From depression to bipolar to schizophrenia to psychosis, mental health issues are REAL. Although they often run in families, they can sometimes be triggered. Depression, commonly referred to as the common cold of mental health, is quite prevalent in people struggling with chronic illnesses.

Adjusting to a diagnosis of chronic illness often comes with a sense of loss and grief usually as a result of the drastic lifestyle changes that accompany such diagnosis. This sort of overhaul in one’s life and having to deal with symptoms, combined with the thought of dealing with the illness forever triggers feelings of depression.

On October 10th, the world celebrated WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY. The theme focused on adolescents.

The following are some key facts provided by World Health Organization:

  • One in six people are aged 10–19 years.
  • Mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years.
  • Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases are undetected and untreated.
  • Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15–19 year olds.
  • The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.
  • Mental health promotion and prevention are key to helping adolescents thrive

So many people struggling with chronic illnesses such as Chronic Kidney Disease and Kidney failure suffer depression as well. Although any illness can trigger depressed feelings, the risk of chronic illness and depression gets higher with the severity of the illness and the level of life disruption it causes. The risk of depression is generally 10-25% for women and 5-12% for men, however people with a chronic illness face a much higher risk – between 25-33%. Risk is especially high in someone who has a history of depression. (WebMD)

Good news is there’s treatment available for depression. Talk to your health care team if you experience any feelings of depression.

Mental Health and Kidney Disease

Some Tips for Improving Mental Health Include:

  1. Manage and reduce stress levels
  2. Get regular exercise
  3. Cultivate a sense of belonging
  4. Seek help and support others to do the same
  5. Educate yourself – learn as much as you can about your condition
  6. Try to keep doing the things you like to do
  7. Offer compassion