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Author Topic: Discussing Panic/Anxiety/Agoraphobia with family  (Read 230 times)

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Offline blurredgirl

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Discussing Panic/Anxiety/Agoraphobia with family
« on: March 28, 2014, 03:40:31 AM »
I recently moved "back home" with my folks after being on my own for many years. We have our own communication problems just due to our personal relationships (my dad and I talk sparingly and superficially 97% of the time and then have short, awesome conversations when things have been building up; my mother and I have been "best friends" since I hit puberty and often share too much information on a daily basis, other than my mental health issues).

I've always had trouble discussing or revealing my emotional responses to others, including family, but it's even harder for me to talk about the scary topics of anxiety, depression, agoraphobia and panic attacks. I don't like looking weak, or showing vulnerabilities -- and am always worrying about being judged. The more important something is to me, the harder it is to talk about it.

What I have shared with my family though, I don't think it's getting through to them. I moved home after 3 years of university; in the most recent year I've been pretty much homebound other than a monthly family gathering (a fact which my family only found out about around Christmas. This past January was when I finally sought out medical & professional help). The point is, I moved home because I was in financial crisis and a mental crisis and I knew I needed help. The deal was for me to pay my own way while living here, so I could get help and hopefully attend classes next autumn.

But lately even when I push myself to be more open and talkative about what I'm going through, I get accused of "never saying anything important" and "not showing any signs of improving". I've tried to explain that for me, being able to go to the grocery store twice without clonazepam is a massive improvement, as is being able to walk the dog around the block, or visiting a friend's apartment for the first time in 18 months. Instead I keep getting told that I'll feel better if I smile more, that I need to get out there and get a job, that I need to lose 60 lbs before my brother's wedding. I know and appreciate that my family is just trying to help, but I'm at a loss on how to let them know that they're making me feel worse. I came here -- I retreated here -- as a safe place while I receive treatment and try to work through my problems. But sometimes I feel so anxious that I start looking for affordable inpatient facilities (which don't seem to exist on student health insurance).

Would love to hear from some of you all if you have any tips on talking mental health with your own loved ones, or failed methods that I should absolutely not try -- heck, at this point I'd even love to hear from folks with similar communication problems.
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Offline Julie A. Cook

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Re: Discussing Panic/Anxiety/Agoraphobia with family
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 08:41:53 AM »
Blurred Girl, yes, understand completely what you're going through.  My psychiatrist told me that people like us are not accepted into hospitals for treatment because we are not psychotic or a threat to ourselves or others.  A private retreat is very expensive.  The only alternative we have is therapry and meds and to push ourselves to keep poductive and busy.  This does evenually go away but it takes time, so be patient.  Take your meds.  Practice mindfulness and it's imperative that you have a therapist or a friend to talk to and cry with.  Also, force yourself to get out at least once on a daily basis.  I know it's hard, but the power to be healed is solely in your hands.

Best of luck fighting the good fight,

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Offline NovocaineKisses

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Re: Discussing Panic/Anxiety/Agoraphobia with family
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 11:56:50 AM »
I know exactly what you're talking about. My family is supportive at times and at other they don't understand and tell me to get over it like it's all a matter of flipping some magical switch in my brain. Trust me, if I could find I would. The most important thing is to just be honest with them and I know it's hard because they're you're family, but if they're not very supportive find someone who is. Talking to people on here is a great resource and if you have a friend you trust enough to talk to. I'm lucky to have a friend who understands exactly how I feel to be able to talk to when my family doesn't get it. He's been down this road and almost fallen off the edge, but he got better and is now helping me get through the worst I've ever been. Together we've found a lot of things that help and found some great resources. If you ever need to talk, vent or ask any questions you can always message me on here  :action-smiley-065:
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It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living. - F. Scott Fitzgerald


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