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The Psychological Effect of a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers assist those who've been diagnosed. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Those that are diagnosed with this disease are often told there is little hope for a cure.

As a result, mesothelioma patients have emotional needs that greatly differ from those diagnosed with other cancers.

Researchers have identified several unique situational factors that accompany a mesothelioma diagnosis, which may cause patients to experience depression, anxiety, and grief.

Some of these factors are:

  • The level of threat to their life
  • Lack of hope due to prognosis
  • Financial impact of medical care
  • Stress of pursuing lawsuits
  • Physical distress caused by disease

Helping a Loved One Cope

When a person is dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis, caregivers should keep in mind that it may not always be possible to encourage a positive outlook. But there are some valuable resources available.

A licensed therapist, trained to work with cancer patients, will be able to provide patients with an outlet to talk to someone who understands what they face, and can provide further resources and guidance.

Additionally, Pennsylvania residents who were exposed to asbestos should seek the assistance of an experienced Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer. Mesothelioma lawyers can handle the legal details of a case and fight for the compensation needed for both the patient and their family.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is another resource available to both cancer patients and their caregivers, who may have difficulty coping as well. DBT enlists techniques that can be used to help control emotions, resulting in a healthier and happier life.

There are three principles used in DBT that include exercises that can be implemented every day:

  • Mindfulness: Avoiding concerns of the past or future by focusing on present surroundings.
  • Reality Acceptance: Using self-talk to minimize anger and frustration through accepting a situation as it currently is.
  • Non-Judgmental Stance: Refusing to label a situation as “good” or “bad”.

DBT in Everyday Life

Taking our emotions out of everyday events can protect us from experiences that escalated negative emotions, which may give rise to and could give us enough pause to problem solve.

For example, suppose a mechanic repaired a car, but it was soon discovered by the owner that the car was not fixed properly. At this point, the vehicle owner could become angry and aggressively confront the mechanic. This option will most likely upset everyone involved, and at the end of the day, the car will not be fixed.

However, one DBT alternative is to refuse to negatively label the situation, and then consider what the underlying issue is. In the case of this example, the underlying issue may simply be that the car is unreliable without the adequate repairs. Perhaps the owner cannot get to work, take a planned trip, or attend an important medical appointment. Contacting the repair shop to explain that the car cannot reliably be driven may just lead to a timely, adequate repair.

While living with a mesothelioma diagnosis is challenging, the patient has many resources available. These are not only for coping with the legal and medical issues, but the emotional and psychological matters, too.

Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Assist Those Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

If you would like more information about your legal options, and healthy ways to cope with a mesothelioma diagnosis, or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos, contact a Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. We offer free, confidential initial consultations. Call us at 215-569-4000 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout the greater Philadelphia area.