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Question
Posted by: Wilmien | 2012-06-04

Depression/ cancer

Hi Doc
My mother in law went through a very emotional period and fell into a deep depression.
She was booked into a wellness centre for 3 weeks where she was treated.
She use to take 20mg anti depressions which was increased to 100mg.
The problem is that since she went into this depression she beliefs that she has cancer.
Although she used to be an energetic, fit person she now sits with a warm water bottle24 -7.
We took her for all possible tests which, every time, show that there is nothing wrong with her.
But she just says that her body tells her something is wrong, that she is too weak to do anything and that she is going to die from cancer.
We really want to help her but she doesn’  t listen to our advice.
How do we deal with such a person, we are all tired of the story and it is terrible to see a healthy person sit a wait for the death.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I really don't know what a "wellness centre: is. A serious depression doesn't need flowery "wellness" people, but experienced psychiatrists and nurses experienced at dealing with this serious disease. I don'tnow which antidepressants were being used, as the dose range you mention sounds odd.
Severe depression can include hypochondriasis of the most gloomy sort, and being convinced that one has some awful other physical disease isn't uncommon. As this belief arises from her mental state, usually no amount of chemical and other tests will co ncince her otherwise - only competent treatment of her depression.
One also has to bear in mind that cancer, which may take some considerable time to declare itself openly and get diagnosed, can cause depression and what appears to be hypochondriasis.
She absolutely MUST be carefully assessed, psychologically and physically, under the lead of a good local PSYCHIATRIST, NEVER a GP or other specialist in such a situation, and then be properly treated for the depression.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-06-04

I really don't know what a "wellness centre: is. A serious depression doesn't need flowery "wellness" people, but experienced psychiatrists and nurses experienced at dealing with this serious disease. I don'tnow which antidepressants were being used, as the dose range you mention sounds odd.
Severe depression can include hypochondriasis of the most gloomy sort, and being convinced that one has some awful other physical disease isn't uncommon. As this belief arises from her mental state, usually no amount of chemical and other tests will co ncince her otherwise - only competent treatment of her depression.
One also has to bear in mind that cancer, which may take some considerable time to declare itself openly and get diagnosed, can cause depression and what appears to be hypochondriasis.
She absolutely MUST be carefully assessed, psychologically and physically, under the lead of a good local PSYCHIATRIST, NEVER a GP or other specialist in such a situation, and then be properly treated for the depression.

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