I saw the post in another thread on depression, and since all the literature states that dialysis patients should be depressed, I was wondering how many of you have gone through depression due to kidney disease/dialysis, and if so, what cured it…if you did find a cure? And let me also ask, what do you think is the most depressing thing about kidney disease/dialysis? :frowning: :o

Nope, refused to let myself get depressed or think about dialysis related horrors. I have so many friends and family members who have had bouts of depression(including hubby) I just can’t or won’t go there. I realise that of course clinical depression would not be any easy thing to beat but have watched people “right” themselves with lots of love,help, exercise and developing new “passions”.
I just try to take one day at a time and find something good to do each day.
For example,never managed to have kids because of kidney disease and I could choose to feel dreadful about this but I just avoid dwelling on things like that. I see so much sadness around me that I guess if I fall into despair too, I can’t help those I love. I don’t beat myself up about things, I try and let them wash over me. (Is this Zen!) Hey, Samba drumming works for me! :lol:

In large studies of patients who have been on dialysis various lengths of time, average scores on mental health functioning are as high or higher than those who are in the “normal” population. According to the research that I’ve read, about 25% of dialysis patients in the U.S. have clinical depression. Some people have down spells but are not clinically depressed. I don’t think anyone would say that people on dialysis should be depressed. Maybe professionals say this because they believe patients are more depressed than they are. They look at dialysis as altering quality of life looking at QOL based on their measure of it. However, one’s QOL changes over time and what I might have thought was high QOL in my 20s is different from what I consider QOL in my 50s. I think people on dialysis may have a changed perception of their QOL too. have worked long enough with dialysis patients to know that when patients are diagnosed and start treatment for kidney failure, it can take 6 months to a year or more to cope with and adjust to it.

Some people look for positives in needing dialysis – a chance to realize how precious life is, time to “smell the roses,” the chance to leave a job they hated and get trained for a job they like, etc. Others fight it every step of the way. In my experience with patients, those that fight kidney disease and dialysis and don’t ask for help with depression don’t live as long as those who try to keep a positive attitude, ask questions, and participate actively in their care whether in-center or at home.

This is a very interesting thread and I look forward to reading more about what people have done to counter depression…or even down moods. I’d love to be able to share your tips with others who contact us.

I wouldn’t say depression in my case, but certainly some downswings in mood every once in a while. When I was training for home hemo and for a few weeks after I came home, I found it a little overwhelming, to be honest. Here I was, fairly well used to dialysis after 2-1/2 years, and all of a sudden, I’m on dialysis every day for what seemed like half the day, every single day. I missed those many off-dialysis days, and I missed the banter with the nurses and other patients at the dialysis centre. The short daily I did the first 3-4 months just did not fit the bill for me. I found it was just too intrusive on my “day” time. But nocturnal I can more easily take every night. Night-time is downtime anyway.

For me, all it takes is being able to get out and walk in the downtown area I live in, see the people, the restaurants, etc., that, plus a ride on my bike along the Rideau Canala at least a few times per week. That always lifts my spirits. Winter is harder though. We get real winters here! Days are short and cold, and that can be a little depressing.


I did get depression, lasted close to 4 years…those were my high school years… I declined any drug for depression, instead I challeneged myself to return by enrolling into the local community college, all after 5 years of graduating from high school. After sometime the depression disappeared slowly… I would have to thank my sister who inspired me to return to school…depression is quite bad, but you need to push yourslef into some activities, even if you don’t want to…

I have another family member younger and worse off than I so I can’t afford the time to be depressed; I hope it steers clear of me! Lin.

A strange thing to state that dialysis patients should be depressed.
Sounds like a pythonesque sketch, “I’d like some depression please”
“Fine sir would you like the long term course, or the acute full strenght., we have a special offer this week!”

Many kidney patients, or indeed those with other medical conditions MAY find certain aspects of their lifestyle depressing, what does help IMHO, is keeping busy, counselling, activity, or at a last resort carefully prescribed medication.
Tablets should be the last resort.
Just my 2 cents!

I am a little depressed, my moods are quite up and down. There is no miracle cure. Talking about it helps, and there are medications if you feel it is so bad you cant go on.

Hi amba,

Depression does have serious impacts on people . Like some recoil in a shell, refuse any sort of contact with others, some prefer loneliness and some think of the extreme like contemplating death. But before you mope over it, just try and do some meditation or take the help of medications too.They indeed help a lot .Like I was going through this phase sometime back and my doctor put me on some dopamines… However I had to procure my online effexor through an online portal. This drug did help me gradually and I started feeling much better, calm and relaxed and helped me get through it too.

I have been on antidepressants before but at that time I was so depressed I was having suicidal thoughts (just thoughts, I wouldnt of acted on them) and I just felt nothing could make me happy due to various problems at the time. Im ok now, am I depressed, but i dont want to take medications again. They did help me, but in the way that they made me not care about anything, and I was like a zombie for the first few weeks. I took them for 1.5 years, then after that I think they were having the opposite effect so I weaned myself off them as I felt I didnt need them anymore. I felt great after a month of so of coming off them.
I do see a psychologist when I need too, and I am starting hypnotherapy for relaxation.