Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Many people would include their spiritual health too. Our mental or emotional well-being can affect how we:
Relate to Others
Living with a chronic health condition can test our resilience and coping skills. It may also place added burden or strain on our relationships. For some, it might mean giving up jobs that are too intense or stressful.
Pay attention to your feelings and how IgA Nephropathy affects your general outlook and happiness. If you start to feel down or overwhelmed, talk about it and ask for help.
One way to stay ahead of the emotional rollercoaster that can come with having or caring for someone with IgA Nephropathy is to be aware of possible stressors – those things that might cause added strain or make someone feel powerless in being able to change things for the better – and make a plan for how to deal with each one.
Some of these may be within your control and others may not. But recognizing what might cause you worry and talking it through them can be helpful and will also help put challenges in perspective.
Uncertainty about the future and what’s going to happen; for example, not knowing how the disease may progress. (Some people fear their kidneys may give out and they will miss important life events, and need dialysis or a new kidney)
Finding a nephrologist (kidney doctor) who knows about IgA Nephropathy and which treatments or medical procedures are best
Financial burden of frequent medical visits, laboratory tests, and treatments
Not being able to work or contribute in the same way, or making hard choices to switch jobs if needed
Not being able to do some of the things you once did
Feeling overwhelmed by all of the lifestyle changes that ideally need to be made – exercise, diet, etc. – and not knowing where or how to start
Having to lean on others, fearing you’ll be a burden, hold them back from fulfilling their dreams or strain your relationships
The waiting period for bloodwork or lab results to see what they might say about your kidney health
Body image concerns, especially for people taking prednisone of other medications that can lead to weight gain
Learning that even after a transplant, IgA Nephropathy can come back in the new kidney or medical procedures are best