We all are emotional human beings – doing things which give us joy, satisfaction and a sense of achievement. We plan our lives in the best possible way and keep pushing our limits to do things better every day. It is important to remember that life is how we look at it – we smile and life will always smile back at us.
But at times, things take a diversion and we might feel a bit of a pressure in the journey called life. Accepting a presence of a chronic disease can bring a flood of emotions and non-acceptance. Emotion like grief is another common reaction to chronic illness. We might experience various stages of grief including denial, bargaining, anger and sadness.
Life on dialysis is not an easy option – and yet many of us need to choose it – to live a longer and healthier life. The extreme dependence on artificial means for survival takes a big toll on our mind, and leads to a state of non-acceptance of the treatment and anything related to one’s own condition.
Common Signs of Depression
- Chronic fatigue
- Lack of appetite
- Loss of interest on anything
There are various ways we need to keep ourselves motivated to go not only for the dialysis sessions, but also accept the entire new lifestyle pattern we have to follow now to fight this chronic renal disease.
Steps to help us cope better:
- Find social support – The social group can be of peers, family members, friends and more importantly your care-giver. Build a strong support network you can rely on, and communicate with them about how they can best help you manage your disease. Try to see things from the other’s perspective and keep the lines of communication open.
- When your partner is your care-giver – Understanding the efforts of your care-giver and also encouraging him/her to take care of their health will reinforce your sense of affection as well as create a better bonding with your partner.
- Talk to a psychological counsellor – Take appointment with a counsellor who can help you deal with all the emotions which is bothering you on a day-to-day basis. A counsellor gives you tips which can help you see things from a different angle and make things a little easier for you.
- Understand Your Condition – Learn how to live with your chronic illness. At first it might seem like it is controlling you, but the more you learn and can do for yourself, the more normal and in control you will feel.
- Develop Adaptability – Attitude and approach can also make a big difference in your quality of life. It’s important to have a healthy acceptance of the lifestyle changes your condition requires. It also requires confidence in your ability to work within these constraints. You can take control of your life in ways that make a difference to your everyday experience by approaching your condition with adaptability and confidence.
- Stick to the treatment plan – Adherence improves treatment outcomes, there by leading to less stress.
- Stay active
Things you can do to make yourself feel better:
- Go for a walk.
- Read a book or watch a movie.
- Try yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
- Take an art class, play an instrument, or listen to music.
- Call or spend time with a friend.
Ask for Help
Dealing with end stage renal disease is not an easy task and yet you need to remind yourself of the everyday achievement which you are making to fight this disease. So do not hesitate to ask for help from anyone around you, as well as from your nephrologist. Your doctor is the best person to even find out the support you need to keep your mind and body in balance.