Prostate Cancer Puts You at Risk for PTSD

Prostate Cancer Puts You at Risk for PTSD
In the five years I’ve been corresponding with men diagnosed with prostate cancer, I've never met anyone who received information about the possibility of experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer. That's surprising since it’s estimated that as many as one in three cancer survivors suffer from PTSD. The rate of PTSD among cancer patients whose cancer has returned is as high as 81%! I'm at a loss to understand or explain why men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and their caretakers, are kept in the dark about the possibility of developing PTSD. Below is a list of symptoms from cancer.net that are typical for those who are coping with PTSD: • Nightmares and flashbacks • Avoiding places, events, people, or things that bring back bad memories • Strong feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or shame • Trouble sleeping or concentrating • Continuous feelings of fear or anger • Loss of interest in activities and relationships that used to be enjoyable • Self-destructive behavior, such as drug or alcohol abuse • Frightening or unwanted thoughts • Difficulty feeling emotions Here are a few symptoms I have experienced:                 • Thinking distressing thoughts about cancer, suffering, pain, and death almost every waking moment • Increased fighting and negativity with my wife • A total loss of interest in being affectionate, sexual, or kind • Feeling isolated from healthy friends and family • A short fuse, so my anger and irritability were on display multiple times a day It’s important for cancer patients, and their caregivers, to know whether one of you is suffering from PTSD. Online diagnostic surveys should not be considered a substitute for ob
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