Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Will therapy help me deal with my cancer diagnosis?"

ZocdocAnswersWill therapy help me deal with my cancer diagnosis?


I received my cancer diagnosis and am not coping well. I am a 41 year old female. My husband died only a year ago. Should I seek therapy? Will this help?


I am very sorry to hear both that you are dealing with a cancer diagnosis and also that you have recently lost a loved one. Both of these individually can be hard to deal with, and having to deal with them both at the same time must be even more difficult. I definitely suggest that you seek support from your family and friends. If you feel that this is not enough, and if you are having significant mood symptoms or trouble adjusting and coping, then a therapist may also be useful to you. You may want to talk to your primary care doctor, because they may have some recommendations for you in terms of who you could see for counseling and therapy. They will also be able to screen you for major depression or other serious mood problems, which might require medical treatment with medications. If you do need medications for your symptoms, your primary care doctor might feel comfortable prescribing them or they may want to refer you to a psychiatrist for management of these medications. Once again, sorry that you are dealing with this. Your primary care doctor and your other doctors will definitely be supportive of you and will help you find the resources you need.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.