Depression And Kidney Disease (And How You Can Cope With Both)

There is no direct link between kidney disease and depression. Everyone feels “down” or “blue” once in a while, but depression can steal someone’s joy and happiness for weeks or even years.

When someone suffers from kidney disease, or even with end-stage renal failure, it does not necessarily mean that the person will also struggle with depression. Once again, there is no direct link.

Nevertheless – and like a divorce or the death of a loved one – a serious medical condition can frequently trigger the onset of depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION?

When someone has chronic kidney disease – or any comparably serious medical condition – depression is a real possibility. That person’s family members and healthcare providers need to know and look for the signs of depression.

Like many medical conditions, depression is usually easier to deal with when it is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages.

What are the signs of depression? Only a qualified healthcare professional can make an accurate diagnosis. If anything on the following list describes you or someone you love, you may or may not be dealing with depression:

1. relentless sadness, even in situations where a typical person is happy or joyous
2. difficulty making decisions
3. excessive irritability
4. constant and overwhelming fatigue or sleep disorders
5. loss of appetite
6. frequent negative and even suicidal thoughts

HOW CAN KIDNEY DISEASE AFFECT SOMEONE SUFFERING DEPRESSION?

Chronic kidney disease can exacerbate depression in a number of ways, but if you suffer from either condition – and especially if you’re struggling with both – be certain that you are getting the help and treatment that you need for your mental as well as your physical well-being.

Depression is treated with counseling or medication – and usually with both. In counseling, a trained mental health professional discusses with a patient that patient’s depression and how best to cope with it.

For many who struggle with depression – and particularly for kidney disease patients with no history of depression or mental illness prior to the kidney disease diagnosis – only several months of counseling may be necessary.

If you have chronic kidney disease, be certain that your healthcare provider knows about your kidney medications. Your doctors may need to consult one another, and you may need to substitute other medications or adjust the dosage amounts.

WHY IS IT IMPERATIVE TO SEEK PROMPT TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION?

Depression can be treated over time, but if it is not treated – or if it’s misdiagnosed or improperly treated – depression can be dangerous. Without proper treatment, suicidal thoughts can become more frequent – and more overwhelming.

Getting the help you need – for kidney disease, depression, or both – is imperative, but it does not necessarily eliminate all of your risks.

Medical malpractice has now spiraled into a virtual epidemic in the United States, and anyone who seeks medical treatment is a potential medical malpractice victim.

HOW WIDESPREAD IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

In fact, the National Academy of Sciences tells us that medical malpractice is the cause of more deaths in the United States every year than traffic collisions or breast cancer. Malpractice is far too common, and it’s on the rise.

With an accurate, early diagnosis, chronic kidney disease can be treated. Its progress can be slowed, and in some cases, even halted.

However, if a patient’s test results are misinterpreted, or if the indications of kidney disease are not even recognized, a patient’s health can deteriorate rapidly. And that’s medical malpractice.

When a doctor or another healthcare provider does not follow standard procedures, misdiagnoses a disease or any other medical condition, prescribes the wrong medication, or makes a surgical mistake, it’s usually medical malpractice.

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

Medical malpractice has a precise legal definition. It is any breach of the medical profession’s “reasonable standard of care” that results in harm or injury to a patient.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether you are a medical malpractice victim. Every medical malpractice claim must be scrutinized carefully from both the medical and legal perspectives.

If you become a victim of medical malpractice while seeking or receiving treatment for depression or for chronic kidney disease, you will very much need an experienced medical malpractice attorney to protect your rights and to hold accountable the party who injured you.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS?

If you suspect medical malpractice, but you’re not sure, consult a malpractice lawyer. Most medical malpractice lawyers offer a free first consultation, so it costs nothing to learn more about your rights and about where you stand legally as a potential medical malpractice victim.

To prevail with a medical malpractice claim, your lawyer must be able to show that your healthcare provider breached his or her legal and professional “duty of care.”

Additionally, medical malpractice victims and their attorneys must prove that the healthcare provider’s negligence was a direct cause of the personal injury or injuries sustained by the victim.

Finally, victims and their medical malpractice lawyers must prove that a personal injury or injuries resulted in quantifiable damages, and they must outline the extent of the damages.

WHO QUALIFIES TO FILE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?

If your chronic kidney disease was misdiagnosed, if you’ve had a bad reaction to any prescribed medication, or if your overall health declined after obtaining any kidney disease treatment, you may qualify to file a medical malpractice claim.

Depression and kidney disease can both be treated, but they must be treated properly.

If you or someone you love has been misdiagnosed, improperly treated, or injured as a consequence of medical malpractice related to chronic kidney disease, discuss your legal rights and options at once with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

WHAT IS A VICTIM OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ENTITLED TO?

Perhaps the worst aspect of medical malpractice is that its victims are already suffering bad health – they’re victimized twice.

A victim of medical malpractice is entitled by law to compensation for any additional medical costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. That is your right.

If you even suspect that you have been affected by an incident of medical malpractice, talk to a medical malpractice lawyer at once, and get the help you need. That’s also your right.

By: Jed Kurzban

Medical malpractice attorney Jed Kurzban graduated from the University of Alabama in 1992 and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 1995. He is a member of the Dade County Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and the American Bar Association. Mr. Kurzban is happily married and the father of two.