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Lung Cancer Depression, How it Affects Everyone



                               Up to 1 in every 4 people with Cancer will have Clinical Depression

Fear and Anxiety is normal for anyone fighting Cancer. Not only does each cancer patient experience this, their family, loved ones and friends may also experience Depression.

The fear of unknowns is normal. The fear of Lung Cancer early on can be devastating. Everyone is aware by now that the WEB is a great medium for research. Researching Lung Cancer is not pleasant, due to the overall negative statistical information available. Please remember a lot of information lags significantly behind by years. Medical details, studies and papers written by researchers are difficult at best to decode by the average person and are generally referenced to  lifespan.     It is possible to feel like you are lost in a sea of bad information.                    

Every Lung Cancer patient, their families and care givers will face some degree of Depression.
A Young Woman dealing with Lung Cancer may feel a loss of control over life events and must deal with lifestyle changes which include a fear of death, the fear of pain and suffering through treatment.  Reduced control for a stable income, insurance and the cost of medical treatments is a reality that can depress the patient and families. The fear of not taking care of her family or spending time with friends in public can be difficult.  The list of daily activities,  responsibilities and related fears goes on and on.
Young Women who are experiencing physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, skin irritation or the loss of hair may also be experiencing emotional distress compounding the aspects of Depression and their families. Physical Cancer related symptoms can be moderated with medication.  Depression and Lung Cancer can be a little more difficult to control with only medication.

Recognizing these aspects early and making an active effort towards physical and mental health by understanding the symptoms of Depression, fear, anxiety and distress can increase each young woman's Quality of Life.
  • Angry outburst, irritability, short negative response to a simple question
  • Trouble focusing or Solving problems
  • Restlessness or Hopelessness
  • Feeling on edge or keyed up
  • Muscle Tension
  • Trembling or Shaking
  • Loss of Appetite

Recognizing the first signs of depression, then making it to the next step of wanting to address the matter is a positive step in the right direction.  Whether it's talking to a close friend, family member or your doctor, anxiety is natural, fear and depression over a long period is bad for everyone's health, especially a cancer patient. Recognizing Depression and trying to do something about it will have a positive impact on your quality of life.

Things that you can do

  • Remember it's OK to feel Sad, Frustrated or Angry
  • Share your Feelings and Fears with someone close
  • Listen carefully to others' Feelings
  • Encourage, but do not force someone to talk                                                    
  • Try Meditation, Prayer or Spiritual Support
  • Try Deep breathing and relaxation exercises
  • Talk to a counselor or support group for Lung Cancer 
  • Talk with your Doctor about anti-Anxiety or anti-Depressant medication

Panic Attack and Lung Cancer

If you have ever experienced loss of breath, sever Asthma, had the wind knocked out of you or stayed underwater too long, then you have experienced a minor panic attack. Having lung cancer and experiencing a panic due to not being able to get enough oxygen can be extremely scary. The chance of a panic attack for someone with lung cancer increases if they develop additional upper respiratory issues (a cold).

Understanding that a Panic attack is possible and being aware of these symptoms may ease some stress if one occurs.
Some of the symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath or can't catch your breath
  • Chest Discomfort or Pain
  • Dizziness or faint
  • Abnormally fast Heart Rate
  • Sweating or chills
  • Tingling or Numbness

If you experience these symptoms, try to relax and have someone notify your doctor, so you can be accurately diagnosed. As directed by your doctor, administer oxygen or if needed call 911.

For more information about Depression click to connect to the National Cancer Institute