The majority of people, understandably, experience significant emotional distress after learning they have cancer. This emotional distress is more than just the initial shock. Cancer pulls you out of your life. Cancer sets your schedule. Cancer is the harbinger of change. Change and uncertainty and the rigor of treatment wear on a person – not just physically, but also on their soul. This is where cancer ambushes you and your immune system. Cancer and depression go hand in hand and depression suppresses your immune system.
“Chemo brain” is a common term used by cancer survivors to describe their loss of concentration and memory problems. Chemotherapy, and other cancer treatments, are also blamed for the lingering fatigue that daunts cancer patients – sometimes for months or even years after they have finished treatment.
Many of the symptoms of depression such as fatigue, lack of energy, memory impairment, sleep changes, and loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities already strike cancer patients because of the disease and its treatment. It can be very difficult to spot depression. Under-recognition of depression in cancer patients is common. The American Cancer Society estimates that three of every four people suffering from “chemo brain” symptoms can actually attribute these symptoms to depression and other medication side effects. Chemotherapy is taking the rap for the effects of depression. …[continue reading]