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Prostate Cancer and Depression

By: Dr. Rich Bevan-Thomas, M.D.
Medical Director of USMD Prostate Cancer Center

You have had your prostate biopsy and are awaiting the results. In the intervening time you have realized that your anxiety has risen dramatically. The day to receive your results arrives and you hear the words you did not want to hear, “You haveprostate cancer.” “What if’s “flood your mind and it is difficult to listen to the further information the doctor is sharing with you. You are not alone in your experience.

Many men receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis experience sadness, anger, bitterness, and fear. With a strong support system of family, faith, or friends, patients often adapt to the initial emotional difficulties they felt. However, if you continue to experience anxiety, grief, anger or fear for weeks or months, this could indicate clinical depression.

Symptoms of clinical depression include:

  • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • fatigue and decreased energy • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism • insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • irritability, restlessness
  • loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • overeating or appetite loss • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment • persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

While some of these symptoms might be a result of your treatment, it is important to tell your USMD Prostate Cancer Center physician that you are experiencing them.

Learn more about depression as it relates to prostate cancer diagnosis in the complete post of this article here.

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