Post # 1
Hi Bees- This is a very different post for me, has nothing to do with weddings or rings, but my family and I are in desperate need of advice. Here goes (soo sorry this is so long):
I have an aunt who has severe anxiety disorders as well as depression. My step father got a job in FL about 6 years ago and ever since my family has been migrating down south. My aunt and I are the only 2 left from our family that still lives in NY state. My bf of 5.5 yrs and I have plans to move down to FL at the end of June of this yr.
For Months we have been telling my aunt with the anxiety that it would be good if she could move with us (One big move for all 3 of us instead of 2 moves) but she has it in her head that she cannot make the drive down the FL bc of her bad anxiety.
Now, before I move on, let me warn you guys that she is VERY dependent on my parents and I for almost everything. Grocery shopping, taking her to some doctors appointments, car problems etc. We have tried saying anything and everything to get her to be ok with moving but every time we bring it up she has an emotional break down and tells us she simply cannot do it.
I even told her that maybe we can get her sleeping pills for the car ride down, and you would think that would help my cause, but it didnt. I do not know what else i can say or do and neither do my parents. We know that ultimately she NEEDS to be close to us bc the older she gets the more she depends on us. How can i convince her of moving with us? she even admitted that she knows eventually she will need to be close to us, but it is not fair (or possible) for our entire family to move back up bc of her, and my bf and I are NOT going to change our minds about the move bc living in FL is what we want.
Please help…..any advice??? anyone else going through something similar? or has a family member with similar problems???
Post # 4
How does she feel about living in FL? Is it the drive itself, the move, or both that are concerning her? Furthermore, is she seeing any kind of doctor or counselor for this condition?
Post # 5
This is probably a dumb question, but is she already on anxiety meds?
Do shorter car rides bother her? Maybe you could kind of gradually go on longer trips in the car and see how she does?
Post # 6
@village_skeptic: Thank you for your response. She has been seeing a therapist for years. I think she is more worried about the move itself. She is worried she is going to have a panic attack on the drive down even though we suggested she asked her doctor about sleeping pills just for the drive and nothing else. She’s very relunctant but we all know she cannot survive alone in NY state. She needs to be with us 🙁
Post # 7
@CoCoCourtney: Yes she is already on anxiety meds (tons of meds actually). We have tried driving with her to places that are 30 mins, 45 mins or 1 hr away to see how she does and she’s done fine with us. She did however drive with a friend a few yrs ago to a mall (which is an hour away) and she had a massive panic attack that scared her.
Post # 8
Hmm – I don’t have much good advice because I’ve never been in a similar situation – I’m sorry you have to deal with this though, it must be very stressful!
My mom is extremely extremely wary of travelling so when she was forced to fly somewhere she asked her doc for meds (I think he gave beta blockers?). She ended up actually having to “test them out” at home before she worked up the nerve to travel. If you can convince your aunt to try some new medication, maybe something similar? I know you’re not supposed to take medication when you don’t need it, but maybe if you can warm her to the idea of trying new meds (whether they be sleeping pills or not) and let her try them in a controlled environment (i.e. have her take one before you go for a long drive), she’ll be less anxious?
Wish I could help more.
Post # 9
@WbeeGirl: What you described also sounds like panic disorder with agoraphobia which is fancy for people who are afraid to do certain activities because of the fear of a panic attack. (not saying that’s what is going on but it is a possibility)
Honestly, there’s not much you can do to convince her otherwise. Generally when people have severe anxiety or panic attacks people will a have behavioral therapy to help reducing the anxiety surrounding the activity. Therefore, she needs to work with her therapist on the panic attacks she’s thinking she will experience during this potential move. Often times when people have anxiety or panic attacks, they realize their fears are not rational and they need to do X but the fear is so great they still avoid X.
ETA when people have a panic attack or disorder the panic attacks come out of nowhere so it is completely uncontrolled
I also do not suggest changing up medications because medications take a long time to start working and some do not mix well together. For example, most depression meds take at least 2 months to start working.