• how does one cope with anxiety and depression caused by long term illness and disability?

    Asked by catherinemarr on Sunday, December 16, 2012

    how does one cope with anxiety and depression caused by long term illness and disability?

    spent two months in hospital,three colon surguries ,,due to cancer and then peritonitis,,,still very limited mobility

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      It's really hard. Two things that have helped me a lot 1) speaking with a counselor who specializes in helping cancer patients deal with their emotions and the logistics of their treatment, etc. I am very lucky the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC (where I am being treated) has a program/protocol/trial that is free to people in treatment. Ask your oncologist if s/he knows of anyone in your area that can help.
      2) I ask my oncologist for a Pharma referral to see what drugs might be able to help me cope with my anxiety, anger, etc, as they were real effecting my day to day life. He gave a doctor who sees cancer patients exclusively. He knows how and what drugs we take can effect our mood in addition to the emotional stress of the situation, not to mention drug interaction. For example I had been taking between 25 mcg and 50 mcg of xanax up to three times a day as needed. I was put on a schedule 50 mcg in the morning and at night and 25mcg at midday. I was also put on lexapro, and give a very low level non addictive sleeping pill to take as needed (I use it for 3-4 days after my infusion to counteract the steroids).

      I am feeling much more in control of my life right now then I was in October

      Good luck and remember we are here for you if only as an ear to listen.

      almost 4 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      One day at a time... I also spent an extended time in the hospital, had my colon resected in 3 places, had infections, complications, chemical peritonitis, and felt like it would never end. I've had excellent support from my husband, and I have a wonderful therapist. We've used medications as appropriate; I'm on none now. I thought I'd never feel human again. Fast forward (tho it seemed more like slow-forwarding) to now, and I do everything. I'm fully active, working, playing. It took many months for my life to return to some semblance of what I'd hoped for. Healing is long, slow, and often arduous. Think in baby steps - it will come.

      almost 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      SueRae's answer was perfect: 1) It's difficult. 2) Find a cancer-knowledgeable therapist to talk to. 3) Get Rx from cancer-knowledgable doctor.

      The provider for 2 and 3 might be the same person, a psychiatrist who specializes in treating oncology patients. Get a handle on your emotions so cancer doesn't ruin your every waking moment. And, expect to be mad, sad, or anxious sometimes anyway.

      almost 4 years ago
    • catherinemarr's Avatar

      thank you soooo much for your good advice,I have no therapist,as I have nooo insurance but will look into finding one as soon as financially feasible,,or possible

      almost 4 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      Contact the American Cancer Society or a Gilda's Club - their services are free, and they may be able to put you in touch with the appropriate care. Regardless, being in a support group, and having access to others who truly understand is priceless. (I always hated those people who insisted that they "know" what I've gone through. If you haven't been there, you can't possibly imagine it!)

      Also, understand that what you are going through, while miserable, is perfectly normal. Your world, both physical and emotional, has been turned upside down. Sometimes, just accepting that your feelings are normal, and that you will eventually feel better can help.

      almost 4 years ago

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