Aug 23, 2014 - 6:15 pm
Good afternoon all. I want to thank everyone from what I can see after just joining this CSN about 15 minutes ago is a place full of amazing people faced with so much but still managing to help strangers on the Internet they'll never meet.
My father has pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed 2 years ago at the age of 50. Since then, he has had chemotherapy, radiation, and an ex-vivo radical surgery to resect the tumor (but in the process he also had his stomach removed).
He has had depression and anxiety his entire life, long before the cancer, but as you can imagine, being faced with such a terrible illness and the delibitating effects of treatment has made his depression and anxiety even worse.
He was given a small dose of antidepressants while in the hospital several months ago but has recently declared that he has made the decision not to take antidepressants anymore. He refuses to see a mental health professional and refuses to take any antidepressants. However, he routinely makes passive suicidal statements, such as how he doesn't want to live anymore, he can't take it anymore, etc. While absolutely no one in my family questions why he feels this way, judges him, or believes he is in the wrong for feeling this way, his depression for which he refuses to get treatment is taking a serious emotional toll on everyone. My brother, who has significant psychiatric disabilities, has especially been impacted, and been hospitalized for his own suicide attempts because of the home environment.
I know no one can force my father to take medications or see a mental health professional, but my question is, are there any resources out there? Case managers? Social workers? Someone to help my family? We are in crisis. If my father does not want to live, then I suppose palliative care/hospice is the only option, but how do I get that? I feel like we are so adrift and alone. He has various doctors but his care seems very compartmentalized and I just don't know who to turn to or where to go. I've heard of something called a case manager that makes an assessment on the patient and family and can help coordinate and obtain community resources, etc. But I dont even know where to begin.
If anyone has any kind of experience with case management, obtaining resources, etc, I would greatly appreciate your help. Frankly, I just don't know how to proceed. I don't want my father OR the rest of my family to suffer any more than we already have.
Thank you for your time