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Your mental health

Explore the ways chronic kidney disease can affect your mind as well as your body and see how you can get the support you need.

Depression and kidney disease

Did you know people suffering with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are more likely to experience depression? In fact, up to four of every 10 people with CKD say they feel depressed.1 That’s why it’s so important to stay in tune with your emotions at every stage of your journey.  

If you have suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY:711) for confidential support at no cost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Symptoms of depression

It’s normal to feel a little down from time to time, but depression is different. It’s a real illness that should be identified as soon as possible so it can be treated. The following are some of the signs of depression:

  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of negativity and hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping too much
  • Sad, anxious or “empty” feelings that don’t go away

It’s important to note that unlike sadness, depression won’t go away on its own. If you identify with any of the feelings listed above, talk to your doctor, nephrologist or a social worker immediately. And remember, it’s a sign of strength to reach out for the help you need.

If you want to learn more or need support, email the National Kidney Foundation Patient Information Center at

When I found out I had kidney problems, I was really concerned."

Harold Broadway
Care Management Program Member

I served 13 months in Vietnam.

I went over there as a switchboard operator, and ended up a door gunner on the helicopter.

After that, I went to Alaska and stayed two years.

I'm looking forward to going back to Alaska.

When I found out I had kidney problems, I was really concerned.

He started out in Stage 3.

Once we crossed to Stage 4, the doctor said,

"Well, you're not quite at the dialysis level, but you are headed that way."

And it was around the same time Dad and I received a call from Ercelene.

The CVS Kidney Care home-first approach is unique, because if they ever need dialysis, we are focused on keeping that member as close to their existing lifestyle as possible.

She took us through several types of treatments, also encouraged us to consult with our doctor.

The treatment decision is one of the most difficult conversations. It really boils down to checking in with the member to see when they're ready to have that conversation.

May I speak with Mr. Harold Broadway, please?

I am here.

Ercelene helps me with the food I eat, the exercise I do, understanding the different type of medicine I'm in.

I have been cooking healthier meals that I could prepare, and it's made a huge difference.

He's no longer having any shortness of breath.

At one time, I couldn't walk from here to the door, and now I walk around pretty good.

Ercelene helped us to be prepared for a time that may change for us.

And based on that, we would do peritoneal dialysis at home.

What I give to members is what I would want someone to give to my loved ones.

It means the world to me.

I feel prepared for the future, and so I'll be able to go to Alaska now.


1Shirazian S, Grant CD, Aina O et al. Depression in Chronic Kidney Disease and End-Stage Renal Disease:  Similarities and Differences in Diagnosis, Epidemiology, and Management. Kidney Int Rep. 2016; 2(1):94-107. doi:10.1016/j.ekir.2016.09.005. Accessed September 22, 2020.

2CVS Kidney Care® does not operate the websites/organizations listed here, nor is it responsible for the availability or reliability of their content. These listings do not imply or constitute an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation by CVS Kidney Care.

All content is the property of CVS Health®. The information provided is not a substitute for the medical diagnosis, treatment and/or instructions provided by health care providers.