A KidneyBuzz.com viewer that has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and conducts Hemodialysis (HD) wrote, "I started dialysis over 2 years ago and still suffer severe anxiety and panic attacks before I go on. Is this a common issue and what can I do to control them or get them to pass?" Yes, many people with CKD that conduct home or in-center HD suffer severe panic and anxiety. In some cases these side effects are even worse than renal failure itself.
While some find that there is an actual chemical change in your body when having to conduct dialysis which can be corrected with medication such as antidepressants, there are other ways to manage your anxiety as well. However, you should be in close communication with your Nephrologists and be open and honest about your fears and concerns regarding your dialysis treatment.
Some suggest that panic attacks and anxiety are the worst when you first start dialysis and subside as you become use to having "large needles placed in your arm." Yet, this is not always the case. Many people receiving dialysis suffer with these challenges throughout the entire time they have to conduct the treatment, and it can greatly reduce their quality of life. What is worse is that there have been cases of patients ending-up in the hospital due to these challenges or stopping dialysis all together.
Some medicines that you should discuss with your doctor that may reduce your stress and anxiety are Valium, Xanax and Lorazepam (Ativan). If you are suffering panic attacks during your treatment, some have found that Benadryl administered through an IV helps to keep them calm and able to sleep while on dialysis. In fact, a patient has mentioned that "I take Xanax and then receive the IV Benadryl while on the machine. It helps a lot!" While any combination of medicinal solutions must be discussed with your Nephrologists, these options should provide you with a path forward.
Non-medicinal solutions include listening to music that makes you calm when your feel anxious or panicked. Also, exercise can help alleviate fears and clear your mind, while taking deep breaths can also be very calming.
Recommended Reading: Music can be used to Combat Stress of Chronic Kidney Disease
Although, panic, anxiety and depression from dialysis is commonly waived-off as a simple side effect, here at KidenyBuzz.com we understand just how much it can impact a patient's life. Visit us daily for more news and information related to CKD including how to get a transplant sooner. Also, Follow us on Twitter @kidneybuzz and "Like" our Facebook Fan Page. And do not forget to tell a friend about the great free information they can get every day at KidneyBuzz.com.
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