Having cancer affects every part of your life. Being in pain not only affects your body, it also interferes with your thoughts and feelings. People can have lots of emotions when they are in pain. You may feel:
- like you have lost control.
Being in pain may stop you from doing the things you enjoy. You may not be able to go out as much or go to work. You may not be able to do everyday things any more. Feelings can change from day to day. Sometimes it can all be overwhelming, but you’re not alone in feeling like this.
Depression is a common condition that affects around 1 out of 10 people (10%). It can be triggered by difficult events, including a cancer diagnosis or treatment. If you are depressed, you may feel very low in mood most of the time.
You may not have much energy and not be able to sleep. You may cry a lot and get very little pleasure from activities you usually enjoy. You may feel it is not worth looking after yourself properly.
If you are depressed, pain can often feel worse and it can seem harder to cope with. When you are depressed, the body makes chemicals that make the body more sensitive to pain. Talk to your GP if you think that you are depressed. They can help you to get the right treatment and support. They may suggest that you see a doctor trained in treating depression.
Your GP may suggest you take an anti-depressant, or a sedative drug such as citalopram. This can help improve your mood or reduce anxiety. Don’t feel bad about this. It is common to be prescribed one of these. Many people with cancer or cancer pain find these medicines help them cope.