PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT FOR PATIENTS WITH CANCER
Diagnostics of cancer causes that both the sick person and family experience a range of various emotions and different thoughts come to mind. Some of the people deal with the disease alone with the support of close people: members of families, friends and other patients met in clinics, departments, volunteers who have similar experience and who willingly share their knowledge and uplift. Sometimes support is insufficient. Then it is good to take advantage of professional help from psychologist, psychotherapist.
It is normal that at the moment of diagnosis but even during the next stages of treatment the feeling of disbelief, rejection, as well as sadness, regret, guilt and low mood interlaced with hope and positive emotions appear in response to the kindness of other people. Patients sometimes suffer from depression, aversion to activities that have been the source of pleasure so far, sleep problems, eating disorders or tendency to cry. The thoughts of anxiety, increased irritability as well as irritation and anger may appear. All these are normal reactions to the crisis which is a severe, chronic illness.
How psychologist/psychotherapist can help? Contrary to the opinions, a meeting with psychologist is not just about “talking”, but talking about thoughts, emotions is often a very important element which releases from tension. Psychologist using his knowledge and experience helps to cope with these difficult emotions and brain wave that often accompanies patients. By sharing different techniques with patients, psychologist helps to deal with physical and psychological pain. He also supports rational thinking (not necessarily positive, but one that helps to function as well as possible and cope with onerous everyday life).
Good specialist can support a patient in fulfilling different needs, not only those connected with the new situation and illness. The role of psychologist is also to maintain the motivation of treatment and strengthen hope. A patient can learn to assertively communicate with others and of course deal with expression of sadness or anger. An important process by which a psychologist helps to pass is to accept the new situation, own limitations and to see opportunities and improve well-being, despite difficult experiences.
What is more important is the fact that during meetings with a psychologist it happens what a patient needs (even if it is only for the presence of a second person to sit together in silence, and at other times talk about the meaning of life and the fear of dying). Psychologist does not impose, drill down, judge, assess and criticize and what is important – does not give advice. He is likely a kind of guide who helps to find in a new and changed reality.
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