If you can imagine your entire world being upended, you might begin to understand what being diagnosed with a chronic illness would feel like. Now mix in dealing with unwanted symptoms, new medications, and a plethora of other emotionally-impacting changes – that is the reality for many people diagnosed with a chronic illness, like lupus.
When a person is diagnosed with lupus, they will likely be going through various symptoms— taking time to do research on their condition can help you to understand what they may be experiencing. The more you know about lupus and how to cope with it, the better prepared you will be to be a supportive friend.1
Here are some essential Dos and Don’ts for supporting a friend or loved one with lupus
DO take time to do some research on their illness.
Not only will taking time to do some research on your own provide you with an in-depth understanding of the condition, it will also show your friend or loved one how committed you are to understanding and supporting them through lupus.
DON’T automatically assume you know and understand how they feel.
Unless you have lived through their same circumstance, it is a good idea to avoid phrases like, “I totally understand!” or “I know what you mean, I’ve been there before!”. Even if it comes from a good place and you are trying to relate, it may may come across as slightly insensitive.
DO ask how they are.
It can be common for people to stop asking, “how are you doing” in fear of what the answer might be. It can show immense compassion and support when you continue to ask how someone is and genuinely listen to their answer.
DON’T feel like you have to give advice.
Sometimes, it is hard to know what to say without giving advice. But unless prompted, try to simply listen to how your friend or loved one feels. Or try talking about everyday things, like that new recipe you just tried, or a new coffee shop you want to visit together!
DO ask directly how you can help.
Any help offered is always appreciated! Ask your friend or loved one what, if anything, they need and allow them to guide you in how you can help.
DON’T diminish their experiences.
You may be trying to comfort them, but expressions like “it could always be worse” or “at least you don’t have…” won’t help. Imagining someone else’s pain doesn’t make their pain any better.
DO keep trying!
It can be frustrating to deal with canceled plans, ER visits, or missed calls and texts. You may find that your friend or loved one can go days and weeks without reaching out! This doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you. No matter how you offer your support, your good intentions are always appreciated-and it won’t be long until your call gets returned!
For more information about Lupus Clinical Studies in your area, please visit lupus.autocruitment.com