Most of the time when we talk about cancer, much of the attention diverts to the physical effect.
But experts have predicted that what kills people diagnosed with cancer faster is the psychological effects of cancer.
The uncertainty and the feeling that one is now a ticking time bomb causes more disaster even when it turns out that it is curable.
In our update today, we shall give a comprehensive rundown of the psychological effects of Cancer while also detailing how best to deal with people diagnosed as well as how to manage your mental health as a cancer patient.
There are so many psychological effects of cancer but, with the help of our research experts and professionals in health management fields, we have narrowed our search to the core psychological effects of Cancer and how best to overcome it.
Psychological Effects of Cancer
Even cancer survivors suffer from the aftermath of psychological effects and stigma. Nonetheless, with support groups, social media online communities, and other cancer support schemes, both survivors and patients are afforded the opportunity of getting the needed counseling while being surrounded by people who understand their struggle and are very much willing to help.
Cancer is not a life sentence as many think. Rather, it provides an opportunity for one to re-evaluate his/her life and offer amendments while there is still time.
Below are the core psychological effects of cancer in modern society.
Depression accounts for over 70% of the psychological effect of cancer. Even the thought of cancer and going for chemotherapy is enough to plunge some people into depression.
The feeling of having your life flash before you and not being able to do anything about it creates a big vacuum that can make the person struggle every day to create a healthy mental balance.
Almost immediately after diagnosis and even before diagnosis, cancer survivors and patients are already anxious about the worst possible outcome.
They remain in a state of anxiety with the thought that the worst might just be about to happen. The fear, discomfort, and distress keep mounting.
It is important we recognize these signs and take proactive measures in helping the person involved.
- Loss of Self Confidence
Imagine losing your blonde hair, having your arm amputated, loss of fertility, and physical independence.
All these and many more aftermath of cancer battle or cancer management leads to loss of self-confidence. Support groups should be suggested to help the person see that he/she is not alone in the struggle.
There is cancer guilt both on the side of the diagnosed person and others related to them. Survivors are sometimes burdened with the guilt of why they survived, and others didn’t.
While relatives, wives, children, siblings of the diagnosed patient will feel they did not do much to help the person or curtail the bad habits that led to cancer in the first place. It tends to be worst when the person didn’t survive.
Those in these kinds of places should be introduced to psychotherapists and psychologists.
It is not surprising when you see people relate to you differently after being diagnosed with cancer. Even survivors still suffer the stigma as some friends, co-workers or even family members might start isolating or relating with you differently because of the fact that you have been associated with cancer.
It is best you seek relationships with people outside that circle that understand what you have been through and are very much willing to make you see how valuable you still are.
Many survivors find that life takes on a new dimension after cancer and will renew their devotion to spiritual activities and organized religion.
Analysts suggest that spirituality enhances the value of life through a sound social support network, adaptive coping, reduced depression, and improved physiological function.
How to handle the Psychological Effects of Cancer
Just like we said earlier, cancer is not a death sentence as many see it. But with the right information and proper self-management, one can still live a fruitful life even as a cancer patient.
Below are some of the ways to get ahead and overcome the psychological effects of cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is very important you adhere to the treatment plans suggested by your doctor. Don’t act ignorant of their warning because at the end of the day it will still come back to you.
- Support Groups:
Join the circle of like minds. both survivors and patients. Their stories can offer a ray of hope for you to know you are not in the struggle alone. Do not be scared to ask questions and interact freely among them.
- Social Media and Information:
Thanks to the internet, one can now access tons of information from the comfort of his/her house. In dealing with cancer, we advise you to scout for every inch of the information relating to that cancer.
This way you can be able to broaden your knowledge of the ailment and how best to go about it. But always consult your doctor and don’t engage in self-medication.
There are many social media cancer support groups. Engage with them and remain optimistic in your fight against cancer.
Cancer remains a menace in modern society. Killing even before the actual death approaches. Health experts advise regular medical checkups for families as early detection of cancer leads to a high possibility of survival.
Also, assist in awareness campaigns and remain nice to people diagnosed with cancer as that might be the only support you can give them in their battle.
FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)
Here are the top answers to most of the asked questions on the psychological effects of cancer.
- Can Cancer Affect Your Mental Health?
Cancer can affect mental health in a variety of ways. Ranging from anxiety, distress, depression, e.t.c. However, this can be avoided with proper mental health management and therapy.
- Can Cancer affect you Socially?
Amputation, loss of hair, e.t.c can affect self-confidence and make one isolate from relating to other people. Because he/she feels incomplete as a result of the physical changes and tends to isolate or cut off socially from society.
- Can Cancer cause Behavior changes?
Ranging from aggression, irritation, mood swings, etc. Cancer can cause quite a number of behavioral changes. This is mostly seen in those diagnosed with brain tumors.