Dealing with panic attacks left with shock

Hi everyone, first message. I’ve been brought to tears with so many stories. It’s taken me a year to realise I am struggling with residual anxiety and panic attacks from the shock of losing my aunt who was like a mother to me. She had been active but unwell for a couple of weeks, she was taken into hospital suddenly the night before as she was incoherent. Then we got the call 12 hours later to come to the hospital and within minutes were told she had gone into organ failure and basically asked what we wanted to do. I’ve never in my life experienced this.

We decided to let her go peacefully and be with her. I held her hand and asked her to go. And she passed after an hour at the same time she was born.

Watching someone die like that has left me feeling traumatised and guilty and I still get flashbacks. It’s been a year but i bottled it up and used work and alcohol as a way to cope. It’s only now reading your messages that I realise I am anxious about resting, sleeping and being alone. I don’t think I’ve relaxed once in 12 months and I am exhausted. I also suffered from the physical affects of shock at the time like so many have mentioned.

Has anyone found any healthy coping mechanisms to deal with anxiety at night and a fear of being alone? Thank you.

Hello @Sarah37, I’m so sorry for the loss of your aunt. It sounds like it was very traumatic for you - well done for recognising this, and for reaching out for support.

I wanted to share this short article with you on grief and PTSD - you may be able to relate to some of it. Mind’s information on anxiety and panic attacks also has some self help strategies that you may find useful.

We also have an active and friendly support thread for members who are struggling with panic and anxiety. You can find it here: Anxiety

It may also be a good idea for you to speak to your GP about what you’re going through. It does sound absolutely exhausting, as you say, and you really deserve help and support.

We also offer Online Bereavement Counselling which you might wish to explore. This is free and held via video chat - you can find out more about our counselling service here:

Take good care and keep reaching out,