You do not get a dress rehearsal the first time you are given surprising, concerning, scary or bad news about your health.

There is no right or wrong way to react.

Everyone is different.

Here are some things to consider if or when the day arrives when you are faced with such a scenario.

Take a deep breath

It is only natural to feel shocked or overwhelmed in the moment as bad news about your health is delivered.

Sometimes it may come like a bolt out of the blue – a complete blindside.

Other times, it may almost be some kind of confirmation of what you had feared.

Take a deep breath or two or three.

Pause for a moment to try to calm your mind, stop those racing thoughts and temper your emotions.

You can not ever expect to have full clarity until you achieve a level of calmness.

Express your feelings

It is ok to express your feelings and emotions, whatever they may be.

It could be fear, sadness, anger or uncertainty about your health.

Let them out rather than suppress your emotions.

This helps you acknowledge and process your feelings.

Ask for clarification

Ask for clarification if you do not fully understand the information your GP has given you.

Seek more information about your diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plans available.

Seek support

Reach out to your partner, a family member or trusted friend for emotional support.

You should not have to bear bad news about your health alone.

Talking with someone you trust can provide enormous comfort, perspective and help you process your feelings about the news.

As the days and weeks go by, seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor if you are struggling to cope with the emotional impact of your health diagnosis.

Seek second opinions

Rarely is a medical diagnosis or prognosis 100 per cent definitive.

Some doctors may recommend entirely different approaches for treating the same disease.

Very occasionally, a misdiagnosis is made.

It makes very good sense to garner a second opinion from an alternative source.

Even with the same diagnosis, a second opinion can offer fresh insights and help you feel more confident about the course of action you choose.

Take notes

Bring a notebook or journal to your GP’s appointments and take notes during the discussion.

Alternatively, ask your GP to write down some key points which you can follow up on and further investigate when you return home.

Having key information and better understanding a situation gives people a greater sense of control over it.

Ask further questions

Once the bad news about your health has sunk in, you can start analysing it more methodically.

Prepare some further questions for your doctor or specialist.

These may include lifestyle changes which may improve your prognosis or alternative and complementary therapies which you may wish to consider.

Your doctor is there to help you better understand your condition and allow you to make the best decisions about your care.

Explore support resources

The community offers multiple types of support resources.

These include counselling services, support groups and online forums for people facing similar health challenges.

Connecting with others who understand what you are going through can provide invaluable emotional support as well as practical advice.

Focus on self-care

Prioritise self-care activities that help reduce stress and promote wellbeing.

This may include stress management techniques, eating nutritious meals, taking supplements, engaging in regular exercise and undertaking any other activities that you enjoy.

These are all natural ways to improve your overall health and help fight disease.

Stay informed 

Educate yourself about your condition so you can make your own informed decisions about your preferred treatment plan.

Seek information from reputable medical websites, books and other educational material provided by your doctor.

Being informed helps empower you to more confidently manage your condition.

Take things one step at a time

If you are given bad news about your health, you may face what seems a long and arduous road ahead of you.

It is normal to feel overwhelmed in such circumstances but it is important to fight one battle at a time.

Focus on what you can control in the present and worry about tomorrow when it arrives.

Break larger tasks down into smaller, more manageable ones.

Maintain open communication 

Keep the lines of communication open with your entire healthcare team and turn to them for support as often as is needed.

Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, concerns or notice changes in your symptoms and condition.

Effective communication with your doctor is vitally important to help them best advise you on your most effective courses of action.

Book an appointment

It is never nice to receive bad news about your health.

Delivering this news is one of the toughest parts of being a doctor.

But doctors know receiving it is at a whole other level.

At AHA Clinics, GPs are great communicators.

They are kind, calm and caring and show great empathy to all their patients, especially ones facing serious health challenges.

Doctors will listen closely to your concerns and offer you comprehensive, personalised care at all times.

They are highly-skilled in treating a wide variety of conditions, can talk with you about alternative or complementary therapies and are connected with a wide range of specialists offering advanced care.

Our purpose built, state-of-the-art clinics utilise natural light and leave you feeling more optimistic, happier and more content with your surrounds.

Book an appointment here today at either our Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or our Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.