Cancer: dealing with fear, panic, and anxiety

Ask for advice on how to handle fear, anxiety, and panic when you have cancer and who can help.

Reduce anxiety

Most people with cancer will not feel anxious all the time. You may experience a very short episode of anxiety.

You may feel anxious just before treatment or when you are thinking of going to the hospital. Or even after treatment, when you are going to the hospital for a general check-up.

Find ways to overcome your anxiety

Help find a way to overcome your anxiety. You can try:

  • Take friends or neighbors to support you during the treatment
  • Get the assurance from your nurse and doctor
  • Use relaxation exercises like deep breathing, mentality or visualization before and during stressful situations
  • Have a relaxing massage or reflective treatment once a week
  • Do some form of regular exercise that you like
  • Talk to your doctor and nurse

Your doctor and nurse are there to help and want to make things as easy as possible for you.

Try telling your doctor and nurse about how you feel. They will be very sensitive and will encourage you to tell them about your anxiety.

Counseling and speech therapy

If your anxiety is constantly affecting your everyday life and you feel anxious and scared, you may need professional help.

Doctors and nurses may suggest that you get help from trained people to help you overcome anxiety and panic. This could be:

  • Psychotherapist
  • Consultant
  • Help experts

You may be concerned that these experts refer only to people who are mentally ill or very stressed. Or it means you are weak. But that’s not true. Accept to see professional shows that you are strong enough to ask for help.

Many people have counseling and psychotherapy to help them overcome the difficulties of emotional or daily behavior. This may include:

  • Depression
  • Phobia
  • Feelings of shame
  • Panic attacks and severe anxiety
  • Eating and sleeping disorders
  • Type of therapy

There are different types of therapies that can help you overcome anxiety and panic. They include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Interpersonal therapy

This speech therapy can be a very effective way to overcome anxiety and panic.

This treatme
nt may not be suitable for everyone. You may need to try different types of speech therapy to find what works best for you.

Other treatments

Your doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety tablet as part of your treatment if you have anxiety problems and a very serious panic attack.

This drug work
s by helping you feel better and more able to cope. So it gives you space to try to understand and overcome your fears and anxieties.

This is not the
same as antidepressants. You might just take them for a short time. Anti-anxiety tablets are not a long-term solution because they do not solve the underlying problems that cause anxiety.

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