Anger is an emotion that can develop any time during your journey of Mesothelioma. It often is the first reaction that a patient experiences after receiving a Mesothelioma diagnosis. Patient sometimes are angry about what it has done to their lives, or how they contracted this disease. Patients sometimes feel guilty about this emotion and do not know how to express it. These sentiments can be manifested and result in depression which also has to be monitored. Anger can be exhibited in many different expressions. Patients often will verbally lash out at the ones they love. They don’t blame their family and friends for their disease, but these caretakers and family members provide a safe repository for this anger.
We have been following a patient who has exhibited a lot of anger. He feels frustrated about his recovery. He is refusing to have family or friends visit him because his physical appearance has changed as he has lost a significant amount of weight. Every activity is a day’s event. The energy it takes and the fatigue he feels is overwhelming. He does what is expected but it is really hard for him. He also feels frustrated about relying on medicine to help him with the pain. He is angry about his overall situation and his frustration and anger is now having a negative effect on his caregiver.
These emotions are not right or wrong, unfortunately they are a by-product of this and many other diseases. Sometimes patients will express anger when they are actually feeling another emotion. Often anger is actually a reaction to sadness or hopelessness. If it all possible, it is best to avoid taking out anger on others. If you can direct your anger at the cause of the anger itself, rather than a person, there will be no hurt feelings. Sometimes it is hard to manage your feelings and counseling can possibly be helpful. One on one or group counseling may be available.
Sometimes good can come out of having this emotion. Anger can turn into positive energy. Research has shown that anger can make us push on toward our goals. When used constructively it can make a patient more powerful. Expressing anger is justifiable and can strengthen relationships.
Anger is a strong emotion and sends a clear message that something has to change. Once we analyze the cause of our anger we can identify what changes need to happen and how to proceed to make these changes, which may include physically moving forward, getting counseling, or talking with loved ones about what you are angry about.
Anger can be positive; we just have to figure out the message it is sending us.