How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am caring for my mother who has days or short weeks left

This answer was rated:

I am caring for my mother who has days or short weeks left to live. I know this can cause stress but I believe I am comfortable with this and coping quite nicely. However, I am not coping with my husband's lack of support and behavior during this separation and when I need to deal with him, I feel a pain and tightness in my chest, my pulse escalates and I suspect I am having an anxiety attack. I have fairly good relaxation skills and am able to calm myself to stop the worst symptoms. However, I am not able to sleep well and often find myself thinking of what to do. I have never experienced this level of emotion and wonder if I should just be ignoring it. I am going to stay with my Mom until she passes and then I will deal with the situation with my husband. Should I see a doctor and get a medication? I would prefer not to but if I am causing myself long term damage by not handling it, I would take something for the short term.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It can be very difficult to be a caregiver on it's own, let alone when the one person you count on for support is not there for you. At this point, you seem to be very aware that the situation you are in can cause an enormous amount of stress. Caring for your ill mother without hope that she will recover is heartbreaking and emotionally taxing. Doing it when you are also struggling with your husband not being there for you can be overwhelming.

It sounds like the emotion of both situations might be affecting you. Often when dealing with a situation like caregiving, people will go on automatic. They do what is needed and are giving of themselves day in and day out without being able to care for themselves or replenish their own emotional needs the effects of which are often not clear until the situation is over. This is why many people experience what you are right now, feeling panicky. The lack of support from your husband most likely is highlighting this for you. When you take care of someone else, it can help a lot to have someone there for you. That way, you don't feel emotionally depleted and do not feel alone. By refusing to help you, your husband is basically leaving you without emotional support of any kind.

While counseling would be the ideal in your situation (support plus help dealing with the anxiety), medications are ok in the short term. I understand your concern about taking anything and I agree. However, if you are unable to see a counselor right now because of your situation, then a short term medication that can help you control your symptoms is the next best option. Make it clear to your doctor what your situation is and try to work on setting up counseling as soon as you can. That way, you have a plan in place for yourself to help you care for your own needs. And if possible, have your husband attend with you. He needs to understand that how he responded was hurtful to you and that he needs to be there for you from now on.

I hope this has helped you,

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Can I help you any further?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Kate:

Things with Mom got worse and I didn't make time to respond. I appreciate your answer. Mom has passed away and now I need to decide what is next. I really don't know where to start and suppose it is not the best time to be making 'big' decisions. do you have a thought as to how long I should wait to look at leaving my husband?


I am sorry to hear about your mother. My condolences.

If you feel your original question has been answered, I'd appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have already provided. If you have a new question, the site does require you to start a new question page.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay. Sorry for taking so long to rate you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You're welcome!