Dealing With the Mental Challenges After a Cancer Diagnosis
- Cancer can be a major mental challenge as well as a physical one.
- Different approaches to managing stress and anxiety will work for different patients.
- Some patients benefit a great deal from traditional therapy, while others seek comfort in support groups or confiding in a trust friend.
- Psychiatrist Dr. Samantha Boardman says learning to recognize and play up your natural strengths can be a great help in the face of these anxious feelings.
One way to get your mental health back in check after a diagnosis is to try to play up your strengths, Dr. Samantha Boardman, a New York-based psychiatrist and author, tells SurvivorNet.Read More
Dr. Boardman says another way to approach harnessing the strength you already have is tapping into your values. This could be family, close friendships, spirituality, commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Reminding yourself of what your values are and how you are living accordingly is another way to unleash that inner strength.
Lastly, patients shouldn’t underestimate the value of simply opening up, Dr. Boardman says. This could mean speaking to a close family member or friend, or it could mean seeking support in other ways — by finding a therapist that meets your needs or looking into joining a support group.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What activities can I do at home if I’m feeling especially stressed?
- Are there any support groups you can recommend?
- Should I consider seeing a therapist?
- What can I do if I’m very stressed before treatment?