Posted by 2bstressfree on April 1, 2009 at 3:29 PM
If you have been diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, it is natural to react with fear.
- There are treatment decisions to be made, about something you probably have never heard of before.
- Each option seems to come with its own set of possible bad outcomes.
- How on earth can you deal with all of this calmly, and make the best possible choices?
I hope the following tips for coping with fear will help you calm your mind, and deal with the task at hand.
- Accept the fear as normal and natural. The less you try to push it away, the less power it will have over you.
- Arm yourself with information. Much of what you are fearing may just turn out to be worst case scenarios your imagination comes up with. And even for the worst case scenarios which are possible, you will be able to make informed choices for dealing with them.
- Tell others and accept their support. Friends, family, even coworkers will most likely be happy to lend you an ear and give you moral support. If they "do it wrong," remember, this is all new territory for them too!
- Seek out others who have gone through this already. A most likely place to find peer support is through the Acoustic Neuroma Association. If they don't have a local support group, you could always join in the online discussions.
- Trust in yourself. Remember another time in your life when you had to make a difficult decision, and things finally turned out okay.
- Relax! Take a few minutes each day for some relaxing activity, such as walking, breathing exercises, or just daydreaming about something very pleasant. For tips on relaxation, see the article on my website, www.2bstressfree.com The link on the resources page will also take you to my blog on Coping with Anxiety.
- Have some fun. It is too easy to let this become all consuming. Remember to take some time to laugh and enjoy life. Let others know, too, that you would like to spend some of your time together focusing on the lighter side.
- If you need more help with your fear, seek out a professional counselor who has experience in helping people deal with life changing medical issues. Acoustic neuroma is a major hurdle in your life, and sometimes just trying to cope with this hurdle can bring on depression or debilitating anxiety. There is no shame in seeking help for this. For ideas on how to choose a therapist, just click to my webpage on this topic.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you. I am an acoustic neuroma survivor and a therapist, who understands how scary an acoustic neuroma diagnosis can be. It is my hope that you will be able to cope with the fear and move forward in dealing with your acoustic neuroma.
Kate Boswell MFT is a therapist in private practice in Marina del Rey, Ca. She helps people cope with anxiety related to their health and other life challenges.