Do I Have GAD? Please Help!

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strachan1978
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/4/2010 4:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys

I'm so glad I've come across this website and forum as I feel I'm losing my mind with Anxiety. I'm a 32 year old guy who has struggled on and off (mainly on) with stress & anxiety for years. Recently it's become worse than its ever been and has now completely taken over my life.

This all sounds kinda embarassing but i dont care im gonna tell you anyway! A few weeks ago I started getting this strange feeling just inside my anus, like there was something there. My anxiety immediately went into complete overdrive - I felt sick, nervous and had this horrible feeling of dread. I suffered like this for a week before my doctors appointment. He examined me and told me I had a simple hemorrhoid. The relief was instant, but the following day my stomach and bowel started playing up - bloated feeling, wind, stomach churning, churning sensations on and off in my gut and bottom, muscle tension. I've had small bouts of diarrhea too. And I lost my appetite for a couple of days although my appetite has since returned.

Anyway, me being me, I rushed back to see another doctor about my stomach/gut symptoms in yet another blind panic. He told me theres nothing seriously wrong with me, and its all Anxiety related. He has referred me for counselling. But heres the thing - he told me about other symptoms that would indicate something serious - and now im obsessing about these symptoms and convincing myself I have them even though I dont. He told me about them to reassure me I dont have anything serious but its had the opposite effect.

I feel like I'm slowly losing my mind here. I'm panicking I'm dying of something and the doctors wont believe me. I'm standing on the scales twice a day terrified im losing weight (I have actually lost a bit of weight but ive not been eating as much as i usually do). I look in the mirror constantly and think I look terrible even though others tell me I look perfectly well. The only relief I get is when I'm asleep. But as soon as I wake up in the morning I get this wave of dread rush over me, and the symptoms start up again.

I'm just thinking about my health constantly. It's like a vicious circle - I panic about my health which makes the anxiety worse which then gives me the symptoms.

Can anyone help me? I just need to know I'm not alone in this. I can't stop thinking I'm dying or have something seriously wrong with me. I try to breathe easily, have relaxing hot baths but my brain wont let me stop worrying. I just dont know what to do.

Thanks for reading, and for any advice you give.

Chris

ThatsMzTaz2U
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 4/4/2010 5:50 AM (GMT -7)   
  Believe me you are not alone, I to suffer from Health anxiety, Panic attacks, agoraphobia, every day it's a new symptom, mine takes the form of dizzy cant breath I have had in my mind every disease known to man and some I invented myself, For me I am scared of Doctors afraid of there news so I tend to stay away from them except like once a year. I read your post and it so sounds like me I to weigh myself to see if I am losing weight look in the mirror to see if my face is sunken in and as with you everyone tells me you are fine. I cant even take a nice relaxing bath (something I use to love to do) but now I feel so much anxiety in the tub I wash as fast as possible and get out of there. I wish I could tell you how to overcome this but I am right there with ya in not knowing how what I do is wrap in a blanket and try to distract myself in a good movie or a good book or even playing a game on the computer that takes your brain to think about it gives me some relief for a little bit of time. I wish you luck and keep in touch, now I have to get ready ready to go to church even though I cant breath dizzy sit with all the people YIKES just the thought brings on panic, but I will make it through cause I own this anxiety thing it don't own me. I have a doctor's apt coming up in a month for some issues I know that are not anixety related and I am scared to death of what is wrong with me
 Hugs Anna
________________________________________
Help Me Lord To Be All I Can Be And To Take One Day At A Time
 


AmyTx
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 4/4/2010 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I suffer from health and medicine anxiety... meds scare me to high heaven i think im going to die from a reaction... my health is constantly on my mind.. i have suffered anxiety for years.. i have lupus and it is an unpredictable disease.. my doctors tell me currently im doing fine but i always come home and question them like there missing something.. i constantly think im going to keal over dead and it frightening,.. though i would let you know when i get anxious i feel it in my head and legs first when i hit full blown panic its like my uterus gets really hot like something is wrong with it...i know the feelings and no your not alone.. my anxiety is at its worse right now..i have had 2 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy and i certainly hope it helps.. the other day i thought i was having a stroke i couldnt feel my arms or legs but yet i cuold walk i could talk and make sense but its like someone else was driving the bus so to say... i was having a serious depersonalization derealization moment its something i never want to experience again..the minute they gave me ativan within 20 mintues i felt so much better..my problem also is i hyperventilate and that makes things worse...

good luck to you and no your not alone...
Female: 38 yrs/old DX: Lupus (dx:'03) MCTD, Raynaud's, Anxiety./panic disorder, GERD, Antithyroid antibodies, Lupus Cebritis, Lupus CNS, Lupus Pneumonitis and Stage 3 & 5 Lupus Nephritis. PRES ,Seizures, Photosensitivity since childhood, vasculitis, left thumb and toe amputated from raynauds, Sjogren's
Meds: cellcept, Plaquenil,Prednisone 10,Miracle mouthwash,bactrim, actonel, caltrate, Xanax, Darvocet, Xopenex inhaler, Xopenex Nebulizer, Spiriva, prevacid, aspirin 325mg, pantaprozole and carafate


janetlee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 4/4/2010 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like you have health anxiety rather than GAD. I have GAD and I'd wake up feeling extremely anxious, full of dread and I could think of no reason WHY I felt so bad! In your case, it sounds like your fear of illness/death are feeding your anxiety. There are some great peeps here and just knowing that you are not alone will hopefully help some!
jl
 


strachan1978
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/5/2010 1:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for replying so quickly guys - it has helped knowing that I'm not alone in this! The thing is when I busy myself doing other things and try not to think about it the symptoms aren't as bad. But when I'm either on my own or just sitting watching TV then my mind slowly reverts back to obsessing about symptoms and thinking the worst. It's horrible when try as you might you just can't stop your brain from thinking this way.

I think the health anxiety thing could be so true. I know I'm a hypochondriac - in the past I've convinced myself that I have a brain tumour, swine flu, incurable diseases...and everytime my doctor has told me theres nothing wrong with me. I've had 4 blood tests in the past 3 years as well as a CT scan - all because nobody could convince me I was OK. But the reason I thought about GAD was due to the fact my anxiety appears to be taking over everything if I let it.

Anyway, thanks for the help guys. I wish everyone good luck in your own personal battles with the dreaded anxiety. I'm gonna stick around here as I feel it helps a lot talking with other people who are fighting the same battle as you.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/5/2010 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell,


Health Anxiety is the new terminology for people that used to be labeled as hypochondriacs. I do hope you have acccess to a mental health professional who can help you learn to deal with your Health Anxiety if that is what you have.



Take care and do stick with us.



Kitt

SSCC1011
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 4/8/2010 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello, If it helps any, my anxeity all started one night when I was by myself and pretty much convinced myself I was about to die when I was going to sleep. When that happend I had my first and most awful panic attack ever. I went to the emergency complaing of chest pain and I couldn't breathe and kept feeling sick. All they did was give me some nausea medicine and an IV with potassium in it and sent me home. I had no idea it was anxeity/panic attacks... I went on for months depressed and scared I was going to get some kind of disease and die. It was not until my Aunt explained to me that she had panic attacks that I realized what was really wrong with me. I went to the dr. and now I take xanax on the bad days when I feel like I just won't make it, but its been a few years now since I found out what I had and can pretty much control it on my own. I know exactly how you feel though. Stay away from google. When you google medical symptoms you will scare yourself even more. Let the docotrs diagnose you. Trust me, it has happend to me many times!! I suffer just about every day with G.A.D./Panic Attacks and Health Anxeity. But like I said all I have to do is tell myself its my anxeity coming on and I can pretty much stop it. I would recommend that you ask your docotor for some type of benzodiazepines or something like that to stop your mind when you are having an attack..that is what has helped me the most. But anyways just thought I would come share my little story with you and know that you aren't alone, my friend!! Good luck!

strachan1978
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/10/2010 10:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Haybugsmommy

Yes my anxiety is always worst at night. I've been there too in the past where ive been lying in bed feeling like i was away to pass out or have a heart attack or something. I havent ever ended up at the hospital because of it but i dont know why!

I have an appointment with my doctor this coming Monday morning. I'm going to explain everything to him and let him tell me whats wrong rather than me trying to tell him, which ive done before! I currently don't take any medication at all but I know that I really should be, whether it be something to settle my stomach down or actual medication for my anxiety. I'll let the doctor decide. My stomach symptoms have actually been a bit better these last couple of days because my brain is finally coming round to the idea that im not actually dying of something! but the symptoms are still there, they are coming and going now rather than being constant, and of course they are still at their worst at nighttime.

I will mention benzodiazepines to my doctor as I know that how my mind is currently working is the big problem with me rather than the stomach symptoms which are harmless but annoying. I'll keep you updated how I get on.

Wishing you (and everyone else) good luck in the fight against anxiety.

Chris

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/10/2010 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Keep us posted on how you are doing
yes have an open honest talk with your doc
mine is great i can tell him anything

lyn
..Co Moderator for Crohns...Anxiety/Panic......Alzheimers

DX..Crohns,,,A/P...Fibro...Seizures..Neuropathy...Pyoderma Gangrenosum..Deaf

I Refuse To Give Up....Others Are Worse Off Than I Am

Donate to WWW.HealingWell.com
MEDS..Lyrica..Dilatin...Pentasa...Folic acid....Ativan..,Diazapam prn..Trazadone at HS..T 4s PRN

NEVER GIVEN UP NOR IN


strachan1978
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/13/2010 4:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys

Well I had my appointment with my doctor yesterday. I explained to him how I've been feeling these past couple of weeks - all the stomach and gut symptoms including churning stomach, trapped wind, swollen stomach etc. I also told him about the bouts of diarrhoea and how I'm panicking constantly I've got a killer disease rather than just anxiety. He listened to everything I said before telling me YET AGAIN that it's all caused by my anxiety and nothing else. He told me to lie on the table so he could have a good listen to my stomach and bowel with a stethescope. He also pressed down on various parts of my stomach. He told he everything is fine and there's nothing to worry about. My stomach and bowel are both fine and working away as they should. It's the anxiety causing everything.

It sounds crazy, but my anxiety is actually telling me that I DON'T have anxiety! It's blaming all my physical symptoms on something very serious. I lie in bed at night and my brain says to me "you do realise you don't have anxiety don't you? You do realise these symptoms are signs of a killer disease and nobody is believing you?". It's complete torture and once my brain starts feeding me these thoughts my anxiety goes through the roof and I feel my stomach contracting and churning almost instantly. It's like you're in a one on one mental fight against your brain, and your brain is winning.

Because I'm on the list to see a therapist for CBT, my doctor said he would rather not prescribe me any medication at this time. He said if he gave me something like Valium it would distort how bad my anxiety actually is. If I went into my first CBT session high on Valium then they would think I am a lot better mentally than I actually am! He did offer me the medication if I felt like I couldn't go on without it, but I forced myself to decline it. I need to go to my first CBT session as I am so they can see how bad my anxiety is.

I should be having my first CBT session in around 3-4 weeks. In the meantime I solider on, trying to keep my anxiety under control and trying to rid my mind of these horrible "what ifs" that are floating around my head constantly. I'm taking wind settler tablets for when my stomach feels really bloated or is churning badly, and I'm taking Immodium whenever the diarrhoea starts up. I'm also about to start keeping a food diary. My doctor does not believe I am allergic to any foods (to be honest neither do I), but keeping a food diary is another thing to do to try and take my mind off the symptoms. Even this morning I felt like I was about to have diarrhoea, but I ignored it and carried on throughout my morning routine, and now I don't feel like I'm away to have diarrhoea. Things like that just highlight to me how much my mind is controlling these physical symptoms. Bloody anxiety - I hate it!

Hope everyone is well today.

Chris

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/13/2010 4:47 AM (GMT -7)   
First i want to say kudos for staying strong to yr committment with cbt that is awesome
i can feel yr strength thru your post i think you are gonna find cbt will work for you

also you do need to know we hear you understand n applaud yr efforts in what you are trying to do for self as well as know there is meds out there IF you need them
valium dont make you high if taken properly releases some semblance of calm thats all

again i commend you n wish you all the best we are here for you
lyn

strachan1978
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/19/2010 2:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys

Well it's been a week since my doctor's appointment in which he told me not to worry about my physical symptoms as the anxiety is causing them all. I suppose I have felt a bit better these past few days but I still don't feel right. One of the best ways to ease anxiety is to stop thinking about it, but of course thats really difficult when all your brain wants to do is obsess about symptoms!

The past couple of days I've been thinking a lot about IBS. I was diagnosed with IBS back in 2002 but didn't have it for long as I followed all the advice my doctor told me to do - eating healthily and getting a lot of fibre, exercise and drink plenty water. After a couple of weeks my IBS symptoms simply went away, and of course because they went away I stoped worrying about it.

It's dawned on me that a lot of my current physical symptoms are classic IBS symptoms - bloated stomach, stomach churning and wind. I'm also having occasional diarrohea but its not severe, more soft stools rather than full blown diarrohea. But I'm starting to feel slight pains on and off in the abdominal area, and I don't know if it's just all in my head or not.

I'm the first to admit my lifestyle isnt exactly the healthiest, so if my IBS is back then I've only got myself to blame really. I also know that Anxiety is a major culprit of causing IBS so between the two it's no wonder I think I have it. At least it's a step up from thinking I'm dying all the time!

If it is IBS I know what to do to treat it. My doctor did mention IBS when I saw him last week although because I wasn't having any abdominal pain he leaned more to the Anxiety itself causing my problems.

Anyway just wanted to tell you this it always helps to get it off my chest - I find posting my thoughts and fears here actually calms me down a bit rather than saying nothing. I just wish my first CBT session would hurry up and arrive!

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/19/2010 3:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning
another one up early eh
well i would honestly try doing what you did before
there is an IBS forum here too to check out
i hv crohns and if in real high anxiety it throws me for a loop n i am in a flare for days
it really can effect your whole body

i too find that posting does help or i go nuts worrying so keep u posted on how you are doing n when your cbt gets there
prayers n good thoughts
lyn
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