Anxiety Support
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Please help I’m in a state

Looking for help/advice guys. My uncle passed away suddenly last week aged 42 and I’v been in a high state of anxiety since and just cannot relax or stop the negative thoughts. I was in between panic attacks all through the wake and funeral, living on Xanax to get me through. I usually only have a Xanax when I really need them, maybe one twice a week at this stage but I have taken 3 per day over the last week just to give my mind and body a break from the stress/fear. I have health anxiety and my main fear is a heart attack and that’s what my uncle died from, his dad, my grandad died of a heart attack at age 45 and his sister, my mum died from cancer at age 32. Now I just fear we are cursed or something. All throughout the wake/funeral I was imagining it being me and just couldn’t stop.

I don’t know what to do. What can GP do for me? I’m already on prozac and take Xanax when needed. Thanks for reading x

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Hi Ckd123

Sorry to hear about your uncle’s passing.

It sounds like you are fairly young and likely in good physical health so... you are not likely to die today. Breathe, go for a walk, do something to distract your mind.

I would suggest you focus on what’s within your control:

1) breathe

2) get your gp to do a physical exam to establish your baseline health and risk factors. Then develop a plan that incorporates rest, meds, exercise, and diet.

3) if you have not already done so get a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist

4) focus on controlling what you can control and accepting what is out of your control.

I don’t think your family is “cursed”. There may be some congenital health factors you have to deal with but I would suggest you start with the facts and go from there.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks for reply Larslo. I’m actually not that young, I’m 35, just close in age to my mothers younger siblings. My mum died 23 years ago at the age of 32 and when I turned 32 a few years ago that’s when I developed severe health anxiety, although I’v always had a touch of anxiety, even as a child.

I’m trying to relax and be good to myself but I have a ten month old that keeps me on my toes. I couldn’t be alone with her today as I was afraid I’d die and she’d be left alone all day hungry and doing god knows what until my older kids and husband get home. I’m just so afraid right now :(

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If I’m to be honest I would suggest your fears are a little unrealistic. You probably know that intellectually already.

I think you need to have a further discussion with a psychiatrist about meds and some of the unresolved issues around your mother’s passing.

In the interim, I would suggest you take the Xanax as prescribed or as necessary so that you can function.

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Oh definitely, when I’m being rational I know my fears are unrealistic. I had been doing so well and had some sort of grip on the anxiety until last week. It’s at it’s worse now again and I’m a bit lost as to what to do next.

I will continue to take the Xanax and make an appointment with a psychologist for this week.

Thanks again for reply x

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Sounds like a great plan to me!

As a long time survivor of anxiety disorders ( im 63) I have learned that anxiety is stress related. So it doesn’t surprise me that a death in your family (the stressor) would trigger this response.

I think the challenge for all of us is to try to respond more positively to stress. For me this includes understanding what I’m afraid of, gaining perspective, and minimizing worry.

You have a lot to live for. I wish you all the best 😎

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I had a baby at age 38, nearly died through it, 3 months later went into heart failure and nearly died from it. Cardiomyopathy runs rampant in my family and I was told that that was most likely what I had. So with a new baby (and a couple older children), I thought I’d be spending the rest of my life just trying to survive....I’m now almost at a normal heart ejection fraction and working full time construction with my husband....don’t limit yourself by the fear of death! Having said that, anxiety is still my biggest battle in life and it’s been stealing my joy...let’s get through this! We can do it!

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That sounds tough. I’d love to be my old self again, a person who barely gave death a second thought xx

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Life is always changing. We never know what’s around the next corner. We often fear the worst, but great things are waiting too

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I believe that too Rril. Life never stops amazing me :)

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I'm sorry for everything you're dealing with right now. I would recommend taking the xanax as prescribed and not just as needed for a while. I used to take mine as needed, but I've found lately that I need to take it regularly or I'm a mess. Is your prescription written for "as needed" or for a certain number of times per day?

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Thanks for reply. The Xanax is prescribed as take one three times daily but I’v never taken that amount. I try make them last as my GP only likes to give me a script for a months worth now and again!

I just can’t relax at all right now. Even meditating isn’t helping at the moment.

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Sounds like you need to talk to your GP and tell them how you're feeling. You really might need to take it 3 times a day for a while to get settled down. I take mine 3 times a day, and I have regular refills. Good luck!

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THank you xx

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Please get a good therapist or a counselor that you can talk to about your fears, and beliefs.

My mother experienced much like you have from when she was 16.

It colored her life everyday. She was so scared of health things.

She is 89 now, in a home because of something totally unrelated to her health anxiety.

I believe that face to fact contact and having a neutral person in your corner or a call away is very important to proper thoughts.

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Wow 89, that’s fantastic. Did something happen in your mums life to make her feel like this?

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Yep, her dad died when she was 16, her mom was out of town at {her} mothers funeral, and in the old days they didn't have a squad or anybody to call except a neighbor or such. SO it was a mess.

That triggered her. her dad was 46. And she was the only one with him. They had gone to the movies and he said he didn't feel well and went up to bed and asked mom to get him some tea. WHen she got upstairs he was pretty sick and he died in the next day or so.

Mom was afraid everyone would die and leave her. Her mom died at 93, my dad died at 90........so in effect "nobody" died until it was their time. Mom suffered her whole life with anxiety and depression and as the old saying goes. "if I had know I was going to live so long I would have taken better care of myself and had a good time"

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Thank you indigojoe, that must have been horrific for your mum, totally understandable that she would suffer after affects from it. It’s such a pity it went on her whole life though xx

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Why be anxious of death?

When you die, it's either the end or if you believe in something we might go to a better place but it's most probably just the end.

My dad's sister died at 35, and I'm 35 and this year is when my anxiety screws with me. LOL. When I was a kid I always thought I'd be dead by 35 because my dad said I took after my aunt. I'm going to be 36 in two weeks and I'm on an anti-anxiety med now that is working (anxiety runs in my family) I would try to get off the anti-anxiety meds that are "as needed" and take an anti-depressant (maybe prozac doesn't work for you, I take lexapro and it's been awesome, talk to your doctor.

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What I fear most about my death is the thoughts of my children not having a mother. Most likely because I know what if feels like for a child to lose their mum and I really don’t want them to experience that. I might try another med but I’m afraid of coming off one and starting another.

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Prozac didn’t work for me it made me worse so stopped it after 5 weeks how long have u been taken it for always speak to your doctor

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I’v been in Prozac for over a year. I was put on it because it’s safe during pregnancy and had to stay on it because I was breastfeeding. Since the birth of my youngest 10 months ago, iv gone from 20mg to 40mg to 60mg! I was on Effexor before my pregnancy.

Lexapro was the first med I tried, it didn’t work but I was in such a state back then I probably didn’t give it long enough, I’m a very impatient person in general.

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My condolences for your losses💔

I have had a lot of loss in my life too so I can empathize with how you must be feeling.

You certainly have a terrible medical family history.

I find music or ambient sounds (rain fall) can be quite helpful when I need to take a moment to calm my anxiety.

Have you thought of speaking to a naturopath?

Look to see if there’s a school for naturopaths wherever you live because usually they have a clinic that the students work in. Much cheaper than regular naturopath and they are overseen by naturopathic doctors.

Sorry to ramble. I hope you find some peace in the happy memories of your loved ones.

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Thanks for advice xx

Meditation or calming sounds do help me but only in the moment unfortunately!

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really feel for you. I had panic attack after my brother in laws funeral two weeks ago, have been anxious ever since, going to try valium and counselling. Counselling your train of thought will help you greatly. I do trust you will be fine

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I did try CBT before but didn’t find it hugely beneficial. I might give it another go xx

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I may not have much advice to give , but just want to say sorry for your loss . I too have had many losses in life , the most traumatic being my mother’s , I know how painful they are and how much mental and emotional strain they cause .

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Thanks for reply and sorry you lost your mum too xx

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Hi there, im really sorry for your loss. It's totally understandable that you are experiencing this very heightened anxiety now. I to suffer from a fear of leaving my kids at a young age. I to have experienced quite a few losses at young ages which fuels my fear. I understand what you are going through and it's horrible I know. I think all parents have this fear it's very normal but people like you and me unfortunately find it a lot harder to deal with at times of stress etc. I find focusing on today, this very moment helps to ground me. I try not to think to much about the future and just enjoy this very moment in time. This will pass and you'll start to feel better again. Just take one day at a time and feel good about being here now with your kids because now is all that matters. You're going to be ok x

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Thanks for reply. That fear of leaving my kids is unbearable sometimes. I’m trying to live in the now but it’s so tough xx

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Yeah it is so tough when you're at your worst, nothing seems to work, it's a living hell. I had a baby 4 months ago and I'm currently the worst I've ever been. Every day is lived in total unbearable fear. Know you're not alone x

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My baby is ten months and it’s definitely gotten so much worse since she was born, I have three older kids aswell. I haven’t gone back to work yet because of PNA but I’m hoping to go back in January xx

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Bless your heart. For all you have been through. Sending you hugs. It’s really hard with health anxiety. I wish there was a magic fix. All you can do is take each day at a time. I found cbt helped me initially, however it’s not easy. The thing that helps me the most is communicating with others who know what it’s like. Xx

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Thank you xx

I tried CBT before when I was a mess at the start of my anxiety, I might give it another go xx

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There are no 2 people alike..because someone passed from a medical condition does not mean you will. Example..my mom passed at 61 from breast cancer..I used to fear I wouldn't make it to her age of 61 and would get breast cancer. I am 69 today and am still here , no breast cancer. What you fear does not happen. Turn off the negative thinking.

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Thank you. I know you are right of course, no two people are the same. I wish I was the rational person I used to be. It’s a daily struggle but this has almost sent me over the edge xx

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It’s perfectly normal to grieve a Death , and feel what your feeling. It will pass !

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Thank you xx

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Prozac for anxiety might not be good... I tried Prozac a number of years ago and my anxiety went through the roof! But medication react differently to different people so don’t take my word on it...

it makes sense that you would be struggling with the death of your uncle. There’s nothing wrong with you for feeling it. In fact, I’ve learned a profound and yet simple truth—give yourself permission to feel the pain and grief. If you don’t, the pain will be replaced by all sorts of bad feelings...anxiety, depression, guilt, ... give yourself a season to grieve, ask the hard questions, and just be sad. Then when it’s time, (different for different people) pick yourself back up, along with the support of others, and live again...

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Thank you for your kind words. I will speak to my GP about the meds and see what she thinks xx

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