Care For Your Mental Health After A Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Mesothelioma is a debilitating, aggressive cancer brought about by asbestos exposure. When asbestos breaks apart, the needle-like fibers become airborne and can be inhaled or swallowed. Fibers embed themselves in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, or testicles and can remain there for years aggravating and breaking down tissue. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be devastating. Along with facing a painful illness with no cure, patients have many issues to worry about and difficult decisions to make.
Physical and Life Changes Affect Mental Health
Dealing with mesothelioma is difficult. Many patients will experience physical changes that affect their self-image and self-esteem. The routine of their life will change as they face:
- Missed work
- A succession of costly tests, medical appointments, medications, and treatments
- Insurance claims for hospital bills
- Potential trouble paying for essential items such as the mortgage, food, utilities, childcare
- Financial aid applications
- Long-term medical care arrangements
Treatments For Mesothelioma Can Affect Mental Health
Symptoms can appear 10 to 50 years or more after asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma symptoms are common in several other illnesses, so diagnosis isn’t easy. Since other diseases share the same symptoms, most patients are diagnosed with the disease at an advanced stage. Treatments available to slow the progression of mesothelioma can have side effects, such as hair loss, skin conditions, etc., that can lead to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
Recognizing Signs Of Depression and Anxiety
A cancer diagnosis can produce feelings impacting the way a person thinks, behaves, interacts with others, and approaches their treatment. Recognizing the signs of depression and anxiety can help you recognize when to get help.
Signs of Depression
- Persistent sadness
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of interest in activities
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Restlessness, lack of energy, constant fatigue
- Sense of impending danger or trouble
- Appearing nervous, restless, or tense
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trembling, shaking, and sweating
- Rapid breathing and increased heart rate
- Persistent worry
Although many people think about the physical side of a terminal diagnosis, they do not always recognize the mental side. Feelings of anger, frustration, and depression can be harder to handle. Support after a mesothelioma diagnosis is crucial.
See A Mental Health Counselor
Consider talking to a mental health counselor to help you learn to deal with emotions like anger, fear, or sadness and concern about your family and the future. Mental health care specialists can help you work through emotional issues and give you the best opportunity to complete your treatment successfully.
Find A Support Group
Getting support from a community of others dealing with mesothelioma can help you find strength and peace.
Eat Healthy And Exercise
Diet, nutrition, and exercise all affect your mental health. Fruits, healthy proteins, vegetables, and whole grains can reduce anxiety and depression. Exercise produces and releases endorphins, a chemical that interacts with brain receptors to create positive feelings. Regular exercise can help rebuild your body’s strength and increase your self-esteem.
At Goldberg, Persky & White P.C., we can help you file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your condition. Companies that exposed billions of people to asbestos were negligent and should be held accountable by providing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, treatments, and pain and suffering of the victims. Contact GPW today for a free consultation.