Breast Cancer and PTSD

Around 80% of the women go through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after their treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer. Commonly PTSD occurs within three months of a life threatening event, in certain cases it may appear after several years. The journey of a breast cancer victim is extremely painful and challenging not just physically but mentally too.  It was believed that there is no evidence of patients facing PTSD after their cancer diagnosis but recently a German study suggests that around 82.5% women experience PTSD after their diagnosis.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a traumatic experience especially when diagnosed at a later stage; with every stage the life expectancy rate drops significantly that is why it is urged to get regular checkups done. In Pakistan majority of women are diagnosed at the later stage which puts their lives in danger, therefore the higher number of patients experience PTSD after their diagnosis. PTSD can affect you to cope and carry on with your daily life.

Mostly patients lose the will to do daily chores or focus on their daily activities. Depression, stress, deep insecurity, Paranoia, lack of focus, memory loss, and hallucinations are some of the symptoms of PTSD. In our culture mostly women blame themselves for being diagnosed with breast cancer; they believe that it’s a kind of a punishment from the Almighty. Breast cancer is a disease that anyone can get. 1 in 12 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Pakistan it is as common as getting a flu. It is important for breast cancer patients to seek help at earliest to avoid making their PTSD symptoms worse.

As for the rest it is important for us to help make their experience easier and to encourage them every day to push themselves.  Help the breast cancer and PTSD patients manage and focus on developing new hobbies to cope with their trauma.

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