Can clinical depression be caused by the effects of lupus on the brain?
Yes, although depression can also be related to a number of other factors. Lupus can affect all organs of the body, including the brain, and when the brain is affected, one of the main symptoms can be depression. We do not know precisely how the neuropsychiatric issues (symptoms of lupus that affect the brain) lead to depression, but it’s probably due to a complex combination of biochemical abnormalities that affect different parts of the brain.
Clinical depression may also be brought on by the different medications used to treat lupus or by factors in a person’s life that are unrelated to lupus. Having any chronic disease, including lupus, can lead to feelings of helplessness, dejection and sadness. Whether depression is caused by lupus or not, it is an important part of your overall health. Keep your doctor informed about how you are feeling-good health is mental and emotional as well as physical. Learn more about lupus and depression.
Medically reviewed on January 29, 2014