Like anyone else, you will have times when you feel a bit down and less able to cope with life in general. You may also feel sad and "need a good cry" sometimes. If, however, the sadness turns into a real sense of despair that goes on for some time, this is depression.
You may feel depressed because you are having difficulty coming to terms with some of the changes their condition is imposing on you.
These might include:
- The loss of your previous lifestyle
- The loss of independence and self-confidence
- The changes to your body and appearance
- Difficulties with sex or with having children
- Awareness of your own mortality
If you are feeling depressed it may help you feel less isolated if you talk to others who understand. This may be one of the renal unit nurses, the renal social worker, a counsellor or even a good friend. Sometimes a short course of anti-depressant medication may be useful to get over these acute problems.