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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Do you feel it is a terrible idea to have a child with my girlfriend

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Do you feel it is a terrible idea to have a child with my girlfriend as I have had panic disorder with agoraphobia for 15 years. My range fluctuates from year to year but I am at a particular low point now after suffering a heart attack 2 years ago. I am howver going to be 40 years old and if I chose to have a child ever, now is the time. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Having children can be a very wonderful experience for most people, but raising a child presents extreme ups and downs as well. And therefore, it can be a very personal decision to make.

There is no ideal way to raise a child. Every child, no matter what family they are born into, faces challenges sometime in their lives. They may be abused, neglected or lose a parent. Or they may grow up in a two parent home with wonderful siblings. But no one is immune from bad things happening. And that includes what happens to other members of their family.

However, it helps to keep in mind that the basics for raising a child only include one thing- that you love that child. Loving a child helps them overcome just about any problem they encounter. Children are also resilient, which helps them adjust well to most changes and issues that come up. And if they know they are loved, they usually adapt even better. So if you have issues with panic disorder or health issues, as long as your child knows you love them, they will be able to adjust.

Also, having a child or children can help the symptoms of panic disorder. That may seem odd, but panic disorder tends to mean a lot of focus on your own thoughts and physical symptoms. But when you have a child, the focus is mostly on that child. So you begin to see your world a bit differently. This can help you come out of yourself and lessen the focus on your symptoms, helping you feel better.

And many parents have issues and end up raising wonderful children. Physical and emotional disorders are not that uncommon, and most people suffer from them sometime during their children's lives. And children adapt and sometimes become even stronger because of the adversity they deal with. So it may help your child to see that everyone struggles. It teaches them how to handle their own issues when they grow up.

I hope this has helped you,
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