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Personality disorders and emotional variables in patients with lupus

Author(s): Callejas Rubio, José Luis | Coín Mejías, M. Angeles | Peralta Ramírez, M. Isabel | Pérez García, Miguel

Journal: Salud Mental
ISSN 0185-3325

Volume: 30;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 19;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Anxiety | depression | lupus | personality disorder.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a prototype of the autoimmune diseases, is a multi-systemic disease characterized by an alteration in the immunological response, where the production of antibodies is directed against nuclear antigens, thus affecting many organs and systems. The course of this disease includes a wide range of clinical manifestations, different anatomo-pathological findings, and a series of immunological abnormalities. It is characterized by outbreaks and remissions. SLE can be manifested by general malaise, fever, fatigue, weight loss, skin rashes or joint inflammation, anemia, inflammation of the lymphatic glands, lowering of the defenses against infection, and cardiac, kidney, pulmonary and neurological alterations. In chronic dermatological lupus, only the skin is affected; this condition can present rash erythemas, etc. The recent introduction of new immunological diagnostic methods (antinuclear antibodies, anti-DNA antibodies, complementary fraction, etc.) has made it possible to recognize less severe forms of the disease, as well as its outbreaks and therapeutic guidelines. Different psychological variables have been associated with the exacerbation of the disease; one of the most notable is stress, and many patients with lupus also suffer diverse psychiatric and personality disorders associated with the disease, with a prevalence oscillating between 20% and 60%. Furthermore, these alterations have been associated with a lower quality of life, poorer evolution and psychiatric antecedents. In the specific case of personality alterations, previous research has found the existence of a ¿triad of personality¿ characteristics in patients with lupus. Depression, hysteria and hypochondria are the factors making up this triad. However, it has not been shown whether these personality disorders are just another symptom of the disease or a consequence of the emotional disorders produced by it.
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