Coping without medication

My husband Carl died on the 2nd July. I am finding things really difficult, mainly how isolated I feel. I miss him so much. We had no children, were inseparable and enjoyed life so much. He died suddenly. Heart attack in the gym next to the pool where I was swimming. We never said goodbye. We were both 58 and had taken early retirement, moving from the midlands to Cornwall. In the last 2-3 weeks I seem to be crying a lot more and missing him terribly. My GP has said I’m coping quite well. I’m functioning as in I get up, shower, go out for walks so I’m not stuck in the house. I eat a bit and sleep a few hours each night. But I’m getting a horrible aching churny feeling worse in the mornings, and a few times during the day. It makes me feel panicky and a bit out of control. My family and friends are back in the midlands and I’m planning on renting up there. My GP has given me anti depressants and also diazepam to take when I feel panicked. I don’t really want to take them as I don’t want to rely on medication. Is anyone else experiencing these feelings. Is it the “normal” grieving process coming out. I just need to know I’m not losing control and falling into a depressive state. Help please!!

Hello LinF,

I am very sorry to hear that you’re finding things really difficult at the moment. It must be incredibly hard to be so far away from your friends and family at a time when you really need support.

What you’re experiencing is completely normal, and you’re certainly not alone. I’m sure there are others here who will be able to share their personal experiences of feeling panicked or anxious or out of control.

Some people find it helpful to read a bit about grief to have their feelings normalised a little and I would recommend having a look at the website What’s Your Grief. They have a number of articles about different types of grief and different reactions people have. There’s one article about anxiety and grief that may be a good place to start:

We also have an article that looks at the various emotions people may experience following a bereavement, which again may just make you feel a little less like you’re going through this alone:

If you’re not sure about taking medication it might be worth having a further chat with your GP to see what other self-management techniques they can suggest.

Take care and let me know if I can support you at all.

Best wishes,

Hi LinF

I read your post and wanted to tell you that what you are feeling is normal. I too have experienced all these symptoms since my husband died in October. I was given diazepam the first week and then the doctor wanted to give me anti depressants but I didn’t want to take them. I found Nytol ( one a night) which you can buy in the chemist very useful They help you sleep for a full 8 hours and that means you wake up feeling rested. I have also used guided meditation for sleep, stress and anxiety which I found on You Tube.

It’s still early days for you and this grieving process takes a lot longer than any of us ever thought. You sound as though you are doing the right things. Just keep taking it a day at a time and don’t expect too much of yourself.


Hi Linf
I also lost my wife on the 2nd of July and am feeling the same.
This week seems to be the hardest so far so you are not alone and these feelings are normal (I HOPE )
Please take care

Yvonne and William
Thank you so much. It is so reassuring although extremely sad, to hear from you that you are feeling the same. The pain is so intense you feel like you’re the only one experiencing it. Unfortunately a lot of us are going through it. Thank you again.
I’m not going to take them. It’s probably best to do this naturally. Lots of love xx

Thank you. I will take a look at the guidance. It’s so frightening to be in this situation. There’s no quick fix like a paracetamol!!! Thanks again

Hello Lynn

My husband died only two weeks ago and his funeral is yet to be held. I am experiencing the same thoughts and feelings as you as it would appear are thousands of other widows and widowers. I struggle to get up in the mornings to face yet another lonely day. My wonderful daughter lives about 45 minutes away but has her own family and responsibilities and cannot spend as much time as she would like being with me. I get tired of having to force myself to go out and about just to try and keep myself sane. We are walking a lonely road without our husband’s but it is comforting to know that we are far from being alone. Given a choice I would join my husband in heaven but it would seem that God has other plans for us. In the meantime I just wish that He would take away our pain . Thinking about you.

Hi. We all understand here how you are feeling Lin because sadly we are members of the same club. I lost my husband last February after nearly 30 years of marriage. I have no family or friends to help me. Most of my days are spent completely alone hoping that I will soon join my husband. I am grieving with no help. I’ve never been so alone in the whole of my life.

The doctor did the usual thing & suggested anti depressants. It seems to be an obsession these days. I can’t stand them & I won’t take them. I know people who have taken them for years & I’ve seen a change in their personality. They are unable to come off them. What if there was a war or Brexit stops the availability of all these tablets, what would happen to these people then? In fact I don’t think people took such tablets during the war but they got through & I bet it was because they all supported each other through that terrible time. It’s kind caring people we need. The doctors no longer have any time so it’s a nice quick fix to hand out bottles of tablets. I am going to take the course of Sue Ryder counseling sessions. It will just be nice to have a living person to talk to, a person who I presume will show understanding unlike a lot of people who end up making one feel even worse.

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