The Emotion of Living with MDS: Depression, Anxiety, Uncertainty and Sadness
Depression is a common consequence of living with cancer, including MDS. Adjusting to the diagnosis of MDS affects each person differently. While some people can continue to live, a full and rewarding life, others may find the stress of coping with MDS more challenging. These challenges are real and important. Regardless of the cause, there are things that can help you manage the emotions of Living with MDS.
Things you can do:
- Recognize some of the common signs of depression: A lack of interest or pleasure in doing things; feeling down, depressed, or hopeless; difficulty sleeping; decreased appetite; tearfulness. If you are having any of these symptoms, you may have clinical depression. It may also be helpful to ask someone who knows you well if they think that you may be depressed.
- Give yourself time to adjust to the diagnosis and changes in your daily routines. While you may not be able to return to as active a lifestyle as you once had, you may be able to substitute those activities with less strenuous ones that are still enjoyable.
- Set priorities for activities that are necessary to maintain your physical and emotional health.
- Try to find some activity that you can still enjoy—such as listening to music or watching a ball game. These activities can help you keep a positive outlook.
- Continue with a diet and exercise routine that will help you to stay healthy. Get enough rest.
- Avoid alcohol–it can make depression worse.
- Talk with your health care team about resources available to help you
- Prayer or meditation may be useful to provide peace.
- Consider joining a support group—in person, or by computer. Others living with MDS may have good suggestions for how to better cope with this disease.
- Ask your provider about trying an anti-depressant medication. These medications may be helpful in restoring the chemical imbalance in the brain. These medications may take 4-6 weeks before you notice improvement. Anti-depressant medicines should not be stopped suddenly.
MDS Foundation: multisite-demo.com www.BuildingBlocksofHope.com
Cancer.net: Managing emotions: http://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/managing-emotions
American Cancer Society: Anxiety, Fear, and Depression
Oncolink: Managing Practical and Emotional Concerns