Coping mechanism

Hi, my mum got diagnosed January 2nd with terminal liver cancer, she got given 6 months without chemo, 12 months with… She did it but it didn’t work and its spread, now into the 8th month. My mums a trooper, but I’m not, everyday is getting worse for me, I’m struggling daily and don’t know how to deal with my emotions at all :frowning: I just need some help with coping mechanisms please, I’m taking my emotions out on my husband and sometimes kids by being snappy with them, I don’t really want any anti depressants as advised because I feel its circumstantial as to why I feel like this and they could possibly make me feel worse… I just do t know what to do with myself really, I’m just sad constantly, generally I am an emotional person, but it’s becoming unbearable at the moment, I’m shattered and emotionally exhausted…

Hi, I am so sorry to read what you are going through. When we have a terminally ill relative, it is just so difficult. I will write later on what I did to cope, or try to cope, maybe it will help you, just don’t have the time right now to write, but wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you. Also, if your doctor has prescribed anti-depressants, then they might be worth trying, I will also write in detail later about anti-depressants and grief, as I have had quite a few different anti-depressants during my lifetime, and so maybe reading about my experiences might help you decide whether or not you want to listen to your doctor’s advice and take them.

Take care for now.

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Ebrewin, if your doctor has suggested anti-depressants, then maybe that is something you should consider as you do seem to be suffering a lot.

You can also do your own research and then go and discuss what you have read with your doctor. Last year I went to my GP and asked her to give me Mirtazapine instead of Fluoxetine. She asked me why, and I discussed the research paper that I had read which suggested Mirtazapine might be better. She was fine with that and prescribed it, but the side effects were bad, and so I discontinued it. I hadn’t taken anti-depressants since, but went back on Fluoxetine a few weeks ago after she suggested I really should. Does it help me? I don’t know. I have been on anti-depressants on and off since my teenage years, I don’t know whether Citalopram ever helped me, I don’t think Sertraline did, but then again, there are people who swear that they wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for anti-depressants. Ultimately, you don’t know until you try. So, if you are really struggling, and are at a loss as to what to do, and your doctor has suggested anti-depressants, then it could be something that will help you. Or it might not. The way I look at anti-depressants is like this … even if it doesn’t help me get better, maybe it stopped me from getting worse? And if there are no side-effects, then maybe it is worth it. That’s why I went back on Fluoxetine - I doubt it will help me get better, but if it stops me from getting worse, the way that I was a few weeks ago, and isn’t having side-effects, then that is good enough.

Hello there.
I’ve not been here long, and am on the other side of the big event - death - that is triggering the mess you are in. I hope not to upset you, but am going to try to offer some advice that may help. It’s personal advice , along the lines of with-hindsight-I-wish-I-had-done-this-or-that and the aim is to help you now, and after. Remember, it’s personal advice. Don’t listen to it if you don’t want to. don’t even read on, but it’s kindly meant.
You will need all your wits about you to get through what is coming. Your mum deserves that too. That sounds harsh, I know that. But it is nothing compared to the beating up after. You must give yourself a break. And soon. You use your family - and really rely on them - you say mum is having a day off, and you selfishly do just that - with the instructions that they do not disturb you . You leave every decision to them. You sleep. You eat properly. That is essential. Sometimes being selfish is not being selfish. Hopefully, you will come back with just a little more “fight” and can resume. The second thing is, don’t worry about getting snappy, even if it is not your normal personality. They will understand, surely. Third thing, use this test for every thing you do : shall I do something useful around the house, or shall I visit/talk to/ spend useless moments with mum, chatting about nothing . Spend the “useless” moments. You won’t regret it.
That’s all. That’s it. But I wish I had done it.


Hi @Ebrewin84 I’m so sorry you find yourself in this situation :pensive: I had similar with my Mum, who was diagnosed with lung cancer that could be treated but not cured, so it was terminal. It was a big shock to all of us as she had always been fit and healthy and never smoked or anything like that. She was diagnosed in February 2019 and chemo didn’t work for her either. Unfortunately she lost her battle in March this year. There are many things I wish I did that I didn’t at all. I was in denial about losing her and if she ever brought death up, I couldn’t discuss it. In hindsight I wish we had had a heart to heart about it and discussed it more, I think it would have helped me and her. I wish I took more photos. Do everything now that you would regret not doing later. I was still in denial when she died as it kept me busy sorting everything for her funeral and other documents, but when that was over it really hit me so I joined here and a couple of other places to talk to like minded people. I think it helps to talk about it. I have bottled up how I really feel so many times and given a false impression that I’m ok, when I’m actually not. If you need a day to yourself then take it, if you need to talk do it. I have been there with being snappy with my husband and son, I think it’s completely understandable in the circumstances. Please message on here if you need to chat, we are here to listen. Take care of yourself x

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So sad that you are having to deal with this. My husband had a long, drawn out death from cancer (5 years) and it is horrible having to witness the decline knowing that they will die. I didn’t have anyone to take my frustrations out on (no children, no family) but I found keeping a journal very helpful. I wrote down all my feelings honestly without affecting anyone, not that there was anyone to affect . Maybe you could try this.
I think that you should have a quiet conversation with your husband and children and explain that you have limited emotional resources most of which are being used up on your Mum and so get frustrated very easily.
Also Cruse - - do pre bereavement counselling which could be really, really helpful in helping you to deal with your emotions.

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