Sarah Hyland, the bouncy actress best known for her role as Haley Dunphy on the ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” went through a dark period in her life that led to suicidal thoughts because of the emotional toll from a failed kidney transplant.
When people think about organ transplants, they are less likely to think about the emotional impact. But that can be profound too, according to medical references.
Hyland learned first hand after going on an emotional roller coaster after a kidney transplant from her father failed. The situation left her contemplating suicide, she told People.
Fortunately, her younger brother was found to be a match, but before she decided to go through with a second transplant her thoughts turned to suicide.
“She’s doing well, and her levels are all good. But she is taking immunosuppressant drugs that make her very vulnerable to germs and disease so she has to be so cautious,” a source told the magazine.
The drugs, which often include steroids, can act as a mood amplifier. In the first few weeks, especially, when the doses are highest, the medicine can cause extreme changes in mood and behavior.
The 28-year-old actress said she sank into depression after the first transplant failed.
Nearly all people who receive a transplant, feel elated and experience a sense of relief and hope after a surgery that goes well, according to experts. When the transplant fails, the impact can be devastating.
Patients may start to worry about the condition coming back. Or they may fixate on the uncertainty of the future, according to WebMD.
Guilt is also a common reaction after a transplant. Patients often report thinking a lot about the donor and feeling guilty about benefiting from the donor’s loss.
Sarah Hyland appears to have grappled with all those feelings. “Not only has all of this been physically demanding, but the emotional and mental demands have been just as challenging,” the insider said.
“She has a chronic illness and she will have to deal with it for the rest of her life. She’s still working through it all.”
Indee, Sarah Hyland has dealt with health issues for most of her life.
She was diagnosed with kidney dysplasia as a young child and received a kidney transplant from her father in April 2012. The kidney failed after a few years, leading to a second kidney transplant last September from her younger brother, Ian, also an actor.
The condition results from the malformation of the kidney during fetal development. The kidney consists of irregular cysts of varying sizes, according to medical references. Hyland has undergone 16 operations to treat the condition.
The cause of multicystic dysplastic kidney has been attributed to genetics.
Medical experts say keeping expectations in check helps with recovery. Disappointment can contribute to depression.
Part of living with a transplant also means accepting uncertainty.
But while living with some uncertainty is necessary, never accept depression or constant anxiety as inevitable. If you feel that you’re becoming depressed or chronically anxious, get help, experts say.