Emotionally, breast cancer, can be a tough time. In the early stages you may be focusing on the physical aspects of the disease, but you are also likely to be on an “emotional rollercoaster”.
Make sure you rely on your loved ones to help get you through these trying times. However, your friends and family are also likely to be on their own “emotional rollercoaster” so some women prefer to talk to others who have had breast cancer, to a counsellor or psychologist.
Often the emotional effects of a breast cancer diagnosis can last far longer than the physical ones and many women find they have a different attitude to life after breast cancer. In many cases, this can be a very positive thing.
You might like to try these tips on coping emotionally:
- Talk to other women who have had breast cancer. Sharing experiences can be helpful and it’s good to know you are not alone.
- Write a journal and keep notes about your experience, your feelings and thoughts. Simply writing these things down can help to relieve the emotional burden.
- Join a support group. There are many breast cancer support groups that enable you to connect with other women with breast cancer or that focus on helping you through a particular trial.
- Take up meditation, yoga, pilates or do some gentle exercise. Physical activity that helps you to relax and de-stress can be helpful.
- Express yourself through music, art, dance or whatever outlet you enjoy. Make the most of your talents and activities that make you feel good.
- Don’t shut out your friends and family. They are on this journey with you so let them help you when they can.
- Talk to a counsellor or psychologist. If you are finding the emotional burden too much, talk to a professional. Some women with breast cancer can suffer from depression so don’t hesitate to seek help. For a list of counsellors and psychologists in your area click here.
- View this presentation from Breast Cancer Trials and Assoc. Professor Lesley Stafford which discusses breast cancer and mental health.
Many of BCAC's member groups offer emotional support for women with breast cancer. Click here to get in touch with them.