Understanding depression

Understanding depression


Depression is common in palliative care but under-reported, under-assessed and under-treated, leaving it a symptom for which there is still much to be done in order to help patients who develop depression.

Who gets depressed?

The answer is any patient can get depressed with advanced cancer (or any advanced disease); however, patients who have a past history of depression are at particular risk; younger patients appear to be at higher risk, as do patients with certain cancer types, for example, lung cancer or pancreatic cancer. Depression can also be more common in patients who have uncontrolled pain and other symptoms – it is often difficult to know whether it is untreated pain that is causing patients to become depressed or the fact that depression magnifies pain and other symptoms and that patients who are depressed often lose all motivation and see little point in anything, which can include taking analgesia regularly or other medication. As in all aspects of palliative care, excellent attention to detail and excellent communication skills are essential in assessment of depression.

When are patients more likely to get depressed?

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Aug 29, 2017 | Posted by in NURSING | Comments Off on Understanding depression

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