CANCER patients are suffering post traumatic stress disorder after the ordeal of treatment, an expert says.
As soaring numbers of people are diagnosed with the disease, emotional problems are also rising, says a psychotherapist from the Priory mental health group.
Even after receiving the all-clear, people who have had cancer suffer fear, anger and disrupted sleep.
This can lead to PTSD similar to that suffered by soldiers and victims of natural disasters according to Julia Cole, from the Priory's Wellbeing Centre in Southampton. She spoke following warnings from the Macmillan Cancer Support charity that 240,000 British people have mental health problems caused by their cancer treatment.
She said: The analogy I often use, which patients seem to identify with, is that they have felt like a storm-tossed ship during diagnosis and treatment, and then they land on a kind of island and think what now''?
Frequently they say that doctors, with good intentions, tell them to "go off and live your life" but it can be harder to do than you might think.
The shock of the diagnosis lingers, the fear of a recurrence, worrying about families, mortality, all can be extremely draining.'
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