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Anxiety and Malignant Mesothelioma

The past year has shown us all that it is very difficult to not get anxious about things that are out of our control. Mental health is a vital part of our overall well being. Staying in the moment after being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma is very difficult. Currently, malignant mesothelioma is a rare, incurable illness. These facts can leave you with a host of emotions not knowing which direction to turn. If you or someone you love is brave enough to research the illness, this can perpetuate more anxiety.

The definition of anxiety is the feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Most people will experience this emotion when dealing with mesothelioma. People who have serious illnesses are at increased risk of anxiety and depression. Not only do patients experience these feelings but caregivers as well.

This week while talking to a mesothelioma patient recovering from surgery, he apologized for “talking too much.” He was answering questions that were asked about how he was feeling. Having someone to listen to your concerns is vital for recovery. Sometimes having someone listen to your story can be very helpful to place the events in some form of context.

If you feel alone as a caregiver or a patient, seeking professional help may be the key. 

One tool that we all became more familiar with from the pandemic is video conferencing. We learned to access video visits also known as Zoom, or telehealth visits. Your mental health is a priority that should get as much attention as your physical condition.

Disbelief, anger, and fear are a few of the emotions one may experience. Therapy, medication,and alternative treatments are a few tools that may help keep your anxiety in check. If you are fortunate enough to have a support system you may be able to lean on this group as well. Just talking about your feelings can be beneficial. Going for a walk can also increase endorphins, which has been proven to boost pleasure, resulting in a feeling of well-being. Just one simple walk can improve your mental disposition.This really is an inexpensive tool that you can take advantage of. You decide what time you will go, how long you can go and who is the fortunate person to go along with you.You might choose to be by yourself, listening to music. The possibilities are endless.

Most health professionals are aware and mindful of the mental health aspect of a serious diagnosis. Most mesothelioma teams include social workers, chaplains, psychiatrists and support groups for both the caregiver and patient. Since the pandemic, some are on line. There are many people who can help you with your journey. Please reach out for help. You are not alone.

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