Dealing with the Impact of Cancer on Emotional Health

January 19, 2018 in Our News & Bulletins by Hearts With Integrity

Cancer is a struggle for both the body and mind. A diagnosis can have a huge emotional impact on patients and their families. It can trigger feelings of fear, anxiety, and depression. When it comes to dealing with cancer, physical health is not the only thing to look after. According to the National Cancer Institute, up to one in four cancer patients deal with depression. Below are some ways of dealing with emotional distress during cancer.

Giving the patient a great social network is important. Patients who feel they have friends and family they can turn to experience less anxiety and depression.

Patients can often put up a front. This is not good. Keeping it bottled up inside is not good for mental health. If you suspect someone you know is putting up a front, try to approach him or her gently. Make generic, non-threatening statements about being there for them no matter what and make inquiries with a warm vocal tone. Forcing someone to open up before they’re ready can also have bad consequences.

Remember that the cancer care team is there for you. While it may seem like they are mainly concerned with physical health, they are also there for your mental health. They should be able to help you get the resources you need to effectively process these negative emotions.

Family members and caregivers can also experience depression related to cancer. It’s important to remember them as well. Negative emotions on their end can adversely affect everyone involved. Getting them the help they need is vital.

If you are experiencing any of these negative emotions, we encourage you to open up to your cancer team or a close friend/family member. These emotions are a natural reaction, but they should not be neglected.

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