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.
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 are some useful links to self-help resources for managing common mental health problems:
Mindfulness based approaches are becoming increasingly popular in
the management of mild to moderate mental health problems 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:
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
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/