01-31 October has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness and Awareness Month by the World Health Organization since 2004 in order to draw attention to the importance of early detection of breast cancer and to emphasize breast cancer awareness.
Specialist Clinical Psychologist İremnur Baldı talked about the psychology stages of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer and gave advice to their families to ensure the patient’s psychological well-being.
Mental and physical health affect each other
Stating that physical health comes to mind first when health is mentioned, Specialist Clinical Psychologist İremnur Balendi said, “When something goes wrong in our body, it is inevitable that the symptoms will appear physiologically in a short time. We can say that we, as a society, are much more conscious about physical health, both because of the concrete symptoms and because the diagnosis is made in a shorter time. What about our mental health? Man is not just his body. It is a whole with its soul and mind. For this very reason, mental and physical health cannot be considered independently of each other, and any problem experienced in one affects the other.” said.
Psychological resilience is very important
Reminding that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women as a common health problem in our country, Baldı said, “Research on 18 thousand women diagnosed with breast cancer in the last year reveals the importance of the situation. Although breast cancer is considered to be a physiological disease, psychological resilience should be as good as possible in order to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and to get positive results from breast cancer treatment. Because emotions such as sadness and anger can increase the stress in the person and cause some health problems in the person’s body over time. used his statements.
The patient goes through 5 different stages
Specialist Clinical Psychologist İremnur Balıldı said that it is extremely important to stay away from stress and cope with emotions such as sadness and anger in the treatment of breast cancer.
Noting that both the patient and their relatives are responsible for morale and motivation, İremnur Balendi stated that after the diagnosis of cancer, the person goes through 5 different stages before accepting the disease and listed them as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Stating that the patient is not aware of the disease in the first stage and is in a state of astonishment, Specialist Clinical Psychologist İremnur Balendi said:
“In the anger phase, the person is in a period of quite violent rebellion related to the disease. ‘No one else, why me?’ reproachful words and thoughts are in the foreground. In the third stage, the bargaining stage, the patient gains awareness about his disease, albeit partially, and reveals the reasons for his cancer. At this stage, it can be said that the patient experiences a process similar to the grieving process because the person thinks that he or she has experienced a loss. In the fourth stage, the person falls into despair with the changing life order. Since the treatment process has started, even coming to the hospital and being examined triggers his mood. Because now the denial process is over. It’s time to confront. Finally, the acceptance phase begins. The patient has now calmed down his feelings of sadness and anger and has gained full awareness of his illness. At the point where the patient does not see acceptance as defeat, the treatment and recovery process begins.”
Ignoring and suppressing emotions hurts
Emphasizing that her family is affected by this situation as much as the person diagnosed with breast cancer, Specialist Clinical Psychologist İremnur Balendi said, “The consequences of the disease, the fear of loss, the course of the cancer can cause a crisis in the family. In this case, expressing emotions directly, communicating and collaborating will be a supportive factor for treatment. But avoiding, ignoring, and suppressing feelings about the illness, and the estrangement and distancing impulses brought on by the illness will invite conflict and cause the patient to be at odds with his family.” he said.
Family support is very important
Emphasizing that increased sharing in the family will prevent all family members from feeling lonely in this process, and will support their psychological well-being, Specialist Clinical Psychologist İremnur Balendi concluded her words as follows:
“The ability to communicate openly and sincerely, to engage in joint activities, to be able to talk about the disease when one feels ready, and to be able to express their feelings, thoughts and needs to the other party without suppressing them will allow everyone to get through this process in a healthier way.”