Coping with your illness

When learning about a new health problem from your doctor, it is common to experience many feelings, especially if you generally feel well and the news comes as a surprise.

How you cope emotionally and psychologically has a major impact on all aspects of your life, not just your physical condition.

Feelings that are common and normal for someone with a chronic health problem include:

  • Shock
  • Grief
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Acceptance
  • Sadness

It is very common to experience these kinds of emotions, and you should speak with your nurse and doctor if you do. They can connect you with other members of the healthcare team who can help you work through these feelings. Also, your healthcare team can connect you with other resources so that you can make the decisions that are best for you. Ask friends, family, and other patients for help to accept and adjust to life with failing kidneys.

Staying positive

Goal setting

Set regular goals like doing regular exercise or going out. This reinforces the feeling that you are in control of the disease.

Sense of humor

Laughter is often the best medicine. It makes a big difference in the way you feel.


Some find their faith gives them particular strength, while others struggle to reconcile their faith with their diagnosis. Talk to someone about how you feel.