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Old 04-22-2003, 04:56 PM   #1
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Post Anti-Depressant Recommendation?

My friend has advanced and aggressive ovarian cancer and her will to live is just going away. The doctors are actually fairly hopeful, but she is not. Does anyone know of a really good anti-depressant? At this point addiction isn't really a worry. When I faced a similar problem and the doctor was asked about addiction he said, "She has lost 30 lbs in 4 weeks and wasn't overweight to begin with. She never eats, never sleeps. I want to fight one battle at a time, and I will be so happy when all we are worried about in anti-depressant addiction." She lives alone and I am worried. Thanks for any advice.

 
Old 04-22-2003, 06:42 PM   #2
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While anti-anxiety medications can be addictive, antidepressants are NOT. However, most oncologists aren't all that familiar with antidepressants and so aren't usually comfortable prescribing them. Your friend's best bet would be to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for an evaluation and possible prescription. It certainly wouldn't be a bad idea for her to talk to someone anyway.

Ovarian cancer can sometimes be managed as a chronic illness for many years. I know people who've had it for close to ten years; they go on chemotherapy periodically, but also have many months off of chemo. However, I'm curious that you've described her cancer as "advanced and aggressive", but you say her doctors are optimistic. Not sure what that means.

At any rate, you can't really get a recommendation over the internet for an antidepressant as a lot would depend on the type of treatment she's receiving. A doctor would have to evaluate carefully to make sure there would be no negative drug interactions.

 
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Old 04-26-2003, 12:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. As for "advanced and agressive", this is the strangest case I have heard of. She is a personal trainer, extremely fit. Suddenly her stomach just start bloating. Like from 24 to 40 inches in just a few days. The doctors were not exactly sure what was happening. Anyway, to make a long story short, she has lesions all along the abdominal wall, and one spot on one ovary. According to every test they can make, and they have made a ton, the cancer has not spread to brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, or any other internal organ they can find. So it is aggressive and there are many, many lesions, but the doctors think there is a good possibility that they can win. I apologize, I should not have said advanced, it's just with how far it's spread along the abdominal wall and it's effect ( 10 liters of fluid drained every 4 days ), it seemed advanced in my mind, I guess. Sorry if I offended anyone. But the chemo appears to be having a very positive effect.

Thanks again.

 
Old 04-26-2003, 01:12 AM   #4
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No apology necessary...you didn't offend me! I just wasn't sure I understood what you were saying re the "aggressive and advanced." It sounds like they actually caught it fairly early, which is good.

You may want to see if you can help her find a cancer support group. Talking to others who are going through the same thing can be very comforting (although you have to weigh that against the possibility of her being scared by the people in a group who may be even sicker than her). But sometimes people in the group, or the group facilitator, will recognise if there's a clinical depression going on and can help a patient come to terms with the fact that they may need psychological help.

It may also be that as she proceeds through chemo and has follow-up scans, if her scans are clear and the chemo appears to be working, she'll become more optimistic.


 
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