HOW DO I COPE?
Discovering that you have been diagnosed with any form of cancer is not the kind of news that you would want to hear, no matter the time of the day. For all women around the world, one particular form of cancer terrifies them more than anything else: breast cancer.
While men are at risk of developing breast cancer as well, the risk remains higher for women. Find out how you can continue living a healthy and happy life even if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Dealing with your Emotions
You might not feel at your best self after a breast cancer diagnosis. However, there is never a wrong or right way to experience your emotions. Go through with the feelings that you may be experiencing such as fear, shock, anger, disbelief and even depression, but never linger on them for too long. Always use the beneficial effects of positive emotions to your advantage and encourage yourself to deal with the unexpected after-effects of a diagnosis to help yourself feel better as the days go by.
Care for your Mental Health
While you may be thinking of how the levels of your physical health will turn out in the short and long run, never ignore the importance of your mental health. It is normal to feel stressed out and even experience increased anxiety levels after a diagnosis. This however, is not permanent and can be dealt with methods such as positive distraction (engaging in favourite activities and hobbies) to help reduce the unhealthy effects of negative thoughts. Learn more about and take up relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and meditation.
Find Support from Others with Breast Cancer
If you find that talking to family and friends about your situation is not helping the way it should, perhaps have a change of environment would help in the form of talking to other women who are currently experiencing breast cancer, as well as survivors who defeated the odds and are living healthier currently. A friendly and understanding support group would be able to share coping mechanisms that provided them with the strength they needed to face the dilemmas of a breast cancer diagnosis. Listening to stories of them continuing activities that bring the greatest form of joy and happiness to them could help motivate you to do the same.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Used to treat a wide range of physical and mental issues, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, also known as CBT is a form of psychotherapy that is effective in helping you identify with and dealing with the issues faced due to the diagnosis, as well as the structured method it is applied and fewer sessions. Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders and more that are often associated with a breast cancer diagnosis can be improved upon with CBT. Speak to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist on what you would like to work on, while being open and honest about your feelings as it would help him/ her know and understand the most effective techniques needed to produce the best treatment results.