Can lupus affect my friendships?
A network of friends and neighbors can give the same kind of valuable support as family members: lending a helping hand with chores and errands, offering a sympathetic ear or a comforting shoulder. But in order to give support, friends need to have some understanding of the nature of lupus.
It is not necessary to share all of the details about lupus. But you will want to describe the possible symptoms of lupus and your symptoms in particular. Explain your treatments, as well as the fact that lupus can develop in men and women, teens, and children. Be ready to respond to questions and try not to react impatiently to sometimes inappropriate advice and comments. Let your friends know what to expect when the disease is active, such as last-minute cancellations, why usual activities might need to be scaled back, and side effects of prescribed medications.
Medically reviewed on July 09, 2013