The chronic illness lupus is a health problem that has, slowly but surely, been coming out of the shadows in recent years. May is Lupus Awareness Month, and people are more aware of the complex disorder's existence today than they've ever been before, largely due to celebrities like Selena Gomez who've been open about their struggles with the disease — including the fact that it can cause mental health issues like depression.
But while many know about the existence of lupus, few outside the world of actual sufferers and their friends and family know much about the ways the disorder impacts sufferers, which is a big problem; it's estimated that 1.5 million Americans currently have lupus (around 90 percent of them will be women), and that fact that it often takes years for lupus to be properly diagnosed makes it a major women's health issue.
There's much about lupus that remains opaque; while we've been aware of it since the time of the ancient Greeks and are now more familiar than ever with its mechanisms and how it works, the particularities of how it's triggered, why it occurs in certain people, and how to treat it remain challenging.
Knowing about lupus, in all its complexity and many questions, is undoubtedly a boon to future generations of young women, who shouldn't have to struggle for ages to get a diagnosis that works.