Posted by on 05/24/2018

What are the Emotional Needs of People Exposed to Asbestos

What are the Emotional Needs of People Exposed to Asbestos

Oftentimes, people neglect to address the emotional and psychological needs of people diagnosed with fatal ailments like mesothelioma. Though it’s important to focus on the physical care needs of mesothelioma patients and people exposed to asbestos, it’s equally important to address their emotional needs.

How do people get exposed to mesothelioma?

In a journal published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine on March this year, it was revealed that individuals, upon initial diagnosis of mesothelioma or upon learning they’ve been exposed to asbestos, experience great emotional distress. The vast majority of these affected individuals are usually men who were exposed because of their work environment. Women on the other hand, typically encounter asbestos through second-hand or indirect exposure. It is when family members come in contact with the mineral through the asbestos-contaminated clothes of someone working with asbestos. Others also get exposed to the mineral if they live in an environment that deals with asbestos.

What are the emotional effects of mesothelioma and asbestos-exposure on individuals?

According to the papers reviewed in the journal, the most common reactions of those diagnosed with mesothelioma are shock, stress, anxiety, apathy, and dismay. Anger, social dysfunction or isolation, and depression are also included. Often, these patients direct their distress to family members and healthcare professionals responsible for their treatment. Because mesothelioma is a relatively rare type of cancer, patients often think that they are alone in their plight. They assume that they’re the only one who understands what they’re going through, thus the anger and the isolation.

It should also be known that it’s not only mesothelioma patients who experience some emotional distress. Even people who got exposed to asbestos but weren’t diagnosed undergo significant psychological suffering such as depression, anxiety, and despair. They also develop a fear of asbestos and asbestos-related diseases. They also feel anger toward employers and create a fear of invisible killers as well as develop a fear of premature death, which often leads to post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

How do we address the emotional needs of these people?

Because both of the above mentioned groups often cope with their stress through avoidance, denial, or anger, it’s great if both loved ones and healthcare professionals take specific measures to support them.

This then highlights the need for a stable support system for families and friends who can help the aggrieved cope with what they’re going through. This also stresses the importance of having mesothelioma specialists who know how to properly communicate with their patients and alleviate their distress regarding their diagnoses. If they can go with the treatment plan with skill and compassion, patients can feel reassured in their healing.

The study conducted also backs this up since it was documented that when patients and asbestos-exposed individuals have a reliable support system and received effective palliative care, it substantially decreased their distress and improved their quality of life.

Aside from the support system, it was also indicated that receiving accurate legal information regarding the possibility of monetary compensation for their injuries also improved their psychological suffering. If you or your loved ones were diagnosed with mesothelioma and you want to receive justice for what you have to go through, get in touch with Karst & von Oiste lung cancer law firm.

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