- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Understanding grief
- Common questions about grief
- What if I feel ‘stuck’ or desperate?
What if I feel ‘stuck’ or desperate?
You may have times when you feel like you just can’t go on any longer. The pain of grief is too hard or just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Be kind to yourself – it is normal that some days are much harder than others. With time, you may start to notice a pattern of good days and bad days, with the good days gradually increasing.
Sometimes a person may feel “stuck” in their grief and feel very depressed or anxious. Or worse, they may begin to think about suicide, as though not going on is a real option. If this is the case for you or someone you care about, it is important to get help.
Seek professional help if you:
- find it difficult to get through daily tasks
- begin to depend on alcohol or other drugs
- stop eating regularly
- are sleeping too much or having a lot of trouble sleeping
- are worried you might hurt someone because your feelings of anger or aggression do not settle
- are thinking about self-harm or ending your own life.
Getting support may help you feel less alone. You can also talk to your GP or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Podcast: Coping with Grief
A/Prof Lisa Beatty, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Consulting Clinical Psychologist, Flinders University Institute of Mental Health and Wellbeing, SA; Sandra Anderson, Consumer; Dr Alexandra Clinch, Palliative Medicine Specialist and Deputy Director, Palliative Care, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC; Christopher Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Grief Australia; Nathan MacArthur, Specialist Grief Counsellor and Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Sydney Grief Counselling Services, NSW; Linda Magann, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Palliative Care, St George Hospital, NSW; Palliative Care Australia; Richard Upton, Consumer; Lesley Woods, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Emotions and cancer
People who are affected by cancer in some way can experience a range of emotions, that can be very challenging to deal with at times. Learn more.
End of life
This information may help you better cope with end of life, or support someone who may be dying with cancer