Suffering from a psychological disorder like depression, OCD or dementia could adversely affect your thought processes, preventing you from thinking and reasoning in the same way as a normal and healthy individual. “Research has suggested that processing speed — the ability to take in information quickly and efficiently — is impaired in individuals who are depressed,” explains Natascha Santos, PsyD, a psychologist and behavior therapist in Great Neck, N.Y. If you have panic attacks time and again or you feel unduly anxious, then, you’re most likely to have a distorted view of yourself, your illness, and everything directly or indirectly impinging on your wellbeing. You could also end up making mistakes without even realizing that you’ve done so, which could aggravate your suffering.
Robin Williams. Chester Bennington. Chris Cornell. Kurt Cobain. What do they have in common aside from being a famous Hollywood celebrity? They all committed suicide.
Suicide is a deliberate act of killing oneself. Persons who are suffering from major depression, chronic medical conditions and serious mental illness are prone to suicide. Some experts say that it is an act of expressing an internal conflict related to perceptions of hopelessness and despair while others justify the act as a form of liberation and being free from all the hardships.
“Even though the majority of youth victimized by bullying/cyberbullying do not commit suicide, in many cases bullying increases a young person’s risk of thinking about suicide and making a plan.” says psychologist Margaret R. Paccione, PhD.
Fill Your Life with Hopefulness
“The lonely become either thoughtful or empty.” Mason Cooley
Dealing with the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of the treatment can have an intense impact on both your emotional and physical wellbeing. Trying to deal with the mixture of emotions you are feeling can be exhausting, even more so if you are trying to do it alone. Often, people with cancer choose to hide their feelings of fear and about feeling empty and sad in an attempt to lessen the burden of their disease on their loved ones.
“Hope almost always involves a leap of faith, as we move toward a future that even our best efforts can’t guarantee.” says psychologist Shane J. Lopez Ph.D.
You Are Allowed To Feel Overwhelmed
Being diagnosed is scary. When hearing the word ‘cancer’, feeling overwhelmed, scared or afraid is not uncommon. Being diagnosed can evoke a number of emotions and feelings. There are a number of reasons that can give rise to the emotions, anxiety, sadness, and hopelessness you might be feeling, which can include:
- Fear of the unknown, especially when doctors use medical terms that you don’t understand
- Your routine and what you consider normal is disrupted by treatments and doctors’ appointments
- You feel like life the way you know it has ended
“The urge to know what your life is all about and to know your life’s direction leaves you feeling uncertain about the future and discontent with the present.” says Marcia Reynolds Psy.D.
There are a number of ways you can change the feeling of being out of control. Start with the most important – find out everything you can about your cancer. Do not be afraid to ask the doctors and nurses questions or speak to a social worker. Seek out the support of other cancer survivors. Seek out help from a therapist. It helps to voice your emotions and learn ways to cope with them. Regardless of what you decide, it is important that you do what’s right for you. Most importantly, remember that you do not have to do this alone.
Hold on to Hope
It is important that you always remember to hold on to hope. Having a hopeful outlook and holding on to a positive attitude will support your healing. “Acceptance is the foundation of holding space and hope, because space and hope must be grounded in what is and not on what should be or could be.” According to Dr. Ili Rivera Walter, PhD, LMFT. Find the positive. Read books by survivors and take hope and encouragement from their experiences. Speak to other cancer patients. Ask questions and voice your own fears. Knowing that you are not alone in this can make a big difference. There are a number of ways to deal with the emotions or feelings of hopefulness you might be feeling. These can include:
- Speak to others and express your feelings.
- Be positive, do not think of the worst. Focus on your wellness and getting healthy.
- Find ways to relax. Look into meditation or relaxation exercises.
- Try to stay as active as possible. Get out of the house and focus on other things.
- Find ways to occupy your mind. Look into hobbies such as photography or creative art.
- Focus on the things that you can control.
- Be involved in your treatment and health care. Ask questions and speak to others about dealing with the side effects and symptoms.
You Are Only Human
“Dealing with it is the operative word. I found myself at seven years not battling it. Not struggling with it. Not suffering from it. Not breaking under the burden of it, but dealing with it.” Michael J. Fox
There is always hope. You are allowed to be afraid. You are allowed to feel emotions. What you are not allowed to do is lose hope. Find ways to take control of your life. Seek out support. Find what works for you and meets your needs. Take time to understand. Research your cancer, speak to your health care providers and ask questions. Speak to other cancer patients and survivors. It helps to know that you are not alone in what you are going through.
When You Think No One Cares
The process that follows being diagnosed with cancer can be a very emotionally draining one. It is not uncommon that during and after treatment, people may find themselves overcome with a variety of overwhelming emotions. They are filled with loneliness and feel that no one cares. Being afraid is also not an uncommon emotion during a life-changing phenomenon such as cancer.
Many cancer patients also think that others such as family members have no idea how they feel or are in no position to give advice because it is not them that have cancer. The truth of the matter is that a cancer diagnosis also affects loved ones, family members, and friends. The fear, anxiety, and dread are emotions that loved ones and friends have in common with the patient. The fear of the unknown can be a very powerful thing. So simply put, you need to remember, you are not alone!
How Cancer Affects Families
“Relational dynamics are part of the family system, which often includes old baggage and unfinished business such as wounds or secrets from the past,” says Dr. Kerin Groves, PhD., LPC “It is imperative that therapists ask each [person] about that individual relationship.” she added.
Why You Are Feeling Lonely
Feeling alone or that no one cares is not an uncommon emotion for people with cancer. Relationships can seem different and even distant for various reasons, which include:
- People close to the patient sometimes have difficulty dealing with cancer and may avoid having to face their emotions.
- It is also possible that with the treatment, you might not be feeling well enough to participate in the hobbies, social activities, etc as you previously had done. This generally also means that your contact with the outside world is less active than before.
- Sometimes, even if you are around people that are close to you, you can still feel alone. This is more so the case when people are unsure how to speak to you or know what topics are safe to talk about.
- Sometimes, other people may want to help and be there for you but do not know-how.
Annually, 12.7 million people discover they have cancer. There are millions of people around the world that share the same fears and anxieties. Finding support is a healthy way to deal with what you might be feeling. Communicating with others might not be easy, which is why more recently, online forums and communities have become more popular. These forums offer you a number of support options. These include:
- Group Discussions/Chat Rooms
- Support Buddies for one-on-one support
Talking can be easier when it is with people you can relate to. Not only does it enable you to speak out about your own emotions but it will also help you manage the challenges cancer may bring. “Social connection improves health, well-being, and longevity.” says psychologist Emma Seppala, Ph.D
The Benefits of Connecting With People You Can Relate To
Cancer patients and survivors have invaluable information to share. Talking with others about the experiences, emotions, and challenges that they faced can help you better deal with what you are going through. By talking to others that have endured the same challenges and emotions when dealing with cancer, you can:
- Gain more insight and information about your specific cancer and the treatment side effects
- Have someone that will listen and offer encouragement
- Help you solve problems and offer advice on how to deal with the challenges and emotions you might be feeling
- Be inspired
- Deal with the fears and anxieties you might have about the future
“Having a positive peer group provides individuals with a balanced perspective by serving as a sounding board. It can become very easy to become isolated with one’s own thoughts and feelings and connecting with others can offer objective feedback and support.” as explained by Dr. Dana Avey, LMFT.
There are a number of discussion groups and forums that are mediated by medical staff who volunteer their time to manage the online forums and communities. There are also a few social media groups and pages that offer inspiration, Q & A sessions with professional medical staff and up to date news on research and advocacy. It helps to stay connected, even if only in a small way, it keeps you connected with reality.
Life Events Impact Your Mental Health
Some cases of depression are often triggered by a traumatic event. Being diagnosed with cancer can affect your emotional health. Feelings of depression, fear and anxiety are very common and normal responses to this life-changing news. Often, people with depression after getting the news of a cancer diagnosis will pretend everything is okay so as to not feel that they would further burden family members.
“The nightmares or recollections may come and go, and a person may be free of them for weeks at a time, and then experience them daily for no particular reason.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said.
It is important that you deal with your feelings and you should consider seeking out help from a number of online resources such as online Depression Chat Rooms. It’s impossible to predict how you will react or feel about being diagnosed with cancer. You could experience a number of feelings and emotions such as:
- Shock and disbelief
- Guilt and blame
- Sorrow and sadness
- Fear and uncertainty
Are you feeling depressed?
Depression is a medical illness that negatively affects your emotional well-being and impacts your ability to function in your daily life. Depression also not only affects those who have it but also those around depressed individuals. The symptoms of depression will vary between people. You may experience a few or all of the symptoms. These symptoms can also present between mild and severe levels and can include:
- Feeling sad
- Feelings of hopelessness, restlessness, anxiety and low self-esteem
- Loss of interest in the activities you used to once enjoy
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss or gain
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Give Depression Chat Rooms a Try
Speaking to someone about your thoughts and feelings is a good start. You can try talking with people close to you, doctors or even therapists. Always remember depression is treatable.
There are a number of different forms of therapy and supports resources you can use. Seeking out support and getting help can sometimes feel very challenging. We often fear that people may judge us or feel afraid about burdening other people with your problems.
Most often we fear people would see us as weak so we pretend everything is okay. One of the support resources people with depression can use is stranger chat, where you can freely and without prejudice seek support and advice.
“Some people, particularly men, are more likely to externalize their depression.” says Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD.
Take Advice to Heart
“A cancer diagnosis strikes at the core of our being. We may feel that life as we have known it is over and we face a dark and painful journey into the unknown with no light at the end of the tunnel.” The Upside of Cancer: How a Terrifying Illness Can Lead You to a New Life by Christopher Foster
Being diagnosed with cancer is not the end. It is okay to go through the emotions, it is alright to feel afraid and you are allowed to ask for help. You do not have to deal with this alone. Find the support platform that works for you and start your journey toward healing your mind. Ask for advice, voice your emotions and feelings and take from that what works for you.
Sometimes, voicing your emotions out loud can be distressing. “When people come to us with a problem, it is almost instinctual to attempt to solve it. This is due to us wanting to help as well as our desire to solve problems.” says Jennifer Artesani Blanks, M.Ed., LMHC. Often people find it difficult to speak about how they feel. This is where Depression Chat Rooms are most helpful. Putting your feelings and emotions into written words could be easier for you. Speaking to others with depression also helps in understanding that what you feel is not uncommon or a sign of weakness. There are millions of people across the globe that share similar emotions, symptoms and even anxiety and fear about being diagnosed with cancer. You are not alone and all that is needed is for you to reach out.
Children with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) often disregard and violate the rights of other children around them. As observed, they can be charming and fun to be around at times, but they usually exploit others and break the conventional rules for their own needs or wants. ASPD makes them act destructively without feeling guilty about their actions that can hurt other people. The disorder usually starts in childhood or adolescence and continue into adulthood. Continue reading “Dealing With Antisocial Personality Disorder Child” »
A person who bullies is a typical type of person who has low self-esteem and uses a defense mechanism of projection. In psychology, it refers to a kind of behavior wherein negative feelings are thrown or displaced on a less threatening object or person. Usually, the person has a little understanding of oneself and inability to communicate. They tend to cover up their weaknesses by putting up a “cool guy kick-ass” type of attitude that usually deviates from the usual norms of society. “No one consciously chooses or enjoys being a victim. But we can claim our power.” says Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT.
Despite our prejudice we have on bullieS, we should also take note that they are emotionally unstable. This may sound indifferent to some; nonetheless, there is a need to change our dealings with bullies. A lot of times, we find it hard to deal with them because we only focus on their rude behaviors and the victims that they bully. “Bullies often target individuals who are perceived to be “different” in race, national origin, color, religion, appearance or gender expression.” says Rosalind S. Dorlen, PsyD. Continue reading “How To Help Bullies Through School Counseling” »
I should love myself. “It isn’t hard to love ourselves, or anyone else, when things are going well,” says Washington, DC-based licensed psychologist Alicia Clark. “What’s a much taller order is to love ourselves when things aren’t going well, and when we need love most.”
That was the first thing that came to my mind when I was having second thoughts of whether I should split with my then-boyfriend or not.
We started as high school sweethearts. His family knew who I was, and so did my parents. They approved of the relationship, even though we got together at quite a young age.
We stayed as a couple even when we entered university. I wanted to go to California back then because I aspired to become an actress. However, my boyfriend got a scholarship in New York, and I did not want a long-distance relationship, so I applied to the same university he went to.
Things were fabulous at first; it was like we were still in high school. My man would pick me up after my classes and then we would dine out or roam around the city until we feel tired. The setup went on until graduation day came, and a company offered him a job near our hometown.
Don’t get me wrong; I am proud of where I came from. At the same time, however, my dream to become an actress was still there. I could not move back there with him, knowing that I could fulfill my wishes in the big city and not live a life that’s full of regrets. So, I made the biggest decision: I chose career over love.
Isn’t That Too Selfish Of You?
Everyone has a different way of describing selfishness. According to Donna Rockwell, PsyD, “Where Western society and mass media over the years have portrayed self-love and self-care as selfishness and self-indulgence, humanistic psychology and mindfulness interventions promoted in Eastern cultures instead encourage self-care, framing it as self-nourishment, where at the end of the day, we have more “good stuff” left over to give others, rather than less.”For some people, what I did was the embodiment of that. In my opinion, though, being selfish means leaving your better half after a crippling accident or entering a new relationship with someone else without ending your current one. That’s not what happened here.
I decided to go after my lifelong dream instead of settling down with my high school sweetheart, yes. But it was not because I did not think that he could give me a good life or because I felt no love for him anymore. The reason was that I wanted to be able to pursue my passion. I have so many talents to show to the world; I don’t mind going to as many auditions as I can find. I cannot do that if I return to our small town right after getting my college diploma.
Besides, I thought, “If my boyfriend could follow his dreams, why shouldn’t I do the same thing?” A good portion of my life was devoted to this man. I don’t regret that, but I think it’s time to prioritize myself this time.
Am I ambitious? Yes. Am I selfish? I don’t believe that I am. As Nassir Ghaemi, a Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University, states, “This healthy ambition, we might say, is needed in young and able persons; more of us achieve less because we fail to try than fail to achieve because we try too hard.”
It just so happens that I know what I want and what’s right for myself. Life would have been easy if I moved back home with my man. I would probably be a housewife now, taking care of our cute little kids. However, now is not the time to choose love when there’s a lot of things I can do to improve myself out there.
I know it sounds crazy, but you should be brave enough to admit to yourself if you want to prioritize career over love as well.
A lot of kids, no matter what generation they belong to, always say that they wish they are already adults. In their young minds, after all, they see adulthood as the stage of life in which their parents never have to tell them what to do. They can travel anywhere, eat as many candies as they want, or not do anything at all.
The reality that most kids have no idea about is that being an adult means that you have to work to survive. It is a difficult feat even for the people who have landed their dream job and are doing what they love. That is especially true if you are in a progressive company. Everything will happen so fast; you need to be able to think on your feet. There are meetings here and there, too, and you always have to have new ideas to pitch into your bosses. In short, you cannot get a breather.
Indeed, I feel you right there. What I do when things become too hectic at work is to listen to music. Why should you do that too, you may ask?
It Lowers Stress Level
The first reason why you should start listening to music while working is that it can lower the amount of stress you deal with every day. “Music listening has been suggested to beneficially impact health via stress-reducing effects,” says psychologist Myriam Verena Thoma, PhD. Scientists are yet to find out the process that makes it possible, but what’s known is that it is useful even for people who are about to go under the knife. The more the stress-inducing hormone called cortisol gets inhibited, the more your brain can produce the pleasure-inducing chemical called dopamine.
It Reduces Your Proneness To Depression
Stress and other factors can also cause depression. Say, the promotion you have been waiting for has been given to another colleague, or you found out that your better half has been lying to you all this time. Either of that, coupled with the massive pile of paperwork you have to go through, may depress you.
Nevertheless, when you listen to music, the risk of developing depression reduces. In an article he co-authored, Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, states “Some evidence supports music therapy’s use in reducing anxiety, depression, and pain, although the literature is limited.” The idea has come from the fact that some individuals have undergone music therapy for three and six months, and it has a positive impact on the depressed folks. You won’t have to sign up for sessions if you begin playing songs while you’re stressing out, though.
It Allows You To Process Ideas Better
What I do is look up instrumental music on YouTube and listen to it through my earphones. Whenever I do that, I do not get sleepy, my brain seems to function better, and I can get my work done in no time.
From what I gathered, it is happening due to the Mozart effect. It entails that your ability to think and process ideas tend to improve the more you listen to background music. In an article he co-authored, Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, states “Some evidence supports music therapy’s use in reducing anxiety, depression, and pain, although the literature is limited.”
Living a life without songs to play can be a humdrum even when you are possibly unaware of the things mentioned above. Now that you know about the benefits of listening to music, though, you have more reason now than ever to do it while working.
People say that parents experience love at first sight all over again the first time they meet every child they produce. Some folks are afraid that they will not be able to give as much love to the second- or third-born as they have given to the firstborn, but that’s not true. It is only as if the more kids you have, the more your heart becomes fuller. This is the reason why a lot of moms and dads want to become hands-on parents.
Over the years, though, I have realized that there are a couple of downsides to being there for your children too much.
They Become Extremely Dependent On You
We have a family friend who doted so much on her only daughter. When she was having a hard time with maths at school, they got her a private tutor. Since the girl said she gets tired after walking for five minutes to school, her parents would drive her there. At home, they would not assign chores to her — not even fixing her bed in the morning — because they wanted her to keep on studying. This routine went on until the daughter had to go to another state to attend a university there. That’s when my friend saw the fault in their parenting style.
Of course, whether you stay in the dormitory or have an apartment of your own, you have to clean after yourself. The girl, however, did not know how to do the laundry, fold her clothes, cook simple dishes, or even use a vacuum cleaner. Her place became too messy, and she begged for her parents to come to help her tidy things up. Since it was their doing, though, the mom and dad had no choice but to do that.
You Can’t Take A Break Even When The Kids Are Older
Overly loved kids are not used to making decisions for themselves. They grew up with the idea that mommy or daddy would know what’s best for them. They perhaps allowed their parents to decide for everything, from what sports to play to what field of study to focus on. When the time comes that they want to stand on their own, because of that, things can get whacky. “Most importantly your children want to be seen and heard, so even though it may be difficult to hear them out without interrupting or finding counter arguments, it is the first step in the right direction,” says Dr. Viola Drancoli, PsyD, a clinical psychologist.
The same girl in the example above insisted that she could make decisions for herself after graduating from the university. She worked at a hotel for a year, and then she told her parents that her job’s too complicated and that she wants to find a new one. Hearing that their child is having a hard time, the mom and dad agreed to foot her bills at the apartment while she is looking for another job. One year after being at the new workplace, she said that her dream was to become a flight attendant. Despite being in the workforce for a couple of years, though, she did not think of saving money, she practically obliged her parents to support her financially again. If this job doesn’t stick still, there’s no doubt that the girl would pull the same trick, and her parents will never be able to take a break.
I know it is not easy to see your kids failing or getting hurt. Dea Dean, LMFT, states that while it may be difficult to acknowledge your child’s negative perception of you, especially when you never intended to cause harm, “listening without defending shows respect for the reality of your child’s experience and leads to resolution.” However, loving them too much increases your chances of raising spoiled brats. As you have already seen in the movies and TV shows, no one appreciates overprivileged individuals. You don’t want your children to end up being hated by their colleagues in the future, do you? Hence, you need to show a bit of tough love and let your children do things for themselves before it’s too late. According to Judith Belmont, a psychotherapist, “Parents need to be reminded that they did the best with the mental health and abilities they had at the time. Some parents remain a prisoner of their past and take too much responsibility for their kids’ problems.”