New diagnosis of GAD. Tips appreciated

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I am a 28 year old female and have spent a lifetime being shy, not confident and feeling inferior. It's always been "in my nature" to be a worrier. I don't like meeting new people, going to new places, doing nee things. I will do them if I have to but I will worry to the point of distraction for days, weeks or months in advance. I make myself ill, don't sleep, sweat,  give myself a headache etc over lots of things, generally non - routine events, I guess.

I don't sleep well and have never done. I have been on and off sleeping pills for years. I have also been separately prescribed anti sickness pills because I throw up a lot, for seemingly no reason. I have also had occasional low mood but I think it is a normal amount for normal life. I have been back and forth to the gp regarding shortness of breath many times and they have measured my peak flow rate and confirmed that I am not asthmatic. Last year, an ambulance was called because icouldn't breathe and thought I was going to die. The ambulance said it was panic and not breathing issues, as such.

I returned to the gp last few months back due to bad breathing for more than 2 continued months,, who looked over my history and asked in depth questions about my life and diagnosed GAD. I was in denial for a while because I'm just a "natural worrier".

 the gp prescribed anti depressants, which I haven't taken and threw in the bin. I don't like the stigma attached to them and I'm worried I'll get addicted. I've also read that they can make you want to kill yourself. I also think that I've thought about life in a certain way for 28 years and I'm scared I'll think differently. Yes, I worry now but it prepares me for the worst scenario and if the worst doesn't happen, then I worried for nothing but at least I was prepared. I worry if I'm not prepared then people will take advantage and I won't have considered all possibles. 

However, since being told I have GAD a few months back, it has upset me. It's like I've just been told that I'm somehow abnormal and think differently to everyone else, which upsets me. I'm also still in shock that not everyone thinks as I do - which I still don't think I've fully accepted yet. I've also become more withdrawn - even more so than before. I've stopped enjoying the things I used to, I've lost my appetite snd lost a stone in a month. I keep thinking that I wish I could stay in bed, curl up under the duvet and disappear. I wouldn't say I'm suicidal but I'm certainly extremely low. It's definitely the lowest I've ever been and usually I come out of this by now but it seems not to be happening for me this time. I worry I'm becoming depresse and I really don't want to take pills because some times I'm ok. I'd say a few hours a day, I'm totally ok but then the low feeling comes on again. 

Anyway, my main worry is that I'm 28, still living at home and I'll never achieve independence. I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years and he's not proposed, so I think if he doesn't know by now, will he ever? I believe I'll never get married and I'm going to miss my chance to have children. My boyfriend and I were looking for houses but he got fed up of me constantly nagging him about houses, marriage, kids and the future that he's now said he doesn't want it because I'm doing his head in. When I say I constant nag him, I mean we're talking texts, emails, phone calls and face to face talk from morning to the wee hours of the morning every day for the last 3 years - without any exaggerating. I have been told by friends, family and outsiders as well as him to stop talking about it and that I'm "obsessed" but nevertheless, I seem unable to stop. I'd have to agree that I'm obsessed. 

My other fears include the health of my family and partner and I regularly wake up from nightmares they have been harmed or killed in a panic. I insist they tdxt me whenever they go out to make sure they get there ok. I freak out big time if they don't. I also have a fear of flying and had a panic attack last February on a plane, which seemed to be when the bad breathing started. Every time I see a plane in the sky, I think it may fall out of the sky while I'm watching and it makes me feel sick. I don't like getting in cars as I worry there will be an accident. I don't like other people going out in cars. I realise most people worry about their relatives but I find it difficult to concentrate whilst they're driving. I constantly worry I'm going to be attacked, mugged, raped or murdered whilst I'm out - for some reason, my prediction is that it'll be in a car park. Mainly, I worry I'm pushing everyone away and they'll get fed up with me. I'm very concerned my bf will break up with me. It's all very upsetting

All this, and the breathing still isn't fixed. It's very uncomfortable. 

Any advice would be great. 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    I suffer from health anxiety and breathing problems at times...shortness of breath, tight chest, pain chest and weird sensations at time and feel like im guna pass out and been to a and e a few times but had tests done and say im fine. Take the depression tablets they do help if u get the right ones. I have sertraline and they do the treat but i dont intend to be on them foreva as id like to thinkil be strong enuff to deal with it myself which wud be an amazing achievement. Dont worry your not alone as ive said to alot ov people its horrible having this anxiety it feels like it beats us everytime and put us rite in the dumps and makes us feel like we r crazy but its amazing how anxety can tense and strain our bodys and thoughts. Im sure you will be fine and i hope it all works out for you smile
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    • Posted

      Hi Simon, thanks for getting back to me. I really appreciate it. 

      So, the anti depressants do help with your anxiety then? When I say 'work', I mean, does it alleviate the shortness of breath and panic feeling or does it change the way you think so you just don't care about what's worrying you? So, for example, if I was worried that my family hadn't text me when they get where they said they're going will it no longer occur to me they've had an accident or will I just not care or will I still think they may have been in an accident but I just don't get the panic associated with it?

      How long do they take to work? I'm worried if I start taking them then I'll want to kill myself - does that happen? Do you get addicted to them?

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  • Posted

    Victoria, can I ask, are you religious at all? It may seem like a strange question I know. Have you been brought up in a religion? To adopt a certain lifestyle?
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  • Posted

    Hi Victoria,

    take the pills, that would be my advice. I have GAD too & obsessive thoughts - "Pure o", anti depressants do help. Have you been offered any therapy? CBT - Cognitive Behavioural therapy helps with GAD or CAT - cognitive analylitical therapy. I too have always been a worrier & have taught myself very bad habits over the years. It's learning to undo them that is the hard work. Still working on mine after haveing a breakdown 15 years ago & then subsequent traumatic experiences have perpetuated it. 

    It's exhausting & hard work trying to combat it but it does get better. 1 year ago I was so bad that I couldn't go to work, now I enjoy going to work & find it motivates me & I feel better for going out & doing things, being around people & socialising. I get social anxiety too but force myself to speak to people. Noone knows what is going on in your head but you, so who's going to know? Be gracefull like a swan with frantic paddling feet underneath! 

    As for the boyfriend, if he's not taking your relationship any further after 5 years then I say move on to someone else! I'm sorry to say that It doesn't sound like he's serious. Having kids, wait until you are 45! I tell everyone this by the way (I'm kind of joking but i'm saying is to take care of yourself first) Have fun, stay young & try not to over think. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, dinky dee.

      You're so right. After being diagnosed with GAD, the more I looked into it, the more I realised I've probably taught myself these bad thinking habits over many, many years - the same as you. I've noticed a lot of people on here talk about the "new" symptoms because perhaps they feel differently to how they used to but it's not like that with me - I've always thought this way and almost always had the symptoms but only just realised it's not "normal" to think the way I do and I'm struggling to come to terms with that. I've only just realised there is a different way to think - although, like you say, it's not easy changing that internal voice that's been with you for so long.

      yes, I've been to a few sessions of CBT and I found it worked (a bit) but I was totally exhausted, if I'm honest, of trying to challenge so many negative thought processes. I felt a bit overwhelmed and gave it up after 4 sessions. I did learn a few things about myself and a few techniques, which I am trying but it's like throwing a pebble into the ocean.

      Sounds like you've done an excellent job of pulling yourself out of the depths of GAD.well done. What was the turning point? 

      As for the boyfriend, it's not easy to leave someone you love. I've got 5 years of emotions invested into him. Plus, I have been a royal pain in the backside and a down right nasty piece of work sometimes. I have accused him of cheating, I don't like him going out with his friends, I feel like he likes his motorbike or friends more than me if he doesn't see me. I accuse him of not loving me if he doesn't call or text THEN I moan at him CONSTANTLY that we're not married, have a house etc. I accuse him of not loving me all the time. I'm totally clingy, needy and insecure all the time. I tell him to get another job because it's dangerous. I make him check in with me that I know he's ok every time he gets in a car. I won't let him eat certain foods like salt, sweetener because it's bad for him. And then, he's constantly having to reassure me about everything - even going out. He believes I don't take an interest in his hobbies Which involve being around other people. All of which I now think may be related to GAD so now I'm working hard to try and make things better. 

      So..... in short, he puts up with an awful lot from me and I'vebrought it on myself that he doesn't want to marry me - can you blame him??!

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    • Posted

      OK I understand what you are saying but if you read that back you are blaming yourself for a lot there! Self blame will just feed anxiety & eat away at you so please stop doing that to yourself! It's great that you can put it all into words & recognise your anxious behaviour, that's the first step. A boyfriend should love & support you & I hope he does. It's very difficult when someone is "needy" but men are very good at compartmentalising & shutting off from things so it should be a bit easier for him to cope with. He should be flattered that you love him so much that you take such an interst in his health & working life! I see those as positives. It would definitely NOT be your fault if he didn't want to marry you. Anxiety happens & they still don't know enough about the brain to find causes other then behaviour etc so all us sufferers can't be blamed for it happening to us. We are constantly given messages in the media & society etc to be this way or that way etc it grinds you down eventually & drives you slightly mad. 

      I recently come out of a 5 year relationship & have had terrible issues with jealousy etc. Unfortunately for me, he turned out to be a total liar, very manipulative & I think a lot of my issues were down to my gut instincts telling me not to go on with it. Maybe your situation if different & I hope you can work thorugh it with him. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks dinky dee.

      You're right. It does sound like I'm blaming myself, doesn't it? Thank you for pointing that out and I will take your advice on board. I didn't actually mean to blame myself though. I am well aware that he is by no means perfect. I'm just trying to say that I can now accept what I'm doing to make things hard. I'm trying to accept it in a healthy way. He honestly hasn't been very supportive, for example, I had a panic attack in a car park and I couldn't go in and do what we went there to do (dancing). And he got a bit stroppy, which made me feel bad. He gets exasperated with me when I go into melt down mode before doing any social activity - even walking into a pub for lunch. But this was all before I knew anything about anxiety or GAD and I think he thought I was attention seeking or something. Since we've found out more about it, he's been much better but we both have to work on how best to deal with it. He's not too sure how to help me - and I don't know either!! I hope we can work on it together though.

      I'm really sorry to hear you've just come out of a long term relationship. it's never easy, regardless of the circumstances. Hopefully, it's easier if you know it's the right decision. If he's manipulative then you're definitely better off without him. Plus, it sounds like you have some great strategies in place to help you cope a little better through the tough bits.

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