Managing Illness Related Fear

Fear can be debilitating. It can stop you from making the progress you need to make. There are a few things you can do to try and help yourself manage illness related fears.
• You need to understand that the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that you are feeling are normal, natural responses to your condition. Every person that has the same condition fears the things you are fearing. Acknowledge the fear and do not let it take control. Talk to your health care team about your fears, so they can help you understand them and put them aside.
• Do not try to face the fear alone. Talk to a friend, a loved one, your doctor, your pharmacist, or a therapist. Talk to someone, so they know what you are experiencing. Fear can cause blood pressure to rise, heart rates to rise, and other health concerns. If you let someone else know about your fear, then you have already started to combat it.
• Make sure that you stay informed about your decision. Do not just let the doctor tell you that you are doing better, or that you are improving. Make them tell you exactly what your health is doing that makes them think you are improving. Know the truth, and the facts so you can dispel the imaginary scenarios that fear causes.
• Create a journal, or a blog. You do not have to show anyone anything you have written, or you can share your writings with the world. By writing down your fears, and the things you have experienced then you can face the fear and chase it away. The journal will help you to look back on how far you have come, and see your own progress.

Fear of recurrence

Fear is a real symptom for most cancer patients. If a cancer patient goes into remission, or beats their cancer, then they usually fear a recurrence. Sometimes the fear of recurrence is so debilitating that the patient cannot focus on the positive aspect of having been cured. This kind of fear can stop the person from having the check-ups they need to confirm that their cancer has not returned.

Fear of Death

For any person with a chronic condition the fear of death is a real possibility. People who fear dying may put off going to seek medical treatment under the pretense that if they do not acknowledge the presence of the disease, they cannot die from the disease. These false assumptions can cause the person to allow a treatable condition to become an untreatable one. Never let your fear of death prevent you from living your life.

What Doctors can do

As a medical professional, a doctor has the ability to help people face their fears. As a doctor you can make sure that each patient understands their disease, the treatments for the disease and the possible positive outcomes. Every patient can picture the bad things they are going to face. A doctor can help them see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.