The Impact on Mental Health from Living with Lymphoma
Lymphoma often takes a huge physical toll on patients. But what about the mental toll?
There are so many resources out there talking about how to deal with the physical symptoms of lymphoma, but being mentally healthy is just as important.
We are going to discuss some common emotional reactions to lymphoma, including some common mental health issues that arise. From there, we will give you a few things you can do to cope.
Dealing with depression- after the diagnosis many lymphoma patients find themselves in depression. It can be heart breaking and even terrifying to know that you have lymphoma. At first you may feel hopeless. To make the matters worse you may not even be able to do those things that you used to do earlier. Depression might affect your physical, mental health and your social life. Seeking professional therapy is the best advice. To help cope up with the feelings of hopelessness here are some tips:
Building a support network- depression brings along with it loneliness and isolation. It is extremely important to have a support network. It could be your family, friends or significant others. Talk about your situation and find someone whom you can trust.
- Focus on physical health- get proper night sleep. Include vegetables and fruits in your diet. They help boost mood. Drink adequate amount of water. Physical and mental health are both intertwined.
- Practice relaxation- your negative thoughts and emotions can be kept at bay by meditation and other mindful techniques. A great way to help center your thoughts is by meditating. One way is by taking a series of deep breaths. When you breathe focus on the movement of our body and during this process make your mind quiet.
- Dealing with anxiety- many questions about lymphoma may worry you and you may feel lost. Anxious thoughts can be aggravated by some symptoms such as night sweats. You can reduce your stress by calming these thoughts. In order to tackle your challenge this will give more energy.
- Cut down on alcohol and caffeine- in aggravating mental health these are two main culprits. They can also increase panic attacks. You can improve your fears and anxious thoughts but cutting down on these two symptoms.
- Pay attention to your breathing- one of the most important aspects of dealing with anxiety is breathing. Breathing becomes shallow when we get anxious. The brain does not get enough air. This can further increase the anxiety. Take deep long breathes whenever you feel anxious. During inhalation, push your stomach and abdomen. This will calm your anxiety.
- Dealing with anger- lymphoma patients are familiar with this. Your may notice that some people are enjoying their life whereas you are constantly fighting with the disease. This may make your feel angry. If you do not vent out this anger it will grow and fester. In order to release it, find healthy ways to deal with anger.
- Talk to your friends, family or therapist about how you feel. If there is no one then take a pen and paper and write down your feelings. Write what is bothering you. After you are done throw away the paper. Rip the paper before throwing it because it will help release anger. You can even shred the paper.
- Stay active- another way to relive your stress and anger is exercise. You can do something as simple as walking or a few push ups. This will help in more productive workouts and help you release your anger.
Do not neglect the physical and mental aspects of lymphoma. All the energy needed for the treatment can be taken away by these negative emotions. Mitigate these emotions it will not only make you feel better but also help in recovery process.