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Generalized Anxiety Disorder
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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Are there experiences on here with this disorder?  As you may be able to tell, I have been battling a multitude of physical symptoms over the past few years which have left me very sick.  I have posted questions on a few of them.  Most of the symptoms either feel to be digestive or neurological.  

I do admit I have been an anxious person, and have had a few doctors tell me it is all from stress and anxiety.  I have also been diagnosed with visceral hypersensitivty, tension headaches, etc. on the physical side.  Although it may be true, I am having a tough tough time believing that all these chronic physical symptoms are as a result of anxiety alone.  If I am treated for anxiety, I am wondering if they will improve or if the physical symptoms will linger and if so for how long?  

Would love to here some experiences on this from the forum.

Thanks
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36 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there..Im sorry to hear about how your feeling. I too have Anxiety. It is more on the GAD side, I didnt know what It was. All I knew is that something was causing all of these physical symptoms I was feeling. I went to 6 Different DR's thinking that someone will find something. I had a majority of tests done Blood work, EKG's, Ultrasounds, Echocardigram...Everything was normal. Finally I found a DR that would treat me for the anxiety..She prescribed me Zoloft which didnt work really well...So now IM on Paxil and it seems to be working. First bit of advice would be to go to the DR's to get all the necessary tests done to rule anything out. Then I would talk to them about an anti-depressant. It can also help with your physical symptoms as well. Good luck and keep me posted!!!!! =)
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Avatar_n_tn
Glad to hear Paxil has worked for you.  I have actually had tons of tests over the past three years, bloodwork many times, many digestive system tests, even a fundoplication surgery.  Went to the Mayo Clinic for an evaluation because I have been so sick.  Only functional problems have been diagnosed.

I have tried a few antidepressants, Paxil, Luvox, Olanzapine, none of them helped my physical symptoms.  A doctor tells me they haven't worked as they aren't the right ones for me.

What kind of physical symptoms were you having?  How long?

I have had mostly nausea and visceral burning, but also nerve pain, and sore neck, etc. as well.
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Avatar_n_tn
Some of my symtoms (symptoms) were
Body aches & pains (muscle & bone)
Headaches
dizziness
lethargic
weird ear pain/sounds
painful/stiff neck
nausea
IBS
feeling weak
chest pain/palpatations
I had these pains for a couple years buy they worstened within the last 6 months

Hope this makes you feel better. Medicine isnt for everyone so maybe you should try things like daily meditations, excersize, yoga, or maybe even acupuncture. Your not alone and if the tests say negative, then maybe you are ok. You can go to a specialist also. Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
im in the same boat as you guys. ive been feeling ill for over 4 months. ive been to the emergency room, have abdominal and pelvic cat scan, chest x-rays, b lood work, urine work and they found nothing, later i saw 2 more doctors, ive had a brain cat scan, thyroid ultrasound, colonoscopy and 2 more extensive blood tests. all came back normal, both doctors told me its anxiety and put me on lexapro, ive been on it for 7 weeks now and feel a tiny bit better but my physical symptoms are still there.

fatigeu
sleepyness
upper back pain
sore neck
dizziness
no enery
just feel generally weak and sick

all this is chronic, everyday. i though i was dying, being only 28 years old, i though i had cancver or something, maybe i do and they just could find it but i had so many tests my dostor told me to go see a shrink which pissed me off because im not trying to make up stories, i dont feel good and wanted a explanation, i still feel that anxiety can not cause suchg symptoms but what do i know.
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Avatar_f_tn
Often the physical symptoms are a heightened awareness of normal things.  Like palpitations, everyone gets them from time to time but if you are anxious, not only do you get them more, you think they mean something really bad.  Sinuses, allergies, infections etc. can be the "cause" but the worry escalates them more.
I have had night sweats, sore upper back, lump in throat, a feeling of falling backwards (dizziness), nausea (esp in morning and before meals), an electric buzzing feeling, loss of appetite, gagging on food, weight loss (funnily enough).  
I found paxil worked well.  It didn't remove all symptoms but I cared about them less and some went away after a while and some I realised were normal but harmless.

Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
jay,

You mentioned "shrink".  This is a total waste of time.  I've been suffering from severe panic attacks for 30 yrs.  All tests came back normal.  Meditations, deep breathing exercises, relaxing methods, therapy, meds, group therapy NOTHING helped.  I "begged" to see a shrink.  This shrink sat at his computer with his finger on the keyboard ready to shoot out a prescription for Xanx barely listening to me.  I was in and out in 3 minutes max.  FORGET the shrinks, lots of them need shrinks themselves.  Tranquelizers did not help me but made feel all worn out but the anxiety still came.  By accident I came across an advertisement about a book by "Dr. Claire Weeks", a Psychologist from Australia who dealt (she died in the meantime but her books are still selling)strictly with people like me and others suffering from panic attacks.  I read the book and ordered two more of her books, and she took ALMOST ALL THE FEAR out of me.  I have my anxiety attacks 99% under control.  There is still that 1% but nothing compared to as it was before.  

Here were/are my symptoms:

Severe anxiety which caused my blood pressure to rise
skipping heart every other beat
shortness of breath
nausea
feeling of impending death right here and now
racing heart
chills but not like when you have a fever
tingling in one of my cheeks
neck pain
pain between shoulder blades
lower back pain and severe stiffness
body aches
stomach pain
whole body aches like you have been run over by a truck
waking up at night with severe anxiety
tingling in the extremeties
frequent urination
a lump in my throat
sore scalp, or a burning sensation in the scalp

Sometimes I only got a few out of the above symptoms I have listed, and sometimes I had all of them combined. It was a nightmare to the point that I was afraid of leaving my house or drive my car.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi i'll try to make it short-
well ive had anxiety disorder since this january. and i havent taken any medications (yet!)
i do get very dizzy or feel like im running out of breath whenever i get nervous, scared.etc
and Yes, is ometimes do feel like its not the stress or anxiety, but some brain issues,
anyhow, im trying to overcome these problems by myself, without taking medications.
i strongly believe that u should take some time and try to relax...or if it really really doesnt work, id advice u to take oriental herbal medi.s.
hope this helps :)
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Avatar_n_tn
my phy.sypmotoms are:
Dizziness (motion sickness)
drowsy.
headache(not too often)
short of breath
lump in the throat.
and i sometimes feel the b lood rushing thro my head. whenever i get hot (nervous)
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Avatar_f_tn
I have taken Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutrin, and am currently on Cymbalta.  I was taking Celexa (all the others were in recent years) and stayed on it for a couple of monthes and it just wasn't working so my doc switched me to Cymbalta.  It really helps a lot.  It also has meds in it to help with chronic pain.  They have finally realized that the aches and pains that come hand-in-hand with depression are not all in our heads and are actually real.  They have finally decided to treat them to, not just the depression.   I am very pleased with the Cymbalta although it is like any other med, it may not be for everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been Sick Since August 14th. Everyday all day! Started with feeling of something caught in throat, then 2 days later my right arm went weak. Since then I am short of breath everyday and feels like its getting worse. Weakness in arms thats gets worse as day goes on. Body Jerks, popping feeling under skin. Nech aches, headaches, etc.... I have had soooo many tests done. Emg,ekg,echo, blood, mri's catscans, chiropractor, all show nothing they are telling me its anxiety. All day every day! I have been on ativan and busiprone for 5 weeks and no Different. I know how frustrating this is.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow ... reading all of this is really interesting. The ultimate quest to find out if what we are feeling is mental or physical. I am in the same boat. I am having imbalance problems while walking, some tingling sensations around the body, some eye pressure
and more. I've had blood work done, I've seen a cardiologist and an ENT, next is a neurologist on 11/13/06. Some web sites list almost all of the symptoms that are listed on this post, and I guess these symptoms can become a 24/7 problem from what they say ... but like the one person said on this post, "it's hard to believe it's all mental.
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Avatar_f_tn
Don't ever feel embarrassed about your anxiety symptoms.  I know not even some doctors understand them.  Some people have physical illnesses and we have anxiety disorders.  Even though most of us are physically fine the hell we go through when it comes to anxiety/phobia the "what if's" etc etc etc I wouldn't wish on my biggest enemy.  We too suffer.
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Avatar_n_tn
There are a ton of symptoms that can be caused by anxiety.  That is why so many of us (me included) have been to so many differnet types of specialists:  GI, neurologist, allergy, ent, physciatric, etc.  I've been to them all and more.

I believe that physical problems or predisposition to physical problems exist in everyone and anxiety probably brings them to the surface unfortunately.  And then instead of just trying to forget about them, or shrugging symptoms off, worry sets in making it even worse.
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Avatar_f_tn
I not only SUFFER from depression(and I do mean suffer, my whole family suffers with me), I have panic attacks.  Hadn't had one in probably 9 or 10 monthes (since changing jobs) until I recently had to have dental work done.  I am terrified of dentists.  I had a really bad experience with one as a child and even though my reasonable head knows that they are not all like him, I still freak when I get in the chair.  Anyway, I had a panic attack in the middle of the exam.  I was absolutely humiliated.  This is the same dentist my children see and I had told him about my bad experience and his assistant has panic attacks also.  She knew what it was immediately.  I thought I had it under control, but to my embarrassment, I obviously don't.  Since then I have also been diagnosed with TMJ Syndrome.  It's like I'm on one of those little wheels that hampsters run on, you know?  Only I'm not as smart as the hamster, I can't figure out how to get off.  The problems all run together.  As soon as I think I have one thing under control, BAM! another one pops up and it's all stress related.  Do I need a phychiatrist?  Am I ever going to be able to go to the grocery store and not worry about having an embarrassing attack in the middle of Wal-Mart?  My 7 year old son has seen it often enough in the past few weeks that he told his granny the other day the "Mama had one of her spells and daddy had to go get her today."  That makes me want to cry.  He's only 7 for goodness sakes!  Any suggestions on how to get a handle on it?  The Cymbalta has helped the depression 100 percent, but now I need to do something about the panic and anxiety.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the tips about the books, I am looking for them now.  Who knows, maybe they will help me too.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone either, but at the same time it does help to know I'm not the only one out there with these problems. If that makes any sense.
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Avatar_f_tn
When I used to get panic attacks in stores, and ran in the bathroom I used to tell my kids that I had diarrhea.  I was afraid that my anxiety would rub off on my kids.  They didn't know about my panic attacks until they went to high school.  

People with panic attacks are very prone when they feel "out of control" as in sitting in a dental chair, getting an MRI, flying in a plane, riding a train etc.  Situations where somebody else is in control "when you can get out".  When I went for a test/treatment I always prepared myself with the "diarrhea" story i.e. telling the dentist or the tech who is giving me a test "excuse me but I have a bad case of diarrhea I need to go to the bathroom".  I never had to use this line, but just knowing that I will use it if I need to helped me a lot.

Its sad that even people in the medical profession don't understand panic attacks unless they suffer from it themselves.  They are quick precribing tranquelizers which never helped me.  Some people get help from meds, everybody is different.  I got help from the books I mentioned above, it tells you "let the panic attack do its very worst, it will NOT kill you and it will go away".  I used to think that I could drop dead when having one of these attacks, just knowing that it will NOT kill me helped me tremendously.
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Avatar_n_tn
Question for HYPOSTEPH. The dizziness you mentioned in this post ... was it all the time or on and off ?
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Avatar_n_tn
I also get a achy spot at the base of my skull at the back of my neck.  They chalked it up to anxiety and tension headaches so far.  Its achiness varies and I notice that I get other symptoms when it is at its worst like other headache pain, nausea, lump in throat.

I have also had the tiny pin ***** dots on my hands mostly in the past.  I think they were petechaie.  Not sure why though at this point.  Doctors never took much interest in them.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have many of the symptoms everyone has decribed.  I also have been to many doctors and the only diagnosis I get is either Anxiety or Allergies.  I have one other problem though, I get a lump on the back of my head that will last for a few days, it is tender at times.  Of course I have been told it may be swollen lymph nodes just cleaning out my system from allergies.  I also have gotten little pin size blood spots on my skin also chalked up to allegies.  Needless to say these symptoms cause me great anxiety.  But have been assured I am not dying.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am a 28 year old female.  I am on Xanax for severe anxiety.  I have alot of the same symptoms.  I think I know exactly what you are talking about with the pain in the back of the neck and head.  For me my anxiety takes over and I start thinking I have a brain tumor.  The pain is right at the back of my skull and radiates into my neck.  Anyway, I also have something else that is driving me crazy and scaring me.  I have insomnia which is caused by muscle jerking all night.  I start to fall asleep and then all of a sudden my body jolts.  I never had this before, it just started a month ago while I had alot of stress in my life.  It happends all night.  As soon as I get up, it stops then I start to fall asleep and then bang.  Does anyone have this with severe anxiety?  I am so scared it could be something more serious.  It's just weird it started when I had a big life change happen and stress.  During the day I only have little muscle twitches sometimes but nothing major only at night, when my body is trying to relax.  Any info would be great.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dejay 78... this jolt when trying to sleep also happened to me early on in my now "4 month ordeal". It went away after a couple of weeks and I can usually get decent sleep at night (sometimes I take Tylanol P.M.). I don't know what else to tell you. It's so confusing and understandably scary when things are happening to you that you or your doctors can not explain. I  myself am trying to figure out what is going on with me right now. Test after test ... it is very frustrating. What life change happened to you (if I may ask). If it's too personal I understand. God bless and hope you get back to enjoying your life.

LIGHTWISE
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Avatar_n_tn
I have anxiety disorder also. I have been on every drug for the past 10 yers. The drugs I am on right now have kept me stable since July. I also have trouble waking up in the morning ( to the person who feels nauseous) I could barely function...sick and jittery. My Dr. put me on Ativan as soon as I wake up. It was my miracle.

Anyway, I consider myself a hypochondriac since they found encapsulated cancer when I had an appendectomy 2 years ago. Of course, the Dr. said all is well because it came out. They had me get a colonoscopy to be safe and blood work. All clear. Good to go. Well that is when my live got even worse. I changed.

I became even more more anxious. I had a really bad back ache for 2 weeks. I thought I had a tumor and cancer. My Dr. did a CT Scan. All okay. I noticed my tailbone sticking out ....for some odd reason. My Dr. did an xray. Fine. I had a rash on my breast...I thought definitely cancer. No. Now...I have this awful awful cough. I have had it for 2 months now going on 3. It has gotten a lot better but it is still there. Somedays I might cough 2 x's and another day I may cough 10 x's. When the cough began it was awful ...I would cough out really hard with a tickle and then suck the air back in and make an awful noise. My husband claimed it was the whooping cough.

My Dr. order a CT Scan on my chest. They found a 5mm spot. Now how do you think I am...? Screwed. Help!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi dejay78,
I'm also 28 yrs old and have been having panic attacks for years, but only realized about 2 months ago what they actually were being that they have recently gotten more intense and have developed all the threatening symptoms. As for the jolts you have while falling asleep, I have those as well. What it feels like to me is the moment before falling asleep my body shakes and tingles, my heart races, and my brain gets fuzzy (almost like electricity). I feel as if I need to break myself out of that feeling or I will pass out or faint. Is it the same for you as well? I'm almost positive that those episodes are directly related to my panic attacks and were the prelude to them as the panic attacks have gotten progressively worse over time. I am not on medication for anything yet, because I feel as if I could control it mentally (although that does not usually work very well) being that I know they are not harmful physically. My experience has been that, for me, caffeine will sometimes induce a panic attack or the night time symptoms as well as dehydration (after having more than four or five alcoholic drinks)so I try to stay away from those particular things which kind of stinks, because I love my coffee in the morning and like to enjoy a few drinks occassionally. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
okay, well I have had anxiety disorders for awhile...used to be only panic attacks here and there, I didn't have any long term fears or effects from them, to be honest with you I didn't even know that's what they were at the time of the attacks, but the doctors said asmea attacks, funny thing was I ran track and never needed an enhaler, so I knew something was fishy about that diagnosis.  It was one night while driving home that all of the sudden I felt like I was having a heart attack, my chest hurt so bad, I was tingiling all over, kept feeling hot then cold in a matter of seconds, I KNEW I was dying...well obviouslly since I am posting this I didn't die, but I knew that was the end of me at the time.  The hardest thing is that now it's an every day struggle, and there are physical and mental things going on that I wished would stop.  My family dosen't understand it and I hate looking back and remembering being NORMAL so I say and now feel like I need to be in a looney bin, cause I have phobias from things that never used to bother me before....like being alone, driving at night etc...my physical symptoms (and I don't know if they are all related)are..shortness of breath, lump in my throst that feels like a fingernail, backpain, chestpain, fatigue, feeling of dying, obsession of getting my songs and plans together for my funeral and YES I'm serious SO STUPID!!!, I HATE IT!!! I have been to the GI doctor and my doctor numerous times and all the test come back normal as most all of you also say...sooo I'm crazy I guess, I feel like **** but there's NOTHING PHYSICALLY WRONG, IT"S ALL IN MY HEAD???...I read a book called "Let Go and Let God" that has helped a lot for me, but I still suffer.  Will this ever go away?, I want to have kids, but the way I am as of now I would be afraid to be alone with them and be responsible for their care if I'm freakin' out all the time...so the doc. has perscribes Buspar for me and I read up on the side effects and let me tell you it can be writtin' a page long!!! I'm scared!!!!!  WHAT DO I DO???
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148354_tn?1211237506
Hi! I was hoping to hear you were feeling better! anxiety can cause alot of things,I was just put on lexapro..seems to be working.you prob remember my past post's about abdominal pain..well it turned out to be something...my appendix! it almost ruptured ,oct 27 I was admitted into hospital with 4 day stay,dr said it was chronic,week later back er for severe pelvic pain..found golfball size cyst on right ovary..so what do I do? next few weeks I throw myself into anxiety attacks scared its ovarian cancer,having been through all this pain and **** I think mentally took a toll on me.Finally dr really listented to me and said half of my pain and symptoms is from depression and anxiety,it will disrupt your digestive and nervous system and I'm starting to believe it,before I knew something was REALLY wrong,but I'm still having stomach pain and nausea,which anxiety will cause,I always feel edgy and nervous till I tried lexarpo,I still have waves of anxiety but it isnt as bad,I suspect my nausea is from anxiety,but now I'm afraid I might have cancer,worst thing I can do is get on here and look up medical **** because I do have symptoms of ovarian cancer,but it's just ibs according to dr's,I'm still driving myself batty! I always had issues with anxiety but not this severe.
       It takes trying few anti anxiety/depression drugs before you find out what works for you,paxil dont work for me anymore so ask about lexarpo.
          Happy Holidays,wish you the best!
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148354_tn?1211237506
Symptoms I experienced from anxiety:

nausea
dizziness
change in body temp (hot flashes then chills)
body pain, numbness/tingle sensations
stomach pain,heartburn,(ibs)
tmj (teeth grinding/jaw pain)
sense of doom feeling or feelings im gonna die
changes in bowel habits (runs or constipation)
tired,no energy
neck and back pain and stiffness
loss of appetite
headaches
weakness
chest pain,rapid heartbeat (sent me to er thinking it was heart attack few months ago,being 28 yrs old dr's figured stress after ekg was normal)
hard time sleeping or staying asleep
       These Symptoms seem to be common with ppl with anxiety disorders,also caffine is worst! I cut out my daily 3-4 cups of coffee,it is helping,I switched to lite first then gradually decreased my caffine intake to decaf now ,stopping all at once will make it worse,withdrawls are not fun! Happy Holidays to everyone!
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow! I can't believe that I have finally found other people who are experiencing the same problems as me. Hopefully we can all help each other to overcome what our problems are. Here is my story:

I am a 28 year old male, non-smoker/non-drinker. About 6 months ago I was tested for a life insurance policy and everything came back perfectly fine. No high blood pressue, nothing out of the ordinary. And I was approved for the "preferred elite" policy. Lucky all that was done before what I am about to describe.

My anxiety attacks started mid-August 06. I was going on vacation with my wife and her family. She was 8 months pregnant at the time. The morning we left for our trip, I was nauseated and ended up throwing up while doing 75MPH on the interstate. I was able to stop and pull over and ended up having everything come up to the point I was just gagging. It was an incredibly long ride and I was miserable. I was also experiencing dirrhea. Fast forward a few more days and I returned home with much of the same problems.

Much of my anxiety was caused by boss-related stress and also the new baby which was coming in a few weeks. I had never changed a diaper in my life and gag or vomit when I see someone/something else's poop. Weird, huh. My fears were beginning to get the best of me. It didnt matter if I was in church, at Wal Mart or Lowes or at a restaurant. I literally had to run to the bathroom when I was in the store only 10 minutes. Finally it was time to see a doctor.

My regular doctor was on vacation, so another doctor just gave me something for nausea. Didnt help one bit. Once my doctor got back in to town, I went to see him where me prescribed Buspar. I guess a spin-off is Buspirone which is on the bottle. Any way, it is a 15MG tablet that is scored 5/5/5 and 7.5/7.5 so that you can take different doses. I stared taking 7.5 in the morning and then 7.5 in the evenings. Eventually upped that to a whole pill in the AM and another in the PM. It made me very sleepy and I felt like the world was spinning when it kicked in. But it definitely calmed my stomach and I was having normal bowel movements. Not having to run to the toilet was beginning to be a blessing.

I got somewhat better and the baby is now a little over 3 months. I changed several poopy diapers and felt I was over that fear. About a month ago my problems got far worse than when they started. I vomited every day for two weeks straight. Anytime I think of the baby having a dirty diaper I gag or throw up. When I tend to my horse in the morning I have to shovel her poop as well. Vomit there too.

Another visit to the doctor and he advised me to quit taking the Buspar and gave me Effexor. I took two tablets and on the third day decided that I would live with the anxiety rather than take the medicine. I felt as if my insides were cooking. I literally felt like I was on fire. So, I quit taking everything for a week. Felt a little better, but the anxiety/diarrhea/nausea still lingered. After a week I started taking the Buspar again and this is when I vomited for 2 weeks straight.

I went back yesterday and was given Lexapro. I've only taken one and when I woke up during the night last night, I felt very weird. Almost as I did when taking the Effexor. I guess I will have to see what happens/

Since now everyone knows my life story for the last 4 months, here are my symptoms that I have experienced:.

Obviously a lot of nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea
Feeling extremly depressed
neck pains
headaches that last over 24 hours
a lump in my throat that wont go away.
chills
feeling like ending my life

I did actually have a spinal problem that was causing headaches, so I am seeing a chriopractor about that as well. The headaches are less, but still happen. I was just given a script for Axert and it works. The headaches seem to be
vascular headaches.

I actually start a new job on Jan 2, 07. So I am hoping that this will help my problems. It is actually the job I left 7 months ago because I was stressed out. Now different conditions have arisen and all should be much better now.

I rambled on because I know that I am not done with this ordeal. If I can help you, please let me know. And if you can help me, you would be my new best friend.
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244195_tn?1239496061
does anyone ever feel like they are unreal? called derealization? you just dont feel like yourself like your not apart of the world?? you feel liek a fake person!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes, usually while having anxiety or panic attacks..sometimes it will happen all day. Anxiety and panic attacks suck. I have struggled with anxiety, panic, and depression since i was a 14, right after i experimented with some potent Marijuana..i smoked so much my first time and freaked out really bad and have had problems since and never touched it again. from 14-18 i was withdrawn from people, things and school was a struggle to go to and was very depressed and had little interest in anything, i also hated being home alone also or just alone in general. I had some good days with family, friends and school but rarely. Around age 19 i started hanging out with some new people and started having fun going out to bars/clubs getting drunk every night, hooking up with girls and just living it up until i experimented with LSD at age 22, i liked it and did it a few times untill i had 2 consecutive "bad trips" and havn't taken it since. Since taking LSD though i would have severe hangovers whereas prior to LSD i never did or it was very minor.Nowdays if i drink to much i can barely cope. I'm now 37 yrs. old and have never seen a doctor for my anxiety, panic, depression until an episode happend Dec.'06 after a non-stop, five day, alcohol drinking binge where the alcohol withdrawl (withdrawal) sent me to the hospital with the most extreme panic iv'e ever experinced. I was having shakes, shortness of breath, sweating, palpitations, dizzyness..my panic and nerves were so bad i was choking and gagging throwing up, i thought i were dead for sure. They perscribed me Ativan and it helped greatly. I went back a few mos. later for the same thing and they gave me Xanax wich i didn't like because it gave me side effects like medicine head and depression. I'm now trying to quit drinking because i can no longer deal with the after effects, it has also cost me relationship problems and loss of jobs. I suggest to anyone that suffers from anxiety, panic, or depression to never ever try drugs or alcohol as they can have permanent damaging effects on lives. I learned the hard way but am trying every day and still have hope, i have a loving girlfriend and new 4 mo. old baby girl so i'm going to concentrate on that. I wish every person who suffers with these problems the best and if i could help even one person i'd be happy. Thank you for reading.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've actually been researching for a while now, thinking there is a possibility I might have lupus. I was "diagnosed" with GAD last year, but have had the symptoms for years before that. I am 21 years old, and I was taking Paxil for a while, which helped, but it makes you not really feel any emotions so I took myself off of it.
Anyway, I have a lot of strange symptoms... mostly anxiety related:

nervousness
shaking
dizziness
fatigue
overwhelming thoughts
trouble sleeping
headaches and neck pain (related to tmj)
IBS (can be pretty severe at times)
and the like...

but I also experience things such as low grade fevers, chronic cough, joint pains, sensitivity to certain lights (mild rashes on my chest from the sun), redness on my cheeks (some of these make me wonder if I may have an autoimmune disease, such as lupus)
I've been in and out of the doctors office since high school, and my family has started to think I'm a bit of a hypochondriac... so it makes it hard for me to tell people when I'm feeling bad.

I just want answers. Is there a chance I could have something besides GAD.. or can all these symptoms be chalked up to anxiety. Sometimes I'm unsure, and I don't want to make a fuss by talking about it to the people around me..

Any advice or answers would be wonderful! And I hope the best for all of you sturggling with similar things.
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I suffered my first panic attack about 15 years ago.  I was at work and thought I was having a heart attack which led me to the ER 15 minutes later.  I learned a lot about panic attacks at that point.  Subsequently, I have moved around the world and had to deal with many different issues that have challenged me to manage anxiety.  And oh by the way, I have also found out that it runs in our family which was news to me.  

Here are some things I've learned that may help others:

1.  I have stayed off of regular drugs but keep a Xanax handy, usually in my right pocket.  I used to keep it with me daily but now I only do if I know I will be in a "high risk" situation (like giving a speech or being somewhere "new").

2.  I shared with my wife my and family my situation so that everyone was well educated and we could compare notes.  Plus, since we found out that it ran in the family we all agreed to watch for the warning signs with our kids.

3.  I minimize caffeine.  Really minimize it.  I recommend quitting altogether but in my situation I have found that I can handle a cup of coffee here and there.  But, if I'm going into a new situation then I abstain.

4.  I quit drinking all beer and hard alcohol.  I have found that red wine is fine for me in moderation (heck, one glass a day is good for you!!).

5.  Job.  If my job is killing me I leave.  I don't take a job if the value system of the company does not match mine.  I would rather flip burgers than have my life snuffed out by the dark forces of bad management.  Life is too short.  If you're driving to work 3 days a week just hoping that someone will hit you so you don't have to go to work then you need a change.

6.  Stay away from the news.  You have got to get away from TV.  Local news broadcasts are the worst because it's the old adage that "if it bleeds it leads".  TV will depress you and make you wonder if it's all worth it.  Well, it is but it's not worth it to fill your head full of ****.  Get your news from sources on the net and keep away from the negative stuff.  There's that old quote from someone who once said, "television is the most educational invention ever, every time it goes on I open a book".  Read things that inspire you and keep you thinking about other things than that spot on your skin that you think just might be cancer.

7.  Quit obsessing over health.  GAD people are inherently hypochondriacs.  We're not all dying.  Having weird things happen to our bodies is normal and effect everyone (accept my wife it seems...).

8.  Exercise.  Being fat and feeling out of shape plays on your self esteem and will complicate GAD.  A big part of preventing GAD is building yourself up.  Pills are reactive to the condition, building self confidence is proactive.  Get off the couch and on to the elliptical machine.  You'll feel better emotionally, physically, and the released endorphines will do wonders for you.

9.  Keep organized.  Everytime I start to feel anxious I find it's because I'm not planning and executing.  Failure to plan is planning to fail.  Get yourself organized and keep at it.

10. Stay out of debt.  It took me 10 years to learn but money problems create anxiety.  Duh.  I don't anyone other than on my mortgage and plan to keep it that way.  Debt is evil.

11.  Sleep.  I nap when I can and hit the sack for my 8 hours.  I have been taking Tryptophan with vitamin B which helps (plus it's natural).  Give it a try.  You have got to get your sleep.

12.  Get over death.  I have three kids and love them to pieces.  I want to be here for years to enjoy their lives and help them grow.  But, things happen.  People do die every day.  People do get cancer and other bad diseases.  None of us are getting out of this alive so the faster we accept that the easier it is to deal with today.  I have tied loose ends so that if I'm whacked by some 16-year-old who's driving and talking on the cell phone today I know I'm in good shape.

13.  Have regular sex.  I tell my wife that I feel "loopy" after a few days if we don't have some intimate time.  Absent a partner then fly solo.

14.  Learn to clear you mind.  I have a ritual each night whereby I think about the same things.  It's a method of relaxation that I have used for years and puts me right to sleep.  You can't sleep well if you're thinking about all the disappointments life has handed you.  Go to that beautiful field with lots of flowers on a hot summer day and plop down in the middle of it for a nice calm sleep.  You can visualize that.

15.  Don't spend too much time commisurating with others on-line.  I know, I know, look where I am.  But, we can all spin each other up pretty well.  I like this site because it's fun not because I can validate to myself that I have every symptom listed here.  Don't spin yourself up because we don't know the history of each person these and other forums.  

16.  Understand your 'high stress' issues.  I know that I get stressed when I'm in a place where I lose some freedom.  Like going to someone's house for dinner for the first time.  I worry about not feeling well, needing to go #2 (I call this "****" anxiety), and what time we can go home.  So, I take steps to prepare for those times.  I feel stressed when I have to see a customer or spend the evening with people I'd rather not spend an evening with (due to my job).  It's a drag.  So, I prepare myself for it.

17. Find a creative outlet.  I have read that GAD sufferers are typically bright and creative with well-developed capabilities for visualizations and empathy.  I play guitar to allow myself an emotional outlet.

18.  Journal.  This is probably the big one.  I write regularly to myself about what I'm thinking, feeling and going to do.  I ask myself questions and challenge my beliefs and assumptions.  Since you have a computer, start a Word document with password protection and begin writing things down.  Record what you felt, when, and for how long.  You'll thank me for this later in life.

Sorry it's so long but these things have helped me.  Good luck to you all and remember that you're not alone.

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what you are experiencing I believe is an adrenaline rush.  It does have to do with anxiety I had them every time I fall asleep and noone had heard of this before.  Blood rushes to your stomach and away from your limbs and your head it jolts you awake and scares you to death.
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Hi to all:

Several years ago, I had depression and then awful panic attacks!  I had the classic symtoms (symptoms) of tightness in chest, feeling that I could not breathe.......IBS symtoms (symptoms), nausea, etc.....it was a type of hell where you just want to leave this world or leave your body forever.  My anxiety was at its worst in the morning.  I went through several medications, doctors, outpatient therapy-they thought I was anorexic, agorophobic etc....I was later diagnosed by my oldest and dearest friend, a physcotherapist who said that I had PTSD and it is not a quick fix so it was easier for them to say I had GAD than try to fix me before Insurance ran out.  My experience taught me that Buspar was a joke for me, guess it can help if you have mild symtoms (symptoms), antihystemines also.  I took xanax for awhile but did not want to become addicted to it and have another problem to face!  I started taking klonopin (small dose three times a day) and only used xanax for panic attacks.  I was 40 when this all started and had to have gallbladder surgery and they gave me reglan that threw me into a panic.  I have an artistic temperment........creative and compassionate........but without much artistic talent that earns me anything lucrative.  I like to feel secure........don't like change very much and don't like discord of any kind.  I finally divorced the man I was married to for 25 years (provided financially but no emotional support of any kind) and remarried when I was 53 to a totally different lifestyle and man.  I was completely happy with high expectations.......my ex-husband married my ex-best friend five months after I left that marriage.  This situation has been extremely hard on me and my son, who gets nothing monetarily or emotionally from my ex-husband and his father.  I had a Trans Ischemic attack (TIA) last March and I am still suffering balance problems, weakness, pain in legs from that and am starting to wonder if part of this is from the PTSD and anxiety related problems.  I know the TIA is not in my head because I have MRI and Cat scan results to prove that there was a problem.  I am definitely depressed .......living an hour away from where I lived......away from friends, family and into the country life.  I am very isolated and lost my job due to health issues.  I thought I had conquered the anxiety and depression issues and am concerned that they are still effecting me and therefore my life.  I am now seeing a Cardio doc because nobody has been able to get my blood pressure down in 3 years!  That is why I had the TIA.  I just want to walk well again.  I would like to feel my age instead of feeling like I am 90.  Life is never perfect or even close.  We all have to deal with adversity in our lives and the 21st Century is not conducive to good mental health.  Main thing is to develop good eating habits and good relationships with family and friends.  Try not to obsess or worry about things.........things usually work out on there own with help from friends, family and or a higher power (Faith).  I am still here........still trying to believe that I will be ok even though my Gold Star (Pschotherapist) died of breast cancer and I miss her greatly.  Life is hard enough without having any kind of anxiety and depression.  Having GAD or PTSD is not your fault.....you did nothing wrong to bring it on........you are a caring person who has more empathy and compassion than the bullies who do not have those characteristics.  This world needs people like us who care....who are real and have vulnerabilities.  We are here because our forefathers were strong.......not weak.  We owe it to our children, families etc... to keep trying and never give up.  I hope I have given you all some tools to fight this disorder.........all of you can overcome this disorder, you are strong and capable.  I wish you Joy, Peace and Love, DonnaDean
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i have severe severe anxiety  too. i take effexor xr 75 the first mnth was horriable but than i started feeling normal again. A couple days ago i had a severe attack though. I drink alot of alcohol though i  didnt for a couple days i think was having withdraws which sent me to the hospital. they gave me xanax and i have ativan i took  the ativan at the hospital and it worked but i been having this strange feeling in my throat like its super tight and hard to swollow does anyone get that feeling and this weird sensation on my tounge but it goes away  i just want the weird throat feeling to go away does anyone know how. I  also baught  the lucinda basset movies i think they working too and  i do this relaxation thing everynight and  i use alot of stress lotion and sleep balm  but i always feel anxoius i hate it so much but ya i just wnat the throat thing to dissaper its really annoying and it scares me
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i'm only thirteen, and i'm not sure if that's what i have, but the night before this one i had a sore throat, no big deal. i woke up with it, 10X worse. i went to school, and i ended up getting really bad stomach pains. i didn't think anything serious of it. then i got to social studies, my second hour of the day and it hurt to talk, or move. so at the end of class, i couldn't stand it and told my teacher i might puke, but i was walking to the third floor to go to the bathroom, and everything just got dark, and i was so dizzy, my legs felt week, i felt like not a muscle in my body worked. i went into the bathroom and found my friend, i told her i think i might pass out. she went to the office and got our principal and super intendant, she told me my step dad was waiting for me on the first floor, i told her there was no way i could walk. so we grabbed a trash can and went into the elevator. i got down there, and once i got into the vehicle i collapsed on the seats, and i was short of breath, very. and i'm a kid with OCD, ADD, & ADHD, and i also have those muscle jerkings too, Dejay28. i have for a while now, i used to think i had a small case terrets, now i'm thinking other wise. i also get those back pains, and head aches. in fact, i'm getting a lower head ache right now, but i have also been getting dizzy from standind up, waking up. of course, everyone in my family thought i was crazy, but i sure hope there are some answers for me here. and here are some of the symptons i now get,
lower back pain and severe stiffness
whole body aches like you have been run over by a truck
i pee ALOT,  sore scalp, itchy sorta, tingling, i have to continuosly move my feet or hands in order to not freak out,  stomach pain, lower back pain and severe stiffness, pain between shoulder blades, pain in my neck, dropping body temperatures; i'll go from freezing cold to sweaty hot in a matter of five minutes, naseau.
Help?
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