Dealing with the emotional impact of cancer ~ Health Guide

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Dealing with the emotional impact of cancer

Written by Mystic on Monday, August 04, 2008

Having cancer can be very stressful experience and people react in many different ways to treatments.

Your emotional well being is as important as your physical health. Recognising this and sharing how you feel with people you trust may help you.

Some people find that during the hospital stay, feelings may be blurred or numbed because of the physical demands made on them. It is after they return home and begin to recover, that they start worrying about the long term implications of cancer. You may experience great swings of emotion: disbelief, anger, fear, grief, sadness, depression. You may find you are feeling out of control and burst into tears or explode at people or trivial situations. These are all normal reactions. Sometimes an emotional outburst can relieve the pressure of your feelings and make you feel better afterwards.

All sorts of fears, real and imaginary, may haunt you especially at night so that you are unable to sleep or have constant bad dreams. If this is so, try getting out of bed and doing something else. Read a book, switch on the TV, get yourself a hot drink or listen to your favourite music.

During the day you may need to try different strategies to cope with the occasional periods of anxiety. Take a short walk or try and distract yourself with mundane chores that are not physically demanding. It may help to ring up a friend or family member who has the time and understanding to listen to you and discuss some of your concerns. Sometimes talking to your local doctor, your chaplain or a counsellor may help.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way of coping with your feelings. Everyone reacts differently and usually in time, the intensity of feelings will lessen and you will be able to take charge of your life again.

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