I thought only Veterans got PTSD.

After I completed chemotherapy for advanced stage Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, I was healing physically, but emotionally I was overwhelmed. I developed unexplained fears of a variety of things. My ability to relax my mind, body or concentrate was limited.   I had nightmares and was equally afraid of living as I was of dying. Before this, I thought only combat veterans got PTSD, but I was suffering.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most often associated with traumatic events such as war, sexual and physical attacks, natural disasters, and serious accidents. However, it can also affect people with a history of cancer. This disorder consists of a series of symptoms that develop after a life changing event or life challenging emotions was experienced that were extremely frightening.

A recent study found that nearly 1 in 4 women who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer experienced PTSD. It is normal for a person with cancer or a cancer survivor to have feelings of anxiety, such as worry, fear, and dread. However, if these feelings do not go away over time, continue to get worse, or affect daily life, they could be a sign of PTSD. The symptoms are different for each person and can come and go.  People with cancer and cancer survivors who have PTSD need to have treatment because the disorder can keep them from getting needed tests, cancer treatments, or follow-up care.

There are many treatments for PTSD. I chose hypnosis to help me move forward. Hypnosis works by tapping into the power of your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is the “feeling” mind while the conscious mind is the “thinking” mind. Hypnosis enables us to “rewrite” underlying “scripts” playing in the subconscious mind that are directing our behavior.  Hypnotherapy has emerged as an incredible, evidence-based treatment option for sufferers of PTSD no matter what the traumatic event was.