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Emotional Well-Being
Psychoneuroimmunology - Survivors of childhood cancer may be particularly interested in understanding the interplay between stress and wellness.
Self-Image - Survivors of childhood cancer may have long standing reminders of their treatment experience, either physical or emotional in nature, or both.
Relaxation and Imagery - We know that what goes on in the body affects our thoughts, and what we think in turn affects the body. Like, when you have a pain or a headache, or your stomach is upset and you feel rotten, or you're worrying about the diagnosis, or something the doctor told you, or a procedure you have to have, it's common to start thinking, "I hate this. How long am I going to feel this way. What if I just keep feeling worse? Am I ever going to feel good and normal again? What if I get better and then it comes back? What if...?" These kind of thoughts just make you feel more uptight, and sometimes even make physical symptoms worse. Relaxation is a very useful tool for helping the body and mind chill out and settle into a calmer and more comfortable state. This relaxed state creates favorable conditions for healing and feeling better. Relaxation is a skill that anyone can learn with practice.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is most likely to occur following exposure to any traumatic event involving intense fear or helplessness in which the individual experienced or witnessed actual or threatened death or serious injury of oneself or others. PTSD used to be considered a disorder that primarily affected war veterans, who had witnessed military combat, but we now understand that any traumatic event can lead to PTSD. PTSD affects hundreds of thousands of people who have survived or witnessed violent personal assault, terrorist attack, torture, incarceration as a prisoner of war, natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes), severe automobile accidents, or being diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The likelihood and severity of PTSD are correlated with the degree of the traumatic stressor. Repeated or prolonged trauma tends to cause additional vulnerability. There is a growing body of research, for example, which suggests that symptoms consistent with PTSD are common among mothers of children who have had bone marrow transplants. Additionally, patients who have been hospitalized for prolonged periods of times with complicated medical courses, are at considerable risk for developing symptoms of PTSD.
Stress Management - There is no "right" way to manage your stress or the feelings associated with your stress. It is important to discover ways of managing your stress that work for you. Feelings of anxiety or worry are often best handled by talking them out. Some people find it most helpful to talk openly and frankly with family and friends. Others prefer to speak with health professionals, clergy, psychotherapists or other patients. Expressing your feelings with someone you trust can do much to reduce worry and anxiety. Because our thoughts influence mood, behavior and physical reactions, most people who are anxious, depressed or angry are helped by making changes in their thinking. But many problems also require changes in behavior, physical functioning and environment (e.g., learning to say no to unreasonable demands, spending more time with supportive people, reducing stress).

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