Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My Doctor put me on Prozac and sleeping pills the day after my husband died and now I feel I have lost control of my life.

I have been reading about grief and now realize what I am experiencing is a normal part of grief and as I never suffered from depression before his death I wonder why he was so keen to put me on pills because I am starting to realize all I was displaying was signs of shock and grief.

Should I still be sad after a year and what do you think of tranquillizers?

I have tried to wean myself off the Prozac but to no avail as I get anxiety attacks which I’ve never experienced in my life before.

I have started taking the sleeping pills every third night and I am actually sleeping better.

What is your opinion?


Aunty S responds:

Of course, my darling, it’s normal to feel sad a year down the track.

There is a huge difference between grief and depression.

Yes, some who grieve end up terribly depressed because loneliness takes over and sometimes those around them are insensitive to their needs.

And often financial hardship destroys the way of life they have become accustomed too hence depression sets in.

But you were handed these drugs the day after his death!!!

Give me a break!

You’d never had a depression day in your life and he hands them to you!

I could understand if you were prone to depression but you weren’t!!

Go back to your Doctor, with a trusted friend by your side, and tell him you want to come off Prozac and you require assistance.

Furthermore tell him how you are already weaning yourself off the sleeping pills and sleeping better when off them.

Talking, crying, reminiscing, are all part of the grieving process; as well as sadness, anger, fear and loneliness.

Grief is a long journey.

It is coming up three years since my husband died and there are still moments of deep sadness I have to contend with.

This is the price we pay for having happiness taken away prematurely.

Of course there should be a rule that a husband and a wife should die at a very old age together so as not to leave the other behind, but sadly this isn’t the case.

The info I have sent you on grief is the material I found the most helpful in coping with all stages of grief.

Keep me posted my dear.

I am only a click away.

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