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           Anxiety can interfere with the ability to deal with
        your treatment. For this reason it is important to
        keep anxiety levels in check. The interesting thing
        is that the more you learn and understand about
        your treatment, the more in control you feel.
        Avoidance tends to cause an increase in anxiety
        WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT?                             Adapt a systematic problem-solving approach:

           Positive coping strategies (already discussed in   ● Try to be objective, break down your problem
        this book) can help you cope with distress so that       into smaller more manageable parts.
        it does not become a serious problem. If you are      ● Avoid procrastinating. If something is worrying
        answering “yes” to a lot of the symptoms of anxiety      you, take some kind of action no matter how
        you may need specialised help. Talk to someone on        small. This will provide you with a sense of
        your health care team that you trust. They are used      control
        to working with people in distress and can also       ● Learn to say no and do not over-extend yourself.
        refer you to other support networks, for example, a   ● Adopt good time management skills.
        referral to a counsellor, psychologist or a social    ● Limit your perfectionism, set reasonable
        worker.                                                  standards for others and yourself.
                                                              ● Establish good social support.
                                  DOES                        ● Ask for help, express your feelings rather them
                                  COUNSELLING                    bottling them up. This may mean finding a good
                                                                 listener, either a good friend, family member or
                                    Yes, it can help. You
                                                                 a member on your renal team.
                                  speak to someone you
                                  can     trust,   in     a
                                  confidential space, where          In chapter two we have
                                  you are not judged. It is       highlighted other strategies
                                  preferable to make the
                                  contact before you reach       which will help you cope with
                                  a crisis. The counsellor       stress/anxiety and build your
                                  can help you understand                     resilience.
                                  what’s happening to you
                                  and support you through
                                  your present difficulties.
                                  It is often the case that     Each one of us is unique. Different
                                  the issue you may wish
                                                                strategies will work for different people
        to talk about is not related to your health but to the
                                                                and different situations. Remember
        everyday stresses of life.
                                                                change takes time and long-term habits
        WILL I NEED TO TAKE MEDICATION?                         are hard to break. Try some of the

           In some circumstances anti-anxiety medication        different strategies, but in doing so be
        may be useful to get you through a difficult period.    patient with yourself and acknowledge
        Some people find it useful to join self-help groups     the effort that you are making.
        (see list at back of this book).

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