My father-in-law was treated with radiation for prostate cancer 2 years ago. Since then he seems depressed. He does not believe in therapy. What can we do? Do you think the depression could be caused by something related to his cancer treatment?

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Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on depression

Depression is often seen in the context of many medical illnesses, including cancer. The mechanisms underlying the associations are poorly understood. You should do everything you can to get your father-in-law to see someone for his depression if not a psychiatrist, then his internist. Depression even in the context of other illnesses is very treatable.

 

Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Council Member

Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience
Chair, Department of Neuroscience
Director, Friedman Brain Institute
Mount Sinai School of Medicine