Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

posted 10 months ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: July 2019

onceuponabee :  I was recently diagnosed with GAD after fiveish years of on again off again anxiety. I’ve done therapy periodically for years, meditation, etc etc but recently I was getting so annoyed by the recurrent anxiety that I decided to give medication a try. I was prescribed Lexapro, which seems to be the go-to first drug for anxiety.  I’ve only been on it for three days, so unfortunately I can’t speak to any long term effects yet. BUT as someone who is hugely paranoid of medication side effects, I was really nervous to start taking it. So far it has been fine! It upsets my stomach a tiny bit and gives me a minor headache, but overall I feel fine. My anxiety was actually at a pretty low level when I started taking it, and that has remained consistent since I started taking it. I’m really curious to see how I’ll feel in a month or two.

Post # 4
Member
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I was diagnosed about 2 years ago and I’m on Celexa. I tried therapy for a few months but as a nurse I just kept thinking “this is stupid” the whole time so I didn’t see a benefit. Celexa was working great until about a month ago (no side effects at all) and we simply increased my dose a bit and I’m feeling better. Also I have a prescription for propranolol as needed however by the time the effects take place my anxiety has calmed down so idk how helpful it is or not but whatever

Post # 5
Member
1875 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I got diagnosed about 7 years ago and prescribed Zoloft. I did therapy and it didn’t do much for me.

I didn’t get any side effects from the medication and it takes about 3 weeks to work fully but you honestly won’t know yourself. Having anxiety is a terrible way to live and for me the medication made a world of difference. 

My advice is to wean yourself on the drugs slowly and check in with your GP after about 6 weeks in case you need to increase the dose. 

Best of luck, it’s seriously worth it. I hope you feel better soon. 

Post # 6
Member
6190 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

Me. I’m on 10 mg Lexapro. It’s been almost a year. Life changing. Couldn’t recommend it more. Some sexual side effects at the start but they wore off over time as I got adjusted to the meds. onceuponabee :  

Post # 7
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Yes, I have severe GAD and panic disorder.  Have been on meds for 15ish years and I believe they are my saving grace.  I have also been in therapy for many many years and believe it is also CRITICAL, but ultimately if there is an imbalance, even the best therapy can only help to a certain extent.  I have been on Lamotragine, high dose Klonopin (DO NOT RECOMMEND IT IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE ALTHOUGH VERY EFFECTIVE FOR ME) and Gabapentin.  My strong advice would be to avoid benzodiazpenes if at all possible.  I have to come off mine now as I’m working toward getting pregnant and you become incredibly dependent on them.  If I miss even a day of meds, I have the onset of severe withdrawl symptoms.  Many other SSRI’s do not carry this risk.  I have also had good experiences on Lexapro.  

Post # 8
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee

I have been on Zoloft for 3 years for GAD (and some depression, but my biggest problem has always been anxiety). It has allowed me to have a more normal life. For me, I don’t feel super different, but I absolutely spend so much less time feeling like the world is going to end and ruminating over small things that used to bother me a lot. It makes it easier for me to tell myself I will be ok and for me to believe it. It does have some sexual side effects, but they haven’t affected me enough for it to be a problem. I will say that it made my anxiety worse for the first week as my body got used to it, but that was just the first time and did not happen as we incrementally increased the dose. Hope that helps!!

Post # 9
Member
65 posts
Worker bee

I recently went on Wellbutrin for depression after a breakup, and in addition to being incredibly effective as an antidepressant, it completely erased all of my anxiety. Wellbutrin is not an SSRI and acts on norepinephrine rather than seratonin, so it’s a little different from the SSRIs. It’s prescribed for adult ADHD as well. It’s makes me energized, focused, more social, and I’ve stopped obsessing over things. I was hesitant to try it because apparently it *can* make anxiety worse for some people, but I’ve had zero side effects other than slight insomnia, and bad hangovers if I have more than 3 drinks on it. This drug has been life changing for me and I felt it kick in really well after 5 weeks. Wellbutrin is also commonly used in conjunction with SSRIs to counteract SSRI side effects, so maybe if you’re started on an SSRI first but need a little more pep, energy, etc, you could see if your doctor thinks this combo would be a good fit. I’m 34 and never took any prescription antidepressants or other meds until 2 months ago, but I’m so glad I did. I’d be happy to go into more detail too if there’s anything else you want to know.

Post # 9
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee

I have suffered from anxiety (and depression) for years, and I am currently taking 20 mg of Lexapro per day (started @ 10 mg/day but feel like the increased amount has made a huge difference) – as PPs have said, it’s been a game changer for me. It makes the lows not as low, the repetitive negative self-talk quieter, and helps me bounce back whenever I feel like I’m in a funk. Taking it very consistently (I have an alarm on my phone to “take my chill pill” every night; I used to be much more irregular with my dedication to taking meds every day.)

And therapy. Therapy is a beautiful thing. <3

Post # 10
Member
745 posts
Busy bee

I had GAD. I completely understand how you feel. It was definitely a process to get onto medication and something you’ll have to keep in mind is the first medication you take may not work- it’ll take working with a doctor to find the right SSRI and then the right dosage. I was on zoloft but it didn’t do much for me and then I switched onto lexapro- and it was amazing. I was doing great at 10 mg and even better at 15 mg. But I had pretty severe side effects (quick and intense weight gain, horrible nightmares, and just constantly needing to pee.) The side effects were bearable at first because of how bad my anxiety was but as I’ve worked in therapy and with my psychiatrists, they’ve agreed that I only needed to be on lexapro short term and I’m now being weened off. 

This may or may not be your case and it’s ok either way. I think it’s brave to admit you need help and to get it. 

Post # 11
Member
949 posts
Busy bee

I’ve had anxiety for about 9 years, including severe panic attacks when I was in grad school. It was aweful! 

Two years ago I finally had good enough insurance that I could start to see a doctor consistantly. I told her I did not want meds, just strategies to use. I come from a family with a lot of anxiety and depression and I’ve seen my mother take meds that aren’t helfpul to HER so I assumed they wouldn’t be helpful to me. 

1 year and 4 months of therapy later, I finally agreed that I needed meds. I was so tired of beating myself up – and the voice of failure in my head was too strong to push aside. 

They put me on zoloft. I felt a difference within 5 days. I still get stressed out about deadlines or worked up over something – but now those feelings aren’t paralizing. I don’t have the same negative voice nagging at me. I would say my quality of life is significantly improved! I don’t have any negative side effects, but I know some people do — you should go over that with your doc. 

I’ve been on zoloft for 8 months and I am more productive, more calm, sleeping better, and excersising more consistantly. I didn’t WANT to take a pill, but I am so so so glad that I did. 

Post # 13
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: July 2019

Update on my Lexapro journey! I have now been taking it for 12 days. Things were pretty unremarkable until day 6, when I began experiencing really intense morning anxiety. That has continued to present, and definitely kicked up a notch when I moved up to 10mg (as planned) on day 8. I won’t lie – the past four days have been really, really rough at times. BUT I am going to keep sticking it out, and discuss with my prescribing nurse practitioner at our scheduled appointment tomorrow. I am hopeful that if I ride it out things will level off and I will start to see some benefit in a few weeks.

Post # 14
Member
5192 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

Morning anxiety is horrendous. It would wake me up out of no where at 3am and I would be a complete ball of nausea. Before I sought treatment, I would wake up, throw up, and go to work and it would be an hour after arriving at work when I could eat again. I’ve been on maintenance meds but I’m on the combo with the best therapist and I have seen the most progress I’ve ever had over the past two years. Currently it’s trintellix and Wellbutrin. Have you tried deep breathing or meditation exercises as you’re falling asleep? That could make you less anxious in the mornings.

people hear medication for anxiety and they automatically think about Xanax or something as addictive. They don’t realize that anti depressants have been found to work on anxiety.

I used to be on 2mg of Xanax a day (starting dose is 0.25mg for reference) and my anxiety was completely out of control. I had to go off of it when I got pregnant and I eventually found an amazing therapist and a combination of meds that work. Now I take 0.50 if needed. 

Maintenace meds have made a world of difference for me, but without therapy, as shown by my out of control anxiety on 2mg of Xanax is what made the difference. Meds and therapy together have been found to be most beneficial for treatment of gad. 

mountainblue :  

Post # 15
Member
5192 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

I was diagnosed 8ish years ago and I’ve seen two therapists in that time frame and countless combinations of meds. There will always be ups and downs, Med changes and adjustments, times when you are in therapy regularly and times where you feel like you don’t need it.

Don’t give up. It’s a journey and it’s not always a straight path. Keep on fighting, you are worth it 

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