• exhaustion and depression

    Asked by crazywoman on Friday, May 24, 2013

    exhaustion and depression

    any suggestions for exhaustion & depression??

    22 Answers from the Community

    22 answers
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      see my answer to your previously posted question.

      over 3 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Depression is common in cancer patients and is caused by the chemo. It is chemical and is not your fault. Chemo effects the serotonin levels in the brain which causes the depression. The good news is that it can easily be treated with meds. Cancer Drs are often not well trained to spot or treat the depression so you may have to get referred to another Dr. The Meds can take a couple of weeks to build up to full effect so be patient. I know all of this first hand. Please see your Drs and get the help you needs. Good Luck

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Depression.....counseling and possibly meds....speak to your onc clinic about a referral to a good therapist who knows breast cancer patients...
      Exhaustion.....are you sleeping? it could be part of the depression....but it also could be seperate and making the depresson worse....speak to your doctor about your sleep if you are not sleeping....there are lots of things that can help....

      over 3 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I agree with Peroll, but WHO WOULDN'T BE DEPRESSED W/A CANCER DIAGNOSIS? I know it's tough--I'm a 2x b/c warrior--but you might feel better to be around your friends, and although I'm sure it doesn't appeal to you right now, getting outside (Vitamin D!) and walking or doing some other exercise you like ( bowling, swimming, etc.) also may help. I feel for you--most of us have also gone through what you are feeling right now. Trust me. It will get better.

      over 3 years ago
    • Molly72's Avatar

      What about exhaustion & fatigue NOT caused by chemo or meds?
      It seems to me I have noticed many people here suffering from this.
      Perhaps the cancer itself is the culprit.
      Any medical people here aware of this?

      over 3 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      I would suggest counseling with preferably someone who counsels cancer patient and to also talk to a doctor that can prescribe anti-depressants if its something that is needed. Also it is a good idea to learn to pace yourself! I may not be able to plant my entire flower garden in one day but I can plant one or two flowers a day. My spaghetti sauce now may be a jar of ragu instead of the sauce from scratch. It's also important to find people you feel comfortable with in telling these feelings. This here is a good place to start. I also love listening to music. I totally understand and know what you mean. I also need to remember what I've told you for when I get in these funks. Hugs to you. Be easy on yourself and try to take good care. Oh and don't be afraid to ask from others specifically what it is you may need.

      over 3 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      PS to Molly. I'm far from being a doctor but it sure can seem to be a mixture of the cancer, the chemo and meds causing the exhaustion. I don't know but my reaction is to think to fix the exhaustion without so much worrying about what is causing it. I do know that it seems cancer has a way if exaggerating things that were problems before the cancer struck. I haven't done specific research about this, these are just my feelings.

      over 3 years ago
    • Canto's Avatar

      I just went through this two days ago. I have my final chemo round of 8 this week and it was my breast surgeon that recognized my exhaustion, "sadness" and tearfulness. She hugged me and said "how about a little anti-depressant"? I've always been level and optimistic so it was a fight for me to accept this. They know I'm not a complainer and usually "Up". The NP called the next day to suggest Magnesium for my restless legs but when researching the properties, I saw that it also helped with fatigue and acts as a mild anti-depressant. My daughter, who is currently doing her graduate work in counseling, confirmed that it's not taboo to take an anti-depressant due to the chemo zapping the serotonin. (she just finished her studies on this) It's only temporary. Not that I'm in any place to point out medication but it's in the SSRI family: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. Wishing you well.

      over 3 years ago
    • StrongSteph's Avatar

      I suffered a lot of depression and sadness after my treatments ended. I finally went on sertraline, and now I have a prescription for xanax for moments of panic. But over all I feel better, and it took time,a lot of tears, and just facing that I am a cancer patient. Time heals. Hugs to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear crazywoman,

      Hi, I'm Aliza, a BC patient and the site's unofficial resident Medical Librarian. I've hardly anything new to say other than what you've read here from other members of the community (they're all right in different ways), but depression causes exhaustion as well, so that's something to consider. So is (aside from possibly visiting your doc and getting a referral to a psychiatrist to see if anti-depressants are warranted [they can be immensely helpful in many cases]), visiting a dietician or nutritionist familiar with cancer and following a healthy diet. Do not take supplements except those that you run past your oncologist, to be on the safe side.

      Hoping you feel better soon!

      Warm wishes,

      over 3 years ago
    • crazywoman's Avatar

      Thanks for all your kindness & responses. I'm already on lexapro. Another problem is drinking water. Don't want to drive either. Doesn't help that hubby is losing his eyesight & can't drive either. Guess I'll need counseling 4 both of us.

      over 3 years ago
    • tiaria30's Avatar

      Im going through all of this as well. Ive been told as a breast cancer patient this is very common. After going through treatment and then being done with everything, its like whats next? I mean Im lost. Its like separation anxiety. I used to be a really up beat and out going person and now I feel very blah. I am now on anti-depressents and they seem to help but Im still lost. Even during treatment, I kept my head up and was so upbeat it was amazing and now.. not so much!

      over 3 years ago
    • Kossmore's Avatar

      For the depression, try reading the books about the different cancers that other people have dealt with. The book by Lance Armstrong (couldn't find the title right now) gave the stories about how other people handled the struggles of coping with their cancers.

      The fatigue is normal, so just take it easy. I could only do about 20 minutes of anything physical a day with out being exhausted. The rest of the day all I did was sit or lay around the house. Fortunately, I was not working at the time. The feeling of tiredness reminded me of being in the swimming pool for a while then using the laddar to climb out. That at lasted all day, every day whether or not I did anything physical.

      over 3 years ago
    • glam's Avatar

      Dear crazywoman, dont be so demanding on yourself......exhaustion is a common side effects on chemo patients and you should just rest as much as you can, read a book, listen to your favorite songs, watch a comedy movie, but at same time not to give up and when felling a little bit better, take a walk, even though a small one.......for depression you should talk with your doctor and he may recommend you some therapist or some drugs......for me in case of depression, my pets played an important role as they were always around trying to take me out of bed and making me play with them and their toys........some how they helped me to keep active also as I could not ignore their faces asking me to walk, to play, and so forth so on......be faithful and never give up!!!! God bless you

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I suggest some moderate physical activity, even if it's the last thing you feel like doing. I find it's the best thing for depression and exhaustion. Easier said than done, I know. Start slowly. We all understand what it feels like to be under the overwhelming mental and physical strain of a cancer diagnosis.

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Sounds like with your husband's health issues you've got a lot more to deal with than most of us. I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time.

      over 3 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      This is normal..your body has gone through trauma! I do not believe in getting more meds for the depression caused by meds and medical issues. They have their own side effects and in the end may make things worse. What worked for me was the following: Reiki and Accupuncture treatments - learning to ground yourself is so important! Most centers will offer these for free or tell you of practioner volunteers. Next: find a support group through your cancer center, it is so good to sit and talk to others going through this. Then: Exercise! It is a natural anti-depressant! It also helps you sleep and you'll find the more you can do the less fatique you will feel too! With that, also drink lots of fluids and take B vitamins. Also, as said before, vitamin D and some sunshine!

      over 3 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Hello; I am 11 years cancer freee after being poisoned and burned until I was crispy.

      1. Nothing about cancer is normal.
      2. A problem with therapists is that they are healthy. Should they, or doctors, happen to sicken, they are immediately relieved of their positions.
      3. I don't want to be on drugs. I have/had a life which was happy and I want it back!!!
      4. I juice fresh fruit and/or veggies and greens every mothering day. Sometimes it takes all the energy with which I rise to accomplish this.
      5. Juicing gives me enough energy to go to the next step even though it isn't enough for me to be confused with anyone who is "normal". I eat well over two pounds of fruit and vegetables every single day.
      6. I move as much as I am able. I do certain exercises daily. If I don't I suffer for not having done them. I got my exercises from a combination of physical therapy and yoga practice. Movement can be as simple as groaning off the couch and reaching for a cup. Do it 10 times and you have done the required repetitions for any exercise program.
      7. Maybe see a grief counselor. Everybody has had some grief in their lives. You've lost your health. Who, in their right mind, would not be depressed?
      8. There are seven stages of grief and sometimes you go through them all at once and/or over and over.
      9. Just do the very best you are able and stretch yourself every day you possibly can. Start socializing again. If necessary, find new friends.

      This too shall pass.


      over 3 years ago
    • Ladykarla's Avatar

      If you need rides to treatments for cancer, please call the American Cancer Society's toll free number. They will get you in touch with FREE rides in your area - no income limit. They have lots of programs to help you. They can even put you in touch with new trials. They are eager to help.

      over 3 years ago
    • carter4's Avatar

      easy - Effexor

      over 3 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      Hi crazywoman, Exhaustion or depression are tough to deal with individually without coping with both of them simultaneously. Can your physician refer you to a counselor or doctor who treats depression? I used to map my day around a schedule which did little to honor my body's limitations. Now I'm trying to surrender to my physical dictates rather than my mental habits and expectations. Easy to say but much harder to do. I'd like to learn to allow my body to flow into the rhythms of the natural setting around it....move with the wind like that lone pinecone clinging to the piñon tree.

      over 3 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar

      Please acknowledge that these feelings are normal for all you are going through...we have all been there to some degree...I suffered from PTSD before my breast cancer dx and my PCP was smart enough to up my sertraline dose during the time of my active treatments...I am now back to my "old" dose and doing well. Most cancer center have therapists on site or can get you a referral to one through their social service dept., please take advantage of this as well as the free rides to your treatments through the American Cancer Society...you do not have to manage this on your own...please let us know how else we may help...good luck and God bless!

      over 3 years ago

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