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Feeling sad or worried fact sheet

Produced by Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) 

Based on BCNA’s Anxiety, depression and breast cancer fact sheet

sad woman walking with head down

People with breast cancer can sometimes feel sad or worried. 

But there are places and people that can help you feel better.

What is anxiety? 

Anxiety is when normal worried feelings do not go away. Sometimes you can feel worried for no reason and you cannot control it.

When the worried feelings do not go away, it can make it hard to cope with daily life.

Do you have anxiety?

woman with head in palm, symbolising worry

You may have anxiety if

  • your heart beats very fast
  • your chest feels tight
  • you find it hard to concentrate
  • you find it hard to sleep
  • you feel jumpy, restless or shaky.

What is depression?

Depression is feeling sad or moody for more than 2 weeks. 

Do you have depression?

woman looking sad with thought bubble displaying scribble

You may have depression if

  • you are sad most of the time
  • you feel sad for no reason
  • you stop doing things you enjoy

 

Talk to your doctor if you

  • find it hard to sleep
  • eat too much or not enough
  • feel tired a lot of the time
  • are losing weight
  • are not doing things you enjoyed before
  • find it hard to concentrate
  • do not spend time with people you like
  • drink a lot of alcohol or take drugs
  • feel unhappy, moody or frustrated.

Things that can help

You can try to

  • do something that is fun, such as swim or watch your favourite TV show
  • talk to your doctor
  • ask your friends and family for help when you need it
  • talk to a support person or counsellor
  • join a support group
  • contact BCNA to find a support group
  • be active.
woman talking to her friend with a smile on her face woman running with a smile on her face

If these things do not help, tell your doctor. There may be other things you can try.

Medicines

pill and a tablet

Your doctor might give you medicines to feel better. 

Your doctor will know what medicines work best.

Talk to your doctor before you stop or change your medicines.

Facts about medicines

Medicines for depression will not change your personality.

Taking medicines is not a sign of weakness.

You will not become addicted to medicines for depression.

Where to find more information

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA)

BCNA logo



For breast cancer information and support, call 1800 500 258 or visit BCNA's website.

 

Talk to your doctor

Cancer Council

Cancer Council logo

For information and support, call 13 11 20or visit Cancer Council's website 

beyondblue

beyondblue logo

For support and information about anxiety, depression and suicide prevention visit beyondblue.

mindhealthconnect

For information about mental health care, online programs and resources visit mindhealthconnect.