Dealing with a terminal disease is never easy for anyone. There can be different types of terminal disease from MRSA to cancer. There are different types of stages that the person can go through, along with the family and friends. No one ever wants to hear that a close one is going to pass on anywhere from a few days to years away. As a family or friend there are different things that can be done to help ease the pain of the news, and help the whole family move on with the diagnosis.
The first thing to do is deal with the terminal disease. Most people will be in shock and denial. They won't believe it and they won't want to believe it. The person may try to deny the facts and in some instances will deny what the doctor had said they have a terminal disease. The person may become isolated and deeply depressed. As a supporter of the person with the diagnosis, the best thing is to try not let it get to that point. Try to find something that will cheer the person up. They ultimately have just been told their life is over. As a friend or supporter the best thing is to find something that makes them happy. Bring a movie, take them to dinner or just sit with them and cry.
Most people will go through anger and possibly even a deeper depression. This can even make the person be even more in denial. Finding a support group and going with the person that has the terminal disease can really help. It helps the person know that you are hurting just as much as them and that you don't want to see them go. It can also help bring you and the person closer. The most important thing is to let the person know that you will be there no matter what. They may try to push you away, because they don't want to hurt anyone with their pain.
The third sign to look for is the person wagering and thinking what if. This is very common for those with a terminal disease. They may blame themselves or others. They may feel that if they would have just gone to the doctor sooner they may have been able to get treatment sooner and it wouldn't have resulted in what it had. They may also want to get a second opinion, or try other resources. The best thing to deal with it is to support the person and go along with them. This can show the person that even though you might not agree with all of their choices that you still will be there for them.
Once the person does accept the diagnosis of the terminal disease, depression may set in pretty strongly. Knowing that, the person may want to stay isolated and not see anyone. Depression affects not only the person's mental ability to function, but the physical function as well. Depression can also cause pain in the body. Getting medical treatment for depression is important in order to further prevent any kind of harm to themselves.
One of the last things that will happen before a person from a terminal disease passes is acceptance. This is when the person will start wanting to move on with their treatment. This is when they may want and need the most support.
There are several things that any one can do to help a loved one that may have a terminal disease.
The main thing is to be supportive. Be there when they need you.
Keep their feelings in mind and find a support group and attend with them.
Find little things you can do to help them around the house, with family, or with work.
If they are interested in a certain type of treatment, find out what you can about it and support them.
Never give up on the person and understand that they are hurting just as much if not more than others.
Run errands for the person.
Attend a support group for yourself to better understand how your loved one is feeling.
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