A good friend asked me to talk about what tools I use to cope with the depression. For me it depends a lot on the character and severity of the depression. By character I mean, is it depression plus anxiety or solely depression. Anxiety driven depression I treat with Xanax. A single pill usually does the trick. If not, a second one a half hour later has always worked. Not much of my depression is anxiety driven, though.
For “regular” depression my coping mechanisms vary by severity. If the depression is mild to moderate, I find distraction usually does the trick. I’ll read news on the internet, play around on the computer, take a drive, etc. Usually within an hour or so, it passes. For more severe depression I try to go to sleep regardless of the time of day and “sleep it off.” If I can’t get to sleep, I read. Most of my regular depression is mild to moderate, fortunately.
Lupron and Casodex bring their own unique style of depression. Prior to my radiation treatments, their depression always hit very quickly, came out of the blue, and was mild. I readily dealt with it as described above. After the radiation treatments, Casodex caused severe anxiety driven depression. I had a very difficult time controlling it. Xanax eventually did the trick. We didn’t even consider going back on Lupron as it’s a one month minimum shot. Casodex is a pill that is out of the system a couple days after use is discontinued.
My current anti-depression cocktail is working quite well. Because of this, in about two weeks I plan to go back on Casodex. I’m hoping I’ve recovered enough from the radiation and get enough help from the cocktail that instead of severe anxiety driven depression I get mild depression at worst. Fingers crossed.
If others out there would be willing to share their coping mechanisms, please jump in.