Skip to content

Information and Resources

Coping Emotionally After an Organ Transplant

Font Size
A
A
A

When most people think about getting an organ transplant, they focus on the obvious physical aspects: the illness, the operation, and the healing. They're less likely to think about the emotional impact. But that can be profound too, both for you and the people around you.

Nearly all people who receive a transplant, experts say, feel elated and experience a sense of relief and hope after a surgery that goes well. But with time, that initial optimism may be tinged with other feelings. You may start to worry about your condition coming back. You may be afraid of organ rejection. Or you may fixate on the uncertainty of the future.

Recommended Related to Sex & Relationships

Sharing Your Sex Fantasies With your Partner: Sizzler or Fizzler?

You've been sharing a bed with the same partner for years. By now you know each other's sleeping habits inside and out, right down to the exact room temperature and sleeping position preferred. But how well do you know what it takes to turn on your partner? There's one way to find out -- by sharing your most intimate sex fantasies. An open exchange of erotic fantasies can help rekindle the flames -- or can they? Here's what sex experts say on the subject.

Read the Sharing Your Sex Fantasies With your Partner: Sizzler or Fizzler? article > >

It's perfectly natural to have these feelings. But if these worries take over your life, you need to do something about it.

Guilt After an Organ Transplant

Guilt is a common reaction people have after a transplant. Patients often report thinking a lot about the donor and felling guilty about benefitting from the donor's death. This feeling can be especially strong for people who became very ill while waiting and prayed or hoped for an organ to become available. After the procedure, some get the feeling that they had been wishing for someone else to die.

One way people come to terms with these feelings is by focusing on the fact that for both the donor family and the recipient the transplant is one way to get a sense of meaning from a death. That understanding, the experts say, can be a source of comfort.

For many people, getting in touch with the donor family can help. To respect privacy, organ donation organizations won't allow you to get in direct contact without the donor family's agreement. But you can at least write a letter that your health care team can pass on to them.

Organ Transplant and Family Issues

Problems with family present another emotional hurdle for many people after a transplant. In most cases, transplants happen rather suddenly, so it's not something you can plan for. As a result, your home life may be turned upside down. Also, you won't be able to predict how you'll feel afterwards.'

In addition, the steroids you will likely be taking can have the effect of a mood amplifier. In the first few weeks, especially, when the doses are highest, the medicine will wind you up and make it hard to sleep. The sudden changes in the family -- and in your behavior -- can be extreme. Just keep in mind that recovery is a process that needs adjustment and time.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
feet
Solutions for 19 types.
pregnancy test and calendar
Helping you get pregnant.
build a better butt
How to build a better butt.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
psoriasis
How to keep flares at bay.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
spinal compression fracture
Treatment options.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.