The psychological distress that anyone faces during cancer is insurmountable. And with breast cancer, it becomes even more problematic. First, the element of fear, pre-diagnosis comes into play which causes fear and anxiety into the minds of young women. Post diagnosis, it becomes almost impossible to have an equilibrium and clear thought process. The myths revolving around breast cancer perpetuates stigma and shame causing women to jump into an even deeper pit of the depression well.
It is estimated that mortality rates were as much as 26 times higher in patients with depressive tendencies and 39 times higher in patients who has been diagnosed with major depression issues. This lead us to the conclusion that depression can actually lead to lessening the chances of survival for women who have breast cancer. And it is not just the women who get depressive tendencies but their spouses too. Male spouses, whose partners were diagnosed with breast cancer, were nearly 40 percent more likely to be hospitalised for severe depression. It can also cause create psychological problems for the children too.
Thus, there is a persistent need for women to seek psychological help along with medical help to combat their cancer. Support groups of women with the same stages of cancer and group therapy sessions are the best way to combat depression along with mental health issues.
Psychologists may ask you to deal with one’s negative emotions, they help in focusing on solution and problem solving techniques rather than just simple problems. In addition to just helping your mental well being, psychologists can also help in decreasing the nausea and vomiting and teach women relaxation and meditative exercises.
Cancer needs to be treated with the help of people around you and a positive approach, as hard as it can be. It is upto the people around the person diagnosed with breast cancer to make them feel that there is still HOPE.
- All the statistics and facts have been checked from American Psychological Association website.