Medical Handling of Mesothelioma Associated Depression

Medical Handling of Mesothelioma Associated Depression
Medical Handling of Mesothelioma Associated Depression
September 6, 2016

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that has been attributed to exposure to asbestos. Hence, most of the patients that become diagnosed with mesothelioma are those that worked in factories where asbestos were produced. Depression sets in because they feel betrayed and abandoned and would often blame their employers for their condition.

Depression has a number of symptoms

Those who are depressed will express one or more of the following attributes; feeling of sadness on a daily basis, too much or too little sleep, loss of interest in otherwise exciting activities, they tend to isolate themselves from the society and will have persistent lack of energy, motivation and show poor concentration and understanding. It should be noted that depression goes beyond a mere feeling of sadness or grieving losses that has to do with the diagnosis of cancer.

Read also: Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families

Certain factors increase the risk of depression among mesothelioma patients

Sadly, there has been no definitive therapy known to cure mesothelioma completely. The fear of death would become imminent. This elevated fear has the power to send the patient into depression. They will also need to adjust to the changes in their body and treatment schedules which are not particularly tasteful. Other factors that may lead to depression are feeling of anger or denial, anxiety and change in sleep and diet.

Levels of depression tolerance varies among patients

Patients with existing history of depression may find it more difficult coping with the depression that comes with mesothelioma. Depression can be worsened if one is diagnosed with an advanced or incurable form of cancer. Poor social support system and history of drug or alcohol abuse can also limit the level of tolerance of patients with mesothelioma associated depression.

Read also: The Need for Mesothelioma Patients to Plan Realistic New Year Resolution

The national cancer institute has researched into depression among mesothelioma patients

According to the report by the National Cancer Institute, fifteen to twenty five percent of cancer patients experience some forms of depression. Depression is not gender dependent, meaning that it affects males and females equally. As of now, there is no available data on the incidence of depression among mesothelioma patients.

Antidepressants can be used to assist mesothelioma patients suffering depression

Fortunately, depression among mesothelioma patients can be cured using antidepressants. There are a number of them available. Patients need to understand that they may have to try a few of the different types of antidepressants to discover the one that works for them. Antidepressants usually take four to six weeks to work. Therefore patients should not be hasty in judging the effectiveness of a particular medication.

Read also: Different Questions You are Expected to Ask Your Mesothelioma Oncologist

Antidepressants work by slowly restoring the balance in neurotransmitters

The communication in the brain cells occurs with the help of neurotransmitters. Some of the neurotransmitters are dopamine, serotonin, glutamate and adrenalin. These neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine) occur in abnormal level in the brains of depressed people resulting in poor communication among brain cells.

Antidepressants are constantly modified

The new antidepressants include Cymbalta, Prozac, Effexor, celexa, paxil, Zoloft and Lexapro. These newer antidepressants resulted from the modification of the older or atypical ones such as trazodone, wellbutrin, amitriptyline and nortriptyline. Physicians would mostly prescribe the newer ones but revert to the older ones if the new ones failed.

Antidepressants may present notable side effects

Abuse of antidepressants may worsen the side effect which is why patients need to stick with the prescription of their physician. Some of the notable side effects are, difficulty in sleeping, mild nausea and dry mouth which may last for a few days of commencement of the treatment. Within three to five day, the side effects usually subside.

Read also: How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress

Article highlights

  • Asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma.
  • Anxiety and fear of death can increase depression among patients.
  • Most mesothelioma patients have had prolonged exposure to asbestos.
  • Symptoms of depression vary among patients.
  • Patients that inherited some form of depression disorder will have a lower tolerance to depression.
  • Brain cells communicate using neurotransmitters.
  • Incidence of depression among mesothelioma patients has not been properly documented.
  • Antidepressants can reduce depression.
  • Antidepressant works by restoring the balance of neurotransmitters.
  • There has been constant modification of antidepressants.

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