you depressed? "oh my favorite "are you on birth control because maybe that is why you are sick".

Some people just do not know when to stop talking. I got sick 4 years ago out of no where and for no reason. I had a rash on my face and I couldnt move my arm. I am getting closer and closer to being diagnosed with Lupus. At my last appt my Dr said I had a touch of lupus but he said since I tested positive for lymes he could not fully diagnose me. Well done with lymes treatment still sick so I am hoping finally I can have a answer after 4 years (4 years ago I was told lupus was expected but I was not sick enough to treat yet).

Sometimes it seems like being diagnosed with lupus is harder than winning the lotto lol.

Anyways back to your post just try to ignore it because people really only know how they personally feel and when someone else is sick they tend to brush it off because they do not want to think someone they know is sick, if that makes sense.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1916
   Posted 9/11/2010 7:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry you had to go through that. I had someone tell me something like that recently too. It was something like "where the mind goes, so goes the body." So, has my mind been in the toilet then????? What a load of crap. I posted this on the crohn's forum a while back I was so offended. It was almost like she was trying to act superior to me. Again, it is like they want to blame the victim. As if we aren't plagued enough. Some people just need lessons in politeness from Miss Manners.
d 1/09 with colitis sigmoid colon with some diverticular disease as well
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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/11/2010 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Mikah, I know just how you feel and I'm so sorry for the pain such careless statements can wreak. My husband's always telling me to "take it easy" and to limit my stress, and yet he offers no helpful suggestions as to how I should get from point A to point B. Life, kids, money, illness - it's all stressful. I do know that stress contributes greatly to how I'm feeling, but it's not the medical cause of my lupus nor my RA or Fibro. What really drives me crazy is that he doesn't want me to verbally acknowledge how I'm feeling - Because speaking aloud makes it so. He prays daily for a total healing, but he refuses to acknowledge that the All Powerful God he wants to work a miracle for me is the same God who decided I'm one of the chosen who has to cope with chronic illness and pain. I do believe in God and miracles. But in the interim, sometimes I just want to vent: I'm in pain, I'm tired and I'm frustrated, sad, angry, lonely....etc!
I think one of the hardest things for me is that I've always been the "smart" one and I'm expected to do the research and teach others in my life what's going on with me. Sometimes I just can't do that effectively. Sometimes I just want answers, even though I'm not sharp enough to think of and ask and the proper questions from the right sources.
I hope you can stand up for yourself and let your family & friends know that their proclamations are hurtful and counterproductive. You need their support, not their judgement.

Ms. Wonder
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 9/13/2010 2:28 AM (GMT -6)   
um, i blame myself already enough. it's super sad when people really need a strong cup of........shut the hell up.

(i hope i don't get in trouble for saying "hell" here) :)

and if "stress" really caused Lupus then it would be lovely if they could actually see that THEY are contributing to it....with such statements. :)
Really sorry you had to go through such, well...........bizzarroooooo human nature at times? nono

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/15/2010 11:38 PM (GMT -6)   
"it's super sad when people really need a strong cup of........shut the hell up."

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