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InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Feeling Depressed, Anxious, Guilty or Isolated?

Postby InfoForMum » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:11 am

There have been some really useful posts lately about dealing with the darker feelings which are bound to sometimes ambush patients, carers and those dealing with the loss of loved ones. I thought I'd start a thread to point to related posts and sources of support and information.

As a carer for my Mum, someone who's father had severe bouts of depression and someone who had her own tangles with depression after my father died I've also added my own point of view. I claim no expertise or special insight, but hope it may help someone.

From Dianne on the support line - a comforting and informative post about dealing with those blacker periods including links to some Macmillan resources - http://forum.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/vi ... =30#p10377

How you might be feeling - A link from Pancreatic Cancer UK addressing the emotional impact of diagnosis and living with PC - http://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/info ... be-feeling

Lyn's thread where she and others talk about their experiences - http://forum.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/vi ... =15#p10356

The Big C charity - online advice and drop in centres for patients and carers who want a friendly well informed chat, some scarf tying advice, some free massage, a library of useful information, or just somewhere where your illness won't mark you out as different to have a change of scene and cuppa. http://www.big-c.co.uk/support/big-c-ce ... rwich.aspx

Macmillan page on the emotional effects of living with cancer - http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinfor ... fects.aspx

The Samaritans - a place where you can anonymously unburden yourself if you are feeling trapped with no-where else to go or guilty about burdening loved ones http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-he ... tAodS1AAkA

The Black Dog Tribe - A source of information and a social networking site with masses of perspectives and lots of support for those dealing with anxiety and depression. Created in partnership with mental health charity SANE - http://blackdogtribe.com/

My post about the isolation and guilt my father and I felt when we were low and didn't want to communicate with loved ones - http://forum.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/vi ... 465#p10465

My post on the Coronation Street thread about depression and sources of advice and support available - http://forum.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/vi ... reet#p9792

Love to all

Sarah
XXX

InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Feeling Depressed, Anxious, Guilty or Isolated?

Postby InfoForMum » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:34 pm

Following on from this I referred on my own thread to a post I made on a works forum on the subject of stress anxiety and depression. I unwittingly kicked something off and a lot of people posted their own stories and it seemed to help quite a number of people. It was prompted by a friend at work harming himself and that was the last straw. I couldn't face sitting round talking again about how tough things can be, when unbeknownst to me someone else might be at serious risk, so I decided, on the spur of the moment, to act. I'm posting it here with some details removed in the interests of confidentiality and know it's work related, but thought it might also strike a cord with folk on here who may now or in future feel they're reaching the end of their tether.

THE POST (links to help and advice in the post following)

I am not in HR or Health and Safety, I’m just someone who has seen a number of normally robust colleagues having problems in the last few months. Evidenced by behaviour changes (things like extreme reactions to problems they would usually take in their stride, being withdrawn and uncommunicative or becoming unproductive as a result of feeling unable to cope with the constant pressure, despite previously being high performers), prolonged absences due to ill health and in extreme cases severe depression complete with suicidal thoughts.

This might be peculiar to people I know in the business. On the other hand, there may be a number of people at risk who don’t notice or don’t want to admit how bad things are getting for them. Maybe they feel trapped because they think admitting problems will affect their reputation, impact their performance review, or put their job at risk. Whatever the situation, I felt I had to do this. Even if it makes a difference to just one person it will be worth it. No-one should end up laid low mentally or physically because they can’t find help or feel worried about admitting they need it.

REMEMBER, everyone, no matter how positive, resilient and highly capable can reach breaking point when under prolonged and excessive amounts of pressure. Especially if things outside as well as inside work are tough.

So, if you, your colleagues or your staff are showing signs of these kinds of problems, take 5 minutes to look at the info below. Don’t wait until it damages relationships inside and outside work or makes people ill. Talk to someone NOW.

Hell, talk to me if you don’t like the look of other places you can go. I’ve been there. I waited too long to admit defeat because I have a deeply ingrained work ethic, am ambitious, didn’t want to let colleagues down and I don’t believe in quitting. Neither I, nor my manager at the time, were able to change the amount of pressure I was under due to staff shortages, then things outside work also took a turn for the worse. I didn’t want to put equally busy colleagues under more pressure or let the team down, so didn’t see any option other than to work evenings, weekends and holidays to get the job done. Something that took a severe toll on my head, health and home life. In the end I felt I had no choice but to resign, even though, as the main breadwinner in our house, that would have had dire consequences for us financially.

Feeling like that, feeling like I couldn’t do a good job, no matter how hard I tried, through no fault of my own, was debilitating. But not as upsetting as seeing the effect that state of mind had on my family. A vicious cycle of performing badly due simply to not enough hours in the day, asking for changes to help me get back on track, no changes being possible and the ensuing feeling of being trapped further impacting my confidence, state of mind, health and therefore my ability to perform.

Luckily, thanks jointly to good friends, good colleagues and a wonderfully supportive husband, I was made to realise something had to give and I got the help I needed.

If any of that sounds familiar, please bite the bullet and do something before things get out of control.
Last edited by InfoForMum on Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Sources of Information, Advice and Help

Postby InfoForMum » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:39 pm

For PC and Cancer specific services see my first thread and forgive any repetition, but there are some new ones here. Thinking of anyone feeling alone this Christmas or in general and hoping you feel strong enough to reach out. People do care and will help.

NHS – Information on how to spot harmful side effects of stress, depression and/or anxiety and advice on where you can go for help. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anx ... tress.aspx

Your doctor – if you are having physical or psychological symptoms that are worrying you, consider going to your GP. Believe me, you won’t be the first person they see that day facing something similar.

Norfolk and Waveny Wellbeing Service - A service local to East Anglia with lots of information about stress, depression and anxiety including self-help pages and an online portal where you can request a mental wellbeing assessment from your local GP. Thank you to Nick for that one:
https://www.readytochange.org.uk/Norfol ... fault.aspx

Mind - Mind mental health charity. Lots of information on mental health problems and associated practical, medical and legal challenges, an online community, stories from people who've been through this, and a local rate helpline (0300 123 3393). Not 24hrs. The Samaritans are 24hrs. http://www.mind.org.uk

The Black Dog Tribe - A source of information and a social networking site with masses of perspectives and lots of support for those dealing with anxiety or depression. Created in partnership with mental health charity SANE - http://blackdogtribe.com/

Breathing Space - offering a service very like the Samaritans, but to Scottish residents. Helpline open 6pm - 2am Mon-Thur, Fri 6pm to Mon 6am CALL 0800838587 http://www.breathingspacescotland.co.uk ... stPage.jsp

The Samaritans - a place where you can anonymously unburden yourself if you are feeling unable or unwilling to talk to managers, colleagues, friends or loved ones about really dark thoughts. A common misconception is that you have to be suicidal to fall back on help from the Samaritans. This is NOT the case, but if you are feeling like you might do yourself harm, they have a huge depth of experience supporting people just like you. Call local rate number 08457 90 90 90 (24/7 365 days a year) http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-he ... tAodS1AAkA

cestrian
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:20 pm

Re: Feeling Depressed, Anxious, Guilty or Isolated?

Postby cestrian » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:03 pm

Ha Sarah

Plenty of info on this thread for anyone who feels they need some support to get through the Christmas period. Funny isn't it that my GP has been pretty astounded by the pragmatic and positive way that I have dealt with PC since my diagnosis at the end of May 2012. This is possibly because I did suffer from what I've always seen as a good old fashioned nervous breakdown about 12 years ago. No apparent cause at the time though there were a few stress inducing events and changes going on. In the grand scheme of things it was not that serious and my GP treated me very sensitively and prescribed Cytalopram(?). I never felt suicidal just useless and unable to cope. I did use cognitive behavioural therapy of a sort from the internet to help and was soon doing small things. as it was in the middle of winter and my wife was working almost full time I did quickly perfect a form of "Commercial Break Cookery" in order to cook evening meals without missing all those reassuring episodes of Heartbeat and All Creatures Great and Small. I was only off work for about three months and resigned from the job I had been doing to take up a lower key more local position. very carefully weaned off the drugs and have had a successful career until my recent retirement.

Not sure if that all taught me that nothing is more important than health and families and proved the old adage "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"

Love and Peace

Mike