Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Deep Illness
A paper which studies the issue of dealing with the trauma of discovering a terminal illness.
The paper discusses how every individual handles a terminal diagnosis in his own way. It shows that a patients’ experiences while dying is in large part dependent on the nature of their illness, as well as on patient, family and health care professionals’ reactions to it. The paper studies different factors which might cause an increase in stress.
“Unfortunately, despite such efforts, many patients and health care professionals do not understand that patients who suffer from PTSD at the end of life can still respond to treatment. According to Short (1991), the information flow of imagery is a very good way to deal with terminally ill patients who are suffering from a chronic or terminal illness such as cancer. The purpose is to decrease physical symptoms. Stress reduction techniques such as biofeedback may be used to reduce heart rates and skin reactivity. Once a patient has physical problems, physiological problems may also arise. Various types of memories from the body or mind can re-occur through actions or thoughts. For example, in one case a patient envisioned cancer cells attacking her friend. She had had breast cancer two years prior, had undergone chemotherapy, and was medically healthy. Expressing her emotions by replacing herself with her friend made it apparent what she was feeling and then started to steer her away from hopelessness (Short, 1991).”