Mesothelioma is not a manageable disease to handle. It is a rare form of cancer that can physically exhaust a patient. More than physical exhaustion, mesothelioma has long-lasting mental anguish. It is overwhelming to learn you have cancer. Going through the endless rounds of chemo and doctor visitations without any end in sight can be traumatizing. It also pushes patients to ask some deeply troubling questions, such as how to live with cancer?
When a person is mentally disturbed, it takes a toll on their whole body. They begin withdrawing from people around them and start isolating themselves. Some may start showing signs and symptoms of depression. When mental ailments do not get treated, they progressively get worse. In some cases, a patient may even resort to hurting themselves and others around them. So, if you know someone who has mesothelioma and going through a stressful situation. Here’s how you can help them:
1. Talk to Them
Sometimes all patients need is an understanding ear. If you can lend your support in the form of a conversation, do it. For some patients, isolation can be deeply troubling. Maybe a conversation may lighten their spirit. You may get them out of their thoughts for a while and get them to think about something else. However, if the patient is going through more than isolation, you will need professional intervention. But don’t stop extending your company to the patient. Get them used to having you around, and don’t break that habit.
2. Learn More About Mesothelioma
When you don’t know about a disease, you can’t help the patient. Maybe you need a basic understanding of mesothelioma and how you can help morally and in legal issues. When you understand the source of pain, you can administer care. You can’t treat mesothelioma lightly. It is not like common cancer. Therefore, the kind of help you need to give needs to be different. You can speak to a healthcare provider on what type of help you can extend. A doctor will provide you with a better idea of how to uplift a patient mentally. These techniques will come in handy when you try to be there for the patient.
3. Get in Touch With a Counselor
Counselors are trained professionals who know how to work with mental health. Counseling is a holistic form of treatment. There are no pills given to a patient unless a counselor feels a patient needs medication. Counselors have a variety of methods and techniques to deal with patients. Counseling comes in many forms. For example, there are cognitive and behavioral approaches to help a patient. Counselors study patients deeply. They know how to carry a conversation and interject empathy. Most patients feel comfortable talking to counselors; they even feel understood. Counselors even can echo precisely what a patient feels without letting them feel alone.
4. Go With Them to Their Treatment Sessions
For some mesothelioma patients, the process of getting chemo can get depressing. You can change that by going with them to their sessions. Hospitals allow chemo patients to have a friend while they get treated. You can talk to the patient while they’re in session. You can make jokes, share memories and help them pass the time. If they feel overwhelmed, talk to them at the hospital. Give them time to catch up with their thoughts before they go to the doctor. While it may not seem much, the tiny morsels of care you administer can make a difference.
5. Get Them to Exercise
Exercise can be uplifting. You feel a rush of energy and feel fresh after a routine. Patients with mesothelioma should try exercising as much as their condition allows them. They may do light exercises such as yoga or aerobics. If they can manage movement, they should try brisk walking. Exercises help keep the body active and healthy. It also keeps mesothelioma patient’s muscles from deteriorating from lack of use. Lack of physical movement can agitate a patient. Staying in bed for long hours can cause bed sores and even aching muscles. An increase in pain may make them more agitated than they already are.
6. Modify Their Diet
The food we eat makes a difference to our mental health. Fresh and healthy food makes you feel better. In contrast, heavy junk food makes you nauseous. You can modify the diet of a patient by making lean meals for them. Give them salads, grilled meat, and fresh fruit. It would be best if you also went for less unprocessed meals and more organic food. Try curbing their alcohol and giving them more fresh juices with water. A good diet can help them feel lighter and better on their feet. It can also prevent them from feeling nauseous and is easier on their stomach after chemo.
7. Start a Support System
You can help get the patient’s relatives on board to help them cope with mental health. A full house can help a patient feel more welcomed. They may enjoy talking to their loved ones and enjoying a good time with them. You can arrange different events and also an intervention to help the patient feel more at ease. You can also educate them on the kind of language to use and questions to ask. The last thing you would want is insensitive comments in the guise of humor to fly around.
Mental health problems are hard to deal with. Unlike physical ailments, there is no way to treat them apart from different approaches. Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease. The rounds of treatment are not easy to deal with physically or mentally. Patients with mesothelioma need help to get through the day. The support you lend them will make all the difference. Try spending time with them, take them to a counselor, and get them started on medicines. You can even try taking them out of the house as well as motivate them to exercise. It would help if you modify their diet and make it easier for them to digest food. Finally, don’t hesitate to start a support system for them. These measures may seem trivial, but you never know what may work for someone with mental health conditions.