- Question from my own way: My feelings are totally overwhelming me. I feel so all consumed, and can't sleep. Is that normal?
- Answers - David Spiegel Well it depends a lot on how recently you've been diagnosed with cancer or with a recurrence, and how long it has been going on. It is common for people in an acute crisis to feel overwhelmed and have trouble sleeping, but with help and time those feelings should resolve. However, usually feelings like this are resolved better by dealing with them head on, talking with either a professional or a close friend or someone in your family, and usually when you have been able to express them and figure out what is bothering you the most, you can work your way through them and to some extent get beyond them.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. How do women quickly learn how to speak directly on these tough issues when it was not their style in the past?
- David Spiegel That's a good question. Of course, having cancer is a life-transforming experience and I think probably a good way to do it is either go to a support group, which is the norm with the same people with the same problems, or finding someone who you trust who you are close to who can be understanding of your expression of feelings. Usually people have some person or persons they feel more comfortable talking with about issues like this. And it's good to start with someone with whom you have a sense of rapport.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. These are important skills to practice with these people that you trust.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Feelings about Breast Cancer featured David Spiegel, Ph.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about the emotional effects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2000.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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