Hello @Shiney999

I lost my husband suddenly to a heart attack in front of me too. I cannot even ever find the words to describe to others how much of a shock that was. For months afterwards I was shaking all the time and crying constantly, having panic attacks, not sleeping… it felt like real life underneath the surface had been exposed to me… i saw no reason for anything anymore and just wanted to tidy up our affairs and kill myself in the way least hassle to anyone.

The dr gave me diazepam which i was extremely reluctant to take but eventually out of desperation i did start… they helped me get through Christmas 2020 in a state of numbness at times which helped me survive it.

The doctor told me to wean myself off them though and so i did.

About 3 months after his death I started counselling. I tried 2 counsellors who were crap before i found one who i felt was real and who i could talk to, she helped enormously and that 50 minutes a week kept me going at a time when i felt no one was listening.

That counseller recommended i speak to my doctor again about A/Ds… i did and again i was reluctant but after one day when i cried for 12 hours in the garden and thought id have to kill myself i decided i might as well try… it was awful at first, they give a lot of physical symptoms. However after a couple of weeks my side effects calmed down and since then i have remained on them. I think the anti depressants helped me get myself stable enough to deal with the massive life changes then coming from losing my husband (i had to learn to live alone, keep my job so i didnt lose the house, learn to drive… so many things…). I dont think i could have managed that as quickly (maybe at all in my case) without the A/Ds.

Everyone is different and the A/Ds don’t stop you grieving. They are for if your grief has turned into “complicated grief” with depression/anxiety. This is a chemical imbalance in your brain where you are no longer producing the right chemicals and that can’t be fixed easily without taking the chemicals or retraining your brain through talking therapy or suchlike…

Not everyone grieving should have them… best is to talk to a doctor and they should do the GAD Anxiety/Depression questionnaire with you.

Whatever you decide, good luck and I really hope things will get better. I felt nothing would change but for me things got much better against all the odds and whilst every day i grieve for things to do with my husband, I am also looking forward to a future again. Take care!


Hello FleurDeLis,

Thank you so much for your very helpful post.

Your first paragraph describes my situation right now perfectly.

I have never taken anything like diazepam before in my life and counted myself very lucky not having regular prescriptions until now. I now have four different tablets. I have just started on the A/D’s, stopped taking the diazepam, don’t take the beta blocker regularly as I don’t feel any benefit. I tried going without the sleeping tablet last night but managed little in the way of sound sleep so will start again tonight.

It’s six weeks tonight since June collapsed in front of me so I really have not taken the diazepam long enough or regularly enough to need weaning off them.

I have had a telephone session with a bereavement ‘listener’ via a hospice service. They are not trained councillors. The bereavement counselling services will not take you on unless it’s been 3 months I was told. I asked them for help but they said they couldn’t assist me. It was too early. I’m not sure about the person I spoke to whether he will be able to help but I will give it another try.

I have only been on the A/D’s a few days with no physical symptoms yet. Unlike yourself I am retired so don’t have to face employment or learn to drive etc. which must have been very difficult and stressful (understatement). I too face the challenge of living alone which is complicated by having to learn to cook for myself (that’s in the future) etc. I’m finding it extremely lonely which I don’t like at all. I like my own company much.

Thank you for explaining ‘complicated grief’. I have had another bad day today. I contacted the Crisis Mental Health Team and I am being visited tomorrow. I have only spoken to the GP’s on the phone but they have been very supportive. I would like to see a professional face to face if only to reassure me I’m not completely losing my mind!

I just cannot be bothered to do anything, clean house, clean car, go out etc. I just want to stay inside what is my shelter but not my home anymore. I am very pleased you have turned a corner and there is some hope for me. We will never forget such horrific circumstances but I hope with help to be able to manage those memories.

Take care.