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Anxiety and Depression Support
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New here. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, when loved ones aren't supportive.

Hi, I'm new here and was hoping to find some support. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and have been seeing a therapist for many years. I'm very thankful for the support I've gotten from them and from most members of my family. However, my relationship with my father has suffered because of my mental illness. Even though I was diagnosed over a decade ago, he continues to call it an excuse and make me feel guilty, especially when I'm really struggling with my anxiety. He just doesn't understand. I really wish he was more supportive, but I've given up trying to explain my GAD to him because it's too emotionally painful.

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Hi and welcome to the forum! I know a lot of people on here will know exactly what you mean by having a close family member, who you love and who loves you, but they just cannot get past their own vision of what mental illness really is. It can depend on many things but I find most commonly it is to do with their own idea of weakness. If he is grown up with the firm belief that mental illness is an easy way to excuse your laziness and put the responsibility of one's actions onto an invisible and probably made up condition just to try and glide through life....well it is not easy to change that. No parent wants their child to be anything but perfect. It is easier to accept an illness when it is visible, but as this one is not, it is all too easy to try and deny it. Combine the two and Hey Presto, you sadly got a very common situation. It is a very tough situation to be in, both for you and your father. Our parents are meant to be there for us through thick and thin, but the reality is not that simple. You see this in other situations as well like lifestyle choices, religion, being gay, having a relationship with someone that didn't fit their idea of your partner, you name it. It becomes even more difficult when you are the victim as well. You didn't chose to have depression and mental health problems. It is not a lifestyle choice you have made that he doesn't agree with. There is no easy answer and any solution is going to take time and some effort from both of you. I have, of course, no idea what kind of conversations if any, you have had around it, do they get inflamed and emotional? There can be many emotional ramifications if he accepts and admits that you have issues. He would have to also admit that he is not right, that he has been neglecting you and your needs, that you knew better than him, that he has not been there for you when you needed him, he has some pride to swallow and sorrys to say. That can be hard on some people. end of the day, you have to look after yourself. You cannot afford to use up your energy on trying to convince him, he is a grown up man and will believe what he wants, however much it hurts you. Just let him know you love him despite the fact that he doesn't understand and that you are here when he is ready to talk, ask questions and support you. I hope you find a way to come together and create common ground. I am sure he loves you. Take Care

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Wow, I wasn't expecting such a long response so quickly. Thank you! We have had many conversations about my Generalized Anxiety Disorder over the years, but they always end up becoming inflamed and emotional, as you said. I think I've finally reached the point of realizing that I have wasted so much energy trying to convince him, and its just not good for my mental health anymore. Hard to ignore, because I'm battling with my mental illness everyday, but I think I need to accept that he may never understand, and I need to be okay with that.

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Yeah, that's it. Sometimes we have to accept that not everyone will "get it"...it's just sad when they are people we really want to understand us. Big Hugs x

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Well said, DragonTears. My father really tries to understand my depression but having never experienced it he just doesn't get the pain I'm in right now.

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Hi, it’s my partner that doesn’t understand😢if I react to a situation, get upset and stand up for myself then it’s all my fault for over reacting, seeing something that isn’t there! I end up feeling so sad and very lonely because nobody understands me. I even doubt myself and then I feel incredibly vunerable🙈

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Hi, I'm sorry that your partner doesn't understand. I very much relate to being made to feel like it's all my fault, and I doubt myself too. It can definitely make my anxiety worse. In those moments when I'm feeling anxious, all I want is someone to say "I understand", and that does happen sometimes, but other times I'm left with so much guilt.

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I feel a burden and scared to express myself so I keep my emotions in when I can but this makes me even more anxious ☹️then I explode and it takes me days to recover and I end up saying I’m sorry🤦🏻‍♀️

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There was a time that only 2 words ever came out of my mouth, "I'm sorry". It would take days to recover from each incident. Actually my anxiety would just keep free floating in small waves of anxiousness until there were times it reached a peak causing an anxiety attack. No more...the words "I'm sorry" no longer are said by me, at least not in regards to my anxiety. I stand up for myself now and say "I don't deserve this". And we don't. We didn't ask to have a mental issue, we don't use it for attention and if family and friends don't understand, then I'd rather be alone. xx

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We can't and never will be able to make people understand anxiety. It's an invisible disorder and as long as we look well, it is hard for others to believe it's real. Anxiety is a lonely issue and that's why this forum is so important for us to have a place that is safe, understanding and caring to come to when we need comfort.

Only others who have gone through the same can truly understand. Never doubt yourself, I'd be the first to tell you it's not your fault and you are not over reacting. We care xx

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Thank you for your kind words😊

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I will come on here when I’m struggling xx

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:) x

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I agree. Very much a lonely issue. So glad I recently found this forum too.

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Me too x

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Thanks for your post. My 13 year old daughter is going through the same thing with her father. He just doesn't understand her GAD and continues to make statements like "You just have to suck it up sometimes," which has contributed to the deterioration of their relationship. She has just stopped talking to him and now he thinks she hates him. When they do talk, their conversations are heated and emotional. When I talk to him about, he gets upset and defensive. I know as a parent it is very hard to see your child suffering and not know how to help them. In his mind's eye, he still sees her as the happy go lucky child who would crawl up in his lap when she was little and not the depressed, non communicative and non loving child she is now. I hope that some day she will get to the point where you seem to be and just accept that he's not going understand, but he still loves her very much.

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I don’t want to be harsh on here for swearing but it’s just a real bitch isn’t it. I was wondering why my cycle keeps coming off, Oh anxiety of course. They say stop thinking about it, okay. Thats what the condition is, over thinking mind. It is very hard, good and bad days and nights. After a month or two now I had to go get some anti sleep help from ER for now. I was doing herbal stuff but think may be the mixing and trying turned me in again. I only get anxiety and with sleep startles etc. and spend the day kind of blah

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