If you’re experiencing feelings of anxiety and depression during your journey with cancer, you’re not alone. It’s a common side effect, but there’s a lot you can do that will help. Connecting with others is one of the best ways to break through the negativity.
Call a friend
Cancer treatment can make some patients feel as if the world is going on without them, and even the idea of reaching out can be formidable. Do it anyway. Pick up the phone and call someone you trust. Even if you don’t talk about your depression, reconnecting with a friend will help you feel less alone.
Find a support group
Cancer treatment facilities and other organizations often offer free support groups. Connecting in this kind of environment can sometimes be easier because everyone else is there for the same reason. Other patients may understand your situation in ways that even close friends and family members cannot. If you can’t find a group near you, ask your doctor for a referral.
When you’re feeling down, it may seem counterintuitive to volunteer. But helping others will make you feel better too. Volunteering can get you out of your own mindset and take your focus off your own situation. Plus, your efforts will likely put you in contact with like-minded people. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “it is in giving that we receive.”
Keep your schedule
While it can be tempting to cancel social commitments, getting dressed, going out, and interacting with other people can make you feel better. Even when you don’t look or feel your best, don’t skip your book club meeting, church activities, or other engagements on your calendar. And if your tendency is to retreat into your shell, ask a friend to carpool with you so you can’t back out.
Do a good deed
Extending a kindness can soothe your soul and remind you of times when others have come through for you.
Talk to your doctor
If your symptoms of depression don’t abate, it’s time to tell your doctor. Cancer can be isolating. Depression can be isolating. Together, it makes a miserable combination. Depression can inhibit healing, so give yourself the help you need to uplift your soul while your body recovers.
Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.