Depression and Anxiety


I was diagnosed with bc in November 18 and have had a mastectomy with reconstruction at the same time. I have sailed through the surgery but currently going through chemotherapy. My schedule is 4 cycles of EC then 4 cycles of piclataxel. Currently I have had 3 rounds is EC. I am in the middle of round 3 and 4. I tend to dip physically and psychologically between sessions but this time I am really struggling with severe depression and anxiety. I have counciling and hypnotherapy  booked but am going to the doctors as my headspace is not good. I am trying to stay active and positive but it is having an effect on my family. My husband has been amazing but my children are now starting to pick up on things. Has anyone else really struggled? 


Ask your doctor to prescribe a course of anti depressants for you, although don’t expect them to work immediately. You might well find that you don’t need the talking therapies but, even if you do, the tablets could help during the waiting period.

How old are your children and how much do they understand about your treatment?


It is perfectly understandable to feel anxious and upset. I am not sure you should call it “depression” because my aunt was seeing a psychiatrist for it at one time and he said that those feelings are normal if and when you have something that is entitled to make you anxious and worried.


I think a cancer diagnosis qualifies for that!!  


Anyway those feelings are “depression” when you have no apparent reason for them OR you have had a reason such as a bereavement in the past BUT those sensations are still present.


We all have to go through a sequence called the 5 stages when we or a loved one has  had very bad news, details here:


Some of us are able to express our grief outwardly in tears and other people keep it bottled up or even deny their feelings.


So you have every right to feel upset - knowing that put all your efforts into getting better. I was where you are now 3 years ago. Lots of us have had chemo and felt down about it all but we made it through and so will you xxx

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Hello Debbie, You ask “Has anyone else really struggled?”…I hope you have managed to find some of the similar posts to yours just on this forum and you will see that you are definitely not alone.


The whole situation takes its toll in various ways on mind and body, and (clinical) depression and anxiety can result, as opposed to the “feeling down about it” scenario. Different people, different opinions, different definitions. Call it what you want but from my experience (not in relation to cancer diagnosis etc) it is about the strength of impact on your day to day life over a period of time, and feeling that you have lost the switch to take control of tormenting and persistent thoughts and feelings. At the time I recall saying to someone that my neurotransmitters had gone A. W. O. L. …but they eventually came back.


Hope you have managed to access the support you need. You seem very aware of yourself and your need for help. I hope the GP visit went well. I don’t know if you have a Maggie’s Centre or similar nearby. There can be some useful services available whether Counselling or becoming part of a social group with like minded people. Just wanted to wish you the very best, Chick ? x

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Debbie , we have all struggled with our diagnosis, so you are not alone. Your post appears reasoned and practical, in that you have defined your needs and have taken steps to help yourself. I have had fantastic support from my local Maggies centre. I accessed the help of a psychologist within 48 hrs of being diagnosed with SBC, and have attended a sleep workshop and a mindfulness course. All extremely helpful. My oncologist has organised psychological support where I have been able to work through my feelings, and finally accept the diagnosis, so that I can now look forward instead of grieving for the past. My big problem is getting sound sleep, but doing TaiChi ( at Maggies) and joining a gym to have a nice swim several times a week has been very helpful. I think it’s important that you talk to others like yourself, as I found that however supportive family and friends are, unless they’ve walked this very difficult path , then they really don’t understand the depth of feelings generated. If you need drugs to help, then go that route with your GP. Anything to get you through. Wishing you all the best. X


Hi all,

Debbie - I have been in exactly the same situation as you, I had my mastectomy, recon & node clearance surgery in April/May and I was fine with everything- relief “it” has gone…

I started chemo in June  (x4 ec & x4 paclitaxel) for mop up/preventative…


So about to have my last ec this week,  but after number 3 my head went into overdrive, I was so teary, sad, overthinking, depressive even - really not me & it has improved slightly but I am still so down  & snappy

I don’t know if just the chemo or the concoction of everything or hormonal - throwing me into the menopause


I spoke to my nurse & they may be reducing the amount of steriods this week, as it happens a day or so after my last steriod jab & tablets… but as carried on for ‘my good days’ I’m thinking its more the oestrogen levels dropping & menopausal downers ??? 

I’ve not had anti depressants ever, but wondering whether this is something I may need, as I also have a husband & young children & family who are getting the brunt of my downers - constantly at the moment & don’t want to be like this forever now  :( 

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Hi Debbie

I think it is perfectly natural to feel depressed and anxious at some point in this process.  Talk to your nursing staff and/or GP to see if they can help.  I have also found Mind to be an amazing resource.  Just know that it will get better.  Sending hugs xx

You can overcome depression only if you really want it. And if the fight against the disease is limited only to the formal intake of pills and visits to doctors, the result will not be achieved, or the path to recovery will stretch for many months, or even years. To get back in shape as soon as possible, you need to actively incorporate antidepressive measures into your daily life. There are no trifles in the treatment of depression. Of course, these tips will not help cure the disease without drugs and psychotherapy, but they can significantly speed up the process. For example, I set myself high goals in sports and exercised regularly. But at the same time, I used some medications, such as antidepressants and calming teas (I regularly drank kava tea

I’m having hard time with my recent diagnosis and also feeling depressed.  You are not alone 

Many individuals have struggled with depression and anxiety during cancer treatment, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone. With the right support and resources, you can overcome these challenges and continue to move forward. The physical and emotional toll of the treatment can be overwhelming and challenging to cope with.