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Coping Emotionally After an Organ Transplant

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Organ Transplant Disappointment and Frustration

Organ transplants are a very successful therapy, and most people who get them live normal lives. But there still may be bumps in the road to recovery. For some people, those bumps can be hard to handle.

For one thing, you need to keep your expectations from getting too high. It will take time to get back to normal. Not being prepared for that reality can cause disappointment and contribute to depression.

The recovery time can be especially difficult if your transplant is a preemptive transplant. Most people who get a transplant have been very sick and feel much better as soon as the transplant is done. But it's the opposite if you get a preemptive transplant. You may have been on the verge of organ failure. But you may not have had any symptoms before the operation. As a result, you'll feel worse during recovery than you did before you had surgery, and that can make coping difficult.

Getting Help After Organ Transplantation

As you adjust to an organ transplant, some of these feelings may bother you less. Part of living with a transplant is accepting uncertainty.

Experts say it's important to stay optimistic while at the same time accepting that it's impossible to know exactly what's going to happen.

But while living with some uncertainty is necessary, you should never accept depression or constant anxiety as inevitable. If you feel that you're becoming depressed or chronically anxious, talk to your health care provider. Get help.

Many people also find that support groups can make a big difference. In everyday life, you don't run into many people who have had a transplant. By joining a support group, you get to talk to people who are going through the same things that you are. Just meeting people in your position can make a big difference.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 16, 2013
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