With some guidance and support, most of us can learn to deal with our emotions and the changes caused by a brain tumor and its treatments. Brain operation is difficult for the body to take, but you can better handle the process. This is a fact for the patients as well as those who are caring for them.
- It’s not uncommon to feel insecure, puzzled, mad, and scared about getting a brain tumor diagnosis – and it is possible to cope with these emotions.
- You can be empowered and try to get a sense of control over the illness.
- Be patient with your loved one and with yourself, too, particularly with the gradual movement of the entire treatment process.
- There is no wrong question, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Be open to your family and your healthcare team to help you keep the treatment plan on schedule.
- Strive to love the things that make life worth living.
Dealing With Personality Changes
Anger, confusion, mood changes, and depression are usual symptoms for individuals with brain tumors. Personality changes are a result of the tumor, the treatments, or simply feeling hopeless. Under all circumstances, these personality swings can be tough to deal with, regardless if they are minor or major. Talk to your physician if you observe these kinds of changes. Several emotional changes can be managed with medication, and you can find help through these tough times.
Dealing With Behavioral And Cognitive Changes
The treatment for a brain tumor – and the brain tumor itself – can result in many alterations in your cognition and behavior. You could have difficulty with focus, mood, memory, and communication. These difficulties can definitely impact your day-to-day living, and they don’t often disappear. All of these can stress out all of those who are involved.
Medicine therapy and counseling could also be recommended to help deal with the changes mentioned above. Additionally, cognitive rehabilitation strategies can certainly help as well.
Cognitive rehabilitation assists you in reclaiming as much of your physical, emotional, and mental capacities as possible.
- Compensation methods develop other abilities to make up for skills lost from the illness. For instance, exercises to build speech, movement, and vision. When complete recovery is not achievable, compensation can include knowing how to survive memory loss through reminder systems, organizers, and calendars. Family members and other caregivers can also take advantage of these compensation tools.
- Anger management could include counseling, medication, and training to help patients who find themselves frustrated, temperamental, or impulsive.
Caregivers can benefit from compensation strategies or anger management techniques to keep the high level of perseverance necessary.
Coping With Depression And Anxiety
Feeling worried about the tumor or the treatment plan is not uncommon, but it still causes every circumstance to be more severe. Frequently, depression comes with anxiety. A treatment plan can include antidepressants or antianxiety medications, counseling, and relaxation exercises. Communicating your emotions with a qualified professional to relieve yourself of your concerns can certainly help.
- Symptoms of depression are hopelessness, irritability, feeling moody and withdrawnness, and inability to concentrate. Some individuals resort to hurting themselves, which implies severe depression. Depression can and must be treated.
- Symptoms of anxiety are restlessness, sweaty palms, a fast heartbeat, and constant fear. If you are worried, then you must talk to someone about it. This is the initial step to reclaiming control over your life.
Dealing With Seizures
Seizures occur when an atypical surge of electrical brain activity leads to an attack. It causes staring, loss of consciousness, or abnormal muscle contractions. Some individuals with brain tumors get to experience several seizures, while others only have one. Seizures are more seen in low-grade gliomas, but they can also happen in most forms of tumors.
Patients who suffer from seizures that involve consciousness commonly are unable to drive for a certain timeframe. Their duration differs from the guidelines of specific states.
On the other hand, those who have several seizures can create a journal to do their own monitoring. List down when they usually occur, what expires during the seizures, and how long they occur. The physician can identify a pattern and offer the best medication to help.
Dealing With Headaches
Headaches are almost always a result of edema, which is a swelling in the brain caused by the brain tumor or the treatment. Steroids may be recommended to decrease the edema, but these can subsequently lead to a range of other problems like seating, agitation, leg fatigue, trouble sleeping, and over-eating. Avastin, a medication used to manage glioblastoma, is also very beneficial in decreasing edema.
Some headaches are linked to nausea, vomiting, or dizziness, which may all be connected to the location of the brain tumor. The surgical removal of the tumor often alleviates these headaches. Post-op headaches, on the other hand, often disappear after a brief period.