The following pages are intended to provide some useful information to cancer patients and their families on psychological support and on the management of cancer disease.
The purpose of this publication is to make patients participate in their emotional states, to listen to them, to give a name to things so that they can talk about them and even ask for help. Our body and mind are one and when the body gets sick, our mind also suffers. Anxiety, fear, depression can be addressed with the help of the psychologist.
Psychoncology – psychology in oncology
Psychoncology is a discipline of psychology that deals with the psychological aspects related to oncological diseases.
The psycho-oncologist can help and support you from the moment of diagnosis through to the entire therapeutic process. In times of anxiety, depression and confusion, when personal and family resources are no longer sufficient to face the period of crisis, interviews with the psychologist can help you face the disease, find strategies and re-evaluate the objectives.
Psychological interviews can help you:
- understand and reconnect emotions to experience
- alleviate psychological suffering
- find new strategies to tackle the disease path
- dialogue with the partner
- addressing sexual and relationship problems
- make peace with your body
- think about the future in a new way
- make plans again, coming out of the stall of an eternal painful present, finding new energies
- find the way to talk about it with loved ones and find a great resource in them
The psychological support interviews are addressed to the whole family, because in these moments it is the whole family that suffers and the family itself is the greatest resource.
The figure of the psycho-oncologist is part of a medical team and is therefore the one who in the relationship with doctors offers and collects useful information for patients, in a continuous exchange that allows to enhance individual experience.
“What can I do to get help?”
Ask for a first interview with a psychologist and tell how you feel and what you are experiencing. The psycho-oncologist will be able to help you, listening to you and making an assessment of your needs, your difficulties, your resources and planning together a path to follow.
“I’m afraid, I feel stressed, I feel I can’t do it”
Sometimes it can happen that you feel completely unable to cope with everything that is happening. We close in on ourselves and we don’t want to talk to anyone, we don’t want to worry family members. Other times we cry and everything seems impossible to us. Many questions arise to which we cannot find answers: “Why me? What did I do to deserve this? How will I tell my children? I recover? “.
The emotions of fear, anger, guilt can produce anxiety and / or depression. These questions arise in the face of the concern of the disease that brings us to a new state, where everything seems to change suddenly and personal and family balances are disrupted. In these moments, the need for reassurance and to receive information about the disease is as fundamental a need as the therapies are.
The psychoncologist will welcome you by listening to your story, evaluating personal and family difficulties and resources. The psycho-oncologist will be your contact for any concerns and will plan interviews with you to help you find the strength to face the treatments in the best way. Each family member can turn to the psychologist and ask for help. When the emotional load is so strong, we are no longer able to deal with things, being able to talk about it with the psycho-oncologist allows us to reduce the emotional load in order to regain control of the situation and find new strategies to face the therapeutic path.
If you have had a diagnosis of cancer, if you have to undergo surgery or chemotherapy, if you have finished all the therapies and you feel confused, in any of these situations, ask for an interview with the psychologist.