People with kidney disease are at increased risk of depression. Around one in five have depression, and the figure is higher for people on dialysis.
When you are told you have kidney disease, you may at first be in disbelief that this is happening to you. When reality hits, you may go through a period of mourning; you might grieve for the health, abilities and life you had before being diagnosed.
Lifestyle changes can significantly impact your wellbeing as you develop a greater dependence on others. You may also become more depressed if you see your family stressed about your situation. This can make it difficult for you to open to them about your illness because you don’t want to worry them – and this can lead to a feeling of isolation.
Here are some questions that can help determine if you have depression:
- Do you struggle to get out of bed and do daily activities regularly?
- Do you feel as if you are surrounded by a black cloud?
- Do you cry regularly?
- Do you get angry easily for no reason?
- Have you stopped paying attention to how you look?
- Are you eating for comfort or refusing to eat at all?
- Do you consider harming yourself?
If you answer ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, let a loved one or friend know how you feel and visit your doctor for advice and treatment. You may also like to download our depression and chronic kidney disease fact sheet.