Mourning boyfriend's loss, dating a best friend, generalized anxiety disorder

Questions this week focus on the death of a boyfriend, dating a best friend, and how to deal with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Dear Mary Jo,

My boyfriend died a little over a week after we started our relationship. I know we weren't together long, but we talked for 8 months prior and everything reminds me of him. Is there a way to help move on or any way to make things easier?

Thank you,

D

Dear D,

I am sorry for your loss, and I don't discount the fact that you weren't dating long for you to be affected by your boyfriend's death. That speaks loudly of your sensitivity and your ability to love. I think it would help to join a support group for grieving, and there are many online as well as those offered through churches and employee assistance programs. I also think it would be wonderful for you to do something that symbolizes his life such as planting a tree or getting involved in a project he was passionate about. Time will help you move on and so will talking about him to others. If you notice your grief has not lessened within 3 months' time, it would be wise to seek individual counseling. An objective third party can help you feel validated and help you move forward.

Dear Mary Jo,

I'm dating someone who was a best friend of mine. We have a GREAT relationship, and completely skipped the awkward stages since we were so close before. I'm so attracted to him, but don't have those intense passion/nervous feelings with him. Is it a sign?

Thanks,

Ali

Dear Ali,

It sounds as though you are not experiencing the lust or infatuation stage, which is probably a good thing. As long as there is attraction and you feel completely at ease with him, this sounds like a healthy relationship. Just remember, if it doesn't work, you lose not only a boyfriend, but also a very good friend.

Dear Mary Jo,

I was diagnosed with GAD anxiety in 2011. How can I overcome this? Will I ever be back to my normal self before this happened?

Thanks,

Angie

Dear Angie,

Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be mild, moderate or severe. It can also have late onset depending on what you are referring to happening before you were diagnosed. Depending on how severe your anxiety is will determine the severity of symptoms as well as the duration. If it is severe, you may need medication for life, whereas if it is mild, you may only have sporadic episodes of intense anxiety. Hormones also affect it, so as much as you can include your well woman doctor with your mental health. Here are some things I think will help you manage your emotional health.

Write down your worries. It requires more work to write down what you are worried about, and it seems to extinguish the anxiety sooner. Create an anxiety worry period. Choose one or two 10 minute "worry periods" each day; time you can devote to anxiety. Exercise Therapy: exposure therapy with visualization, EMDR: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing Cognitive behavioral therapy to help you accept uncertainty Cut down on alcohol Make a care box. This is a matter of putting comfort things or items that make you feel stronger in a bag or box and keeping it with you throughout the day. Thank you to my followers who are brave and willing to ask the questions that help to heal themselves and others.

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