What is depression?
Depression is a state of mind where none
of the things that used to make you happy
work any more. It is sometimes called
“the blues” or being “down in the dumps.”
Depression is very common after some
of life’s most cruel events, such as death,
divorce—or learning you have kidney
failure. Experts say one of every three or
four dialysis patients is depressed.
Depression is not just a rare day of sadness.
Feeling hopeless and helpless for a few
weeks is a clue that you might be depressed.
Sleeping or eating more or less than usual—
or missing dialysis—can also be clues.
The good news is that depression can
sometimes be prevented, and can always
Why is depression important to me?
Depression can take the joy out of life.
It can steal your energy and make you feel
like there is no hope, or no reason to go on
living. If you are depressed, getting dressed
and out of the house can feel like climbing
a mountain. Being depressed can also make
your health worse.
If you are depressed, it can be hard to
believe that life can get better again—
but it can. Getting help for depression
can give you your life back.
What can I do if I feel sad or afraid?
When you learn that your kidneys no longer
work, it is normal to feel angry, fearful,
and sad. Your doctor or nurse can answer
medical questions, and a social worker at
your unit can help you during this hard time.
You have a lot to learn, and many changes
to fit into your life. Write down your
questions, so you can get them answered
and reduce your worrying. You will have
ups and downs as you adjust to kidney
failure. This is normal.
After you get used to your new life and get
answers to your questions, you should start
to feel better. Even though your dialysis
schedule and new eating plan may be hard
to get used to, they should start to feel like
a normal part of who you are and what you
do each day.
What can I do if I am depressed?
Try the tips listed on the other side of this
page every day for a few weeks. They have
helped many pe