Everyone feels anxious at times, and anxiety among carers is common because of the stresses and worries that come with the cancer and your caring role.
However, some people experience these feelings often and very strongly, and they can significantly interfere with health and wellbeing. Research has found that about half of all carers experience extreme anxiety.
What is extreme anxiety?
Sometimes it may be difficult to know how much is too much anxiety. If, for at least 6 months, you have:
- Been worried and have found it hard to stop worrying
- Found it difficult to do everyday activities because you were so anxious
and within a 10-minute period, you have experienced 2 or 3 of the following:
- Sweaty and/or shaky feeling
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath or choking feeling
- Nausea, dizziness, faintness or light-headedness
- Numb or tingly feeling
- Hot or cold flushes
- Scared of going crazy
this could be a warning sign that you are suffering from high levels of anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are treatable with medication or therapy. If you feel anxious, speak to your doctor or counsellor. Research has shown that anxiety is often more acutely felt by carers than by the patients, and more often ignored. It is important to speak to someone if you think you could be suffering from anxiety.