Mesothelioma Treatment: Help for the
Mesothelioma Treatment Help:
Successful mesothelioma treatment begins with recognizing the importance of
treating psychological symptoms as well as the physical. Harvey Max Chochinov MD
PhD has stated; "I think it's fair to say that every patient who is faced with a
cancer diagnosis will have a profound emotional response or reaction to the
news. It is particularly distressing in the early diagnostic phases when people
are dealing with all kinds of uncertainties". Mesothelioma treatment, like most
brings out various fears including fear of
the unknown, fear of disfigurement, fear of no longer being able to carry on
your previous roles, such as being a husband, wife, father, mother, son,
daughter etc. There are a mixture of feelings and psychological symptoms such as
anger, sadness, fear, depression and anxiety involved in being a patient
receiving mesothelioma treatment.
What emotional responses are
common for patients receiving mesothelioma treatment?
previously mentioned, some of the more common emotional responses include fear,
anger, anxiety and depression. Even the most successful mesothelioma treatments
usually evoke fears of death. You may feel anger at former employers for putting
you in the predicament which may have contributed to your cancer diagnosis, or
even anger at god for allowing it to happen. Frequently, cancer patients ask
"why me?". Depression is experienced by a high percentage of patients with
malignancies. Most experts seem to estimate that as many as 10% to 25% of
patients with malignant cancerous tumors suffer from major depression or some
type of depressive illness. Anxiety symptoms such as nervousness, sleep
disturbances, nausea and vomiting frequently also occur.
What can be done to assist
with the psychological symptoms experienced by patients receiving mesothelioma
Traditional treatments for anxiety symptoms and depression are usually
recommended for mesothelioma treatment patients. Antidepressant medications have
been found to be very effective for cancer patients in general. Some of the
newer antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft are also very effective
for anxiety symptoms. Also, medications may be helpful to assist for the
short-term when you have problems sleeping.
Psychosocial interventions may include guided imagery and relaxation techniques
which may help you to calm down and to slow down. Ventilating fears and
anxieties, and developing and using your social support systems such as
families, friends and church affiliations also seem to help cope with the
distress. Successfully dealing with mesothelioma treatment usually requires
developing a better sense of control over your experience. A sense of control
may be gained through preparing questions for your doctor and having them
answered as well as educating yourself about the disease process as much as you
can. Knowledge is power.
are undergoing mesothelioma treatment, just remember that it may be within your
power to improve your prognosis by improving your mental or emotional state.
Anxiety and depression are very treatable, and fears and anger do not always
just "go away".
By Paul Susic Ph.D Licensed Psychologist (Health Psychology)
Page on Google Plus