When you get diagnosed with a life-changing form of disease, depression comes knocking at your door. Being diagnosed with chronic kidney failure (ckd) is no different. It’s life-changing, life-threatening, and a definite financial burden as the disease progresses through time. Cram these ideas on your mind, then add the pain that goes along with it, and you’ll most likely find yourself getting depressed and on the verge of simply giving up the fight sooner or later.
A bit morbid and melodramatic? Maybe. But what I said is all real and true. I’ve been down that road before myself. Albeit the only difference was that I was able to muster enough courage and fortitude to fight off depression and prevent myself ending up wallowing in self-pity.
Some points to think about depression:
People with chronic kidney disease are at increased risk of depression. Around one in five people with chronic kidney disease have depression, with the figure being even higher for people on dialysis.
In the case of someone who has just been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease there may be a lot of information to process about your physical health, which may lead to strong emotions about your life and how it may change. Similarly, once a person reaches end stage renal disease and begins dialysis, there are lifestyle adjustments to be made that could bring up feelings of despair.
Living in denial would get you nowhere
When I was diagnosed with ckd, the I didn’t fully comprehend the gravity of my predicament. All I wanted and thought at that time was that I would be out of the hospital in a couple of days and could go on with my life. I was even smiling at myself when my doctor advised me to have an av fistula created to prepare me for my dialysis treatment. I thought, what the hell is he talking about? I feel well enough already and I’d be out soon. After being discharged in a couple of days, I still maintained that self-serving attitude. I felt weak, but I thought it was just the after effects of the medicine I was given during my hospitalization.
How could I ever be wrong in my life…
After a few months has passed, I started to feel the effects of my condition. My feet began swelling, my weight started to go down, and I always seem to feel lethargic and out of sorts as each day passes by. What was happening to me? Then awareness and understanding suddenly hit me like a freight train. I was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure recently and my doctor told me that. I was sick… mortally sick. Either I was just dumb and stupid to miss it or I wasn’t paying any attention to what my doctor was saying. Or I was simply afraid to face and accept the truth. In all truth and honesty, it was more of the latter that prevented me from acknowledging my condition.
I was afraid and a coward. But not for long. I mustered my courage and collected myself to face what I was avoiding for the past few months. That I am sick and that I needed help. It may all sound blunt and easy. But that’s what I did. I simply faced reality and accepted my predicament. Now after years of fighting the battle with ckd and the rigors of dialysis treatment, I am still here.
All the love they can get
People suffering from ckd, or any chronic illness for that matter, need all the love and comfort they can get. There are many things that could fire loneliness for ckd patients and drive them to the verge of depression. You, their family and friends, have the power to prevent that. Be patient with them at times that they’re most trying and annoying. Let them feel that they’re loved and cared for, even if they’re trying to show that they don’t need it. Maybe their pride is just holding them back to reach out for your love and care.
Life is so fragile and short and with kidney disease, it’s get even shorter. Depression couldn’t be more real for ckd patients. If you feel you can’t fight it off, don’t be ashamed to get help, for depression is a treatable condition. The earlier you get help for your anxieties, he better would be for your well-being.
Life goes on
In my years of fighting kidney failure, I would be a hypocrite if I denied ever being lonely. I traveled that road, and I still pass it by from time to time. Yes, I still get lonely at times, but I never let it get the best of me. Whenever depression and anxiety comes knocking at my door, I simply look at my family. Those people who love and care for me through thick and thin. I just think of life and how beautiful it is.
We all have our burdens to carry. Some light, some heavy. For us people living and fighting with chronic disease, just an added burden to what we already carrying. Always remember that God would never give us something that we couldn’t carry. If the going gets tough, He’s always there to lend us hand if not completely ease the burden from us.