Prostate Cancer and Your Mental Health
The thing with men is that we are supposed to be tough and not show our emotions as that could show weakness. No, we’re told and molded early on to “man up” and crying is for sissies. But then later in life when things go wrong we feel unable to show our emotions, you couldn’t possibly talk to your mates either as they would think your weak and certainly wouldn’t want to hear you offload all your woes!
So what happens when we get problems as we grow up? The pressures of modern life, trying to compete with everyone all start to build up.
Ignoring signs from our body
Now throw in the mix your not feeling quite right, maybe you start to notice some things that shouldn’t be happening but you still feel okay in yourself?
You don’t speak to your partner as you don’t want to worry them and there is never enough time to either arrange let alone attend a doctors appointment. Besides, it will probably go away in time and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. This then becomes the norm, the more you ignore it the bigger the denial becomes and you start to convince yourself it’s nothing.
Sound familiar? But all this denial and hiding the facts doesn’t solve the problem and likely makes it worse as you may start to get more stressed about it and try even harder to cover up and hide the issues.
Add in prostate cancer
Let’s now throw in the pot the big C! What if it is this big nasty word we all fear and will do anything to avoid? We likely know of family or friends who have had it but if it is, it’s not going to get any better by ignoring it and it could even get worse or spread to other areas!
Going to see your doc is only the first step and will likely be the start of more appointments, investigations and hopefully, finally a diagnosis. This is one of the hardest parts and can really get you down, all the waiting for appointments and then waiting for the results. At this point, your mental well-being is already getting a bashing, possibly sleepless nights and the mind going round in circles with all the what ifs. For me, the final diagnosis was actually a relief! Now I actually knew what I was dealing with!
Keeping the demons at bay
So how did I keep the demons at bay and come out of this on the right side? I made a conscious decision early on that none of this would get me down. The main thing for me was I was alive. Every day was wonderful as I was there to appreciate it. I could see how the losses could get people down but I was not going to let it. I stayed positive, never gave up hope and started to live every day to the max and started to make sure I did the things I want to do or started planning the bigger things so they happened!
For me now, life is for living, I have done things and met people I would never have done before cancer! So to me, my cancer has been turned from a negative into a positive.
Read Part II of Prostate Cancer and Your Mental Health.
Have you experienced side effects from androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)?