Terminal illnesses can elicit a wide range of emotions from sufferers when first informed by their doctors. This includes fear, denial, shock, frustration, relief, anger, confusion, sadness, and helplessness. Here are tips for coping with a terminal illness:
After Your Doctor Breaks the News
Upon learning that they are suffering from a terminal disease, most patients experience apprehension and anxiety. Do not worry too much if you experience similar emotions because the human body naturally primes itself to flee from danger. For this reason, it is advisable to attend your doctor’s appointments in the company of a relative or close friend who can offer emotional support.
Pour Out Your Heart
Your mind is likely to generate tons of questions as well as conjure up all manner of real and imaginary fears in the hours and days after receiving terminal illness news. If you can, confide and pour out your heart to a friend, relative, professional, spiritual guide, or family member. In addition, contact people suffering from the same terminal illness. They can help you come to terms with your medical condition. The good news is most hospitals keep email and phone contacts of many support groups.
A sad aspect of living with a terminal illness is the uncertainty that hangs over one’s life. As a result, you may worry about how much time you have left to live and how to deal with inability to feed, clothe, and bathe yourself. In this case, talking to others about your fears can offer relief.
If you feel that you could be developing depression, consult your doctor. In most cases, doctors prescribe medication or recommend counseling.
Find out if you are eligible for benefits to cover hospital, living, or transport costs.
Focus on living your life one day at a time and learn to confront your fears whenever they crop up in your mind. Finally, take medications, keep up with hospital appointments, eat healthy foods and follow your doctor’s advice.
Although living with a terminal illness can be tough, it need not turn your life into a gloomy affair. Seek support from friends, counselors, and people suffering from the same disease.
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