I mean, I don’t think it is. But then again…
When I was ill, we were very conscious that if we weren’t careful I might drag others down into the hollow with me. Particularly my wife. She had her job, the family, me, so much pressure, so much stress. I think if she wasn’t as tough and straight as she is, it might have got to her. She took sensible precautionary steps: talking, talking, talking, to friends, her mum, my mum, even a counsellor. She was a good nurse, but refused to climb down in there with me. She maintained the broad contours of her life. She admits now it was a relief to leave the house and close the front door on the misery behind her.
But now I’m wondering about more subliminal reactions in my children. At the time, one had quite bad abdominal pains for several months. Growing pains said the doctor, but I wondered – anxiety? Another had problems sleeping. The insomnia seemed to come and go, broadly in line with my own fluctuating wretchedness.
Is it possible that people, children, can pick up on stress, anxiety, depression in adults and develop sympathetic symptoms? Would love to hear from clinicians on this.