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Heightened self-criticism...


Guest SGeorgeAZ

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Guest SGeorgeAZ

Ever hear yourself say, "Boy! that was stupid! After losing my spouse, I would drive aimlessly through the city, wasting time and gasoline." Or, how about. "I must be crazy! I spend my eveniings talking to Bill who has now been dead three months!"

When we are faced with the unknown, we move quickly to judgment in order that the unknown becomes known. We make judgments about something as good or bad so that we know whether to "fight or fly." When it comes to death and all of the things that begin happening to us, there is no one nor no thing to place the judgment upon other than ourselves. Our self-criticism begins to spiral out of control. Our internal critic comes to think of him/herself is our internal Chairman of the Board. When this happens often enough, depression may set in. What is another name for depression? Anger turned inwards.

Negative thinking is inherent to the process of grief. That doesn't mean it has to be our undoing. As the well-worn phrase goes, "Well, that's half the battle..." used when we are aware of an issue or problem. So, too, in grief. Being aware that you may become self-critical is half the battle and leads us a long way toward the solution.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest AmyNC

I am a person who has suffered from depression during my life, so it came as no surprise that after the death of my mother, the problem was exacerbated. I got myself back on an antidepressant and am seeing a counselor. Both courses of action are beginning to help , but this grief business is a roller coaster, isn't it? biggrin.gif

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Guest SteveG

There is probably no better metaphor for what is happening than "roller coaster." Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross articulately defined the stages of death and dying and, for some reason, many of us tranlated those stages to the "stages of grief." But there are no stages to grief. Different emotions come and go only to return again and again.

There are four tasks that each of has to do to process our grief as we ride this roller coaster.

First, we have to acknowledge the loss. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But notice how hard it it to even say the dead person's name earlier in your process. Second, we have to acknowledge the pain of that loss. All of us find it intially difficult to go in the direction of the pain that causes. Both of these tasks can begin to occur early in the process, in the first three weeks.

AS the roller coaster continues its journey, we are face with the later tasks fo grief. The third task is sometimes refered to as "moving on." That is a process noticed by the fact that your memories of the dead person turn from traumatic, sad, and even horrific to memories of the happy times. It takes many months to reach this task in any grief process. Lastly comes the task called "re-investment in the future." This task is rather self-explanatory. Our thoughts pull us toward the future rather than the past. The loved one is not forgotten but takes a place in our memory, at peace with our emotions, and our thoughts lead us to what the future will bring.

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I am currently suffering from depression. I lost my father in April 2003. My emotions are defiently on a "roller coster". I can't seem to have a decent day no matter how hard I try. All I do is sleep. Ever since he died I sleep sometimes nineteen hours at a time. People say it's because I'm so depressed it wears me down. I've also been getting sick alot lately. They also say it's due to my immune system being weak from grief. I've thought about taking anti depressants. Do you think they would help me? I've heard bad and good things about them. Where my dad just passed away two months ago, I don't know if I should try to get through this on my own or relie on something else. I'm always confused I can't think straight half the time. I think I may be going crazy. But I do find it helpful just writing down how I feel. I think of my dad the first thing when I wake up and the last thing before sleeping. I really haven't had a problem sleeping. The problem is I sleep to much. And I can't make myself get up half the time, my husband has to drag me out of the bed. I don't have any children, so I don't know how to make myself move on. Right now I am to scared to move on. I feel like my idenity is gone and I don't know who I am anymore, or where I belong for that matter. It's been said that I am just like my dad. I miss him so much. I know everyone says it will get easier in time, but tell me again in about a year. Maybe it will then. But right now I want to die. I'm afraid I'm going to get so far gone I won't be able to find my way back to life. I was very suicidal after he died. I don't want to die now, but sometimes the pain is so intense I consider it. I'm hoping being in a support group will help me find my way back to myself. I'm also very worried about my mom. She won't seem to reach out to anyone. She's already had a nervous break down, and had to spend days in the hospital. I'm so afraid for her. There's nothing I can do that helps. I'm scared she will end her own life. I would be doomed. There would be no hope for me then. The stress is killing me! sad.gif

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Dear Lil Viper,

I know how you feel. Losing my dad was devastating. It will be four years on June 26th that I lost him and the sadness never goes away. One thing I can say is that life does get easier, once you are not in as much shock and disbelief asw you are now. Everyone is different and there is no way of telling how long it will be before you feel different. I think the harest part about grief in extreme cases like this, is not being able to make it go away like we do with physical pain. Or at least we have ways of treating it. There is no way to treat or cure the pain from losing someone you love, but you can work on learning to accept the loss and living a happy life. I tried so many different programs and therapy and kept an open mind to people's suggestions, no matter how little good I thought it would do. None of this miraculously changed me into a well balanced person. I'm still not that and I doubt I ever will be, but that's not important to me anyway. I benefited in one way or another from everything I went through, seminars, classes, group meetings, private sessions, reading, researching, talking with people and learning a lot of things about myself and life. Combined, all of this gave me a fairly positive attitude, but the time played a big part in it as well. Here I am, four years later and I can still cry at the thought of my dad. I still think of him every day. The pain is not as intense, but it's still there and always will be.

Try to concentrate more on what you can do for yoursef, than what you think may come of you. Take control of your future a little at a time and don't feel that sleeping too much or taking medication or anything else is somehow going to put you out of touch. You are dealing with a very difficult thing right now and need to know it's okay to act different while you get through it.

Just remember that there is a future for you and you will see brighter days as long as you strive to get there with an open mind. No time limit. Just time.

I wish you the best of luck and happiness. That's what your dad would want too.

Jenn

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Guest Guest_mermangel0416
I am currently suffering from depression. I lost my father in April 2003. My emotions are defiently on a "roller coster". I can't seem to have a decent day no matter how hard I try. All I do is sleep. Ever since he died I sleep sometimes nineteen hours at a time. People say it's because I'm so depressed it wears me down. I've also been getting sick alot lately. They also say it's due to my immune system being weak from grief. I've thought about taking anti depressants. Do you think they would help me? I've heard bad and good things about them. Where my dad just passed away two months ago, I don't know if I should try to get through this on my own or relie on something else. I'm always confused I can't think straight half the time. I think I may be going crazy. But I do find it helpful just writing down how I feel. I think of my dad the first thing when I wake up and the last thing before sleeping. I really haven't had a problem sleeping. The problem is I sleep to much. And I can't make myself get up half the time, my husband has to drag me out of the bed. I don't have any children, so I don't know how to make myself move on. Right now I am to scared to move on. I feel like my idenity is gone and I don't know who I am anymore, or where I belong for that matter. It's been said that I am just like my dad. I miss him so much. I know everyone says it will get easier in time, but tell me again in about a year. Maybe it will then. But right now I want to die. I'm afraid I'm going to get so far gone I won't be able to find my way back to life. I was very suicidal after he died. I don't want to die now, but sometimes the pain is so intense I consider it. I'm hoping being in a support group will help me find my way back to myself. I'm also very worried about my mom. She won't seem to reach out to anyone. She's already had a nervous break down, and had to spend days in the hospital. I'm so afraid for her. There's nothing I can do that helps. I'm scared she will end her own life. I would be doomed. There would be no hope for me then. The stress is killing me! sad.gif

dear lil viper~ i don't have much to offer in the way of advice as i am struggling with my father's death as well. i understand some of your feelings (i feel a bit icrazy myself at times). i would say that a visit to your family physician would be a good place to start. he/she knows you well and would be best suited to determine if meds are advisable if you are indeed suffering from depression. if you have thoughts of wanting to die you definitely need to talk to someone who will be sympathetic, non~judgemental and open minded. please take this seriously, you need to take care of yourself. i am thinking of you and hope that you experience some relief from this grief and depression.

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I am afraid of taking anti depressants, for I fear they will only mask the true feelings I need to feel. I'm afraid that when I stop taking them all the feelings I've ignored through medication will still be there. I've researched several drugs and they all seem to have severe side effects. Do you personally know if they've helped anyone, or do they just prolong the grief process? Do the benefits really out weigh the risk of the side effects? I've heard of some cases where they do more harm than good.

The grief has eased up a little more now than when he first died. Being able to talk, and get my feelings out seem to help me some. I know it is a long, hard road. I'm afraid I won't make it, but I'm really trying to. His death has been so overwelming. I know everyone goes through it at some point or other in their life. I just want to be one of the poeple that make it through it safely.

Thank you for trying to help. Just writing to me with encourgement really helps.

Lil' Viper

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You sound like the type of person who may not benefit from medications to help you through this difficult time. Some people may not want to face reality yet (unlike you) and need to find a way to just get through the next day, which may seem impossible to them. But it sounds like you are trying to do what's best for yourself now, while looking to the future, which is not all that easy, knowing your dad is not part of it anymore. Everything you say, makes good sense to me and I can tell how terribly difficult it is for you to believe you will make it through okay at this point. When I was at the point where everything in my life seemed to fall apart (including myself) and I thought I had hit rock bottom, I hadn't yet. The roller coaster ride everyone refers to is exactly that. Up and down, good days, bad days, no apparent reason for sudden bouts of crying or depression. Just dealing with whatever I had to deal with and moving along I suppose is the best way to describe it. But at some point, the good days begin to outnumber the bad days and the progress begins to go in the right direction. It's so slow that you don't actually notice it happening. But the important thing is that it does happen. It gets better, believe me.

It may not seem like it to you, but from my viewpoint, I see someone who is making a positive effort to recover from their loss after reading your words. One of the most helpful things of all is to reach out to others and just talk it out, over and over, as many times as you want. And it does feel good, even though no one has all the answers or even understands exactly how you feel. At least you know you aren't alone. I never realized before, just how many others shared my feelings about certain things that I thought I was the only person in the world to experience. But they do. And they also have things to say that I never thought about before. Things that really help.

Whatever suggestions you may get from people, or advice or ideas that sound like they may help, I say go for it. When they don't sound right for you (like the drugs) then pass them up. You have a level head and a good attitude and will make it through this just fine. I can tell. I wish I had more specific ideas, but the things I tried were so vast and off the wall, I can't really recommend them for someone else, with much confidence. None of them worked for me, just small parts that I found helpful to learn about. Example: Self Improvement Seminars, Dianetics, etc., etc., etc.). I tried practically everything and wasn't ever sorry I did. At least they got my mind concentrating on something positive.

Hang in there, okay?

Jenn

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Guest Lil' Viper

Jenn,

Thanks so much for your encourging words and understanding. It feels good to know someone has faith in me. I haven't felt that way in awhile. Your kind words and support have really helped me move on some. Like you said it is a slow process. And I'm going to try to make it. You know what is funny? My mom is more worried and concerned about me than she is herself. Now that I believe I'm going to get better, I can focus on her more. She needs me so much. Stay around you are very helpful!!

Lil' Viper

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just checking in here and it seems i missed a bit. i understand your well~placed fears of medication, lil' viper. and i agree wholeheartedly with jenn that you seem like someone who recognizes where you are and where you want to be...and every day (whether an "up" or a "down" on that roller coaster) is a step that YOU need to take on your journey toward healing. in my "search" i happened upon this message board, but also have been reading anything/everything i can about grief/death and dying (elisabeth kubler ross is a good writer to start with) checking into what bereavement services are offered ..if you are religiously affiliated, try starting there. i am not so, that isn't an option...although i am always looking. (keep waiting for the perfect answers to all my questions). i definitely feel that "talking" things through with like minded (and struggling) souls will be most beneficial for me. and if that's what gets me through each day...that is enough. thinking about you...all. take care.

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