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    Depression - How do you recognize it? Have you had it? What did you do about it?

    Asked by WhatNextEmails on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    Depression - How do you recognize it? Have you had it? What did you do about it?

    This question was emailed to us and we think it's an important topic. A life-altering illness like cancer is enough to put someone into a deep depression. What would you say to someone who is dealing with it?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      I would say to get help. I waited a long time to seek help. There is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health issues but sometimes you need help. The oncology social worker I first talked to basically blew me off even though I was contemplating sucicide. The onc nurse got me connected with some help & I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and depression.

      6 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I haven't had depression since i was in my 20s. But, if someone is depressed, it would be good for them to seek medical care: antidepressants, psychological and or psychiatric care ...

      6 months ago
    • Gumpus61's Avatar

      The mental health aspect of Cancer is one of it's dirty secrets. There is a lot of Pablum out there about support networks. How can we pour these horrible drugs into people and not make a mental health evaluation part of the patient treatment syllabus ?

      6 months ago
    • Ksantema's Avatar

      I have had some depression a few times, which is very unlike me. When I recognize it happening I try to get active again and play my music loud. Usually I can get out of it alright. I also write on my blog or on a book I never seem close to finishing. That actually seems to get my mind off of whatever is depressing me.

      6 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      I have suffered from depression since my early teens (possible before that ) Mine was Seasonal Affective Disorder to start with. But during my teens it manifest itself as eating disorders. I literally tried to starve my self to death. After my father's death I became so depressed that I planned a "fatal accident " 10 days before I was diagnosed with cancer. The Dr.s said I had 4-9 months to live. So I decided to save my car. Then there was the plot twist. My brother was visiting from Portland and he took me to the hospice planning appointment. He said my nephew knew a Dr. whose team was developing new surgical techniques. So I had the surgery and I have had to live to give those surgeons their numbers. I won't say I don't have sad days especially when new breeds of cancer pop up. But I no longer have the desire to end it all.
      I have had spiritual conselling through my church. I also make it a point to see every the dawn even on dark days especially on dark days. I make sure the maximum natural light is in each room and I spend the major part of my time in the lightest room. I try to eat a healthy diet. There is a tendency when you are depressed to eat junk food but that will only make it worse. You will feel much better if you eat healthy foods I also have a pet. KandyKat is very important because she relies on me
      I think that depression brought on by cancer diagnosis is really a form of PTSD and is probably different than ordinary depression

      6 months ago
    • Bugs' Avatar

      I haven't been diagnosed with depression, but I know I have had it. I have just almost stopped living at one point by just laying around, no interest in eating or talking to anyone, mad at the world, but I would say it's to be expected.

      6 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I've never talked to anyone about it but I am pretty sure that I had a touch of this during my last diagnosis and treatments. Mainly before treatments started and before I met with my oncologist for the first time. After I met with him and seen his positive attitude towards my case, that all changed and I felt better about my chances then.

      6 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      I wonder how many people are depressed and really do not realize or recognize it. I certainly did not realize I was depressed. After being diagnosed, I cried, A LOT. I thought, well this was perfectly normal since I had been essentially told by the gp who diagnosed me I had roughy two years to live. I could not discuss my diagnosis without crying. I went through the day to day motions, and was able to function ok, I thought, as long as I did not discuss anything medical. It was my new gp who told me he thought I was depressed. I thought, no, not me. I mean no one is happy after being diagnosed with cancer. Again, I started to cry in his office. Relunctantly I took a mild antidepressant he ordered for me. I could not believe the difference this medication made I became emotionally stronger and the tears dried up relaced by a determination to do whatever it took to beat this disease. I continued to take the medication throughout my treatment.

      6 months ago
    • Nanalily's Avatar

      I have just been diagnosed and I’m awaiting surgery and finding out if it has metastasized. I have had Depression since I was very young and I am taking antidepressants that are effective for me. I am recently retired from my work as a mental health therapist so I know how the manage this, but I am not sure about this current challenge. Ironically, I have worked with many clients who were in hospice or grieving losses of all kinds. I have done a lot of study about death and dying and personally, spiritually, I am not afraid of death. I had a Near Death Experience during surgery in my early 30’s and I have never feared dying since then (although I definitely have PTSD symptoms when I have to have surgery). My fear is that I won’t fight this cancer hard enough because of the depression and my lack of fear about dying. I am intending to go back to therapy which I have done over the years when I needed it. I would also like to find a support group. I dread having surgery and my immediate goal is to make it through the procedure and get out of the hospital as soon as I possibly can. I’m hoping it can be a robotically assisted procedure so the recovery will be easier.
      My son has recently been placed on a liver transplant list and a lot of my energy this past two months has been focused on him and his family. Now I need to find even more and use it for my own self care. I’m grateful this group is here. Thank you for listening.

      about 1 month ago

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