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Depression

ajc09
ajc09 Member Posts: 8
I was diagnosed with stage 3 NHL at the beginning of 2009. I have finished my treatments and all seems to be well. I am still having a problem with my spleen but the doctors are not sure if the problem is cancer or just a symptom of my treatments. The doctors have decided to wait a few months and retest to see. I have gone back to work and am feeling physically better than I have in years. The problem I am having is depression. I know now that I handled the whole situation from the beginning badly. The problem was that everyone around me took the news worst than I did. I didn’t have anyone that I could express what I was feeling to. I got a lot of the rah rah b.s. people regurgitate. So I handled as much myself I as could. I guess I kept myself in denial to the seriousness of the situation and what I was really feeling. Now I can’t get myself out of this depression and I don’t know what to do. Should I go on medications? Therapy? I was hoping that maybe someone might have some ideas or similar problems and could give some advice.

Comments

  • malkd
    malkd Member Posts: 3
    depression
    ajc,
    I've just started my experience. Its been a whirlwind this month. And I'm already depressed!
    My father's lady friend just handed me a Deepak Chopra book and told me to be positive . . .
    Easy to say--

    I think you should try anything and everything and see what works: meds, maybe a support group. If you're able to exercise that would help - get outside.

    I've been trying to do some yoga. Meditate.

    Not sure how helpful this was, but I just wanted to respond.
  • Shoshana57
    Shoshana57 Member Posts: 1
    Depression
    dear ajc09~ my husband was diagnosed in 2004, stage 4 and not expected to survive. he was too sick for a transplant...and questionable if he was too old (61) at the time. He has been battling depression..it is different for many people, but denial serves a purpose...it got you through what you needed to do to survive. Not talking to someone at the time was no mistake...it was the way ou wanted to do it...and it was one area you had some control which is very important when someone has no control over a disease like cancer. whatching my husband, our life, his frustrations...depression is a given. He has been on medication since the beginning and now on 2 antidepressants. does it help? mmmm...well i know when he has cut back to stop taking them he feels worse and our relationship suffers..

    My husband is a doctor, a specialist...and I am a oncology social worker...both of us worked with people like you and us daily for years...but to be in the midst of it....a totally different perspective!

    As a professional and my personal experience, I am a huge advocate for getting some therapy...if nothing else just to check out the impact this experience has had on your life. One thing that many people expect is that they "want to get back to feeling normal"...but I would try to explain that they need to think in terms of a "new normal" there is no way t go through what you did and be the same person ... no one is.. at least for my husband and myself...it changed our lives and us as individuals...therapy may help...medication may help...but most of all I think that it is important to allow yourself to feel what you feel...it is ok...and they are valid and understandable feelings...if your depression is getting in the way of you getting to work, getting dressed and out of the house, you are not eating, are isolating from friends...talk to your oncologist first..but be kind to yourself and do not underestimate the role denial plays...it is not always a bad thing!

    Sometimes those around you love you and want to help...and as a bystander we feel really helpless!

    I hope some of this may help...I will be around...good luck
  • ajc09
    ajc09 Member Posts: 8
    malkd said:

    depression
    ajc,
    I've just started my experience. Its been a whirlwind this month. And I'm already depressed!
    My father's lady friend just handed me a Deepak Chopra book and told me to be positive . . .
    Easy to say--

    I think you should try anything and everything and see what works: meds, maybe a support group. If you're able to exercise that would help - get outside.

    I've been trying to do some yoga. Meditate.

    Not sure how helpful this was, but I just wanted to respond.

    Thanks a lot for your reply.
    Thanks a lot for your reply. It is helpful. I have been trying to exercise but I don't keep up with it. You're right when you say try anything. What have I got to lose? Good luck to you. I'm not sure how far along you are but believe me there is lots of hope. I was in pretty bad shape when i started the treatments but physically I'm better than I have been in years. The treatments worked great for me. Take care.
  • ajc09
    ajc09 Member Posts: 8

    Depression
    dear ajc09~ my husband was diagnosed in 2004, stage 4 and not expected to survive. he was too sick for a transplant...and questionable if he was too old (61) at the time. He has been battling depression..it is different for many people, but denial serves a purpose...it got you through what you needed to do to survive. Not talking to someone at the time was no mistake...it was the way ou wanted to do it...and it was one area you had some control which is very important when someone has no control over a disease like cancer. whatching my husband, our life, his frustrations...depression is a given. He has been on medication since the beginning and now on 2 antidepressants. does it help? mmmm...well i know when he has cut back to stop taking them he feels worse and our relationship suffers..

    My husband is a doctor, a specialist...and I am a oncology social worker...both of us worked with people like you and us daily for years...but to be in the midst of it....a totally different perspective!

    As a professional and my personal experience, I am a huge advocate for getting some therapy...if nothing else just to check out the impact this experience has had on your life. One thing that many people expect is that they "want to get back to feeling normal"...but I would try to explain that they need to think in terms of a "new normal" there is no way t go through what you did and be the same person ... no one is.. at least for my husband and myself...it changed our lives and us as individuals...therapy may help...medication may help...but most of all I think that it is important to allow yourself to feel what you feel...it is ok...and they are valid and understandable feelings...if your depression is getting in the way of you getting to work, getting dressed and out of the house, you are not eating, are isolating from friends...talk to your oncologist first..but be kind to yourself and do not underestimate the role denial plays...it is not always a bad thing!

    Sometimes those around you love you and want to help...and as a bystander we feel really helpless!

    I hope some of this may help...I will be around...good luck

    Shoshana, thank you for your
    Shoshana, thank you for your post. I know the denial helped me during the treatment. The problem is I disconnected to such a degree that I don't know how to get myself back. When I am around people I don't feel like I belong. I can pretend and join in but I can't wait to get home. I am going to try the therapy first. I am afraid of the meds only because I have seen what they have done to someone I know. I know the whole experience has changed me immensely. I don't expect to be the same person I was before. I just want to be able to be around people again without counting the minutes till I can be alone again.
    I wish you and your husband the best.
  • DennisR
    DennisR Member Posts: 148
    Het aj,
    Depression is a very

    Het aj,
    Depression is a very real part of this disease, actually the whole deal, from Dx thru treatments and finally NED and total recovery, is a surreal experience, like it's all happening to someone else, not you.
    I don't know whether it's a form of denial, refusal to accept one's vulnerability, fear or exactly what it is, I suspect it's akin to post partum syndrome or whatever it is that new mothers experience after a child birth. At any rate it's very real and a good support group, or even a special person that's been through it is very helpful if you open up and tell them how you feel, so is therapy. Therapists understand the dynamics of depression, it's causes, and can help you immensely.
    I suspect we all suffer from some depression from time to time, sometimes it's overwhelming and practically immobilizes us, sometimes it's subtle and in the back of your mind like a sack of rocks slowly weighing you down. It's also somewhat insidious because it effects us in ways we're not even aware of, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
    There is great help available, both on this site and elsewhere, the trick is to recognize the symptoms, the ways in which they're manifesting themselves in your life, and to open up and talk about it to someone that's been there, done that. It works. People that haven't been through a battle with cancer will never be able to understand what it's really like, yet someone who has been there, understands completely without elaboration.
    Good luck in your journey and I hope you have a long and healthy and worry free recovery and future.
    DennisR
  • ajc09
    ajc09 Member Posts: 8
    DennisR said:

    Het aj,
    Depression is a very

    Het aj,
    Depression is a very real part of this disease, actually the whole deal, from Dx thru treatments and finally NED and total recovery, is a surreal experience, like it's all happening to someone else, not you.
    I don't know whether it's a form of denial, refusal to accept one's vulnerability, fear or exactly what it is, I suspect it's akin to post partum syndrome or whatever it is that new mothers experience after a child birth. At any rate it's very real and a good support group, or even a special person that's been through it is very helpful if you open up and tell them how you feel, so is therapy. Therapists understand the dynamics of depression, it's causes, and can help you immensely.
    I suspect we all suffer from some depression from time to time, sometimes it's overwhelming and practically immobilizes us, sometimes it's subtle and in the back of your mind like a sack of rocks slowly weighing you down. It's also somewhat insidious because it effects us in ways we're not even aware of, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
    There is great help available, both on this site and elsewhere, the trick is to recognize the symptoms, the ways in which they're manifesting themselves in your life, and to open up and talk about it to someone that's been there, done that. It works. People that haven't been through a battle with cancer will never be able to understand what it's really like, yet someone who has been there, understands completely without elaboration.
    Good luck in your journey and I hope you have a long and healthy and worry free recovery and future.
    DennisR

    Dennis, thanks for your
    Dennis, thanks for your post. I have to agree with you about talking to someone that has been through the cancer treatments. In the last week I have found it very cathartic interacting with people who know what its like. I have been able to express myself more than I have with people that haven't. I am grateful for sites like this one that gives us an opportunity to share what I am going through. Take care.
    Alex