Long term grief, anxiety and normalcy
anonymous Asks ...
I've been on medication for anxiety and depression since I lost my baby almost 6 years ago. I've seen my psychologist (who seemed to be more vocal about themselves than the concern with helping me). I've been to 2 different psychiatrist durning these years. My depression comes and goes, but the anxiety seems like a daily thing. I walked away from a great job, I do not go anywhere by mysef (in fear of anxiety attacks). Will I always have to continue the medication? Will I ever be myself again?
Loren Gelberg-Goff Says ...
I am very sorry for your loss. I am also very sorry that you have not felt helped by the professionals you have seen. Yes, you can feel normal again, and you may not need medication forever, either. It does depend on the kind of therapy you get going forward. There are a number of interventions that are very helpful in dealing with your anxiety, which seems to be your greatest obstacle in re-entering your life. You don't mention your husband, or if you have a support system where you live (family, friends, church, synagogue, etc) Have you been to a support group for parents whose babies have died? Most hospitals offer resources for this type of group, and even though your loss was 6 years ago, you could still benefit from the support of a group. Look into Compassionate Friends as a possible resource.
When a baby dies many feelings within us as mothers get triggered. Our inherent trust of life is challenged, causing anxiety, depression, anger, etc. Doing some heart-centered hypnotherapy can prove to be very helpful and beneficial to help you heal from within. Since it's now been 6 years certain reactions within you (ie: anxiety) have become a habit... this habitual reaction can also be changed with a couple of different modalities: 1. neurofeedback, mindfulness, and changing your beliefs about yourself, life and how you handle life. Many people find Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) very helpful in overcoming anxiety and anxiety reactions.
It's very important for you to look at "your desired outcome" in all this. Many people are afraid that if they return to a "normal" life it means that they no longer care about the child they lost, or that they no longer miss their child. This belief, while very common, is also very self-destructive and patently untrue. You are able to honor your loss while still living a full, enjoyable life and even experience happiness and fulfillment. You do not have to feel locked in your current state or lifestyle. If you are open to self-help books as well, there are many helpful books you can read that you might find beneficial. If you and your husband have not done counseling together, you might also want to have some marriage counseling sessions so that you can both feel supported and guided to living a more fulfilled life.
I hope that these recommendations are helpful. Please contact me if you need additional assistance or support. I wish you all the best, Loren