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Looking after ourselves:


Managing Your Emotions

There is increasing awareness that mental health is an important issue worldwide and it is estimated that as many as 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives (WHO, 2001). The challenges of having renal failure, or of supporting someone with renal failure, can exacerbate problems such as anxiety, panic or depression and may lead some people to experience these problems for the first time in their lives. Illness and treatment regimens place an additional burden on people who may already be dealing with on-going stress in other parts of their lives:

Research evidence consistently demonstrates that people with long-term conditions are two to three times more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population. (The King’s Fund, 2012)

It is normal to experience difficult feelings when faced with a serious illness. However, if you are experiencing difficult feelings that affect your ability to manage your condition or that have a negative impact on your day-to-day functioning then it is important to seek help.

Click here for  10 Practical Useful [and important] Tips in Managing Chronic Disease

Your GP and our Renal Counsellor might be able to help you manage your feelings better or you may prefer to access self-help materials before or alongside accessing professional support.

The following is useful link to self-help resources for helping with mental health:


Mindfulness based approaches are becoming increasingly popular in the management of mild to moderate mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. There is also evidence to suggest that mindfulness based approaches can have a beneficial effect on the management of chronic illness and pain.
(Mindful Nation UK Report by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group, 2015)

The following are useful mindfulness resources:

Managing stress is an important factor in maintaining wellbeing. The following link provides resources to aid relaxation and promote restful sleep:

  Below are a set of audios using mindfulness for use by patients. They can be downloaded as mp3 recordings:

MBSR mp3 audios (click to listen/download the mp3 files).


Naylor et al. (2012) Long Term Conditions and Mental Health, The Cost of Co-morbidity. The King’s Fund, London.
World Health Organisation (2001) The world health report 2001 - Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hop.  Published online http://www.who.int/whr/2001/en/