SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Earlier this week, Mayor Van Johnson revealed his prostate cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

This Wellness Wednesday we discuss the mental health struggles of someone dealing with a serious medical condition.

Below is information and advice from Mary Jo Horton, Manager of Behavioral Health at Memorial Health.

New Medical Condition’s Impact on Mental Health

  • Can worsen chronic feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Can trigger new fears and worries
  • Can make functioning with healthy habits challenging

Mental Health Impact on Caregivers

  • Triggers fears of not helping enough
  • Worsen the person’s own anxiety and depression
  • Cause worry and fear over one’s own health

Strategies for the Patient and the Caregiver

  • Be kind and gentle with expectations
  • Develop resiliency into a routine
  • Allow time to process feelings and validate fears