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Q. Can it be difficult to tell      the same things you are               Family members can be great
        other people about a                experiencing or a professional      carers and that can be very
        diagnosis? Do you have any          counsellor who is non-judge-        helpful. Yet caring is demanding
        advice?                             mental and will give you the        and sometimes families can end
           It is difficult to give general  space to talk about what’s going    up doing too much for the person
        advice and it is really up to the   on with you.                        who has the kidney condition,
        individual in terms of who they       This needs to be done at the      which can erode their self-
        want to tell about their diagnosis  individual’s own pace and should    confidence and belief that they
        – their friends, family, work       not be forced.                      can do things for themselves.
        colleagues, acquaintances and
        so on.
           Telling others can certainly
        make the diagnosis seem more
        real. People will worry about how
        others will react, what they will
        say or whether it’s going to
        change relationships or work
           Telling others may help in
        some ways as CKD is not a visible
        condition. If you walk down any
        street in Ireland, you can’t pick
        out the kidney patient. Some
        people may not understand that
        you’re sick as you look good.       Q. What about the family and          A diagnosis raises all sorts
                                            friends of the person who has       of issues with a family. It is
        Q. Some people may                  been diagnosed – do they            important that they be talked
        withdraw into themselves            need emotional support too?         about openly and honestly.
        after a diagnosis. Is it              It’s important that family        Family members should seek
        important to talk about it to       members and close friends get       support from a friend, someone
        someone?                            emotional support as well. It can   they trust or a professional
           When we experience trauma,       affect them tremendously but        counsellor.
        we may want to retreat and find     they don’t want to show it            The IKA has branches in each
        a place inside of us where we feel  because they’re supporting the      county that can help with peer
        safe. This can make us isolated     person who has the condition.       support and advice.
        from others and can be a big
        change, especially for someone
        who’s always been very outgoing
        and now is withdrawn and quiet.
           Talking to someone else can
        help to break down the fears and
        anxieties that the person is going
        through on their own.
           Support is available in a lot of
        different ways – a good friend or
        relative who will lend a listening
        ear, someone who has a similar
        condition and has gone through

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