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New Mental Health Resources for Mesothelioma Patients

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma then there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing a very real and overwhelming sense of depression. Being told that you have cancer is devastating, and particularly one that has such a grim prognosis. It is important that you attend to your mental health with the same level of focus as you do on your physical health, and that is why the JAMA Oncology journal has created a new page providing cancer patients with important mental health resources.

Rachel Roos Pokorney is a therapist based in New York City, and she is the author of the page, which is based on recommendations provided by the National Institute of Mental Heath and the American Cancer Society. Pokorney says, “Understandably, cancer treatment is primarily focused on obtaining medical remission.” But she also emphasizes the need to go beyond the physical. “There is still an unfortunate lack of awareness about the importance of treating the mental along with the physical, both in general and in regards to cancer patients.”

Included in the information provided on the new page is information about how the medical treatments that are being received, the physical changes and symptoms that are being experienced by mesothelioma patients, and the uncertainty about the future all combine to create a perfect storm of emotional confusion and loss, and that can easily lead to depression. It also provides concrete tools and recommendations for countering this effect. These include a healthy diet, a strong social network, and physical activity.

“There is a basic connection that the mind and body have that is very important to remember. It is of the utmost importance to always take care of your mind by taking care of your body, and vice versa. This is especially important for cancer patients.”  She suggests that patients who are diagnosed with cancers like malignant mesothelioma seek out assistance from psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists, and points out that many cancer doctors are including these professionals on their care team. Her co-author, Glendora Bates of Columbia University Medical Center, says “Treatment for cancer-related depression is not one-size fits all. Patients and heath care providers should discuss all aspects of mental health to find the best combination.”

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, this resource is just one of many that are available to you. For more guidance and information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net. We have a wealth of information that can help make your life easier and give you back control of your life. You can reach us at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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