Panic and Anxiety.

It’s so difficult to believe that anxiety, and panic attacks are only one aspect of it, is normal IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
You body and mind are reacting in a normal way to fear. Anxiety is always fear based. Fear of the future without a loved one.
Now the body has no way of differentiating between bereavement fear and fear of anything else. There are many aspects of fear that cause anxiety. Health anxiety is very common. Fear of losing our health or that of a loved one. We fasten on to any symptoms and blow them up out of all proportion so that visits to A&E or the ER room are frequent. In spite of being told we are OK we so often don’t believe them. ‘Have they missed something’?
Our caveman ancestors gave us this fear because they had something to be fearful about. Mammoths and Sabre Toothed Tigers!!! Our fears are not based on immediate necessity as were his, but are unfounded. (I assume you have been to your GP and been told told you are ok).
Lets take an example. You are waiting for a bus. A child wanders across the road as the bus approaches. You dash out, grab the child and run back. Now that’s fine and and it’s a normal response; it’s spontaneous and without thought.
But now what happens. You may stand there and tremble. Your stomach takes somersaults, you sweat and want to go to the toilet. You may panic.
The act of grabbing the child was spontaneous. If you had stood and thought about it the consequences would have been different, even disastrous.
In bereavement there is a sense of danger. Of emotional response that is traumatic. The body senses this and goes into a flight/fight mode. WHICH IS NORMAL IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
What to do? By the acceptance of the normality of our fears and emotions the fears will not suddenly go away. But acceptance is still the key to recovery. Grief is also a normal response to loss, but so many fight it or anticipate further dangers ahead. It’s easy to say ‘go with the flow’.
Not easy to do. Time must be allowed to pass, and watching for problems, which is common in anxiety, doesn’t help.
Now if I was talking from theory alone it would be meaningless. But I have suffered from anxiety and, obviously, loss. If I feel anxious, and I often do, I sit quietly, take deep breaths and allow it to pass. It always will if we don’t add fear to fear. It’s called ‘second fear’, the OMG’s and what ifs’. The old saying ‘you have nothing to fear but fear itself’ is still true.
Blessings to all.


I have suffered panic attacks for several years, so when Simon passed away it felt like a double whammy. He always understood if I couldn’t manage to go somewhere or do something. I didn’t think I would be able to even go to the funeral, but with help from family and a lovely doctor, I did. A year has now passed and I have surprised myself at what I am capable of doing now. I still have my bad days of course, as we all do, but I know they won’t last. It is frightening not knowing what will happen in the future, but I’m not thinking that far ahead. I have learnt to take each day as it comes. I miss Simon terribly, but I hope he would be proud of what I’ve achieved.

Jano, I am sure that your Simon will be proud of you because of the way you are coping. I too have panic attacks, not as frequently as I used to have, thank God, they are horrible, my late husband, Stan, was so very good to me. He used to do all the cooking, we struck a deal, I saw to all the bills and he did the shopping and the cooking. Isn’t awful to be left on your own? I am approaching 6 months (on the 15th February) it will be his birthday on the 19th Feb.
Our daughter’s on the 24th and our son’s on the 26th. My beloved younger brother would have had his birthday on the 20th of Feb too. Sadly he died 4 years ago. I am sorry to write such a morbid post.
Take care,

Hi Mary,
I really sorry about the loss of Stan and your brother, especially as Stan was a great support to you. It is very hard to be alone now and frightening. It was the same for us too, Simon did the cooking because he loved doing it. I did the dishwasher! I also did all the finances, and I am glad I did now.
My attacks happen when I do something out of my routine, but they are less frequent. I never thought I would be able to cope on my own, but I think we are stronger than we think. But when I’m having a bad day, thinking of Simon, I do still get a bit anxious. We didn’t have any children but my brothers have been a great support to me, for which I’m very grateful.
Take care Mary,
Janet x

Thank you for your kind reply, Janet, I woke up this morning and I was shocked that Stan wasn’t by my side. Mornings are my worst time, I am practically housebound, injured spine and if this wasn’t enough, 25 years ago, I was diagnosed with a very rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria. It has made me allergic to the sun and solar light. I cannot walk more than a few yards, my Stan was my rock (shades off Paul Burrell, Princes Diana’s butler). I miss him so much. You are quite right Janet, we are stronger than we thought we were. I will survive for the sake of our adult children. They live approximtely 80 miles away in opposite directions, they have been wonderful since Stan’s passing. Both of them are grieving and I don’t want to put on them, as my mother used to say.
Take care of yourself ]
Mary x

In the morning I am woken up by two lively dogs wanting their breakfast, so it isn’t too bad. It’s the nights for me, sitting watching tv on my own. I have Simons picture by the side of me and I’m always talking to him, imagining he is here watching too like he used too. We were together for 30 years, so that was our simple life. I’m sorry to hear about your health worries. You have been through it. I was diagnosed with Sjorgrens Syndrome 4 years ago, which is an autoimmune problem, so it attacks different parts of the body. You have dry eyes, dry mouth, which then rots your teeth! I’ve also got swollen joints from it which ache at times. Don’t we make a good pair!
Take care Mary,
Janet x

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