Anxiety is Common Among People Living With Cancer
- So many people living with cancer deal with ‘scan-xiety,’ or anxiety related to the results of their next scan.
- This stress can make the cancer experience that much more difficult.
- Experts recommend trying to find “flow,” to deal with these negative feelings.
- Flow refers to any activity that can take you out of the moment — it could be exercise, painting, gardening or any other hobby where people are enjoying themselves so much they lose track of time.
“Scan anxiety is unbelievably stressful,” Dr. Samantha Boardman, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, told SurvivorNet. “Probably one of the best antidotes that I think psychology can offer patients is to experience flow.”Read More
“How can we experience flow in our daily lives? It’s usually in some form of a hobby — something we just do because we love doing it,” Dr. Boardman said. “I really encourage patients to find and experience something that they can do that gives them flow. It might be baking, it might be gardening, it might even be doing some housework. They are so immersed in that experience that they’re not thinking about anything else.”
Dr. Boardman said that getting into the “flow” mindset has been proven to help with the stress and anxiety so many people with living cancer deal with.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- How can I seek help if I am feeling over-stressed?
- Are there any activities that I should be avoiding?
- Are there support groups in my area that deal with “scan anxiety?”