Why Looking At Before Breast Cancer Pictures Can Hurt

When they return home from the hospital, many women experience depression after breast cancer treatment. From old clothes to before breast cancer pictures, the home is full of triggers for complex emotions surrounding survival and the massive lifestyle changes that breast cancer brings. Experiencing a period of depression after surviving breast cancer treatment is normal, and it is important to see it as a step in your recovery from disease rather than as a deep psychological problem unconnected to your ordeal.

Many people believe that once you walk out of the hospital after breast cancer treatment your battle with breast cancer is over.  However, many people discover that they fall into post-treatment depression after breast cancer treatment is over and they return home.  There are many reasons for this sudden onset of depression, but a lot of women blame themselves.  Women who experience depression after breast cancer treatment sometimes chide themselves for feeling ungrateful, or feel guilty for being unhappy after they were lucky enough to survive their ordeal with breast cancer.  The truth is that dealing with breast cancer takes a huge emotional toll, and depression can be a symptom of that.  Now that you have experienced physical recovery, emotional recovery will come with time, but not right away.

The support network you experienced in the hospital may have dissipated somewhat now that the primary crisis has passed.  However, you still have a lot of difficult work to do to re-build a healthy, functioning life for yourself after breast cancer, and the simplest things that you used to take for granted can become painful, frightening reminders of your situation.  For example, looking at before breast cancer pictures around your home can bring up a lot of complex emotions.  When you see yourself smiling in your before breast cancer pictures, you may feel envy towards your younger, carefree self.  Some women deal with these emotions by taking their before breast cancer pictures down from the walls and hiding them out of sight.  However, this is only a temporary fix, and you would do better to try and make peace with your before breast cancer pictures.  Try to see your before breast cancer pictures as evidence of the beautiful moments you have experienced, and as evidence of the complexity of the world.

During your ordeal in the hospital, you probably did not have time to think or feel too much about your future as a breast cancer survivor.  You and the people around you had to concentrate on the moment, and on helping you stay alive and beat your cancer.  However, now that you are home from the hospital, you have a lot of issues to face and changes to make in order to stay healthy.  You may feel exhausted, and your loved ones may as well.  Try to keep some perspective on your problems, and get as much support as you can for this new phase of your recovery. 

When you attend support group meetings for survivors, you are likely to find other women who have experienced or are experiencing depression after breast cancer treatment.  You will find other women who feel or have felt the same way you do when you look at your before breast cancer pictures.  Try your best to understand and remember that you are not alone, and that you are not to blame for having these feelings. 

The post-treatment depression is widespread and common among breast cancer patients, and it is no reflection on your gratitude to be alive, your love for your family, or any other trait you possess.  Post-treatment depression after breast cancer is merely the last hurrah of your disease, and it is only a matter of time until you beat it completely.

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