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Depression OR Anger?


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The threads from a separate post got me thinking; so I'm asking for some honest feedback about this question I have? Is there a difference between being angry and being depressed? After several weeks in this dark place I find myself in, I am finally seeking some help and taking a first step by having complete physicals on Friday. Everyone close to me tells me that I have "handled" everything so well that maybe I have just reached my breaking point and now I need some help to cope...but I'm not depressed...am I? I don't sit around and dwell on the what ifs...I don't cry at the drop of a pin...I don't want to just lay around in bed. What I do is...I find myself angry, mad, full of hate and resentment to the point where I feel like I am going to explode. I'm not making this about myself. I know that my husband is sick and no matter what I am going thru, it pales in comparision to the feelings he is strugggling with. I'm angry at his family. I'm angry at his mother and his brother and his daughters. I resent them that they don't have to live this disease day in and day out. They call, hear him tell them he feels okay (because he does at that particular time) and then they go on about their day without being forced to see how terribly this cancer has changed him. He is sick, he is tired, he is having pain and he is bored. My days consist of going to work, calling all day long to remind him to take his meds, remind him to eat, remind him to drink his water, then I rush home to do it all in person and believe me when I tell you that I wouldn't have it any other way...I'm his wife, I WILL BE his caretaker thru this. Nobody will care for him the way I will...BUT...sometimes I need a break and why can't I get one? I want to wander the Shopping Mall aimlessly on a Saturday afternoon, I want to hit a happy hour on a Friday with my sisters...but I want to know that while I am off licking my wounds, there is someone there with him...keeping him company, helping him if he needs it. So...am I depressed? Will some miracle drug make me feel better? Or, do I need anger management? Am I normal here? Will this storm pass? Does anyone else feel this way? I just want to feel at peace with my life again. Will that ever happen?

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Dear Beth,

You and I have PM'd quite a bit, but not about this issue.

I, myself, do not feel one bit of anger - absolutely none. Don't ask me why - I don't have any idea. I'm sure others do or have, and can help you more with this. There is just nothing about it that makes me feel anger.

I lean more toward the depressed side than anything else. And, with that, I'm not saying that I'm depressed, but I have my moments, sometimes longer than moments. I can't bear the thought of living my life without my husband who has been by my side for 37 years, so if I let my thoughts take control (which I try not to do), then I can get depressed.

Anger is a very real and common feeling. Hopefully others can help you more than I can.

All my love,

Peggy

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Everyone close to me tells me that I have "handled" everything so well that maybe I have just reached my breaking point and now I need some help to cope...but I'm not depressed...am I? I don't sit around and dwell on the what ifs...I don't cry at the drop of a pin...I don't want to just lay around in bed. What I do is...I find myself angry, mad, full of hate and resentment to the point where I feel like I am going to explode. I'm not making this about myself. I know that my husband is sick and no matter what I am going thru, it pales in comparision to the feelings he is strugggling with. I'm angry at his family. I'm angry at his mother and his brother and his daughters. I resent them that they don't have to live this disease day in and day out. They call, hear him tell them he feels okay (because he does at that particular time) and then they go on about their day without being forced to see how terribly this cancer has changed him.

I'm not a psychologist but I can tell you that I understand and I felt this exact same way. ANGRY. I think it must be normal for some people to feel this way. Intense anger at the situation, at peoples reactions, at the medical staff on an off day, at the clerk at the grocery store who was so happy and smily and telling me to have a good day, at people holding hands and living a disease free life while we struggled so badly watching someone we love going thru this, at how much your life an future have changed, the absolute unfairness of it all......

I got some anti-anxiety meds. I don't think I was depressed either. I put all my energies into the website, getting educated, arming myself with second plans and new treatment options. It kept my mind busy and that kept a lid on the anger most of the time.

Sometimes I would scream in the car when no one was around just to let it all out.....

Sometimes it really helps to talk- have someone to yell at or cry/vent to.

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Oh, God, Beth, I so hear you!!

I will try to compose a reply, but it may take more than one or 2 attempts.......

In 1993 my then husband, Tom, died of a massive heart attack in our living room at age 46....no warning no symptoms no reason......

I coped

In 2000 my dearest sister, Nancy, was dx with SCLC-extensive....she died in Feb 2001 - though she lived in CA I went to her and was grateful to be her primary caregiver for the last 3 weeks of her life

I coped

In April of 2001 my darling Brian (who I married in 1996)mangled his right hand in an Industrial accident. We tried to save it through multiple surgeries but it was amputated in Feb of 2002.

We coped..........Brian is awesome......and continued to do his machinist's job and everything else left handed w/ the help of his "hook".

In February of this year.........well this is where you came in, I know.........

All I ever hear is how strong I am, how well I cope, and so on........How wonderful it is that folks can rely on me and ya da ya da ya da.

BULL!!!

I am a mess and I feel so many of the things you do.

Brian has 2 grown daughters who call to see how he is. They say: "Call me if you need anything". They think that is doing something.

His mother is 85 years old, but lives in her own apartment and honestly sees this whole thing as terrible inconvience since Brian and I do not have the time to give her that we normally do. Her latest attention gaining ploy is to drink..........gawd............. then when she has a snootful she calls to go on and on how everyone has just forgotten about her..........of course Brian is hysterical worrying that she will fall or start her building on fire...........

I feel such resentment,too, as Brian's girls go on and on about how lucky Brian is to have me........(I interpret that to mean that THEY ARE LUCKY THEY DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH LUNG CANCER.) When they do come over they act as though they are company......I end up feeding them and theirs..........It is not the work or the food.........it is the idea that they don't even consider bringing their dad a treat...or anything. The casual -- over the shoulder -- "just call if you need me.........." (as they walk to their cars with left-overs) just doesn't ring as sincere.

Brian raised these 2 gorgeous women on his own. He was a single dad from the time they were toddlers. He spoiled them and they only know how to take. There is not an ounce of give in either one of them. Brian spent his whole parenting energy trying to make up to them for not having a participating mother. Never mind that he remained single out of respect for them ......... he found early that young women he met in the 70's did not want a ready made family ....... and he did not want more kids.....so he stayed single and took care of his girls. They love him, they are just very very selfish.....

When there is discussion about their grandma they just wonder how she will divide her treasures between them.......Brian is an only child...not too much competition.

Yes, there is a difference between anger and depression. But I think that all the emotions we feel right now are more intense and that they all overlap and tangle up with each other. I think you are having a perfectly normal reaction. I think you are well deserving of all your feelings and reactions. I think we are doing a great job. I support you and I honestly get what you are saying.

The prayer I say every day over and over is:

MY DEAREST LORD,

PLEASE;

STRENTHEN MY HANDS

SOFTEN MY HEART

AND

SHUT MY MOUTH!

Beth, this should not be so much about me to answer you............but I think it is pertinent and it feels so good to vent.

P

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I've heard that depression is anger turned inward instead of being directed at what makes us angry. Sometimes we learn to bottle our anger and turn it inward at ourselves. Then distructive behavior takes over. If you have too many things to deal with many times people will start telling you how strong you are, call me if you need me, etc. Well the times of day I need someone no one is around. And after what I've gone thru, many people who i thought were "friends" walked out of my life and my husband's life and deserted us. I went for medical treatment and they gave me xanax which I think does help somewhat. They called it "situational depression" rather than down right clinical depression. And also, anyone who is effected by cancer, either as the patient or the caregiver, in my opinion, has every reason to be both angry and depressed. Please get some medical intervention for yourself and start giving people flat out suggestions on what they can do to help you - when you visit, bring a pizza, so I get a break from cooking, etc. Many times people do want to help but don't know what needs to be done. I wish you the best, and yeah, you are strong.

Joanie

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I haven't been anywhere near your shoes. # 1 I'm a daughter, not a spouse, and # 2 I've been so far away from Mom through most her fight so far (I will finally be out there with her in about 3 weeks!), but I have felt a lot of anger too. I get angry at people who don't seem to care and either don't think to ask how Mom is, or do and then make it sound like she just has a cold or something. I get mad at people who say stupid things about smoking. I get mad at people who make it sound like this is a death sentence. Pretty much, unless you can approach me about this issue with absolute perfection... well and issues about Navy deployments... and having a newborn... and my other 'ands' I feel like I want to bite your head off. I get frustrated because sometimes I feel just stuck out here... unable to help other than calling every day and sometimes it just seems that annoys Mom more than anything (and I can understand that too).

The other thing I feel is weird jealousy. I mean crazy, sick, demented jealousy. I'm jealous of people who have breast cancer because they have better chances than Mom. We have a friend here who is dealing with Stage IV Pancreatic cancer... And I'm sick enough to be jealous of him and his wife because his prognosis was five YEARS AND he is tolerating chemo really well and having great days. Mom hasn't had a good day since October. I hate that. It's such an ugly part of me.

So I guess I say all this to tell you that it sounds normal to me. I think this disease twists us all into unrecognizable versions of ourselves at some points. I know we all process it differently. For me sometimes it's easier to just be pissed off than sad, though I've felt plenty of both at times.

It sounds as if you've got plenty to be angry about... Dealing with all that stuff. And I'm sure you HAVE done beautifully working through it all even though I know at times you probably felt like you were limping your way through or a mess. But if you didn't feel angry about it at some point, I think I'd be more worried about THAT.

I would say something that I would think sounds wise like, "Let yourself feel what you need to." But I can't because I can't figure out what healthy emotions look like right now for anything. So I guess I will just say that I hear you and I'm angry too.

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Beth, your feelings are normal for a caregiver. No one is going to know what you are going through unless they are or have been a caregiver to a life-threatened patient. We caregivers have to accept that as a fact, and move on. We do need to express our feelings on a regular basis -- here, and to a confidant. We do need to take breaks and need to reach out to others to watch the spouse while we take those needed breaks. It is even more imperative for you, because you are working also.

Turn your anger away from those who don't understand and toward taking care of yourself and your spouse. You can't do the caregiver thing without help -- you will suffer physically, emotionally and mentally, and then get yourself ina position where you can't help him like you want to. I wish you well in turning this around to something positive. Don

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Anger is part of grief. You can have grief after loosing "what is normal", loosing the future you dreamed of, loosing your health, etc. Counseling, support, perhaps a happy pill can help with grief also. Donna G

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Hi Beth,

I agree with Don. . Like you, I worked while taking care of E., forever reminding him to drink his water, eat, either via phone or at home. I was so busy being the researcher, cheerleader, caretaker, that I did not take time to stop when he needed a hug, caretaking gave me a means to hide from my fears. I had many symptoms of burnout - wasn't eating, put off medical appointments, my whole focus was this disease and how we might beat it. There were times when I was angry at my partner for presenting so "well" on the phone to his family, when all I saw were the pain, the fatigue, the side effects from treatments.

Later, I realized that I needed an outlet. I let friends help me. They would bring dinner, or sit with my partner so I could go out with a friend. I went to see a therapist. My best friend is my confidante and I was able to (and still do) vent freely.

Please find time for yourself, by any means possible. It is important to have moments of joy, and time out from caregiving.

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Okay, I am going to throw in my two cents for what its worth... I am speaking not as the caregiver, but as the daughter. Before I begin... I want to say that IN NO WAY am I making excuses for your childrens behaviors... NO WAY, what I am going to try to explain is what happened (is still happening) in my own family. Maybe the correlation will make sense, maybe it does not apply at all but here goes...

Most of you know my story so I won't go into "details" my Mom and Dad live about 45 miles from me. I have two teenage sons and one married daughter. One of my sons is giving me a real run for my money. I work 25 hours a week in a pediatric office - My husband is a firefighter (24 hour shifts).

Daddy was ill for almost 4 years before he passed. During that time, he was mostly really well. The last 8 months of his life were difficult. I would call at 8am, noon, 5pm and 9:00pm everyday. My husband is a firefighter in the town where my folks live, so he would drive the firetruck to their house to get Daddy in/out of bed, to Chemo, etc. I would drive down on weekends. I was the family contact with the Oncologist as Mom would get confused. I would take days off from work to take Mom and Dad to his Onc appts. When Daddy was in and out of the hospital the last 3 months of his life, I stayed down with Mom and left my family. The last 7 days of Daddys life, I stayed at the hospital(my husband with me). Night and Day never left Mom's side. My boys were both home sick and they stayed by themselves. I didn't work - I have a sister who was/is also very helpful to my mom, and a brother who lives 5 min. away from my parents who is basically useless (he is almost 40 years old). He comes to see my Mom everyday for lunch(she makes the lunch, he does not bring her lunch) as he has done since he got married and moved out 5 years ago. THAT IS ALL HE DOES... any yard work, housework, legal paper work ANYTHING ELSE, falls to my sister and me... and you know who my Mom thinks the sun rises and falls around???? MY BROTHER... Can I figure it out??? NOPE... When my daughter just announced her pregnancy and I thought my Mom would be delighted, she instead was bitter and angry and said some awful things like, "Now you can go on with your life, you and your daughter and your granchild".... I have forgiven Mom for her thoughtlessness, I still go see her every weekend, or she comes and stays at my house.... Does she see all I do for her... ABSOLUTELY NOT... does she see everything I did for Daddy... NOPE I HONESTLY DON'T THINK SO... so I am wondering if maybe, just maybe, your children are doing as much as they possibly can, but in your grief and despair over the situation, you are just angry they can't "fix it" ...

Like I said, just my story I am sharing and it is a very condensed version.... take it for whats its worth... Actually, it was a good release for me to write it all down.... Love, Sharon

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Love you, too, Sharyn.

This whole discussion is such a gift to me.......thank you to everyone for opening these gates.

I repeat my prayer:

Dearest Lord,

Please

Stengthen my hands

SOFTEN MY HEART

and shut my mouth.

I only want to speak peace and I only want to believe the best about eveyone............sometimes I just plain ache and need to think it is someone's fault...........

Somedays I miss Tom so bad and can't bear to think of trying to learn to miss Brian.....Sometimes I am scared that I am sick, too, and that I won't be able to care for Brian....

I know that this forum and the people who post here are a gift I can't describe......

Some times God answers prayers with things/people that we did not even know enough to ask for.......

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I think the anger is normal. At first I was devastated and then devastation turned to anger...and I do mean anger. I just wanted to tell someone off so bad. You remember that scene in Steel Magnolias where Sally Field says, "I just want to hit somebody?" That was me.

I think the source was the incredible insensitivity of certain family members, oh hell that's being kind. Man, could we talk! I don't think you're depressed at all. I think you are disappointed and disheartened...and that's going to happen with this disease.

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Sometimes anger and depression go hand in hand. I agree that we go through cycles when it comes to possible terminal illnesses. We cycle.....I started shocked, then ready to kick butt, then crushed, then totally beaten and ready to give up, then mad as hell and ready to kick butt........I'm exhausted now and others are fighting for me while I can not do it.

Hang in there!

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Hello - I HAVE and DO feel angry. I feel angry that this has happend to my mom, my best friend, a wonderful lady. I am angry that I know this has changed our lives forever (may be for good or worse; but it was just fine before) I even catch myself being angry at people who smoke. I just want to ask them if they have ever had a loved one diagnosed with cancer (I know not all cancer is from smoking; my mom's probably is). Yes I feel angry and no I don't believe I am depressed. Boy I could go on forever. I am getting angry just writing about it :evil: I completely understand where you are coming from. Take care

Heidi

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Wow, really heart wrenching stories from everyone. I had no idea some of you went through the pits like that.

I was not angry or depressed. I was just scared and went along taking one day at a time and did what I had to do to make him as comfortable as possible.

Sometimes that was hard. Expecially when he went though that Hyperactive thing which he was like a zombie. That scared me more than anything. We were really blessed that that turned out to be his thyroid and not a reoccurance of the LC.

We feel fortunate that he was staged at IB caught it early and was opeatable and is now NED. So thank G-d we are not going through anything like you guys are or did. You are all my heros. If Joel had to go through all the chemo, radiation to different parts of his body and head, I would feel like you. If he was constantly fighting for his life, I would feel like you. I would be both depressed and angry. To me that is normal under your circumstances.

You really should get some meds for yourself to help you cope and calm down. And get one of his daughters over there to watch him while you go to the mall. You have to get away, I think that is what is getting you so angry.

I will say that you do see your friends and family members in a different light. Dissapointment in some of his cousins who he grew up with, and nephews he was always there for, he never even heard from ( and they were told), some of his cousins who you would think would not care were the ones who were there for him in visits and phone calls. My family was there for him through thick and thin.

Then there is the ones who email me to see how he is doing and to tell him they are thinking about him, but do they call?? Nope

So another thing about this horrendous disease is you certainly find out how cares and who doesn't. Real eye openers.

Beth, I can't stressed enough to you how important it is to have some Beth time. That will help your anger subside. It is spring, take time to smell the roses. Take a bath with scented candles all around. Get a facial, get your nails done, maybe a different hair style. Something to make you feel like a women.

You can do this. Let his daughters know what you are going through and you need a little of their time and help. You are taking care of him and working and if you will fall apart then what? Tell them that, make them scared. If they sit with him while you go out, then they will see for themselves how he really is. And if he puts up a front around them, then you tell them that.

Talk to your doctor, there are mild medications out there to help take off the edge. Heck, I used a low dose of valium when I was going through my horrible PMS :shock: and it worked wonders. Did not make me high just made me feel normal.

Please take care of yourself as I worry about you.

Maryanne

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Beth,

It's normal to feel anger. It's part of the grieving process - and you ARE grieving. You are grieving the loss of your OLD life, the way things used to be, the way you had your future planned. This just isn't it, that life is gone and you can't get it back. Definitely something worth grieving over.

On the flip side, too much anger is a bad thing. You DO have to work through it, it will negatively impact your health.

As for those family members who offer to help but don't follow through, PIN THEM DOWN. Call the daughters, tell them that Dad would like to spend some one-on-one time with them and arrange something for YOU at the same time - an afternoon at the spa, lunch with the girls, SOMETHING for YOU! Plan something at least every other week for a stress reliever and escape for you. If you rotate who is sitting with Dad, it will be a break for him, too.

Explain to the family members that some diagnoses really are life-altering and that things in your house have changed. It would be NICE if someone would help out with the yardwork or meals or a million other day-to-day things they may not even think of. Ask for help and be specific.

If that doesn't get you anywhere, if they decide to keep their heads firmly in the sand, you STILL need to get out. Call up some of hubby's friends and have 'em come over for poker afternoon or something...

Beth, you need to take care of you. Work on the anger and letting it go. Deep breathing helps, the band around your chest normally loosens up into a torrent of tears. Set a cry date, make sure you won't be disturbed and work it out. Let it ALL go. Deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth....relax....breathe in......breathe out......breathe in......breathe out......feel the band around your heart loosening....breathe in........breathe out.....visualize the most peaceful time you can remember....if it's a walk in the cedar woods after a rain, close your eyes and put yourself there....breathe in.....smell the damp wood.....breathe out.....feel the sun on your face....breathe in.....smell the flowers....breathe out....hear the birds....

I wish you all the best, and hope you get some answers.

Take care,

Becky

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Anger IS a symptom of depression.

My shrink told me so.

You are taking a good first step by going to the family doctor. Now find a good clinical psychologist and get yourself evaluated, and get therapy. It will do you a world of good.

Insofar as your feelings of anger towards his family, well, I get that way, too, because YOU are the only one who's every minute of your life is affected by this and will be affected if he doesn't make it. everyone else will go about their daily lives without much change, except for some grief and some missing him.

anyway, I think we have ALOT in common and if you will PM me I'll give you my phone number.

Take care, I understand,

Karen

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Hi Beth,

My heart goes out to you. I think I can truthfully say that I understand how you feel.

I agree with "Snowflake", harness those people who offer to help. Let them know when you are tired, sad or need a break. If you don't tell them, how will they know? They don't see what is going on from day to day.

Like Summer's partner, my husband would chat cheerfully to people on the phone, (giving them the impression that he was doing well,) and all the time I had to watch him struggling to walk or even to get out of bed in the morning and heard him say things like, "Oh God, not another day to go through" etc.etc.

There is one more thing I would say,(having been through this myself.) no matter how hard things get, remember to love him, just love him!

Love and prayers for strength going out to you both.

Paddy

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Have you told your family that you need some help? They may be just waiting for you to say the word and they would be there. I live a few hours away from my parents. I have been offering to come and help from the beginning when my mom was diagnosed. I always got the same answer everything is fine no need to come. I even packed a bag when we went to visit and told them I'd be happy to stay, but I was told no they were fine. Well last week mom had a bad spell and ended up in the hospital for a week. I went right away to help. Once mom was home I realized just how tired she was and how stressed and tired my dad was and was so gald I was there to help. One of the things my mom said to me was I won't lie anymore and tell you everything is fine, when I have my next chemo I would like it if you come and help us.

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Karen,

Anger may be a symptom of depression, but not everyone who is p*ssed off is depressed, some of 'em are just plain MAD. Everyone who feels sad is NOT depressed, there are reasons that people feel sad, just because something can hurt emotionally and make you cry does NOT mean you are depressed.

There are many symptoms of depression, and a diagnosis of clinical depression is not made on ONE symptom. If Beth were angry, lacking in personal hygiene, not going to work, kicking the dog, etc., THEN I would lean toward thoughts of actual depression. As it is, I still say it's more grieving for the old life than being depressed.

One cannot diagnosis another person, especially if one does not have a medical degree or through an internet posting. Anger can stem from many things, drugs are not always the answer, sometimes facing the "problem" head on and dealing with it is the way to go.

Beth, talk to your doctor. Anger management may be suggested, or a hobby, but I'm SURE you will hear that you need to take some time for yourself. Never, ever view it as abandoning your husband, in order for the pitcher (you) to keep pouring out love, it needs to be filled at the well sometimes or it will just go dry. Love your husband, and love yourself.

May your life get a bit softer,

Becky

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As the daughter and not the primary caregiver, let me add some of my thoughts. People who appear to be strong, who take charge and take care of things, can appear NOT to need anything. For those of you whose spouse has cancer, I think you've probably closed ranks, in a sense. You're a team of two, totally committed to the battle, going through the tough times as a unit. That's what loving couples do through bad times.

When that happens, others (including children) may feel like they're on the outside looking in. The children may desperately want to help, but they may not know how. They may even think their help isn't welcomed. A spouse who is living with it KNOWS what needs to be done and just does it. But to a child coming for a visit, there's an awareness that it's your home and your schedule, and it's difficult to know what to do. Especially in the case of a stepmother, there may even be a reluctance to "intrude" into your territory for fear of offending you.

My father, and I suspect many other fathers, had a hard time letting his kids see him weak and needy. His whole life he'd been a strong, independent man, the one who took care of things. Then suddenly he needed to be taken care of, and he didn't much like that. He preferred having our stepmother take care of him physically, and he wanted us to take handle the medical and financial aspects.

Please ask for help, and be specific about it like Snowflake said. You need help and others need to be part of the fight. Asking for support doesn't mean you're bailing out on your spouse or that you're weak. It's just another way of fighting this battle.

I really do admire the strength of the people living with lung cancer. It consumes your lives and yet you just keep going, beyond what you ever thought you could. My prayers to all of you.

Pam

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Becky.

Just saying one symptom of depression is anger.

Been there, know that.

Lots of people don't realize that anger is a symptom of clinical depression, and in fact, may be the only symptom that is obvious.

been there, done that.

Karen

p.s. and on a personal note, I'm not allowed to get pissed off about anything any more, because, wow, I must be depressed again! let me tell you, it's no fun walking through life unable to have a little bit of fun anger every now and then.

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Just want to throw 2 cents in here. I'm angry a lot. I don't know why really. I used to be somebody everybody liked and who never said a bad word about anybody anytime. Now, I just lash out, mostly at the people who I care about.

I've been to therapy. I've been on anti-depressants. I don't want to do all that again, I don't think. Didn't like the side effects of the anti-depressants and I'm not excited at the prospect of more doctor's appointments than I already have to manage.

I also realize I'm lucky. I feel good (except for this anger issue), have a good prognosis, and I eat right, sleep well, exercise, and still work full time.

But, like Snowflake said, I'm angry about losing my old life. I don't want to be worried sick about every ache and pain and every doctor's appointment. That's what I'm angry about. I think it's common in cancer patients, and, if with them, certainly with their families. I also think that fear, especially sustained fear for coming up on two years, can lead to anger.

I'm not posting to sound whiny, I just totally understand where you're all at with this.

Anybody got any suggestions???????

Cindy

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Karen,

I have lung cancer. Doesn't make me an expert on the subject.

Anyone feeling they may have depression should talk to their doctor and take "THE" questionnaire. A shorter one than the version at the doctor's office can be found here:

http://www.med.nyu.edu/psych/screens/depres.html

Anger is NOT the only visible sign of depression. One sign of depression is a lapse in personal hygiene - VERY OBVIOUS if you're downwind! Other obvious signs are withdrawal from normal social activities for no apparent reason (i.e. dealing with side effects of medication/treatment) and absenteeism at work.

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"...Sometimes I am scared that I am sick, too, and that I won't be able to care for Brian..."

This concerns me. It has been my experience that people think this only when something is happening to them that MAKES them think of it. If your gut instincts are telling you that there may be something wrong with you I hope that you will pay attention and do what needs to be done to find out what it is and how to treat it. You will be no good to Brian or anyone else if you neglect your own health. You HAVE to take care of yourself. And allowing anyone to clump it all under the heading of "possible depression" is not the right way to handle it. See your Doctor about YOU, and let him/her decide if it's depression or something else.

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