Why these initiatives?
Emotional aspect of cancer: Cancer is difficult to cope with. The journey from diagnosis to defeat cancer is accompanied with a range of constant strong emotions, such as disbelief, depression, anxiety, anger, mood swings, fear, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. Sometimes surviving cancer can result in major physical changes that can hamper one’s self-esteem and desire for social interaction. The caregivers, other relevant medical professionals and family members; along with the cancer patient also go through the same emotional tunnel; yielding poor quality of life
Impact of emotional distress: The emotional state of a cancer patient may change the course of the disease. The psychological problems are linked to physical symptoms such as cancer-related fatigue and pain (Theobald, 2004). Suppressed anger can be a factor of cancer progression (Thomas et al., 2000). Some may face sleep problems, loss of appetite and loss of interest in physical intercourse. Cognitive impairment; which includes memory loss, hampered thinking and difficulty in concentration can also occur. The psychological turmoil may lead one towards life damaging practices, including smoking or drinking alcohol.
Helping hands: A mental health professional, for example psychiatrists, clinical or counseling or health psychologists, and psychiatric social workers, can facilitate the cancer survivors and their caregivers to manage their psychological difficulties with confidence. They can help them as followings-
- learn the ways to adapt to their predicaments such as cancer diagnosis.
- manage depression and anxiety through evidence-based psychological therapies
- manage cancer and treatment related side effects such as pain, fatigue, nausea etc.
- control relationship issues within family and workplace.
- discuss financial matters and to identify financial resources.
- learn to change unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, physical inactivity etc.
- can ease the sense of isolation that the patient may feel.
- motivate them to do diverse activities like; doing aerobic exercise, crafting, reading, etc to help them in distraction from the torment of cancer treatment.
- can instill a developed sense of spiritual sense and inspire to be devoted in more religious activities so that the patients and the family members can gain hope, positivity and gratitude.