There is no denying that cancer is the most terrible thing that could ever happen to a person. The disease robs you of your dignity, and it can have far-reaching effects on your mental health, but there are things that you can do and things you should know as the loved one of a patient and order to bring you loved one or yourself back from the brink of Despair and boost your mental health recovery. Here are 6 things to consider in your mental health recovery.
1. If you don’t say something, then we can’t help you.
Your loved ones and your doctor or nurses are not minded readers. If you don’t talk to someone and tell them how you were feeling emotionally and mentally and that you need help, then you will never get the help you need. There is an alarming amount of people who have had cancer and are now suffering from mental health issues. As such, we need to band together and stamp out the stigma of mental health problems associated with cancer.
2. Chemo brain is a thing
You should never be ashamed for forgetting things post-cancer treatment. Radiation therapy has far-reaching consequences on the body as well as the brain and leaves some patients robbed of memory recall and other issues. But with brain training and emotional support, you the patient can reclaim your brainpower and recall.
3. Getting back to normal might take a long time, but it will happen
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you did not get cancer overnight, nor was it cured that quickly either. We all understand the desire to regain your sense of normal, but the normal you had pre-cancer is going to take time to return to you. Don’t be frustrated if you can’t go jogging for long periods, or your hair is not growing as fast as you want it too. It will happen; be patient.
4. Being grumpy is the fault of the drugs
Cancer sucks, and it is your right to be grumpy, but after the drugs have cleared your system, you may still feel grumpy. If you do, it is important to let your doctors know as this can be a sign of depression, which no one would blame you for, but you may need some more pills to balance out your mood.
5. Therapy helps
Therapy is the best thing for mental illness. Many cancer patients spend so much energy fighting for their lives, they forget about their mental health and by the end of treatment they are so exhausted that depression sneaks in under the radar, but with a trained counsellor, you can explore your depression and find a way back to the you that you were pre-cancer.
6. Find a support group
Misery loves company, and it’s a comfort to be around others that have been through cancer. Find a good support group and have a moan and swap war stories with someone who’s been through cancer too.
Mental health issues are nothing one should be ashamed of, and they happen to lots of people in the world. Life is hard to juggle sometimes, and when you add cancer into the mix, it is no wonder some people’s mental health may suffer. But it is essential to know that this is a phase that, with work, shall pass and that if you do not reach out for help, then help won’t come.