Psychosocial/Emotional Issues - Multiple Myeloma Center for Nurses

Psychosocial/Emotional Issues

Psychosocial/Emotional Issues

Patients with multiple myeloma can experience distress and anxiety at the time of diagnosis, during treatment, and if their disease relapses or progresses.

Symptoms can include uncontrollable fear, worry, or sorrow; trouble focusing or problem solving; muscle tension; and irritability or anger.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Unmet mental health needs among myeloma patients have been found to be most prevalent during treatment, which can continue for some time during different regimens and treatment approaches. Some medications, like steroids, can worsen feelings of anxiety
  • Addressing these issues calls for ongoing engagement and support. Caregivers are critical, as is the social and psychological support that can be found in counseling and support groups
  • Communication between patients and their healthcare team is critical
  • Patients should be encouraged to take up activities like exercise, yoga, or meditation to help improve both physical and mental health. Antidepressant medications may be prescribed for appropriate patients


Catamero D, Noonan K, Richards T, et al. Distress, fatigue, and sexuality: understanding and treating concerns and symptoms in patients with multiple myeloma. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2017;21(5 suppl):7-18.