Every year millions of Americans are diagnosed with cancer, stroke, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and other life-threatening or life-altering diseases. When faced with a devastating diagnosis people must quickly understand the diagnosis, prognosis, and choose from several treatment options—while still in shock. AfterShock identifies the processes required to respond to a serious diagnosis, regardless of the specific disease. Social psychologist Gruman offers practical advice in a 10-stage approach to making clear-headed, informed decisions about who to tell and when; how to get a second opinion or find the right doctor and hospital; where to find reliable online information and telephone help-lines about a particular diagnosis and treatment; how to navigate the health care maze; where to turn for support and comfort. Dr. Gruman not only draws on her expertise in consumer health information and the advice of doctors and nurses, she shares the personal stories of people who have dealt with traumatic diagnoses, including her own experience of having had three different kinds of cancer and a dangerous heart condition. AfterShock is inspiring and empowering, and is an essential companion book to the disease-specific titles that most people with a devastating diagnosis purchase.