PSTD Not Uncommon After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
A traumatic event, such as a natural disaster or a severe car accident, can trigger feelings of anxiety and distress-maybe even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So, too, can a breast cancer diagnosis. Recent research shows that approximately 25 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer may suffer from PTSD. Learning good coping strategies can help you deal with such life-altering news.
PTSD and breast cancer
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that a person may develop after going through a life-threatening event. For some people, being diagnosed with breast cancer can be so overwhelming that they get PTSD. Symptoms of the condition include constantly feeling scared, anxious, or irritable. Other tell-tale signs:
Any woman diagnosed with breast cancer may develop PTSD. But some women may be more at risk for the disorder. In a recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers found that women younger than age 50 and those who are African-American or Asian were more likely to suffer from PTSD six months after a breast cancer diagnosis. Other factors that may raise your risk: the severity of the breast cancer, past mental health problems, and poorer physical health overall.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can elicit many emotions. You may feel angry, uneasy, sad, or scared. To help you cope, reach out for support. Confiding in family members and close friends can help you deal with not only the initial diagnosis but also all that comes after. Don't forget other avenues of assistance, too, such as religious organizations or support groups.
Along with a strong social network, try these other coping strategies:
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.
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