How to Deal with Anxiety and Cancer

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A cancer diagnosis can have a huge impact on most patients, families, and caregivers. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing experience.

Lately, there have been many studies done to determine whether stress and anxiety can actually be one of the causes of cancer. Is it possible? Absolutely. Anxiety and stress cause inflammation and an increase of cortisol in your body, which are both thought to be possibly linked to cancer. What is even more important though, is that anxiety and stress can slow your healing process and even cause a relapse in those who are in remission. That is why it is essential that you figure out how to relieve some of that stress and anxiety you are feeling.

Most Common Symptoms

Of course, you probably know most of the common signs of anxiety, but it helps to see them in front of you. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Nervousness
  • Feelings of doom or increasing fear
  • Rapid heart rate or heart palpitations
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Sweating and feeling hot
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Worrying about everything
  • Feeling restless
  • Inability to relax
  • Insomnia or not able to stay asleep
  • Anger or irritation
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Unable to make a decision
  • Memory lapses
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle cramps or tension
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and nausea

Figuring Out the Cause

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, you have probably had some recent experience with anxiety or stress. It is a natural and common occurrence when you are faced with a life-altering issue such as cancer. However, you may not know the exact cause that you are anxious or stressed. You may be concerned about your loved one dying or scared of the side effects of the cancer treatments. If you are the one who has cancer, you may be worried about having to have someone take care of you or what is going to happen to your loved ones if you die. These are all reasonable causes of anxiety that can be dealt with by getting some information. One of the best ways to deal with anxiety and fear is with knowledge. Figure out what you are worried about and get some answers.

Getting the Help You Need

No matter what the cause, you should talk to someone about your anxiety because, as I stated earlier, it can slow down your recovery time. Anxiety and stress cause all sorts of physical responses in your body that can affect your health. They raise your blood pressure, increase your blood sugar and adrenaline, speed up your heartbeat, interrupt your sleep, and even cause a loss of appetite, leading to malnutrition in some cases. Take the time to talk to a friend or family member about your feelings or talk to a professional. Make sure you try talk therapy before jumping on the medication bandwagon. Antianxiety drugs can be addictive and cause serious side effects in someone who is already sick with cancer. Therapy is available online now, so you do not even need to go anywhere or set an appointment.

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