Getting the Diagnosis, Part 2

This second of a three-part series focuses on emotional responses to the diagnosis.

Responses to the diagnosis

When the diagnosis is made, there is a wide array of possible responses: relief, shock, denial, sadness, anger, fear, and hope. All these responses are natural, common responses to a stressful situation. You also may have physical responses such as weight loss/gain, or even illness. The diagnosis traumatically affects not only the patient, but family and friends–even the family pets. The important thing to remember is to take care of yourself and your family. This is a stressful time.


While waiting to be diagnosed, patients are often run through a battery of tests so their physicians and neurosurgeons can make an accurate diagnosis. Tests may be given within a few days or stretch over weeks or even months. The tests themselves can be stressful. Waiting for results and living with the unknown is usually very difficult.