Worried for my friends

I lost my Dad just over three months ago. I had a bad history of depression and anxiety before Dad was diagnosed.

The depression at the high level I had it between 2008-2015 was at times dangerous. It had been more or less under control with medication albeit with large amounts of medication off label from a consultant, from 2015-2024.
Dad was diagnosed with cancer early November 2023 and died six weeks later.I don’t know how, but I powered myself through those heartbreaking 6weeks and looked after him and was positive and calm in front of him. So it shocked me that straight after he died I went to pieces and then some clinical depression returned.Then my employers were hostile towards me having a phase-back, even tho the MH history makes it a disability, They made it abundantly clear that I was not wanted so I left rather than risk failing or risk the effect of trying to keep the job when I knew they wanted me to leave.
Within a week of experiencing the now former employer’s hostility that i first experienced26/1-24 ,the depression became much worse. I’ve been pretty unwell since the end of January.The meds have been increased.
Several loyal kind friends have helped me get through my days.They have listened and talked to me so much. But after all this time of relying on them I feel I need to stop having contact for their sake because I am so upset that my misery and distress is or risks making them sad, low, drained and possibly frustrated.Usually I don’t know I’m going to get upset or I don’t think I will get upset so I arrange to see or I phone them and then it just happens. Sometimes it really helps to see them.We even laugh and I feel I’ve not been a drain.But a lot of the time I end up crying or distraught.Some of the them have happy but really busy lives.Some have a life that is already difficult or at least is not easy.It is upsetting me so much to do this to them that until I know I won’t be in pieces I need to stop contact.The last thing I want to do is to bring any of them down as a result of contact with me.

I have just started receiving the daily Sue Ryder text message.They are relevant and comforting. Yesterday’s text said that success-in- grief does not necessarily mean feeling better, that success can be by virtue of simply feeling, and that expressing the feelings is advisable even if they are negative ones. I agree that if it isn’t expressed and felt then that can lead to complications later. Nonetheless I will have limit this to expressing it in “letters to Dad,”and writing in my diary and when I phone a helpline.I have phoned the Samaritans twice and both people I spoke to were so good.
The hospice where Dad died offered grief counselling. I went on Wednesday ,into the same area of the same building where Dad died.It took a lot to go there. Then the grief counsellor said I did not qualify because I am already under a psychiatrist. I tried to explain that major grief may bring on depression and anxiety but major grief itself is unique and is completely different to anything I’ve known. She said that I must be speaking to the psychiatrist about the grief and I agreed. She actually asked if grief is different to depression. I found this lack knowledge/ insight from a grief counsellor surprising. I can understand the view that if you are being treated with meds and therapy from a psychiatrist for anxiety and depression then grief counselling amounts to having the same help twice, that using resources in these circumstances shouldn’t be allowed. I don’t agree but I understand the view.

So that means I can’t let out the grief at grief counselling. I can’t cope with burdening friends/adversely affecting them. I have asked for support from Mind but don’t know if they will also refuse me on the same grounds. And I’m on a waiting list with Sue Ryder as well for grief counselling so they may understandably have to refuse.This leaves me with the half hour every 5days talking to my psychiatrist, (who is wonderful and without whom I would not be alive now). I pay for this and as kind as he is in keeping the cost down, I can’t afford more as I am not working.Then I am left with writing in my diary and “writing to Dad.” I hope this will be enough expression of feelings for it to be successful grief, enough to make the pain level of the grief, the replays, the regrets, the pannick attacks, nausea ,the depression and anxiety , for all of this to get better over time.I need more help than I can pay for or access free. I hope I can still grieve successfully.

Has any one else been refused grief counselling on this basis?

Does anyone here who had depression and anxiety have experience of trying successful grief by diary” letters”helplines with or without a psychiatrist/ medical help?
Was it enough ?

Has anyone else had avoid contact with friends due to concerns about how you are or might be affecting them?

Any feedback or advice would be so welcome.
Thank you.I’m sorry for going on and on.

You sound like a lovely, caring person, @sfcs. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad.

You say you are feeling concerned about the impact you are having on your friends. Have any of your friends said anything that’s made you feel this way? Sometimes, we can feel like we’re burdening people with our grief, but often our friends want to be able to listen and support us, even if they’re not sure how to sometimes.

It’s really good that you’ve recognised you might need some extra support and have been doing your best to get it. I really do hope that you get the support you need. The community is here for you too so I’m just giving your thread a bump - I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support.

Thank you very much,I’m grateful, really am.

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I read your post this morning and didn’t respond as not sure I can offer much support. But while out today I continued to think about what you have written. I just want you to know you’ve been heard.

I also have had previous experience on mental health issues, anxieties and agoraphobia due to an undiagnosed condition and severe depression but not as severe as you describe. But what I remembered today was how I felt at that time. My thoughts were very erratic, very not me, it’s hard to explain in a message but everything about me and my behaviour, the way I felt was very different.

I felt I couldn’t ask for help at the time but eventually was forced to. If you feel your friends feel pressured to help you out seem reluctant, then by all means let them go but if your friends want to be there for you, then let them help, they clearly want to. Don’t push people away if they want to be there.

It’s hard to put the right thing into words but try not to let your demons take control, easier said than done I know.

Keep going with the psychiatrist, it all helps. Grief I feel is a separate thing going on for you, grief alone is so hard, the pain of loss is excruciating and dark thoughts on top of your mental health aren’t good but they are also a part of grief. Nothing takes the grief away, you just have to walk through it.

I wish you the best of luck. Keep fighting, I’m sure it must be exhausting but don’t give up!

Dear Ali26,
Thank you so much for replying.
I’ve dealt with depression many times before. But not major grief. It is profoundly painful.I know it will cannot be cured. It can’t be controlled by medication or put in remission.I’ll always grieve for my Dad but from all I hear, you learn to live with it. It will always be there but in time it won’t be as painful to live with as now.
I’ve dealt with depression repeatedly.I hope it will improve or go. That’s happened before.But I haven’t dealt with grief before, know it won’t go.
I will continue with the Dr who’s treated me for depression the last 15 years until he retires because he is and always has been excellent.

And I’ll follow your advice and not push anyone who wants to be there for me away.

Thank you-I will get there hopefully.
Thank you again, I’m grateful.

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