- Cancer patients often suffer from depression
- Having a positive outlook helps them come to terms with their condition
- Sonali Bendre inspired many people through her positive attitude
We are all aware of actress Sonali Bendre Behl and her painful fight with metastatic cancer. Not only was the actress courageous enough to share her journey about cancer diagnosis and treatment (on social media) with the world, she was also inspirational in terms of not letting the disease take her down or defeat her. It was just recently that she spoke to IANS and told how she spent an entire night crying when she was diagnosed with cancer, and how her husband Goldie Behl helped her cope up with the news.
It was back in July 2018 that Sonali was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, the treatment for which took place in New York. "After I spent the entire night coming to terms with it, I got up and decided now no more crying and weeping. From now on, there will be happiness. I saw the sun coming up, clicked a picture and shared it with my family and my girls, and said, 'Girls, Switch on the Sunshine'," Sonali told IANS.
The actress also revealed the story behind her hashtags on Instagram #OneDayAtATime and #SwitchOnTheSunshine.
"Goldie said let us get on with this day. Let us survive this day. This is how #OneDayAtATime came."
What particularly inspired her fans, and cancer survivors all across the world, was Sonali's positivity. Senior psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Chugh says that even a simple cold or viral fever can make one feel low and resigned. "So, we can imagine that when we talk about more serious and chronic medical conditions such as cancer, the mental picture would be far more grim and dreary."
Information, awareness, and action. That's what I needed during my diagnosis, and I believe everybody should have access to. Our hospitals have the critical amenities and affordable facilities needed. But not a lot of people know about it. My conversation with Dr. Puri at #CAHOCON2019 revolved around this issue. Thank you making me a part of this amazing dialogue.
He highlights on the importance of positivity when it comes to dealing with conditions like cancer. "We are not talking about getting rid of all negative emotions in order to get rid of cancer. But we sure are talking about feeling emotions that make life seem brighter and the pain more bearable," he explains.
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He goes on to add, "We often find cancer patients struggling with deep bouts of depression and desolation. These feelings not only makes patients feel absolutely pathetic about their condition, but also makes them reject treatment."
"As we work with them, they start opening up and focus on the aspects of life that are beautiful. They break out of their inhibitions and do the things that they have always wanted to do. Positivity encourages them to spend their time and resources on things or people that really matter to them and this helps them come to terms with their situation and manage to remain pleasant and hopeful despite their predicament," says Dr Chugh.
Through the series of posts that Sonali shared while she was undergoing her cancer treatment, we got to know how she revealed the news to her son Ranveer, and how the pain made survival difficult every day. It was only with a positive outlook that she was able to go through the treatment and came back home with a hearty smile.
A positive approach towards diseases like cancer helps patients come to terms with their situation. It enables them to stay pleasant, calm and hopeful.
More power to you Sonali!
(With Inputs from IANS)
Dr Sanjay Chugh is a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist in New Delhi
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