Cancer affects people emotionally as well as physically. All of your feelings are important. There is no one correct way to deal with a cancer diagnosis. People with cancer, along with members of their support system, often experience anxiety and depression. A cancer diagnosis is a personal challenge as well as a family one.

Common Symptoms

  • Feeling down or hopeless for an extended period of time
  • Lack of energy (different from cancer fatigue)
  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Poor self-image and feeling like a disappointment to family and friends
  • Trouble with falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • Trouble concentrating on simple activities

Remember, you are not experiencing cancer alone. Most people rely on friends or family, a support group, or a church or religious group. Some people draw strength from reading, listening to music or taking walks. It’s important to find what works best for you.

If the depression doesn’t go away or seems severe, discuss your feelings and symptoms with your doctor, especially if you have thoughts of death or suicide. You may need medication or counseling until you feel better.