Talking about your feelings

The feelings that you have when you are looking after someone can be hard to deal with. Trying to be open about the way you are feeling may help you to feel more in control. If you cannot talk about this with the person you are caring for, try talking to a family member, a friend or a health professional.

Your feelings may be easier to deal with once you have talked about them.

Many people find it difficult to be open in this way, especially when they are faced with a new and stressful situation. Some carers are uncomfortable talking about their own feelings with the person they are caring for because they don’t want to upset them. Others may be worried about getting upset and crying in front of them.

Some people are simply not used to talking with each other about their feelings.

There is no right or wrong way of communicating. Often just being there, perhaps giving them a hug or holding hands, is enough to show someone that you care. Be prepared for them to talk about their illness if they want to. They probably don’t expect you to have the answers, but just want you to listen and understand so they don’t feel alone.

If you both find it hard to talk about your feelings, it may be easier to talk to someone you don’t know. This could be a counsellor, someone in a support group, or a health or social care professional.

Counselling

If you find it difficult to talk to people you know or you don’t have anyone to talk to, it may help to talk to a trained counsellor. They will listen carefully to what you say. They have the skills and understanding to help you explore your feelings and find ways of coping with them.

Your GP may refer you to a counsellor. Your local support group or hospital information centre may be able to put you in touch with one. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy can also give you details of counsellors in your area.

Support groups and online support

Support groups can be a good way to talk to other people in a similar situation. Some groups are specifically for people who are caring for someone with cancer. You can meet other carers who may understand what you are going through.

You can find more information about support groups from your local council or cancer hospital. You can also find a support group in your area by searching online.

If you use the internet, you may want to join an online support group or chat room. This can be a helpful way of getting in touch with lots of people who may be in a similar situation to you. They are easy to join and you can stay anonymous if you prefer.

Our Online Community is a place where you can make friends, blog about your experiences and join groups to meet other people going through the same things. It has a specific group for carers.

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