Even today after so much advancement in the field of healthcare and medicine and so much rewarding research around cancer, it still remains a dreaded disease for people. Yes, innovation and research in the cancer field have brought about a lot of hope in terms of increasing longevity and improvement in quality of life, even today when we hear of been diagnosed with cancer, we do get goosebumps or a shocker. These days’ people have become quite vocal about disclosing the diagnosis to people and sharing their experiences, particularly celebrities are quite vocal about it. Even though, different people experience differently depending upon their individual mental health.
Most of us feel that having cancer means a physical condition that is life-threatening, causes fatigue, hair loss, and nausea. But, beyond physical issues, comes the mental health issue which we are not able to see. Some might tell about it while some may not but the fact of the matter remains that hearing the news does not get easier for anyone. There comes some point in life where most cancer patients slip into depression. Here are the most common feelings that storm through the minds of cancer survivors –
DEPRESSION – As per the National Cancer Institute, depression is known to affect around 15 to 25 percent of the cancer population. The condition is a result of diagnosis itself primarily. Other reasons for depression include cancer side effects, anxiety around the future with cancer, change in the image of self, to name a few. Depression is not the same as feeling sad, it comes with symptoms like fatigue, emptiness, mood swings, worthlessness to name a few.
GRIEF – Grief is not limited to the cancer patient but to his family and relatives as well for the period through the cancer battle. There is this term called anticipatory grief, apparently a mix of emotions that come when we live with a personal loss experience that results in grieving. This same grief is experienced by cancer patients and their relatives. Although it is normal to experience grief in such times, grieving alone isn’t advisable.
ANXIETY – Anxiety is one of the most common problems that cancer patients face around their future prognosis, future reports, treatment-related issues to name a few. The cancer community has also coined a special work for anxiety around future scans, calling it scanxiety.
All these mental health issues do need to be looked into and consulting a mental health specialist or therapist surely does help. Well, it important to understand that if mental health is better, the healing is faster and even the quality of life.