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Anxiety checklist for caregivers


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http://www.cancer.org/docroot/MBC/conte ... tearea=MBC

Anxiety Checklist for Caregivers

What's Your Anxiety Level?

During a stressful illness such as cancer, caregivers often become anxious. They may be afraid of what the future will bring, worry about their loved one's illness, and worry about their own ability to handle all the tasks of caregiving. These are normal reactions that may last from a few days to a few weeks. But a more intense anxiety, beyond ordinary worry, can develop over time and keep people from doing things that are important to them.

Did you know anxiety can be managed and treated so people enjoy life again? Below are some of the symptoms of serious anxiety.

You tire easily, yet have trouble sleeping

Your body is constantly tense

You have racing thoughts.

You are unable to control how much time you spend worrying

You have frequent aches and pains that can't be traced to physical illness

You are irritable most of the time

You have had angry outbursts that are unusual for you

You find yourself trembling or shaking

You have noticed a racing heart, dry mouth, excess sweating, or being short of breath

You feel the worst will happen (even though no one has told you that)

Some worries are normal for people who are taking care of loved ones with cancer, and sometimes people will have 1 or 2 of the symptoms for a short time after starting to care for a loved one. You may want to talk with friends, family or a doctor about these concerns. Some people find that it helps to get more information about managing caregivers' responsibilities, including how to talk about cancer, and how to find a support group.

However, it is important to see a doctor if your anxious feelings are strong, if you have fearful thoughts, or if you can't accomplish your ordinary, daily activities. Another sign you may need help is when your anxiety lasts for more than two weeks. If you have any of the above symptoms, we encourage you to print out this checklist and talk it over with a doctor, nurse, social worker, or other professional on your cancer care team.

After seeing a doctor, you may feel better quickly because anxiety can be treated. People are often shocked at how much better they feel, and wonder why they waited so long to get help.

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