Family is undoubtedly one of the most important things in life. You support each other through the hard times and celebrate the good. But sometimes things go wrong and that happy family is broken apart and all hell breaks loose.
For one man, the family drama has become overwhelming as he tries to keep his relatives together and fix things with his supposedly “attention seeking” father.
“About six months after they separated he started having anxiety attacks. They usually occurred in the car when I was driving him places or we would be in public,” the son wrote. “Any time someone disagrees with him or he’s not getting his way he starts taking huge breaths and grabbing his chest and screaming.”
Escalating over the past couple of years, the son added that he now has to take his dad to hospital at least twice a week for his apparent anxiety attacks.
“I’ve dropped a few events to take him but as soon as he’s in a bed and getting attention it stops,” he said.
When each of these events occurs, the son said his father makes a big scene and ends up ruining family events that should be happy occasions. At one point the 65-year-old started to panic while out to dinner after his ex-wife was mentioned in conversation.
“He starts clutching the table and shaking it. The glasses and plates rattle. He says, ‘oh no, its coming,’ and starts to let out little yells and people look over,” the son explained.
“I tell my dad let’s go outside and get air and he responds with a yell as he tries to get up, he asks me for assistance to get up and I help him. He starts shaking and yelling in agony. He then slowly falls to his knee and closes his eyes.”
While the son is convinced his dad is being an attention seeker, the rest of his family aren’t so sure and so arguments break out and everyone is in distress.
“I told my aunt and brother that his behaviour seems fake and over the top and he’s being difficult and he is suddenly find [sic] with attention,” the son exclaimed. “The doctors have found nothing physically wrong and refer him to a therapist (which he won’t do).”
Reaching out for help, the man asked fellow forum users for advice and ways to solve the issue that is tearing his family apart. The majority of respondents were on his side and many suggested he call an ambulance the next time an anxiety attacks occurs.
“Stop taking him to the hospital yourself. Every time this happens, call 911. You could suggest a mental health assessment as well,” one person wrote.
“I would say something like, ‘I can’t make it over right now, if you think its severe go ahead and call an ambulance’. I’d be vague and keep it short and to the point,” another added.
While others seemed convinced it’s an issue that should be dealt with by a mental health professional.
“Get the mental health issue taken care of without involving 911. Don’t deprive real emergency users of resources because of your family drama,” a third said.