Psychological anguish following a cancer diagnosis might result in sadness and anxiety. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) comprise both indolent and aggressive subtypes, for which therapy and prognosis vary significantly. Incidence of psychiatric drug usage (PDs; antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiolytics) and its association with lymphoma subtypes could shed light on the psychological anguish endured by these individuals. Researchers compared the cumulative risk of PD usage in NHL patients with a sex- and age-matched cohort from the general Danish population in this prospective cohort. In addition, patterns of interaction with psychiatric departments and incidents of purposeful self-harm or suicide attempts were investigated. About 8,750 NHL patients and 43,750 matched controls were included in the study (median age 68; male: female ratio 1.6). The median duration of follow-up was 7.1 years. The 2-year cumulative risk of PD usage was higher in NHL patients (16.4%) than in matched controls (5.1%), P<.01); aggressive NHL subtypes were associated with the highest incidence. In aggressive NHLs, prescription rates were higher in the first few years after diagnosis but approximated the rate of the matched group 5 years into survivorship, whereas indolent subtypes remained at a greater risk. Patients with NHL exhibited a marginally greater 2-year risk of suicide/intentional self-harm (0.3% vs 0.2%) compared to matched controls (P=.01). These data indicated that mental health issues were prevalent among NHL patients. The routine evaluation of depression and anxiety symptoms should be considered as part of NHL patients’ normal follow-up.

Source:onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajh.26538