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How does mesothelioma impact your mental health?

Even though the use of asbestos has declined in the United States and businesses that still deal with it have put strict safety guidelines into place, there's still a chance that people who currently or formerly worked around it will be diagnosed with mesothelioma. A mesothelioma diagnosis opens up a plethora of life changes that can be difficult to deal with.

While most people will focus on the effects of mesothelioma on the respiratory system, there are other ways that it can impact you. This is a rare cancer that spreads quickly, and it requires swift and aggressive treatment to try to slow it down. This, coupled with the knowledge that it is a fatal form of cancer with no known cure, can have a huge toll on the victim's mental health.

Why does mesothelioma impact your mental health?

The stress of knowing the diagnosis and the thought of the treatments you'll have to undergo can be taxing on your mind. Many victims will also think about how the diagnosis means that they won't live a normal life. Instead, it will be one that's eventually filled with the "finals" that come with a terminal diagnosis. This can cause you to become stressed, depressed and anxious.

While you're trying to deal with what the diagnosis means, you'll also have the effects of treatment to think about. Chemotherapy is one of the possible treatments for mesothelioma. This comes with symptoms of its own that can make your life miserable.

One side effect that people don't hear much about is "chemo brain." This causes you to be forgetful and feel like there's a fogginess clouding your thoughts. Chemo also commonly comes with diarrhea, mouth sores, hair loss, vomiting and nausea, all of which can also make you feel poorly.

How can you cope with the mental effects?

Unfortunately, there are lingering signs of chemo brain that you might continue to experience even once you stop chemo. Making lists of things you need to do, keeping written instructions for tasks you know you'll need to complete, and documenting your cherished memories through written accounts or pictures can all help you as you deal with the mental effects of your mesothelioma diagnosis.

For some people, chemo brain is much more difficult to cope with. It, along with the other effects of mesothelioma, can prevent them from working and enjoying life. Ultimately, you might opt to pursue a claim for compensation to help reduce the financial damages that you and your loved ones have to deal with because of the mesothelioma diagnosis.

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