Fears about death.

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Fears about death.

Postby paralyzedbyhope » May 3rd, 2013, 9:02 am

I want to see if anyone else is in my situation. I am a 25 year old female, happily married, going to school, and generally a happy person. In the last two years, I started to experience some mild depression. I call it mild because my first bought only lasted a month or so, and my symptoms didn't prevent me from daily life (too much). These feelings began when I started ruminating about my future. I am married to a man 18years older than me, we are extremely active, completely in love and he doesn't look his age. After we married, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I would most likely be a widow in my late 60's. Having a history of separation anxiety, I slipped into a depressive state. I don't want to live without this man, and I can't imagine living without him in the future. I've never experienced depression or severe anxiety before. I was ruminating on life and just couldn't stop thinking about how pointless it is to love someone so much if the odds of being alone are quite great. I know that anything can happen in life and we should live in the moment, but it's so hard to drill this into my head. I've brought myself out of this depression before.... and I think I should see counseling about my separation anxiety. I have recently slipped into this anxiety again, not quite as bad as before but I am trying to keep myself out of a tailspin. Just need some words of advice.....
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Re: Fears about death.

Postby Cheldoll » May 4th, 2013, 10:46 pm

One December evening when I was five or six years old, I was watching some celebrity entertainment show -- E! maybe? I don't know -- and they had a special tribute portion featuring famous people who had died that year. I turned to my mom and asked "what is died?" She explained to me what death was and that everyone goes through it eventually. I started crying immediately, mumbling that I didn't want to die. Of course she thought this was just adorable and tried to comfort me insisting that it would be a "looooong long time from now." I was inconsolable for the longest time.

I shared this with a therapist once and she identified it as my earliest feelings of hopelessness. Why bother living if we're all going to die? What is the point of starring in these great movies, writing popular songs, and getting famous -- if the end is always the same?

What you and my five-year-old self have in common is projecting too far out. Actually, you have that in common with my 25-year-old self now. My worry is actually marriage -- do I want to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend of three years? Could I ever live without him? What if in ten years I realize I've made a mistake? What if he would be better off without me? What if he realizes one day that he's better off without me but doesn't want to hurt my feelings? What if what if what if?

The therapist I'm seeing now has taught me to use grounding techniques to get me out of those spirals of unhelpful thoughts before I fall too deep. That is not to say that you shouldn't seek therapy for your separation anxiety -- I think that is an excellent idea and would encourage you to get counseling. But it sounds like you really need to save yourself from these ruminations and grounding exercises are amazing for getting yourself out. This is the handout I used: http://bcbhr.org/Articles.aspx?7

Good luck hon, hang in there. You are not alone.

" Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do,
care about many of the things you care about, although most people don't care about them.
You are not alone. " — Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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Re: Fears about death.

Postby paralyzedbyhope » May 5th, 2013, 11:04 am

Thank you so much for the reply. You explained exactly what I am feeling. I find moments of joy when I feel more grounded, and then my mind jumps back to the future and I begin to spiral again. I know what it feels like to live, and I know this is not me. I had the same experience as a child when I first realized that my parents would die. It seemed so real and close that I started crying uncontrollably. Thank you for the handout, I will use these grounding techniques whenever I feel these emotions welling up again.
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