Marcia L. - Diagnosed at age 14
Hi, my name is Marcia. I was diagnosed with lupus at age 14 and had to be hospitalized during my freshman year in high school. I missed out on the normal meeting new kids and peers time because I was sick and I started developing a fear of not having a life anymore like kids my age because I’ll be in the hospital or taking medication.
The symptoms that I faced were extreme hair loss, arthritis, swollen stomach area and arms, and ulcers in my mouth. They resolved and I was off medication for a couple of years and was in remission. I was really happy being in remission because I got to have a good junior and senior year in high school.
I also started developing depression and anxiety around 19 years old when I found out I had lupus because it was hard to hear that I was sick at that age. I didn’t receive mental health treatment until 2017 consistently. I always felt different and my story is I feel like it’s caused by the stress of growing up around my peers and always feeling too different. The pressure I put on myself to try to look normal because I wasn’t in fact normal or trying to hide myself from feeling different because I never knew how to connect with other people and only had hobbies and stuff to keep me occupied.
I wasn’t doing great in school or good with my schedule. I think part of lupus has to do with the intense pressures we put upon ourselves in addition to facing lupus and it hurts us even more. It’s not that I want to be stressed but I feel extra pressure in certain environments and that makes me feel bullied subliminally. So yeah I feel it could be worth exploring at advocacy if I get the chance to speak to someone. I am a lupus survivor.