Sometimes dreams make a lot of sense -- like when we’ve been working hard
and we end up dreaming, alas, that we’re still at work. Other times the meaning
of dreams is less clear. That doesn’t mean the dream isn’t important to our
Retired teacher Barbara Kern can vividly recall the details of a dream she
had nearly four decades ago, for instance. “I’m lying on my back, holding the
bottom rungs of a fireman’s ladder that has been extended to its full height,”
Causes of adjustment disorders in cancer patients include the following:
Side effects of treatment.
An adjustment disorder usually begins within three months of a stressful event and lasts no longer than six months after the event is over. Some patients may have a chronic adjustment disorder because they have many causes of distress, one right after another.
An adjustment disorder may become a more serious mental disorder such as major depression. This is more common in children and adolescents than in adults. (See the PDQ summary on Pediatric Supportive Care for more information.)
Counseling can help patients with adjustment disorders.
Individual (one-to-one) and group counseling have been shown to help cancer patients with adjustment disorders. Counseling may include treatment that focuses on the patient's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The following may help patients cope:
Counseling should be tried before medicine. Some patients are not helped by counseling or have a more severe mental health problem, such as severe anxiety or depression. These patients may be helped by an antianxiety or antidepressant medicine along with counseling. (See the PDQ summary on Depression for more information.)
Current Clinical Trials
Check NCI's list of cancer clinical trials for U.S. supportive and palliative care trials about adjustment disorder that are now accepting participants. The list of trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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