I was diagnosed with renal failure in July 1997. This was a purely physiological disease with no mental ramifications whatsoever. But when I introspect, I find that there have been some unmistakable mental symptoms.
For example, I am not as confident about myself now as I was in the summer of 97. Back then, I had just completed my Chemical Engineering, won the gold medal in fact, US I20 in hand, visa just stamped, ready to take on the world. Nothing could come in my way. I was sure of a bright future. I was good.
Now, when I think of myself then, I find such a big difference. Now, I am full of self doubt. I am not sure of myself. I am not positive about my future. There are problems and I'm not sure how I will overcome them. In many aspects. I'm not sure how my health will turn out. I'm not sure how my career will shape up.
Its not that I'm depressed all the time. I'm depressed only rarely. Which cannot be uncommon in someone with a chronic illness. But my self confidence has reduced considerably over the last eleven odd years.
Also, earlier, I thrived in company, among friends, in a group. Nowadays, I enjoy periods of solitude. Well, I do still enjoy company but I never enjoyed being alone earlier.
Why might this have happened? Honestly, I have no idea. Its not as if I 'blame' myself for this.
Do others with chronic illnesses face this? I wonder.