Ask the person with an anxiety disorder.

Fire away! Feel free to ask anything. I know that there are others out there like me and maybe we can help support each other. Thanks!

Is that the name for it? Or is it like Agoraphobia or some such thing? Is that the clinical diagnosis?

Yeah, do you suffer from generalized anxiety or like agoraphobia/social anxiety or something else?

I’ll join in here too. I have complex-PTSD, which is technically an anxiety disorder according to the DSM-IV. I’ve also been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder (not all at once!)

I’m not sure how my current diagnosis would stand. Anybody who’s read my posts lately knows I’ve got some serious anxiety problems. But they are all more or less manageable in the same way, with the same kinds of treatments. Anxiety disorders generally have the highest rate of effective treatment.

PTSD is a little different I guess. It’s a very difficult disorder to treat, and the approach is usually a bit more holistic. Essentially traumatic memory is encoded differently in the brain than narrative memory. This is probably why PTSD responds to antipsychotics. There is something about it that presents closer to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder than your average anxiety disorder.

That’s all in my experience anyways, things I have picked up over years of treatment and self-study. Sorry if I’m coming off as cryptic–my time has suddenly become drastically more limited. But I will do my best to answer these questions, in the name of mental health advocacy.

I’ve thought occasionally about starting an “Ask the person who has recovered from an anxiety disorder” thread - are you recovered, Hazle, or is that one still open for me?

I believe that the clinical name is general anxiety disorder. Agoraphobia can be a direct manifestation. I usually suffer panic attacks the most when driving or in public; rarely at home; a great motivation to stay at home and avoid potential anxiety causing situations.

Go right ahead! I would love to hear EVERTHING about someone who has recovered! Do you still take medications? Is there a light at the end of my anxiety-ridden tunnel. You could be my new hero!

Oh hello. I had a bout in my early 20s when I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am not certain I still fit the diagnosis because I got better eventually.

Do you feel in your case there is a genetic component? I was amazed when, later in life, my mother mentioned that she suspected it ran in my father’s family. I understand that as a lay person, I can’t really run around diagnosing other people, but it was the kind of thing where a lot of weird family stories made a lot more sense when viewed with GAD in mind.

There very well may be; after I was diagnosed, I found out that my Mom had been having panic attacks, but she didn’t realize what they were. She’s never been on any type of medication; I think she only had 3 attacks or so and has never been bothered since. I have often wondered about this, myself. If anyone has any scientific data to back this up, please chime in!

How about “Ask the person who’s trying to recover from anxiety disorder?” Social and generalized, in my case, which SUCKS because I’m single again and trying to make more friends. It gets easier the more I go out, but sometimes all I want to do is hide under the covers.

In my case I think it’s related to my autoimmune disorder. I have ITP (almost ten years in remission! Woo!). There have been studies that show a link between mental health issues and autoimmune issues. It’s tenuous, but I maintain an autoimmune support group on LiveJournal and there are a lot of people on there who are struggling with mental as well as physical health.

“Generalized Anxiety Disorder”<–this is me. I’m on Effexor daily and Xanax as needed. I think I need a med-change, though, because I’m having sleep difficulties, am always extra tense, and am starting to turn into a raving bitch again.

I do not have panic attacks. Instead, well, let me see if I can find the post I made about this, once, long ago…nope, can’t find it. I know I posted it at least two different places, but I’m not finding it on one, and the other has been…wiped out. So…

For me, it’s argely about the physical–I’m always tense, so my jaw hurts from clenching my teeth, my stomach hurts a lot, and little annoyances loom LARGE in my view (thus the cranky-bitch-ness).

Sometimes I can’t sleep for my mind racing. It’s not usually even one large thing that’s bothering me, but a lot of little nagging things. It’s like a big dark cloud sitting over and behind my right shoulder, always there, just not always visible. And if there IS a big thing…Katie bar the door!

I take my meds like a good girl, and work on my thought patterns and processes, but it’s never not been a problem for me, since about…well, ever. I have had problems as far back as elementary school.

So if anyone has any questions I can answer, I will be happy to do so.

I take Lexapro every day and Xanax as needed. Lexapro is the only medication I’ve found (I’ve also take effexor, celexa, paxil and prozac) with absolutely no side effects!

I take Xanax the first second I feel a panic attack coming on. If I wait even a little bit too late, I’m in absolute Hell for the next 10 minutes; can’t feel my arms, can’t breathe!

This could easily be an upsetting question, so I apologise if it does cause you any unhappiness and obviously i’m fine if you don’t want to answer. What trauma caused your PTSD?

OCD here, by the way, in case anyone has any specific questions about that. I know there’s a good few other people with it on here, too.

Celexa and paxil both had sexual side-effects for me (in addition to the paxil doing absolutely nothing for my symptoms. :dubious: ) The Lexapro you take is so chemically similar to Celexa that my doctor was unwilling to even try it with me. The Effexor was working great, but now seems to not be. Buspar made me ill. I was on one med, whose name I’ve forgotten, that got pulled by the FDA because it was causing liver damage, and it was the best working one I’ve ever been on. Again: :dubious: I’m not sure what else is left for me to try, but I’m willing to try just about anything in the SSRI/SNRI area.

eta: I’m sure some will wonder what sexual side-effect I’m talking about, since I’m a chick, but imagine being able to come thisclose to orgasm, but utterly and completely being unable to actually have one. :mad:

I take Lexapro every day as well, but I have lorezapam (Ativan) for bigger attacks. Take one, wait 20 minutes and if I’m not asleep, take one more.

When did you start having panic attacks? I had them only after real traumas as a kid, and had bouts starting at 14. I tend to have them when I have emotional stressors and can’t process them, or when there is big change to my relatively structured world.

I can echo that my mom has also had them (never treated) and so has my brother. I could guess that Pop has too, but he wouldn’t talk about or address such a thing.

I consider myself recovered from a 17 year long anxiety disorder. I was on medication for 13 of those years, and have been completely medication free for 3 1/2 years now. I think I will do an “Ask the recovered from an anxiety disorder person” thread, but not until this one has moved on - don’t want to steal your thunder here.

The one message we try to make sure everyone who comes to our self-help group goes away with is that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not the only person I know who considers themselves recovered.

ETA - forgot to say that my sister has an anxiety disorder, too. I have no doubt that there is a genetic component to the tendency towards too much anxiety.

That’s probably Serzone. I was on that for quite a few years, too. My pharmacy stopped giving it to me and switched me to Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin is not for anxiety disorders. That switch got me started on the road to recovery, though, so I guess I am at least a little grateful.

I don’t know if you read my recent thread but it explains where my PTSD comes from. The anxiety attacks I get are related to my depression and I’ll get 45 to 50 in a day. When they’re really bad, then it’s a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10; but most of the time they are more in the 4 to 5 range. I’ve learned a lot of ways of dealing with them through CBT and take Paxil, which helps. I haven’t had any side effects from Paxil.

Let’s just ask it: So who here (I’ll raise my hand) pounds booze to relieve the anxiety at inopportune times and/or too much.

I know it just makes it worse, but it gives me great relief while doing it…any suggestions?

Drinking is a common self-treatment method for men with anxiety issues. You’re definitely not alone in this self-medication.

My suggestion for this, like it is for all issues with anxiety, is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).