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Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
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I have had 4 major surgeries and a heart attack this

Resolved Question:

i have had 4 major surgeries and a heart attack this happened nearly 2 years ago at the age of 38. i now suffer from severe depression and generalized disorder. there isn't a day or minute actually goes by that i don't think about it. i'm afraid that each day may be my last, i don't know how to overcome these fears. it seems i'm getting worse by the days. know one understands what i'm going through. i wish there were someone who knew how i felt. how difficult this is for me. why i cry daily. i was a correctional officer. i prided myself in being a strong woman. now all of that is gone. and this shell of a person is all thats left, i'm not me anymore. someone please help me. i am on medications for everything, but seems nothing helps. i feel so helpless.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.

Having major surgeries and/or illnesses frequently alters people's self-concepts and parts of their identities in ways that can be disorienting. There is often a process of not only physical recovery, but also of redefinining "normal" in your life.

I think you could find a lot of comfort through talking to a therapist who specializes in Health Psychology as these are psychologists who are trained to work with people who have had major health problems that have then affected their mental health and identities. The psychologist could help you figure out not only what parts of your life and self have changed, but also what parts have remained the same- this can be enormously useful in constructing a new life for yourself, post-illness, that feels happy and productive. Learning to manage anxiety about your illnesses recurring is a big part of this work.

You might also find some support online through a support group- I would try looking on the American Heart Association website as a place to start- I'm guessing that they, or other health organizations like theirs- would be able to provide you with information about online support groups composed of others who have gone through similar medical challenges and are now facing depression and anxiety issues. Talking to and hearing from others about how to cope with these things might help you to feel less alone.

Lively and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you