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Psychological Support
Questions about support for the mental aspects of breast cancer & treatement.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
6/30/2017Hi! After bc diagnosis at 42 I've been seeing a psychologist. She says I suffer anxiety and depression, CIE-10, code F41.2 Mixed anxiety and depressive disorder. 1) Is this a serious health issue? Is it the same as PTSD? Psychologist wants me to take Venlafaxine but I don't wish to take more meds with its side effects. I had chemotherapy and I'm already taking letrozole daily, Zoladex every 28 days, and Zometa every 6 months.Too much meds 2) What are the main side effects of Venlafaxine? 3) Do you think the "mixed anxiety and drepession" is due to the meds I'm taking? Can it be a side effect of them? 4) What can I do to feel better? I'm "tired" of feeling down, my life and body have changed since diagnosis. I'm not happy. I had a DMX with axillary nodes dissection ( I have a risk of developing lymphedema now) I also had chemotherapy,no radiation,...I'm on anti-hormonal treatment at present. I've gained weigth,mainly in my tummy, my upper body - shoulders seem to be wider too.I don't recognise my body anymore. My reconstructed breasts with silicone implants look weird, wider, with lack of projection. I don't like my body. Clothes don't fit well. Also, every ache or pain I have I worry about thinking if it's a recurrence or mets. I'm tired of feeling "tired and sad" Thanks.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
6/30/20171. your doctor who sees you for anxiety and depression needs to tell you the answer to this question.

2. don't know. ask your doctor. remember this is a breast cancer website.

3. only someone who has been seeing and treating you for some time can answer that.

4. sounds like you are experiencing body image issues which can happen with weigh gain, breast cancer surgeries, and such. you may be a candidate for a breast reconstruciton revision. it is common to have worries about recurrence. the further out from diagnosis and treatment the most confident you should be feeling however. your oncologist too should have told you what your risk of getting breast cancer again is so that you can put into perspective.

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