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01 Jul 2010

Scared of dying
Dearest Doc, First time here, so not sure if you would be able to assist me now by calming my inner soul. I had the most terrifying dream last night, it woke me in tears. Not going into details about that, but htis morning, I am so scared of dying and leaving my daughter alone behind. I am scared I will get cancer or heart attack or stroke. I have tears in my eyes writting to you, the thought of abandoning my child and it is me who is doing it to her is not fair. I think all this has got to do with my high cholestrol of nearly 8 and the fact that I am trying to stop smoking now and changing my lifestyle. Also the fear of losing our materialistic possessions (including home) becasue I am a few thousand rand over my budget this month. I am juat scared and stressed of leaving her behind. How could a dream put so much fear into me? How do I get my mental / emotional stability back? I want to cry my heart out everytime I just think about it. I am trying not to think about it. I will be going to the doctor this afternoon to discuss my cholertrol and other medical issues. I am scared he will dignose me with something terribly wrong. (I had my appointment with him since last week) Is my dream telling me something? I thank you for your time.
Answer 406 views

01 Jan 0001

Never forget that a dream is just a dream. As it occurs when we are rather vulnerable it may be very scary, and may remind us of uncomfortable things we'd rather not think about. Fear of dying or dread disease is something that frightens everyone, though we usually manage not to focus on it. We can sensibly take all available precautions so as to make it less likely, but simply worying about it, as you've found, doesn't help at all.
I'm curious about the precise way you seem to be experiencing this fear, though, when you say : " the thought of abandoning my child and it is me who is doing it to her is not fair". You are not likely to leave your child alone in the near future, and even what you fear would hardly be any deliberate abandoning of her - you seem to fel that any severe illness you might experience would be entirely your fault. I don't understand that. You didn't choose to get a high cholesterol ( which may increase your risks of some medical problems, but makes none of them certain )and you are starting to do something useful about it - to change your diet and lifestyle, and to give up smoking - great decision, een if hard to carry out, it'll be well worth it.
That fream doesn't predict any particula danger - it reflects the guilty feelings of being at high risk which you already had - it dramatized what was already concerning you. The dream isn't telling you that the doc will have any bad news - it is telling you that this is what you fel scaed about.
Keep as calm as you can, and discuss any risk factors with your doc, and what you can best do to reduce any of them, and what help he can give or refer you to, to make it easier to suced.
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