Dialysis and Mental Health: Addressing the Emotional Impact and Finding Support During Treatment

Struggling to manage your emotions while on a life-saving dialysis treatment? While dialysis treatment is a life-saving option for anyone who has chronic kidney disease, you also need to create lifestyle changes that majorly affect mental health. To overcome any mental distress, it is advisable to make certain changes in life or seek professional help. Learn how dialysis and mental health are connected and how you can manage its effects in this article. If you want to know more about renal disease symptoms and treatment, visit us at Doral Health and Wellness Urology Center and consult with the best nephrologists and urologists in East New York.

 

Is there a link between dialysis and mental health?

Yes, there’s a significant link between dialysis and mental health. The stress, lifestyle changes, and physical discomfort associated with dialysis treatment can deeply impact a patient’s mental well-being.

The mental side effects you develop from dialysis occur from factors like treatment frequency, duration, and the burden of managing chronic kidney disease, which lead to the development of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress. Recognizing and addressing the mental health of dialysis patients is important to ensure they don’t suffer mental health problems and lead a better life.

Tips for Addressing the emotional impact and finding support during treatment

Here are some tips that help you address the emotional impact and find the right support during treatment:

  1. Keep the habits that give you pleasure:

Don’t leave the activities that give you pleasure if you have dialysis. Keep your hobbies and interests alive, even if you have to change them according to your dialysis schedule or health condition. If you can, continue working, and socialize with friends. Dialysis patients who keep enjoying their habits in their lives, tend to be happier and healthier.

  1. Educate yourself:

Gather information and ask questions to understand dialysis treatment and the lifestyle changes you need to follow along with it. Your healthcare providers are also learning from you. Keep a list of questions and ask them at your doctor’s appointments and keep a notebook for important information so that you keep all the records in one place. All these necessary details help you maintain a sense of control over your health.

  1. Learn mindfulness techniques:

Mindfulness techniques like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation allow you to stay in the present and teach you how to accept your thoughts and bodily sensations. According to the American Psychological Association, these techniques may help to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, they also help to manage pain and reduce fatigue.

  1. Find support groups:

Always remember you’re not alone on this journey with kidney disease and dialysis. Whether you’re a patient or a care partner, joining a support group is always a great way to manage your mental health. You can ask your healthcare provider for a support group and look online in your area through the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC), or ask a social worker.

  1. Volunteer:

To give your mental health a boost, consider volunteering. Helping those you love, volunteering your time, or doing charitable work helps remind you that you have valuable skills to offer, even if you can no longer work or do as many commitments as before. One study found that engaging in altruistic behaviors like donating money or sharing food can increase overall life satisfaction and lower negative emotions like pessimism.

  1. Stay connected with people:

Reach out for support from your partner, family, and friends when needed. Be open with them about what you’re experiencing and how you’re feeling, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. They will understand your situation and help you if you communicate properly without worrying about being judged.

  1. Play with a pet:

Research in animal-human interactions is new but it has already been found that pets may improve many people’s mental health. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched studies to discover how preliminary research has found that spending time with animals may reduce stress, improve heart health, and increase emotional and social skills.

While the investigations are still going on to understand why and to what degree, these results are promising. So, if you’re feeling down, make time to play, cuddle, and watch whatever pet you, your friends, or your family have. It may make you feel better.

When do you need professional help?

While it’s normal to feel sad while adjusting to the changes that dialysis brings. But for some people, the sadness persists. Studies found that 1 out of 5 patients with chronic kidney disease suffer from depression and anxiety. A 2008 study found that 45% of people who receive dialysis for end-stage renal disease experienced some type of anxiety disorder even before the procedure. So, if you notice any of these emotions, it means you need professional help to manage them:

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Often very stressed or worried
  • Sleeping more or less than you used to.
  • Frequently irritable with friends and family.
  • Withdrawing from social interaction or activities you used to enjoy.
  • Doing things that aren’t healthy like skipping medications.
  • Making excuses for not following doctor’s recommendations.

If you’re concerned about your emotional state or your stress levels, you can seek professional help.

 

Dialysis and mental health are connected in a way that dialysis treatment can affect your thinking or emotions negatively, which leads to anxiety or depression. However, these mental health issues can be prevented if you follow the above-mentioned tips during your dialysis treatment. In case you are still not able to manage your emotions, then you should seek professional help.

Need help with emotional instability during dialysis treatment, visit our mental health clinic in Brooklyn to get professional medical help. Call us to book your appointment now or for inquiries.

At Doral Health and Wellness Urology Center, our team of urologists will work with you in managing your disease and your quality of life. We also offer services, such as renal and bladder ultrasound. To schedule an appointment, please visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212 or call 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://www.urologistbrooklyn.com/.