Victim? or Survivor?

It’s great to see so many people using this site - a big thank you to LUPUS UK for setting up such a safe way for us all to communicate with each other.

I recently went to see my GP for a routine appointment for a medication review. My usual doctor had been called out on an emergency so I saw another, much younger doctor. He seemed very lupus aware and said his sister was diagnosed with lupus a couple of years ago. We talked about my medication for a while but something didn’t feel right - he was TOO sympathetic. He used words like ‘poor you’ and how horrible it must be to be a ‘victim’ of lupus. Instead of coming across as understanding, he seemed almost patronising and I began to long for my usual doctor who openly admits he doesn’t know much about lupus, but is always willing to learn (mainly from me!!!)

When I got home I thought about what he said about being a ‘victim’. A victim of what? Lupus patients are not victims - we are courageous people living with a highly challenging illness. I’ve never seen myself as a victim - lupus can affect anyone, I wasn’t singled out.

It’s strange how just a word can make you think about how others see you. I think ‘lupus survivor’ describes us much better than ‘lupus victim’.

2 Replies


I agree, victim sounds a bit like "I deserve to get Lupus, i let myself become a victim". As you said anyone can be affected by Lupus and it is how we decide to cope with it although it can be very confusing from time to time.

Lets hope your old GP returns soon and i must say my GP hasn't a clue!!!


Hi ShelaghC,

I have had the same experience and it left me feeling like a poor feeble thing when normally i feel I am coping well and feel strong. Its another sign of how we need to educate others about what it it really like to have lupus and what appropriate help we need from others.

Maybe empathy not sympathy?

We are not alone!

Keep well



You may also like...