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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question

Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4854
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Is it normal to get much worse feelings of greif and worry

Resolved Question:

Is it normal to get much worse feelings of greif and worry a year after the death of my mother?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are experiencing these current symptoms, I can understand how distressing this must be for you

Dr. Z :

What you are describing about grief that has lasted for this long would be called Complicated Grief and many symptoms are similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), so some researchers feel this Complicated Grief may be a subset of PTSD that emerges from the loss.

Dr. Z :

This worksheet details complicated grief in a brief form

Customer:

It just doesn't make sense to me why a year after my mother's death it started to get worse

Dr. Z :

So it is not common, but complicated grief can occur for some people

Dr. Z :

Well your inner strength and mental barriers can repress a lot of what you are feeling, but overtime that strength weakens and then it can overwhelm you, which is why it gets worse

Customer:

Its lead to me being withdrawn and drinking alot more than i ever have before.

Dr. Z :

The drinking is a self-medicating coping mechanism to help you, but in fact it actually makes your symptoms worse

Dr. Z :

The use of therapy and psychotropic medication would be a better approach for you

Dr. Z :

I can recommend some good techniques to help you through this and some good books as well, but ultimately a therapist would be best for you

Customer:

I watched her suffer for a long timebwith cancer and have always been pretty strong to be able to deal with it. when she died is was a relief in away that she wasn't suffering anymore but now its hard to function somedays and i constantly think about it.

Dr. Z :

I think you may have repressed many of the feelings for a long while after her death and now it is slowly coming out into your consciousness

Customer:

I plan on visiting one tomorrow i just needed answers tonight. I don't open up about how i feel much to people so its hard for me.

Customer:

That can happen. Like i haven't properly dealt with it or something.

Dr. Z :

Well with therapy it is going to take time to open up, and you do not have to go fast with it, just go at a pace that you are comfortable with to help build a therapeutic relationship with your therapist. The answer I can give for tonight is that it is uncommon, but complicated grief does occur in around 10 percent of all grief sufferers where they experience symptoms of depression and anxiety typically

Dr. Z :

I think it is possible that you did not deal with it meaningfully and this is why it is getting worse and the feelings are coming out in doses. The good news is that this is very treatable with therapy with a high success rate

Customer:

Thats good cause it seems hopeless somedays cause it seems like all this should have passed and everything i've read said it should but i know it hasn't.

Dr. Z :

Well most grief does pass, but for around 10 percent of people it develops into complicated grief that is more long-lasting and requires therapy to help process these thoughts and feelings you are having

Customer:

I'll read about complicated grief or is it call post tramatic stress

Dr. Z :

It is called Complicated Grief, but that is an nontechnical term. But because there are symptoms of depression, anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares/insomnia, and sometimes panic attacks, it is treated a lot like PTSD and may be a subset of PTSD according to some research

Dr. Z :

So you can look at Complicated Grief and you also may be forwarded to possible PTSD websites too, but I feel talking to a therapist would be best

Dr. Z :

I can also recommend some good treatment books to help you as well

Customer:

Well i moved in with her when she was sick and spent many years watching after her. She was fighting through it but i spent years in a habit of waking up ever couple hours just to check on her and based most things i did on just checking on her and being around to helpher and talk with her and her talk about how bad she hurt.

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry your mother was so sick and going through this pain, I know this hurts to talk about it, but this is a positive step for you seeking help and trying to control these feelings and not let the feelings control you

Customer:

Thank you

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4854
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 4 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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