Mental health and cancer
There are rare, pivotal moments in life that never leave you. Many people experience this when they are told “it’s cancer”. Their world crumbles. They can feel trapped and afraid.
A cancer diagnosis, its associated symptoms and treatment can have a profound emotional impact on people and their families; with fear, exhaustion, mental numbness, isolation, depression, loss of self-esteem, loss of independence and anxiety all having an impact.
Psychological distress can occur, stemming from the life changing experiences of cancer and cancer treatment, as well as a lack of available support for mental wellbeing. In addition, once treatment ends, and a patient leaves the structured clinical environments, they can feel isolated and abandoned at a time when support is needed the most.
Due to the recognition of the impact of mental wellbeing during cancer, Solaris Cancer Care offers person centered support at all stages of cancer and beyond to both the individual experiencing cancer and their family. This includes; one to one counselling, access to evidenced based information, complementary therapies and peer support groups.
Our experience shows that cancer is not just a physical illness, it can have a significant psychological impact, and people deserve to have access to both physical, mental and emotional support when they need it. Having access to the right support at the right time allows people to take greater control over their wellbeing. Effectively, preventing anxiety and depression developing into severe, clinical conditions.
“Cancer, no matter the kind, is a devastating diagnosis. It can strip the world of its beauty and make you feel empty and hopeless. But it can also ignite a fire inside that will never be extinguished”
— Rebecca Segal
Counselling can help you;
- Develop ways to cope with a cancer diagnosis and feel less overwhelmed and more in control
- Explore and process what your cancer experience means to you
- Manage fear, exhaustion, mental numbness, depression, stress and anxiety
- Manage cancer symptoms
- Manage cancer treatment side effects, such as pain and fatigue
- Address relationship issues
- Explore concerns around intimacy and sexuality
- Identify helpful resources
- Develop healthy communication strategies to communicate effectively with your medical team, family and friends
- Explore workplace issues
- Learn ways to cope with a terminal prognosis
- Develop ways to cope with grief
What can help you nurture your mental wellbeing:
- Healthy support (family, friends, or even pets)
- Taking someone with you when you attend an appointment
- Asking for help when you need it and taking it when it is offered
- Spending time with people who love and care about you
- Embracing what brings you joy
- Remembering to breathe and, if you can, meditate and practice mindfulness
- Listening to inspiring podcasts
- Connecting with people who have had a similar experience to you
- Writing about your experience in a journal or recording them in a video
- Practicing gratitude
- Being honest with yourself and remembering you are worth it