When people are diagnosed with cancer, the first reaction to the diagnosis of cancer is a feeling of disbelief and shock. Other feelings, such as, anger, guilt, fear, loneliness, frustrations, worthlessness, and helplessness are also common following a diagnosis of cancer. These feeling are normal reactions and it will settle down gradually in most people. However, other feelings like anxiety and depression start developing and may persist for a long time. Management of these issues is often difficult and needs a team approach. Besides the cancer management team, patients need to see other professionals, such as, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and social workers. Patients may need many psychological therapies including counsel ling, supportive psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and anti-depressant medications. Researchers have shown that effective psychotherapy and antidepressant medications can help reduce the distress, improve the quality of life and even increase survival.
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