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09 Feb 2004

I'm paranoid
Please tell me if its normal. I'm always paranoid that something terrible will happen to my daughter or boyfriend. I have a 2 year old daughter, I sometimes wake up at night to check and see if she is beathing.I dont want to take her to creche I'm afraid she might fall , get sick or die. I'm so pre occupied with death it's even scaring me. If my boyfriend went out on a trip and time goes by without him calling I always think that something wrong has happened and he's dead. I even get scared to pick up the phone in case it's the police wanting to tell me the bad news. I'd hug my daughter everyday and tell her that I want to age and die before her ,I'm afraid I'm losing it.Is this normal . I check food labels to see if there's anything harmful that could kill my daughter, I check under the bed everynight in case there's a dangerous spider that can bite her and kill her. I'm really sick of this,but I cant take it off my mind . Please helpo , is it normal , am I being over protective ?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Anie,
Sounds rather like an anxiety disorder, which is normal but uncomfortable ! Some folks are dangerously blissfully unaware of the potential risks of life. But some, like you, are overaware of such risks, to the extent that you end up being hugely distressed for long periods of time when the risk is actually very small, and your distress produces no added safety at all. It's probably not cheerful for your daughter to receive daily hugs with the announcement that you want to die before her. Someone once said that if we love someone, though losing them would be awfully painful, we might not pray to go first, as we'd want to spare them the pain of losing us.
Why I think you and your daughter would benefit if you'd see a shrink to work on reducing this excess anxiety, is that it's not doing you or her any good, and you're going somewhat over the top. Do you ralize how rare it is for there to be anything lethal within canned food ? And if that happened by chance, it wouldn't be on the label. And do you recognize how rare really poisonous spiders are, and how rarely they lurk under anyone's bed ?
Being ovr-protective isn't a great idea, because it can make it harder for a child to learn to protect herself. Some counselling and treatment for your excess anxiety might help you get things into perspective, and become an even better Mom.
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