A diagnosis of mesothelioma is frightening, and the emotional reactions can be counterproductive when time is of the essence. It is important for victims to come to terms with the illness to face treatment, and for family members to understand the psychological stages and symptoms and support the person through the process:
- Shock can inhibit the person from comprehending important information and moving forward with treatment.
- Denial can be paralyzing if the person pretends nothing is wrong, doesn’t want to discuss the disease, or refuses treatment. Often it is family and friends who are in denial, leaving the person without vital emotional support.
- Fear of dying is a normal reaction, but it can lead to depression and anxiety that interfere with treating the disease. The person needs to know the truth about life expectancy, but also needs to know many people survive for years with a decent quality of life.
- Fear of the pain associated with treatment is very common. Patients hear horror stories about chemotherapy or radiation sickness, but those tales are outdated. Modern treatment options have less severe side effects. Your doctor is an important source of information about treatment details, so be sure to ask all the questions you may have.
- Anger is a natural reaction, but often it is misplaced and directed at loved ones, doctors and nurses who are providing care and support. Venting frustrations is healthy, and your support people should not take your outbursts personally. But it may help to speak to friends and family when you are not as angry, or ask them to read these pages if you can’t talk about your feelings without the anger getting in the way.
- Psychological counseling, or a discussion with a spiritual advisor, can be tremendously helpful for both the patient and the supporters. You all will need strength for the hard road ahead.
If you suspect mesothelioma or have a positive diagnosis, consult your physician immediately and then contact Throneberry Law Group. We offer a free consultation, and our lawyers represent clients nationwide.