Counselling

If you are struggling to cope or feel low, then it might be a good idea to see a counsellor. They are trained to help you understand your feelings so that you can cope better.

You may feel embarrassed about needing to talk to someone when it seems as though other people don’t need to. But counsellors are there to help.

You can go to your GP and ask to be referred to a counsellor. There might also be a counsellor at your school or college.

If you do see a counsellor, you can decide how much you would like to share with them. Anything you tell them will be confidential, so they won’t tell anybody else.

You may find it helps to talk to somebody who is not directly involved in your situation. If you are angry with someone or frustrated, you can talk to the counsellor about it without upsetting anyone.

If you decide that the counsellor you are given is not the right person to help you, tell someone. It is important that you trust your counsellor and feel comfortable with them. You shouldn’t feel bad about asking to see someone else if it doesn’t feel right. The person who referred you to the counsellor may be able to arrange for you to see a different counsellor. We also have more information about different people you can talk to.

Hopes and fears

It might help you cope if you talk about what is frightening you, and things that you hope will happen. If you are finding it difficult to talk about these things, we have a tool that might help. You could download it and use it to write down your hopes and fears. Putting them down on paper might be easier than saying them out loud at first. Or it might just help you to work out how you feel.

Even if you don’t want to share it with other people, you may still find it useful to write down your hopes and fears.

There is also space for you to think about what you could do next to help with your fears. This could be talking to the person you look after, joining a support group, chatting to other carers or just asking for some extra help with day-to-day things.

This thinking tool was written by people affected by cancer. You can find more tools, stories and help using the tool at thinkaboutyourlife.org If you have any comments about this thinking tool, please email cancerinformationteam@macmillan.org.uk

You don’t get time to think about what’s happening, or realise you’re trying to run past it. It was much later that I suddenly started crying.

Jenna, 17

I was always really worried about my dad and I didn’t know what I could do. I couldn’t make him be able to do the things that he wanted to.

Siana, 14

Back to If you are a young person looking after someone with cancer

Depression

You, or the person you look after, might feel very low at times.

Coping with death

Hearing that the person you are looking after is going to die can be very difficult, but there are people who can support you.