Coping long-term

People with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) can use several different techniques to manage the emotional impact of having a chronic illness. Take control with stress reduction and cognitive techniques.

Reduce stress

Techniques such as yoga and tai chi and meditation have proven to be effective at reducing stress and in some cases, pain, in several scientific studies. You can learn more about the ways to reduce stress on our stress management page.

Group support

MPN group support can help to reduce stress and negative thoughts, you can find support through the MPN Voice buddy programme. You can also find support at our regional patients’ forums. Support from fellow patients can help to reduce stress and negative thoughts because you can:

  • Talk with people suffering from MPNs
  • Share ideas, information, experiences, struggles and hopes
  • Give and receive support
  • Reduce anxieties, fears and feelings of isolation

Cognitive behavioural therapy

People with MPNs and other chronic illnesses can often benefit from therapy to improve thinking patterns. Psychologists use a technique called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to guide patients to improve these patterns. CBT is a form of problem-solving and people who try this technique learn to manage difficult feelings like depression and fear.

The objective is to help patients not just to think more “rationally”, but to help them recognise and change negative and pessimistic thoughts so they can find solutions. This strategy offers relief simply because it puts the person in control. Negative stress is reduced. In the longer term, the same strategies are used to solve life problems (such as situational or relationship difficulties). The strategy is also used to prevent or at least extend the periods between bouts of depression, where depression is a concern. For more information please email us at