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Have any childhood cancer survivors experienced mental difficulties in their adult years?

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2018

I've had this overwhelming depression on my shoulders ever since I hit my late teens. A lot of simple conflict situations in social environments give me a life or death feeling like I need to either escape or my life is in danger. I have anxiety at times that seems to make the people around me feel uncomfortable. They'll never straight up say it, but their body language seems to speak for itself. I have trouble connecting with others. I feel like that's what I want most but have trouble making friends or knowing what to say or how to act in order to make it happen. Also have trouble with finding direction in life. I am 25 now. Age 6 is when I had cancer in the kidney. Six months later it relapsed in the lung. I went through much chemotherapy and breathing exercises for the lung cancer. I had a bone marrow transplant as well. And spent over six months in hospital beds. Now as a young adult I seem to be having mental difficulties.

Anyone experience similar difficulties?

kevinposton's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2018

Yes, I had brain cancer whan I was 11. Struggled with depression and social anxiety till about 4 years ago. I became worse and now I have bipolar disorder and panic disorder. Had to get on disability for these and some physical, and learning became worse and worse. Could not learn my job tasks. These things we are experiencing are late term effects. If you look into Long term follow up study at St Judes hospital. You can read about these problems that are experienced by many childhood cancer survivors.

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2020

My daughter is a cancer survivor. She had stage 3 kidney cancer at age 2. She has struggled mentally and emotionally significantly into her later teens.I will say anxiety started in middle school. I have done tons of research. There is a chance childhood cancer survivors can have PTSD. Everything you have said my daughter is dealing with. All the social issues etc. She is seeing a therapist and improving, You hang in there and I hope things are already better. 

LexSurvivor99's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2020

I am a childhood cancer survivor of stage 4 hodgkins lymphoma and I understand those feelings. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 17 but, this summer I was officially diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, mild depression, and PTSD due to the treatments I experienced and what happened leading up to getting my diagnosis. I have been seeing a therapist for 3 years now and it has helped a ton. Tell your daughter that she isn't alone and to focus on those around her, it gets better.


ccarr9231's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2020

I understand exactly where everyone is coming from. Honestly, the long-term mental side effects of having cancer as a teenager have been much worse than the physical ones. The anxiety about having a recurrence or starting a family have kept me up at night more times than I can count. I also experience survivor's guilt. If I'm not eating healthily or if I do something that I don't view as "healthy" I feel like I've wasted my second shot at living. I started going to therapy as an adult, and it definitely has helped me develop ways to cope with it, but it's hard. 

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