Produced by Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA)
Based on BCNA’s Anxiety, depression and breast cancer fact sheet
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?
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?
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.
If these things do not help, tell your doctor. There may be other things you can try.
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)
For breast cancer information and support, call 1800 500 258 or visit BCNA's website.
Talk to your doctor
For information and support, call 13 11 20or visit Cancer Council's website.
For support and information about anxiety, depression and suicide prevention visit beyondblue.
For information about mental health care, online programs and resources visit mindhealthconnect.