(Closed) Diagnosed With Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Can any other Bees relate?

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
2722 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

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kcoast :  Raises hand.  In fact, I just started a thread on this same subject today!

I don’t know if I’ve been officially diagnosed, but I went to my doctor because I have been really stressed out and having some sleep issues (it’s now affecting my health) and her answer was to prescribe a low dose anti anxiety medication.

I feel ashamed and a failure.  I have never needed medication for something like this.  I am still coming to terms with do I actually have GAD or not.  I am embarrassed as well as I don’t know how to tell my boyfriend (who is really supportive but I’m still nervous).

We can commiserate together.

Post # 3
832 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

Hey fellow anxious bee!

I decided to seek help when my stress didn’t subside when the stressors in my life calmed down (I had gone through some work transitions, house hunting stress, etc so I thought some level of anxiety was normal – but then I was feeling that way all the time for no reason). 

I don’t know if you’re open to going the psychiatric route, but that’s what I did. My doctor and I found a dosage of Zoloft that keeps my anxious feelings at bay with no noticeable side effects. I really feel so much better – I have a clearer head and I don’t sweat the small stuff nearly as bad as I used to.

Please, PLEASE don’t be ashamed. I hate that mental health is so stigmatized in this country. I can’t help but think that if more people seeked the help they needed we wouldn’t have a lot of the problems we currently do. 

View original reply
sunnierdaysahead2 :  you don’t be ashamed either! This is not a bad thing and it’s not a sign of weakness to need medicine. Your boyfriend will understand. 

Post # 4
713 posts
Busy bee

I don’t have GAD but I can relate somewhat– I have mild Tourette’s syndrome, which causes all sorts of uncontrollable twitches. It doesn’t affect my life in a huge way, but it definitely draws attention. Boyfriends always asked about it early in relationships and it was awkward to try to explain, I got teased for it in middle school, and an unfortunate twitch of the hand has resulted in more than one broken glass/mirror/delicate object. Sometimes repeated twitches cause pain over time or make it difficult to fall asleep for days at a time. The neurologists I’ve seen all say that it’s not bad enough to warrant medication, so I’m kind of on my own, which sucks sometimes.

This is all to say that I get what you mean when you say you feel like you’re broken, and I hope you come to realize that you’re not. Don’t be ashamed of something you can’t control– you were made this way for some reason, and it’s an extra challenge in life that you shouldn’t have to face, but you do. Having a name for it has made things easier for me– it’s like ok, what I have is not weird or unheard of, there are other people who know what’s happening to me and who can relate/offer advice and support when I need them, because they get it. Medication is not a sign of weakness– you just need a bit of help, and that’s ok. Think of it like a golf handicap or something; it’s just there to even out the playing field and make sure that you get a fair shot at life.

Hopefully something in here helps you out– I truly hope that you’re able to make peace with your diagnosis, and that you can make the time to take care of yourself!

Post # 5
250 posts
Helper bee

I have GAD.  I was diagnosed last year but have been suffering most of my adult life. TBH a diagnosis came as a relief because I was constantly torturing myself about what was wrong with me, and it was good to finally get treatment.

My symptoms include constant obsessing and worrying about things that do not matter and that I cannot change.  I’ll also focus on one issue to the point where I cannot do antyhing else, and then when that issue passes it is replaced with another, and the cycle continues.  I take zoloft and do therapy and it has made a very big difference in my life.  I also found that my work relationships have improved because I’m not as socially awkward – which I attribute to the meds.  My anxiety hasn’t completely gone away but the frequency of my meltdowns have :).  

Right now I’m going through a particulary rough time because my five year relationship ended, I moved  out and am selling the house we bought and were supposed to be happy in, and I lost my dog – and its during these tough times that I find my anxiety really rears its ugly head.  Not even about those issues – trivial stuff is what’s bothering me now like for example, getting a new car for winter even though I have a few months until then, returning a couch I bought, increasing my anxiety meds dosage – everything becomes a big worry, and its hard to focus.

My close family and friends know about my diagnosis, no one else needs to know.  But I’m not ashamed.  One I explained what GAD was no one was surprised that I had it lol.

Post # 6
782 posts
Busy bee

I’ve struggled with GAD and social anxiety.  The social anxiety has improved immensely, but GAD is currently flaring up.  I went on an anti-depressant for a while and I don’t think I realized the positive impact that had on my anxiety until I stopped taking it the beginning of this summer.  

Some things that work for me include coloring (you can find mindfulness coloring books on amazon) and meditation, youtube has a lot of guided meditation videos and when I’m feeling super anxious they some help me calm down.  I like this one lately in particular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeM2yhULSVM&list=PL0LtefmifgyXzmyBD-t89wz_GtP8dvSw4&index=1  

Also, avoiding caffeine is a big one.  Try noncaffeinated tea instead.  A lot of people suggest journaling, it isn’t my thing but helps a lot of people.

Also, don’t be afraid of medication.  There’s a lot of stigma around it, but it can be very helpful for some and there is no shame in that.  Sometimes, all the therapy in the world doesn’t help, but a low dose medication does the trick and actually helps you to be able to get work done in therapy.

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne is great.  You can find it on amazon too.

I know there’s a lot of stigma around mental illness and that can cause a lot of people to keep quiet about it but if you can find someone you are comfortable sharing with, that will be incredibly helpful.  Acknowledging you’re dealing with something is the most important part, now you can figure out what works best for you.

Post # 7
471 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016 - Cambridge Mill

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kcoast :  I have this too, found out when I was 17 – ten years ago. It’s not easy all the time but medication really did help me out of a pretty bad state as a teen. You are not alone, and it does get better.

Post # 8
911 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Same diagnosis here! I was diagnosed about 5 years ago but I have had anxiety issues since I was 2 years old… my parents were naive back then and never really saw it as an issue when I was a kid. It got a lot worse when I was in an abusive relationship and I started having panic attacks. It still took me a lot of time after that as an adult to realize my symptoms weren’t normal and I needed help. Basically I would worry myself sick (constant stomach aches), had a hard time leaving the house, was late for everything, and had some movement issues that were keeping me awake (foot twitches/tics/IDK if it was restless leg or what).

I’m on Buspar and Ativan currently and my symptoms I would say have 90% resolved. I’m weaning off now though as we are TTC later this year (Ativan is definitely out, but the Buspar is generally OK although my Dr and I agreed that if I can cut down or get off it, that would be the least risk!). I’m hoping since my life is more stable, it will be easier now to be off medication. I’m transitioning onto a medical food that is supposed to be good for anxiety and depression issues. Working through it right now and it’s just always going to be an ongoing thing I have to manage. When I first met my husband, I was so scared to tell him about my medication etc, bc I thought he would think I was crazy. Just the opposite though… he was impressed that I took charge of my life and got help and was working towards being my best self. That’s how I think of it.

Best of luck to you bee… I am always talking about GAD with friends, etc, bc it helps so much to break down the stigma if you aren’t scared to talk about it. If I’m having issues, I try to be honest with friends or family about what’s going on bc it’s nothing to be embarrassed about!

Post # 9
41 posts
  • Wedding: August 2017

Hey bee! I got engaged about a month ago and my fiance and I have been together for over 7 years. I got diagnosed with GAD last year, been on antidepressants for about 3 months and I was (am!) nervous thinking about planning a wedding with an anxiety disorder. It sounds like I am little ahead of you in terms of going through this. Here are my tips to cope:

1) Counseling – can’t stress this enough! Work with a therapist, a social worker, SOMEONE, who has experience with Anxiety counseling. I myself went through two “courses” (8-10 sessions each) of CBT-based therapy, which is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on how to cope, building a skillset to deal with situations and a focus on the present.

2) Counseling TOGETHER – my fiance and I did two sessions together with my therapist and I highly recomment it. If your Fiance is anything like mine, he was so kind and supportive however if nothing else, he can learn how to provide helpful support in case he unwittingly makes things worse even with the best intentions! (for example, my Fiance liked to push me to succeed believing he was doing what was best but his wording and approach left me feeling more panicked and stressed out than ever until we worked it out with our counseler and learned more constructive communication methods).

3) Medication – Panic and anxiety attacks often happen without any emotional or rational reason – I know my body maintained a near-constant background hum of anxiety and it was hard to concentrate on getting better when I was too nervy to think straight. Meds can really really help calm you down and reduce the feeling of being constantly overwhelmed and help focus on the important stuff. I HATE the stigma, it’s a medical thing like anything else! Noone calls a cancer patient weak when they need chemo, and my optometrist doesn’t think of me as weak just because i need glasses to see! 

4) Support Network – tell your friends. Tell your family. I procrastinated that, out of (shock) anxiety, but I was so touched by the response of my closest friends and my sisters. My bridal party all knows.

5) Make A Plan – My anxiety has made me an obsessive researcher and so I decided to work that to my advantage, before any wedding planning started. I sat down with Fiance and we talked about how we would cope when either of us started getting too stressed out. We would remind each other why we were doing this wedding thing, we would be open and share and divide the work. We would take days off from wedding planning and just spend non-planning time together. We would go for a hike with our dog, we would go out to dinner to a new place.

Here is the thing – you are not flawed. You are you, and you have a condition that you are working on getting better – you are not weak, and you are not alone. Don’t believe the self talk that says otherwise!

Post # 10
1527 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
kcoast :  It’s better to be aware than have a serious health complication from it!

I’ve always suffered from anxiety, but wasn’t diagnosed until a little over a year ago. 

I’d let my anxiety consume me so much at one point in my life that I ended up with bells palsy. There’s no guarantee that my anxiety caused it, but one of the leading potential causes for it is extreme stress, which was brought about by my anxiety. 

I hope you can learn to accept your diagnosis better and find a good way to cope with your anxiety. Remember that your anxiety doesn’t have to define you!

Post # 12
877 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - His Way Church & Chesapeake Room @ Downs Park

You are not alone, bee! Fiance has GAD along with mild OCD and we both have depression. He hasn’t been officially diagnosed but we’ve been together 7 years and I’m 99.9% sure I’ve hit the nail on the head. Problem is, I cannot get him into a doctor’s office or get him to go to a counselor or therapist!
He thinks he should be able to “fix” these problems on his own. It’s so frustrating. I try to be as supportive and loving as possible but some days it is hard. I mean, if he were seeking outside help I feel like that would atleast be something and would make it a little less stressful for both of us.
As someone with GAD, how do you recommend I approach him about this? Is there anyway I can convince him to get the help he needs?

Post # 13
2758 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I have it too! It’s really no big deal. When I talked to friends about it, I was surprised how many of them also have anxiety issues. Depression and anxiety are like the common cold and the flu bug of mental illness. They are normal reactions to anyone whose brain chemistry is a little off and who  experiences stress. 

I take buspar (though I stopped while pregnant) and a short course of CBT (5 sessions) when I feel like my brain is being stupid. 

Post # 14
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, and Agoraphobia here! My issues stem from being abused by my Mother. I have gone to counseling when it was available to me over the years, and joined a few online support groups over the years as well. The only thing I can say I’ve ‘beaten’ is depression…something I battled on and off from as young as 12, and right up to our relationship ending in March 2014.

The best thing that ever happened to me was the ending of my relationship with her. I have already come a LONG way as a person…and while I never be ‘cured’, things can only get better. I have days where I hyperventilate when I leave the house. I’ve had days…even multiple days in a row where I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the house at all. I’ve cancelled plans, alienated friends. I’ve had panic attacks over big things and small…some of which have left me crippled for HOURS after they happen. I still have terrifying nightmares about my Mother and some of the things she did to me. I over analyse every interaction I have to the point of OBSESSION sometimes because I STILL can’t quite shake the ideals she instilled in me that “the only reason someone would be nice to someone like me is because they want something” and “people think I’m nice when they meet me, but I just can’t keep up the lie and sooner or later they will see how ugly I am inside”.

I wish I could give you some magical advice, or even tell you about a cure. But I can’t. I’m not going to lie, some days are hell. Having any kind of anxiety feels like balancing an egg on a spoon. Sure, you can get good enough at it that you could walk for miles without dropping it…but inevitably you WILL drop it. The key is learning to focus on the days where you don’t.

Post # 15
227 posts
Helper bee

 Just remember you are not alone and it’s fairly common. 40 million people above the age of 18 are diagnosed with some sort a anxiety disorder. 6.8 million of those are GAD. So don’t worry if you decide to tell family or friends, a lot of people have it, so they most likely know what it is.

Most people do not know I have anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder as I don’t share this randomly but I am an advocate when it comes up. But my Fiance can see my tendencies. I have grown so immune to anxiety and all other mental disorders because my entire family has it in some form. My brother had the above 3 I have and ended up dying by suicide.

It’s good to know if you have a disorder just to keep it in check but it is not by anymeans who you are.

I have a good friend that has the same as me. She always asking me “why me?” … I don’t know that since i’m so immune to it that I don’t feel a lot of compassion towards people that have kind of have a pity party.

You should be okay GAD is highly treatable if work along side with medical professionals.

With my disorders my life is ebb and flow. Some weeks i’m high and other’s i’m low. I’m on medicine and meet with a therapist.


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