Dealing with anger, sadness and depression after a prostate cancer diagnosis

If you’re feeling very down, your appetite has changed a lot, or you get angry more easily, these could be signs of depression. We know it's not all roses and sunshine, but you can and will get through this.

What does
depression feel like?

Everyone’s different, but you may experience these changes:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless or empty
    You feel down or irritated most of the day, nearly every day.

  • Loss of interest or apathy
    You lose motivation to do things you used to enjoy, like going to movies, cooking and seeing friends or family.

  • Feeling irritable or hostile
    Your behaviour becomes emotionally charged or aggressive, and you don't always know why.

What else
might I notice?

  • Change in appetite or significant weight change
    Your weight and appetite are a lot less or a lot more than usual.

  • Sleep disturbances or fatigue
    You are sleeping too little or too much, or feel low on energy which isn’t fixed by rest or sleep.

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
    You drink more alcohol than before or start using drugs.

  • Risky or escapist behaviour
    You engage in reckless driving, compulsive gambling or spending a lot of time at work or on sports.

You may have thoughts of death or suicide. If you're having these thoughts, it’s important to speak to someone immediately.
Beyond Blue​

Contact Beyond Blue for 24-hour confidential support. Call on 1300 22 36 46 or visit their site.



or go directly to your nearest hospital emergency department.​

How to
take action

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about life, take action because things can get better. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Talk to someone you trust, especially when things are tough.

  • Get moving -

    does great things to your body and mind.

  • Take a break – you don’t need to solve every challenge today, so give yourself some downtime.

  • All good things take time, start with small habits which help build momentum and more change.

  • Break ‘rules’ you might impose on yourself – for example, run the dishwasher again if you haven’t had the energy to unstack it straight away.

  • Get out and do something you enjoy with a friend.

  • If you’ve tried some of the things above and still feel bad, talk to a professional for advice and support.

Who can help?

Your doctor or care team

Talk to your nurse, doctor or someone else in your care team. They can help you understand your prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and side effects, listen to your concerns, and put you in touch with other people who can help.

Trained counsellors

Counsellors are trained to listen and can help you to find your own ways to deal with things. Many hospitals have counsellors or psychologists who specialise in helping people with cancer - ask your doctor or care team at the hospital if this is available. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a counsellor, or you can seek out a private counsellor yourself.

To find out more information and details for local counsellors, contact the

What's next?

Now that you've read up on Dealing with anger, sadness and depression after a prostate cancer diagnosis, here are some related articles to explore as you continue to build your knowledge and understanding of this topic.
Give back to the prostate cancer community

Got a little time? Take a moment to share your prostate cancer experience with True North. Your feedback will help us create an even better website and tools for the entire prostate cancer community.

Movember True North Home
Stay Informed

As we launch new features and updates, we'd like to share the news with you first.

Select location
We're currently available in 6 countries.
© 2023 Movember Foundation. All rights reserved.
A registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization