Anger

 

A disease like lymphoma can trigger a number of intense emotions. Learn how Pierre deals with his discomfort and anger and how his wife Louise supported him through this process.

Anger can cover a broad range of feelings from mild irritation and frustration to rage and fury. After your treatment has been completed, you may feel angry about how lymphoma has affected your life. You may have some new physical, financial, or emotional challenges. Also, anger is sometimes connected to other feelings that are hard to show – such as fear, panic, frustration, anxiety, or helplessness.

You may feel angry at different points throughout your lymphoma experience, particularly if you feel that your needs are not being met or respected. You may feel anger toward different things such as your disease, your healthcare team, friends and family, your body, yourself, your spiritual support, delays and obstacles in the healthcare system, and even healthy people.

Many of us are conditioned to feel that it is not acceptable to be angry. As a result, you may feel guilty and try to deny that you feel this way. A certain amount of anger is normal and needs to be expressed. Keeping these uncomfortable emotions bottled up and ignoring them can make coping much harder, potentially causing it to come out in non-helpful or even harmful ways. Unexpressed anger can also contribute to depression and anxiety. In either case, unresolved anger can lead to alienation from your loved ones and social circles. As with other emotions, the challenge is to find ways to express or release your anger in a way that does not negatively impact your own health or your relationships with others. Sometimes you can deal with this on your own but other times you may find that talking to a counselor can help to identify ways to reduce or cope with your anger.

References:

LIVESTRONG Foundation. Emotions After Cancer Treatment
Accessed May 27, 2014

Lymphoma Canada. Coping and Emotions
Accessed May 27, 2014