February 2024 For cancer survivors, chronic pain is a potential lon [...]READ MORE
Talk Therapy – Have you heard about it?
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is likely that you have heard of a few different medical therapies. These may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and many more! There are several different therapies that are used during and beyond cancer such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and psychotherapy/talk therapy. Have you heard about Talk therapy or psychotherapy?
What is Talk Therapy?
You may have heard the words psychosocial support, psychotherapy and/or talk therapy throughout your life – let’s dive into what these words mean. These words can be used interchangeably and represent the process of processing emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that may be challenging for you, with a licensed professional. This service may be offered through a cancer center, privately with a social worker or psychologist, or through a non-profit such as Colorectal Cancer Canada.
Why is Talk Therapy Important?
Sometimes, as you likely know, life can throw some big challenges and barriers at you. This may lead to anger, sadness, shock, and many other emotions. Bottling these emotions and/or thoughts up inside of your body can lead to some unwanted behaviors, and it can also lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Sometimes, it can also lead to physical symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea, and many other symptoms. Whether you were just diagnosed with cancer, are in treatment, or are now in the no evidence of disease phase, there will likely be many emotions and thoughts that you may want to get off your chest.
What if I do not feel comfortable talking to a professional?
I get it, it can feel super uncomfortable to talk about the personal details of your life with someone you do not know. Your feelings are completely valid! I wonder if there is a trusted person in your friend/family group that you feel comfortable talking to? Talking to someone can help you feel better. Bell Let’s Talk day, taking place on January 24, 2024, was created to reduce the stigma around mental health and encourage people to talk about their own struggles with each other. Please know that talking about your mental health does not make you any less of a person, and it is okay to feel a variety of emotions. Talking to a friend or family can help tremendously, and it is important to know when to talk with a professional if your mental wellbeing is deteriorating.
When is it recommended that I speak with a professional?
If you have tried talking to a friend/family and you are still feeling an overwhelming amount of emotion, it may be time to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. Some of the signs to note are:
1. Difficulty regulating your emotions.
2. The emotions you are feeling are interfering with work, school, or day-to-day activities.
3. Changes in sleep or appetite.
4. Lack of motivation to do the things you used to enjoy.
These are just a few signs – you can find other signs by searching online or talking with a doctor/mental health support provider. If you need assistance determining whether you should seek mental health support, you can also contact me at email@example.com and we can assess your symptoms together. This may lead to a referral to your doctor, or we can discuss setting up sessions through CCC.