Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this very sad and concerning situation your wife and you have been facing for all these years.
What you describe is very concerning since it shows your wife may be suffering of different mental health disorders, being anxiety the most serious one affecting her mood, functioning and daily life. The extreme irrational fears she experience about so many things and the way her mind, mood and body react show her fears gets so intense that she experience real panic, what makes it feel liek she is having actual physical or medical problems instead of panic like symptoms. What makes the situation much more concerning is that she has eben suffering of these disorders for several years and she does not even acknowledges she has a problem.
This could point at what is known as panic disorder, possibly agoraphobia, with poor insight, around multiple objects-settings. Time does not resolve these problems, but only deepens the disorders making them tougher and overwhelming. Psychiatric drugs could mostly numb some symptoms and the person with them, just as you described, they do not have the power to touch the core psychological issues behind the symptoms, that's why psychotherapy is so necessary for her to start and work on her rehabilitation process.
Does it make sense?
One core concern is that she may have developed more serious symptoms affecting her personality, what makes of these anxiety - mood disorders even tougher to endure and treat. This is obviously not only overwhelmingly hard for the person suffering of these disorders but for her loved ones witnessing them and affecting by them.
Human mind does have a compulsive tendency, and when it gets distorted, different obsessions, excessive and distorted fears and behaviors could develop, leading to anxiety disorders, including phobias, OCD, panic disorder and many others.
I bet only you know how it feels and how tough it could get. I understand your situation because of my job, but you know first hand how tough it's been for all of you.
What I suggest is for her to be evaluated and treated not by a psychiatrist but by a professional psychotherapist, who could be a clinical psychologist or psychotherapist with training, credentials and experience in anxiety - mood disorders, who could provide psychological treatment or psychotherapy. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who do provide support through psychiatric drugs, and your wife's rehabilitation process should not be based on using such drugs but on learning how to cope with these symptoms, process issues related to them, and developing necessary skills to create more assertiveness, resilience, insight, and everything else necessary to build a healthy and functional life.
Psychiatric drugs, only if skillfully prescribed after careful assessment, close monitoring and support, could help relief some symptoms in the best case scenario, while bringing different side effects she would have to afford, , but they cannot create her rehabilitation process, one that could only happen with consistent and regular effective psychotherapeutic -psychological support.
I believe you, it's obvious your wife's anxiety is overwhelming, from excessive concerns, to extreme irrational fears, obsessions and perhaps compulsive behaviors too as ways to neutralize the anxiety she experiences, but she ends reinforcing it more and more, and as explained before, it becomes a vicious circle that would only tends to get worse and not easier.
You're very welcome. I truly hope she could be evaluated by competent, ethical and experienced mental health clinician and gets the psychological treatment she needs to start experiencing some real relief and hope around these serious problems. Individual and group psychotherapy would be the best approach, plus collateral or family sessions, since her support system plays a key role in her rehabilitation process, for her to get the best possible results, in this tough, long term but necessary and worthy process.
Take gentle care and consistent action, and feel free to contact me back for any further support. Thank you for your trust.