I can really sympathize with how you feel, and although I don’t think I can answer the question of whether you should continue to research and seek support or not, I can share my experience… I am at month 4 of similar “flare” symptoms, probably not as severe headaches and nausea but plus some rashes and transient cognitive difficulties and overarching brain fog a lot of the time. I am now provisionally diagnosed (don’t meet quite enough criteria, but strong enough evidence that I believe it and my rheumy wants to treat and keep watching for the other signs… Feels great to have a doc working with me rather than dismissing!)
What I really resonate with is your family and doctor attributing it all to depression, which you may have had at some point, but is not what you feel happening now. In my previous shorter-term episodes, everyone told me the same thing and had me (fairly) convinced. I went to my GP repeatedly with physical symptoms, to be turned away with “reassurance provided” as my treatment note in my records, the times she told me nothing was wrong and I was highly sensitive to normal body occurrences (Raynaud’s, rashes, random hives or sporadic eczema outbreaks, back pain, abdominal pain, muscle aches, etc.) If it was more abnormal/serious and included a fever and more prominent rash, it was normally called an unspecified viral illness, even though extreme fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain far outweighed any hint of upper respiratory symptoms they would question out of me (I have had chronic rhinitis, along with the raynaud’s, since childhood anyway, and now a chronic sore/scratchy throat and ears as well.) Still, many in my family, friends and doctors who saw me in the midst of these episodes ruled that my level of distress, over symptoms they couldn’t see or viewed as only minor, made it seem psychologically based (or at least blown out of proportion.) It especially didn’t help that mood disorders run in my family, and I was constantly under evaluation for signs of them. For some reason, people have a very hard time imagining someone with “obvious” psychological trouble could have legitimate physical illness also (or perhaps even one that causes psychological/psychiatric symptoms!) And beyond that, I think it makes perfect sense to have extra anxiety about something being really wrong, when you know your body is screaming and everyone around decides it’s not even worth investigating… But that leads into your question of whether your reading here will make it worse. That’s totally up to your own knowledge of yourself and how react to having information, but here are my thoughts on the matter of digging up your own answers.
If you were in fact having a psychological obsession over having health problems that aren’t real, then yes, reading about it most likely feeds the fire and makes it worse. Many people advised me against it for this reason, and that self-diagnosis isn’t helpful (it’s unreliable even for a doctor to self-diagnose.) However, it is not only helpful but extremely important for a patient to self-advocate, and clearly identify how they feel, because otherwise nobody with diagnostic authority (which is not family or friends, of course) will get the chance to see it otherwise. Sometimes it’s hard to think of something that’s always bothered you as a relevant symptom until you see tha pattern in others who share their stories. It’s nice to have the assurance that you’re not just overly imaginative that the things you feel are serious, but rather collections of symptoms that could be lupus or a number of other diseases you might gain power to address if you find out what’s really going on. It’s important not to develop a bias, deciding you think it’s lupus and researching only that and trying to fit all your symptoms to the description to present your case… But it doesn’t seem to me you’re doing that at all, because you are here questioning how you feel, whether it’s like lupus or something else (celiac, etc.), and whether it’s worth continuing to press for answers.
I’ve found it helpful with doctors to present questions and share your symptoms and level of distress, because they are trained to address those things, but less on your thinking process on what it might be (that’s where some get threatened, or think you won’t listen to any of their recommendations anyway, or it’s “all in your head” cause it’s seeming so dependent on information from the Internet, and so on…) I think it’s essential to press for answers, and if your doctors say it’s probably not lupus, I think it’s fair to ask what they think it is instead and how they plan to address it. You are feeling very ill, and they need to help you no matter if it’s lupus or not!
That leads to my final thought, which is that this support community understands how it feels to be sick, sick and misunderstood, and without satisfactory answers! I don’t think any of us mind if you ever end up with official lupus or not, we just want to listen, help you feel validated, share tips we’ve discovered, and help you feel better For this reason, I find support groups more productive than independent researching on the web about every new symptom… That increased my stress (and took up tons of time), but led me to here where I can get the benefit of seeing how actual patients deal with it, and a place to be nonjudgmentally accepted (even supported!) for my frustrations and worries. I still read health sites and even medical literature on it (this is also my career interest area), but I try to keep it in check so I don’t get consumed. I hope you can find a balance that works for you! And some answers, or at least directions to move forward