For many, the world will feel like it is crumbling down after being diagnosed with cancer. Head spinning, thoughts racing, nothing will feel right at that moment, and the days that follow might not get better. The psychological effects of battling cancer cannot be overlooked.
Low and middle-income earners can begin to feel like they have already been sentenced to death as access to affordable care may not be readily available.
The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide and reported 115,950 cases of cancer in 2018, with 70,327 cancer deaths in the same year. The effect these statistics will have on the mental health of a cancer patient could be devastating.
Mental health for cancer patients
It is not unusual that battling any type of cancer can affect the emotional health of patients. Bringing along depression or anxiety attacks, which for most patients, feel like a case of being between a rock and the deep blue sea. But hey, there is a tunnel that leads to happier times. With the right treatment and support, there is a chance one can beat cancer.
In the case where the cancer patient is already battling existing mental illness conditions, it is often noted that there is a further decline. These patients tend to opt for drinking, drugs, and general disregard for doctors’ recommendations instead of adopting prescribed healthy options.
Here are some tips to improve cancer and mental health in patients;
This is not the time to isolate yourself or beat yourself up with guilt for lifestyle choices. Get connected with cancer support groups in your area or online. Talking it out with people who have experienced similar situations or a professional therapist is okay.
Eat a balanced diet
A healthy diet helps keep your body and your mind active. Healthy proteins and fruits can help strengthen you and boost your mood.
Staying active is essential for cancer patients, and depression will attempt to prevent this. Exercise is known to boost your mood and help fight off depression. Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine.
Keep a journal
Telling your story reminds you that you are not alone and can be an excellent way to pour out bad thoughts eating you up. Keep a memoir of your cancer journey and stay positive.
Mental health for cancer survivors
Surviving cancer can come with post-traumatic stress and anxiety attacks. It can be a challenge and a half easing out all the tension of days of uncertainty, painful chemotherapy, and embarrassing hair loss. Hey, you won cancer, and it is time to live life as a victor.
Here are some tips to take care of your mental health after cancer;
Be patient with your mind and body
Thinking and learning may get more problematic after surviving Cancer, considering the possibility of developing the “Chemo Brain”. In this condition, a person develops problems with cognitive skills, memory, and attention after chemotherapy. Take these problems in their stride and slowly nurture your mind and body back to shape
Open up about your fears
As a cancer survivor, you may battle the fear of resurgence, trouble sleeping, and other related challenges. Learn to speak up to family and support groups to get the necessary help
What is the saying, “You Only Live Once.” Well, you have lived twice if you survived cancer, and it is time to get up again. Take on new challenges, exercise, advance your career, and live your best life.
The psychological effects of cancer are immense but can wear off with time if handled appropriately. Cancer mental health support groups have proven to provide helpful guides to coming out mentally strong, even in the face of the cancer battle. Here are some cancer support groups you can be a part of;