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Generalised Anxiety Disorder

(106 Posts)
Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 11:16:04

I'm struggling. All day every day worry, worry, worry, worry. Or feeling weird and on edge.

Will this ever resolve? Please give me some hope.

Purlesque Tue 16-Jul-13 11:34:17

I know that feeling, it's awful. I've had it on and off for 6 years, I gets easier. You will have dips and moments of clarity and calm. I'm going through a mild dip after a spell of calm but then I'm very sleep deprived.
I took up knitting which has saved my sanity, I can focus on projects and I love it.
I'm also seeing a hypnotherapist which is helping.

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 11:53:48

Thank you Purlesque. I just get to the end of my tether with 'it'. It is ruining my life and I've got two beautiful children, an amazing DH, lovely house, lovely family. It's causing a deep depression.

Purlesque Tue 16-Jul-13 15:09:23

What have you tried? Have you seen GP? If you are willing to take meds some can help.
Sometimes I have felt desperate, you sound fed up too but it won't always be like this.
Have you suffered for long? Or is it a recent thing?
When it started for me it was a total shock and I didn't know how to handle it, now I understand more about what's happening, I know what I need to do.

Purlesque Tue 16-Jul-13 15:11:02

I also have 2 dc, you could be run down, try to slow down a bit, hard I know!

Purlesque Tue 16-Jul-13 15:12:46

Are you a SAHM?

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 18:54:10

Hi Purlesque. How kind of you to ask. Can I PM you?

I've been recently diagnosed with GAD and have just started CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to combat it. I'm also taking ADs for my chronic depression which seem to help the anxiety a little.

Sorry you're struggling too.

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 20:00:53

Now you'll both go mad at me here - but...I've not actually been diagnosed with GAD (and I know it's the nature of the anxiet beast to self diagnose with all kinds of weird and wonderful things). But I have had 'free floating' anxiety (no trigger) for two years since the birth of my DS. Rather helpfully we have now had a 'surprise' DD who is 13 weeks old. She is absolutely edible and gorgeous and so well behaved but it hasn't helped my anxiety, to say the very least.

I've not wanted ADs. I have nothing against them. In fact I think they are an excellent tool to have in the arsenal. However my anxiety is such that my greatest fear is losing a grip of myself and I think they'd do me harm than good as they to me are an 'unknown'.

I have today been (finally) referred to an actual psychiatrist. I've had lots of counselling (although it didn't help as it was more looking at my past). But today I had my first session of a new batch and she caught me at a very low ebb. Despairing and hopeless really. She has immediately referred me and I think I may get a 'label' as a result, which I think will help me as I'm convinced I'm going mad. I am concerned though as I've seen a postnatal psychiatric nurse before briefly and she was just very annoyed that I didn't want to take ADs.

How did both of your GAD start and how does it manifest? I function quite well (looking after two DCs and myself) but it rules me. I worry about going insane, being unfixable, dying, health, losing my grip on reality. It just goes around and around until I get depressed about it and see no way out. Does that sound like I'm beyond help?

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 20:01:35

Yes SAHM now. Never used to be. Was really into my profession.

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 20:04:25

GP of no help whatsoever. Sympathetic and lovely, that's all.

perplexedpirate Tue 16-Jul-13 20:18:39

I've been diagnosed with GAD among other things including OCD. I was prescribed 20mg of Citalapram which I took for 4 years and it saved my life. I tried CBT but didn't really get anywhere with it, however I've recently been able to halve my dose to 10 mg using exercise (C25K) and mediation (headspace app).
Yesterday I drove on the motorway, on my own and never gave it a second thought. Before my diagnosis I would have been literally sick with worry.
Good luck.

perplexedpirate Tue 16-Jul-13 20:19:35

Sorry, meditation, not mediation. hmm

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 20:24:23

Perplexed. Now I did start running. It was helping. Lots. However it all get a bit too much, I get down and then don't fancy it as think 'what's the point'. Does that make sense?

peachypips Tue 16-Jul-13 20:25:33

I have had this severely. I was hospitalised as I thought I was going to lose my mind with the anxiety and the horrific feeling of terror. It made me want to die tbh.
However, I am on 50mg of Sertraline and I am completely normal on it with no symptoms at all.
For me, as my anxiety was not based on anything specific, meds were the only thing that helped and I tried exercise, supplements, CBT etc.
so sorry you are suffering- I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy! It robs you of your life. Love to you x

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 20:27:10

Also those that've been 'diagnosed' with mental health issues...was that a GP? I've seen lots of lovely GPs at our village type surgery but all of them lump my problems into depression and anxiety. None would venture any further than that. Will the psychiatrist label me?

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 20:30:47

Peachypips. It's a living hell isn't it! I feel I've been living in a nightmare. Yes if I wasn't so terrified of death I'd want to die. I'm sorry you've been through it too. How did yours start? X

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 20:32:04

And when I have nothing to focus my worry on I'm terrified too - for NO reason. Weird, awful, makes me feel insane, perpetuates everything.

allgoodindahood Tue 16-Jul-13 20:32:23

So sorry to hear you're going thru this op. I know how you feel and its truly awful. My anxiety reached crisis point recently. Triggered. by depression following my mums death. 3 weeks ago I started taking citalopram and feel so much better. The fear used to be crippling, so much better now. Why do you dislike the idea of Meds?

peachypips Tue 16-Jul-13 20:35:59

I was diagnosed by my psych. They like to give names to things but I wouldn't have known that I had been diagnosed if I hadn't accessed my notes for a talk I was doing for the NHS on mental health issues in pregnancy. It said GAD and major depressive disorder.
Mine started after I had DS1. It returned when I was preg with DS2, then improved after he was born. He is nearly 3 and I have had two smaller relapses when I reduced my meds.
If I stay on meds I am absolutely fine though. I respond well to ADs fortunately or I wouldn't be here!!

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 20:56:05

My counsellor today said she thinks there is a hormonal element. I think I agree as I've never had any problems until DS. It's funny (well not funny actually but you know what I mean) but my 'dips' seem to be triggered recently by my DD's growth spurts. You know what it's like though - you constantly search for reasons and most if the time there isn't one sad

TBH I think for me a label could help.

perplexedpirate Tue 16-Jul-13 20:57:44

It makes perfect sense OP. fortunately I have running buddy who won't take no for an answer!
Could you buddy up? Or maybe join a running club? I found if I did these things while I was 'up' I stuck to them more when I was 'down'.
It was the GP who diagnosed me which was them confirmed and added to by the Mental Health Assessment team.

perplexedpirate Tue 16-Jul-13 20:59:27

Ooh, re hormones, I can't take any at all. The pill made me almost psychotic and even the Mirena coil sent me skewiff.

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 21:15:35

Good idea perplexed. You know that big black scribble that is the logo for Mind? I feel that's my brain and that a good run can sometimes boost me out.

Do any of you 'forget' the okay/good times at your worst? This is one of my most unhelpful traits. DH tries to remind me it's not 'all bad' but when I'm in a total pit of despair (and I don't mean that flippantly) I just can't visualise that's 'it's' ever better.

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 21:17:19

Perplexed - how much running do you do? How much do you think has a 'therapeutic' affect?

perplexedpirate Tue 16-Jul-13 22:18:26

I do either one or two 'days' of c25k, so either an hour or half an hour, three times a week. I've hurt my leg a bit, so this week I've done 2 5k+ walks and a 3.5k run.
It started to lift my mood within about a week, it was having a plan and a goal (did Race for Life on Sunday smile) that helped almost as much as the physical activity I think.
Booking my next 5k for September, totally got the bug!

Stripedmum Tue 16-Jul-13 22:26:23

I tend to do a run (generally 5k ish but more if I push myself) then feel better, and then not bother. Or feel so fed up that I don't do it and then feel shit. I really, really need more consistency.

Well done perplexed. More power to you. You are helping yourself.

perplexedpirate Tue 16-Jul-13 22:32:00

Thanks Striped. I must admit I do still get bad days, but the good now out weigh them, and that's the important thing.
DH and DS are wonderful and very supportive, which helps. smile

perplexedpirate Tue 16-Jul-13 22:36:09

Btw, I'm convinced mine started as PND. If you look at some posts I did a few years ago I'm saying things like 'I don't have depression', 'i've never had PND', 'I don't have OCD', etc etc.
Then when I finally realised that spending all day every day worrying and panicking over every little thing was not the way to live, I went to the GP, got my diagnosis and treatment, and it all fell into place.

sweetkitty Tue 16-Jul-13 22:42:28

Hi I'm on Citalopram 20mg for anxiety it's helping a little.

I hate it, it rules my life sometimes, I can't take the DC to the beach as I'm scared of driving anywhere new or on a motorway in case we crash and die. I'm terrified of anything happening to DP or the DC or myself really. I have insomnia as I cannot sleep for worrying.

Bloody hate anxiety hmm

LEMisdisappointed Tue 16-Jul-13 22:48:06

Hi striped - i am sorry that you are going through this, i understand totally as my anxiety does this to me. I was worse in the morning because that is when the cortisol peaks, so i would wake up and be on defcon 9 and not even know why! I am on ADs (citalopram) and they work for me. I am also having counselling.

I think that you should consider ADs as they are not a miracle cure for anxiety actually but they stop that horrid fight or flight feeling that i get for absolutely no reason. That frees my mind up to deal with the other stuff that are the root of the problem. Of course it is up to you, but i think you are making things harder for yourself - if you were diabetic you wouldn't try to manage without insulin. If you get a headache do you take paracetemol? It is just the same with anxiety and depression, whatever the reason you get them, they throw all of your neurotransmitters off kilter - so even if you don't have a labelable condition like bipolar or OCD your hormones can be all over the place. Hormones does not just mean all things gynaecological - insulin is a hormone. Many ADs work on seratonin, another hormone that works in the brain and is involved in many processes. It often gets thrown out of balance during pregnancy and post-natally. Sometimes our bodies need help to put this right. It doesn't have to be forever and ADs do not change your personality. I am more "me" on citalopram than i am off of it. I do not however think i will be on it forever. If you try and look at your illness as just that, taking logical steps to overcome it will seem to make sense.

For instance, if you injure your back you would take painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, once you are able you would then undertake physiotherapy/exercise to strengthen it again.

Exercise is fanstastic for anxiety - it helps to stimulate neurotransmitters, running, swimming or cycling. I find running helps me, but it buggers my hip so i cycle. I find that wthout the ADs, if i cycle i have a panic attack, fine with them.

I am not saying you should have ADs, but just putting the other side across. Good luck, i know how damaging anxiety could be - i had health anxiety at one point and was almost suicidal because i was scared of dying - go figure!

Purple2012 Tue 16-Jul-13 23:00:12

I have GAD. I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. I went to my GP absolutely exhausted and just burst into tears as soon as he asked what was wrong. I don't worry about myself but I worry about people I love. I have ridiculous worries as well as the usual ones. I think in 'what ifs'. So what if my husband has a car crash, or ridiculous ones like what if that crane falls on him. It had a huge effect on me as I hardly slept. I just couldn't stop my mind going over stuff. So even when the 'danger' had passed I still worry about it. I would also wake my husband up if I couldn't hear him breathing.

I was initially signed off work for a while and given sleeping tablets which really helped but my GP doesn't repeat prescribe.

I then had CBT. It didn't work for me. I am now on amytryptelene. In higher doses it is an anti depressant but the dose im on it helps me relax and sleep better. If I sleep better I can exercise which helps. I do still have the worries but when you're not as tired its not so overwhelming and easier to deal with.

My GP won't prescribe medication specifically for anxiety as when you stop the problem is still there. He prefers to find a way to deal with it.

I have accepted that I will always have this, but I just have to find a way to deal with it.

We are driving a long way to see family in a few weeks and I have been worrying about it for ages. We have been invited to stay with family but because I get physical symptoms we are staying in a hotel as I may be up half the night! . I get bad back, neck,stomach and head pain when it's really bad. The back and neck pain is because I am so tense when its bad. So I may need to try and relax for a long time in the bath so don't want to feel unable to at a relatives house.

Juat realised that was very long! Sorry!

Purlesque Wed 17-Jul-13 07:51:04

Yes you can pm me.
I tried ad's but aren't for me. My doctor was no help just keen to push more drugs.

dirtyface Wed 17-Jul-13 07:57:04

i'm like this OP. i have been like it for years on and off

i know that on edge feeling, its like you feel like something bads going to happen sad

Purlesque Wed 17-Jul-13 07:58:31

Strangely excersise doesn't do much for me (i do walking). I feel better after relaxing, hypnotherapy is good for that and getting involved in a hobby/project. Doesn't leave much head room for worries.
If one thing has helped me more than anything it is my hobby and starting big projects.

Purple2012 Wed 17-Jul-13 09:17:00

The exercise helps for me because I sleep better so if im not so tired the worry doesn't seem insurmountable. Also while I exercise I concentrate on that so I worry less that way.

I think different things work for different people. For some CBT probably worked. It just didn't for me.

Funnyfishface Wed 17-Jul-13 09:30:59

I have pm you

peachypips Wed 17-Jul-13 21:10:42

I find that I do most definitely forget that I have ever been well when I am feeling bad. The best thing to do is mark on your calendar how you are feeling out of ten or keep a short diary about how your day has been so you can look back and see that you did, in fact, feel fine a few days ago!
Mine started with PND but has stuck. I have excepted after my last relapse that I will be on meds forever as I am poorly and not myself when off them. I can't function when I'm ill!

peachypips Wed 17-Jul-13 21:13:32

Oh, and if ur DS is whingy when he has growth spurts that def makes anxiety worse. When my two aren't right it makes my anxiety worse. Also, ur DS is still very young.

peachypips Wed 17-Jul-13 21:14:45

Whoops just realised you have two!

Stripedmum Thu 18-Jul-13 13:49:59

Well...crisis team have had to come out as 'it' reached crisis point. Not being able to explain exactly how I felt which was kicking off utter panic. They have reassured me that I'm not going mad but I'm finding it hard to believe them. I feel that strange that I've convinced myself there's no hope or way back for me.

I'm getting referred for CBT as I'm bfing and have a huge fear of the meds.

Funnyfishface Thu 18-Jul-13 15:17:08

Hey stripedmum how are you doing now.?

The cbt helped me. I followed the fear fighter programme on nhs. The therapist I saw was very young and I WRONGLY pre-judged her. I took one look at her and thought she wouldn't be able to help. But she did.

I also keep a diary now. I write how I feel, how I slept, what I have done. It dies help looking back through it. To see how far I have come.

At my Rock bottom last Oct I felt so helpless. I was very emotional and really couldn't see a way out. That was my low point. And I haven't and will not go back to that point.

I have two sons 23 and 18. I am sahm.

You WILL get through this. It is hard to explain to someone exactly what you are going through and unless they have experienced it they won't get it. I understand. Big hugs and lots of love to you

peachypips Thu 18-Jul-13 16:57:53

You poor thing. They were regular visitors here a few years back! I don't want to push it but I really think you should give the drugs a try. Sertraline would be a good one as it is fine when feeding and helps specifically with anxiety.
I am on it and it is fine xx

Stripedmum Thu 18-Jul-13 17:35:56

Hi all. Thanks so much. I'm feeling marginally better and relaxed but just really strange. I know that sounds vague but can anyone relate? Just scared to be alive really. That sounds bonkers doesn't it?

Thank you Funnyfish. I really hope it helps. In pretty desperate now. I want to feel like normal again but it's been that long now I don't feel I know what normal is. I feel very lost and confused and very concerned that this is 'me' now.

Thank you Peachy. I'm glad to know it's not just me calling them out. I am so averse to ADs because I'm already so out of sorts I feel they're going to make me feel even less 'normal'. I also read lots of bad stuff about suicide and ADs and although I know it's VERY rare I think it'd kick my anxiety up to a higher level and make me worse not better if that makes sense? I wish I could feel I could take them but I just hate 'unknowns' and I feel ADs would be another change at a difficult time.

stripedmum, I can relate immensely to your posts. It is very distressing to feel that your thoughts are ruling your life and personality when at some level you know that they are not 'true'. I really thought that I was going properly mad. It was horrible. It was all triggered for me by stress at work. I just lost all perspective.

I too chose not to take ADs (was afraid). I found CBT very helpful for GAD. You have to work at it, like homework or studying, and so it suited me very well as I went away with a task to do and could focus on that. I had 12 weeks of sessions. During the process I got worse - it was exhausting and difficult - but the improvement over the past year since I ended treatment has been excellent. Also have recently been looking into mindfulness which is helpful too.

Hope that helps a bit. I resisted getting help for a long time (at a lower level of anxiety) and wish I hadn't.

purplejelly Thu 18-Jul-13 21:11:03

I also struggle with anxiety, can I join in? I have tinnitus which I think is linked to the anxiety and I don't want to take any medication as they all have tinnitus as a side effect and I don't want it to get worse. The trouble is, my anxiety is getting worse even if the tinnitus isn't and I feel trapped! Today I've had the "fight or flight" feeling all day long. It's exhausting. I've even had an upset stomach because of it.

I did some CBT last year which did help, maybe time to dig out the notes. I also find mindfulness helpful. It's interesting about exercise. I want to start C25K as well but haven't fancied it now it's so hot.

I just feel really fed up of putting on a brave face for my family and pretending everything is okay when it's not. I don't want my children to know what's going on and my husband, although lovely, had a habit of burying his head in the sand when something difficult is happening.

Stripedmum Thu 18-Jul-13 21:38:53

Purple much love to you. Know the feeling. I've not been right for two and a half years and it's been like being trapped in a nightmare I'm not waking up from.

SinisterSal Thu 18-Jul-13 21:53:11

Gosh you sound just like I was this time last year. Scared to be alive was it exactly, that chimes so true with me. I was afraid of the leaves falling from the trees. A sunbeam/rain cloud/birdcall would send me into spirals. Everything. But I am proof you can go back to your old self. I'm grand now! And you will be too, this will not last forever.
My therapist at the time told me she found it very common in mothers of young children. She mentioned hormones but she concentrated on the fact that mums of tiny ones have to be extra vigilant, extra tuned in, extra alert to threats in whatever form. This healthy response can get out of control. For me also it started with the birth of my first child.
You are not going mad.

Funnyfishface Fri 19-Jul-13 09:23:24


It's ok not to take ads. They don't fix the anxiety they just make you feel less het up so that you can focus on treatment to get better.

Anything that focuses on relaxing, breathing etc will help. Mindfulness is brilliant.

Exercise is supposed to really help but for me one if my triggers is getting too hot. So I have avoided it unfortunately.

I completely understand that feeling of will I ever feel normal. I was so incredibly emotional about it.

Have you read any books. Claire weeks has written some excellent material. I really do think if you can learn as much as possible about the anxiety, what happens to your body etc it helps you understand that all the symptoms are normal and it's just our body responding to what it thinks is danger.

You will get better. You are not going mad.

Stripedmum Fri 19-Jul-13 09:34:57

Thank you thank you thank you. I'm in such a weird and strange place. I just pray it's a very odd time that I can one day look back on.

I feel like I was screaming for help but no one listened. Now I feel I've gone past a point and there's no way back.

Thank you so much for helping make me feel a bit reassured. I honestly appreciate it so much.

Funnyfishface Fri 19-Jul-13 09:47:36

I do think it has something to do with the responsibility of having children. I have always been worried about my boys. Because they are my life.

My youngest now 18 is going on his first boys holiday abroad next week and I feel sick with worry thinking about it. Unrealistic worrying. I know this is going to be hard for me so I need to get a grip of my emotions otherwise its going to be a very long 'holiday'!!!

I have had panic and anxiety for nearly 3 years and it came out if the blue. The last 7 months I feel have definitely been improved. I can deal with anxiety a lot better. You will do too

SinisterSal Fri 19-Jul-13 10:46:22

I second mindfulness.

Have you tried Moodgym? I haven't myself but I've seen it recommended a lt on here. It's an online self CBT thing, might be worth trying as it's quickly accessible to you.

I know that weird and strange place, thank god I'm at the stage where I am looking back. You will get there too. And then you will be enjoying life and your LO's again. smile

Stripedmum Fri 19-Jul-13 11:51:23

Thank you Sistersal.

SinisterSal Fri 19-Jul-13 12:04:43

<hand squeeze> this will pass

Stripedmum Fri 19-Jul-13 12:39:15

<squeezes hand back really tightly>

SophieLeGiraffe Fri 19-Jul-13 14:34:45

Hello stripedmum you invited me over here earlier in the week. Sorry to hear you're having such a tough time.

I can completely relate to the fear of everything and I was also initially against taking ADs. I got to a crisis point at Christmas when I told my husband I would rather die than face the thing I was scared of (teeth falling out) but that scared me more because I didn't want to die, it just felt that there might not be a choice.

My GP was amazing and we settled on the lowest dose of Citalapram as it is good for both anxiety and depression. Within two months I felt like myself - I was coping really well with work, family life and had even started not being afraid of parking the car! So the generalised anxiety was much improved. I think the effect for me seemed to wear off a little and I tried after 4 months or so to up the dose, then got scared and went back down to 10mg. I'm now back up to 20mg since five weeks ago and feel a little bit more level again on an every day level.

The thing that I still really struggle with is the specific fear, though I can eat a lot more and more variety these days. I've been having CBT for a month now and it's helping but it is really hard and very stressful at times. They're now looking to refer me for PTSD which I find very difficult.

The exercise theory is really interesting. Before this I used to run, shred and swim. But I stopped running and shredding because I was afraid the impact would make my teeth loose blush. I've sporadically ran since but can't seem to get myself back into a routine - I think like you say I sort of think, what's the point. But then I go and it feels amazing.

I'm so sorry to hear there are so many others who feel the same. I find the whole thing just so exhausting, it's such a daily battle.

Stripedmum Fri 19-Jul-13 15:19:41

Thanks for sharing your story Sophie. It's so annoying that 'you' know how silly it all is but you still can't just forget it and move on. So very bizarre. You really have my sympathy. It's just weird. I hope we all get sorted out. I really do.

I'm going to give this exercise thing another shot. I was having a little kick in the garden with DS earlier and it did seem to slightly lift me. Just a bit. Maybe we should start an exercise and depression/running thread and see how we all get on?

sydlexic Fri 19-Jul-13 15:32:28

I could have written your post, I have suffered with GAD for 20 years, worse after pregnancy and BF, worse when baby had a growth spurt. Recently started CBT.

I had a diagnosis of B12 deficiency a few weeks ago, I feel it is the missing piece of the jigsaw.

Stripedmum Fri 19-Jul-13 17:18:45

That's really interesting sydlexic. I seem to really dip when DD feeds more. It's really odd.

How did you get your vitamin levels tested?

purplejelly Fri 19-Jul-13 20:54:49

striped did they say how long the wait will be for CBT?

I'm sure my anxiety is partly hormonal. I've always been a bit prone to worrying but nothing like I am now I've got children. Everything gets blown out of all proportion nowadays and I can't sleep either!

orangeandemons Fri 19-Jul-13 21:01:13

Much sympathy I have hellish anxiety, to the point of terror. It's awful.

I've had loads of counselling and cbt, but it was paroxetine that kicked it into touch for me. It has made me much more laid back, and completely shut up the endless chatter on my head.

I wonder if your fear of ads is one of the symptoms, and if so is quite normal

Stripedmum Sat 20-Jul-13 09:02:19

It absolutely one of my fears. That's exactly right.

I'm seeing a psychiatrist early next week and so we'll see what they say.

I'm sorry you have it too oranges. It's awful.

peachypips Sat 20-Jul-13 10:10:30

I was just thino

peachypips Sat 20-Jul-13 10:11:35

I was just thinking about how to define serious anxiety. I think I have got it it.
It's like being afraid to be alive.

Funnyfishface Sat 20-Jul-13 10:39:55

Peachy - exactly this

peachypips Sat 20-Jul-13 10:51:19

smile sad

peachypips Sat 20-Jul-13 10:52:22

Just thought of a quiche for us. The GADabouts!

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 20-Jul-13 11:57:46

Hi all.

I do check in to the MH threads every so often as I'm a chronic anxiety sufferer. It started with Health Anxiety and leads to bouts of depression after the anxiety passes. Had a horrible incident the other day when me and my family were threatened by someone in the street and it's sent me down hill big time.

Since then, I've been crushed with worry. I woke up last night, just surrounded by this sense of dread and fear. Today I can't stop crying. Normally getting out with the dogs and DCs helps but it's so bad today I just don't want to leave the house at all.

Luckily, down to CBT I know I'm ill and it's not real which is good but just thought I'd come and say hello. Got a party to take the kids to later but I don't know how I'm going to get through without crying.

I'm terrified of taking ADs too, so the GP has not prescribed me any. I just feel really odd.

Stripedmum Sat 20-Jul-13 12:05:12

<holds hands with missbetsy> it's the odd feeling that's the worst I reckon. It makes you feel so isolated as you can't quite explain 'it'. But I think we all must have our own 'odd'.

It will pass, it will pass, it will pass.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 20-Jul-13 13:34:51

Thank you.

Just discovered DS1 feeding one of the dogs under the table at lunchtime. He's lovely but quite defiant at times and just didn't leave the table when I asked him to. I just quietly left the table and burst into tears in the lounge. He came in afterwards and was really sorry and I had to keep saying to him it wasn't his fault I was crying. Oh dear.

I need to read back through this thread.

I can hear DS2 (who is hearing impaired) making strange noises in the kitchen. Better go now.

Stripedmum Sat 20-Jul-13 13:39:33

That is what it is! I'm really scared of being alive. That's the nail on the head.

Stripedmum Sat 20-Jul-13 13:42:47

Purple not too long for CBT I don't think. Thank goodness. And mine is definitely hormonal...

Stripedmum Sat 20-Jul-13 13:43:27

Bless you missbetsy

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 20-Jul-13 22:47:43

It gives so much relief to read through this thread and see that I'm not the only one. I could have written so many of these posts. Anxiety just makes you feel wonky all the time. My DH says it's like an addiction; you search for it even when it's not there.

A few of my RL friends know what's going on sometimes, in that they know I've been in therapy. Bumped into one today and she could see I was foggy and although she didn't mention anything, she stuck close while we were out. We're out at the same event tomorrow pm too so I might mention something then.

Feeling scared of being alive sums it up well. At rock bottom, I'd have preferred to be dead tbh, though I'd never end my own life. The toxic feeling in my head is unbearable sometimes, unclearable.

The exercise thing is interesting. When I'm walking the dogs sometimes there's a point in the walk where things sort of lift and I feel as though I could stay out there with them for ages!

Stripedmum, do you know how long the wait is on the CBT? My therapist recommended I read 'Overcoming Worry' and it was great.

Stripedmum Sun 21-Jul-13 08:39:50

Oh my God Betsey! You are so right!!! That really is how I feel. And my DH hasn't said I'm addicted but that is absolutely the conclusion I've reached myself. When I feel normal I panic.

My little theory is that you have space for worry in your head and ours is just absolutely massive, brought on through highly stressful life events. But even when there's nothing there to worry about it needs filling somehow. So when I've literally got nothing to worry about I revert to default human worries, am I going mad, afraid of death, afraid of outside, etc etc.

I think we need to gradually reduce that 'centre' for worry but I don't think it's easily done. My explanation is quite crude but I think there's probably more worry neurons or something. These can be changed as the brain is quite meldable but when something has gone on for as long as it has for some of us, the potentially tougher the journey will be.

wundawoman Sun 21-Jul-13 09:44:11

I can relate to all of these posts; we are not alone in our suffering!!! hmm

I've had awful anxiety for about 3 years, to the point where i get physically ill!! it is not as severe as about a year ago but still present. I definitely agree with the hormone theory; my issues started with Perimenopause.

I'm currently using the Headspace App which is practicing mindfulness, it's very good. I also find yoga a big help too. I push myself through the anxiety to keep doing daily stuff and get on with life. But I still have this underlying feeling of fear, especially in the mornings for some reason, and it sucks!!

I try to take one day at a time and get through that.

Stripedmum Sun 21-Jul-13 11:00:48

Hi wundawoman.

I have started drinking gallons of raspberry red leaf tea as it's supposed to be great for balancing women's hormones.

Funnily enough I was going through loads on the lead up to DDs birth and afterwards (along with camomile) but then kind of got put of the habit.

I was still very anxious following her birth (it hasn't resolved since having DS 2 years ago) but I wasn't plunged back to the worst of it as I expected to be.

Anyhow three months later, every time she has a growth spurt everything seems to get so much worse (crisis team worse...). So hormones are certainly a factor for me and I'm back on the raspberry leaf.

If anyone wants to try it you need to drink bloody loads (four cups a day for a few months) to see a benefit. It could be a placebo effect?

"Toxic feeling in my head," God I so relate to that. 'You' are no longer in charge.

On an evening when I'm not at my worst after a run, bath and a nice glass of wine I get 'me' back temporarily. It's bliss. But then I get out of bed and it all starts again.

sydlexic Sun 21-Jul-13 12:21:08

Sorry slow to reply, started having signs memory loss, vocabulary reduced, kept searching for words. New GP was aware of the link and tested me.

wundawoman Sun 21-Jul-13 13:21:40

Thanks Stripedmum, will try the raspberry leaf tea also!!! Anything that helps ....

In addition to the hormone factor, I wonder if we have unreasonably high expectations of ourselves (especially as mums) and therefore create more anxiety? After all, is anyone 'normal' and having the time of their lives? I for one, don't know anyone who does not have issues with stress in one form or another. it's learning how to deal with stress is key, I think....

I am aiming for more 'acceptance' of my feelings and allow the anxiety to come and go, not fight it. (Mindfulness teaches this). And also to remember that tomorrow I will hopefully feel better (I generally do). It's not easy though...confused

Good luck x

2013beau Sun 21-Jul-13 17:43:42

Hi I'm a new mum with a six week old baby, I've started with really bad anxiety attacks. I used to get them before bring pregnant and then they almost stopped during pregnancy.,I used natal hypnotherapy and relaxation to help me with them and it really helped. I didn't feel panicked while pregnant but now it seems to be back with vengeance. I am breast feeding and have been told can only take mini pill or marina or implant but all of these give me panic anxiety feeling. What can I do I don't want then to take over as they are at the moment. Panic seems worse around period times.


Stripedmum Sun 21-Jul-13 17:56:08

Hi Beau! Congratulations on your baby! It's very early days yet but I'm sure it will be hormone related, esp as it's worse near periods.

My baby is 13 weeks and my two real huge dips have been around growth spurts so I think it's a massive factor.

I can't take the pill as it would send me on one. Me and DH are just going to use condoms (NOT the withdrawal method as that's how DD came to be blush.

Things that are helping me at the mo are exercise and raspberry leaf tea (buckets full). And also a glass on wine on an evening...not ideal but it makes me so much more relaxed. Just one small one mind considering the bfing and it makes anxiety far worse the next day if it's any more.

Claire Weekes book also really helped me. It's about acceptance. That said when I really take a dip there's no touching the sides with anything really.

Is you panic about the baby? With my DS I was absolutely horrendous.

2013beau Sun 21-Jul-13 21:59:59

Hi Thanks for replying
It's just an anxious feeling in general that just comes on. I have a fear of not being near a toilet in case I'm sick or get diarrhoea. This makes it hard for me to go places. I've been trying to exercise gently as just had a c section so can't do too much. I've just tried to take a walk every day when my little one lets me and she the weather isn't too hot. I'll try the raspberry leaf tea to see if that helps thanks for the tip x

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 21-Jul-13 22:05:23

I've a copper coil and once the first periods settled down (think tidal wave) it's been fine.

Beau, I have found acupuncture really helped in the past. My anxiety was waaaay worse after the DCs were born and is often triggered by fears around them now.

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 08:09:43

Hi there! I found this article and thought if was really interesting.

peachypips Mon 22-Jul-13 10:15:34

Hi GADflies. Hope you are ok today. Can't remember if I said above but have tried to come off meds and am now in middle of full-blown relapse. Managed to stave it off for a couple of weeks but it has now taken charge. sad I am currently on sofa with enough tranqs on board to fell a horse and back on my meds.
Have now accepted I am long-term ill and will always be on meds. It beats rocking and wailing into a pillow whilst puking!!!
Hope you're ok today all.

peachypips Mon 22-Jul-13 10:17:47

beau - my sister had that thing with the toilet. We have a family anxiety history as my dad has OCD. She takes a small dose of citalopram and she doesn't fear being away from a toilet anymore. It was ruling her life and stopping her going anywhere and enjoying life.

peachypips Mon 22-Jul-13 10:18:59

My panic started with the baby. He is now 5!

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 10:54:42

Peachy I'm sorry about your relapse. I've been reading about coming off ADs/tranquilizers and I've heard it's incredibly difficult.

Is it something you have to do really slowly?

MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 22-Jul-13 13:17:31

I'm sorry peachypips. Have you someone around? Is your boy at school or on holidays at the mo?

Our car got broken into last night and they've trashed the inside in an effort to get to the (crap) radio. No prints, nothing. DH is away and I was looking forward to a day of nice things for myself while the DCs have their last day. No such luck...!

peachypips Mon 22-Jul-13 18:46:36

Yes you do- tranqs are fine for me and only as a temp thing until my meds work. I have been totally well for nearly three years on my meds and came off them slowly over 18 months, so I couldn't have been more careful! I have accepted I have a long-term illness now that needs treatment and now I've experimented with reducing I know the lowest dose I am well on so ill stick with that.
Looking forward to being level and happy again.
My kids are at school and DH had got two weeks off fortunately. My mum has come to stay too. Phew!

peachypips Mon 22-Jul-13 18:47:43

You poor thing Betsey! That sucks. We don't get any of that down here.

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 18:57:46

I'm glad you have the support there Peachy - so very important. I really hope you're back on your level soon. I think you will be as you sound very sussed.

I saw a psychiatrist today...he's told me that my issues have arisen through control, or lack thereof. He said that it's up to me and me alone to rectify. I need to concentrate on things I can control and not on things I can't. He also said my problems are down to adjustment - my life isn't how I planned it would be and I need to accept that. Didn't mention meds which I was very surprised about as I thought they'd be pushed at me and I'd be thrown on the 'unfixable' heap if I refused. I do hope I can get through this.

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 18:58:18

And no diagnosis of anything! I was quite shocked as thought I'd be labelled.

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 18:59:19

Can I ask - do you all set quite high standards for yourself?

MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 22-Jul-13 19:56:13

Yes. I think so anyway!

It's interesting he didn't give you a label at all. Would you have liked one? It feels easier sometimes I think to feel you slot in somewhere.

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 20:03:23

I did think a label was what I was after but I suppose then I'd have been sucked in to researching it and feeling I have a 'condition'. At the end of the day I'm unhappy and really struggling - like people have done from the beginning of time I suppose. I'm going through a really shitty, rough, awful time but that's okay and it's learning to cope with this new 'me'. He said its going to be like learning to walk again. So not easy. But possible, I hope. I feel marginally more confident that I've been seen by a psychiatrist and he's rubber stamped me 'not mad'.

MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 22-Jul-13 20:35:03

I know what you mean. I find it easier sometimes to think about feeling bad as feeling ill; it makes it seem more normal. And like illness in general, we will get better from it in the end.

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 20:58:37

I'm starting to do that MissBetsey. Rather than weird, odd, strange, sad, despairing, etc etc etc - just 'not good' or 'okay' or 'good'.

LadyMedea Mon 22-Jul-13 23:11:17

I thought I'd pop onto this thread as it has certainly made me feel less alone reading the posts.

I'm 20 weeks pregnant with dc1, had anxiety on and off for years and a decade on Citalopram. Generally managed ok and talked myself through the blips. Came off the meds when trying for the baby. Last 3 weeks its all gone wrong, anxiety and obsessive worrying just took over and when that wasn't happening the depression slid in. Worst trigger is work but baby stuff (childcare etc not the pregnancy thank goodness) is also part of it.

After crying uncontrollably at work last Wed I saw the emergency doc and have been signed off for 2 weeks. Referred for CBT (bit of human but mainly computer apparently) and midwife has referred me to mental health team - my first time for that. As much as I'm dying to go back on the meds I know they aren't great for the baby (not horrendous but something I want to avoid if poss).

Now I'm just trying to get through each day. Being outside is the only thing that helps consistently but it's been too bloody hot!

Crikey life is hard sometimes.

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 23:25:04

Hi Lady. Life is a strange old thing.

My anxiety during pregnancy with DD1 (DC2) was certainly not good - the hormones don't help.

Things that help me:

Raspberry leaf tea/ Camomile tea (four cups a day) - read up and make your own mind up on the RLT though as some say not to take it before 36 weeks. Camomile fine though from what I've read.

Exercise. At least 30 min a day. Walking worked for me whilst pregnant.

Things to occupy my mind. Reading. Blogging.

Journaling. Pinning down exactly how you feel.

Talking, talking, talking to DH.


Coming on MN

FB, Twitter

Finding other people going through similar - I'm on the anxiety forum on the iPad. It's great.


An excellent diet


Self talk


Inspirational quotes

That's all I can think of for now!

Stripedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 23:36:57

What helps everyone else? Maybe we can put together a list to help others on here?

Good idea striped

Distraction helps me. Doing something I enjoy which is absorbing and hardly any space for worrying eg gardening, drawing/painting, watching some decent tv.

Talking to someone sometimes helps.

Reading and posting on these MH forums is comforting in that I understand I am not alone in this.

I've just read the first chapter of a book on Mindfulness which sounds like it could help, so will keep going with that.

Getting enough sleep.

Getting outside every day.

Almost no caffeine and trying to limit sugar intake.

My dh has a worry time slot every day but I haven't worked out quite how he does it - tho def works for him.

peachypips Tue 23-Jul-13 11:16:02

For me I can only contribute things that help when I have meds on board as without them I am a wailing loon!
If I am struggling to face a task like tidying a room, I tell myself I only have to do ten small things and then I can stop or do another five. For example, take a cup to the sink, put a pair of socks in the laundry basket etc. it really helps me look at the small picture rather than the large. Also works with things like gardening- just pull up ten weeds then you can stop or carry on.
Also getting out and having a plan for the day is great for me esp with two young DSs.
lady I know how you feel. I was terrible in pregnancy and was hospitalised with severe anxiety. I ended up taking a lot of drugs whilst pregnant sadly. Thank God though DS2 is completely fine. Poor you- my heart goes out to you.

peachypips Tue 23-Jul-13 11:16:38

Prescription drugs I mean!!

Stripedmum Tue 23-Jul-13 12:11:29

grin at prescription drugs! We didn't think you'd be shooting up Peachy though sometimes I'm bloody tempted!

How are you today?

peachypips Tue 23-Jul-13 21:35:47

Ha ha!! Yes a lot better thanks- meds taking effect. Managed to do more than crosswords and mumsnet today! How are you?

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