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Do those diagnosed with Lupus go through an acceptance cycle? Molly’s Fund offers some thoughts on the subject

Portland, OR Every day the support groups, staff and coordinators of Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus work with those who are newly diagnosed with the disease of lupus.  And each day, they handle a wide variety of concerns, challenges and the emotions of someone dealing with a new and upsetting reality, and one they did not choose.  During these initial conversations and stages, many experience the classic acceptance cycle and others do not.  Learning about and dealing with lupus is complex, and the first best step is education, to learn what the disease is about and to get into action.  To learn more please visit

Common sense says that everyone is different, and no one psychological model fits all people and the experts at Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus would agree.  One of the more popular grieving and acceptance models is known by the acronym DABDA, and is explained below.   We also encourage readers to visit the Molly’s Fund blog to learn more about acceptance:

Denial — “Is this really happening to me?  There must be a simple solution; it sounds like a harmless disease.”  Denial is usually a temporary defense for the individual. Denial can be conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or the reality of the disease. Denial is a defense mechanism and some people can become locked in this stage and really struggle.  This can be life threatening for lupus patients.

Anger — “How can this happen to me?  I was perfectly healthy!  No one in my family has this disease!”  Once in this stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of their anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and blame.

Bargaining — “I’ll do what ever it takes to get a cure.  Where can I go for a cure?”
This third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow find a quick cure.  There is no current cure for lupus, but there is medication, new research that is on-going.

Depression — “Why bother with anything? What’s the point of working or doing anything.”
During the fourth stage, the diagnosed person begins to understand the depth of their disease, that there is no cure, and they must live with lupus. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. The importance of finding support, help and counseling is vital during this stage.  Knowing that you are not alone in this fight and journey is very important.

Acceptance — “I’m going to fight this, I’m going to beat this, I’m going to live.”
In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their diagnosis, or that of a loved one, or family member. This stage varies according to the person’s situation.

Once again, some people may experience some of these thoughts and challenges.  We also want to note, that others become very focused on recovery, and display strong resilience and want to immediately get into action.  The experts at Molly’s Fund encourage a mind-set of being open to assistance, seeking help and the ultimate goal of acceptance. A person open to assistance is more apt to stay positive, stay focused on being healthy and be sensitive to the changes happening internally.  And above all staying centered, allow the joy, love and hope of life to remain part of who you are.


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