What’s scarier than cancer?

Что может быть страшнее рака?

To begin with, for each of us our own problems seem like the biggest ones, no matter what. People often say, “I wish I had your problems,” thus emphasizing that their struggles are harder to deal with. Interestingly, there is nothing untrue in that statement. The human psyche is so designed that it always ranks its own experiences as the strongest, no matter the circumstances.

Some people have a heart condition, while others have liver or intestinal problems, but all of them will always think of their issues as the most severe, especially they are accompanied by pain or some other form of discomfort. By comparing their afflictions with those of others, they feel sorry for themselves and think they are the worst off. Self-pity makes it easier to endure hardships.

From a psychological point of view, it turns out that it doesn’t matter what kind of problem a person has, the important thing is how that person perceives it. For example, a young man whose girlfriend has left him may believe that there is nothing worse in life. And, indeed, he may be ready to commit suicide because of it. He does not understand that, for example, an alcoholic who can do nothing about the addiction may be much worse off than he is. And the alcoholic, in turn, may believe that the young man’s problem is not a problem at all, but a nuisance.

Now try asking a man who is devastated by the fact that he has been diagnosed with cancer, what could be scarier than cancer. Predictably, he will say that nothing is scarier than that.

Wouldn’t he be right, you might ask? What could be scarier than cancer? Many of you won’t be able to answer that because you think as everybody else does. To find the answer one should distance oneself from the thought pattern that leads people to compare the severity and morbidity of various diseases.

The answer is very simple – the only thing scarier than cancer are people’s thoughts about it. Learn to control your thoughts, and you will learn to control your body. Once you’ve done that you will most likely become able to beat cancer.

Stay healthy! Take care of yourself and your loved ones!

What's scarier than cancer?

Vlad Svetoch

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D), Practicing psychologist, systemic oncopsychologist. READ MORE

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