Need reassurance

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/19/2007 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I need reassurance. My son is 15, and has always been very healthy for someone with cf. But in the past year, he has become clinically depressed. I'm sure it's because he has reached the developmental stage where he can now really understand the statistics about cf and life expectancy. He has repeatedly told me that he feels hopeless and that he doesn't see a reason to go on fighting if he's going to die young anyway. He doesn't believe me that people beat the odds every da, or at least he doesn't seem to believe that he can be one of those people.

I am so worried about him. He has seen several psychologists and they have told us that he is at least at moderate risk of suicide. Honestly, I don't know how you could have cf and NOT get depressed, but I need to hear from someone with cf who has successfully made it through those tough teenage years and can give me some reasurrance and help. We keep taking him to the psychologist, but I'm not seeing much change. Is it possible for him to get through this depression, or is depression another lifelong burden that he will have to carry and fight?

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/29/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm not sure if I'll be any help or not but I understand the depression!! I'm now on my 6th year and still can't believe it sometimes. I'm 33 and have two wonderful boys. They are my reason for fighting for my life. CF is a very strange diease and it can be frustrating. We wake up each day, usually feeling crappy, take our meds and hope for the best. He needs to remember that they are working on new meds and ideas eveeryday. I felt the same way he does but I should have been dead already. Instead I found that doctor, made my appointments and did everything they said. I'm on O2 everyday and it feels like a leash but I know I'll be getting new lungs soon and life will start to look up!! There is always a brighter side, you just need to look and find it. Tell him I'm here to write to and help out anyway I can. Hope ALL is going as well as we can expect.
I am 33 years old and was just diagnosed 6 years ago. I have two boys Michael who is 13 and Nathan who is 10. I'd love to meet some new people in the same boat I'm in and make new friends. Please feel free to write me anytime!!!
Meds: Zithromax, Cymbalta, Centrum, Calcium, Vit.D, Aquadeks, Lisinopril, Trazadone, Doxycycline, Augmentine, Bactrum, Avelox, Vit.C, Ibprofen, Furosimide, Cephalexine, Pulmazyme, Albuertol, Flonase, and finally Advair.
Lung capacity is 19%, O2 365 days a year.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 1/3/2009 3:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I've got cf, and I'm 20. I was diagnosed at 16. I have been dealing with depression for a while. It's an on/off thing; sometimes I'm content, but sometimes things get me down. I considered going to a therapist, but didn't feel comfortable doing so. I keep a journal and use that to vent, but it doesn't always work. The best thing for me has been to open up to friends. Admittedly, I have only been able to open up to a few, but it helps having someone to turn to, even if they can never fully understand what I'm going through. I do my best to stay positive because there is so much to live for. I look around and realize that life is beautiful; my disease only brings me down when I let it. I wish I could give you a formula or some steps for your son to follow, but, it goes without saying, that's just not how things work. He probably desperately needs to open up to friends. It's one thing having family know and understand the disease, and entirely another thing to have one's peers understand the struggle. In my opinion, talking to a therapist only keeps the problem isolated. One needs to learn to deal actively with the issues that come with CF, partly by understanding that it's OK to be sick; it's nothing to be ashamed of. The most important thing I've come to realize is that - for me at least - the biggest issue is self acceptance. Ultimately, it doesn't matter if others understand what I'm going through or not, what matters is that I am comfortable living with my disease, and that I remain determined to fight it. It is an individual decision to keep fighting and going strong. I choose to "live forever or die trying." Your son can absolutely get through his depression, if he so chooses. And he can most definitely conquer his disease. Even though things get difficult, and emotions become overwhelming, one has to let it out, then get up again and keep on going.
I would be more than happy to talk to your son if he ever wants to chat. Of course, I imagine what he really needs is a real, live person to talk to, but who knows, maybe I can help. My email is

Jodi jp
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/4/2009 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mom4life!
I'm sorry your son is having such a terrible time with depression. cry
But . . .your son has got to know that CF is NOT the "die young, life sentence" it used to be. I know plenty of CFers well into their 40s, 50s and 60s. Struggle, sure we do, but the older CFers I know generally have a great frame of mind and have learned to deal with the CF challenges. I guess it comes with acceptance of CF and realizing it's really our only option. A BIG realization expected of a teen, I understand. But doable if he realizes that he can live into middle age and beyond.

I'll try to be of help with what has worked for me. I'm 53, and have had my share of depression on and off over the years. Unfortunatly, depression generally comes as a package with CF. I have known a lot of CFers, and everyone I've ever met, deals with it at one time or another. Teenage years are a tough time for everyone, let alone dealing with the realities and routines of CF.

I have done the counseling route several times and the drugs route, which you did not mention. For me, the drugs got me through a particular tough time until I could get back on my feet again. I am a firm believer in setting goals, planning ahead, and looking forward to events, happenings and better days. Staying involved in things I LOVE to do and exercising even if it is a nice walk are both great mind cleansers.

Since you say he is healthy, he should try to focus on that incredible part of his life. Being preventive and proactive in his treatments, meds, eating right and exercise will keep him in a healthy physical state much longer. Does wonders for the head as well. Working at staying healthy is easier than playing catch up, trying to recover from illness. I know it feels impossible to get him motivated to so something when feeling down. Maybe you, Mom, can get involved and take him bowling or whatever. Encourage scheduling things to do with his friends, keep him busy with fun things. cool

Probably THE most important thing I have done was make a bucket list, or wish list. 9 years ago I was on death's door, had my left lung removed and gradually recovered. It made me realize how short life really was . . . I still had much I wanted to accomplish. As I laid in my hospital bed, I made my list, things I wanted to do the most in my life. As soon as I did this, I started making plans how I could make those wishes come true.

And you know what? I have done many of them. I've lived more in the last 9 years than all my others put together. I constantly add to my list and look forward to making my dreams come to fruition. I know it sounds simplistic, but it works for me. smilewinkgrin

OK enough rambling.
Good luck, I wish you and your son all the best.
Jodi :-)
53, married, mother to 3, Grandma to 2 :)

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/25/2009 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   

I am new to this board, but had a problem with depression and anxiety a while ago. I am not a doc, and always suggest if depression is building to seek professional treatment because the problems may intensify.

In a book I read that it is important to get back to your normal functioning positive level soon after you get depressed. Unfortunately depression tends to pull you down deeper as it tugs away at you, so unless you are able to find a way to surface quickly each time, it can build up its strength and hold you down to ever lower depths. True depression and its often interconnected partner anxiety are not the things to tackle alone after they progress to a certain state.

My mood required meds for 9 months as I eventually had anxiety and depression images flashing into my mind every minute, and there was no way for me to find the energy to focus on anything else, although I was able to maintain a job. (If there was a reality TV show with the world's worst workers as contestants, I could have won.) The meds served their purpose and I was able to quit them 4 months ago and live a happy life. Through meds and a change of Outlook, I was able to focus my mind to be as a log floating in a river, not averse to the bank of unhappiness because it is unavoidable at least some of the time, nor crave the bank of happiness because it is not possible to stay happy all the time either. Staying in the middle of the river and sort of floating to the ocean of peace is the best expectation for a person to strive for. I just borrowed this idea from of part of an ancient Indian philosophy, (Buddhism) but interestingly it is similar to cognitive behaviour therapy designed in recent years to help depressed people. Apparently mindfullness based cognitive behaviour therapy (mbct) is even closer to the old philosophy. mbct is designed to help depression sufferers relieved of their depression and then off meds to avoid a relapse.

So if you are concerned, it is best to seek professional advice. I hope meds are not necessary in  all your cases, but in some cases they are so you need to be aware of that.

My 45 year old brother has needed professional attention for 15+ years but my mother will not face up to it. (Maybe it is pride of ownership.) My mother tried to protect my him all his life by financing his hopeless business schemes where he mopes in front of a computer for a few hours a year. She says anything to pretend that he was functioning. Please accept that if your child is depressed over cf, sending him to a professional may be helpful and is not a sign of weakness.

Cognitive behaviour therapy that I mentioned is something your doc might talk over with you as an option. (The only reason I put the whole Buddhism part in is I  have never read cognitive behaviour so had to stick to what I knew.) 

I spend a lot of time on depression forums at another board and have learned a lot  from reading and the posts of the group. Unfortunately, that site does not have a cf chat group and because I wanted to help cf people I am here.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/25/2009 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   

Feel free to inbox me or reply to this thread.


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