Types of Mental Health Support in Breast Cancer


Types of Mental Health Support in Breast Cancer

Asking your doctor for a referral to a counsellor or therapist may be a smart choice if you are experiencing anxiety, sadness, or stress and notice no change. The importance of mental wellness in breast cancer treatment is acknowledged by many cancer institutes. Depending on the setting in which you receive therapy, you can be directed automatically to counselling.

Some people discover that different forms of assistance are beneficial to them at various points in their lives.

Types of therapies available

There are several ways to obtain support for mental health. You might wish to think about several sorts of therapy, such as:

1) By figuring out the unconscious meanings and motivations behind negative or self-destructive actions, feelings, and beliefs, psychoanalytic therapy aims to change them.

2) Changing taught negative or self-destructive beliefs and actions is the main goal of behavioural therapy. A more recent form of behavioural therapy is cognitive-behavioural therapy.

3) Changes to negative and self-destructive beliefs, which are assumed to cause unpleasant feelings and behaviours, are the main goal of cognitive therapy.

4) Acceptance and dedication the use of acceptance and mindfulness in behavioural therapy, which teaches people to accept their experiences, become more conscious, and commit to changing their behaviour, is a related concept in therapy.

5) Humanistic treatment puts an emphasis on a person's admirable accomplishments and capacity for reasoned decision-making. Encouragement of self-discovery, healing, and fulfilment are the objectives.

Depending on the individual needs of each patient, integrative or holistic therapy combines various therapeutic modalities.

To best serve each patient's needs, many doctors combine various therapies. According to research, people with breast cancer may find cognitive behavioural therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy to be particularly beneficial.

Types of mental health professionals

These many types of counselling and therapy are provided by several qualified mental health professionals:

1) Psychologists. Psychologists have received considerable training in diagnosing and treating issues related to complicated mental health. Psychotherapy is provided by both psychologists and psychiatrists. However, most psychologists treat patients using psychotherapy while the majority of psychiatrists treat patients largely by giving medication.

2) Psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are medical professionals who, in addition to identifying and treating mental health issues, can also write prescriptions for drugs. While some psychiatrists specialize in helping people manage their medication, others offer counselling. To support their patients, psychiatrists frequently collaborate with other types of mental health specialists.

3) Nurse practitioners in psychiatry. NPs are a common abbreviation for psychiatric nurse practitioners. These experts are licensed registered nurses with additional education in mental health. Under the direction of a physician or psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioners are qualified to diagnose illnesses and prescribe specific medications.

4) Navigational peers. Peer navigators are breast cancer survivors who volunteer their time at cancer treatment facilities and hospitals to support those who have just received a diagnosis. You can be paired with one of these peer navigators by your cancer care team. A mentor who has gone through a similar situation can be found for you or a caregiver through organisations like Imerman Angels. When you need support, peer navigators can offer information, counsel, or just a listening ear.

5) Psycho-oncologists. Psycho-oncologists have received specialized training in helping cancer patients with their mental health. The study of psychological, behavioural, emotional, and social problems that emerge with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is known as psycho-oncology.

Selecting a mental health specialist

It's crucial to find the correct individual to talk to. When making your choice, you might want to take into account the following:

1) Select a therapist who is familiar with breast cancer. It is beneficial to consult with a cancer care specialist.

2) Discover the ideal fit. Selecting a therapist whom you feel comfortable with is crucial to treatment.

3) Think about your possibilities. To help you select the ideal specialist, you might want to first try calling a few different ones. Many therapists provide a brief, no-cost consultation so that you can get to know one another. It's common for folks to consult with one or several therapists before selecting the best one for them.

4) Select the option that best suits your needs. Whether you prefer in-person appointments or online visits is entirely up to you.

Your chosen professional may provide therapy to you in one of several ways:

1) Individual guidance. The process of talking to a counsellor one-on-one in a private setting is also referred to as behavioural therapy or talk therapy. You can acquire new coping mechanisms and work on emotional management techniques together.

2) Counselling for families or couples. With your partner or the entire family, you attend counselling in couples or family therapy. You talk about your emotions and how they effect each family member under the counsellor’s guidance.

3) Group therapy. a mental health treatment that brings together a number of individuals who are going through comparable circumstances or who have been given comparable diagnoses, such as breast cancer. An authorized mental health care expert is always in charge of group therapy. According to some experts, the purpose of group therapy is to aid in identifying and changing undesirable ideas or habits.

4) Support networks. In that they group individuals with comparable experiences, they are comparable to group therapy. The main distinction is that although support groups can be facilitated by mental health experts, they can also be led by someone who has experienced the same thing as the group as a whole.

5) Grief Support. For those who have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, grief counselling may be helpful. Grief counsellors are mental health experts with a focus on end-of-life issues. They employ a range of techniques, such as talk therapy, pain management, and meditation. Family and friends are frequently involved in this process.

Virtual treatment can be provided virtually, either over the phone or via video visit.

Online message boards could be of interest to those who want to connect with people going through similar things.

Here are a few places where you can feel secure and seek help, locate information, and exchange stories:

1) Meetups for the Cancer Survivors Network 

2) Virtual Community, where you can converse with community members

3) Coalition for Young Survival

Drugs that may be useful

There are medications that can ease mental health difficulties in addition to counselling.

Remember to consult with your oncologist before beginning any new medication. It can also be a good idea to consult a reputable pharmacist. If any over-the-counter, herbal, or prescription medications have the potential to interact with breast cancer treatment, your oncologist or a dependable pharmacist can confirm this for you.

Typical medications include:

1) Antidepressants. A chemical imbalance in the brain that affects mood and emotions is the cause of depression. These molecules are balanced by antidepressants. Antidepressants must be taken consistently for a predetermined amount of time, unlike anti-anxiety medications, which can be used as needed. Antidepressants may take up to six weeks to significantly lift one's mood. Additionally, antidepressants might enhance sleep quality and lessen some of the negative effects of breast cancer treatment.

2) Medication to treat anxiety. These are frequently administered for brief periods of time to lessen strong emotions of anxiety, dread, or worry as well as to slow down pounding heartbeats and rapid breathing.

3) Medical marijuana. Some studies have indicated that medical cannabis may help lessen anxiety, pain, tension, and insomnia, while more research is required. It's vital to keep in mind that the legalisation of medical marijuana varies per state.

The purpose of certain herbal and vitamin supplements is to improve people's emotions. Nevertheless, it's crucial to be aware that some supplements can affect how breast cancer is treated. Your oncologist can advise you on the safety of taking herbal or vitamin supplements if you're interested in doing so.

Additionally, sleep deprivation might have an impact on your mental state. Your doctor could advise a sleeping aid, but there are natural alternatives to manage insomnia as well.

Complementary treatments that may be useful

Some people may be able to better manage their stress and worry following a breast cancer diagnosis with the aid of complementary therapies, commonly known as alternative therapies. It's crucial to inform your medical care team before you begin if you're considering alternative therapy.

The following complementary therapies have been proven to be successful:

1) acupuncture

2) art reiki

3) biofeedback (teaches people to understand how stress affects the body and how to control basic functions, such as heart and breathing rates)

4) directed imagery

5) journaling

6) meditation

7) mindfulness

8) progressively relaxing the muscles

9) itai chi

10) yoga

For some of these complementary therapies, a practitioner is necessary. After a few sessions with a qualified instructor, the others can be self-taught or completed independently.

Adapting your way of life can be helpful.

After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, some people discover that even minor lifestyle adjustments can help them feel better overall. Among these modifications are:

1) Consuming nutritious food. Your body and mind can be strengthened via appropriate hydration and a healthy, well-balanced diet.

2) Sleeping soundly. Adults typically require at least seven hours of sleep per night. Nevertheless, those who have been given a breast cancer diagnosis could require extra sleep. How much and how well someone sleeps can be significantly influenced by their emotional well-being. If you are having difficulties falling or staying asleep or feel too exhausted when you wake up in the morning, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor. Some people have success using self-help techniques to enhance their sleep.

3) Continually move your body. The American Psychological Association states that more investigation is required to determine whether regular exercise and the brain chemicals linked to stress, anxiety, and depression are related. Nevertheless, a lot of psychologists advise frequent exercise since it can inspire other beneficial behaviours like consuming nutrient-dense foods, interacting with others, and getting enough sleep, all of which can elevate mood. Additionally, studies suggest that those with breast cancer who exercise may experience fewer relapses. 3 Remember to consult your doctor before beginning any workout programme.

4) Reducing Alcohol intake and giving up smoking. In fact, anxiety and depressive symptoms can be exacerbated by alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. It becomes sense to discuss your options with your doctor if you want to reduce your alcohol intake or cigarette consumption.

Every therapy session, whether it's an individual or a group one, is private. Whether you choose to disclose that you are receiving treatment to family and friends is entirely up to you.

Previous Post Next Post