Depression (PDQ®): Supportive care - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Depression
There are many medical conditions that can cause depression.
Medical conditions that may cause depression include the following:
- Pain that doesn't go away with treatment.
- Abnormal levels of calcium, sodium, or potassium in the blood.
- Not enough vitamin B12 or folate in your diet.
- Too much or too little thyroid hormone.
- Too little adrenal hormone.
- Side effects of certain medicines.
Depression and anxiety are common in patients whose cancer is advanced and can no longer be treated.
Patients whose cancer can no longer be treated often feel depressed and anxious. These feelings can lower the quality of life. Terminally ill patients who are depressed report being troubled about:
Depressed terminally ill patients feel they are "being a burden" even when they don't depend very much on others.
Family members also have a risk of depression.
Anxiety and depression are also common in family members caring for loved ones with cancer. Children are affected when a parent with cancer is depressed and may have emotional and behavioral problems themselves.
Good communication helps. Family members who talk about feelings and solve problems are more likely to have lower levels of anxiety and depression.