The most important aspect of treating depression and anxiety is to get help. Depression and anxiety are treatable, and it is possible to return to a healthy emotional state. Don’t wait to get help – speak with your doctor, nurse or family about how you are feeling in order to create a plan to address it. Tips for coping with depression and chronic kidney disease include:

  • Simplify your life so that you can focus on what is really important
  • Start a journal or diary so you can write down what you are feeling
  • Read reputable self-help books
  • Keep a positive attitude
  • Join a support group for patients on dialysis and/or families of dialysis patients – patients and families often feel like they are alone in their dialysis experience and that nobody understands what they are going through, so talking to other patients and families who are going through the same experiences can help people feel less alone and more connected to others who understand what they are going through
  • Stay social and be conscious of not isolating yourself from others – family and friends can help support you through the difficult journey of kidney disease and dialysis
  • Take care of yourself, eat well and get lots of rest
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help – you will feel better, and your family and friends will feel reassured that you have others you can rely on
  • Learn ways to relax and manage stress – try closing your eyes, take some deep breaths, count to 10 and try to calm yourself down
  • Create a routine and stick to it so that you can structure your time
  • Be careful not to make important decisions during times when you are feeling sad or depressed
  • Accept your condition and come to terms with its chronic nature
  • Learn more about your kidney disease in order to better manage it and control your life
  • Seek support from your nephrologist, social worker or from a mental health professional
  • Don’t be shy to ask questions – the more information you have, the more empowered and involved you will feel in your own healthcare; ask your healthcare team any questions you may have so you can get the answers you need

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