How do I begin to deal with what appears to be generalized anxiety disorder
? I am wondering about experiences with anxiety medication... Help me fix my whacked out body!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
In the last year, my stress has gone from just being stress to anxiety of varying magnitudes. I'm looking to deal with this, and I'm beginning to wonder if medication is the way I need to go. I need some advice from those who've taken medication for anxiety or know those who have.
This probably deserves a little back story. I'm youngish (roundabout college age), and my teenage years were spent in turmoil because of my family. It may be worth mentioning that one of my parents is severely mentally ill (read: craaazy). While logically I've dealt with a lot of what it meant to be a child amid that--and yes, been to therapy--I went from that stress, to the stress of college and living on my own, to the positive but nonetheless stressful event of meeting and marrying a wonderful guy.
I kind of feel like I haven't had emotional rest in a long time, if really ever. This has all added up to the point that I can't rest now that most things are going well and right. (And yes, I try to meditate, but to little to no avail.) It's very frustrating, indeed.
In the last six months to year, I have had issues with sleeping (going to sleep, but no problems once I'm asleep), having my mild skin disorder rev up a bit (it's stress-related), and have begun to exhibit physical signs of an anxiety disorder.
That's probably what is most annoying. My head is mostly clear and logical. I do not have many irrational thoughts, and those I do have I can usually talk myself though, like most people. It's just my body gets keyed up over everything now, it seems. I am in my final year, and on my way to classes, I begin to get jittery, for instance, and my stomach turns to knots. Sometimes in class, I feel myself shaking a little and sweatier than usual. On other occasions, I have been walking down the road, fine and dandy, and then suddenly I get all this muscle tension and this "heavy" emotional feeling. Out of nowhere. There is absolutely no reason for this. I am not mentally nervous about going to the classes, meeting people, etc. My body just behaves this way, as far as I can tell.
Clearly, though, it is anxiety, just because of the way it makes me feel; it's like stress 2.0. About the only time I'm not getting all keyed up is when I'm with friends or my partner. At least that's good! My body seems to go nuts when I'm out on my own, so maybe I've got strange emotional issues surrounding that, but I really don't know what they'd be. I'm pretty ballsy and confident, even despite my body's funniness, so the reactionary anxiety symptoms are really bizarre.
Given this, should I take medication (or possibly Kava?) to get me over the hump? I get the impression that my body just needs to be trained to relax a bit, to sit down and STFU, if you will, and then it'll be able to do that. I would go back to CBT, but I don't really know what I'd talk about week in, week out, and I don't have that money or time to blow, anyway.
I know you are not my doctor, but I ask here, because I feel doctors and psychiatrists are pretty shit at honestly and realistically expressing the side effects--both positive and negative--of taking certain meds. I'd also like to know which meds you or your loved ones have had good/bad experiences with, so I will have something to go in with if/when I do see my doctor. Also, see my GP or look for a psychiatrist? My insurance is crap, so I will pay either way probably.
A throw-away account: firstname.lastname@example.org.