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Life after Diagnosis: Living Well with a Serious Illness

Mental Illness Diagnosis

Getting a cancer diagnosis can be extremely difficult to process, as it presents a whole new set of practical concerns. It can bring up a flood of difficult emotions like shock, disbelief, confusion, fear, sadness, denial and anger. A cancer diagnosis can alter the rhythms of the patient’s life, affecting everything from what they have to eat or the way they travel. 

Thoughtful consideration about a few things can make the patient’s treatment journey a little easier.

Take one day at a time

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and may feel like it threw you off track from the course of your life. Maintaining your normal lifestyle, but at the same time, being open to necessary changes and modifications, is important. The future may seem full of uncertainties, thus taking one day at a time is important. 

Work on improving lifestyle

A good lifestyle can help manage stress resulting from the disease and its treatment. Adequate rest and sleep, a healthy routine and a nutritious diet help improve lifestyle. 

Engaging in mild physical exercises approved by your medical professional can help improve energy levels and mood. This can include simple stretches or even go for regular walks in the park. Actively engaging in pleasurable activities, helps cope better with the illness.

Communicate with your near and dear ones 

After the diagnosis, it is good to communicate openly with close family and friends. A cancer diagnosis can be hard for both the patient and the caregivers. Open communication and expressing emotions honestly can help you find strength. 

Be open to accepting help and assistance 

Learning to accept help, is conducive for both, the patient and the caregivers, and can lessen the burden on the patients and helps the caregivers and their loved ones feel a sense of making a contribution.

Develop coping strategies and practice self-care

Research shows practicing self-care reduces stress, improves mood and energy, minimizes frustration and anger, and promotes overall wellness. Engaging in self-care after being diagnosed with cancer can help improve appetite, reduce insomnia, and decrease fatigue, usually experienced during the treatment.

Self-care can include taking out time for your hobbies, doing things that make you feel good, and being around people who make you happy. You can also take time out to focus on your priorities and determine what’s really important to you. This would give you a sense of purpose and fulfilment in life. 

Self-care activities include mindfulness activities, yoga, journaling, dancing, getting a gentle massage, spending quality time with loved ones, watching movies or shows, taking a walk or spending time in nature.

Talk to other people with cancer

It may seem as if people are not fully comprehending how you are feeling. Thus, it may help to talk to people who have been in your situation. Talking to others diagnosed with cancer can help you feel heard and more hopeful. 

Seek Professional Support 

You can also join support groups for individuals diagnosed with cancer, where you will be able to share your experiences with others who have been in similar situations. 

A diagnosis of cancer can be both emotionally and physically difficult to deal with, and can significantly impact your mental health. Many individuals with cancer experience poor mental health and experience symptoms of depression and anxiety due to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness Therefore, seeking professional help from a mental health therapist is a good option.

Counselling improves the mental health of patients with chronic illness and also helps them deal with challenges associated with the illness. It helps manage distressing thoughts and emotions, develop a positive outlook, and improve quality of life. 

The services include- 

  1. Counselling for individuals diagnosed with Cancer – Counselling is done to help deal with the psychosocial impact of cancer. Here, issues like difficulties in coping, increased stressors in life, body image issues etc. are addressed. 
  2. Caregiver Counselling- The process of caregiving can lead to a caregiver burden, which impacts the process of caregiving. Seeking professional aid can help take care of you, while you take care of your loved one.

We, at Samvedna Care, offer specialised services as above for individuals diagnosed with Cancer and other chronic illnesses as well as their caregivers.

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