Colon Cancer: Can Depression Hinder Your Recovery Before And After Treatment?

If your doctor plans to treat you for colon cancer in the upcoming weeks, and you suffer from depression, it's important that you speak to a counselor about your mental condition right away. Although it doesn't affect everyone, depression can create stress and anxiety in some people before and after cancer treatment. One of the things you might worry about is how your cancer treatment will affect your physical appearance after you complete it. If you don't know how to deal with these changes, the outcome of your cancer treatment may not be as good as your doctor expects. Here are things to know about depression and cancer treatment and how a counselor can help you get through them.  

How Can Depression Hinder Your Cancer Treatment?

Depression is one of the most common mood disorders today. It affects how you feel about yourself and the things that affect your life. The disorder can lead to anxiety, stress and other problems that can hinder your ability to cope with your cancer and the outcome of your treatment for it.

Treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can potentially cause hair and weight loss in some individuals. Your doctor will generally go over these potential side effects and others prior to your treatment. The knowledge gives you a chance to speak to a nutritionist about changing your diet or talk to a beautician about managing your hair. However, depression causes you to focus more on the negative aspects of the side effects instead of making efforts to cope with them.

You may spend more time indoors than with family and friends. You may even lose your appetite and the ability to sleep at night, which may cause your cancer to worsen. Your doctor may worry about the outcome of your colon cancer treatment and suggest that you seek help for your depression.

How Can Depression Treatment Help?

Depression treatment can help you acknowledge and overcome your fears about your cancer treatment and its side effects. One of the best things about depression treatment is that it allows you to talk about your feelings instead of hide them. If you're afraid to talk to your family and friends because you don't want to disappointment them, counseling can be the best option for you.

Counseling may also show you how to reduce your stress and anxiety in more positive ways. For example, a counselor may suggest that you join a colon cancer support group in your area. Speaking to individuals who already experienced and survived the side effects of cancer treatment may give you a new perspective on how to handle your side effects later. 

The above depression treatments are just some of the things you may experience in counseling. A counselor will discuss how they plan to treat you during your visits.   

For more information about depression or treatment for it, contact a counseling service (such as Dr Kuris Counseling Centers) today.