Mesothelioma anxiety is a natural reaction to the diagnosis and progression of your mesothelioma. How could it be otherwise? You are dealing with an unexpected illness with devastating consequences. Mesothelioma anxiety is an acceptable response and you should allow yourself to feel what you are feeling.
Mesothelioma anxiety, however, may need to be addressed if it interferes with your daily living and mesothelioma treatment. While you need to allow yourself some emotional room for mesothelioma anxiety, beware of letting it take over and interfere with your ability to make the best possible use of your time.
While taking care of yourself can include coming to terms with your mesothelioma anxiety, it also means making sure you get to experience joy and relaxation, too. That may mean putting a lid on mesothelioma anxiety.
Mesothelioma Anxiety – Do You Need Help Controlling It?
Here are some questions to review. If you find yourself answering yes to many of them, it may be helpful to ask your oncologist to team up with a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can help diagnose whether your mesothelioma anxiety falls into the category of an anxiety disorder. Then an appropriate course of action can be designated for you. A psychiatrist can also tell whether chemotherapy or other medications could be causing anxiety symptoms, and come up with ways to manage them.
Do you feel nervous, shaky and tense?
Do you feel fearful or apprehensive?
Do you avoid certain places or activities because of fear?
Does your heart pound or race?
Have you had any unusual sweating or trembling?
Have you felt a knot in your stomach?
Do you find yourself pacing?
Do you worry about your next lab test weeks in advance?
Do you worry often about when your pain will return and how bad it will get?
Do you worry about whether you will be able to get your next dose of pain medication on time?
Do you stay in bed than you because you are afraid that the pain will intensify if you stand up or move about?
For every yes answer, try to note when you feel this way – for example, before or after treatment, or at night – and how long the feeling lasts.
Mesothelioma Anxiety – Coping Strategies
Mesothelioma anxiety can be very different from one mesothelioma patient to another. So there is no one best strategy for coping or treating your mesothelioma anxiety. Give yourself the chance to try out different things. If something doesn’t work, it is okay to discontinue it – as long as it is not a prescribed medication – and move on to something else.
One strategy that is highly recommended is educating yourself as much as possible about your mesothelioma. Trying to fully understand the disease, what stage you are in and what your treatment options are can help to relieve anxiety.
You may also benefit from one or more of the many options to treat anxiety. These can include:
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Yoga and meditation
- Support groups
- Guided imagery (concentration on mental images to decrease stress)
Be sure to check with your insurance provider to find which if any of these may be covered by your insurance and whether there are practitioners or facilities that are part of your plan. Some of these may be better suited for your needs. For example, many cancer treatment centers now offer yoga classes specifically for cancer patients.
Anxiety medication prescribed by a psychiatrist or your oncologist may be used alone or in combination with these techniques. You need not avoid anxiety-relieving medications for fear of them interfering with your mesothelioma treatment or your pain relief medication. Ask the prescribing health professional whether they are aware of your treatment regimen and other medications you currently take.
If part of your anxiety stems from financial stress about expenses such as the cost of mesothelioma treatment and covering household expenses, consult a qualified asbestos attorney. They are experienced in handling these matters and will not charge you anything unless they take on and win your case.
Your asbestos attorney can:
- Advocate on your behalf for an early settlement of your case
- Help you access funds set aside in an asbestos trust applicable to your case
- Arrange liens so doctor and hospital bills aren’t due until after you receive a settlement
Finding Mesothelioma Anxiety Relief in Spirituality
Mesothelioma anxiety may arise in part from the unanswered questions many of us as human beings have about the meaning of life and what happens after life.
Spirituality and religion may be helpful here, and offer comfort that can calm mesothelioma anxiety. Spirituality and religion may help guide you to discover a deeper meaning during your mesothelioma treatment and help you experience a sense of personal growth and peace.
Spirituality is considered to be the relationship people have with a force or power beyond themselves that helps them feel connected and enriches their lives. Religion is a way people connect to spirituality through a specific set of beliefs or practices usually connected to an organized group. You may find spirituality by practicing religious beliefs from your childhood, exploring different religious beliefs or completely outside of an organized religion.
Mesothelioma anxiety may always be present but you can tame it and hopefully find ways of coping that will be enhance your life at this important time.