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bummed

sherra
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2002

I recently was told I'm in complete remission. I'm very excited to have my life back- in fact since the cancer I even got married but for some reason I've been feeling so depressed. I went through this before and have since started taking antidepressents, I've felt pretty good since then until lately. I know that this is not an uncommon thing to feel after all I've been through but how do I get rid of it?

dpomroy's picture
dpomroy
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2000

Well first of all congratulations on your remission. That is fantastic. I know how weird it is to feel like you should be jumping up and down and so happy, but feeling down in the dumps instead. It is very typical for cancer patients to need antidepressants for at least a while to get back some balance. Don't feel ashamed about that. Think of all your body has been through. Wouldn't it be even more surprising if you didn't need a little nudge from antidepressants? Do make sure that you get a good physical from your regular family doctor to rule out any other factors that may be contributing though like thyroid and hormone levels. Both of those things were out of whack for me too and both are easily regulated with synthroid and low dose HRT. Good luck and I'm here if you need a listening ear.
Deb

Ultraman
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2003

of course, post-treatment depression is common. how do you get rid of it? that's a very good question. i've been trying to get rid of it for the last 6 months or so. it was pretty heavy at first, but now it is limited to weekly bouts. so for maybe a week out of a month i will be in depresso mode. it feels like it is gradually being phased out but i can't really point to anything specifically that i've done to make it go away. i'm surprised that it isn't more profound because i am a pretty emotional guy and depression prone anyway. i guess i just try to remind myself that part of being a survivor is dealing with your negative emotions in a productive way. so i play a lot of music and exercise as much as i can, meditate, yoga, find friends that don't mind me venting, all sorts of things. it is better than the opposite of surviving, that's for sure.

i guess antidepressants are fine if you need them. although, it sort of reminds me of something a friend of mine told me the other day, half jokingly of course: "If you're having a rough week, do what i do. increase your obliviousness to everything around you through more drug use!" i laughed, but it also made me think, you know...i want to increase my awareness, not my obliviousness. i'm not trying to discourage you from medicine that is helping you out, but you might want to think about it as a short term solution while gradually decreasing your dependancy on it. have you ever thought about therapy? it may be good to talk to someone about your feelings, especially someone who is trained to bring out negative emotions and expose them. i've actually considered doing that myself. not that this message board isn't a good outlet, but a professional psychologist may be better at flushing a lot of the depression out.

cancerclimber's picture
cancerclimber
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2003

Sherra... congrats to you on becoming cancer free. it's an awesome accomplishment. I too had Hodgkin's Disease and was given about 3 months to live. I'm now 28... er, 29 today! Anyhow, i went through a bout of depression myself. I try to beat it by doing something that always gives me joy...physical activity. Endorphins released during exercise really increase your mood and your attitude. When i'm feeling a little bumed out, i go for a run, hike, bike... anything to get my mind off being a little low. Usually i'm taken in by what i'm doing so much i forgot why i was feeling bad ;) give it a shot and let me know how it works out for you :) good luck and always try to smile. eventually your mind will think you're happy :)

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