Living with a disease, such as distal renal tubular acidosis (dRTA), can be physically and emotionally challenging for you and/or a loved one. It is very common to feel sad, scared, frustrated or angry about living with dRTA and it is not uncommon to find that your emotions and feelings can change throughout the course of your disease. It is important to realize that any illness or disease can affect your mental health.
Living with a chronic disorder, like dRTA, can create stress. Managing stress is important for your physical and emotional wellbeing. Stress is a part of life, but too much stress can contribute to poor health. For more information on managing stress, click here
Remember, your emotions and physical health are inter-connected. A healthy emotional life may help you to live longer and feel better. Set reasonable goals for yourself. Be flexible. Allow for mistakes. Try to keep a positive attitude and keep doing things you enjoy. Spend time with people who make you laugh. All these things can help you stay healthy.
Having people to turn to for support can be a great help while living with kidney disease, such as dRTA. Don't be afraid to tell others what you are feeling and to ask for help and support when needed. Even your closest family members cannot read your mind. It is important to tell them how you feel. This is important advice for both patients and caregivers. Different kinds of people can help provide and offer emotional support. Among those who can be a part of your support system include:
- Family and friends
- People also living with the same disease
- A spouse or significant other
- Mentors and co-workers
- Members of your healthcare team
- Social, religious and spiritual groups
You can ask a member of your healthcare team about getting help from a social worker. Nephrology social workers are trained in kidney disease counseling to help patients and their families cope with their disease and changes in the family, home, workplace and community. They can help identify sources of emotional support for patients who are in need. They also identify services within federal, state and community agencies to meet patients' needs and help patients and families access services when necessary.
You can contact organizations like the National Kidney Foundation to help navigate the challenges of kidney diseases such as dRTA (1.855.NKF.CARES (1.855.653.2273), or firstname.lastname@example.org). Online communities are also available for people to share their experiences, ask questions and get answers: https://healthunlocked.com/nkf-drta.