Topic: To medicate or not..

I am having a hard time dealing with the grief of my dad fighting this disease. I have never taken any type of  depression medication and am honestly scared to because  Ive seen people become addicted to it as well as abuse it. I would like to be able to deal with this without medicating but i find its been harder and harder to get though the day. I work and am in school, soon to be starting a rigorous daily schedule as my final year is comming up, which i am not looking forward to. I only have been taking sleeping pills so I can sleep at night.

Re: To medicate or not..

Kristin, I never took anti depressants ever. Lost my husband to CC 3 years ago and had done quite well except I have 2 big medical problems right now. I couldn't stop crying about a month ago and one of my Docs put me on Lexapro 10 mg. I told him I wanted a very light dose. It is terrific for me. No side effects at all and I have not cried at all. Everyone is different so call your Doctor who will most likely want to see you first and tell him what is going on and you would like something to help take the edge off. Should not be a problem. Not sure but probably better than sleeping pills.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: To medicate or not..

Kristin...is there a school counselor you can speak with?  Are there any community services you can tap?  This is a difficult time not something easy to deal with no matter what age we are. 
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: To medicate or not..

Kristin,

It may be helpful to find a mental health counselor, perhaps one that specializes in grief.  You don't necessarily have to go on medication, but if after meeting with a counselor it is suggested, it's because you need it, probably for a short while.  Grief can become all consuming and we really do have to live life and go on, but it's not always easy and sometimes we need help.

Everyone's experience with anti-depressants is different and they have lots of different ones.  I don't think that addiction is a problem with the newer drugs. 

If your doctor recommended insulin to manage diabetes you would do it because it's what you need...same holds true for mental health medications.  Do what's best for you.

Hope things get better and school goes well for you.

Hugs,
-Randi-

Survivor of cholangiocarcinoma (2009), thyroid cancer (1999), and breast cancer (1994).

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based only on my personal experience as a cancer survivor. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: To medicate or not..

Kristin,

I feel like you do.  Never have taken anything for anxiety or depression in my life (I'm turning 50 in June), but am wondering if I too might need something one of these days. As busy as you are, you may wonder how you will find time to care for yourself physically and mentally as well as finding more time to be with your Dad.  As Randi said, many schools have counseling services for free or can refer you to the right place.  It is completely to be expected that you are sad, stressed and anxious.  You may also be experiencing anticipatory grief.  Adequate rest, time for reflection, exercise, therapy and time to be with your Dad are hard to fit into your current busy life.  You may find that something has to "give" for a while.
Your situation reminds me of a personal story: When my sister-in-law was in her 20's, working full-time by day and in law school at night, she was living with and caring for her 51 year old mom with advanced breast cancer. After her mom (my MIL passed),  my sis-in-law's grief finally caught up with her.  She started to do really poorly in her classes and not showing up sometimes. She simply couldn't stay focused. The school put her on academic probation and they could have kicked her out but instead, they asked her about her situation and then they let her make up the work.  My point is, it is better to be proactive and let them know your situation before you get into hot water.  Taking a leave is certainly something to consider either sooner (to care for your Dad) or later, if you feel you can not focus enough to succeed and need time to grieve.   All my best to you, Kristin.  Willow

Willow

Re: To medicate or not..

Dear Kristin,

I want you to know that you are not alone in how you feel and the fears,anxieties, and helplessness you may feel. Both of my parents have passed away, one from a tragic car accident and the other from this disease. I recently lost my mom in December to CC and so I understand where you are coming from in terms of coping with your personal/work/school life. I just want you to understand that life is not easy and in some cases some people get dealt worst cards than others and I think in order to maintain a healthy state of mind you sometimes need to learn to accept them. The most important thing to do in this situation is focus on positivity not only for yourself but for your father as well. I have had many sleepless nights, had to work, take care of my mother and the rest of the family while also being a young adult. It isn't easy but I don't want you to feel like you need to turn to medication to help you cope .. in most instances medication leads to suicidal thoughts and other dangerous side effects which I feel you are to young to have. Considering the obstacles I've ever had to overcome, I never once thought of seeking medical attention for them as I know for a fact that it will only make me dependent on them. I think that the best medication in the world is yourself, teaching your mind and body to accept what life because at the end of the day it is a gift. Whenever I'm struggling with my emotions and life itself I always think to myself what would my mom or dad want me to do, and so I choose to live my life in a positive way and fight through the negative thoughts which are only natural. I am strongly against the use of medication and I urge you as well to stay far away from them. Maybe picking up a good book, working out, and other hobbies could potentially take your mind away from the sadness in your heart. Trust me, if I know one thing is for sure ... there is nothing worst than coping with the thought of losing a parent and I want you to know that no matter what happens everything is going to be okay and that you should trust a higher power (if you are religious) and believe that everything happens for a reason even though we don't see the benefit or the reason for it immediatley. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to talk more. My heart goes out for the both of you and always remember that you are not alone in this situation and that eveything is going to be alright!:)

Re: To medicate or not..

Dear Kristin,

What you're going through is really hard.  I can't imagine trying to juggle my mom's illness with school.  Having said that, I've spent most of my 37 years of life in school and am working in one right now.  There are people at your school who care and who can help you.  Let your professors know what you are going through (if you think it'll be helpful), and as everyone has already said, get in touch with a counselor.  Most importantly, know that you are not alone.  My mom was diagnosed with cc five months ago, and I've been feeling quite unbalanced these days going from being very hopeful one minute to being inconsolably sad the next.  I've never heard of anticipatory grief before coming on this board, but it describes exactly how I feel.  Does it get easier and better?  It must.  Hang in there, Kristin.  I'm sending you the warmest thoughts.

Caroline