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    My uncle passed away recently and it has started hitting me lately. This has led to anxiety and panic attacks without warning. I think I have started realizing his absence lately and I do not know how to get closure or deal with this grief since I am away from home and family.

    How do you think I should approach this problem as the attacks are getting in the way of studies and in general my life? Thank you

    SS Moderator
    SS Moderator

    Hello Seema, when a loved one dies, sometimes it takes time for us to process what has happened. Some of the stages we go through during the grief cycle are: shock, denial, anger, depression. The final stage of grieving is acceptance. Maybe you haven’t reached this stage yet, and your unresolved pain at the loss, is causing you symptoms of anxiety and panic. If you have a panic attack  tell yourself that it will pass in a few minutes (it always does). Get into the habit of deep breathing several times a day – this will increase the hormone serotonin in your body which helps calm you.

    You mention the attacks are getting in the way of your studies. You can set aside a few minutes each night to think about how you valued your uncle in your life,  but don’t allow yourself to think about it during any other time. Scheduling a time for this can help you process the feelings, but in a controlled way. If your mind starts going there when you are working/ studying, then force yourself to refocus on the task at hand.

    Is your anxiety linked to a fear of death? What are your spiritual beliefs regarding death? If there’s a thought that brings comfort, (for example believing that he’s in a better place), then try to focus on that thought. You mention that you are away from family. Have you had the chance to talk to someone about your feelings of loss? Talking about it can also bring a sense of relief – so reach out to a loved one and talk about what you are experiencing. You can also try writing your thoughts and feelings on paper, in as much detail as possible. Take that paper to the beach and let it flow into the sea……….symbolic of letting go and acceptance. You can honor his memory by doing small acts of charity or kindness in his name, or make a donation to a cause in his name. The saying that “time heals” is really true.

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