I have agoraphobia, social anxiety and depression. Had loads of help to work through these problems, different therapies, different medications but still struggle a lot with all of them and the agoraphobia I have never really got on top of it.
I am an adult living with my parents for many years due to my mental illness. I work a lot, have no friends (mainly by choice as it is very hard for me to enjoy spending time with people due to the social phobia) and stay home over the weekend mainly. I feel I am at the end of the line, that nothing can help me. I have got to the point I am over trying to get better, I am tired and feel defeated. I want to die, but I am an only child and I am worried for my parents, but I cannot cope with them dying, and one has COPD and the other a bowel cancer.
Most normal people, would just deal with the illness of their parents and their death as inevitable, but I have always had this terrible fear of them dying, as my life is really nothing without them and I feel that when they start to get really sick , I will simply lose it and not be able to cope anymore and would end up committing suicide. I saw a movie when I was a young girl called Night Mother and felt a profound connection with the main character, I was only 17 at the time I did not know about mental illness or how my life would turn out, but to this day, over 20 years later, I feel that this is how my life is, like that character, you get to a point where you have had enough.I would like to possibly die before my parents, but I am so scared of getting it wrong and ending up worse off. I would like to talk to my parents about my wishes, but it would crush them, but I dont know how long I can keep pretending that I will be okay when they become ill. I feel I should have the right to choose to die if my life is so unhappy or that I am going to suffer considerably mentally by the deaths of my parents.This is not something that would happen in the very near future.
You may not be doing everything you can to help yourself. You seem to have essentially given up. The evidence? You choose not to have friends because of your anxiety. You could have friends, but you’d rather not because you consider your anxiety to be insurmountable. You are thus making a choice, the wrong choice in my opinion.
Anxiety is unpleasant, but it’s not insurmountable. No one likes unpleasant emotions, but avoidance only makes them worse. Avoidance reinforces and increases your anxiety and the stranglehold it has upon your life. Instead of choosing to avoid unpleasant emotions, choose to endure them and learn to work through them. In concrete terms, that means having friends even if the thought of interacting with them frightens you. If you face the problems that frighten you, rather than run from them, those problems will eventually not frighten you. With the assistance of a competent therapist to guide you through the process, you can prevail.
Anxiety and depression are highly treatable disorders. You should never stop searching for help until you find a treatment that works. It is especially important to find help because of your suicidal ideation. When someone is suicidal, it’s evidence of their suffering.
Regarding your parents, it is true that they will eventually die. Everyone who walks the earth will eventually die, but while we are here we must make the best of our time. You mustn’t allow it to be a torture. With therapy it needn’t be that way. There are many support groups and counselors that can assist you.
Call 5 to 10 therapists and speak to them over the phone. Choose the one with whom you feel the strongest connection. You might also try connecting with friends and family, members of clergy or anyone else who you think could help. Don’t stop trying until you find relief.
Finally, you might also try reading the book The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck. He discusses many of these issues in his book and provides suggestions for solutions. You might find it beneficial. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle