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okla1982

Don't even know what to say...

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okla1982   

I am very new to this.... I lost my mom almost a year ago to cancer.  She died on her birthday (11-15-15).  She was beyond alert and I watched her fight for her last breath.. It was beyond hard as I cannot even think of words to describe what and how I feel and felt about it.  I was the only one in my family not to shed a tear.  I had to be the strong one; the person who planned the service and took care of things.  After the service, the tears never came.  Now, I am suffering from severe anxiety.  I feel lightheaded (I feel it right now as I type this), shortness of breath, a lump in my throat, pain in my arms, neck, head, a fear of doom that I will die alone or no one will find me, I will have a heart-attack at work or a stroke, I feel I will die shortly.  I do not know what to do about it.  I have tried counseling, but that really did not work.  I have been to the emergency room twice and the doctor several times, they have not found anything wrong with me.  I have great blood pressure, a great heart rate, have dropped weight, have a strong heart according to the stress test I was given back in April, no issues with my organs (liver, kidneys, pancreas) which I just found out three weeks ago.  I do not know what is going on physically.  I feel that I am so close to a heart attack it has totally consumed me.  I cannot find happiness in anything right now.  I keep telling myself that I will be diagnosed with cancer, or will have a stroke, or pass out as I am driving somewhere.  I really do not know what to do.  I cannot bring myself to cry about my mom... I want to, but the tears never come.  How long does this last?  When will I start to feel somewhat normal?  When will the physical ailments I now have ceases?  My doctor bills are just growing and growing and growing.  My fear is growing and growing and growing.  I am going to watch my favorite team play their biggest rival in Texas this upcoming weekend and I am not even excited about it.  I have convinced myself that I will die or have a stroke that will prevent me from attending the game.  I cannot relax.  What do I do?  How do I cope?  How can I make myself better?

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Hi there, I want to start by saying that I am so sorry for your loss, and sorry that you are experiencing these troubling emotional and physical symptoms.  It was smart you go to the doctor and great that they haven't found anything wrong...except that there is something wrong.  You are in grief.  I'm sure your family appreciate your strength in making arrangements for the funeral etc.  People who are grieving often have difficulty with that.  Unfortunately, you didn't get a chance to grieve at the time.  It is possible that the physical symptoms you are experiencing are tied to the grief.  Depressive and anxious mental states, and prolonged stress, have been shown to generate bodily pain and symptoms, often in people who aren't coping with the emotions of sadness and anxiety that are a normal part of grief.  I would encourage you to go back to your doctor and be frank about what you are going through.  You seem to believe that the pain symptoms and anxiety are tied to the experience of loss, I would describe that to the doctor.  They may have access to other therapy resources.  I would highly recomend trying a new therapist.  It's like medication, one therapist does not fit all and you may just need to find someone that you have an appropriate rapport with.  And, while I don't advocate for medication, it has helped me and many others in the short term, while we develop the coping skills to live without it.

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