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Generalised Anxiety Disorder

(42 Posts)
firemansam Mon 19-May-08 18:19:37

Very much welcoming this new topic heading - I've always thought I couldn't post here because I wasn't depressed! Absolutely freaking out and struggling beyond belief, but coz of anxiety and panic rather than depression.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder)? I have been diagnosed with this. I have had trouble with anxiety/panic for about 7 years now, but found a wonderful therapist who really sorted me out. Then I came off my anti depressants very slowly and properly, and have crashed right down again. I can barely get up in the mornings. I'm not depressed, I love my life, but the anxiety/panic is killing me.

Has anyone out there had this and recovered? Or had a big crash during recovery and got over it? I know that people on this thread aren't likely to be the happy recovered ones (I didn't look at this section of mumsnet for 7 months when I was well!) but positive stories would be really welcome!

misselizabethbennett Mon 19-May-08 18:27:45

I really feel for you FS. Haven't you said yourself that you've been 'sorted out' once before? That means you can do it again. I don't think anxiety ever really goes away, but you get MUCH better at managing it, to the point where it no longer interferes with your life.

Have you tried acupuncture? I had this for an unrelated condition, but mentioned to the doc that I suffered from stress/anxiety (it was at a particularly bad time for me), so they also did relaxation acupuncture at the same time. I found that it helped enormously. Expensive, but if I ever felt like this again I would be straight back there.

Can you go back to the therapist who helped you before? Please don't just carry on feeling bad - try and get some help.

cruisemum1 Mon 19-May-08 22:09:13

i suffer from anxiety. never been 'diagnosed' but it cripples me sometimes though i do carry on. No-one guesses how i feel but sometimes i feel so angst ridden. you are not alone.

cruisemum1 Mon 19-May-08 22:10:24

sorry - just re-read my post and I am of no use whatsoever! just wanted you to know that there are probably thousands of us out there with the same problem smile

LavendersBlueDillyDilly Mon 19-May-08 22:16:39

Have you tried CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy)? it is very effective with anxiety disorders, as they are ususally based on atomatic negative thought patterns that you can start to recognise and change, which will then change how you feel.

A good therapist should skill you up, so that you can use the strategies throughout your life when you feel you are 'going down' again.

As ElizabethBeennet said, you may always have a tendency towards anxiety, but you can learn to mange it so that it does not dominate yor life and so that you can recognise when the thougts-feelings are returning and becoming ubcontrolaable again.

BigBadMouse Mon 19-May-08 22:22:26

I was going to ask what sort of therapy you had but Lavenders has beaten me to it.

I have what you have and consider myself 'cured' after CBT. It was fantastic for the reasons already mentioned. I will always have the 'incorrect thought patterns' that lead to my anxiety crop up in my mind but I now know how to stop the thoughts escalating into a panic attack or anxiety.

Sometimes more effort is required than normal to overcome the thoughts but I can still keep in control.

This is defintely curable and defintely does have a tendancy to come back to see if you can still fight it off. Being able to do so is very empowering grin.

bluejelly Mon 19-May-08 22:23:11

Six months ago I was crippled by anxiety-- now it has virtually gone ( only reappears when I am really stressed)

I had six sessions of therapy and it really helped. Also I tried to cut down on some of the things I was doing in my life. And every time I start to feel anxious I ring up a friend or a relative and talk about my feelings. These steps have helped my enormously.

If it came back I think I might try ADs though.

firemansam Tue 20-May-08 11:00:04

Thanks everyone. Yes I have had about six months' worth of CBT, and I was feeling just great, until I came off my ADs and had a few other pressures and have just plummeted down again. I'm feeling like I've blown it - I just can't seem to keep my thoughts/feelings in check, and about 6 weeks after coming off my meds I started having panic attacks again.

I'm so disappointed with myself, and soooo jealous of everyone else who is normal! You say there are probably thousands of us out there - I've only come across one, and she's no where near as bad as me....

I'm thinking I'm incurable! How long were you in therapy for Big Bad Mouse?

BigBadMouse Tue 20-May-08 12:29:41

Firemansam - a hell of a lot longer than you! blush.
For the first stage to treat the anxiety state about 8-9 months. Then I had about a year or so without any therapy and have been having more since 2003 (although on and off) for what has been diagnosed as severe / critical clinical depression (whatever that might be grin) (hmm). The vast majority of people who know me in RL are very surprised if they find out about all this. I don't look at it as being curable / incurable it is just something I am prone to that I have to learn to live with. Like hell am I going back to how I was several years ago!

There are loads of suffers about - most feel unconfortable talking about it, some people suffer without anyone noticing. It's when you get on a site like MN that they all feel more comfortable to discuss how things are. IME a lot of poeple in RL who find out you have anxiety and then say they have had it too haven't really had it that bad or have made a good recovery at some point. I'm so used to the whole thing that I have just got used to discussing it all quite openly when neccessary.

Tclanger Tue 20-May-08 20:10:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BigBadMouse Tue 20-May-08 20:47:44

Yes! I remember my Psychologist highly recommending 'overcoming anxiety'. Definitely worth looking up in the library or on Amazon I'd say!

Tclanger - I think I'd have more than anxiety after what you went through! shock

Tclanger Tue 20-May-08 20:53:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

annieapple7 Tue 20-May-08 21:31:53

I am reading this looking for help for my sister who has suffered from PND/anxiety since the birth of her son 13 months ago. I am glad she is not alone - it seems to be a very widespread problem yet no one seems to talk about it!
She is on ADs but I don't think they are the right ones as the anxiety seems to be getting worse. Are there any drugs for this kind of problem - I read about one called Paxil CR - has anyone tried it?

LavendersBlueDillyDilly Tue 20-May-08 21:49:27

I am a CBT therapist, and I know that most people I traet for anxiety and panic have not let on the extent or depth of their thoughts to thier family and friends. So you can be sure that there are lots of poele experincing high levels of anxiety, and who are not talking about it.

It really is EXTREMELY common.

Another thing I usually find is that at the start of therapy poele are reluctant to admit out aloud the type of thoughts they are actually having, they fear their thoughts are so extreme and bizaree that I will be shocked and they hate to admit it even to themselves.
But please believe me it is common for thougts to get out of control and the things you are thinkng and experiening can be got under control again.

You may need to learn again how to do this without the AD's. You may well find that you actually need a shorter course of CBT this time, and you are out of 'practise', and with some guidance you will very liekly get back to where you again, much more quickly.

Please don't think all is lost and that there is no point in going back, I'm sure it will help you again.

BigBadMouse Tue 20-May-08 21:50:42

annieapple7 - some ADs are supposed to be good for treating anxiety whereas others seem to make it worse. Worse still, some docs don't seem to know which ones to prescribe for it and think any type will do shock.

Might be worth you starting a new thread asking which meds are best for your sister - there are some very knowledgeable people on here when it comes to ADs and there are some good websites which could help too. I'm sure you'd get a positive response.

chunkychips Tue 20-May-08 22:08:22

Message withdrawn

BigBadMouse Tue 20-May-08 22:28:27

chinkychips - There is a hereditary component to anxiety. It is caused by a surge in adrenaline. How and why your body releases it and deals with it is an inherited trait. It you were a gazelle on the plains of Africa you'd be glad of your surges when a lion attack strikes but it's hardly useful to have when all you're trying to do is your weekly shop at Tescos angry. Have you considered taking steps to get a diagnosis and some treatment? In a way I am very glad I did as I know my DCs may be more prone to attacks and I want to be able to help them as much as possible and understand them if they need it. Mine started at about 15.

chunkychips Tue 20-May-08 23:01:39

I've been to the doctor about it, very sympathetic, but told me that I just have to accept it basically. My last episode was just after having dd; doctor said it was very common for parents to have anxiety (especially re health) at this time. I did ask to be referred to somebody, but haven't heard back yet and it's gone for the time being. Have had this since mid twenties. It's exhausting. I know I should do something about it, but when it's not happening I just want to forget about it. God, I hope my dcs don't get it.Hadn't thought of that.

Tclanger Tue 20-May-08 23:03:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BigBadMouse Tue 20-May-08 23:15:07

That is interesting TClanger. That is all anxiety is though, just adrenaline, your 'fight or flight mechanism' going full-on when it doesn't need to - thing is it is blimen powerful stuff this adrenaline so requires a fair bit of mind over matter to counteract it.

My DC3 is overdue, if I have to have a CS for any reason I shall be trying very hard NOT to think of you at the time...nothing personal you understand wink

annieapple7 Tue 20-May-08 23:17:41

Thanks BB Mouse - I shall do that. It does seem that help from the GP is pretty hopeless - "just try these ADs and get on with it." No mention of CBT by GP but a friend of mine is a practitioner and she did have some sessions which helped a bit but now she seems to have gone backwards again. Does anyone know why childbirth seems to trigger it? I thought it may be to do with her thyroid as all her symptoms match but her blood tests were normal.
TClanger - her birth experience was scary too - not as and as yours - OMG - but it was an emergency CS.

chunkychips Tue 20-May-08 23:22:23

I don't know why childbirth triggers it; seems to be quite common, but it could be something to do with the added responsibility that you feel i.e. what would happen to dcs if something happened to you. Doctor said this could be what triggered off my health anxiety. The adrenaline thing going into overdrive and out of control.

BigBadMouse Tue 20-May-08 23:23:38

Sorry chunkychips I missed your post earlier.

Cannot believe your doc - that is absolutely appalling! You do not have to accept it angry. Maybe he didn't understand exactly how bad things were but even so......

You really should go back, you cannot and should not suffer with this. It is such an unneccessary suffering to have. Don't worry about your DCs getting it right now these things don't tend to start up until you are in your mid - late teens.

When you feel ready to do so I really think you need to go back and get some proper help. Have you mentioned it to your HV? I know what you mean about when it isn't happening you just want to forget about it. I felt the same.

BigBadMouse Tue 20-May-08 23:29:32

I think becoming a parent for the first time is such an overwhelming thing to go through, so much responsibility, lack of sleep, change of lifestyle, hormones go mad. On top of all that it brings to the fore memories of your own childhood and sometimes that isn't good.

Mothers of pre school-age children are the most prone members of the community when it comes to depression I'm told.

chunkychips Tue 20-May-08 23:39:18

Message withdrawn

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