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> Anxiety, need some advice
Jay
post Jul 20 2010, 09:43 PM
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I have chronic anxiety and am being treated.I respond well and maybe could be without meds but its been 10 years. My main symptoms are fears.Custody is shared and the child more time with me. I did a great job raising the child since we separated for the last 18 months. My work ethic is poor mainly due to physical pain I have.

I never thought about it but since things don't look too good and possibility of going to court, she will bring up my anxiety as a weapon vs me. Our shared custody is by agreement not a court order.

Can my anxiety cause me to lose custody? I know despite taking major care of the child so far, a judge may find the illness a "problem" and that worries me.

Please advice.
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DavidMichael
post Jul 21 2010, 12:59 PM
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You say that you are being treated and that you are responding well to treatment. I am not a lawyer but I don't believe that would affect the judges decision. My advice would be to get a statement from your doctor stating that just in case she tries to use it against you. Also right now you have shared custody and she agreed to it, if she was worried about your disorder why would she allow it? That point right there shows the judge that it is not an issue.
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Jay
post Jul 21 2010, 06:48 PM
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Thanks DM. Logically it is so. Plus if you add that since separation I took major care of the child including medical and more, I was and still am the better parent. But the thought of having anxiety for a decade and my last shrinks misdiagnosis make me scared. I don't fear going psychiatric tests, my major issues are fears and over worrying. Severe stress too.
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Ed
post Jul 21 2010, 09:37 PM
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Hi Jay,

It seems to me in this case you could be your own worst enemy. Make sure you don't overthink this.

While you do have anxiety, this hasn't affected your ability to raise your child.

Re-read that sentence. That is what you want to remember and convey if you are challenged. Keep it simple. If you elaborate you could end up in a position of having to explain yourself. Keep any expalanation short. If a judge wants a longer explanation, they'll ask for it.

The bottom line is you've done a great job. Stay on the topic of the great job and everything else will take care of itsself.

Ed...


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Jay
post Jul 22 2010, 04:29 AM
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See you are right. I think about this more I should. And overworrying doesn't make me feel any better. I just have to get a job that is not hard as my chronic physical pain made me quit last 2.

But in the past I did have depression like symptoms too and seeked help from a family physician and was on financial assistance a few times because of it. Nothing serious like hospitalization or mood swings, but now I worry I could get labeled with depression as well or do you think since I healed that I shouldn't worry about it?
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Jay
post Jul 23 2010, 01:40 AM
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Oh and those few depression attacks were not caused by divorce, they were before and one during the marriage. I asked this Q on another forum and while 2 people answered how they know someone with SEVERE depression having custody, they both happen to be female parents, and when you search on the internet depression and custody it can be scary but it does talk about more serious mental disorders weakest one being major depression.

But anyway, it does worry me.
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Ed
post Jul 24 2010, 08:24 PM
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Of course you're worried. What you need is a plan in case this is brought up.

If it was brought up, be truthful. Tell the court the only time you had problems was during the marriage. Since then you have done a great job with the child. In fact, mother moust have agreed and not been concerned because she has left the child with you and not filed anything.

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Jay
post Jul 25 2010, 03:00 AM
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Thanks Ed...

You see, my depression or the blues were probably situational depression. But I didn't hesitate to seek help to prevent something more serious. So I had a few documented doctor trips prior to marriage and 1 during the marriage. It was not serious, no mood disorders, no hospitalization, no anger etc.

I did a great job raisinig the child for almost almost 2 years, (during the marriage too) ex never brought it up in fact I have a text message from her that I am a great father and the child is happy with me. I took the child off the bottle a few months ago and just found out she still gives him bottles, my point is I am way ahead of her when it comes to childs wellbeing. I just Iopened him a bank account to save for college and it can't be touched until he is 18. But I know what depression is so when I started feeling blue I immediatelly sought help and responded well.

A few (non bias) people told me as long as my problems were well treated and there is proof I am a caring parent and if needed, a doctor's letter, I have nothing to worry about.

But for some reason I like to hear your opinion based on your knowledge and your experience, how likely is this to affect my case negatively.
I know no one can predict a court decision no matter what, but I can't tell the court it was only during the marriage I had those problems because I had them before marriage and I don't regret seeking help because prevention is better than getting really sick.

Would your answer be same as the one regarding anxiety (like DavidMichael said) or do you think simply the fact being treated for depression is a bad thing for me?

Sorry about the long post but you went through tough divorce and CS battle and I hope you understand my worries.

Jay
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Ed
post Jul 26 2010, 07:14 AM
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Hi Jay,

In my experience, medical or psychological conditions only effect custody if they impair the safety of the child.

For instance, if a parent were bed ridden and had an infant they obviously couldn't care for them. However, a parent with a limb missing could still get their 10 year old to school and make do just fine.

In your case, you've proven your condition doesn't impair your parenting so in my opinion, you have nothing to worry about.

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DavidMichael
post Jul 26 2010, 09:54 AM
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There is nothing about your condition that is affecting your parenting. When you begin to worry too much, STOP, take a deep breath and tell yourself it will be alright. If it helps make cue cards for your self and keep them with you. Think about what one of your fears are that makes you worry and then write at least 3 positive things that negate it. Keep your cards with you and when worry begins to get the best of you read them out loud to yourself. Read them out loud to your self just before bed and just before getting out of bed. This is an exercise I learned from a motivational class in college. It really helps. Just stay positive and say things like "I am happier and more confident" instead of "I am less depressed and didn't worry as much". I am sure it will help you as much as it did me and my sister.
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