If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is critically important that you be proactive about safeguarding your mental health. This kind of diagnosis can be tough to process. If you don’t seek assistance and/or employ proactive mental health strategies, you could find yourself – very understandably – falling into a potentially dangerous depression.
Recent studies indicate that cancer diagnoses increase the likelihood that patients will engage in self-harm, will abuse substances to cope and will commit suicide. These mental health challenges may or may not seem understandable to you right now, depending on where you are in your medical journey. However, if you’re not proactive about your mental health, these challenges could start “hitting close to home.”
When mental and physical pain collide
One aspect of the patient experience that doesn’t get spoken about nearly enough is the ways in which physical pain and limitations can affect mental health. You have quite enough on your emotional plate due simply to the nature of your diagnosis. Trying to process what your diagnosis means for you can be nearly impossible if you’re in a great deal of pain.
As a result, mental health management often involves paying simultaneous attention to pain mitigation and emotional processing. You can’t expect yourself to do the mental and emotional work necessary to safeguard your wellbeing if your body is overwhelmed by pain and other symptoms. If the physical manifestations of your condition are becoming too much to bear, speak with your care team about the issue itself and how that challenge is affecting your mental health.
The reality is that being diagnosed with mesothelioma is a mental and emotional burden that isn’t easy to bear. By being as proactive as you can in safeguarding your mental health, you can better ensure that as much of your time as possible is spent living life in ways that you deserve.