chapter  TWO
11 Pages

Emotional reactions to serious diagnosis

ByCelia Nightall

Various emotional reactions are experienced, which may happen in almost any order, overlap, occur concurrently, or be arrested for various reasons, all according to a person's individual pathology, and what he or she has learnt from books, television programmes, the Internet, or articles in newspapers. If someone has been suffering various symptoms for some time, wondering what is going on with her body, the diagnosis can be a relief. Disbelief is an emotional reaction that may happen immediately on hearing the diagnosis, or later as a form of denial. There are feelings of despair, grief, and sadness. A feeling of upset and tears may occur at the time of being given a diagnosis, soon after, or soon after the initial shock has worn off. It may initially have been triggered by fear and the serious countenance of the patient's relatives or loved ones or the doctor concerned.