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Effect of anxiety on family members
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Effect of anxiety on family members

My mother was in and out of hospitals her whole life struggling with a variety of mental health problems, including anxiety. I saw and felt many things that I shouldn't have seen as a young boy growing up. One of the issues crucial to me that I was not guaranteed was emotional safety. Because of my Mom's instability, from day to day, I grew up scared, not knowing what to expect, helpless and feeling I was to blame.
I think of what my Mom could have done to sort of insulate me from what she was going through and the only thing I can think of is for her to let me know when she was having an "episode" and tell me how I could help.
My question is do you take any measures in your family to minimize the effects of your struggles on your children?
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Hi! I am glad your cardioversion went well (I have talked to you on the heart forum)!  I am a life-long anxiety sufferer.  I have been anxious ever since I can remember (around 5 or 6) and had my first panic attack at 12.  I, too, felt very unsafe growing up.  I lived in a very dysfunctional, emotionally chaotic and abusive family.  My mom was depressed my entire life and has yet to get help.  I also have relatives with anxiety problems.  Right now, I am married with 2 daughters - one turns 5 tomorrow and the other is 5 months.  I do try to  minimize the bad effects of my problems on my family.  My husband was really at a loss when I went through a "relapse" of anxiety in 2004.  He thought I was losing it and would have to be committed - he had never dealt with an anxious person before.  I have had a sort of "relapsing/remitting" form of anxiety my whole life - I will go through phases where I am fine and then relapse and start having major anxiety and panic.  I am still in the anxiety phase from my major 2004 attack (the worst one of my life).  We nearly divorced over it, but he grew to understand I was really not doing the things I was doing on purpose.  He is now much more understanding of my fear, but he does try to force me to step out and do things I fear.  I try to hide my terror from my kids, but it can't be done sometimes.  My little girl knows I am afraid about my heart and she has started saying "mommy, take my pulse..."  God, I don't want her in the shape I have been in!  I clearly need to do more to insulate my precious family from my disorder while letting them help and support me.  My intentions are good and I'm trying...with God's help I will succeed.
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