This can be a specific "worry" related to something in particular, or a more general sense of "being on edge" or "not feeling safe."

Specific anxieties that renal patients may have include:

  • Worries about how the illness will affect your relationships,
  • Your ability to work,
  • Your finances
  • Your quality of life
  • You may also be anxious about understanding your condition or managing your treatment.

Ways of reducing anxiety are:

  • To see if there is something practical you could do to help you feel better. Make that appointment to see the doctor/dietitian/social worker/counsellor about what is worrying you. Ask a nurse about that part of the procedure you don't understand.
  • There will of course be things that worry you that you can do nothing practical about. Most patients will say, however, that they find it helpful simply to talk about their worries to people who understand. Whether it's another patient, a nurse, a family member or a counsellor, don't keep yourself alone with your anxiety.
  • Generalized anxiety is just as difficult to live with as anxiety that has an obvious cause.
  • Feeling generally "unsafe" may have something to do with a sense of "having no control" over your own body and life.
  • Many patients find that they can regain a sense of control by learning as much as they can about kidney failure and its treatment. Becoming an "expert" enables them to participate more actively in making decisions and to feel that they are working with the medical staff to control the condition rather than being passive.
  • Other people find that setting reasonable goals for themselves, such as going out, exercising, or keeping up certain activities - and achieving them - gives them a feeling of control.

Worries are always less if shared with people who understand.

Back to The emotional effects of kidney failure