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Second-hand Trauma?

Discussion in 'Life Changing or Long Term Physical Illness' started by GeminiStar, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. GeminiStar

    GeminiStar Well-Known Member

    (I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this. If not, feel free to point me in the right direction)
    Ok, I'm not even sure how to describe whats upsetting me, but first a little background.
    A few weeks ago, my dad had a heart attack while playing cricket. Thankfully, people there knew what they were doing and a hospital was near, so he was luckily tended to very quickly. He's since made a surprisingly fast full recovery, which was a massive relief.
    Since then I've been highly anxious over my own health, particularly my heart. I honestly don't think i have much to fear about it at the moment, but i keep getting sudden fears over small pains (maybe im becoming a hypochondriac?) As silly as it sounds, i even forced myself to stay up all night a couple weeks ago because a part of my mind was somehow convinced my heart would stop if i fell asleep. I don't know how i could've come to such a conclusion.
    Is this trauma? I don't really know. Is it possible to have "second-hand" trauma? I'm not sure if I need much in the way of advice or not, i guess I just want to know for sure whether or not I'm overreacting or going crazy or something. It's been bothering me for weeks now.
  2. may71

    may71 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you're understandably experiencing some anxiety because of your dad's heart condition. It also sounds like the trauma of that experience is making you over react.

    There's a reasonable level of concern about health issues that can be beneficial, but you've clearly taken things to the level of irrational and excessive fear.
  3. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    I think that what you're experiencing is probably very uncomfortable and troubling but I don't think it is an over-reaction at all. It isn't unreasonable to be a little traumatised by your dad having a heart attack and I think that it is natural to be concerned about your own health in light of that experience. Perhaps it would be a good idea to go and see a doctor and get a work up to put your mind at ease?
  4. GeminiStar

    GeminiStar Well-Known Member

    Now that you mention it, the doctors have never mentioned anything wrong with my heart when I've seen them in recent history. I might get a checkup soon, just in case. I haven't had a night like the really bad one I mentioned lately, maybe I'm starting to calm down from it all.
    It's just that it was so sudden and unexpected with dad. It's not like he's unhealthy or anything, it really came out of the blue. I'm just so glad it happened when and where it did, so he was able to get medical attention right away. If it'd happened at his team's home ground, honestly... he most likely wouldn't have made it. It gives me shivers just thinking about it.
  5. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Typically the way peopel learn about mortality is though the death or illness of peopel close to them. It is why so many very young are "suicidal" - because they have no concept or reaction to death or severe illness- having never been exposed it is not real- just means "sleeping" and not here on Sunday dinner. Then when somebody close to them has a brush with mortality you become very sensitive to the concept of mortality and hyper aware of the many ways it can be taken. Not nice of comfortable, but also very normal.
  6. GeminiStar

    GeminiStar Well-Known Member

    I've experienced death before, my grandma passed away a few years ago. Though I had time to come to terms with it happening, she was in palliative care for months before her death.
    I guess my dad's heart attack struck me a bit harder because of how sudden and unexpected it was. He's not an unhealthy person, and he'd had no history of heart problems prior. It was more a freak accident, and I guess that's what really shook me up about it.
  7. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    I am sorry it has been making life more difficult, nobody needs additional worries- particularly the sort completely out of our control. I hope you are able to put them out of your mind and stop having those additional concerns. You deserve a little peace in your thoughts instead of constant dread about what is yet to come. It is really hard to have hope and feel good about the future when seemingly every thought is a concern about the bad that can happen and the good that doesn't ever seem to. It is hard to find contentment without some hope somewhere too.
  8. GeminiStar

    GeminiStar Well-Known Member

    It's slowly passing, thankfully, especially as my dad made a pretty fast and clean recovery overall. I haven't had any sort of night terrors or anything about it either lately, so hopefully that anxiety is fading.
    JmpMster likes this.