CSN Login
Members Online: 5

post-treatment depression

krodell
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2001

My mom's last chemo was 4 weeks ago. She is now cancer free! :) We are rejoicing! Well, all of us except Mom. She is so depressed that all she does is sleep, about 14-18 hours a day. When she's not sleeping, she's crying. She doesn't know why and doesn't know how we can help her. She's currently on anti-depressants. Help! Any thoughts on how we can help her? Is it something she just needs to go through? We're all frustrated because we are so happy she's ok, but....

palcat
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2001

Well first, congratulations on the news of Mom being cancer free! I know how hard it is to see our Moms depressed, crying. Your Mom is doing the right thing by taking anti-depressants, hopefully she is also getting some kind of therapy to support her at this time. Remember that depression is about chemical changes in the brain, and the depressed person has no control over that. Just try to respect what she's feeling, let it be okay for her to be down. Let her know it makes you sad that she's sad. Tell her that you love her. With time, she will begin to feel better. Try to be patient and gentle with her and remain positive that things will get better for her. I hope this helps. Hugs, Angie

cat1switzerland
Posts: 119
Joined: May 2001

Hi,

I too had a small bit of depression a few months after the treatment was over. I am finding out it is not uncommon. To me it may have been because I was the center of attention for my friends and families and medical team, I was in the middle of a big battle and suddenly... nothing. The fight was over, but I was not sure anything really changed, and was a bit scared that if nothing did change, the same cause would bring the same effect and cancer would come back.

What ended the depression for me was a change of lifestyles : I switched to a less stressful job, took steps towards a better life, better food, a bit more exercising... And more FUN !

Another lady on CSN mentionned to me she experienced depression as well, and that it may have been survivors guilt.

Give your Mom a lot of love, encourage her to do fun stuff, to list her dreams and to make them come true. I am not sure antidepressants are good, the only thing I took was light dosage sleep pills to help me sleep at night. I feel our brains need to be awake during the day to efficiently mourn what used to be a part of us (even if cancer was a bad part of us). Making the decision of changing our lifes after cancer is also too important to be affected by medicines. That is only my personal opinion, though, and I am not a doctor.

A big hug to you both,
Cathy

pennie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2001

Good luck with this one. After 6 mo of chemo and 18 radiations with an excellent prognosis my husband, this part has been the worst. So far I have endured morphine withdrawal, restless leg syndrome, severe insomnia, an armed suicide threat and extremely cruel behaviour. He is also on antidepressant, but refuses phsychiatric help. Oncologist, radiologist and GP feel their work is done, except for follow up. I am a lone caregiver with no back up who runs our 2 business (badly). Please seek immediate phsychiatric intervention if you mom is willing. I have read an alarming number of patients with certain criteria develop serious Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that can be long term. All best. Pennie

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network