How to Approach a Scary Diagnosis
When something is wrong with your health, it can be really scary. On the one hand, you might be hoping that your problems come down to something simple and treatable and you are just over-reacting. On the other hand, there’s always that little voice inside your head that suddenly starts panicking about the worst-case scenario.
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Receiving a scary diagnosis is the last thing anyone wants. It feels as though the whole world has suddenly receded to the back of your mind as this new information settles in your mind. People react in a variety of different ways but most people will have an immediate emotional reaction, be that anger, shock or sadness.
In the aftermath of a scary diagnosis, it’s really important that you learn how to take care of yourself – mentally and physically. As the shock wears off, you will need to develop a new way to approach your life and condition, to accept it as a new reality.
Do Some Research
While you might want to bury your head in the sand, it’s really important that you understand what your new diagnosis means for you and which treatments may be suitable. Having a look for yourself can offer some reassurance because medicine is changing all the time. For example, the cancer treatment you are offered could be different to treatments you are familiar with.
Doing a little research will also help you come to terms with your illness and get some advice for how to live now. This is really important for patients who have been diagnosed with a chronic condition as a little research can go a long way to adjusting to a new lifestyle with tips and tricks from fellow sufferers.
Do remember, though, if you are feeling overwhelmed by information, it’s okay to step back.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
It might sound weird, but you should allow yourself to grieve for your former self. A serious illness can change a lot about you – from the way you look to the way you interact with others and even your personality. Allowing yourself time to grieve for someone you have lost – even if that person is the old you – is an entirely natural and healthy thing to do. This is how you will accept your new reality and come to terms with what is happening.
Grief affects everyone slightly differently but the most important thing is that you give yourself enough time to go through your emotions and acknowledge how you feel. Over time, you will find that your emotions change. Shock will eventually give way as you get used to your new way of life. Your anger will work itself out as you discover new joys and opportunities. Adjusting may take time but committing yourself to a new life can be an opportunity to refocus on the things that really matter to you.
There is no getting away from the fact that your diagnosis isn’t what you want. However, in dealing with your emotions and coming to terms with this new aspect of life, you will discover just how strong you really are.