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Struggling with grief

SystemSystem Posts: 417 Scope community team
This discussion was created from comments split from: PTSD & ANXIETY.

Replies

  • Mandie_T49Mandie_T49 Posts: 6Member Listener
    Hi my brother was murdered in 2012 and it's affected me so so badly I have extreme anxiety and depression due to this I can't sleep I get flashbacks of visiting my little brother in the funeral home, and what he went through.
    The worst thing is when people even one doctor said this to me that I should be over this by now. This in fact made me worse,  I have had an assessment at a mental health clinic they said complex grief but it's worse than that I think. I cry for days still get violently sick for days so bad I've already had 14 days sick since Xmas I just black out and attack my husband even when asleep I kick out and attack. Actually had a breakdown a year ago and even some in my family said it's all in my head hench I have now cut them out of my life. All I do is go work and come home. I can't leave the house, I don't like seeing anybody or going anywhere.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 7,189Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @Mandie_T49 and a warm welcome to the community. I'm sorry to hear about your brother and the impact this has had on you. 

    Have you had any form of counselling when you have seen the mental health clinic?
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 238Member Pioneering
    Hi @Mandie_T49

    You have experienced very very traumatic events and it's not surprising you have been affected by them.  Feeling low, feeling anxious, having flashbacks and blackouts [this could be dissociation - trying to escape the pain you are experiencing, though to be sure you'd need to have this checked out via a GP referral] all seem to indicate that you are still feeling traumatised and you need specialist support, not just a few pills and being told you should be over it now... that's simply unhelpful.

    If your GP is unsympathetic then could you try a new one? Some GPs know more about trauma than others and it's important to find someone who knows what they are talking about and so refer you for the right support eg EMDR, specialist CBT trauma counselling.

    You may find some of the information on these websites helpful, or perhaps your husband can have a look - recovering from trauma is not about recalling and/or reliving what happened and re-traumatising yourself it's about processing the effects that the traumatic event/s have had on you:

    https://www.ptsduk.org/what-is-ptsd/
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/
    https://www.pods-online.org.uk/

    I hope that's helpful and remember "Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence." Peter Levine [expert on trauma]

    Very best wishes.

    Emma
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 238Member Pioneering
    PS @Mandie_T49  another organisation you could try would be Cruse:  https://www.cruse.org.uk/  they might say your grief is too complex for them but they might also be able to point you in the right direction.  Just a thought.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 7,189Administrator Scope community team
    Thank you for this @EmmaB. :)
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • Mandie_T49Mandie_T49 Posts: 6Member Listener
    @EmmaB thank you for taking the time to write me,  I have been to my doctor's so many times even breaking down and crying. They have put me forward to cruise but how I see it what can they do. I know they are there to help but the pain and heartache I still feel every waking moment isn't just going to stop by talking to someone. I hate feeling like this but I just can't help  it.Im angry with everyone. My doctor was supposed to call me over a week ago but never did. I feel so lost most days.
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Posts: 141Member Pioneering
    Hi Mandi_T49
    Sorry to hear what your going through. Although not in the same circumstances but I lost my twin brother to cancer last July. He had got diagnosed in May and the cancer took hold very quickly. I watched him suffer and myself and all the family are still in shock. It’s been such a horrendous time and this Christmas has been the worst. I have suffered panic attacks and been very depressed. I was also suffering my own health issues at the time as I have spina bifida. I am struggling but when I rang my GP she just referred me to go online to Sue Ryder to do a self referral for online counselling. I have had 7 sessions and these are all done via video call. It has helped a little but I have still been suffering anxiety and panic attacks. I rang back my GP and she told me to ring Mind. I had my first counselling session with them at their drop in centre and found it really helpful. In fact I found it more beneficial than the sessions at Sue Ryder.  I feel a little more optimistic that I will get through this with the right support around me. I’m at the start of my grieving process and it’s so hard as at the moment all I see is my brother suffering, but I have to believe in myself that I will get through this and I have to think what my brother would not want me to be sad. It’s hard putting in practice what you should do but I try to put one foot forward day by day. I know you don’t want to see anybody or go out and I did the same thing but I just had to force myself to go out. I was very honest with my feelings and I told people that I was suffering anxiety and panic attacks and everyone has been so lovely and patient. The more I go out the more I am combating my panic attacks. 
    Try contacting Mind or Sue Ryder. You can ring Mind and Sue Ryder is online referral so if you don’t want to leave the house they can give you counselling online.  They really helped me. It’s a start.
    If you need to chat please message me.


  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 238Member Pioneering
    Hi @Mandie_T49
    Although it might feel like the pain, hurt and anger won't stop by talking to someone it might help [over the long term] to share those feelings, and the load, by talking rather than dealing with this on your own.  One thing that can happen if you don't process your feelings is that they can get internalised and be expressed through symptoms in your body - chronic pain, fatigue, even seizures.
    They do say that there is a strong need to tell your story [over and over sometimes] to deal with and process grief.  The grief you are experiencing must seem especially unfair because of the circumstances of your brother's death - a life cut short, the unfairness of it, your feelings about the person who did this to you, your brother, your family, the fact you are having to deal with this aftermath - I imagine it's a very complicated maze to find your way out of? 
    Talking to someone may help you with that, so you are not alone... It will take time.  The thing about Cruse is that this is what they do, I would hope you might find someone there who can sit with your pain and help you work through your anger.  I believe their service is free and long term but I don't know for sure.
    Have you ever considered things like yoga, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, it might seem trite to suggest such a thing but they can all really help with helping you manage your strong feelings and with low mood.  They are also good at calming the sympathetic nervous system which goes into overdrive and get stuck on overdrive when we experience trauma...
    The bottom line is that you have survived 8 years since your brother's death so you are a survivor - I wonder what you have found helpful, what's seen you through this far?  Perhaps you can build on these things.  Maybe you'd like to channel anger into doing something concrete eg changing things for others or supporting others going through what you are going through.
    I really hope you can find a way through this.
    Emma


  • Mandie_T49Mandie_T49 Posts: 6Member Listener
    @Rafi7 Thank you for your kind words at this present moment I don't feel like speaking to anybody but I am interested in talking on line to some councillor, as long as I don't speak to them face to face. My brother was taken in July as well, I'm sorry for the loss of your brother.
  • Mandie_T49Mandie_T49 Posts: 6Member Listener
    @EmmaB Thank you I do try breathing techniques often I have downloaded an app I have to do this a with my extreme anxiety I feel as though I can't breathe  I have to fight for breath sometimes but doing these breathing techniques help. I've cut myself from my family especially my mother as she is no help at all. I've never even seen her shed a tear over this trauma. Buy she didn't bring him up I did so to me it's like losing a child it's only 6 years between him and my daughter so I'm finding this so so hard. I've had to cut her out as she's always on at me saying it's all in my head. I can't be doing with her she seems to have no feeling s what so ever. 
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 238Member Pioneering
    Hi @Mandie_T49
    I'm pleased to hear breathing techniques are helping, a lot of people try these things a couple of times then dismiss them if they don't work instantly so it's good you have persisted and found it helpful.
    You say that it feels like you've lost a child rather than 'just' a brother, and as a parent I can only imagine how hard that would be to deal with.
    It sounds like you have become very disconnected from your family because they don't feel supportive to you and perhaps a counsellor could help you to feel connected to someone again, the key thing about counselling is that good counselling is about being non judgemental as well as supportive.
    You mention that you feel you might be able to face online counselling but not face to face counselling.  Sometimes people feel safer using online counselling, there's a sort of protective barrier there if you like.
    I don't know if Cruse do online counselling but you can ask?  
    I would say that it's really important that if you go down the online counselling route especially if it is via instant messaging or e mail that you find out if the counsellor has had specialist training in online counselling, a lot of counsellors are jumping on the "I can do online counselling" bandwagon without having done any extra training to do so and there are differences between online counselling and face to face counselling.  I know a fair bit about this because I'm an online counsellor myself.
    If Cruse don't offer online counselling and you have the money for private counselling you could have a look at the ACTO therapist directory as all of the counsellors on there have had specialist training:
    https://acto-org.uk/therapists/
    I hope that helps.
    Emma

  • Rifi7Rifi7 Posts: 141Member Pioneering
    I understand Mandie_T49 you don’t want to talk to anybody right now, so maybe online counselling is an idea for start. What harm can it be to just try it and if you find your not ready then you can stop it until you are ready. I know the feeling of being angry and no one understands. I have had family members who seem to have moved on so quickly and that’s made me feel mad but I can’t be mad anymore. Everyone grieves differently and besides I don’t want to waste my energy being angry.  I just want to honour my brotherS memory.
    I wish you all the best and the meantime if you need to chat at least you have myself and lovely people on this forum for you. Although it may feel like it remember you are not alone.
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