*sigh* I really hate myself.

I think things are starting to really go down hill for me. I mean, the cancer isn't back, but my depression is. My aunt passed away on Feb. 3rd, and even before then I was starting to show signs of depression. I feel like such a burden on my family and friends. Very much so with my parents since, while I am getting SSD it doesn't cover all my expenses (I do help out paying for groceries though).

I'm in community college at the moment, taking three classes, and since my aunt passed away, I've been behind (I've talked with my teachers about that and they're okay with me taking my time). I feel pathetic, I can't seem to handle this. My focus is all off and I just want to be left alone.

On Tuesday night I started thinking that maybe it would be better to stop taking all my pills and stuff, and maybe the cancer will come back and finish me off. So, when my parents and I went to see my oncologist on Wednesday (blood check, more chemo), I told him this (with encouragement from my parents) and my dad made an appointment with my psychiatrist at the hospital. So now I'm back on Abilify. Oh, and I've promised not to hurt myself or stop taking my meds (although really that's just out of obligation, not because I really want to).

I hate this. Eventually my parents will be retiring (one in the next few years), and I feel guilty about not being more successful with work (even before I got sick) and stuff. So now I can't do anything about how I feel (I don't know if the Abilify will work, the last chemotherapy made my tremor worse. My psychiatrist wants me to email her on the weekend to say how things are going, and I'll be seeing her on Tuesday I think (or Monday, my parents will remember).

So in short (bit too late for that), I hate myself and stuff.


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  • I've been feeling like this a lot lately too :( Just remember that first and foremost, you need to take care of your mind. Talk to someone when you feel these things. You're fabulous and you've fought hard to get where you are, don't let you convince yourself otherwise! <3 <3 <3
  • I've been trying to tell close friends/family about it. It's just hard because either they don't understand how depression works (it's a brain/mental disease, not something that just goes away easily). I know my parents love me, although I don't know why. It doesn't seem like I'm doing as much as I can because I'm so distracted.
  • Hey Crazycatlady360,

    I don't pretend to know what life is lke for you right now, honestly no one can really know what it must feel like. I do want to offer some advice based on my own experiences and sincerely hope they are of some benefit to you. Regardless of what your parents or therapist tell you, antidepressants do not fix anything. There has been no proof whatsoever that they "fix" a chemical imbalance in the brain. if you feel like doing some reading, check out this story in Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-isnt-golden/201201/powerful-psychiatrists-push-false-theory-unknowing-souls.

    So you may be asking yourself, how do I fix this? Well, it will not be as easy as taking a pill but you do have the capacity to heal yourself from within. Start by asking yourself - what specifically is causing me to be depressed? Cancer is obvious, but what else is eating away at you? Make a list.

    Go ahead, just do it. Be as honest with yourself as you are able to. Brutally honest. Write it all down.

    Now ask yourself which of the things on your list you can change yourself. I don't think cancer will be one of those. But once you have identified the issues you can work on, start to work on them. Again, it will not be a quick fix, and not as easy as swallowing pills, but you absolutely will be working on the things that are making you feel like shit. Start small, and set goals. Have a combination of small or short-term goals, and a few long-term goals. Work on them every day. A short-term goal may be as simple as "I'm going to go see a movie at the movie theater" or "I'm going to cook a healthy meal for lunch". Have a few short-term goals each day. It will make your life more interesting and it will keep your mind preoccupied. Long-term goals might be "I want to go to the OMG Summit" or "I want to beat this cancer" or "I want to climb Mt. Everest".

    You also want to start changing your internal dialogue. If you are telling yourself that your cancer is not going to go away, start saying to yourself that you are getting better every day. It may seem stupid and you don't even have to believe it, but once you change what you keep saying to yourself over and over your mind will stop repeating the negative thoughts you no longer want. Its deceptively simple but it really works.

    I mentioned it in another thread but also look for a book by Melissa Tiers on Amazon called The Anti-Anxiety Toolkit. Its self-published so you will not be able to find it at your local bookstore. Check out this short video of Melissa teaching a class on how her techniques work http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JNHIzyZb6E.

    If you need any help with any of this, just post a reply.

    Wishing you the very best,

  • you're allowed to feel bad - don't worry about that. and while you're in treatment, you're absolutely allowed to take it easy. your job is to heal as much as you can. a lot of us have been to those places.

    I agree with James to do what you can to get off the meds. They can help you to get better, but they don't do it all by themselves.

    One thing that helped me cope with the difficulty of classes after treatment was to actually ask for help to figure out how to learn all over again. classes were SO hard for me when I returned to school. halfway through my first "full" semester back (I kinda had a practice half semester first) I was very nearly failing both classes I was taking. I spoke with my professors, not only saying I was having a hard time and why, but asking if they could help me to figure out how to do better. One of them was great at helping me figure things out. I managed B's in those classes (barely), but got two A's in my courses the following semester, so his help REALLY helped me a lot. Disability services on campus were worthless. They have no idea how to help people "like us" with the very real, but challenging, cognitive changes chemo brings down upon us.
  • With all due respect, I've been depressed even before I had cancer. Meds worked then (along with therapy). It's a medical illness, not something like regular sadness. Getting off anti-depressants is not a good idea. Sometimes it takes changing dosages (just like chemotherapy). Frankly I'd rather trust someone who has gone to school for that sort of thing. No offense meant, but I think they know what they're doing.
  • But have pills and therapy really worked? Honestly? Are they making life better or do they simply delay you from working on the things that are keeping you in therapy? There is no judgement here, and I have no way of knowing who you are.

    I understand that you trust a therapist who has been in school for many years, but what if the education s/he was given was based on science of the last century, not based on our knowledge of today? It is going to take a leap of faith to consider alternate options, but otherwise it seems you are simply stuck. Do you want to be stuck? Do you want to improve things? If everything you have done so far has left you stuck then something must change for you to feel better. And changing your medication dosage is something you have done already, so this will not result in an outcome you have not already experienced.

    There are plenty of therapists who have had many years of education who do not prescribe medication. They are just as capable, and in my personal opinion can do a far better job at diagnosing the underlying issues you may be struggling with. Its unfortunate, but our country is so adamant that drugs are somehow the only solution and therefore sacred.

    But look around you, notice how many people have the diagnosis of depression and are now on antidepressants - versus 30 years ago. Is it because depression is becoming more common? Is it because they have been taught to believe they need antidepressants?
  • I think James is right a lot of the time, but having seen my cousin deal with depression it is definitely not just a poor state of mind or something like that. My aunt had it quite badly as well, to the point of attempting suicide. Thankfully she's better now (although I don't know if she's still on meds for it...if she is, they're working). True depression is an illness...happy thoughts and chocolate help, but they're not really going to cure it all the way.

    What a rough thing to deal with on top of cancer! *hugs*
  • Obviously you know nothing about how anti-depressants and therapy work. You are judging me and like you said, and I quote, "I have no way of knowing who you are". Would you tell a cancer patient to stop taking their pills/chemo/treatment if it wasn't working? I highly doubt it. You'd probably think, hmm, maybe a different chemo/pill/treatment would work.

    My therapist/psychiatrist is a professor as well (the hospital I go to is a teaching hospital) so I'm pretty sure she stays up to date on the latest treatment. Just counting on "faith" will do nothing for me. If you knew anything about depression you'd realize how wrong you were. I've only been on certain dosages and certain pills for depression, sometimes it takes multiple tries to get the right dosage pill. Just like cancer. In the past these pills have worked for me, just like the cancer treatment. Yes some people just stick with therapy, but it didn't work for me. I was extremely close to killing myself before I got on meds and used therapy together. I DO NOT believe that only using one or the other type of treatment will work. Plus, of course they're going to have to try different meds/therapy. I'm on chemotherapy and that changes things.

    You want the real reason why more people are being diagnosed with depression? Gee, do you think that it could be that there's a little less stigma surrounding it? That's what I think. Although, with you mods thinking the way you do, depressed people have a long way to go. Frankly I'm sickened by your opinion. Fufuberry is the only one who's said something useful. I'm done with these forums.

    *Edit* Just saw Katydid's post and wanted to respond to it, yeah, it's not just a poor state of mind (also, I'm glad your aunt is doing better and I hope your cousin gets better too!). So thank you Katydid for adding a sane voice to the mix.
  • My mom has struggled with depression a lot- she always explained it simply as she had a "chemical imbalance." I know her doctors had her try various drugs until they found something that worked out. Normally I side with the less drugs is better but in this case my personal experience would say some people really do need to take something for their depression and it should be up to the doctors/psychiatrists and the individual to make those decisions. Like cancer perhaps depression (not the I'm feeling bad for awhile depressed but the I feel so bad, sometimes without reason, I can't function in life well and it doesn't go away for a long period of time depression) is something people that only people who have experienced it can truly understand.

    Anyway, you have my support and I'm so sorry that it seems you posted here looking for understanding/support/sympathy but instead got opinions about meds and depression. I always believe in the good in people so I have to say I don't think anyone here was really trying to be hurtful and offensive to you but I certainly understand you being upset by some of the comments. Please don't judge all of us here by the opinions of a few as everyone here (moderator or not) has different individual experiences and opinions.
  • Thank you Mishanne. I appreciate your understanding of my situation (and I hope your mom continues to get better)! I just wanted to have some understanding/support/sympathy like you said, not a whole debate over meds and stuff. I'll try not to judge you all by a few people's opinions. It's just hurtful when people say stuff about things they don't understand.
  • For what it's worth, I was on antidepressants for nearly seven years. My therapist did change my medication dose a few times but based on his conversations with me it was because I had been on one for so long my body became numb to its effects. I didn't feel any better but it seemed like a good excuse he could use to justify changing the medicine. So I can say if there was some benefit to me it was only that of a placebo.

    Things did get better when I got curious about what was making me so f@#king miserable. I didn't have to look far either. What was eating me up inside? I hated the way I looked and was tired of being overweight. I was pissed off that my cancer took away my ability to drive a car. I was isolated as a cancer survivor but even more so living in the suburbs of a Southern city that had pathetic public transit service. I was miserable at a community college that was a dead end for the careers that would be fulfilling to my life. I lacked the education to get a stable job that gave me a sense of purpose. To top it off, the ability to know what I wanted was blinded by a limited view of what I thought I was capable of doing.

    Things got much better when I changed my diet. I found a book by Dr. Mark Hyman called UltraMetabolism that led me to eliminate gluten, dairy and sugar from my diet. What I found was that gluten, dairy and sugar actually made me depressed. It left me feeling weak, constantly tired and unable to lose weight. They also affected my ability to think clearly (brain fog). Once I began to eat a highly regimented diet of lean animal protein, complex carbohydrates and lots of vegetables I gained the energy to do so much more. This was the very moment my life took a complete 180.

    I am not suggesting your diet is in any way related, but I am telling you what worked for me. I also don't expect you to be interested in looking into these options, but know that I am willing to share with you anything that helped me on my journey back from depression.

    I also realized that I needed to take complete control over my own health. I needed to second guess my doctors so that I better understood why they wanted do the things they were recommending. If my doctor was unwilling to spend the time with me to explain the logic, I left their care. In the process became a better, more informed patient and I no longer relied on my parents to call the shots. It was now my turn to understand my medical situation.

    I realized that living at home in the suburbs was a dead end for me. I worked hard to find a path back to school in a place where I did not need a car. I got very lucky and ended up in New York. Now I have little need for a car and I can get home at 2 in the morning on the subway or bus. I am at no disadvantage over anyone else in this city as far as transportation is concerned.

    I still struggle with school. I fight academic battles every day. But i've learned how to pull myself up from my bootstraps as it were. (At least in the cases where it is possible) I ask people what they have done to overcome similar struggles and I continuously try to improve my situation.

    Cancer has taught me to be a fighter but my life experiences have taught me to constantly seek out new ways to improve myself. It is such a cliche but it is also very true - we are each handed a deck of cards in life, but its up to us how we play them. Please know every one on these forums wants the best for you but we can't fight against you. Take what we have to say to heart. Use what works and disregard the rest.
  • Exactly. You can't and shouldn't fight against me. I am using what works, and what you say? It doesn't work. The whole "pulling myself up from my bootstraps"? That doesn't exactly work for me alone. Diet and "thinking positively" may have worked for you, but it doesn't work for everyone else. It sounds like your therapist was trying to help you to be honest, and yeah, sometimes it's difficult to find the right drug; however, that doesn't mean it would work for me (or other people). It's like with cancer treatment. Some treatment works for a while, and then stops, and then you try another.

    I'm not allergic to sugar, wheat, or dairy. I have the ability to talk to my friends over the Internet too (and they visit me when they can - and sometimes my parents drive me over when they can). My life isn't perfect, but it's not horrible by a long shot. That being said, I find it hard anyway. Is there a cure for depression? Probably not. But medication AND therapy can help, and both can help a lot. Not every person is the same. I think that people need to remember that.

    Oh and I had mentioned earlier that I have dealt with depression before (but within the past few years have I actually been on meds and therapy). I had a lot of factors for why I was depressed - including the whole chemical imbalance part. It didn't just pop up because of the cancer. Oh, and my doctors do listen to what I say if I have concerns. Not all doctors are out to get you (not you specifically, but a general you).
  • Natural Approach to Treating Depression

    Another resource, Unstuck by James S. Gordon, MD.




  • With all due respect, I'm not interested in what that doctor has to say. All I wanted when I posted here was to give myself a chance to vent (as that's what the forum is called) and to maybe hear people to give me nice messages. Not OMG drugs are evil.
  • Why such hostility towards Someone who is only trying to give helpful advice? Pardon him for trying to be a decent human bein!
  • Because I had asked him repeatedly before that I wasn't interested. Plus, this is the I need to Vent forum, not judging people for the fact that they take anti-depressants forum.
  • I'm glad you thought I was helpful <3. I'm sorry you haven't found more of the support you need :/ You know what they say about good intentions...

    Keep on rockin' on.:headbang: Feel free to message me if you ever need to vent. I know sometimes you don't necessarily need/want help with the negative thoughts, you just need to yell about the the fact that they're there to begin with :)
  • Hee! Thanks Fufuberry! :) I'm just glad that at least some of you are being supportive. The Abilify I'm on (as well as the Lexapro I've been on) is having a bit of an effect. I'm still behind on schoolwork, but I'm getting there. Still not 100%, but getting better I think. I'll definitely message you if I need to talk/vent. :) Feel free to do the same with me!
  • I understand what your going through, and it can be really tough. I lost my grandma a while ago, but I took it really hard, I am not proud of it but around that time turned into one of my darkest time, where I contemplated suicide. But with the help of therapy and an antidepressant I was able to beat it, it can totally rear its head again but i just have to keep going and seek help if anything is different. I don't know a lot of the personal side effects but I have seen it happen with my sister who has bipolar. I hate how much stigma there is around mental health issues, so thank you for being brave enough to vent and look for support. I hope that things get better, and know how frustrating it can get while figuring out the right approach that is perfect for you, but don't give up.
  • *hugs* Thanks. I'm sorry for your loss! Losing a grandma is really hard (I lost one of mine about 13 years ago). I'm glad that you're alive and that you found something that worked for you! I hope your sister stays well too. I'll do my best not to give up, I promise! Like I said to Fufu, feel free to message me if you're ever feeling down. :)
  • You said "I know my parents love me, although I don't know why" and I think that's a statement that really sums up depression: the reasonable side of you can dispassionately understand a fact or a truth, but your emotions illogically still try to contradict it.

    I've always been pragmatic: my reaction to upsetting news has been to have a quick freak-out, but then to figure out a plan of action so that I don't feel out of control. When I do feel my worst, it's always when I'm waiting for the results of a scan or biopsy: there's nothing within my control when all I can do is wait and wonder. My family would tell you that I get very high-strung, emotional, and reactive when I'm waiting for those results, but that otherwise, I've had a great attitude.

    Now, I'm not telling you this to give you an example of how you should be processing your emotions. I shared that I'm usually very level-headed and rational to make it clear that even people who have a good handle on their emotions can become depressed.

    While I completing my last radiation treatments this past fall, I went on a course of steroids that knocked me on my ass in every possible way. I was tired all the time, but couldn't sleep. The radiation to my neck made it hard to eat and drink, so when the steroids stimulated my appetite, I was always starving and dehydrated but unable to do much about it. But more than anything else, I was so profoundly sad. If I wasn't crying, I was on the verge of tears. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I watched TV shows I hated because finding one that I liked seemed overwhelming. Sometimes I just stared out of the window. I just didn't feel like doing anything.

    All the while, I understood that there were three things to account for this: I was so close to being done after over a year of treatment and had mental/emotional cabin fever, I felt physically about the worst I ever had, and my family has a history of reacting very poorly to large doses of steroids. I knew all of those things would be over in a few short weeks, but I felt like they were never going to end, or that even if they did, something else bad was probably just around the corner.

    So, when you say you're depressed, I get it. I've been there. I know, though, how lucky I am because depression is not my status quo. I really just had to wait mine out. And that brings me back to what I first said: what you know (facts and truths) versus how you feel. Focusing on the difference between those two things helped me wait it out. Maybe you would find that helpful, too?

    For example, I said that I stared out the window because I didn't feel like doing anything. But when I made myself think about it, how was I really spending that time? I wasn't just staring, I was wallowing in self-pity and thinking of worst case scenarios. That was a fact, so I needed to change that fact. I finally made myself rent some funny movies and borrowed some funny books (memoirs of David Sedaris, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Russell Brand). Did this fix my depression? No, of course not. But it made me spend less time fixating on my depression, and it can't be denied that that is a healthy step.

    You feel like your parents don't have reason to love you, but when someone stands by your side during an illness, it shouldn't make you question their love. It's evidence of just how much they do love you. What would help you focus on that truth? Maybe looking through old photo albums, watching home videos, or asking to hear favorite family stories? If you're healthy enough for it, volunteering your time in some way can also help you appreciate what you've got at home.

    You feel like you're not as successful in school or your career as you should be. Frankly, that makes you normal. There are very few people who don't hit a snag or fall into a rut while trying to get a degree or pursue a career. What would make you feel less overwhelmed at school? Is there tutoring or study groups you can sign up for? As for your job, when I feel like I'm in a rut, the best thing I can do is try to inspire myself. I find books, documentaries, or TED speeches that apply to my field. Heck, sometimes I even just find a dumb romantic comedy where a character shares my job. I might not learn anything applicable, but my goal is to just get myself excited about what I do or what I would like to be doing.

    Basically, I don't think any of my suggestions are going to change your attitude or your sadness. What you could possibly change, though, are your habits and behaviors. Those new, healthier habits aren't going "fix" depression either, but, when the time comes that something else does significantly help your depression, I can't imagine a better way to move on that to already have some healthier behaviors in place in your life. While reading a funny book didn't cure me, I know that staring out the window and wallowing actively made things worse.
  • Thank you akay83. :) What you said helped me a lot. I'm glad that you're doing better!

    I think with my parents, you got it right. I know I shouldn't question their love, it's just the depression talking. Even before I got sick I thought like that. I've been trying to exercise more and eat healthier (although with my mom's awesome cooking that's not too difficult). You're right. Focusing on the depression does make things worse. I'll try to remember to do things that make me happy when I can find them - although I have to make sure not to ignore important stuff like school work. XD

    I've got three more assignments to do, but I think I'm slowly getting back on track.

    Thank you again for your helpful advice akay83. :) I really really appreciate it!
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