It is not unusual for people to feel very low after being told they have cancer, and during or after treatment. Many people feel physically and emotionally exhausted from the treatment. This can make them feel low. However, for some people affected by cancer, their low mood may continue or get worse and they may need specialist help or treatment. Some people find that their mood is low most of the time for several weeks or more. This may mean that they have depression.

It is important to recognise that depression is not anybody’s fault. Depression is an illness that needs to be treated, just like cancer. If you are worried the person you are looking after may be depressed, try talking to them about it. If you are not comfortable doing this, or if it doesn’t help, talk to another adult. It is important that the depression is diagnosed and treated.

Young carers can also have feelings of depression. If you think you might be feeling depressed, it’s important that you get some support. You could talk to a health or social care worker, a young carers’ service, your GP or a teacher at school. They will be able to help you find the support you need.

If you want to know more about depression, you can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.

Being a carer affected my sleep and mental health. This also impacted school, family and friendships. A carers service put me in contact with mental health services, who helped me.

Rayna, 17

Back to If you are a young person looking after someone with cancer


Counselling is support if you would like to talk to someone about your feelings.

Coping with death

Hearing that the person you are looking after is going to die can be very difficult, but there are people who can support you.