When I was 26 years old, I started experiencing severe fatigue, swelling in my face, vomiting, and muscle cramping. After a long month of this and unable to get out of bed, my family rushed me to the ER where I was diagnosed with kidney failure and started life-saving dialysis that night. I had no idea how my life would completely change from an independent young adult to relying on a machine to keep me alive overnight. The health responsibilities and lifestyle changes of kidney failure was one of the hardest experience to endure.
For the first year of my kidney failure, I struggled to talk about it, even with close family and friends – particularly because I felt other’s didn’t understand and it was difficult to find the words to describe the various emotions and body changes I was going through. I became increasingly anxious – excessively worrying about anything and everything, and feeling sad, tired, and guilty. I didn’t know it then but what I was experiencing common symptoms of anxiety and depression.
My experience with dialysis encouraged me to pursue an education in mental health because of the impact kidney disease had on my mental health as well as witnessing many kidney patients struggling with anxiety and depression too. I returned to college while on dialysis motivated and inspired to become a therapist. My first job after graduate school was a dialysis social worker for Fresenius where I spent about 4 years helping patients adjust to dialysis while providing counseling, advocacy, and resources.
Dealing with the impact kidney disease has on your mental health is not easy by any means but you don’t have to do it alone. Call or text me at 949-441-2273 for a complimentary 20-mins session.
Managing and dealing with kidney disease is challenging. You and I know all too well the challenges of navigating multiple medical and financial stressors that can add to anxiety and depression. The last thing you want to worry about is another appointment. I won’t ask you drive to another appointment to receive therapy. I offer video sessions from the comfort of your home with a flexible schedule so it works for you.
You can still move forward and live your life with meaning and purpose despite kidney disease. I’ve had my way of dealing with kidney failure but let’s discover coping skills and strategies that work for YOU.