Getting a transplant is usually an exciting event, but because it is also a major life change, it’s normal to have all kinds of emotions afterward. If you’re experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression or guilt, please know that you are not alone; many transplant patients experience these feelings at first, for many reasons.
- Mood changes may be a side effect of the immunosuppressant medicines you are taking.
- You may feel stressed or anxious about your new lifestyle.
- You may feel guilty about getting a kidney from a living or deceased donor.
- If you have been on dialysis for a long time, you may feel guilty about leaving other dialysis patients ‘behind’ once you get your transplant.
- Your family members may also have emotional changes as they adjust to your new lifestyle.
You do not have to deal with these feelings alone. Getting a kidney transplant is a major life change, and it is normal to feel stressed and anxious about big life changes.
Reach out to your family and friends for support. Also, let your transplant team know about your emotional changes so they can help support you and adjust your medicines if needed. Your transplant team can also refer you to a mental health specialist.