Having a serious illness, like Kawasaki Disease, affects people in different ways
No lasting heart damage from Kawasaki Disease? This bit is for you!
If you’re one of the 80% of people who have had Kawasaki Disease in the UK and recovered well with no lasting heart damage, you might not think about Kawasaki Disease very often. And you know what – there’s no reason why you should! Maybe sometimes the topic comes up in your family, or when you’re speaking to a friend – or perhaps you never give it a second thought! If you have no lasting heart damage, current research shows that you’re very unlikely to have future health problems linked to Kawasaki Disease, and that includes being unlikely to have future mental health problems as a result of your Kawasaki Disease illness as a child. Great news! Yes – but we know too that there are tonnes of other things that can affect your mental health and wellbeing.
Young Minds is a fantastic organisation which is dedicated to supporting YOU and your mental health – you can find their website here. Their experts know that “Whether it’s spending time on social media, being with friends and family, or going to university – there are things we do every day that impact our mental health.” On the Young Minds website you’ll find some great tips, expert advice and information on a range of topics – like how to start a conversation with your GP about how you’re feeling, and pages dedicated to coronavirus and mental health – something which is having an effect on us all just now in so many ways.
The Young Minds page on looking after yourself is jam-packed with really helpful guidance and ideas, information on the experiences of other young people too – information you can download – and even a parents helpline.
If you live with long term heart damage from Kawasaki Disease – Read on!
If you have long term heart damage from Kawasaki Disease, you could have increased risks of future complications with your health. It’s certainly worth spending some time with your doctor, at your next appointment with them, talking about this topic, especially if you don’t feel you know enough about this area from your earlier appointments.
Any possible future risks you have will depend on a number of things, like how severely your heart was (or wasn’t!) damaged when you first had Kawasaki Disease and whether you have other health conditions too.
I got diagnosed with depression, but literally all the help I am getting is helping me through it.
Having a long term health condition might make you feel worried, anxious or overwhelmed… There are lots of people you can turn to. If it’s not family or friends or your GP, why not call someone at a trusted, expert service? Here’s some links you might try!
The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people – find them here. Through a wide variety of channels; useful mobile apps and handy tools, they offer great support to under 25-year olds – no topic is off limits.
They have everything you need to know about improving your mental health and tackling problems, from anxiety and depression. They have a whole bunch of routes for support too – from tips on self-care and more about counselling as well as many more topics close to the hearts of young people.
They can help guide you and support you – you are not alone – there is always someone you can talk to.
Another organisation that you might find useful is Stem4 – a charity that focuses on helping young people towards positive mental health. You can find them here.
If you are finding things difficult, speak to a parent or carer, to a friend or to your doctor. If you want to see your doctor – they will listen! You might want to ask for a double appointment (some GP’s offer this) as some time to talk can really help. They will also be able to refer you to other services or specialists if they think that would help – and there are lots of services that you can self-refer to, too.
There are some great apps which can be helpful if you want to learn about and try new coping mechanisms too. Using apps like ‘Head Space’ and ‘Calm’ could help. Speak to your parent, carer or doctor if you’re finding things tough.
I don’t know what I’d be like now without having Kawasaki Disease. I guess you could say that every now and then I blame it for issues I’ve had as I’m older, but that’s probably just me coping with whatever issue I’m dealing with at the time.
Jamie was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease as a child. He talks about how he deals with mental health issues in his life.