Recovery after transplant is more than just a physical process.
Recovery affects you mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Let family and friends know what emotional support you need. Well-meaning family and friends who urge you to simply “look on the bright side” or “be more positive,” might actually add to your stress if “being positive” is not how you are feeling at that time.
Eat well, exercise as you are able and rest when you need to. Even if you do not feel like exercising or eating, keep in mind that every little bit helps. Take small steps toward your recovery and be patient with yourself when recovery happens slowly.
Download the Emotional health brochure to access more resources.
Energize yourself with activities you enjoy. Anything that relaxes you and that you enjoy can be helpful. If your temporary restrictions stop you from doing your favorite activities, explore new interests and develop new skills.
If you are feeling sad
Many people feel sad, tense, and angry as a result of their illness and treatment. Even people who are very upbeat have feelings of sadness or anger. These feelings are a natural response to stress, and usually lessen over time. But if feelings interfere with your daily life, you should talk with your doctor. Persistent sad feelings and lack of interest in things you normally enjoy could be signs of depression. Your doctor might recommend seeing a counselor or taking medication. Depression can be treated.
“Life after transplant is a different challenge than treatment. Paving the road to your new normal has its emotional ups and downs. However, if you lean on your support system and listen to your doctors, your road will be much smoother.” – Matt, transplant recipient
Recognize post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Coping with a long-term illness and recovery can cause a lot of stress. It is common—even normal—for people to experience emotional aftershocks. When the stress starts to impact daily life over long periods of time, it could be a sign of PTSD. Talk with your doctor about how you are feeling. Counseling and group therapy can be effective ways to cope. Many people with PTSD have also benefited from medications.
Be The Match® can help you manage your emotional health before, during and after your transplant. Contact our patient services coordinators at 1 (888) 999-6743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, seek help immediately. You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255) any time – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact them to talk with someone who can help. You can also dial 911 or go to your local emergency room (ER).