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Counseling/cancer causes depression



Your article had made me more worse than ever. I had been battling health anxiety since 20 years. I have mitral valve prolapse with trivial regurgitation which is causing anxiety and palpitation.

Your article that cancer causes depression made me more worry & fearful. All people who have been diagnosed depression are suffering from cancer. I came to you to remove my fear, but got trap in the vicious cycle of anxiety & cancer. You made me more fearful.I am now getting full blown panic attack since one week. I know everyone in the world get depressed for some reasons. All chronic illness such as cancer, heart disease, heart attack, hypertension, etc get depression due to their continue ongoing challenges & struggle. So, according to you everybody who are depressed is having cancer made me more fearful. Thanks for making me more fearful & anxious than before.If you can help me plz help me remove from this fear trap.

ANSWER: I apologize for making you more fearful.
Maybe you need to look into this, find out for sure what's going on.
Please get yourself to a doctor. That may be the only way to get over your fear.
At least you can confront your fears, with the help of qualified professionals.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: What I understood from your article is that depression is the symptom of cancer & I am obsessing that my depression is due to cancer.

What is Know is Anxiety or depression is not the symptom of cancer & upon being knowing or diagnosis of cancer, the patient become anxious & depressed.

I have known many people living with depression since 30+ years. All people who have depression should go & test for cancer & it will be for what type of cancer. All of the world has depression, that means all of them have cancer.

I got this obsession by reading your article & misunderstood. So, plz by only thru your comment i can come out this fear. Plz help me.

If i will come to know that depression is not the symptoms of cancer, my severe anxiety will vanish.

So, for god sake bring me out of this fear trap. I am unable to function & get out of the bed due to fear.

I was very happy when i came to know that, anxiety & depression does not cause cancer, but caught stuck in the web of cancer causes depression, u mean the diagnosed cancer patients have depression.

Whole day my mind is obsessing that depression is the symptom of cancer.

Plz god will bless u, i cannot explain u how bad anxiety i am facing.

I cannot afford to go the psychiatrist & there is no CBT therapist here.

Dear Afzal,
I have appreciated emailing with you, and I have empathy for your situation. You are terribly worried you might have cancer. However, reading my chapter did not cause your anxiety. It bothers me that you accuse me of giving you anxiety, just because I tried to help.
Go to a doctor and find out what's going on, and quit accusing innocent people of causing your problems.
After talking to you for a while, I would say your anxiety comes from your emotional problems and lack of functional emotional boundaries. Not from your disease, if you have it.
I recommend that you go to a doctor and find out for sure what's going on with you.


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Nori Muster


Art therapy, positive thinking, and abuse recovery.


I have been an expert at since 2000. Before that, during college and graduate school, I put in approximately three hundred volunteer hours working at juvenile halls. I also worked in drug and alcohol counseling agencies. In addition, I have done art and writing therapy with young people who grew up in abusive religious groups.

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), helps families, people who grew up in cults, and people leaving cults.

Books by Nori:
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World, a history of positive thinking and how to practice it in the post-9/11 world.
Child of the Cult, a collection of stories about children who grew up in restrictive religious groups.
Cult Survivor's Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life, a recovery handbook for people who had a bad experience in a group.

For a summary of all writing, see

Masters of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (psychology, counseling, and criminal justice), Western Oregon University, 1991.

Awards and Honors
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement won an award from for best selling book in its category.

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