depression and anxiety

Would like to know if anybody has suffered clinicle depression and anxiety due to their illness.
Im 49 and was diagnosed in march this year. Had a mastectomy, reconstruction, and 2 rounds of chemo couldnt cope with anymore, just started with tamoxifen, which i dont know if its my illness but im feeling a little wierd this week after taking them.
I dont want antidepressants as im sensitive to side effects, im seeing a psychologist although iv had about 6-7 sessions and havent got anywhere.
You all quite friendly and cheerfull and have all been through a lot and most a lot more than me. I feel like a coward and cannot get away from the negativity of it all, I must say i was a nervous and mildley depressed person before bc, and suffer from agrophobia when im like this too so i do not and cannot leave the house on top of everything else, Question is, has anyone related to my problems or felt the same in some way or another.
thankyou for reading
McGill 49

Hi McGill

I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago. Before then I had mild anxiety, never depression. When I was diagnosed I was suicidal for a bloody day. In shock with legs shaking and anxiety attacks for a week thereafter. Just calm now, wanting this treatment and surgery to be over. Starting to accept that I cannot control everything and trying to remain positive and calm to help me feel better during all of this…Counsellor says its lack of having control in this situation and to some extent if I had done something stupid…at least I was in control. Its the fear of not knowing yeah? I was really pissed off as lets just say …my life was never easy before…but I was finally getting somewhere…I’ve never taken meds…just faced the problem head on but was always not completely relaxed…even when they put me on diazepam last week…I took it for one day…and stopped…I’m sorry you are having a really crap time…and Know it must seem like just another of lifes hurdles…and why?..I’m not sure what to say to you…just that…go easy on yourself man (love yourself through this…you are worthy of love)…change your therapist perhaps?..BUT(remember they can’t make it go away…they can only help you deal with it?)…

Good luck

Going back to March and first finding out it was the most frightening thing in my life and i was already on tranquilizers and they didnt do a thing mainly because i have been on them too long. And yes a friend said to me “this is something YOU cant control” and shes right thats a lot of the problem lack of control and knowledge

Dear mcgill49,You can’t really expect that in 6-7 sessions you are going to feel any benefit from anxiety and depression.It’s going to take some time to begin to unravel the reasons for your depression and anxiety. I think that BC can throw up all sorts of unresolved stuff from the past and compounds into the here and now. If you have a good therapist you will need to commit at least some months before you feel the benefits.
I work long term with some of my clients and the results are good if you are committed to the therapeutic journey.
best wishes


You can control how you choose to deal with it? I feel I still have that option…I know its only been three weeks and I have been through hell…but emotionally I feel a bit better…I just thought my body would cope with the meds and everything to come better…if I remained positive…I have a family to think of too…No-one can control everything…in that respect we are all in the same boat…no different from one another?..In my life it was important that I felt I had some level of control as an adult…where as a child I felt I had little…but I think that I can accept that I can control some things and not others?..if you know what I mean…think about the things that you can control…and decide how you are going to deal with it…its still within your power(you are taking control by having accepted treatment and surgery for starters)I know how you feel…been there…don’t think of it as yet another fight in your life…as that may sound too aggressive?..think about it as something that you need to get through…for you…and good luck with the therapy…I’ve been with a therapist who did not really hit the nail on the head…and then found someone who understood from the word go…Leadie below is right however…you do need to be committed and with the help of a good therapist…I wish you everything of the best…I know this is not a cold or flu…but please don’t give in to this more than you have to…I know you can do this


I had depression at first and now still suffering a lot of anxiety due to my diagnosis. My way of coping is reading reading reading!

This book was very inspiring: ‘Healing without Freud or Prozac: Natural Approaches to Curing Stress, Anxiety and Depression without Drugs and without Psychoanalysis’ by David Servan-Schreiber.

Amazon link below:

His ‘Anti-Cancer’ book is also brilliant and they work well together.

Hi Mcgill, i have suffered from clinical depression in the past and it did get worse during treatment. i am now a year on from treatment finishing and still struggle with depression and anxiety.I too have had counselling and other forms of support but I have found it is very difficult for others to understand the real anxiety we have after bc and during its treatment.Even professionals I find do not understand this unless they have been through BC themselves. As well as bc I lost my dad last year so was at a very low ebb.I have been on antidepressants for many years and had lots of side effects. I am on tamoxifen and I think if you get depressed before it, the effect of this and the menopause can make you feel worse.I had arimidex last year but msde the depression worse so saw my onc about this. I find it very hard to live with the ‘new’ post bc me and I expect you may find this to. I have no qualms about taking antidepressants as they have saved my life in the past. I find they help me cope better. However, i have been on so many and now running out of options and may have to take very old ones (MAOI’s) with dietary restrictions. Some days I feel I can live with the new me and other days it is very hard.I am not agrophobic but can go into myself and retreat to bed if I feel very down.All of this really takes it out of you and you were only dx last march. I am hoping it may become easier to live with as time progresses.I wish you well mcgill and you are welcome to ask me anything you like if it helps.

Love Rachy xx

Hi there again, hows your anxiety is it bad or is the depression worse. My therepist thinks the severe anxiety has caused the depression, also how did you take it when you were first diognosed, i freaked out and was so fearful. i left myself at the hospital that day and feel i still havent come home, its like i miss the old me and wonder where she is and if shes coming back (strange).

When i was first diagnosed, I was in shock. I just couldn’t take it in.I was 38 and thought it couldn’t happen to me.I remember shaking with fear everytime I went into the hospital for tests.I remember the day of my op- I had WLE during day surgery and it made me feel like a piece of meat. I had to wait all day and was a total mess by the end of it. I have always worried about bc as my mum has had it twice. She was 48 at dx and then again her 60’s. She is now 75 and no evidence of cancer.Her bc and mine are both ER++.I was 13 when she was first dx and remember the fear that I would lose her.
My anxiety comes and goes in waves. It is at its most severe at work and at the moment I am off sick as I couldn’t cope with all the stress.I feel less anxious away from work but it still does come back sometimes very severely. When originally dx with depression the anxiety was secondary whereas now it is probably the other way around. It did feel the old me had gone . I am learning to live with myself, trying not to see her as bad in anyway just different.The feeling of loss control is very frightening and I know it will take alot of time for me to adjust just as it will for you.I have been asttending anxiety management sessions through my GP to see if this will help me. It might help you too. I had 8 cycles of chemo and that takes its toll on your body and mind.My body coped well with it in some ways as no infections etc. but the long term effectys on my mood and memory are still a problem.

Rachy xx