Needles or the couch: A new study reports similar efficacy in the management of depression. It is not uncommon for cancer patients and survivors to suffer with depression, so I’m always researching for new and effective non-pharmacologic treatments whenever possible (antidepressant medications often have side effects). Based on this study and others, I think acupuncture is a great option to try for those with mild-to-moderate depression.
If you want to really turbocharge your recovery from depression, consider combining acupuncture with mental health counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy as they may work synergistically.
Severe depression, on the other hand, requires treatment with medications and mental health counseling.
If you feel depressed, let your cancer care team know. We can help you.
Score your answers on these two questions to see if you may be depressed. Over the past 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems? (0=Not at all, 1=Several days, 2=More than half the days, 3=Nearly everyday)
- Little interest or pleasure in doing things
- Feeling down, depressed or hopeless
A recent study found that if you score a total of 3 or more points on both questions you are considered to be at risk for depression and you need to let your cancer care team or primary care physician know.