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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Depressed and lonely: 60-year-old man who has cancer asks to be let into prison to be around other people

Cancer impacts not just one’s physical health, but it may also elicit a wide range of feelings that a person is not used to experiencing.

Among them could be depression, anxiety, and loneliness, which are mental disorders that can be difficult to deal with and treat.

A Spanish man has taken this to the extreme, as he has reportedly voluntarily brought himself to prison authorities and asked to be let in. The reason: to be among other people.

The man was identified as 60-year-old Justo Márquez. According to El Español, Márquez’s physicians diagnosed him with prostate cancer in March 2020, coinciding with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Márquez said this was one of the hardest times of his life.

He believes that despite 20 years of marriage and having five children, whom he has not seen since June, he is lonely. He lives and feels alone and is requesting that the authorities allow him to join the Alhaurín de la Torre jail willingly in order to have someone near him attend to him when he needs it.

“When it’s daytime I take it well, I get on my TikTok, which entertains me by telling jokes, and I spend the day, but my problem comes when night falls and I get into bed. That’s when I have a hard time,” he was quoted as saying.

He was supposedly in the prison’s parking lot demonstrating for his request, but the organisation told him he had to do it outside the enclosure.

“Márquez expresses that he has knocked on all possible doors, but nobody gives him a solution to his problems, beyond prescribing different treatments and tests. In addition to cancer, he says he suffers from heart problems, anxiety, and depression,” reported El Español.

The United States National Library of Medicine revealed that oncology patients’ mental health was surveyed and showed that they were severely impacted by Covid-19 and its lockdowns.

In the survey, the institution said, “Of the 606 patients, 53% were categorised in the lonely group. The lonely group reported higher levels of social isolation, as well as higher severity scores for all of the symptoms evaluated.

“In the multivariate model, being unmarried, having higher levels of social isolation, as well as higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, were associated with membership in the lonely group.”

According to the findings of the study, a substantial proportion of cancer patients are lonely, most likely as a result of mandated social distance and isolation measures. These individuals’ symptom burden is exceedingly significant, necessitating clinical examination and care.

*If you are in need of help or know someone who is, please contact Sadag’s toll free call centre on 080 056 7567.



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