Psychological Support for Neurology Patients

Having a brain tumor not only affects physical well-being, but can also cause psychological distress. As many as 30 to 40 percent of patients experience serious symptoms of adjustment related depression and/or anxiety after receiving a brain tumor diagnosis. Psychological distress can complicate your response to treatment, affect your relationship with your doctors, caregivers, and family members, deteriorate your overall quality of life, and may affect the course of your illness. Attending to your emotional health is important to your overall care.

Many brain tumor patients also experience thinking or cognitive difficulties such as memory and language impairment, problems with attention, and/or a slowed ability to process information. Cognitive impairments can affect your ability to engage in many activities and can also have a serious impact on your mood and ability to tolerate stress. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between psychological symptoms and cognitive impairments. If you feel you are experiencing problems with cognitive functioning the best place to start is with a neuropsychological screening exam which can help determine if real deficits are present.

A full range of psychological services are available at the Department of Neurosurgery to help patients and their families cope with the emotional and cognitive difficulties associated with having a brain tumor.

Some of the services offered include:

  • Teaching stress management and relaxation techniques
  • Neuropsychological screening
  • Symptom management for health related anxiety and depression
  • Helping patients conceptualize the grief process in illness
  • Facilitating adaptation to disability
  • Appraising and restructuring cognitive mechanisms of coping
  • Facilitating communication with family members and caregivers
  • Educational support groups

For more information about the psychological services available at the Department of Neurosurgery contact us at 310-423-7900 or email us at groupmdnsi@cshs.org.

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