Both you and your loved one are likely to have strong feelings of sadness when you first receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer — or if his cancer recurs.
It’s also very common to feel sad about long-term side effects, including:
But if sadness continues and gets worse — and is accompanied by strong feelings of despair and hopelessness — you or your loved one may be suffering from depression.
Signs and symptoms that can come on suddenly or slowly can include:
Depression can also cause physical changes that can wreak havoc on your body, such as:
Stress can be a factor
Studies report that wives and partners may experience greater levels of stress and anxiety than their men with prostate cancer.
Get help if you need it
You may want to seek professional help from a medical doctor or psychiatrist if you or your man:
A medical professional can help you determine if you or your loved one’s feelings are “normal” for your situation, or if you may benefit from treatment for depression.
Hagedoorn M, Buunk BP, Kuijer RG, Wobbes T, Sanderman R. Couples dealing with cancer: role and gender differences regarding psychological distress and quality of life. Psycho-Oncology. 2000;9(3):232-242.
Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 3rd edition. Litin SC, ed. HarperResource. New York, NY: 2003; 1220-1226.
Always consult a medical professional.