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4 Ways Cancer Patients Can Cope With Anger

Anger is a natural response to living with cancer for most cancer patients. People who are diagnosed with cancer react differently but for most of them, anger is the first emotional reaction. People who are diagnosed with cancer are often angry because the disease has disrupted their life or because of their family and friends’ reaction to the news. They get frustrated and keep wondering “Why me?” Cancer symptoms such as pain, fatigue and insomnia can also contribute to the occurrence of anger.

Anger is like any other emotion and people need to feel it sometimes. Cancer patients usually don’t know how to express that anger, which can lead to internalizing feelings. Such behavior leads to depression because coping with anger by abusing drugs or alcohol or expressing it in other negative ways is not a solution. However, anger can be a positive force if channeled into overcoming the challenges of fighting cancer.

Read through the following pieces of advice designed to help you with deal with anger.

1. Recognize your anger.

Identifying your anger is the first step to coping with it. Sometimes people do not know they are struggling with it until they act on the emotion and yell at their family members, for example.

2. Avoid projecting your anger onto others.

Cancer patients may project their anger about their illness onto friends and family instead of directing it at the true cause of the emotions. Taking out your anger on your loved ones and those who are trying to help can drive away support that is needed in such circumstances.

3. Avoid using anger to hide other feelings.

Cancer patients may become overwhelmed by all those feelings including the anger. However, anger is often used to hide other emotions that are hard to express. A person can feel sad or hopeless and being angry is the way they mask those feelings.

4. Express your anger in a safe way.

Instead of waiting for anger to build up, express the emotion as soon as you identify it. What’s more important, you need to express it in a healthy way. You can do this by talking about reasons for your anger with a friend. Physical activity can help also, as well as yelling out loud in a private room. There are many therapies some cancer patients can find helpful like relaxation techniques, massage, music and others.

Consider counseling

Cancer patients who are struggling to express their anger in a healthy way should consider counseling. A professional counselor can help you recognize anger triggers and teach you coping skills. Whether you choose one-on-one or a group counseling, you will learn how to deal with anger and other emotions as well, including depression, anxiety, guilt, relationship issues and many more.

 

Image source: Flickr

Jess

Jess

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