After the school year continued and I had completed the eTC program, it occurred to me that I realized I was currently experiencing many of those same initial feelings I had back in 2006. These included general feelings of “flatness,” irritability and random outbursts of anger, difficulty sleeping, loss of interest in activities, moodiness, and many more signs that have come and gone throughout the past few months.
Knowing that having depression at a young age puts me at risk for a recurrence later in life, I decided to look into research about cancer survivors and PTSD/depression to fully understand just how stacked the cards were against me. It didn’t bode well when I first typed “cancer survivors and…” into Google, and “PTSD” and “depression” popped up as the first two suggested results (followed by “alcohol”).
As I researched more, I found this study from 2017 that said about 20% of cancer survivors experience PTSD symptoms within six months of diagnosis. The CDC also reports that cancer survivors take anxiety and depression medication at almost twice the rate of the general population.
I was torn – there was an overwhelming amount of data, both anecdotal and research-backed, showing me that I was slipping into depression again, yet I didn’t feel as down as I had in 2006. However, the thought that I may be slipping back into depression stayed in the forefront of my mind.
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