A breast cancer diagnosis is never easy to take in, especially if it requires a breast reconstruction. Even when you know you have a variety of treatment options to choose from, the condition still takes its toll on your well-being – no matter how early you detect it.
How Does Breast Cancer Affect Patients?
A breast cancer diagnosis affects women’s mental health long after the initial shock has passed. They have difficulty coping with the diagnosis and managing their emotions. Depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, grief, vulnerability, anger are all normal and common when breast cancer becomes a part of a patient’s life.
Why Seek Psychological Help?
If left untreated, the distress or discomfort the condition may cause can lead to new problems that can only worsen the situation.
Women start disregarding their diet and have trouble sleeping. Some start to think poorly about their bodies and sexuality. Most women withdraw from family and friends and fail to communicate with their partners about the way they feel. They have existential concerns about mortality. Moreover, in an attempt to soothe themselves, many women turn to addictive substances like alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, or other drugs. If the state of depression reaches to dangerous levels, they may refuse therapy.
How Can Psychological Treatment Help?
Breast cancer is not a diagnosis you can deal with on your own. You need a place where you can vent your concerns and receive comfort and strength.
Support can come in many forms, such as one-on-one counseling, religious or spiritual groups, online support communities, cancer support groups, education groups, and so on.
Usually, a combination of individual and group therapy works best. The former focuses on understanding and changing behavioral and thinking patterns while the latter offers women the opportunity to talk to and learn from peers facing similar problems.
In the end, it depends on you to find a safe environment that can help you settle your anxiety, and figure out ways of coping with whatever challenges cancer may pose. But it’s best to do it early since the longer the emotional problems remain unaddressed, the harder it will be to get back on your feet.
We at Breast Reconstruction Associates can help with find your way around the cancer diagnosis and support you on the road to recovery. Schedule an appointment with us to learn more about your options.