Having cancer is a major challenge to go through not only for your physical health but your mental health. According to Mental Health America, one-third of people who have cancer also have a mental health condition. To avoid experiencing depression while trying to fight cancer, it is important to find ways to lift up your spirits to make this experience more bearable than before.
No Treatment Can Worsen Outcomes
Having cancer can lead you to a depression that can worsen the outcome of your cancer. You could be too sad to do your treatment plans or take prevention screenings. This could mean not exercising, drinking a lot of alcohol, or not showing up to therapy appointments. Because people with cancer are worried about how much time they have left or wondering if they will survive cancer, they feel like mentally letting themselves go. This can lower your chances of survival if you are not doing what the doctor is telling you to do to live.
Reasons for No Mental Health Treatment
Having cancer can give you the same symptoms that you would get for anxiety and depression where you experience fatigue, lack of sleep, and not eating enough which can make it easy to let a mental health condition slip. Teams that are trained to handle cancer often do not know what to do for mental illnesses. Because of all of the time and money it takes to care for someone’s cancer, these teams may feel that a cancer patient’s mental illness is not as important as a life-threatening illness. This may make a cancer patient not bother seeking help.
Mental Health Treatment to Improve Survival Rates
Despite how challenging and dire your cancer is, it is important to believe that there is hope. According to the study “Depression in Cancer Patients: Pathogenesis, Implications, and Treatment,” those who got treatment and fewer symptoms of depression had longer average survival times than those who had more symptoms. Getting treatment means that you have a better chance of following your treatment plans and having a better quality of life. If there is no mental health screening in your oncology setting, you can still speak to a doctor about seeking mental health treatment such as counseling, medication, and therapy. By being in control of your mental health, you will be more likely to follow your doctor’s advice and increase your chances of survival.
Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alma Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alma Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.