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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have struggled with depression for 22yrs. Have been on meds

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I have struggled with depression for 22yrs. Have been on meds most of that time. At one point I was doing really good and was weined off the meds, only to find myself right back at the bottom. Since I have had breast cancer had a masectomy and follow up chemo. doing good then had growth on my ovaries had them removed was only cysty. Then found another lump in chest wall. Was not suppose to happen because I did the drastic measure and had masectomy. Had it removed was cancerous. Radiation treatment 6 weeks. In all I did pretty well emotionally. Has been 4 years. Three years ago mother inlaw who I am extremely close to was diagnosed with ovarian cancer It has been very hard on me but the hardest thing is for me to see family members not realizing the severity of her health and continue to put things on her she cannot handle any more I do not have a good enough relationship with any of them to say anything and my husband is just very quiet and wont say anything. This has caused me to have a huge set back with my depression and even with the help of added meds I find myself stuck in this place were I have not been able to work for the last 3 weeks. Any help would be greatful.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


The amount of stress you have gone through with your health and now having the conflict with family is overwhelming. Being depressed would be a normal reaction for anyone going through such trauma.


You are coping with the grief process as well. You lost your breasts to a mastectomy, you have had numerous health scares and now you have your mother in laws health threatened and a loss of family over it. Grieving your loss is important. Depression is part of the grieving process as well. The depression you have struggled with over the years was most likely triggered by the grief you have experienced.


Have you tried therapy? Talk therapy can make a big difference in how you feel. Although medications are good for treating your symptoms, talk therapy can help you improve to the point of not needing medications because it helps you uncover the issue, work through it and learn to cope with how you feel. It gives you support and provides you with better options on how to respond to your depression.


Talk to your doctor about getting a referral. Or you can search on line at


You can also work on your depression and grief through self help. Here are some resources to get you started:


The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs by Stephen S. Ilardi


Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You by Richard O'Connor


On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler


Seeing in the Dark: Getting the Facts on Depression & Finding Hope Again by Gary Kinnaman and Richard Jacobs


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


You can also find a lot of help through support groups, either in person or on line. Here are some links:


By getting support to replace the loss of your family relationships and to cope with your mother in law's and your health issues, you can feel less alone and start recovering again.


Let me know if I can help any further,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you