Bereavement anxiety

Good morning all, I’ve been reading up on some things as I thought I was going off my head, I recently lost my mum to dementia and after it all was settled and all the loose ends tied up I’ve developed a real sense of dread and anxiety, possibly thinking of my own mortality etc, I hate this feeling and wonder how long is, this likely to last? I woke up last night and shaking like I was cold, I wasn’t cold at all and read that shaking is a symptom of being anxious /anxiety.
Would medication/herbs help?
Thanks…

Hi Niall, I too am in Dunfermline :+1:t2: Sorry to hear you lost your lovely mum, I know where you are coming from as my Mum passed last October then my Husband 3 weeks later. I don’t want councilling or medication I am getting through it on my own with the help and support of amazing family and friends but like you I thought I was going a bit nutty, I was paranoid something awful would happen to my wee dog then I got fixated on a loose floorboard that actually kept me awake at night! Everything became magnifyed in my head even trivial things became major problems till I realised it was all part of the grieving process. It will get better and you will calm down and deal with it because you recognise it for what it is and it’s perfectly normal to feel like you do.

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Hello @Niall70 so sorry for your loss. I completely understand the anxiety about everything I feel the same. It’s hard to say how long it will last. I’ve been trying to meditate and do breathing techniques such as ‘wim hof’ I’m not sure if that may help slightly. Hope you feel better soon

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It’s such an awful feeling, I’ve convinced myself I may have early stages of motor neurone disease (absolutely unfounded reasoning as I don’t have any symptoms, believe me I’ve checked) don’t know whether to get in contact with the doc because of the anxiety or not…

Funnily enough, my dad passed away over 20 odd years ago and my mum then went of the rails like what I’m doing now…

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I can’t give any advice, but I feel the same since losing my Mum in March. Not as much for myself but for others close to me. If my Dad doesn’t answer the phone or reply to a message for a while I get very anxious now. I also worry about something happening to my husband or son. Sometimes it is worse than others, but it does weigh on my mind. I have always been quite anxious anyway but since losing my Mum I have felt worse. I hope it is normal and passes for you soon too, as it is a horrible feeling!

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Dear @Niall70, it is so sad to read that you have lost your lovely mum, and that your mum went off the rails when you lost your lovely dad. I am sorry to read you are struggling. Most people have thoughts of their own mortality at one time or another, especially after a bereavement, but some people are genetically predispositioned to let these thoughts start to take over their lives. I am a worrier, so was my dad, so is my mum - it can be very distressful, so I feel the pain you are suffering. You could consider mindful breathing techniques when you next wake up at night in a state of panic, I find it helps with my anxiety. Ultimately, however, if things do not improve, you should contact your GP and explain what is going on, so that they might refer you to something like CBT, which can help. You could also consider downloading the “Worry Tree App” (which is recommended by the NHS), which also uses CBT, and which many people find useful when they are worrying, although I haven’t used it myself. Please take care.

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Niall70, hate to say, but you’re sounding normal to me. My knee hurt last week, convinced myself I had stage four terminal cancer and would be dead in eight weeks … it was a bruise! Grief makes you crazy … hang on in there … only those grieving understand the craziness and how normal it is to think like this x

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That gave me a welcome chuckle there, weird how your mind works and you convince yourself that the worst is going to happen…

Funnily enough I’m ok during the day but at night when your on your own with your thoughts you spiral out of control, then the sun comes up and you feel relieved again…

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Hi Niall
I know just how you feel. My husband died in his sleep (no warning, not sick) and yes, your own mortality is upper most, life is fragile. What if I don’t wake up tomorrow? After nearly 5 months, I still wake up each morning alone saying “Wow, you’ve made it through another night”

I guess we are all on the train journey of life, we know when others get on, some people let us know when they will be getting off, some just leave suddenly and the rest of us just carry on with our journey.

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I think that’s normal too … up until now you’ve been distracted by sorting everything out. Now you’re distracted during the day … but the end of the day is quieter and there’s less distraction and more time for thoughts to catch up. I don’t worry that something might happen, but if I’m given a reason to worry, my brain skips the usual thought process reasoning stage and is straight into the worst-case scenario stage … you’re very normal by my standards …. try not to worry, I think it’s a normal part of grieving for many x

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Morning all, the anxiety is back today with a vengeance, just thought I’d pop in for a quick catch up and hopefully a blether…

I’m giving myself a good talking to but it doesn’t appear to be working, I know it’s all in my head but does that matter? Not according to my brain apparently, oh well I’m sure I’ll be fine later on, felt really good this morning as well, and for no reason I spiralled into anxiety mode, still unsure whether to phone the doc or not…

Hi Niall70 I think these emotions you are feeling are a natural part of the grieving process for YOU . We all grieve differently and at different levels and for different lengths of time . We read post of advice and they are wonderful. I try to meditate everyday and if I can’t sleep I meditate my husband who I lost 10weeks ago today was a Buddhist so I just feel I’m closer to him when I meditate . Everything that people share of ways to help won’t be the way for you , you have to decide which is best for you but the one thing we all have in common is that we have lost a loved one that we are all dealing with . Take care stay safe sending hugs x x

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HI. All. Anxiety is almost certain to follow grief. Anxiety always has its root in fear. No fear no anxiety! Fear of what? Of the future? If we get sick? Fear in health anxiety if we are feeling unwell, that we may have some disease? Health anxiety can mimic any known disease if it’s in your mind. You may have read of some disease which has settled in your unconscious mind and has come up because of your grief. That’s why it’s so important to avoid Dr. Google. We are vulnerable and so open to suggestion. If in any doubt the golden rule is see your GP if only for reassurance. Believe what they tell you, then you can begin the process of grieving without adding anxiety.
The real answer is to accept what you are feeling with as much courage as you can muster. We all have that courage but mostly unrecognised. And give up any thought of fighting or struggling with ‘IT’. Fighting just makes more adrenaline flow and exacerbates the problem. Yes it is normal to feel anxious in grief, of course it is, but if we allow it to take over without getting help it can only add to our burden. Mindfulness, meditation can all help. But initially those things are just not possible. Time must be allowed to pass before we can make our minds up about what is good for us.
‘Give in’ to any feelings that may come with utter acceptance. Not ‘give up’ that’s very different, and can only lead to despair and more anxiety. Acceptance is the opposite to fighting.
It is very much possible to recover from anxiety. Not easy but possible given the will. Blessings to All. John.

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Thanks John, kind words…

Niall

Hi,
I think when we’ve lost someone it’s quite normal to be anxious about our own or our loved ones mortality. I follow a Pagan religion and overall, Wicca is a religion that is not highly concerned about what may come after life. We may be curious or have our theories, we’re human after all, but our religion is mainly about how we live our lives now, not what might happen to us after we die. Embracing this life, here and now, making the most of it—that’s the journey that Wicca is about.
Do try not to let your fears guide your path through this world, embrace every day and take the time to embrace nature.
Walk in peace

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Hi Niall
Thank you for posting. This is Mrs Anxiety here. Always been a worrier and panicked but Since my mum died of dementia I am as bad as could be and have been for 3 years now. Tried all sorts of counselling which does help I must say but reluctant to start tablets. What helps me most was the CD I bought called Self help for your nerves by Dr Clare Weekes. Unbelievable and made absolute sense and is the only thing that helps me. Basically Jonathan is right it’s about trying to accept you feel anxious and letting the feelings happen while knowing they will pass. I would urge you to get the book or CD. I have had panic attacks over my blood pressure keep taking it and of course as I panic it keeps going higher and I got so bad I had to breather into a paper bag. I also have a constant feeling of impending doom as if I’m next and every little ailment is magnified to me thinking I’m on my way out. I get on my own nerves ha ha. I totally understand how you feel and know how awful this is. Dr Weekes CD calms me as it’s so true and it works. It takes practice and you will still have anxiety times but if you can tell yourself to let it it wash over you and wait - it will ease. I’m sure anxiety is part of grief and only wish someone had told me that sooner as I thought I was going crazy and even the GP just wants to pop you on a calming tablet and doesn’t explain it’s a grief reaction. Feel free to message me any time and look after yourself. X

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Thank you for posting Niall as yours and other posts are helpful to read on this topic.

I didnt ever go to the dr about it or really try to do something about it but when I was a little girl (7) my father died and that was my first realisation of death. After that I used to get up in the night and go check my mum and brother were still breathing sometimes and listen for a bit to them breathing before I could go back to bed satisfied.

it lessened over time but I was still doing this now and again as a teenager. When I was married I would also wake up thinking I need to check my husband is breathing and listen for a bit, every time he or i had some health issue I was googling or buying books to read about whatever it was. Also first aid books and other medical books I bought and read to try and protect us but none of it worked.

I found my own breathing helps when I remember to consciously do it like yoga with adrienne or wim hof as mentioned but right now I can’t be bothered to do it anymore. also sometimes if you can choose a thing in the day in a sane moment to kind of chant in your mind at those times in the night when panic sets in that can help which I had some success with these weeks but not every time (even chanting forum users names to myself or my cats names). Good luck.

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Thank you everyone that has replied, I was having a really bad day when I posted the other day (Monday I think it was) but something as simple as putting it to ‘paper’ made it a bit more bearable and I’ve had some good days since. The replies are fantastic and really help to keep me on an even keel, hopefully the good days outnumber the bad as I move forward.

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Hi. Pen. Welcome back. So you have discovered Dr. Weekes! She was my life saver years ago when I went through an awful patch of anxiety. I have all her tapes and books. Her last book, ‘Essential help for your Nerves’ is still on Amazon and is a compilation of all her previous work. She was regarded as an authority on anxiety and all it’s awful symptoms. Not dissimilar to grief.
As you know, Facing, accepting, floating and letting time pass was the foundation of her teaching. That can be applied to grief also. If we face up to what has happened and not try and run away or deny it, it can be the beginning of some sort of easement. If we accept the inevitable and realise that we can change nothing that can help also. The idea of ‘floating’ applies more to anyone with agoraphobia and may not be appropriate in grief. ‘Letting time pass’ How very important that is, but how oh so difficult. Time either goes past in a blur or just drags on and on with seemingly no end.
Dr . Weekes’ books became my Bibles. Alas, she is no longer with us, but what a contribution she made to those with anxiety. Thanks for posting Pen. John.

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I am not Wicca but can see a lot of sense in what you say. Maybe we do concentrate more on the future than the present. I hadn’t thought of it like that.
Thank you for giving me another Avenue to explore.

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