Husband with post-traumatic stress disorder?


Question from Cathy-2: It's been six years since my diagnosis of breast cancer and my husband just now seems to be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, especially after the death of his mother. Now, he is afraid of losing me to breast cancer. We've been married 27 years.
Answers - Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. What I think this writer is experiencing with her husband is not uncommon. When people experience a trauma—as in this case, the loss of his mother—that usually brings up all of the past, unresolved conflicts and fears. It may be that six years ago he behaved like the brave, strong partner, but with the death of his mother it's bringing back the feelings from six years ago that he probably didn't allow himself to express. So, what is really happening is sort of normal—natural, somewhat delayed, but not all that surprising. With time and communication this will only serve to bring them closer, but he needs to express what he has been struggling with these past few years that he has been unable to verbalize until this new trauma in his life.

On Wednesday, June 19, 2002, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Dealing with Breast Cancer Fears. Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about aspects of breast cancer that cause concern.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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