Breast cancer is the most feared cancer among women. Sometimes, it is not just the word "cancer" that is the root of the fear, but also the fear of problems associated with cancer treatment, such as surgical complications and medication side effects.
The fear of the unknown, loss and uncertainty can be paralyzing. Anxiety also frequently takes over, arising from concerns about treatment, prognosis, and the physical changes that come with the disease.
Women newly diagnosed with breast cancer face a different set of fears as they go through various stages of anxiety and acceptance. Many are in a state of denial at first. This can quickly turn into anger and a feeling that your world has been turned upside down. Some women wonder what they have done to deserve this and are unsure of the best path to recovery.
Sadness is another constant companion on this journey, as women may feel devastated by the news and the impact on their lives. It is important to recognize that these emotional reactions are completely normal and valid. Each woman reacts uniquely, and it is essential to allow herself to feel and express these emotions,
Feel your feelings (you have the right to grieve your losses), but remember: you are more than your cancer. Be kind to yourself, this is a circumstance that you can go through with a good attitude and willingness, however, avoid the trap of forcing yourself to "stay positive."
It's normal to have bad days. But, if you find that your anxieties, worries, or fears are interfering with your daily activities or sleeping habits, talk to your doctor.
The connection between mental health and physical health:
As women begin what is often a lengthy treatment process, they may face new problems. For example, your personal relationships may be affected.
They may feel tired all the time. They may be very worried about their symptoms, treatment, and fear of death. They may face discrimination from employers or insurance companies.
Factors like these can contribute to stress, anxiety and depression, and depression can decrease women's survival rate, research shows.
In a situation of intense stress, cortisol levels increase in the body, and this substance is an immunosuppressant. Maintaining a positive attitude and thoughts can help not only with your mood but also boost your immune system.
“The mind is everything, what you think about is what you become,” says a famous quote from Buddha. And science has proven that, thoughts and emotions can generate chemical processes that transform the body's cells.
Strategies to take care of mental health:
Licensed psychologists and other mental health professionals with experience treating breast cancer can be of great help. Its primary goal is to help women learn how to cope with the physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes associated with cancer, as well as medical treatments that can be painful and traumatic.
Psychological interventions have also been shown to be extremely effective in helping patients manage the pain and symptoms of the disease and the side effects of treatment.
For example, techniques used by psychologists can significantly reduce anxiety before surgery and decrease nausea that often precedes and accompanies chemotherapy.
For many women, this life-threatening crisis eventually turns out to be an opportunity for life-enhancing personal growth. The need for psychological treatment may not end when medical treatment does. In fact, emotional recovery can take longer than physical recovery and is sometimes less predictable. Although the social pressure to return to normal is intense, breast cancer survivors need time to create a new image of themselves that incorporates both the experience and their transformed bodies.
What can I do to keep my mind in shape during this stage?:
Having breast cancer is a difficult experience. Normally, you are worried about the path ahead, how your diagnosis will affect the important relationships in your life, your body image, as well as your family and work obligations.
Seeking emotional support and maintaining a positive attitude can be a great relief. Here you find other recommendations:
Practice what makes you happy : It may not be that easy, it's about not feeling overwhelmed by pain and worry. Do your best to lift your spirits whenever you can by meeting friends for lunch, writing (and referring to) inspirational messages in a journal, dancing, or going for a walk in a park.
Join a breast cancer support group where you can share your anxieties with other women who are going through the same thing and have similar concerns. Sometimes a combination of individual and group treatment works best. Group psychological treatment with other people who have breast cancer gives women the opportunity to give and receive emotional support and learn from the experiences of others.
Don't be afraid to express your fears to your loved ones. Breathe, express your fears, speak freely. If you notice that your mind is full of worry, try meditation or deep breathing exercises.
Make questions. Sometimes your mind may get ahead of you, so ask questions to ensure you don't worry unnecessarily. Stay connected to the people and activities that are important to you.
Take CBD to relieve and supplement
If you are receiving breast cancer treatment, you have probably experienced some side effects such as pain, fatigue, nausea, malaise, and anxiety.
Dr. Andrea Mathias Schmucki, patient advocate for Living Beyond Breast Cancer Hear My Voice advocacy program and former family doctor, was treated for metastatic breast cancer in 2015 and CBD helped relieve discomfort, nausea, insomnia and lack of energy. "I consider CBD to be complementary, using it in addition to traditional treatment and not as an alternative to it."
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant and is the main compound found in the hemp plant (HEMP).
CBD and marijuana are derived from different species of Cannabis Sativa plants. CBD is derived from hemp, while marijuana is derived from the marijuana species.
CBD does NOT have psychotropic effects, that is, it does NOT affect a person's sense of reality and perception. On the contrary, their interaction within the body benefits sleep, mood, stress management, maintaining a sense of calm, and improving recovery from exercise.
In the battle against breast cancer, mental health is a fundamental pillar that cannot be underestimated. The emotional roller coaster that accompanies diagnosis and treatment is an inevitable part of this journey, and it is crucial to approach it with empathy and understanding. Taking care of your mental health is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and resilience. By doing so, women can improve their quality of life and their response to treatment. This October, in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let us remember that fighting this disease is not just about fighting cancer cells, but also about nurturing the spirit and emotional well-being. Let's face this challenge together and support each other every step of the way.
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Overcoming the Fear of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer: How your mind can help your body
10 ways to help a woman with breast cancer
CBD Oil and Breast Cancer