When you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may feel very low at times. This may be at the time of diagnosis, or during or after treatment. For some people, their low mood may continue or get worse, and they may need professional help or treatment.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether you’re depressed or not. It may be other people who notice symptoms and suggest that you might need help.
Depression is a common condition that affects around 1 in 10 people (10%). It can be triggered by a variety of difficult events, including a cancer diagnosis or having treatment for cancer. However, it can also happen by chance or be related to other events that have nothing to do with cancer.
Symptoms of depression include:
- having a very low mood most of the time
- feeling fatigued or lacking in energy
- getting no pleasure out of life or activities you usually enjoy
- crying a lot, or feeling unable to cry
- having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- being unusually irritable or impatient
- waking up early, having difficulty sleeping, or sleeping more than usual
- feeling less affectionate or having a loss of sexual desire
- hallucinations or hearing voices (although this is rare).
These are just some of the symptoms of depression, but they will be different for each person. If you have other symptoms but think you may be depressed, talk to your doctor or nurse.