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Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Focus on Mental Health

List of Articles

  • Psychosocial Impact Of Breast Cancer
    Breast cancer treatments present significant challenges and distress; most patients learn to live with the disease and to incorporate it into day-to-day living. The purpose of this document is to stress upon the factors such as psychologic state, level of optimism, spirituality and support from sources such as family, friends and healthcare team in the recovery of the patients with breast cancer. The psychological distress remains constant over the disease continuum as patients move from diagnosis and treatment to recovery and survivorship. These factors present unique challenges to the healthcare team, and if undetected and untreated psychological distress can jeopardize treatment outcomes and actually increase healthcare costs.

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious anxiety disorder triggered by the experience of trauma. One in 4 individuals exposed to trauma will develop PTSD. Victims of trauma are frequent users of health care, but screening is rarely done and most sequelae remain undetected. In recent years, it has become evident that PTSD is a major health concern both in United States and worldwide. It is a debilitating form of an anxiety disorder triggered by personal experience of serious trauma (e.g., sexual abuse or assault, victim of violent crime or severe motor vehicle accident). The course of untreated disease averages more than 5 years and may lead to additional psychiatric comorbidities, including a greatly increased risk of major depression and suicide. The medicines to treat PTSD with fewer side effects is a possibility and it remains an intriguing idea, and one that ushers in an era of effective drugs with much less side effects.

  • Psychological Impact of Infertility
    The psychological stress of infertility and its managements is widely acknowledged; and it actually affects pregnancy rates. The relationship between stress and infertility has been recognized since biblical times. Recent research indicates that distress may indeed influence the outcome of infertility treatments, and that psychological interventions are associated with increased pregnancy rates. Infertility affects every aspect of women's lives. With infertility treatment, some women become pregnant after one or two tries, but others need many attempts before they are successful. A few never be able to become pregnant or have live and healthy baby. This chapter reviews the psychological impacts of infertility and helps to guide the various coping mechanism. Many institutions have developed mind/body program for infertility, and helps many to reduce the distress of coping with infertility. Although attending the sessions is no guarantee of pregnancy, women who have participated generally feel better.

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