8 Ways To Reduce Mental Health Problems During Cancer Treatment
Cancer is a condition that comes with a lot of physical, physiological, social, financial and mental health challenges. It is a life-threatening disease that needs to be treated at the earliest to prevent its spread and further damage to the human body. The news about cancer diagnosis alone directly affects a person’s mental health. People with cancer suffer from various psychological issues. Read on to learn more about how to deal with mental health issues that come with cancer.
How can one support cancer patients with mental health issues?
A cancer patient might be suffering from a range of emotions associated with uncertainty, pain, fear of physical challenges and eventual death. They usually bottle up these emotions and do not communicate. Caregivers should encourage, but not force, patients to talk about their feelings and understand where they come from.
There are plenty of support groups that assist and guide cancer patients. Conversing with other cancer patients and sharing one’s fear and optimism work wonders. Support groups also offer excellent palliative care for cancer patients.
Cancer patients tend to vent, and caregivers should be compassionate enough to listen. Listening is an underrated gift a person can offer to another suffering individual. Don’t deny or patronise the patient when they share their feelings. Tell them it is ok to feel how they feel; sad, angry, frustrated, or scared.
It is the process of providing education and information to people who seek or receive mental health treatment. It combines cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), group therapy, and education to produce better patient results. Psychoeducation has positive effects on cancer patients as well.
Yoga is an exercise that improves mood, muscle strength, bone health, and the immune system. People should be physically active for better cardiovascular health.
Cancer patients can opt for meditation, prayer or spiritual support if they suffer from tension, stress and fear related to their disease. Caregivers should encourage them and, if possible, join their pursuit of additional physical, medical and psychological support.
Exercise is an excellent way in which people can manage their anxiety. During exercise, the body releases muscle tension and increases heart rate. It also enhances the secretion and spread of anti-anxiety neurochemicals like serotonin, GABA, BDNF, endorphin, and endocannabinoids.
People suffering from severe depression or anxiety require medication to treat the illness. Consult a psychiatrist for suitable beta blockers or antidepressants.
Cancer treatment involves a long journey, patients require support and compassion from their family and friends. Mental health during cancer treatment is often unexamined, yet it is an essential aspect of the treatment. A strong mind is needed to overcome all challenges and can be fed only through the required psychologist and peer support.
It is like how Malcolm X stated, replace ‘I’ with ‘we’ and illness becomes wellness.
Are you a cancer patient looking for mental health support? Do you know someone who needs mental health support?
CancerMitr offer various packages, including mental health support and counselling for both patients and their caregivers. After conversing with various patients across several social strata, we understand and passionately work with every aspect of cancer treatment and recovery. Check out our website for various cancer treatments and additional support packages