Cancer and Mental Health

As today is World Mental Health Day we thought it important to talk about it’s effect on those suffering from Cancer.

As many of you are probably aware, cancer affects your body physically, but it can also have a significant impact on your mental health. From the first diagnosis and throughout treatment you’ll go through a huge range of emotions: positivity, anger, fear, anxiety and sadness. In truth, there’s no right way to feel and you’ll go through a whole host of these emotions.

At diagnosis, you’ll be worried about the impact cancer will have on you and your loved ones; you may get anxious throughout treatment while waiting for appointments or test results; you may even find a strange sense of anxiety after your treatment has ended because you’re not seeing your Doctor. These are all perfectly natural and you need to allow yourself time to adjust. After all, this isn’t an easy thing to deal with.

Feeling sad or low is also a common occurrence but if you’re in a continuous low mood for a few weeks it could be a sign of depression, which can affect up to 1 in 4 people with cancer. It’s important to remember that depression is not unusual and can be treated so remember you are not alone and make sure you are open and honest with your Doctor.

Cancer can also make you feel angry at times; as if it’s unfair and the world is against you. Again, this is perfectly understandable, but anger can have a negative effect on the people around you and your relationships. Those people around you may feel that you’re angry at them as opposed to the cancer. It’s important to talk to those closest to you about how you feel, and to be open and honest about your emotions, so that they can continue to support you in the best way they can.

In coping with your cancer it’s vital to look after your emotions, talking to family, friends, medical professionals or a support group can be useful ways to get support. Just remember you’re not alone!

Making changes to your lifestyle can be a good way to manage your emotions. Eating well and exercising help with maintaining energy, on the other hand practicing relaxation and mindfulness exercises can provide you with a better sense of wellbeing, and that very important time to yourself.

Time spent with family and friends is also a great way to provide a positive boost. Here at KOAC, this is what we’re trying to do; provide people suffering from this terrible disease with the opportunity to make ever lasting memories with their family and friends.