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           Many people feel depressed when they discover        PEOPLE TO TALK WITH
        their kidneys have failed. Even after treatments        l NEPHROLOGIST
        have started, and you are feeling much better
                                                                l FAMILY DOCTOR
        physically, the thought of having regular dialysis,
                                                                l FAMILY AND FRIENDS
        perhaps while waiting for a kidney transplant,
        might leave you feeling depressed.                      l RENAL COUNSELLOR
           You may feel dependent, on others, for the first     l NURSES
        time and this may affect your ability to live the life
                                                                l PATIENT CARE
        you once enjoyed. Emotional support, from family
        and friends, may also decrease as the shock of
        diagnosis fades. Often, you might have difficulty       l CLERGY
        accepting their support or they might not know          l DIETITIAN
        how best to offer it.
           However, with time and increased under-
        standing of kidney disease, people do adjust. Each
        person has different ways of adapting. However, if
        depression continues for some time, it is a good
        idea to speak to your healthcare team because
        depression can be effectively treated.
                                                                 Being told you need to go on dialysis comes as
        Acceptance                                            a great shock. People naturally worry about how
           Fortunately, most people learn to live with        they are going to cope. Common emotions felt at
        chronic kidney disease. Although they would rather    this time are:
        have healthy kidneys, they realise that, with the
        proper treatment and lifestyle changes, they will be  Fear      about the treatment, death, the future,
        able to live as usual.                                          the unknown.
           Acceptance does not always come quickly or
        without help. Many people find it useful to talk to   Anger     “Why did this happen to me?” “It is not
        someone besides family and friends about their                  fair.” “Why now?”
        feelings. If you feel you need a person to talk to,
                                                              Denial    “It can’t be true.” “There must be some
        do ask a member of your healthcare team to
                                                                        mistake.” “I feel fine.”
        recommend someone. It can make a big difference.
                                                              Anxiety about what to expect - prolonged periods
                                                                        of   feeling    uneasy     and    finding
                                                                        concentration difficult.

                                                              Worry     about how the treatment will affect your
                                                                        life, your plans, your future, your family.

                                                                 While most people will experience some or all of
                                                              these emotions, the actual experience of being on
                                                              dialysis is unique to each individual. The good news
                                                              is that, after the initial shock, most people do come
                                                              to terms with it and cope effectively in their own
                                                              way. The more support and help a person has, the
                                                              easier it is to adjust.

        P.36 Haemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis – A Guide for Patients
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