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Holiday Depression and Breast Cancer

Feelings of depression can be overwhelming during the holiday season, but there is help.
PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 20, 2016
I chided myself for being so introspective. Surely other women affected by breast cancer didn’t struggle with body image like I did. Why, after almost two-and-a-half years, hadn’t I been able to move forward? Why was I being hit so hard by feelings of sadness now? It must be a combination of SAD and severe depression.
 
Admitting there was a problem was the first step to my recovery. I haven’t seen a doctor yet, but I intend to as soon as I can get an appointment. I don’t know what triggered this hopelessness within me, but I don’t like it and I can’t continue to live this way.

Seasonal depression and depression after breast cancer surgery or treatment are very real. Some people suffer symptoms and some don’t. For those of us who do find ourselves feeling down in the dumps for an extended period of time, it’s important to seek help.
 
It’s hard to admit suffering from depression. For some reason, depression feels like a secret sin to me, one that isn’t talked about except in hushed tones behind closed doors. But suffering from depression doesn’t have to have the stigma of shame attached to it. There are real physical symptoms associated with depression. Often those symptoms are caused by physical issues such as low hormone levels or other reasons.
 
Please know it's normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel that way for days at a time and find you’re not able to do focus on activities you normally enjoy, it’s time to see a doctor. If the depression affects your appetite, sleep or thought patterns, seek help immediately. Don’t suffer in silence.  
 


Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast Cancer CURE discussion group.
Bonnie Annis is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2014 with stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma with metastasis to the lymph nodes. She is an avid photographer, freelance writer/blogger, wife, mother and grandmother.
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