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Emotional and Spiritual Support

Serious illness can cause many different types of suffering. There is physical pain, but dealing with serious illness can cause emotional and spiritual suffering, too.

You may wonder, “Why is this happening?” or “Why is this happening to me?” You may be frustrated if you can no longer do things you once were able to do. Perhaps you are feeling lonely, overwhelmed by financial concerns, or worried about your family’s future.

Providing Support

Listening to Your Concerns

The palliative team members are there for you—not to lecture you or tell you what to do or how to feel, but to let you know they care, that they will listen and empathize, and to help you explore and understand your options. They will listen to your fears and concerns, whether spiritual, emotional, or both. They will explore the importance of spirituality in your life as you define it.

Easing Your Suffering

There are many possible ways the palliative team can help ease your suffering. Many people with serious illness are concerned about the meaning of life and whether their lives are important. Some activities the team might suggest to explore these thoughts include

  • writing down or recording your life story and thinking of all of your accomplishments and things you’ve enjoyed doing
  • expressing yourself through art, music, story, or poetry.

Recommending Complementary Care

The palliative team can assess what may be most beneficial for you. They are often connected with a network of caregivers and spiritual advisers and, if appropriate, can refer you to others who have more specific expertise that you may find beneficial.

Your care team can also recommend other care methods that are complementary to medication you may be receiving.