Generalised Anxiety Disorder

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Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby Livian82 » February 9th, 2013, 2:40 am

Just wanted to get a show of hands who's dealing with this. Mine has been defined as mild and as a co-morbitity to bipolar II. I liken it to white noise, constant in the background most of the time but can easily intensify at the slightest nudge or issue. I've been known to wake up from intense dreams in a panic believing everything in my dream state to be real. While I usually hide it well, I don't always completely break down, other times it's not so easy to contain.

I can't remember a time I've been in a state of relaxation for longer than a few minutes. I can be coasting fine, thoughts generally in order, then someone will make a comment and the next thing my mind is all oh S*** oh S*** and I feel like i've been punched in the pit of my stomach. I'd be fine with this if that was happening like once a week or so, but this is pretty much a daily occurrence for me now.

Off meds but currently still going through CBT. Find it really hard to shut down and just breathe for ten minutes at a time. I got through high school basically living in a fantasy land which has now evaporated completely and I can't really access it to give myself a mental haven from the BS of anxiety. I feel like I'm a slave to my own over-active amygdala.

I have a pretty high pressure job which doesn't help. I take anywhere from 70 to 100 phone calls a day basically requiring me to troubleshoot complex issues with a high level of accuracy.

It's one thing to have actual problems than you're ruminating over, money, family work all that stuff. But when the panic is coming out of no where for no real good reason, you have to ask yourself wtf?
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby Fredbo » February 9th, 2013, 10:45 pm

Yeah, anxiety is my main affliction... Have been on fluoxetine, clonazepam for years with occasional use of buspirone and bupropion. Everyday I feel like I'm gonna explode. Then depression seeps in. I have only been seeing my GP and think I really need to see a specialist. The worst is being being exhausted at night and, while lying in bed, all of a sudden realize that my muscles are tight like I am bracing for something. It is really starting to wear on me...
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby ghughes1980 » February 10th, 2013, 3:00 pm

Raises hand

Generalized was the diagnosis for me, Clonazepam and Ativan didn't help one bit. Some times I think this is what being on Meth would be like. Constantly agitated at the slightest thing and sleeping like $%^&. This is the icing on top of my conditions cake if you will. It has many layers and they all taste like Cider Vinegar mixed with piss.
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby Livian82 » February 11th, 2013, 3:24 am

Thanks guys.

Isn't that the worst, fredbo, the freaking tension. And the physical pain from it gets so bad you start thinking all kinds of nonsense that doctors will basically ignore anyway. I thought at one point I had fibromyalga. Hated fluoxetine. Definitely get a referral to someone if you can.

ghughes, ativan really did stuff all for me as well when I was in hospital and they were giving that to me twice a day and usually if I acted up as well. Don't remember once sitting down feeling stoned. scary thing is, I have been on meth and I actually felt more relaxed on that than I have without it. Not that I could sleep on it though. Even cymbalta made me more agitated.

What pisses me off the most is there's no real long term medication for anxiety. Benzos are only meant for short term usage. Your only solution is CBT. If it's caused by a lack of dopamine why not produce lowgrade synthetic dopamine to combat it?
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby kitkat » February 15th, 2013, 9:32 am

Yes, it is exactly like constant white noise! Like a knot in the pit of my stomach that never goes away and sometimes you can forget it's there, and other times it's crippling. It's given me ulcers. :/

As for long term meds, I don't really know. I've been on Effexor foorrr.. Three years? I'm actually not sure. But we have had to up the dose occasionally because my body gets too used to it. I also use Ativan when I really need it, but it's kind of useless because it just makes me fall asleep for the most part, so I can't get on with anything if I have it. I wish there was something I could take that would just take the tension away and allow me to actually have a life.
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby ididthatonce » February 15th, 2013, 8:30 pm

Yep. I've had anxiety since I was a kid. It's been about fifteen years since my diagnosis, and I'm at the point where I can recognize an anxiety attack, but it doesn't make it any easier. My anxiety and depression tend to alternate, so in times of low anxiety, I'm only nervous about 1/3 of the time. But when I'm in high anxiety mode, I can actually forget what it feels like to NOT be nervous. I visualize it as a snake that hangs around my neck. When I'm not anxious, the snake just hangs there, and, even though it doesn't hurt, I can feel it there. But, when I'm nervous, the snake tightens up and chokes me. I hope that makes sense.

Medication is an important baseline for me, although it doesn't work for everyone. I've been taking Celexa for 10 years now, and have Klonopin on me at all times to stave off an anxiety attack. These two meds, for me, are the difference between being on edge and being unable to leave the house. I also have a few breathing exercises I do where I inhale and count to four, then exhale and count to four. It takes focus to use it to calm myself down, but it definitely works.

My biggest suggestion is to practice any anti-anxiety exercises when you're not nervous. I breathe and count to four before I go to sleep, so I associate the exercise with that comfortable time of day.

Best of luck!
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby john1967 » February 18th, 2013, 3:33 pm

"White Noise" ... perfect description

Im exhausted from the constant racing thoughts. I sleep 3 hours and I wake with immediate racing thoughts again.

Ive always had this, but of since my divorce it is much worse. I can leave the house for work and dropping kids off at school. Going out for leisure on my own is a challenge. Cant tell you how many times Ive walked up to the door of a restaurant, store, theatre, etc only to turn around and go home.
I took xanax for a while, Seroquil briefly. Now I take nothing. I have gotten a little better at my guitar though, now that I can practice from 2-6 AM
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby kitkat » March 4th, 2013, 12:09 pm

My biggest suggestion is to practice any anti-anxiety exercises when you're not nervous. I breathe and count to four before I go to sleep, so I associate the exercise with that comfortable time of day.


I've never thought of that! That's such a good idea, I'm going to try it. :D thanks for sharing!
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby Nevina » March 11th, 2013, 3:24 am

I agree with all of the descriptions in this thread! :D This is my main condition, been that way since I was a child. Always called a 'worrywart' as a kid by my family. Developed acid reflux at 16, and had Barrett's Esophagus by 25!! I first noticed the muscle tension at age 29 (2003). It probably existed before then, but I hadn't consciously noticed it. The muscles in my abdomen and legs/feet are constantly clenched, and sometimes the muscles in my hands/jaw/neck. Xanax does nothing to relieve it. It has really messed up my back and now I have arthritis and can't walk very far, and I'm scared of it getting worse. Has anyone found ANYTHING that helps with that? Flexeril did nothing.

I've been on Xanax daily for about 5 years. I'm down to a very low dose (1-2mg per day, extended release) but haven't been able to completely taper off just yet. I tried clonazepam before that and it made me super depressed. I've tried most of the SSRI's and Effexor but nothing helped too much. Right now my doctor has me off label on a higher dose of Zoloft (300mg right now, could go up to 400mg) because that works for some people's anxiety. I have noticed a huge reduction in one specific OCD thought, but nothing else so far.

Had severe social phobia as a child and young adult, but it isn't so debilitating now. Going to make a separate post about that later, actually. Have panic attacks that are fairly mild in the scheme of things. Mostly physical symptoms but no thoughts that I'm dying or need to escape. They really mimic hypoglycemia symptoms most of the time. I had open heart surgery when I was 30 for a heart defect I didn't know I had. But when that defect started making itself known, I learned the brand new sensation of being short of breath. A year after my surgery I was feeling short of breath continuously for a week. I finally went to the ER and they said I had some fluid in my lungs. They took me off the metoprolol I was taking for palpitations in case that was causing it. Stupidly, I looked up my symptoms online and they pointed to Congestive Heart Failure. I talked to a friend (a cardiac nurse) and he said that's what it sounded like to him. I went to my GP, and without doing any tests at all they told me that I had CHF! I did not. It was just the anxiety. It feels like a tightness in my chest, and I don't feel that I'm getting enough oxygen no matter how deeply I breathe.
When life gives you shit, make shitade.
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Re: Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Postby ether667 » March 13th, 2013, 5:05 pm

Greetings everyone!! :D

For myself it is pretty recent, ie a year or two ago, that I was diagnosed with general anxiety. (and severe depression) For awhile I had begun noticing it more and more until it got so bad that I started alienating even my closest friends even though I liked them. I was prescribed buspar along with ativan for those bad times. (Pristiq for severe depression) Everything was pretty much going well until last September I had been way too long without insurance, barely making it by with the dayjob and paying bills with the credit cards that had at that point reached their max. I lapsed in a mortgage payment and my ex wife flipped out eventually taking me to court in December. In the meantime, I made the decision that the mortgage was more important than my "little mental hangups" and chose to stop taking the 3 meds which cost roughly $220 a month.

The first month or so were fine but slowly throughout the past few I've noticed it being horribly difficult at times, crippling. Just today I went to Friendly's with my amazing gf and my son and her son who are both 7 years old. They were pretty much misbehaving, not sitting still, relatively normal stuff for them and I found it extremely difficult (bordering on impossible) to deal with them. I was losing it and I knew it was mostly me, even said so to my gf. She told me I could just go home with my car afterwards if I'm having issues and I declined mostly because she's in a similar boat and I'd feel too guilty if she took the kids herself. The moment I got home I immediately took an ativan (the few left that I frugally saved) and after the kids were in bed I finally relaxed. It didn't help that they had previously did something to mess up the new bunk bed, the boards on the top, and it forced us to delay bedtime and fix the thing with nails and a hammer. She shouted quite a bit and I just couldn't wait for it to be over. (not directed at me)

Now I'm in a pitch black bedroom typing away while she's in bed on her phone checking out facebook, etc., both of us silent. Also doesn't help she is a bit sick with I believe a flare up of diverticulitis and a migraine. I wish there was more I could do.

Trying not to feel guilty about not writing (as a musician/writer/artist) tonight like I wanted to but I feel like I can justify not doing it since it's been a rough draining day and instead wake up early tomorrow and let my energy flow into it freely.

For the record, I fucking hate the lack of control in the situations I feel trapped by anxiety. I can't wait for May so I can have insurance again. :\
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