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Emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis - Dee McKiernan






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Emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis - Dee McKiernan Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Emotional Effects September 2012of a CancerDiagnosisDee McKiernan (Cert, B.A., MSc )Counselling PsychologistSt. Vincent’s Hospital
  • 2. Scaling Pick a number between 0-10 that best describes how much distress you have been experiencing in the past week including today. Adapted from the NCCN distress thermometer.
  • 3. Overview  Responses to a Cancer Diagnosis  Stress and Cancer Related Stress  Stress levels and illness trajectory  What causes Stress ?  What are the effects of Stress ?  Coping, learning ways to manage stress
  • 4. Responses to a Cancer Diagnosis With the diagnosis of a chronic, potentially life-threatening disease, such as cancer, individuals usually find themselves in a condition of ‘crisis’, facing physical, social and psychological challenges A Cancer diagnosis is one of the most emotionally distressing events for patients throughout medical care (Carlson, Speca, Patel, & Goodey 2004) Distress is very common in patients, yet often undetected.
  • 5. Stress - Pos v’s Neg... Not all stress is negative... It can have benefits Much of the stress we experience can be both helpful and stimulating It can motivate us into productive actions – nothing like a deadline to motivate! NB - stress is only harmful when it is excessive!!
  • 6. WHAT IS STRESSTaylor (2006) argues that stress is“ a negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological, cognitive and behavioural changes that are directed either toward altering the stressful event or accommodating its effects”
  • 7. Cancer Related Stress - NCCNThe National Comprehensive Cancer network (2012) defined distress as:“a multi-factorial unpleasant emotional experience of a psychological, social and/or spiritual nature that may interfere with the ability to cope effectively with cancer, its physical symptoms and its treatment”
  • 8. Typical Emotional Responses Anyone remember feeling like this....
  • 9. Distress levels & Illness Trajectory10 9 8 7 6 5 4 Illness Column1 3 Column2 2 1 0 These challenges occur at different stages of the illness from diagnosis through treatment, remission, recurrence or survivorship (Carlson, Speca, Patel, & Goodey 2004)
  • 10. BUTIt is important to note…. that high levels of distress represent a normal healthy adjustment reaction to a cancer diagnosis...
  • 11. Effects of stress Physical:muscle tension, sweaty palms, chest palpitations, restlessness andnausea, head-aches, neck or back pain, upset stomach, dry mouth Emotional:excessive worry, concern, crying, weeping, feeling hopeless, panicattacks, irritability, jitters, short temper Psychological:distress, anxiety, depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • 12. Effects of stress Behavioural:Difficulty falling or staying asleep, Loss of appetite or overeating “comfortfoods”, increased smoking, alcohol consumption, nail biting, absenteeism atwork Cognitively:difficulty concentrating, poor decision making, muddled thinking, memorylapses, undue tiredness, ‘chemo brain’ Prolonged Stress:chronic backache, allergies, migraine headaches, high bloodpressure, IBS, depression
  • 13. How do you copewith stress....
  • 14. I help myself by...*When I am stressed I help myself by….. ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________
  • 15. Identify resources....helps alleviate stress What are my physical strengths?  high energy levels, sporty, and agility What are my emotional strengths?  High self-esteem and confidence, humour and creativity What support systems do I have?  friends, family, ICS, helpline, peer support How is my present lifestyle helping me cope?  Housekeeper, shopping on line, babysitter,
  • 16. SUPPORT SYSTEMS Family – educate them, offer suggestions Friends – be honest about how your feeling, ask for their support GP / Health Care Professionals / Therapists/ Community Groups Cancer support groups – meet other patients, Online, Blogs, peer support groups
  • 17. CBT
  • 18. THOUGHTS Challenge your thoughts - Remember thoughts are not facts!  Exaggerating – magnifying your bad points  Castastrophising – anticipating total disaster  Overgeneralising – expecting everything to go wrong because of one or two bad experiences  Ignoring the positive – overlooking personal strengths Affirmations – I love and approve of myself, I can handle this, I am safe, my health is improving day by day Interrupting those negative automatic thoughts and replacing them with positive self accepting thoughts will help alleviate stress
  • 19. FEELINGS....  Remember its ok to feel whatever you are feeling  Talk it out.... Its good to talk....  Refocus on what is happening around you, come back to your breath  Journaling - Write it down - 20 mins set an alarm  Distract with a good movie, book, gallery, cooking, time with friends/children...
  • 20. BEHAVIOUR Meet friends, dont isolate Hobbies and Interests – give you time to unwind Call helpline – speak to other cancer survivors Diet – watch caffeine, sugar, alcohol intake Exercise – generate endorphins (hormones which reduce stress)  bring the dog for a walk  Gardening,  cycle, walk, swim – know your limits Tai Chi, Massage (touch therapies), Reflexology, Yoga Learn to Scale – 1 – 10 – if low what do I need to do Gratitude list
  • 21. RELAXATION Take time out for you.... Learn to put yourself first Reward and Pamper yourself Bubble baths, shopping, hairdresser, facial, get your nails done, spa weekend Sacred Centre – plant, candle, poem, book Light a candle and just watch the flame Breathing 1 – 4 * Sleep patterns – naps, camomile tea, relaxation cd’s
  • 22. Techniques to Relax...  Breathing - 1-4*  Diaphragmatic breathing*  PMR*
  • 23. To finish... Scale ??? 3 sentiments to finish with... Take your pick...
  • 24. Dee McKiernanCounselling Psychologist (Cert., B.A., MSc.)Oscailt Integrative Health Centre8 Pembroke RoadDublin 4http://www.oscailt.comPh: 01 660 3872 / 087 622 5011Email: info@counsellingindublin.ieWeb: