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Old 01-11-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
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Anxiety stemming from the unexpected loss of my father...

I am not an anxious person--that being said, roughly 2 weeks before my father unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack I had my first panic attack. It was uncalled for and really quite random. I did an EKG and everything was said to be fine with my heart; I was fine after being reassured. After my father passed away, however, I started to feel the symptoms of a heart attack and did another EKG and a CT scan of my abdomen (for what they thought might be appendicitis)--both these were good, nothing was wrong. Now, however, I can not shake these heart attack-like symptoms; they are completely random most of the time but tend to be more pronounced after I eat a big meal (which may be explained by reflux due to emotional stress).

The bottom line is this: I believe my anxiety stems from the fact that I don't know how to grieve; I don't know how I feel. I'm not sad (in the sense that I mope around), I'm not angry (irritable or otherwise) and I'm not in denial (pretending it never happened), I just feel NUMB (like I can't tell what I feel). I'm definitely anxious but seeing a therapist is out for now (I am a 23 y/o student who can hardly pay rent and tuition) and medication is out because I simply do not want to be dependent on meds (and they cost a bundle). I need to grieve but I don't know how. I need some help from others who understand me (my friends and family do not understand me completely).

Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:49 AM   #2
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Re: Anxiety stemming from the unexpected loss of my father...

First, youo have my sympathy in the loss of your Dad. I lost both my Mom and Dad within 5 weeks last fall, so I know how awful it is to loose a parent.

Some days it just hard to get up and get dressed. I fail to see the reason why I need to present myself to the world. I don't know why I need to justify myself, why I act, why I say the things I do, why I am feeling like I do. It's hard to loose a parent and until you have lost someone, people don't understand the grief you are going through.

Your panic attacks are a way of your body suffering for you. You said you don't know how to grieve. This is a way for you to grieve. Everybody finds their own way to express their sorrow. For right now, until you can figure out a better way, your body has decided that panic attacts will work as a way to rlease some of the emotion that you have stored up.

Why don't you go to your counselling office on campus and ask what local groups that they have for support. They should have one for grief counseling, perhaps you can get into that one. It will help you with some of the burden that you are bearing. There shouldn't be any charge, it should be part of your campus fee system.

One last thing.. ****** the seven stages of grief. That might also give you some help. You are in my prayers.....

 
Old 01-14-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: Anxiety stemming from the unexpected loss of my father...

Thank you very much for your comments and your help.

I know about the 7 stages for I am a psych major. Oddly enough, my final exam--the night that my father died was dealing with loss and grief.

I was thinking of going to the school counselor too. I'll give it a shot.

 
Old 01-16-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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Re: Anxiety stemming from the unexpected loss of my father...

I am sorry about your loss.
My mom passed away suddenly in November of 2006 from undiagnosed heart disease. After her death, I experienced heart palpatations, and other strange heart symptoms. I went to several doctor's and specialists to rule out heart disease and this eased my mind. I think my mom's sudden death due to heart complications made me question my own health. Anxiety can also definitely make you feel like you are having heart trouble. It is a good idea to talk to someone. (The best person to talk to about your grief isn't always the people that are the closest to you - they usually don't understand.) A local church or hospital would be a good place to call and ask about grief support or counseling - these organizations usually provide this free of charge.

God Bless you...

 
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