In terms of incidence, breast cancer is the world’s second most frequent cancer after lung cancer (American Cancer Society, 2013). The most common disease among women in developed and developing countries is breast cancer, despite higher survival rates in wealthy nations. Breast cancer treatment costs are a hardship for those afflicted with the disease and for their families and society as a whole. According to the American Cancer Society (2010), breast cancer is one of the top three cancers in economic effect ($88 billion). A breast cancer diagnosis is one of the most upsetting things a woman can hear. After hearing such devastating news, it is natural to experience various emotions, from sorrow to wrath. Even after the initial shock and grief have passed, some individuals suffer severe mental health issues. Your Emotional Signs Following A Breast Cancer Diagnosis. The first thing you should realize is that you are not alone. Researchers discovered that women with breast cancer typically have depressed symptoms, influencing their quality of life and treatment adherence. A breast cancer patient may have the following symptoms:
1. Severe Emotional Anxiety
The most frequent mental health condition among breast cancer patients is severe emotional anguish. As a result, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has approved a short questionnaire known as the “Discomfort Thermometer” as a technique to identify whether emotional distress is severely harming your life.
2. Severe Depression
Depression is more than just a transient melancholy or a sense of emptiness or loss. It is a mental disorder characterized by a low mood, inability to perceive pleasure, and several psychological and physical symptoms that interfere with everyday functioning. While not every sign of clinical depression is present, it is vital to consult with your healthcare professional if you feel any of the following:
• Unhappiness In General:
Feeling unhappy or hopeless most of the time
• Negative Thoughts:
A constant sense of worthlessness, a lack of hope for the future
• Reduced Enthusiasm:
There is a lack of drive; even little chores seem a significant undertaking.
• Reduced Concentration:
The inability to concentrate on basic chores or even discussions.
• People’s issues include avoiding people and reacting angrily when others attempt to assist them.
• Guilt And Poor Self Esteem: the belief that your issues are all your responsibility or that you are insufficient for anybody.
• Physical Issues: include difficulty sleeping, significant weight loss or growth, and headaches or body pains.
• Suicidal Ideation: daydreaming about death, contemplating suicide
3. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Individuals with PTSD may have experienced or been threatened with physical violence during a stressful incident. Equally, with combat veterans and violent crime victims, PTSD may be as acute in cancer patients who fear for their lives and death. A German study found that most newly diagnosed breast cancer patients (about 80%) exhibited PTSD symptoms. Among the symptoms to watch for are:
• Reliving The Moment: Reliving very unpleasant recollections from the time of your diagnosis.
• Avoidance: Going to make great efforts to avoid places or people who remind you of your diagnosis’s painful event.
• Increased Arousal: Feeling easily shocked or enraged; unable to sleep or focus as if danger is impending
4. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A study of 152 breast cancer patients discovered that around 32% had GAD, an anxiety condition characterized by a general sense of uneasiness or worry despite the presence of little or no danger. GAD sufferers worry a lot, often to the point of exhaustion, and have physical symptoms such as restlessness, irritability, muscle tightness, and sleep problems. Anxiety and despair are common reactions to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Taking care of your mental health might help you feel better physically and support your therapy.
Your Emotions Are Important.
Feel your emotions—you have the right to grieve your losses—but keep in mind that you are more than your disease. Be kind to yourself. Look for methods to make yourself feel beautiful on the inside and out. Prescription medicine, psychotherapy, acupuncture, massage, meditation, relaxation methods, and physical therapy are just a few of the choices accessible to you. Avoid falling into the “be optimistic” trap. It’s natural to have a poor day. However, if your anxiety, worries, or fears interfere with your daily activities or sleeping patterns, see your doctor.
Side Effects Of Treatment Can Affect Your Mood.
Insomnia, cognitive difficulties, and mood swings are possible adverse effects of breast cancer therapy. Changes in hormone levels may impact your emotions, and weight gain can be depressing. Some women blame themselves, while others feel punished. When post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) triggers the feelings you experienced at diagnosis or throughout treatment, side effects may persist. All of these emotions are natural. Don’t be scared to seek advice from your doctor.
Following a breast cancer diagnosis, mental health may influence at least four categories, and such impacts are typical. The above article demonstrates an apparent necessity for reducing the effects of a breast cancer diagnosis on mental health.