Dealing with childhood cancer is not easy, whether you are going through it or have survived it. Cancer at any age can have long lasting effects on a person’s mental health. A study reported that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was found significantly more often by survivors of childhood cancer (those over the age of 18) than by the sibling control subjects. It’s not easy for someone to hear that they have cancer, let alone deal with the treatments that go along with it. It does have a mental and psychological toll on the individual. However, there are ways that one can learn to mentally cope with the disease.
Here are some tips for coping with post traumatic stress from childhood cancer.
–Support Group. Know that you are not alone. Many people go through PTSD after surviving cancer. It will comfort you to meet with others that may have similar symptoms or experiences as you. They may be able to offer coping skills or just be there for emotional support. It may be scary to think about sharing your PTSD experience with others, but it can be the best way to help yourself.
–Therapy. Seeing a therapist might seem scary, but it’s a great way to overcome PTSD. Different types of therapies may be used. Crisis intervention is a method that may be used in attempt to lessen symptoms and help the patient return to a normal life. The therapist may teach coping skills and problem solving to help the individual change their way of thinking. Relaxation training is another therapy to treat PTSD. This can help the patient change their upsetting thoughts to positive ones and lessen the sensitivity to certain triggers.
–Prevention. As always, it is a good idea to become aware of PTSD if you or your loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Being able to understand the disorder is important. You will be able to figure out a way to help your child hone those negative emotions before it becomes PTSD. Joining a support group or seeking therapy whilst dealing with cancer may help the patient in the long run. A home healthcare nurse will be an asset to your life if you are going through this. Not only will she be there through radiation and chemotherapy, she will be a support system for your family and child. At PSA, we will be there every step of the way. We make sure to comfort both child and family by implementing the right care plan for you. For more information on PTSD, coping with PTSD, and how PSA can help you, visit each to learn more or call to find out how our nurses can assist you and your family.