ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DIALYSIS: Rollercoaster Emotions

Living Well on Dialysis by American Psychological Association and DPC Education Center.


If you receive dialysis treatment for kidney disease, you probably spend a lot of time focused on your physical health. That’s important, but so, too, is your mental and emotional well-being. 

Rollercoaster Emotions: dialysis requires significant time and effort. In addition to the considerable time spent traveling to and from appointments and receiving treatment itself, people receiving dialysis must carefully monitor their diet and fluid intake. It’s a lot of work, and it takes time to adapt to the changes.

Anger, sadness, worry, and guilt are also common. But the emotions aren’t always negative. People who knew that dialysis was likely in their future might feel a kind of relief now that they have started. Some people, such as those awaiting a kidney transplant. might feel a strange mixture of emotions, including hopefulness, anxiety, and fear.

No matter what you’re feeling, it helps to know this emotional rollercoaster is common. As you adjust to the dialysis routine, you should start to feel more like yourself again. And as you continue on with your life, there are steps you can take to manage sadness, worry, and stress.

   Dialysis is life-saving, but it’s also life-changing. Still, by taking chance of your emotional health, and accepting help when you need it, you can live a rewarding life on dialysis.

For more information visit: apa.org/helpcenter, mentalhealth.gov, and psychologistLocator.org

Association, A. P., & Center, D. E. (n.d.). Living Well on dialysis.