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Is this level of anxiety normal?

(11 Posts)
Anxious82 Fri 14-Aug-09 08:05:56

Hi all, I've name-changed for this one.

I have always been a worrier, right from being little but in the last few months it seems to have increased to the point where I dread putting dd to bed and going to bed myself as I worry so much. I have horrible thoughts that something awful will happen to dd, not only in general like car crashes but things like she will be snatched, drown in pond, get ill etc... I even think about things we have done that day and imagine the things that could of gone wrong.

This usually reduces me to tears most nights or at best makes me feel quite nauseous. I have spoke to dh and he doesn't know what to suggest except to try not to think about it (wish I could).

I think this stems from past events such as my university flat mate dying and my nephew was born prematurely last year and I was there when he passed away. Basically, I have lost the ability to rationalise risks and rather than being able to think (naively) it won't happen to me (which I think is a normal coping mechanism) all I can think of is when will it happen to me.

Do you think I need to speak to someone or is this a normal level of anxiety for mothers?

Anxious82 Fri 14-Aug-09 08:56:55

Any advice would be appreciated.

puddytats Fri 14-Aug-09 09:03:10


I suffer from anxiety, have always been a worrier but certain event over the last few years have tipped me over into anxiety. I constantly have a feeling that i call my 'bubble' in my chest that feels like i need to explode. Mine has got worse over the last couple of years as i have also been suffering from depression. I think that maybe a trip to the doctor might help. He will be able to refer you for councelling as it sounds like you have some issues that are still not respolved.

Saying that, a small level of anxiety is normal as mothers!!!!!

Anxious82 Fri 14-Aug-09 09:05:15

Thanks puddytats, thanks for the reply, I didn't think this was normal, just plucking up the courage to go to gp.

puddytats Fri 14-Aug-09 09:10:12

It is so hard to make that initial visit, one of the hardest things i find is describing what it feels like. I know how i feel but trying to put the welling of emotion that can actually cripple into words is really hard. It was my dh who started to referring to it as a bubble as it wells up and can get bigger and smaller depending on many factors. At one point i was haviing panic attacks on a daily basis but thankfully they have stopped now but the anxiety is still there.

He might not decide that you need pills, the counselling has worked really well for me.

Good luck


Anxious82 Fri 14-Aug-09 09:14:44

I do think I need counselling, especially relating to the death of my nephew. I just didnt want to seem like I was making an issue of things when it is so clearly so much harder for my ds to cope with. Just felt a bit silly really. I do think this is what most of my anxiety is linked to though.

I used to have panic attacks after my flatmate died but they seemed to have stopped. Now I just feel nauseous the minute shes out of my site, mostly at nighttime for some reason. Not so much during the day.

JollyPirate Fri 14-Aug-09 09:19:03

Hi Anxious, as a lifelong anxiety sufferer I can appreciate how you feel at present.
18 months ago I had a massive nervous fallout/breakdown (whatever you want to call it). Today I am a much calmer person and have done lots of soul searching about what led up to my meltdown which manifested itself in morning, noon and night anxiety (was always worse for me in the morning).

In retrospect I can see now that I was massively run down and feeling hopeless-there seemed to be nothing to look forward to (even though I could look forward to events and feel happy about them). I just wasn't happy with my life, I felt isolated etc etc etc.

What helped me was an antidepressant (Venlafaxine- but which has withdrawal problems for me now).
A change in my life (I moved back to be closer to my family - unfortunately this led to the breakdown of my marriage but all is settled.
The other thing which really helped was being able to talk with others and explotre my feelings in more depth. Two websites helped.

One was an online CBT coursewhich is free and NHS funded - all the course materials can be downloaded free of charge. This was fabulous in helping me to look at my cycle of thinking and was a revelation in many ways.

The other site which helped was No More Panic which has excellent message boards- there's one dedicated just to anxiety and the site has lots of tips and suggestions.

Hope all that helps and remember, however bad this anxiety is that you will come out the other side of it. It's hard to believe that when you are going through it (as I know all too well) but eventually you will look back and just think "well that was a crap time but I am okay now".

I am not going to say I am cured as I think the factors which sent me to that dreadful place could rear again if I don't keep on top of things and make time to deal with stress. In the end it's about looking at yourself and the factors which are making life bad for you and beginning to tackle them in your own way.

Hope that helps a bit and come back and talk to me and the rest of theMNers here who have been through the same.

If you want to see a CBT Therapist just ask your GP for a referral to one as it is seen as a good therapy for anxiety. Might be a waiting list though so the Living Life to the Full website I've posted the link for is a good start.

muffle Fri 14-Aug-09 09:26:59

I suffer from anxiety very like this and I do think it can be helped. I've had CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) which was great. It helps you identify negative thinking patterns and head them off, so it's very practical. I wouldn't say it's completely cured me and my worrying still tends to come and go, but I can handle it as long as it doesn't actually stop me doing things. I paid for mine and just found a practitioner locally but I think you can get it on the NHS.

Like you I can have a normal day and then get overwhelmed with "what if?" worrying at night. Practically speaking, having a calming routine at bedtime can really help - I have a bubble bath and read a magazine, then get into bed and talk things over with DP, then try to have a good page-turning book on the go to read before falling asleep to keep my mind from going over things. Also, this will sound bonkers as I'm 39 blush but I also have a cuddly toy in bed (that DP gave me!) that I cuddle while asleep and this does actually give me a comforting "everything's OK" feeling and helps me fall asleep.

Having said all that I do think worrying is normal as a parent - I just have to keep tabs on it and keep it under control so it's at a manageable level.

LeonieSoSleepy Fri 14-Aug-09 09:29:05

Message withdrawn

Anxious82 Fri 14-Aug-09 09:37:59

jollypirate, thanks for sharing your experience of anxiety. The information you have provided is really useful, I've had a look at both websites and the 'no more panic' looks really useful.

I hadn't even considered this would pass in time I just thought I would be like this forever. I suppose it did pass last time after my flatmate died but as most of the negative thoughts concern my dd I thought this was just motherhood. Glad to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thankyou again, this is really appreciated.

Anxious82 Fri 14-Aug-09 09:42:09

Sorry x-posted.

Thanks muffle it looks like CBT is going to be the next step. The bedtime routine sounds really relaxing, I find it easy to distract myself during the day to avoid the thoughts but I just felt like I had no other choice at night time. I think I'll try reading tonight.

Leonie dd is 18mo now so not sure if my thyroid would be an issue. Also had a blood test a few months back as I was really low over xmas and that came back normal. Thanks for the info though.

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