Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a well-documented phenomenon that occurs in cancer survivors. PTSD is known to cause problems with anxiety, depression, and quality of life. Furthermore, there is little treatment available for cancer survivors who suffer from PTSD.
Posttraumatic Growth, however, is a lesser known phenomenon that also occurs in cancer survivors. It is a positive psychological phenomenon that occurs in some people who have suffered a traumatic event--the people who are able to note a "greater appreciation for life", a "stronger relationship with their family/friends," or a "new found level of spirituality" are examples of instances of posttraumatic growth.
Coping with Lymphoma to Enhance Adjustment and Reduce Stress in Survivors (CLEAR Stress) is a study designed to compare the development of PTSD versus the development of Posttraumatic Growth in lymphoma patients at any stage of the cancer experience, regardless of treatment. The hypothesis is that posttraumatic growth, if it is significant, can reduce the impact of PTSD symptoms in the survivor.