AIs/depression/what would YOU do

ohilly
ohilly Member Posts: 441
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I know this has to be my decision, but what would you do this in this situation: I have been severely depressed, and wake up with this terrible feeling. Granted, a lot of bad things have happened to me over the past year, but my depression does not seem to be about SOMETHING. I just wake up depressed. I asked my onc, and he confirmed that Femara (and the other AIs) could cause depression,although he said it was rare (funny how everything is 'rare,' but when you talk to other women you get the opposite impression). I am afraid to switch to one of the other AIs because they could be even worse, and because my onc told me that 'theoretically' Femara is the best because it suppresses the estrogen more completely than Arimidex or Aromasin, although he admitted that this has not been proved yet in clinical trials. I have been considering taking anti-depressants, but am terrified of losing more hair (my hair thinned dramatically, also from the Femara, and my research on the web shows that many anti-depressants list hair thinning as a side effect).

I have an appointment to see my primary care physician on Friday: I was thinking that maybe he could give me Ativan or Xanax or a drug like that to take as needed which would not harm my hair. To me this seems like a better alternative than some of the heavy-duty anti-depressants a psychiatrist I saw had suggested. I am also planning to take some meditation classes and am seeing a therapist.

Any advice would be appreciated. I really believe the depression is from the Femara because although I have been depressed before, it never felt like this, just coming out of the blue for no apparent reason. Also, sometimes I just don't feel good physically (hard to explain) and I think it's also from the AI.

Hugs,

Ohilly
«13

Comments

  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    Hi Ohilly. I am not on any
    Hi Ohilly. I am not on any of those, so, I can't speak from first hand knowledge. But, it does sound like you might need to be on some medication. Maybe not antidepressants, maybe some anti-anxiety pills. But, you need to do something to make you feel better. You have already been thru so much, that it is time for you to feel good, to feel happy again. So, good luck with your doctor. I hope he can prescribe something for you to take. Please let me know how you do! Good luck, Kylez
  • ladybug22
    ladybug22 Member Posts: 646
    Ohilly
    I am so sorry you are so depressed you have gone thought a lot.I am on aprozac it help some. good luck to u ohilly. long time no see you glade you back wish i could help u more
  • cats_toy
    cats_toy Member Posts: 1,462 Member
    no apparant reason?
    Ohilly, you have gone through some very traumatizing experiences in this journey of ours. You cannot really think there is no reason for your depression? Even though we go on with our normal lives as we kick cancers butt, we still have that fear, anxiety and depression from the whole experience. It is normal, and if you think some type of anti-depressant would help, try it. And I have never heard of one of them making you lose your hair. So breathe easier.
    Let us know how it goes
    =^..^=
  • The1percen
    The1percen Member Posts: 135
    Depression
    Hi,
    While I am new to BC, I can definately talk about depression and anxiety. There IS a difference... You can have one or the other OR both. They have different but the same symptoms, I know that sounds weird, but you can have the "the same" symptoms but for different reasons. First let me explain that I can't tell you what will work for you, but I can give you what has worked for me however, keep in mind, I am not sure how "cancer" drugs interact with "psych" meds. You have have to know YOURSELF well enough to tell when you are anxious and when you are depressed... OR BOTH, but they are different and I am not sure what meds you taking for BC that might cause either or both. Please talk to your ONC and he/she can guide you to a psychiatrist who works with cancer patients. I can tell you though SEEK HELP!!!! IT like cancer IS TREATABLE!!!! In a month or so I might be able to tell about the reactions BC meds w/ antidepress/antianxiety meds, however, I HOPE NOT! With that aside... Personally, I don't like the "stronger" anti-anxiety meds. For me Hydroxizine (?) "Atarax" is strong enough, I don't know about Xanax, never tried it, but Ativan makes me TOO DOPEY! I was on Zoloft for depression for many, many years and then Buprion (Wellbutrin) was added, but recently I was switched to Effexor (Venlafaxine) and the Buprion. Just as I have read that different "combos" are used for BC, so the same for "psych" meds. One combo maynot work, so try another. Please remember that optimum results can take 4-6 weeks, I usually feel a change much quicker though. if you want (and that goes for anybody here) to email "on the side" I am [email protected]... I am NOT Dr, but I play one on the internet.LMAO... I recently had a nurse call me an "internet Dr" and further stated that it may not be a derrogatory remark. You can learn alot by "google-ing" but you have to be careful, where you go, just make sure it is a "reputable" site. Let me close by reiterating... SEEK HELP!!! Take Care of YOURSELF,
    Mike
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Ohilly........
    I take Xanax, and it and Ativan are an anti-anxiety med., so I'm not sure if it would help with treating depression. They DO help with anxiety though.

    My doc prescribed Wellbutrin XL years ago for me, after my hysterectomy, as she felt I was depressed. I have remarked to her since then that I am not sure it works because I still get "down". She said that if I were not taking it, I would be very much worse. So I continue to take it.
    As far as thinning hair being a side effect....I have no idea. It has never caused my hair to thin, but I don't know if others have had problems with it.

    I do know that depression will cause physical symptoms, as well as emotional issues. That could be another source of not feeling well at times.

    I hope that you and your PCP can come up with some kind of plan to help you out. Trying to live with depression....and/or anxiety is sure no fun!

    Hugs,

    CR
  • Derbygirl
    Derbygirl Member Posts: 198
    Ohilly, I would try
    Ohilly, I would try switching to Arimidex to see if there are less side effects. I switched from Femara to Arimidex earlier this year although I realized there may be no change since they're in the same class of drugs. During the time I was on Femara I had loss of eyelashes and eyebrows one month after starting the drug and again in 3 months. I switched to Arimidex and haven't had that problem since. Maybe the depression would be helped also??? I continue to have lower back aches and leg stiffness, but they're somewhat managed with over-the-counter meds. Good luck!
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
    Derbygirl said:

    Ohilly, I would try
    Ohilly, I would try switching to Arimidex to see if there are less side effects. I switched from Femara to Arimidex earlier this year although I realized there may be no change since they're in the same class of drugs. During the time I was on Femara I had loss of eyelashes and eyebrows one month after starting the drug and again in 3 months. I switched to Arimidex and haven't had that problem since. Maybe the depression would be helped also??? I continue to have lower back aches and leg stiffness, but they're somewhat managed with over-the-counter meds. Good luck!

    Ohilly, I am so sorry for
    Ohilly, I am so sorry for the way you are feeling. You probably should talk to your doctor about a nerve pill or an antidepressant or something. I have never heard of anyone having thinning hair as a result of an antidepressant or nerve pill, so, you should be ok. Just call your doctor! Feel better soon!
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570
    Waking up with the terrible feeling
    OHilly, I've been struggling with this too. I had been depressed before cancer, but nothing like this. It does just come out of the blue for no apparent reason. I have been trying different antidepressants and also anti-anxiety drugs. Haven't hit on the right combo yet. I've been taking Arimidex since last October. The anxiety began before that though, during rads. I believe that I am going to find the right anti-depressant and get better. Please don't be afraid to try one. Love, Lynn
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
    lynn1950 said:

    Waking up with the terrible feeling
    OHilly, I've been struggling with this too. I had been depressed before cancer, but nothing like this. It does just come out of the blue for no apparent reason. I have been trying different antidepressants and also anti-anxiety drugs. Haven't hit on the right combo yet. I've been taking Arimidex since last October. The anxiety began before that though, during rads. I believe that I am going to find the right anti-depressant and get better. Please don't be afraid to try one. Love, Lynn

    I think it hits all of us at
    I think it hits all of us at one time or another. And, some need medication to help them thru it. So Ohilly, please call your doctor and see what is out there for you. And, let us know what you decide. Hugs, Lex
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
    lynn1950 said:

    Waking up with the terrible feeling
    OHilly, I've been struggling with this too. I had been depressed before cancer, but nothing like this. It does just come out of the blue for no apparent reason. I have been trying different antidepressants and also anti-anxiety drugs. Haven't hit on the right combo yet. I've been taking Arimidex since last October. The anxiety began before that though, during rads. I believe that I am going to find the right anti-depressant and get better. Please don't be afraid to try one. Love, Lynn

    Ohilly, there are lots that
    Ohilly, there are lots that struggle with depression. And, look at all that you have had to go thru. So, call your doctor and see what he can do for you, whether it be pills or some kind of counseling. Good luck!
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    Noel said:

    Ohilly, there are lots that
    Ohilly, there are lots that struggle with depression. And, look at all that you have had to go thru. So, call your doctor and see what he can do for you, whether it be pills or some kind of counseling. Good luck!

    Ohilly? What have you
    Ohilly? What have you decided to do? Did you call your doctor? Post and let us know please!
  • ladybug22
    ladybug22 Member Posts: 646

    Depression
    Hi,
    While I am new to BC, I can definately talk about depression and anxiety. There IS a difference... You can have one or the other OR both. They have different but the same symptoms, I know that sounds weird, but you can have the "the same" symptoms but for different reasons. First let me explain that I can't tell you what will work for you, but I can give you what has worked for me however, keep in mind, I am not sure how "cancer" drugs interact with "psych" meds. You have have to know YOURSELF well enough to tell when you are anxious and when you are depressed... OR BOTH, but they are different and I am not sure what meds you taking for BC that might cause either or both. Please talk to your ONC and he/she can guide you to a psychiatrist who works with cancer patients. I can tell you though SEEK HELP!!!! IT like cancer IS TREATABLE!!!! In a month or so I might be able to tell about the reactions BC meds w/ antidepress/antianxiety meds, however, I HOPE NOT! With that aside... Personally, I don't like the "stronger" anti-anxiety meds. For me Hydroxizine (?) "Atarax" is strong enough, I don't know about Xanax, never tried it, but Ativan makes me TOO DOPEY! I was on Zoloft for depression for many, many years and then Buprion (Wellbutrin) was added, but recently I was switched to Effexor (Venlafaxine) and the Buprion. Just as I have read that different "combos" are used for BC, so the same for "psych" meds. One combo maynot work, so try another. Please remember that optimum results can take 4-6 weeks, I usually feel a change much quicker though. if you want (and that goes for anybody here) to email "on the side" I am [email protected]... I am NOT Dr, but I play one on the internet.LMAO... I recently had a nurse call me an "internet Dr" and further stated that it may not be a derrogatory remark. You can learn alot by "google-ing" but you have to be careful, where you go, just make sure it is a "reputable" site. Let me close by reiterating... SEEK HELP!!! Take Care of YOURSELF,
    Mike

    depression ever stop
    cant sleep bad dreams hot flashes does it stop at one point
  • dmc_emmy
    dmc_emmy Member Posts: 549
    My first post...
    was about this exact issue. I thought I was going crazy and when I checked out the Femara site and I found that I had every side effect. I was on the other two Als prior to taking Femara, but the physical side effects were unbareable. Of course, I don't respond well to any kind of meds.

    I stoppoed the Femara, though I am not suggesting that you do the same, and I started feeling like myself again after a month of being off of it. My hair began to thicken, also. I didn't try an anti-depressant, because prior to cancer I did have challenges with mood swings and a psychiatrist put me on prozac (sp?) and then I thougt I was really going crazy--bad reaction, and threw the rest of the pills down the commode.

    My onc has, in the past, altered the scheduling with my Femara, 3 mo on and 1 mo off, and that helped for awhile. I am curious what will be the outcome of our July visit. There are no other meds that I can take that will be covered by insurance.

    These are some powerful drugs we are taking to fight a very powerful and unrelenting disease. I suppose, like all of us, you need to weigh the risks with the benefits. You may be one of those "lucky" ones who does not have a severe reaction to the Arimidex or Am______ (blast I can't spell the other als drug). I wasn't on the latter one very long, but it was, for me, worse than Arimidex.

    I'm so sorry that you are having such a horrible time with the meds. It doesn't seem fair somehow, does it? But, who said life was fair? Regardless, we have to live our lives as we see fit, and sometimes this means making a decision with which do not agree. We all made the decision to fight, but sometimes you need to make the decision to have quality of life rather than longevity. This is what I chose, I just hope I am a strong enough person to carry through with it.

    Ohilly, no one can make this decision for you as to whether to try anti-depressants, try another hormonal drug, stop meds all together, try natural rememdies, or to simply endure the relatively short duration of drug therapy for a chance of beating this thing. Everyone here has offered what has worked for them, as I have, but, unfortunately, in the end it is something you have decide.

    Depression, for me, was worse than any of the physical side effect I had with any of the drugs (including chemo). The physical agony I suffered through with chemo affected me personally, though my family felt sorry for me. The depression and the mood swings affected my entire family and it was out of my control, and came without warning.

    I understand, I truly do, and I am so sorry that you have to go through this...you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you seek guidance and search within yourself for the right answer.
    dmc
  • dmc_emmy
    dmc_emmy Member Posts: 549
    lynn1950 said:

    Waking up with the terrible feeling
    OHilly, I've been struggling with this too. I had been depressed before cancer, but nothing like this. It does just come out of the blue for no apparent reason. I have been trying different antidepressants and also anti-anxiety drugs. Haven't hit on the right combo yet. I've been taking Arimidex since last October. The anxiety began before that though, during rads. I believe that I am going to find the right anti-depressant and get better. Please don't be afraid to try one. Love, Lynn

    Lynn, I hope the a-d drug works for you
    Lynn,

    As I told Ohilly in a long post, I understand the depression and mood swings all too well. I hope you find an anti-depressant drug that works well for you. Arimidex was not a drug I could take without extreme side effects, but as we all know, we react so differently to bc (emotionally as well as physically) and to the drugs we are given.

    Depression caused by drugs, seems to be as unrelentless as the ca**r itself. It rears it's ugly head when least expected and comes on like a rampage. I prefer being drug-free, but I will not lie and say that I am not afraid of the consequences of my decision.

    dmc
  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member
    dmc_emmy said:

    My first post...
    was about this exact issue. I thought I was going crazy and when I checked out the Femara site and I found that I had every side effect. I was on the other two Als prior to taking Femara, but the physical side effects were unbareable. Of course, I don't respond well to any kind of meds.

    I stoppoed the Femara, though I am not suggesting that you do the same, and I started feeling like myself again after a month of being off of it. My hair began to thicken, also. I didn't try an anti-depressant, because prior to cancer I did have challenges with mood swings and a psychiatrist put me on prozac (sp?) and then I thougt I was really going crazy--bad reaction, and threw the rest of the pills down the commode.

    My onc has, in the past, altered the scheduling with my Femara, 3 mo on and 1 mo off, and that helped for awhile. I am curious what will be the outcome of our July visit. There are no other meds that I can take that will be covered by insurance.

    These are some powerful drugs we are taking to fight a very powerful and unrelenting disease. I suppose, like all of us, you need to weigh the risks with the benefits. You may be one of those "lucky" ones who does not have a severe reaction to the Arimidex or Am______ (blast I can't spell the other als drug). I wasn't on the latter one very long, but it was, for me, worse than Arimidex.

    I'm so sorry that you are having such a horrible time with the meds. It doesn't seem fair somehow, does it? But, who said life was fair? Regardless, we have to live our lives as we see fit, and sometimes this means making a decision with which do not agree. We all made the decision to fight, but sometimes you need to make the decision to have quality of life rather than longevity. This is what I chose, I just hope I am a strong enough person to carry through with it.

    Ohilly, no one can make this decision for you as to whether to try anti-depressants, try another hormonal drug, stop meds all together, try natural rememdies, or to simply endure the relatively short duration of drug therapy for a chance of beating this thing. Everyone here has offered what has worked for them, as I have, but, unfortunately, in the end it is something you have decide.

    Depression, for me, was worse than any of the physical side effect I had with any of the drugs (including chemo). The physical agony I suffered through with chemo affected me personally, though my family felt sorry for me. The depression and the mood swings affected my entire family and it was out of my control, and came without warning.

    I understand, I truly do, and I am so sorry that you have to go through this...you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you seek guidance and search within yourself for the right answer.
    dmc

    Depressed
    I have been on antidepressants for years and honestly don't think I could make it without them. I have been on several medications over the years ... and have found that sometimes certain drugs just don't work ... or they stop "working" for you ... or your body chemistry gets used to them ... or something ... but the medication needs to be changed. I was on prozac for years and it worked for several years but then my emotional state wasn't feeling quite right and my doctor changed drugs. Right now I'm on Wellbutrin and zoloft and I seem to be coping. When I was diagnosed and had my lumpectomy in Januray 2009 ... my emotions started to get the best of me ... and my oncologist prescribed xanax... "as needed." Much to my surprise ... I haven't "needed" it very often ... just before surgery ... or chemo. One thing I am thankful for ... is that I realize and acknowledge those times when I my current medications aren't working ... and I need something else. I realize and accept the fact that I need HELP! I guess what I'm trying to say is ... that there are many kinds of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. It often takes trial and error to find the right drug or combination of drugs that work for you.

    I would also suggest you talk to your oncologist about your depression and see if he/she might be able to refer you to a psychiatrist who works with cancer patients. A psychiatrist would be able to help you with your thoughts and fears about cancer as well as other stresses in your life ... and they are also qualified to prescribe drugs. Perhaps the oncologist and psychiatrist would be able to work together to determine what medications would work best for you and not interfer with your cancer drugs. You do sound very "down" ... and trust me ... I've been there myself. So ... why don't you contact your oncologist and ask for help soon. The sooner you take that step ... the closer you will be to reclaiming your life and look forward to your each day instead of dreading it.

    Please take care of yourself and let us know how you are doing.

    love,
    teena
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
    dmc_emmy said:

    My first post...
    was about this exact issue. I thought I was going crazy and when I checked out the Femara site and I found that I had every side effect. I was on the other two Als prior to taking Femara, but the physical side effects were unbareable. Of course, I don't respond well to any kind of meds.

    I stoppoed the Femara, though I am not suggesting that you do the same, and I started feeling like myself again after a month of being off of it. My hair began to thicken, also. I didn't try an anti-depressant, because prior to cancer I did have challenges with mood swings and a psychiatrist put me on prozac (sp?) and then I thougt I was really going crazy--bad reaction, and threw the rest of the pills down the commode.

    My onc has, in the past, altered the scheduling with my Femara, 3 mo on and 1 mo off, and that helped for awhile. I am curious what will be the outcome of our July visit. There are no other meds that I can take that will be covered by insurance.

    These are some powerful drugs we are taking to fight a very powerful and unrelenting disease. I suppose, like all of us, you need to weigh the risks with the benefits. You may be one of those "lucky" ones who does not have a severe reaction to the Arimidex or Am______ (blast I can't spell the other als drug). I wasn't on the latter one very long, but it was, for me, worse than Arimidex.

    I'm so sorry that you are having such a horrible time with the meds. It doesn't seem fair somehow, does it? But, who said life was fair? Regardless, we have to live our lives as we see fit, and sometimes this means making a decision with which do not agree. We all made the decision to fight, but sometimes you need to make the decision to have quality of life rather than longevity. This is what I chose, I just hope I am a strong enough person to carry through with it.

    Ohilly, no one can make this decision for you as to whether to try anti-depressants, try another hormonal drug, stop meds all together, try natural rememdies, or to simply endure the relatively short duration of drug therapy for a chance of beating this thing. Everyone here has offered what has worked for them, as I have, but, unfortunately, in the end it is something you have decide.

    Depression, for me, was worse than any of the physical side effect I had with any of the drugs (including chemo). The physical agony I suffered through with chemo affected me personally, though my family felt sorry for me. The depression and the mood swings affected my entire family and it was out of my control, and came without warning.

    I understand, I truly do, and I am so sorry that you have to go through this...you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you seek guidance and search within yourself for the right answer.
    dmc

    Hope you are doing better
    Hope you are doing better now Dmc!
  • mgm42
    mgm42 Member Posts: 491 Member
    dmc_emmy said:

    Lynn, I hope the a-d drug works for you
    Lynn,

    As I told Ohilly in a long post, I understand the depression and mood swings all too well. I hope you find an anti-depressant drug that works well for you. Arimidex was not a drug I could take without extreme side effects, but as we all know, we react so differently to bc (emotionally as well as physically) and to the drugs we are given.

    Depression caused by drugs, seems to be as unrelentless as the ca**r itself. It rears it's ugly head when least expected and comes on like a rampage. I prefer being drug-free, but I will not lie and say that I am not afraid of the consequences of my decision.

    dmc

    DMC - Quality of Life Issue....
    I wrote to Ohilly and said pretty much the same thing as you, DMC. I switched from Aromasin, which made me very depressed, back to Arimidex. I took a two week vacation from all drugs and felt like a million bucks by the end of that time. Now that I'm back on the Arimidex (long story, this is my second go around with it), I have the joint side effects, which two Aleve take care of for me. But, I'm NOT depressed anymore and, I'm enjoying life.

    I also stopped taking the anit-depressant drug, Effexor, at the same time as my two week vacation from meds. I think taking AIs are not only a deterent to recurrence, but they also present a quality of life issue. It made no sense to me to continue taking a med that was making me depressed and generally feeling miserable, then taking yet another medication to counteract a side effect from a medication that was making me miserable. And to go on doing this for 5 or 10 years made no sense to me at all. So, with my doctors' support, I changed my AI. I've posted elsewhere on this site about what a change this has made for me.

    I hope Ohilly finds her answers and makes her decision. But, I know how hard that is. I consider her my dear friend, and I hate seeing her so miserable.

    Hugs, Marilynn
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    Noel said:

    Hope you are doing better
    Hope you are doing better now Dmc!

    to everybody
    To all who wrote back about my depression:

    I did go to my primary care physician and got a prescription for Ativan - I seem to alternate between depression and anxiety, and somehow I felt more comfortable taking a drug 'as needed' as opposed to one I have to take every day. I just filled the prescription, so I don't know if it will work or not, but I'm going to give it a try. I also signed up to take meditation classes which will be starting soon.

    Marilynn, I completely understand your not wanting to take anti-depressants and switching back to Arimidex. For right now, I am just too terrified to get off the Femara: I know the other two AIs are an option, but I'm hoping that the Ativan will help, and for some reason, I would rather take anti-depressants than get off the Femara. But I do understand that you felt the opposite. I seem to have a lot of conflicting feelings about Femara: on the one hand, I hate it because of the side-effects, and on the other hands, it's like a security blanket I'm afraid to give up.

    I forgot your screen name, but whoever wrote about being one month off the Femara and three months on, that seems like an idea and I will discuss this with my oncologist.

    Not many people wrote about 'natural' (drug-free) approaches to handling depression and anxiety. If anyone has any thoughts about this, let me know. I am seeing a therapist and am trying to practice Cognitive Behavioral therapy, if anyone has heard of this.

    It does help to know that AIs actually can cause depression and that I'm not alone.

    Ohilly
  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member
    ohilly said:

    to everybody
    To all who wrote back about my depression:

    I did go to my primary care physician and got a prescription for Ativan - I seem to alternate between depression and anxiety, and somehow I felt more comfortable taking a drug 'as needed' as opposed to one I have to take every day. I just filled the prescription, so I don't know if it will work or not, but I'm going to give it a try. I also signed up to take meditation classes which will be starting soon.

    Marilynn, I completely understand your not wanting to take anti-depressants and switching back to Arimidex. For right now, I am just too terrified to get off the Femara: I know the other two AIs are an option, but I'm hoping that the Ativan will help, and for some reason, I would rather take anti-depressants than get off the Femara. But I do understand that you felt the opposite. I seem to have a lot of conflicting feelings about Femara: on the one hand, I hate it because of the side-effects, and on the other hands, it's like a security blanket I'm afraid to give up.

    I forgot your screen name, but whoever wrote about being one month off the Femara and three months on, that seems like an idea and I will discuss this with my oncologist.

    Not many people wrote about 'natural' (drug-free) approaches to handling depression and anxiety. If anyone has any thoughts about this, let me know. I am seeing a therapist and am trying to practice Cognitive Behavioral therapy, if anyone has heard of this.

    It does help to know that AIs actually can cause depression and that I'm not alone.

    Ohilly

    Positive steps
    Ohilly ... it sounds like you are taking some positive steps with your depression and anxiety and I hope your therapist helps you talk through some of your stresses ...

    Meiditation is great. And ... have you ever tried yoga? I took some classes years ago just to get some exercise. But ... I still use what I learned about breathing and relaxing when I feel stresses/anxious. It really helps.

    Also ... I still work full time ... and work gets stressful ... or I feel pressure ... I look at a poster I have up on the wall. It's a picture of the Grand Canyon. I look at that and then I realize that whatever is bothering me is not really a "big deal." The Grand Canyon IS a big deal. Five hundred years from now my "stuff" will mean nothing ... but the Grand Canyon will STILL be a big deal. It kind of helps me put things in perspective ... since I have a tendency to stew and stress about things that aren't really important at all. Sort of like the Serenity Prayer. You have to figure out what things you can control ... and you also need learn/accept the things you can NOT change.

    Please take care ...

    love,
    teena
  • Jeanne D
    Jeanne D Member Posts: 1,867
    ohilly said:

    to everybody
    To all who wrote back about my depression:

    I did go to my primary care physician and got a prescription for Ativan - I seem to alternate between depression and anxiety, and somehow I felt more comfortable taking a drug 'as needed' as opposed to one I have to take every day. I just filled the prescription, so I don't know if it will work or not, but I'm going to give it a try. I also signed up to take meditation classes which will be starting soon.

    Marilynn, I completely understand your not wanting to take anti-depressants and switching back to Arimidex. For right now, I am just too terrified to get off the Femara: I know the other two AIs are an option, but I'm hoping that the Ativan will help, and for some reason, I would rather take anti-depressants than get off the Femara. But I do understand that you felt the opposite. I seem to have a lot of conflicting feelings about Femara: on the one hand, I hate it because of the side-effects, and on the other hands, it's like a security blanket I'm afraid to give up.

    I forgot your screen name, but whoever wrote about being one month off the Femara and three months on, that seems like an idea and I will discuss this with my oncologist.

    Not many people wrote about 'natural' (drug-free) approaches to handling depression and anxiety. If anyone has any thoughts about this, let me know. I am seeing a therapist and am trying to practice Cognitive Behavioral therapy, if anyone has heard of this.

    It does help to know that AIs actually can cause depression and that I'm not alone.

    Ohilly

    Ohilly
    I am sorry to read that you have been so depressed Ohilly. I hadn't seen you post much lately, so, I just assumed that you were busy. I do hope you can find something that will help get you thru this rough time.

    Have you tried yoga, acupuncture, massage, exercise, self meditation? These work quite well. I am one of those that don't believe in antidepressants for myself, but, I do know that they work for a lot of people and with good results. And, they are needed by some not just for bc, but, for other various reasons.

    Just do what will make YOU feel good again Ohilly. Talk to your doctor's and see what else they can offer you. Good luck!