Living With Lupus: Selena Gives Vital Tips To Enhance Emotional Well-being 

There’s more to this queen than makeup palettes and the occasional “Selena Vs Hailey” stories.

Instagram / Selena Gomez 

Lupus statistics show that its prevalence varies between sexes, age groups and geographical regions. It is estimated to be higher in women than men and more prevalent in high-income countries. 

This complex disease follows a chronic course that leads to long-term organ damage. It also manifests in a variety of forms which make it difficult to manage. Beyond the physical, there’s also the emotional burden that lupus brings; the mental distress.

Selena Gomez has had lupus for the past ten years and even had to get chemotherapy at some point. 

What is this “lupus”, and how does Selena live with it? Let’s find out!

Lupus Is…


Lupus or SLE(Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) is a multifaceted autoimmune disease. It occurs when your immune system attacks your tissues and in this case, organs as well. Lupus is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints, kidneys, brain, lungs and heart. In summary, it targets major organs.

The signs and symptoms of lupus vary from person to person and depend on the body systems affected. The most common ones are joint pain, fever, fatigue, chest pain, dry eyes, headaches, memory loss and shortness of breath. It may include skin lesions that worsen on exposure to the sun. 

Lupus also features a characteristic butterfly-shaped rash that covers the cheeks and nose bridge. Rashes may also appear on other parts of the body. 

Although it is primarily due to autoimmune action, factors that may predispose one to this disease include sunlight, infections and some medications. 

As mentioned earlier, it targets major organs and may cause complications related to them. Examples include kidney damage, seizures, strokes, anemia, pneumonia and cardiovascular disease. People with lupus are also vulnerable to infections, cancers and even pregnancy complications as this condition and its treatments weaken the immune system. 

Selena Lopez On Living With Lupus 

Instagram / Selena Gomez and Francis Raisa 

Growing up in the limelight can be tough. Try pairing that with living with an autoimmune disease that gives you no rest. This is Selena Gomez’s life. The 31-year-old American singer, actress and producer has always been open about how hard it is to be in the spotlight. She occasionally takes social media breaks to live her life privately. 

Gomez also utilizes her platform to talk about life with lupus. Per the Cleveland Clinic, 1 in 250 women between the ages of 14 and 45 have lupus. In a 2015 Billboard article, Gomez revealed her lupus diagnosis. 

Two years later, she shared with fans in an Instagram post that she had received a kidney transplant, courtesy of her friend, Francis Raisa. Gomez’s transplant was related to a kidney complication of lupus called lupus nephritis. 

“So, I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”

“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend, Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much, sis.”

Lupus also takes a mental toll that’s hardly talked about. Like Gomez told People magazine in 2016, “anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.” 

Tips On Managing The Emotional Downside Of Lupus 

Instagram / Selena Gomez 

Negative emotions associated with lupus stem from the visible problems such as low self-esteem due to rashes or the intense pain that makes it difficult to function properly. The uncertainty of the future of the disease can also bring about anxiety. Without doubt, it is a lot to deal with. 

In her interview with People, Gomez emphasized taking time off social media and even work as a way to maintain your health and happiness. 

“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support.”

Talk to people. Communicate with your doctors regularly. Speak with a mental health professional about the emotions you’re experiencing. Speak to your family and friends so they can understand how the disease affects you and learn to support you. Selena shares as much as she can with fans, encouraging them to take the bold steps she takes.

“You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”

Manage your stress levels. Living with any chronic disease is stressful physically and mentally. While medication manages the physical aspect, your mental health professional can teach you techniques like meditation, muscle relaxation and how to find specific stress relievers such as soothing music. 


A vital part of managing  the emotions that come with living with lupus is making out time for the things you enjoy. Lupus limits the range of activities, but you can view it as an opportunity to explore low-energy activities such as reading. 

Remember to appreciate yourself through every step. Although you have lupus, you have strengths, skills and talents that are amazing. Focus on them!