Anxiety, worry, fear - for others

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi there,

I've posted here a bit about my problems with dealing with anxiety and depression. I feel i have a grip on both now (occasionally), but it has somehow morphed into fearing for other peoples health.

I live at home with my parents and we get a long really well, sometimes i guess i use them as an emotional crutch when i'm down or feeling agrophobic. 

They are both in their mid 60's, in decent enough health (they can walk for 4km sometimes without any discomfort or breathing problems). I have just gotten over my initial anxiety about losing them eventually, it sometimes feels like i could lose them at any moment and when i'm not feeling ontop of things, this absolutely cripples me.

My mom is a heavy smoker and i seem to have latched onto this now as she coughs occasionally and it sounds quite muccusy (is that a word?!)

Anyways i've done the bad thing and googled this lots and i fear she has lung cancer, COPD or early stages of emphysema.

I have asked her to quit, cried infront of her about losing her and recently i helped her to buy a new e-cig to try and cut down on the smokes.

I guess my issue is, any small thing that disrupts their health or shows signs of aging, sends me straight into a panic attack or massive anxiety. 

I don't know how to get out of ithis, i plan to start college next year and i can't concentrate on it at all with all my anxiety linked to their health.

I see younger families and i get really jealous and think "You're so lucky, you'll have your parents for years to come".

Am i being irrational? Should i take a step back and gain a bit more independence at the risk of making them feel unloved?

I'm at a loose end with this and it's really making life a living hell.

Any feedback or someone who has gone through the same with solutions would be hugely appreciated.


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5 Replies

  • Posted

    First thing I'd say is get into therapy as it sounds like you need help with control issues. Secondly try to no control aspects of your parents lives, they can do as they wish which I'm sure you know deep down,but therapy should help you with that
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply.

      I've been seeing a therapist for around 6 months now, it has helped with a lot of things but i still feel totally paralysed.

      I should have mentioned i have slight social anxiety, so i do hang out with them and rely on them a bit more than i should. Both my siblings are away travelling (both over 30 and live independently anyway), but maybe this has something to do with my attachment to them, or them to me.

      I'm just tired of worrying for them. At 64 years of age i keep thinking (will they last 10 years, 5 years, will they see me graduate?), these are the feelings that set me off. 

      It's hard to live in the present when i'm pre-empting grief. This was triggered by my friends dad passing last christmas and the shock and impact seems to have made me more attatched to my folks.

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  • Posted

    Therapy would help. I know how you feel, it's terrifying to think of something happening to people you love. At the same time, i hope your mom isn't stubborn and would go to the doctor if something was wrong or feeling wrong? I know a ton of people with the mucus cough. It just comes along with smoking. In all reality e cigs aren't very helpful as you still need nicotine. There is a get quit plan from Chantix, it's a medicine. It is supposed to help you quit. Read up on it. Other than that, make the best of everyday. Your loved ones don't want you to spend their days worrying. Maybe ask her to agree to get a physical to not only put your mind at ease, but to make sure her lungs are ok?
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    • Posted

      Absolutely agree I'm afraid, we can only be responsible for ourselves,by projecting your own peace of mind onto someone else's welfare is just looking for disaster. Sure we can all tell someone we are concerned about them, but after that - that's is,let people live their own lives. All it would do is give you something else to build anxiety over.
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