Depression and Lung Cancer Often Go Hand in Hand
She says too often the patient and family members try to treat depression themselves, expecting it to go away on its own. "Depression isn't about 'willpower.' Depression is a treatable condition," says Bruss, "and there are a variety of options available."
The ACS says treatment for depression in cancer patients includes medication, counseling, or a combination of both, and in some cases, other specialized treatments. The ACS also recommends lung cancer survivors join support groups. It's important to be aware of the symptoms of depression. According to the National Cancer Institute, those symptoms include the following:
- Having a depressed mood for most of the day and on most days,
- Loss of pleasure and interest in most activities,
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits,
- Nervousness or sluggishness, tiredness,
- Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt,
- Poor concentration,
- Constant thoughts of death or suicide.
To make a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms should be present for at least two weeks.