Living with lymphoma not only affects your physical health, but it can also impact on your emotional and mental wellbeing. Research shows that people living with a health condition are about 30% more likely to experience anxiety and depression. When we consider how much a lymphoma diagnosis impacts all aspects of life, that figure isn’t surprising.
If you have never been concerned about your mental wellbeing before, it can be difficult to recognise when you are struggling or when things don’t feel right. Whilst the impact of lymphoma means feeling low, anxious or depressed is normal and understandable, help is available and there are some key things that may indicate that it is time to look for some further support:
- If you find that your brain is so busy with worried thoughts that it is stopping you from concentrating on things like talking to your family, reading a book or focussing on a TV programme.
- If you have stopped doing things that you usually enjoy doing because you struggle to feel motivated and don’t think you would enjoy them.
- If you find you are cutting yourself off from people because you can’t face seeing them or don’t know what you should say, or if you are putting off doing things that would have given you pleasure in the past.
- If you find you need to speak to your medical team a lot to be able to get reassurance to manage your worries, especially if the reassurance doesn’t last very long.
While your medical team can address your physical health, they can’t identify what is going on with your emotional wellbeing and mental health. This is why it is so important to speak up and let your team know when things feel difficult. They will expect you to tell them if things are hard and will be glad you are sharing that information with them. It will mean they can help you get the right support.
Lymphoma Action has a suite of information specifically about wellbeing and mental health. This includes videos discussing the subject as well as downloadable resources including a wellbeing diary and ideas to help you ‘pause’.