Veterans of America’s Armed Forces are supposed to look back to their service with unbridled pride, but for those diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, their memories will forever be tarnished by the knowledge that during the years that they served they were exposed to the material that led to their illness and eventual death. For those whose sadness, grief and anger goes beyond the expected and turns to clinical depression, there are resources available.
Patients diagnosed with cancers of all kinds are vulnerable to depression, and this is especially true of a fatal cancer like mesothelioma. A recent study conducted at the Ohio State University revealed that depression actually contributes to the physical pain that cancer patients feel, and exacerbates their risk of experiencing adverse side effects from the treatments that they receive. The study relied upon data gathered via telephone interviews with patients, who were asked about their daily functions, their symptoms, their emotions, and other factors. Many were found to be severely depressed. The researchers stressed the importance of caregivers and clinicians alike being on the lookout for symptoms of depression so that they can receive the support and treatment that they need.
Barbara Andersen, PhD and Clinical Professor of Psychology at Ohio State, wrote, “Depression is just part of what these patients are dealing with. It comes with this whole package of worse functioning, more physical symptoms, stress, anxiety and more. All of these can have negative effects on treatment, overall health, quality of life and disease progression. Some oncologists may have a mindset that ‘of course, you’re depressed, you have lung cancer.’ This may show an under-appreciation of the breadth of depressive symptoms and other difficulties which accompany it.”
If you or someone you love is a veteran who has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, we can help you get the benefits you need. Contact us today at 1-800-726-7245.