Mental Health & Lung Cancer
When someone receives a lung cancer diagnosis, it may cause complications. These can include mental health effects on the patient, their family members, caregivers, and friends. It’s important to recognize these changes and understand how this can affect the patient and the people around them. Knowing the symptoms and warning signs of someone struggling can help you expedite getting the support and treatment they need to combat these effects.
This word has many meanings. Distress encompasses unpleasant emotions, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Studies have shown the negative effects of distress in decision making and the person’s ability or willingness to keep up with their health. Patients describe feelings of distress as:
- Helpless and/or hopeless
- Loss of control
- Panicked or anxious
- Questioning faith, purpose, or meaning in life
Some distress is to be expected during uncertain and intimidating times. Lung cancer is a stressful disease. If a person begins to feel overwhelmed to the point of concern, they may be having trouble coping. This can cause issues and disruptions in focus, sleep, and eating patterns.
If mental health effects begin interfering with the person’s quality of life, seeking professional help may be a good option. Common mental health conditions in lung cancer patients that evolve from distress consist of anxiety and depression.