Anxiety and Depression
It is common to feel sad or low after a melanoma diagnosis. However, if you feel that this is a continuous feeling and experience some of the following for several weeks, you may have depression. Depression is an illness and needs treatment.
Some common symptoms of depression:
- Continuous low mood
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling irritable or angry
- Feelings of low self-esteem
- Lack of energy and tiredness
- Lack of interest in normal activities
- Problems with your sleep (sleeping too little or too much)
- Problems concentrating
Anxiety can sometimes be a symptom of depression, or having anxiety (panic disorder, generalised anxiety) can also lead to feeling depressed. They are therefore related.
The most common approaches to help alleviate depression include counselling, talking therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with a psychologist or psychiatrist, and drug treatment. As well as talking to your medical team, you can also approach your GP to be referred for a talking therapy and get information about medication.
For more information and support on depression:
Mind is a mental health charity that provides help and support to anyone who needs it. Whilst they are not a specifically for cancer patients, their site contains lots of useful information on a whole range of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, resources and a helpline.
Macmillan – Cancer and Depression
Macmillan have good resources for cancer patients, including information on symptoms, coping and medications.
CRUK have several resource pages on cancer and your emotions. This includes lots on information on depression.