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Old Yesterday, 12:53 PM
 
Location: DFW
580 posts, read 160,334 times
Reputation: 901

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I have 2 daughters which we will call D1 and D2 for ease of writing.

D1 is a young adult living out of state. She has always been ADHD and high anxiety which presents itself mostly as anger, then turns into depression. Her frustration threshold is almost zero, and thus, she is often frustrated and angry even with the simplest of tasks. When it comes to something that is frustrating and anger producing for even the most laid back person- like going to the DMV for example- I pretty much know that it will never get done, or will be such a $h!t show that I have to prepare myself for days. She has had suicidal ideology in the past, and for years since, I have felt like I was standing on the ledge of a skyscraper in a wind storm, wondering when I would get knocked off the edge.

D2 is a teenager at home. D2 is not quite the level of concern as D1. D2 has anxiety, but it is more of the "productive type" like mine. She gets everything done, very fast, very perfect, very efficient. Organizes all her friends, and all of their school work for them. She has some OCD that is starting to concern me about germs. She has constant hand sanitizer - one in bathroom, one on side table, one in car, one in backpack

They are both in counseling, so no need to go down that road. D1 was on meds for years until they seemed to make her worse. She is much better off them, but uses CBD and the real stuff (she is in a legal state) which helps.

This is about me this time.
I have not really slept for years.
I am constantly worrying about tiny things like if their clothes are clean, to big things like when they are driving long distances or in severe weather.
I seem to feel every single emotion they feel. I actually often pray/meditate for that to happen so that they do not take on more than they can handle.
It is unrelenting.

Yes, it'd be nice to let go of this for myself, but more importantly, I'd like to let go of it for their sake, as I believe it is making them worse. I also use counseling and CBD only (not in a legal state).

Since I believe you will ask, yes, dad and I have a wonderful and loving marriage, no type of addiction, abuse, or other negative factors. He is very involved, but so laid back that he never worries. I have to beg him to please worry so that I can breathe a little (doesn't usually work- just not in his nature).

Is anyone like this- motherhood-related anxiety disorder (I made it up)?
What did you do?
Are there books? Support groups?
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Old Yesterday, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,698 posts, read 41,969,946 times
Reputation: 50609
You're already in therapy, which is largely what would be used for the type of anxiety you describe. What modality of treatment does your therapist use? Cognitive Behavioral therapy sounds like a potential helpful route.

How do you feel that your husband worrying would alleviate your worry?
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Old Yesterday, 02:44 PM
 
Location: DFW
580 posts, read 160,334 times
Reputation: 901
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
You're already in therapy, which is largely what would be used for the type of anxiety you describe. What modality of treatment does your therapist use? Cognitive Behavioral therapy sounds like a potential helpful route.

How do you feel that your husband worrying would alleviate your worry?
Treatment: really nothing. It is difficult to get into a therapist chair around here. I had one who moved too far away, so I found one in my building. She is really nice and wonderful, but always booked. Also, it is my fault because all I talk about is my daughters and how I can help them. I really don't know what I'm supposed to say

Husband: If he would feel the girls' pain like I do, he wouldn't be able to do anything else until he tried to help them through things. I am left doing that all by myself.
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Old Yesterday, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,416 posts, read 41,942,096 times
Reputation: 83406
A certain amount of worry is normal, of course. But it can go to a point that it actually harms your relationship with your child and affects their level of worry as well.

It's one thing to share your concerns with your children, but it's better to do it in a way that doesn’t make the other person feel that you perceive them to be incapable of managing their own affairs.

There have been studies that show that disappointing their parents is the top concern for children, and that concern can still be a major stressor as they age. Are your daughters aware of your level of anxiety?

Is this something that started when your oldest daughter was young and has carried over/gotten worse? Were you able to model stress tolerance for them?

Does your older daughter text you a lot, or in times of stress? The way we communicate these days, with constant, instant communication, can make it more difficult for parents to disengage, even when the kid lives out of town. You still have to enforce emotional boundaries when they're out of the house. They can't keep you tethered with a phone like a leash.

It's interesting to hear you say that you don't know what to say to the therapist. They can guide the session and help you figure out how to honestly think about your own level of involvement in your kids' life, how your daughters are receiving it, and whether you are enabling your daughters, seeking to control them, or providing support, etc.

It does sound like you need some better stress management/coping skills. Have you been in for a general checkup lately?
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Old Yesterday, 06:59 PM
 
Location: planet earth
4,852 posts, read 1,853,019 times
Reputation: 10792
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshaBrady1968 View Post
I have 2 daughters which we will call D1 and D2 for ease of writing.

D1 is a young adult living out of state. She has always been ADHD and high anxiety which presents itself mostly as anger, then turns into depression. Her frustration threshold is almost zero, and thus, she is often frustrated and angry even with the simplest of tasks. When it comes to something that is frustrating and anger producing for even the most laid back person- like going to the DMV for example- I pretty much know that it will never get done, or will be such a $h!t show that I have to prepare myself for days. She has had suicidal ideology in the past, and for years since, I have felt like I was standing on the ledge of a skyscraper in a wind storm, wondering when I would get knocked off the edge.

D2 is a teenager at home. D2 is not quite the level of concern as D1. D2 has anxiety, but it is more of the "productive type" like mine. She gets everything done, very fast, very perfect, very efficient. Organizes all her friends, and all of their school work for them. She has some OCD that is starting to concern me about germs. She has constant hand sanitizer - one in bathroom, one on side table, one in car, one in backpack

They are both in counseling, so no need to go down that road. D1 was on meds for years until they seemed to make her worse. She is much better off them, but uses CBD and the real stuff (she is in a legal state) which helps.

This is about me this time.
I have not really slept for years.
I am constantly worrying about tiny things like if their clothes are clean, to big things like when they are driving long distances or in severe weather.
I seem to feel every single emotion they feel. I actually often pray/meditate for that to happen so that they do not take on more than they can handle.
It is unrelenting.

Yes, it'd be nice to let go of this for myself, but more importantly, I'd like to let go of it for their sake, as I believe it is making them worse. I also use counseling and CBD only (not in a legal state).

Since I believe you will ask, yes, dad and I have a wonderful and loving marriage, no type of addiction, abuse, or other negative factors. He is very involved, but so laid back that he never worries. I have to beg him to please worry so that I can breathe a little (doesn't usually work- just not in his nature).

Is anyone like this- motherhood-related anxiety disorder (I made it up)?
What did you do?
Are there books? Support groups?
I have PTSD from some family issues, so 100% resonate with what you wrote.

What is working for me in separating my mind from "their" problems is edibles. They shift you from head to heart and stop the worrying and ruminating. I know you said you are not in a "legal" state. You do have options, just not legally.

I have used lots of other things, but nothing has worked for me like edibles.
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Old Yesterday, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,927 posts, read 13,680,252 times
Reputation: 11611
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshaBrady1968 View Post
Husband: If he would feel the girls' pain like I do, he wouldn't be able to do anything else until he tried to help them through things. I am left doing that all by myself.
I understand that your kids will always be your kids, and you'll always worry about them and want to help them.... but... the older one in particular is an adult. And honestly, I think part of her problem is that it sounds like you're always there to "help" her and allow her to behave the way she does. Why are you even doing things like going with her to the DMV? She's an adult, she can go to the DMV alone. And if she can't handle the frustration of that, well, too bad, she's going to have to figure it out on her own because that's what adults do. You'd have less anxiety if you stopped trying to "help them through things" that they shouldn't need help getting through at their age. Nothing to do with your husband - maybe your husband even understands this and that's why he doesn't do it. There comes a point when you "helping them through things" is actually hurting their ability to be self sufficient adults.
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Old Yesterday, 08:45 PM
 
1,013 posts, read 307,067 times
Reputation: 2216
If your girls are older, you might be experiencing perimenopause or menopause anxiety. Some women develop panic attacks or depression from changing hormones.

I was always in a state of heightened state of alert in my late forties and early fifties. It cleared up on its own.

I agree with the above post by PA4UK. You gotta let them fail. It's the only way for them to learn.
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Old Yesterday, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,698 posts, read 41,969,946 times
Reputation: 50609
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshaBrady1968 View Post
Husband: If he would feel the girls' pain like I do, he wouldn't be able to do anything else until he tried to help them through things. I am left doing that all by myself.
What would he be doing to help them through things?

What do you end up doing, specifically?
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Old Yesterday, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,933 posts, read 14,414,141 times
Reputation: 30908
My take is that your girls learned their anxiety from seeing you constantly anxious. I have seen this very thing in my own family. i was an anxious new mother and remained somewhat anxious for several years. My oldest, who experienced more of my anxiety has always been more anxious than my younger two. Thank goodness some of this has relaxed, although I see it when I hear about deadlines

I don’t know what to suggest for your girls. But I wonder if you could try yoga? And, perhaps try massage therapy?

I did not sleep well during perimenopause. If you are going through that, well, I sympathize. But if the inability to sleep is a longstanding problem, then you probably need to find out how to mitigate the problem.

One thing to try to help you sleep, and to work off your nervous energy, is to begin a physical fitness program. You might get a trainer for a few sessions to learn some good exercises. But walking or using an elliptical would help dissipate nervous energy, and would tire you enough to sleep.

I think you will have to try a few things to see what works for you.
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Old Yesterday, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,698 posts, read 41,969,946 times
Reputation: 50609
Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
My take is that your girls learned their anxiety from seeing you constantly anxious. I have seen this very thing in my own family. i was an anxious new mother and remained somewhat anxious for several years. My oldest, who experienced more of my anxiety has always been more anxious than my younger two. Thank goodness some of this has relaxed, although I see it when I hear about deadlines
I guarantee that much of my own anxiety as a child, teen, and adult was environmentally affected by having a parent who spent essentially all her parenting years with undiagnosed, untreated generalized anxiety disorder with some specific phobias. Long after her childrearing years were over, she did finally receive diagnosis and treatment, and her quality of life is night and day. My four siblings and I all have residual symptoms, to varying degrees and of different varieties, that are not uncommon at all when one is raised by a parent with anxiety.

I see it now, in parents and families that I treat in therapy, where the children are deeply affected by the parents' anxiety symptoms.
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