Fighting with mental problems in life and disease process with cancer
Getting to know cancer: The disease, which occurs unexpectedly in the hustle and bustle of daily life, requires a new adaptation and lifestyle. Confusion, inability to understand what is happening, the need to confirm the diagnosis, anger and acceptance of the situation and depression may occur. Cancer These reactions, which appear in the early stages of diagnosis and treatment, usually subside within a few weeks and you find a new way of adaptation. Sometimes worries, fears continue, or you have difficulty talking to your relatives about the questions you have in mind. In this case, it would be helpful to consult a counselor or mental health professional.
When you go to counseling about your mental problems, you start by telling your story. How did you get sick? How do you feel about the disease, what are your concerns and difficulties? What has changed in your life, which ones can you cope with, and which ones can you not cope with? The first step is to define your situation. Your second stage concerns; is to understand how it affects you, your relationships and your life, how you feel and how you act. It is comforting to understand which of your efforts to get through this difficult period have worked and which have not.
Psycho-oncology must become part of cancer treatment
Illness prevents you from controlling your life. Being able to understand your emotions restores your power to accept the facts that you cannot change and to regulate what you can control. You can cope with the disease in more effective ways. Questions about daily life are simpler and more easily handled. It is appropriate to start with the easiest issues to solve first, and to leave the deep and difficult problems for later. Expressing and understanding your feelings and behaviors will help you find solutions that are healthier for you.
Once you have a better understanding of your feelings and behaviors, you can find what you can do. You can gain control over seemingly insurmountable situations and organize your life. You can get the information you want about your disease and treatments and decide what you want to do.
Cancer treatments that make your life a mess is a time of crisis. You may find it difficult to make sense of what happened in the first period, but you can get out of the crisis by growing, maturing, and realizing our existence that we forgot in the daily rush. You can get out of the confusion in the first period by finding the meaning of life again and making important changes in your life that will make you happier. Start with the simplest and easiest behaviors you can change.
- Making a list of things you want to ask your doctor
- Participate in treatment decisions
- Asking for and accepting support from family and friends
- Setting achievable goals and making plans to reach them
- Finding meaning and purpose in life again
- Learning new ways of coping with challenges and tension
- Getting rid of behaviors and habits that are not good enough for you
Living with cancer or being a ‘Cancer Survivor’
Do other patients have similar problems?
Anyone who encounters cancer experiences serious difficulties and may have difficulties in coping with the disease. Half of the patients have adjustment disorders and depression that require treatment.
What can I do for my family?
Cancer is a family disease, and families experience intense tension and distress. While they try to give the best care to their relatives, they also try to meet the needs of the family. Loneliness, fatigue, helplessness, exhaustion are common. If you think they need help too, you can ask your doctor for help. Families who had open and close relationships before, usually establish a closer and more open relationship during the crisis period. In an effort to protect relatives from distress and sadness, not speaking clearly about what is going on generally increases the distance between them and strengthens the feeling of loneliness. ‘being sad in separate rooms’ ‘Playing a theater’ reduces sharing and increases the burden of hard times endured together.
Sharing sadness instead of crying in separate rooms, having an intimate relationship instead of pretending, reduces the feelings of being different, distanced and alienated from the disease. Talking with children, the elderly, requires a special approach. It is necessary to determine a way according to the age and mental state of the people.
‘Hopeful’ has a drug effect in the cancer treatment process!
Does asking for help with these issues mean I’m mentally ill?
Some people in society think that going to a counselor or psychiatrist may mean weakness and mental illness and are hesitant to seek help. On the contrary, it means a different power to stop ignoring the problems and get help when necessary. A person going through a difficult time indicates that you are seeking support to find solutions.
Why isn’t my own doctor helping with this?
Cancer treatment is a team effort and it is better for professionals who are trained and experienced to help with mental problems.
EXPERT BI. ERAY ÜNÜVAR
PROF. DR. HARRİYE ELBI