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Coping with a cancer diagnosis, especially one as aggressive as mesothelioma, often comes with an onslaught of mixed emotions. It’s normal for patients to feel scared, overwhelmed, sad, or even slighted after their diagnosis. However, when a mental illness such as depression takes over, those emotions intensify and may even begin to interfere with a patient’s everyday life.

Depression following a mesothelioma diagnosis is complex. Shock, betrayal, and rage are all common emotions for patients after finding out they have cancer due to exposure in the workplace. However, prolonged negative emotions may be a sign you or your loved one may be suffering from depression. Fortunately, there is help available for with mesothelioma and depression.

 

What is Depression?

More than the typical and fleeting feelings of fear, sadness, or anger that often accompany a cancer diagnosis, depression is characterized by a loss of interest in activities a patient once enjoyed, as well as overwhelming anxiety or dread.

Depression can be particularly difficult to notice or diagnose. Sometimes patients feel the need to hide their symptoms from loved ones behind forced positivity. It’s important that patients have someone in their corner to talk to and lean on for support.

 

Depression Symptoms:
  • A sense of hopelessness
  • Feeling lonely or isolated
  • A lack of interest in activities you typically enjoy
  • Restlessness and/or insomnia (disrupted sleep)
  • Hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
  • Overwhelming and prolonged fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty with concentration and/or memory
  • Significant, unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts or feelings, recurrent thoughts of death

 

Additionally, certain risk factors, including having a cancer with a dim prognosis such as mesothelioma, can exacerbate depressive symptoms:

  • Side effects of cancer drugs and therapies
  • Side effects of pain-relieving medications such as opioids
  • Having advanced cancer or poor prognosis
  • Nutritional deficiencies or problems
  • Pain
  • Blood or hormone problems
  • Lack of a support system
  • Previous history of depression or suicide attempts
  • History of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Having other illnesses at the same time

Loved ones should look for any changes in mood or behavior or any of the symptoms listed above. Offering support or a listening ear can help a patient if they’re experiencing mesothelioma and depression.

 

Support Options for Depression

There are plenty of resources available to help you cope with mesothelioma and depression. Your healthcare provider will be the best help in connecting you to them.

Counseling: Otherwise known as talk therapy, counseling from a trained mental health professional can help patients make great strides in lessening their depression symptoms. Coping tools or therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) help to arm patients with the tools they need to combat their depression.

Medication: Antidepressants, including SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs, treat depression by altering the levels of chemicals in the brain. Medication positively alters a patient’s mood and reduces feelings of anxiety. Based on symptoms and any other medications a patient may be taking, their healthcare provider can prescribe the right type of medicine for them.

Improved Diet and Exercise: Eating healthy and remaining active can do wonders for depression symptoms. Exercise releases endorphins, a natural mood-boosting hormone. In terms of diet, Patients should focus on lean protein, whole grains, and plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

Holistic Healing: Healing practices such as massage, acupuncture, reflexology, journaling, and more have been shown to improve mood and lessen symptoms of depression.

 

Shrader Law: Getting You the Mesothelioma Help You Deserve

If you’ve developed mesothelioma as a result of working with asbestos, you may be owed compensation for the expenses related to your illness as well as the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office with your questions right away.

Contact our experienced team here at Shrader & Associates L.L.P. to learn more about how we can help with your case. Give us a call at (877) 958-7920 or fill out the online contact form to get in touch with a skilled attorney today.