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Irrational worry and fear taking over my life. Anyone else?

(8 Posts)
glammam Tue 23-Jun-09 13:49:16

I have always been anxious and it has been passed down through generations but now I have a child I am just so worried all the time that they are either going to die in an awful accident or be killed by someone or get a disease or something I can't control. even now I am sitting here worrying because he has gone out with my mum and I am so scared something will happen. Because things DO happen everyday, you see it and hear on the news and I just know I could not cope with it. It affects me so badly that i will try anything to try and avoid him being looked after by other people or going in anyone elses car etc. It affects how i arrange to do things and it is really awful, I just feel it has taken over. Now I am pregnant again too and don't want to risk passing this hideous anxiety down to my children but i don't know how i can stop it.
I'm not really like it when he's with me, just when someone else is looking after him, even his dad, then I worry doubly!
I can't get anything done, like now i should be doing housework and i'm on here going on about how worried i am! Does anyone else feel like this and if so have they found any help that has worked for them? I need to get a handle on it, it's driving me insane!
Thanks x

bethoo Tue 23-Jun-09 13:55:59

yes i suffer from fear like that too but not too the extreme though i will not let my kids in a car unless i am in it too! my fear is of my kids getting snatched or if they are in the care of my ex he may be irresponsible and put their lives at risk!
it could also be a sign of post natal depression that you have. perhaps you could discuss it with your health visitor?

twoisplenty Tue 23-Jun-09 13:57:19

Whilst its normal worry to some extent, when it starts to get in the way of everyday life, then it's affecting your health.

I can't really help much, but I'm sure you will have helpful replies soon. But I can say that your worries are exacerbated by media. Please do not read/watch the news or documentaries.

I haven't watched the news for years and I don't miss anything! The news makes it feel like everyone is in danger all the time. But in reality this is not so.

Think about how many people you have known in your life who have had horrid things happen to them...I can only think of ONE in all my life. So really the chances of anything bad happening are slim.

Hope you have some good advice in a jiffy!

Portofino Tue 23-Jun-09 14:03:32

I don't have a simple answer but offer a manly MN hug! I think this is very normal (to a degree)! I was certainly the same when dd was first born. I couldn't watch the news and worried about stupid accidents all the time. The Health Visitor advised me at the time that is was natural to have these feelings, but that if they prevented me from living my life in a "normal" way I should seek assistance from her/GP.

I would say that your fears are interfering with your life and that you really should speak to someone. As your ds grows up he will start to be away from you for progressively longer times - and this is obviously importance for his independance. Do you still see your HV? If not, maybe make an appointment at the GP?

I think it's totally fine to be a bit worried each time a milestone is passed - 1st day at Nursery, first overnight without you, first school trip etc. But then you gradually get used it over time. My dd is going off to a farm for a week (by herself) in the Summmer Holidays. I feel mildly sick when I think about it, but this isn't her first trip and she was absolutely fine the last time.

On the other hand, DH took her to school in the car this morning, rather than me. I rang him a couple of times but no answer. I didn't truly relax until he came back to me to confirm she was safely at school....

glammam Tue 23-Jun-09 14:38:03

Thank you for your quick responses and also your manly hug, Portofino! I have actually spoken to her and they are fine at the moment so I have relaxed a bit but it is definitely a major issue for me.
I think everyone must worry to some degree when their child is out in other cars and things, I mean, accidents do happen but I literally don't stop thinking about it.
I'm similar with partner who works an hour away, I always want him to text when he's there. I would like to know where it comes from though and why I am like this when other people are not.
GP has referred me for CBT course but it's online and I would really prefer to talk to a real person about it. I suppose it's a matter of cost.
Like you, Bethoo, i don't like my son to be in a car without me, even my mum's or in laws as i just don't trust anyone as much as myself, plus my mum has a small car. It's totally irrational when you look at statistics I suppose, like twoisplenty said, but I just can't see me being able to relax and get my head together at the moment, and i think it'll get worse as he starts to near school age and things.

Portofino Tue 23-Jun-09 20:04:33

You're welcome! I think once you become a parent, every murder, every car crash, every terrible thing takes on a significance that it never had before. Somebody's child, somebody's Mother etc. I don't think it ever goes back to how it was before, but you do get more used to it. I know that i am OK with leaving dd at a friend's house (without having the parents CRB checked wink), or her going on a school trip now.

moodyblue Wed 24-Jun-09 12:54:57

Hi glammam

I suffer terribly from anxiety like this. I worry about them falling down the stairs, accidentally stabbing themselves, choking (I have major panic attacks when they say they want to take sweets anywhere and I won't be able to supervise them eating them), getting run over. I have to check on them constantly if they are quiet in another room but then panic because I'm sure I'm going to find them dead. My current overwhelming worry is that one or other of them will commit suicide. I know that my fears are irrational - at 9 and 11 they're a bit old for me to worry about choking and a bit young for me to worry about suicide.

I don't want to give you more things to worry about but wanted to demonstrate how out of hand this type of anxiety can become and I'm glad that you are addressing it now. I don't think online CBT would be that beneficial for you (my DH did it for depression)and agree it's better to talk to someone. I finally went to the GP two months ago and was prescribed citalopram and it's the best thing I ever did. I am still anxious but not having full blown panic attacks and the anxieties are not always on my mind now.

Please don't feel that you are on your own - we all have these fears but some of us have brains that are wired a bit differently and prone to catastrophise! Hope it gets easier for you soon

Aequus Mon 06-Jul-09 14:35:02

Hello, I hope everyone doesn't feel me to be an imposter here as I have no children but I felt it might be useful to hear the views of a child at the receiving end of irrational worry, a child of which is in her late twenties and works in Mental Health.

I am in a slight hurry as I am off to give blood and waiting for windows of time to walk to the site between downpours so please do not feel I am being ignorant if I repeat anything here.

I came across this discussion because I have had a very distressing argument with my own mother over the weekend about her over worrying as I feel it has become stifling and overwhelming and I hate seeing her the way she is at the same time.

It is ruining our usually very close and loving relationship absolutely and I have started being very selective about what I tell her, not out of selfishness but out of giving her a break, but it saddens me that I cannot share with her what is going on in my life, she gets a version of me but not the true me as a result.

If you are worrying and it's affecting your ability to function and live what you deem as a normal life then you absolutely must seek a doctor, there are mental health conditions that can benefit from treatment such as Genralised Anxiety Disorder and the type of worry you describe is often not your fault and difficult to control - if not impossible. Coincidentally I do not advocate taking anti depressants for anxiety conditions - just my 2 cents.

The reason you would have been put through to computerised CBT is because there is currently a shortage of CBT Therapists available on the NHS - I assume you were put through to living life to the full, you can be attached to a Doctor through this site so it is not entirely an isolated experience. It's either this or pay or seek out Counselling which may not be appropriate for your problem or it may well be! Many Doctor surgeries have in house Counsellors and these are usually integrative and will know CBT techniques to help you practically manage the worry you feel is overwhelming you.

One thing I would like to leave on is to hand over something I read regarding worry which really struck a chord with me:

You may have something very real and possible to worry about but you see, if that thing happened, then you went through the distress twice. If you do what you can to reduce the chances and refuse to worry and it happens - you only go through the resulting distress once.

Why go through the ordeal twice?

Give yourselves a break and know that you have done all you can to protect your children, if you feel you haven't then tie loose ends up...and then sit back and have a cup of tea and enjoy who they are becoming! And TRUST them!

You may feel worrying is showing that you are protecting your children but children wish to protect their parents too - and when we see you tied up in knots it makes us worry too - and you just end up with a big ball of worry and frustration on both sides! It also may seem like it wont have long term affects but as you can see...if unmanaged it can impact on your future relationship with your children.

I hope I have been able to assist and good luck!

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