A person who’s diagnosed with mesothelioma will often become hyperfocused on the physical symptoms because they are so challenging. Sadly, they also have to deal with some mental health repercussions that can have a negative impact on their life.
When looking at cancer patients as a whole, approximately 15 to 25% of them will suffer from depression as a result of their diagnosis. There are many factors that can contribute to the depression, so determining the underlying factors is often beneficial.
Examples of causes of depression in cancer patients
In many cases, there are multiple causes of depression in a person who’s battling any form of cancer. Some of these are due to the medications they take. Barbituates, propranolol, antibiotics, chemotherapy, steroids and some other medications are associated with a depressed state. Adjusting medications might be possible, but sometimes, the patient will have to take other steps.
Metabolic and endocrine abnormalities can also lead to depression. These include factors like anemia, an imbalance of sodium and potassium, adrenal insufficiency, thyroid disorders, vitamin B12 deficiency or hypercalcemia. Addressing these issues through medication, diet or lifestyle changes may be beneficial.
The constant pain that some mesothelioma patients face can also lead to depression. It can make them feel as though they’d be better off if they weren’t alive. This is a challenge because it’s hard to move past these thoughts until the pain is relieved.
For some mesothelioma patients, the stress that leads to depression is due to financial issues and wanting to care for their family members. These factors can be hard to mitigate.
Helping mesothelioma patients move past depression
Depression is common in cancer patients, but this doesn’t mean that it should be considered inexorable. It’s a condition that requires treatment. Some patients may need only therapy, but others might need to take medications to help them feel better.
Mesothelioma dramatically alters the course of a person’s life. While the life expectancy might not be long, with only 8% of patients surviving for five years after diagnosis, the patients should have the tools they need to enjoy this time with their family members. The medical care costs can be considerable, and so can the expense of getting mental health care. These individuals might opt to pursue a claim for compensation, which can reduce their financial strain and help them to provide for their loved ones.