prejudice alive and well in our community

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14 years 6 months ago #298555 by Lea2109

wino;281500 wrote: 85% of cancer patients actually report they have depressed episodes after diagnosis and during treatment. To be honest I want to know what is wrong with the other 15%...

We have just gone through cancer with my daughter and she received treatment for 830 days.

I think depression could depend on the type of treatment you get i.e. steroids like Dexamethasone could cause depression, mood swings, huge appetites, lack of appetite, sleep problems and so on and the stronger the dose, the more severe the side-effects. And of course many of the other medicines also have some side-effects, some significant and others not so much. I also think a lot depend on the emotional support and what we have found is how many people actually pulled away, stopped being in contact, stopped sending us their updates as they would have before my daughter got sick. And sometimes somebody with cancer spends a lot of time in hospital and spends a large amount of time in isolation because of low levels where being around other peopld could be risky. Certainly for most of our first 8 months, Bianca could not be around other kids and we had to be quite vigilant with any visitors.

Because cancer treatment is often quite long and often goes hand in hand with significant fears of i.e. a relapse and the forever waiting for test results and so on, and of course when you reach the end of your treatment and have to accept that nothing will ever be the same again and that the people you thought you could rely on pulled away and that those relationships changed quite a bit, I think all of that could also contribute to depression.

Having said that though, I also believe that a lot of it is mindset. We made a deliberate decision that we would be positive and we refused to think about any what ifs. It was hard work, but after a while things became more manageable. But sometimes it is harder for others and dealing with the what ifs and the realisation that your life will never be the same and that it feels as if you have been given a prison sentence is not all that easy and it is easy to then give in to sadness, depression, negativity.

What made it easier for us I guess is the fact that my daughter was at a great age, she was old enough to understand what we needed her to do, but young enough not to mourn her previous life, not to miss what she had before and not to ask "why me?", so in that respect it was easier to focus on the more normal side of life. She also didn't suffer as much side-effects as many others, although she did spend a large amount of time in total in hospital, but we learned to just go with the flow. So I guess she'll be on the 15% side of things who have not reported depression and doesn't seem likely to. Of course there is no telling what if any long term effects we might still get, but for now, she does not suffer from depression.

I have seen people on both side of the spectrum - some cope remarkably well, others really struggle, not just with the side-effects, but also with the emotional side of things. For us the hair loss for instance wasn't a big deal, but for others that is a terrible thing to go through and they really struggle with that - just to name an example.

Anyway, just thought I'd share based on our experiences.

You can't choose what happens in life, but you can choose how you handle it.

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14 years 6 months ago #298558 by Lost Triceratops

DiDi;281726 wrote: OK - what about numerology? It says that if you have a 7 in your birthdate then you have a predisposition to being an addict - whether alcohol, drugs etc. With a family history of chemical abuse (mainly alcohol) I freaked out with daughters born on the 7th and 16th.

I do sincerely hope you had your tongue firmly in your cheek for that one!!
Here was me thinking it was the number "13" that held the voodoo curse!
Next I suppose we will all be expected to believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause! or perhaps check ourselves in to the aforementioned facilities for a quiet assessment of our own intellectual faculties

DiDi;281726 wrote: The 7th is as pure as the driven snow and hates anything "bad" for you and the 16th is a bit wild but nowhere near being labelled addictive to anything.

I think you'll find that the number 7 is just the numeral after 6 and one digit before 8! It does not have the capacity to "hate" anything, just as it cannot "love" anything either... it's just a number!

Are you Happy?...
Yes????
Well notify your fecking face ya miserable lookin sod!

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14 years 6 months ago #298582 by wino

Lea2109;281731 wrote: I think depression could depend on the type of treatment you get i.e. steroids like Dexamethasone could cause depression, mood swings, huge appetites, lack of appetite, sleep problems and so on and the stronger the dose, the more severe the side-effects. And of course many of the other medicines also have some side-effects, some significant and others not so much. I also think a lot depend on the emotional support and what we have found is how many people actually pulled away, stopped being in contact, stopped sending us their updates as they would have before my daughter got sick.


Actually I didn't consider children Lea (who do have a high rate of recovery due to the fact that they don't acknowledge/comprehend mortality) But from a personal experience, as an adult with cancer, in my mind grieving and depression is a perfectly normal part of the process and I personally feel any adult who doesn't spend some time (however short) coming to terms with that is not acknowledging fully what they are going through.

Also from a personal perspective I find during my own dealings that oncologists refuse to acknowledge that this must (in my view and backed up by those statistics) be normal. Personally I don't need Prozac if I have two depressed days. Two weeks or two months or when I fail to function for extended periods of time - yes maybe - but they reach for the prescription pad very fast when it would be more helpful to acknowledge that this is a bad moment/day and move on.

Never have a hangover - stay drunk

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14 years 6 months ago #298584 by wino
Also agree with Moggy that there is so often an expectation that those with a diagnosed mental illness don't need to apologise or atone for their actions. This goes from the extreme of a friends father who with schitzophrenia (sp?) killed her mother with an axe when she was a toddler. Some 35 years later (most of that time spent in institutions) he cannot acknowledge that he was in any way at fault (and the silly thing is I think his daughter would find it far easier to come to terms with if he would), to the child with ADD we had to remove from childcare when I was involved in the management of a childcare centre. The parents had not advised this child had a diagnosed problem but when he severely disrupted the running of the centre with his behaviour they claimed he was being discriminated against.

JM2CW

Never have a hangover - stay drunk

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14 years 6 months ago #298617 by NZ Appaloosas

DiDi;281726 wrote: OK - what about numerology? It says that if you have a 7 in your birthdate then you have a predisposition to being an addict - whether alcohol, drugs etc. With a family history of chemical abuse (mainly alcohol) I freaked out with daughters born on the 7th and 16th. The 7th is as pure as the driven snow and hates anything "bad" for you and the 16th is a bit wild but nowhere near being labelled addictive to anything.


That's a bit of a new one on me--but at least with genetic research there is hard science rather than interpretation behind it. The alcohol gene research was quite exhaustive, and covered several thousand people's genetic material.

DiDi;281726 wrote:
I do wonder with about what we are told today about what you are not allowed to eat when you are pregnant as it may cause a termination - to drug addicts and alcoholics being able to give birth to full term addict babies who are weaned off drugs and survive. Obviously purity of the enviroment for the fetus is ideal but what actually happens is not what we are told - or have we proof that a weaned addict baby grows up to be a monster? Maybe the people who are turning to mental illness as an escuse (not the genuine cases) are those that have had no positive support and direction in their lives so give up before they even get started?


I can't speak to whether or not they "grow up to be monsters", but back in the US when I was working at a school, there were two young girls were what was called "crack babies". To give a bit of background, there were 3 girls in this family--one was natural born to the parents, the other two were actually granddaughters and nieces of the natural born daughter. The grandchildren were placed in the custody of the grandparents after being released from the hospital. Mother of girls had little to no involvement with them (I believe she lived about 2k miles away, and maybe saw them on holidays).

The two granddaughters did indeed have serious behavioural problems, while their aunt did not. The grandparents were raising all three, which removes the question of different environment. The two grandkids were loud, disruptive, very low on attention span, and did require the occasional physical restraining (i.e., holding in a tight hug, to prevent the child from harming or self-harming).

So, did the mother's drug use have a direct and adverse impact on the children? After my direct, albeit limited experience, I've got to give that a resounding yes.

Diane


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14 years 6 months ago #298628 by reggit
Keep in mind amongst all this the distinction between 'down days' and 'normal' bad times due to, as you say, stressful situations and grief, and depression which is a long term illness (which can certainly develop from that stress and grief, but not always) and needs to be treated and managed as such.

I have never been able to pin my depressive episodes to any external triggers. Sometimes it has kicked in during the best times of my life. It is an illness like any other, and the worst pressure is from those that think that, when you are back on an even keel with meds and therapy, you should just come off your meds as you are 'back to normal'.

As my doctor continually says, would people say that to someone who has heart problems, or liver/kidney issues, or diabetics for which they are on long term treatment? 'Well, you seem to be doing okay, you should just ditch the drugs' [}:)]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 6 months ago #298630 by sod
tigger Yes I've had people say that, not ones around me all the time. You are doing so well you don't need drugs anymore do you etc. or if having bad time arn't your drugs working? Dont other people have bad days????? It is "normal" to have good and bads yes?? The thing we learntwith looking after teen age boys with these problems is to remember what is usual for others at their age and what needs to be sorted also that so people in control find it easier just to get drugs than solve the problems.

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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14 years 6 months ago #298632 by reggit
Hahaha sod, too right! :) All the meds do is bring you back to 'normal', you still have good and bad days on them just as you would do if you weren't depressed!

The worst meds are the ones that wipe out all the good days and bad days and just leave you flat :( that is not 'normal' at all, and those who find that happening need to try other meds/doses until they find the right one for them. Everyone is so different in what they need...

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 6 months ago #298644 by drifter
We know when one of our friends has gone off his drugs because he is way more fun off them. Chatty and teasing, plays sport, goes out with friends; he becomes a really neat person to be around. Unfortunately, it eventually all turns to custard :(
On his meds he is anti-social, watches t.v 24/7 and puts on weight :(

We have watched this cycle for 15+ years. He has a lot of caring friends who go with him to his Drs App and the dosage and types of drugs have been altered. He still turns into a zombie on them. I don't blame him for not wanting to take them. I don't blame new friends for encouraging him to stop taking them. But... he is ill. He needs his drugs. As tigger says; it is is a long term health problem. It can't be wished away, nor can he just 'pull himself together'. Our friend does have to take responsibility for his own health and, until an alternative is found, that means taking meds even if the side affects are unpleasant :(

Strange how much you've got to know, Before you know how little you know.

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