Firefigher Anxiety

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firefighterwife
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/7/2005 10:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I have no idea what I am doing, but I am grasping for any help that I can find.  My husband was diagnosed with painc/anxiety disorder over a year ago.  They have placed him on two different types of medication.  Everything seemed to be going well, but this week, he decides he no longer knows if he wants to be married or not.  He says he loves me and his daughter, but he doesn't know if he can be happy anymore.  He is a firefighter and 3 other firemen on the department have also been diagnosed with these symptoms.  I can't help wondering if there is some relationship to the occupation and what these guys are feeling.  I don't want my marraige to end and if his medication or illness has something to do with it, I would love to get the answers.  He refuses to go to the doctor with me to maybe readjust him medications becuase he says they are not going to help him hecause all they have done so far is place him on medication that he will have to take forever like some crazy person.
Any information would be greatly appreicated.   Thanks in advance and good luck with everyone.

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 6/7/2005 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey FFwife. I'm sorry that you're going through this and that your husband is suffering from an anxiety disorder. I am suggesting he talk to his doctor or look into something at work where he can be referred to a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorder. Cognitive behaviour Therapy. This therapy will help him, can be done with or without medication.

In his field, it may be embarressing for him - I know many firefighters and have spent time at firehalls from being in the Media. I know that what they go through at times is awful and very very stressful. Most Fire Departments have an EAP program, I do hope he looks into this - It will only help him.

The meds he's on are giving him side effects I guess? Unless he's willing to DO something about his problem that is how it will stay...A Problem. I am sure he loves you so much, but isn't feeling like himself, feels like he is letting everybody down. This disorder warps the mind and makes you feel out of control.

I don't know how much you know about anxiety - But you just being supportive and understanding will help him greatly. Being sympathic to how he feels - He will need reassurance that it's okay - Nothing bad is going to happen and that anxiety is controllable, even if right now he may feel it isn't. This is where the CBT comes in handy...Learning how to cope and fight this awful feeling he has.

Hope this helps, please keep posting and maybe if you can, show him this site and see if he'll post as well. If he doesn't feel comfy posting here since you're on here as well, I know some other pretty wonderful sites he can join. Talking about it and finding support is very helpful. Everybody on here is going through similar things and really understand all that he is going through.

Don't give up on him - It's just so down and doesn't know wtf to do now - Probably has no intention of leaving you but figures he is letting you and your daughter down - Maybe leaving is the best because he doesn't want you to be concerned about him. Men are funny that way and prefer to work things out on their own and NOT ask for help. The thing is, if he doesn't get help soon this stupid anxiety WILL take over his life...It will be harder for him to climb out of the tunnel and make the rollercoaster ride worse. HE can do this!

Take care.
Red09


Having2LeftFeet
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 472
   Posted 6/7/2005 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear FFW,
Well, this is one matter that I DO know about. My son-in-law is a firefighter/paramedic Leut. in Jacksonville, Fl and he loves his job and there have been times when my daughter gives his space because he has a bad night or had a lot of calls. The biggest thing is losing a patient. When he loses one, especially a child or the elderly, he has a hard time but it makes him love my daughter and 2 grandchldren even more and is more appreciative. I truly think it's like the "macho man" appeal where they think women fall all over them. The grass is not greener on the other side. Stephen lost a 2 mo old girl a month ago and he rode his bike 10 miles home and 10 back. He is very atheletic, runs in triathalons (spell?) lifts weights and surfs all over the world. That's his escape. When he lost that baby, he cried riding his bike. Jennifer, my daughter, knows when he has had a bad night and being a Leut. gives more stress. He is very smart, also a nurse and is going for Capt. the next go around.
 
Perhaps you need to distant yourself from him for a while or back off and et him work on his own issues. There are so many time I have wanted to take the burdens off my husband but they are not mine to own. They are his. Also, pray a lot. Works for 90% of us. Welcome and come often. You'll find peace and contentment.
 
"Lefty"
There is no such word as can't. Can't simply means wouln't. Grab as much as life as you can. Future is a long way away for those who don't believe. Don't build a foundation of life on sand. It will take it away with the tide. Love a little more, be unkind a lot less.


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 6/7/2005 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome FFW,

Well . . . you got some great advice from Lefty and Red!! They are right men have a very difficult time dealing with their emotions. They like to 'fix' everything and some things can't be fixed.

I also wonder if this is Post traumatic stress syndrome. Is there someone at the department that you could talk to who might be willing to come along side your hubby and try to (from a man's perspective) to help him get an idea of what is bugging him?? Also, you could make his doctor aware of the situation from your perspective so that doc can help lead him with the right questions.

I hope things work out for you.

Prayers, Hugs and Blessings!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie
Psalms 139
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firefighterwife
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/7/2005 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I appreciate all of your input, but I am not familiar with the EAP and CBT program.  I am so new at all this.. I was grasping and just got online to try and find something to do.  I went to our family doctor who sent him to the therapist the first time to diagnois what it was.  He advised me that I am just going to have to try to get him back in so he can speak with him and maybe fine tune his medication.  He also made an appointment for me to see a marriage therapist to possible help me learn to resolve some of the issues and learn how to handle him.  He said that it would be great if I could get him to go with me as well, but he refuses.  He says they just put him on the medicine for being crazy and he will be on them for life.
This has been the strangest thing that I have ever seen in my life.  He was in the Marine Corp for 6 years, was in Law Enforcement for 5 years or so, and has been with the fire dept. going on 5 years.  He is the most laid back individual you would ever meet and out of the blue one day he thought he was having a heart attack and things have not been the same since.
I just want to make him better.

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 6/7/2005 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
The EAP is Employee assistance program, which has on the job councilling for any firefighter who is experiencing any sort of post traumatic stress syndrome, or if they go to a call that has some negative affect on them. A friend of mine who is a firefighter rescued a child from a burning house and the whole family got out except for 2 kids. One of them sadly didn't make it...He was completely devastated over that, and took time off from work. Most calls that involve children are personal as most ff have children of their own.

I guess something could have set your husband off, and that panic attack which mimicked a heart attack has made him afraid. Another reason why he's probably feeling ashamed and/or embarressed because he is a firefighter who is strong and in a position to save somebody's life. I'm sure this is a huge part of why he won't get help...hate to say this, but it's the ego. Once he realizes that he has this problem IT CAN BE FIXED!! I am walking proof that anxiety can be dealt with and get control back in your life.

Keep on loving him, if he pushes you away give him space but reassure him that it will all be okay, that you love him and will always support him no matter what. He's lucky to have such a loving wife - I hope he knows that.

My husband finally took the time to learn about my anxiety disorder...It's great to see you taking the bull by the horns and doing something about this...Even if he isn't ready, trust me on this one, HE will love you more for this.

Hugs!
Red09


firefighterwife
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/8/2005 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
After speaking with him again, he says that he is just afraid that life is passing him by and he is missing out on something.  With the death that he sees he knows that life is short.  Maybe I am the one with the issue here because I don't want to accept the fact that mabye he doesn't want to be with me anymore.  I don't feel that way either because he says he loves me and isn't sure if he wants to be married anymore or not.  I am so confused.  Do I just leave him and let him see what it is live to be alone or to I hang on for dear life?  I want to hang on because in my heart I think he has some deeper issues. ???????????????????????????? confused

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 6/8/2005 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Has he actually said he'd like to separate? Or he is just going through a mini midlife crisis... Either way I do think Marriage councilling will help, and he owes it to you, your daughter and ofcourse to the marriage itself. He seems to be giving up too easily. The grass is NOT greener on the other side of the fence. I think most people know this too. I mean, what are you going to do, let him move out (if he wants to go, let him go, you shouldn't have to leave the house and your daughter. That is the price and consquence of him leaving.) do what he wants to do, date etc...Then when he feels ready to come home again, all will be okay? I'm sorry if what I say upsets you, that is not my intent at all. I just don't think him finding what he is looking for is really out there...What he has is infront of him. You and your child together.

Hugs.
Red09


firefighterwife
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/8/2005 2:52 PM (GMT -7)   

You are not upsetting me at all.. I am just trying to see what I need to do.  I don't want to smother him, but I don't want him to think that I don't care either.  I just know that everything in our life was perfectly normal until May 04 when he was rushed to the ER with classic signs of a heart attack.  They ran every test they could run.  He was seen by a cardiologist and two different medical doctors.  He then went to a diagnostic clinic, and another trip to a different ER.  He was sent to two different therapist who diagnoised it different.  One said it was anxiety the other said there was some kind of medical reason.  He went to another cardiologist and all of them said it was anxiety.  We went through some many ambulance runs to our home b/c he was convinced he was dying.  He is 33 years old and through this he didn't want me to leave his side.  He didn't want to be left alone.  He thought he would go to sleep and not wake up.  They have him on Lexapro 10mg a day and Clonazepam 1mg three times a day.  He seemed like he was doing fine, he seemed a bit run down, but I figured it was the medication and the fact that if he isn't working at the Fire dept., he drives a gas truck sometimes when they need him and if he isn't doing that, he builds furniture from home.  He is always doing something, so I figure he is just tired until he comes home with the I love you and if it wasn't for Maddie, I'd be better off dead.  They put on medication for the rest of my life like I am some crazy person.  I am a failure and I am just pulling you down with me.  You deserve to be treated better.  You need to go and find someone who will treat you right!!!!!!!  SCREAM!!!!!!!!!  I don't get it... Is this typical of this disorder or could he just be trying to run me off... I don't know.

 


Having2LeftFeet
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 472
   Posted 6/9/2005 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
There are times in life when people don't know what they want. They are "floundering" and like a fish out of water, flopping around without the feelings of others. Prayer is the key.
There is no such word as can't. Can't simply means wouln't. Grab as much as life as you can. Future is a long way away for those who don't believe. Don't build a foundation of life on sand. It will take it away with the tide. Love a little more, be unkind a lot less.


firefighterwife
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/9/2005 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   

He has been on Lexapro since last May... It seemed he was doing well.  He got back to work and even started doing the things on the side that he did before anything happened.  I have an appointment with a therapist on the 30th.  I am still trying to convince him to go with me, but he says it won't do any good at all.  He says that he doesn't like himself and he was not meant to be married... He has even suggested that he join back up in the Marine Corp to get away from everyone because he causes everyone problems.

I am still working on trying to atleast getting him back in to our family doctor and talk with him just to see if his meds aren't working anymore. 

What convinced you to finally go in?  He is just dead set against it and hates the fact that he is on meds at all.  I don't know why he feels this way, because I too am on them.  I was to the point where all I could do was cry because I couldn't fix it.


ANGRYWOLF
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/10/2005 6:54 AM (GMT -7)   
With some men it's the macho thing..they view taking meds as a sign of weakness..But he does seem to be getting better...and I hope the regime continues..Please take care and all the best...{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}.
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