Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Writing Aids Cancer Recovery

In my cancer and caregiver classes we do a lot of writing. It's not news that writing is a comfort and an anchor but now we have additional evidence that writing about one's cancer experience can effectively reduce pain, fear and trauma.

An article in the journal Health Psychology reports that ASian American woman dealing with breast cancer experienced better recoveries when they were introduced to the practice of "emotional writing."
Qian Lu, director of the Culture and Health Research Center says that the research was focused on specifically writing about the traumatic aspects of the cancer experience.

“Cancer patients, like war veterans in Iraq, can experience post-traumatic stress symptoms. Many times when cancer patients get diagnosed, they face lots of emotional trauma. There’s a sense of loss, depressionanxiety about going into treatment and how they are going to face the future,” said Lu.

While this particular study focused on breast cancer I can easily imagine related benefits for using emotional writing with all cancer patients--and of course with cancer caregivers as well. The hard part, of course, is allowing yourself time--and permission--to write daily but knowing that it is having a health benefit may allow patient and caregiver that permission for toward the healing benfits of writing.

Here is a link to the full article. Take a look and share with others in your CancerLand.


PS. I am always available to lead a class on Writing for Caregivers or Caregiving 101 for your group or organization.

No comments: