Dr Nici Zeeman is General Practitioner with a special interest in breast and thyroid health at Apffelstaedt & Associates.
Dr Zeeman recently shared with GLAMOUR, that studies reveal that major depression affects approximately 25% of breast cancer patients after diagnosis and during treatment.
“Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women and can carry all sorts of stigmas around self-image and sexuality. There are some practical things you can do that will help you navigate your diagnosis and treatment while minimising your risk of depression,” says Dr Zeeman.
She added that it is still important to note that not all of these options will work for everyone.
“If you are showing signs of depression it is essential that you speak to your doctor and get the medical help you need,” Dr Zeeman.
Take a look at the 7 tips that will help you, or a loved one, navigate a breast cancer diagnosis, treatment while minimising the risk of depression.
Set realistic day-to-day goals. You need to be gentle with yourself and not expect that you will be able to do everything you did in the past.
Human connection is important, especially if you are an older patient. Try to be with other people for at least an hour a day.
It is important that you have someone to talk to and confide in. Whether it’s a professional, friend or family member.
Participation in positive events/actions can be very helpful. Movies, sporting events, playing music, painting, etc.
Good nutrition is vital. A diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein will bolster the immune system and aid in your well-being.
Exercise is proven to reduce stress and ease depression.
Alcohol should be avoided as it is known to make depression worse and can interfere with antidepressant medicine.