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Not depression

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I was shocked this week to learn from my doctor that he does not believe there is depression, just people who "think too much about themselves". He said this as he was leaving the room, which was a good thing because I think my husband was going to deck him.
My husband is a Registered Nurse who has worked 8 years as a nurse in psychiatric hospitals first with adolescents then with adults. He has seen depression in children as young as six years old. We could not believe the doctor had these old fashioned ideas because he's only in his 40's.
I am not depressed a lot about my cancer and try my best not to think about it too much, but there are three people in my family who are being treated for depression and I know they really do have a problem.
The conversation started with us telling the doctor what a good vacation we had last week and that I couldn't believe how well I was able to walk and stay up and have fun. But I still had trouble sleeping and that is what causes any depression I have.
What do you all think?

Debbie

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

I think there is a deep difference between people who get depressed and those who don't, and it's pretty hard for the one group to have any sympathy with the other. I'm never depressed; my wife sometimes is. Gradually, over the years, I've come to understand that if you are subject to depression, you can't just think your way out of it: "I shall no longer be blue."

Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

There is depression for sure.I suffered depression when my husband was first diagnosed.I tried very hard to get myself out of it.I think people all go through depression from time to time,the only difference is just different degree of depression.Some people can adjust themself very well if they get depressed,but some don't.That's why some people need medications to help them out.I agree with you that the doctor is old fashioned.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I think that your Dr suffers from the HUA syndrome....................Head up ***.....

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

I think that doctor is crazy! My friend had a complete breakdown while her threee year old daughter was going through treatment for leukemia. It took months of intense treatment (and some hospitalization) for her to be back on a good track. And this is normally one of the sunniest people I know.

Yes, people can be depressed, and no you CANNOT "jolly" them out of it. Snap out of it is not a treatment!

*hugs*
Gail

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

....Sorry, loved Buzz's response LOL

I don't know how some doctor can sy there is no depression, what a freakin' fool

Hugsss
~Donna

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

This person sounds like a total********. I think he/she suffers from the I'm a God syndrome. To many people have given in to this insensitive jerk because he/she is a Doc. He/she has some sort of superiortity complex and feels if he/she speeks the words they are truth. Okay, rant mode off, this just really hit a nerve today.

Don

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6694
Joined: Feb 2009

I would get a new doctor if you asked me, but first I would ask him if he has ever been through cancer and how you are supposed to be happy all the time. This doctor sounds like a jerk. Sometimes doctors loose their human kindness, thats when it's time for you to move on. Good luck and hope all goes well for you.

Kim

Jimbob-'s picture
Jimbob-
Posts: 50
Joined: Jan 2008

This Doctor is An Idiot..........

I would fire him and get a new one.........

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

Where do doctors get the idea that they can make these pronouncements and making them makes them true. This hit a nerve with me. I also think sometimes doctors don't really listen or keep up with new ideas. I have fibromyalgia and some doctors don't believe in that either. Then some doctors just try to blame depression for everything. I don't know that I would dump the doctor if you are happy with him in other ways. Hey, maybe you and your husband can educate him. You never know. Fay

4law's picture
4law
Posts: 112
Joined: Dec 2004

Of course there's depression and your doctor is an A-1 A**H***. The main thing for you, however, is to decide if he is meeting your needs as an oncologist and if you still have trust and confidence in him, in spite of his narrow-minded and medically incorrect and flawed beliefs about depression. If he is unwilling or unable to meet your medical needs regarding sleep problems, I would switch. I know I had sleep problems during my treatment, as well as being depressed. Luckily, my oncologist and surgeon were both more enlightened and dealt with my problems and assisted me. Of course, the CANCER is the main problems that needs to be attacked -- it is just upsetting that an oncologist feels the way he does. Perhaps he was having an unusually bad day when he said what he did. I would definitely schedule a meeting with him to discuss this further, so you can make an informed decision on staying with him or looking for someone new.

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

This really helped me. I know depression strikes a lot of people. I was raised that you could always talk yourself out of being depressed and I guess that is what I do. But, like I said, I have three members of my immediate family being treated for depression and I don't think but one of them has a "me" complex.
I will be talking with my doctor about this and so will my husband.

Again, thanks,
Debbie

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

ask him if he knows what a neuro-transmitter is and if they shutdown after a while if not used and it takes medication to start them back up again. Ask him why compazine does not work on a chemo patient with nausea ...Because compazine operates through the neuro-transmitters and if they are shutdown caused by the emotional rollercoaster that cancer dx does to us then the compazine becomes a mute medicine. Thats why we opt to move onto a nausea med that is absorbed into the stomach lining and has nothing to do with the electrical signals that the brain puts out to allow it to produce seratonin, or a mood enhancer chemical. Also tell him to try some prozac and he may find that he's not as large an *** as he seems to be...It will keep him from dwelling on himself so much...arrogance is such a lousy bedfellow isn't it....sorry, Im off my box now...{{{{{{{{bdee}}}}}}}}}......Clift

dixchi's picture
dixchi
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

Exactly where did this doc get his degrees.....Dogpatch!!
Don't have much more to add than has already been said....
find another doc asap.

Barbara

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I didn't know I was starting something with this post. I just wanted the opinions of people I respect, and man did I get them. I had no idea that the depression subject was so touchy. I still don't feel like I have depression every day, just when I don't sleep well and feel like I've felt these last couple of weeks.
According to my husband, taking depression medicine is not an on then off process, but something you should do every day because some of the medicines take weeks to really start working in your system.

Again, to everyone, thanks,
Debbie

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Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I opened up my post about my upcoming surgery - and in there I mentioned your name and talked to you about that...check it out if you can. I was going to open my post that afternoon so I just included my comments about the subject in the one I opened.

I went down to the hospital this past week as a guest speaker and one of the topics I discused was Depression and its underlying factors. So, it seemed appropriate.

The name of the post is: Surgery Date Set Oct 15th - Another Sundance Update

I hope you are doing much better :)

-Craig

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Debbie,

Depression is a very real issue that many of us deal with for one reason or another. I've never been depressed in my life, have always dealt with my cancer, treatments,set backs, and successes in a positive way, I've maintained a very good mental attitude over the 9 years I've struggled with my disease, and definitely do not feel sorry for myself, and I'm neither angry or resentful for my condition, which is very good now by the way.
All that being said, I've suddenly found myself in a very deep depression and am having serious problems finding my way through it. The main reason that I'm depressed is the result of losing so many dear friends, relatives, and other close wonderful, courageous, caring, supportive people that I've shared with over the years, to this insidious disease. The latest loss was my dear wonderful Sister in Law who passed away in July of this year, and her loss has just put me into a complete tailspin, she was such an inspiration to me during her short, but courageous struggle with her disease, and I was so sure and hopeful she would survive and we could fulfil some of the dreams for the future that we shared.
Fortunately, my PCP is a very perceptive, knowledgeable, and caring person and he recognized the symptoms of severe depression immediately and got me in to see a Grief Counselor within an hour. I'm continuing to see the Counselor on a regular basis and I'm finding that she is very helpful. Today I'm mostly just angry, or at least that's the emotion that seems to be prevailing my thoughts most of the time these days. Anger is an emotion I've not normally experienced over the years and it's very difficult for me to control because I can't even figure out what I'm even angry about. I'm going to attend a Cancer Survivor's support group this afternoon to see if I'm just being self absorbed in pity, as your Dr suggested, or just not accepting things I cannot change, courage, wisdom, yada, yada. Either way, Debbie, I can assure you that Deppression is real and requires professional help and perhaps even medication to help you through it.
Hope I haven't been too lengthy in this post.
DennisR

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I just opened up a post about an upcoming surgery I've got Oct 15th.

I've always faced things down too - I'm in year 6, so you're further along, but your post tells me you are feeling just what I am feeling now - the battle wages on and even the most veteran can succumb to the human feelings we are all made of.

My post is titled: Surgery Update Oct 15th - Another Sundance Update

In there, I talk both about Depression and Anger - the Anger part of my post might resonate with you to some degree - at least you will feel that what you are feeling is quite normal.

I'll be over it soon and getting my mind right to fight again, but I've allowed myself these feelings and have not been embarassed to post that and show the board that this can be a normal course of events in our struggles with life.

Check it out and drop a comment - I'll look for it.

Take care - Craig

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Thanks Craig,
You know, for all of my life I've just bottled up feelings, fears, anxiety, anger, grief, etc and never really confronted them emotionally, or even allowed them to run their course. When I was afraid of the treatments, surgeries, etc I just used to say, " A coward dies a thousand deaths, etc etc", bring it on. It worked ok for me for a long while, but suddenly, with my Sister in Law's death, it all became more of a burden than I could bear and I realized how stupid all that machoism and false bravado was. I guess my beloved Sister in Law taught me that in the months before her death when her Doctors had given up all hope for her recovery and placed her under Pallitive care only.
She taught me a lesson in what the Serenity Prayer really meant, and the meaning of true courage, I'll never forget her and for once in my life I'm allowing my grief to run it's natural course without all the denials and adjectives that just tend to diminish the meanings of feelings, emotions, etc.
You mentioned that you'd had a premonition at the time of your Dear Sister's Death, I'm glad you posted that. I've had several of those inexplicable premonitions in my life, the latest was the Wednesday morning (3AM) before Lyn's (sister in law) death on Saturday, in which I woke up KNOWING that Lyn had reached the end of her Journey and that I'd never hear her encouraging voice again. I wasn't able to talk to anyone about it, including my wife, but, I was sure that Lyn's life was over and I just broke down. I also feel that Lyn had come to me in the night and told me she was leaving, that her Journey was over, and that she loved me, as I loved her.
DennisR

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I KNOW that I would find another doctor. What an moron. I wonder if he'd change his mind if he were in someone else's shoes. I can't even believe he was that insensitive to make a comment like that.

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

This is a guest post from John Van Sickel of Walking the Black Dog, a blog about overcoming depression.

Over 120 million people worldwide are affected by the black dog of depression, as Sir Winston Churchill described it. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, missed work, broken relationships and more.

Chances are you or someone you know will suffer from it in your lifetime.
It is truly one of the most devastating of dis-eases (not at ease!) in that it robs you of the ability to simply enjoy life. Activities that you used to enjoy leave you feeling empty. Interacting with friends, family and coworkers can be overwhelming.
So what can we do? Traditional routes of therapy and even medication are effective and should definitely be considered if depression is disrupting your life.
However there are other, natural steps to take that can, over time, be very effective. In fact, some studies have shown these to be as effective (or more so) than traditional therapies.
As an added bonus these are good lifestyle changes that will enhance anyone’s life, depressed or not, and most don’t cost a thing!
Here are the very practical caveman therapies for modern men and women.

1. Get outside. Our caveman friends saw lots of daylight; getting up at sunrise and going to sleep at sunset. Exposure to bright sunlight for 30 minutes a day either through sunlight or a light made for this, helps keep your internal clock set. This circadian rhythm helps to regulate our sleep/wake cycle and insures a good night’s sleep which in turn, helps our physical and mental health. Don’t wear sunglasses though; the exposure must come through your eyes!

2. Aerobic Exercise. Primitive folks had to forage or work in the fields for their food. 30 minutes at least 3 times a week means those ‘runner’s high’ endorphins get released regularly. It’s also a good way to work through and release stress. You don’t have to run a marathon, just get your heart rate up to your target range – around 120 to 160 beats per minute depending on your age and condition. Walking works wonders. Get your doctor’s approval first!

3. Omega-3 fatty acids. 1,000 mg daily. Omega-3’s aid in the brain’s neuron connectivity. Enteric coated capsules help prevent burping the fishy tasting oil but you can also freeze them. Throw in a good multi-vitamin and avoid overly processed foods in favor of complex carbohydrates (whole grains), fish, free range meats, & vegetables and you’re good to go.

4. Sleep. Change your sleep routine so that it’s more conducive to a good night’s rest. Turn your lights down and go to bed at the same time everynight. Turn the t.v. off. Engage in calming, quiet activities like reading, listening to soft music, taking a warm bath, rubbing soothing lotion on your body, drink sweet dreams hot tea, etc. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Don’t work late or do other stressful activities that cause your mind to race. Think positive & good thoughts - Remember a tired body and quiet mind are the requirements for quality sleep.

5. Socialize. Remember the Amish farmer has his family and community to fall back on for support. There’s no reason you can’t too. Involve yourself with close friends and family. You don’t have to engage in heavy conversations about your plight, just have fun. Keep it simple and go to a movie, visit an art gallery or museum, go to a ball game, grab a cup of coffee or have a meal together. Just be with other people and your feelings of isolation will fade. Do this face to face (not online!) and do it regularly.

6. Watch your thinking! Anti-rumination strategy is vital to breaking out of depression and other emotional ruts. Become aware of those times you dwell on the negatives in your life – both real or imagined – and stop them. It takes work and persistence but if you constantly tell yourself to ’stop it’ when you start to go over and over the negatives, then you are building a positive habit that will change your life for the better. Whether it’s the jerk who cut you off in traffic or something a little closer to home, don’t give yourself the luxury of a negative thought.

To read more excellent posts from John, check out his blog, Walking the Black Dog.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I hope I didn't come across wrong..I wasn't trying to be a fart, just posting is all. Emotions just don't carry over in posting and I was very calm when posting to this, everythings good here, Im sure it is there also....Your Buddy, Clift

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

No, you didn't come across wrong and I didn't mean to make you feel that way. I just did not realize the furor I would start with my topic. I had no idea that the topic of depression could cause so much emotion in so many people.

Debbie

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I know this was addressed to Buzzard but I happened to read it and have another comment. I think what got people going is that there are many people out there who do not realize this is an issue with many people in general but even more so with people who are fighting cancer. It's almost like saying "Ah, you don't have cancer, it's all in your head!"
People!

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Suppose that we did evolve with lots of light, exercise, sleep, family, (not saying we did -- did cavemen get light?) then why would getting more of all this good stuff keep us from being depressed? There's nothing wrong with being depressed in evolutionary terms, since being depressed doesn't keep you from procreating, which is all that counts in natural selection. I think John Van Sickel owes us some evidence to back up his recommendations. Without wishing to seem mean, it sounds to me like BS.

--Greg

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

but the comments posted from John Van Sickel make absolute sense.
-p

PS: I just looked back at your first response:
"I think there is a deep difference between people who get depressed and those who don't, and it's pretty hard for the one group to have any sympathy with the other."

I now see how you can say Van Sickel's comments are BS ...

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I've never been depressed tho I have been very, very sad when horrible things have happened to my family or those I love.

I believe, just as someone who has never had a cancer dx cannot understand when a cancer patient feels, someone like me, who has never been depressed, cannot understand what it feels like to be depressed.

That doesn't mean I cannot feel sympathy for those who are dealing with depression, I just cannot understand how those people feel.

I hated it when my brother (only sibling) was murdered two 1/2 years ago and people would say, 'I know how you feel'. No they did NOT!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

It is possible to have sympathy or empathy for those who are depressed even if one is not depressed themselves. I don't even know what to think of those who feel it's "all in your head" or to just "shake it off" as many people say. I'm not saying anyone on the board said that. To excuse exercise, diet, social contact and other things to help ward off depression as BS is silly at best in my opinion.

People often do not think before they speak or they will ask a question like "how are you doing?" when they really do not want to know, they just do it out of habit.

I do remember you mentioning about your brother.
I have no idea how that must feel. I'm very sorry Diane.
-p

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Good mornin' Diane

I am so sorry to hear about your brother's murder - that is terrible to have to deal with.

I certainly DO UNDERSTAND exactly how you feel...why?

Because I share something else in common with you as it turns out - my sister Suzanne was also murdered, back in 1986 - and she was my only sibling too. I have a picture of her out on my Expressions page if you want to see her :)

And people told me the same things and no, they just did not get how I felt.

On the night she was murdered, I was at a basketball game in another city than her, during one of the timeouts, the crowd was loud and hollering - and then a "quiet" came over me and I could see the fans yelling, but could no longer hear them.

I felt this "funny" feeling that I cannot quite describe, but it was as if you she was reaching out in her dying breaths to tell me something, or just goodbye.

That's a true story.

So, I understand you and am so sorry for your loss - you're such a nice lady.

Thanks for sharing - we all learn about each other when we do that and it takes courage.

-Craig

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

1. I can't get out in the sun. Five minutes of sun exposure and I'm itching and breaking out like crazy.
2. I've always been a walker and even since starting this chemo and not getting outside I do exercies on my WII every day.
3. I can't take the Omega tablets because they have soy in them which affect my thyroid. My thyroid go hypo when I take or eat any soy product. But for 25 years I've watched what my family and I eat. My kids thought at one time that only fish and chicken were sold in the commissary. And still with watching what I ate, I had Grave's disease, diabetes and cancer.
4. Sleep is one thing that depresses me the most. It is hard to lay in bed for hours or to be up until 4:00 a.m. just to sleep until 8:00, if I sleep at all.
5. I'm lucky that I have two former jobs here in Little Rock and have stayed good friends with both groups. I visit with one or the other group at least once a month. Plus my family that I see or talk to every day.
6. I try my best not to think about the negative aspect of my life. I've always been the positive one in my family and when the rest talk about "how long" for me I tell them "as long as I want."

So, as you can see, if I was a caveman I would be okay with your analysis. But then you have to wander, if they were in such good health, what happened to the cavemen?

Debbie

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

I don't think direct sun light is necessary for this supposed anti-depressive effect of daylight. I recall seeing some products on Amazon with daylight bulbs that are marketed for mood-enhancing effects. (Searching Amazon for "sun lamps for depression" yields about 15 products, not counting the book "Lighting Fixtures of the Depression Era".)

--Greg

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

They are selling car insurance for GEICO now.

Evolution for one, also, there is strong evidence that the neanderthals were killed off by "modern humans" whose brains had evolved more than theirs about 30,000 years or so.
Of course, that's if you believe in evolution.
-p

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Kathryn_in_MN
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

"What happened to the cavemen?

They are selling car insurance for GEICO now."

GOOD ONE!!!

Truly there is depression, but there are different types. There is chronic depression suffered by people that have a true problem with the way their brain works, and medication is needed to keep them on track. Manic depressives, and other mental illnesses truly have chronic depression.

There is hormone induced depression which can occur when hormone levels are rising or falling quickly, or just out of whack. Puberty for all, and menopause for women, and even some men, along with any age for someone with a hormone problem. Sometimes medicine to keep hormone levels steady fixes this easily. (I personally had this issue as a teen and it was fixed once the hormome levels were addressed.)

There is situational depression which most of the population suffers from at some time or other in their lives - different people to different degrees. This is the depression that often you can pull yourself out of by whatever methods work for you. Positive thinking, excersize, sunlight, diet, finding support from family and friends - lots of things to help pull you out. But situational depression can also spiral downward to the point that medication can be helpful in overcoming it. But it is very rare that anyone with situational depression would need medication for life to keep it under control.

I cannot believe ANY member of the medical community could make a statement as ignorant as "there is no such thing as depression." The evidence to the contrary is too much for anyone with half a brain to think or say that. I would just ignore him, as I do anyone I do not respect...

crazy__er
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2009

I think you should let your husband have a swing at him...probably would do them both good.

(: Cathy

dixchi's picture
dixchi
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

.....love your comment crazy_er.

Barbara

dixchi's picture
dixchi
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

maybe put them in a room and give them those
soft bats they use in some therapies to
hit each other....that way no one gets hurt!

Barbara

crazy__er
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2009

Naw...he should just deck him. Kidding, only kidding. Sorta

and...I think the doctor needs to read these posts. Maybe he would learn something. I can't believe how a anyone, let alone an oncologist could say anything like that. Kinda like the doctors who always thought women's ailments where due to hysteria or "that time of the month." He's really full of himself and needs to be taken down a peg or two.

Slap him! (: Cathy

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I think my husband has calmed down enough now just to have a normal talk with the doctor. Our appointment is scheduled for Monday. It will probably be Wednesday before I am back on the board to let everyone know what happens.

hannacat's picture
hannacat
Posts: 101
Joined: Jun 2008

bdee,
without sleep we are left unprepared to deal with the usual, never mind the stress of cancer ( or other terrible facts of life)

Depression is undenialably real. Your doc my need to get on boad with Lucy in the comics - psychiatric advice 10cents or the girl from Missouri who says "snap out of it"

I'm sorry that he said that to you in such an offhand manner. Nobody is immune to depression.

My advice is to find a therapist and ride it out with the help of a specialist in the field. I did. Life is too short to not take the hands extended in help.

Hanna

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