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Old 05-22-2007, 02:28 PM   #1
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Jimkel HB User
My story,, hope this helps!

If you suffer from GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) please read this, it might help.


(I must state for the record that this is a deeply personal ordeal and everyone is different. What worked for me may not work for you, I am not a doctor and this is my story only ,with emotional advice given here intended as uplifting and comforting only.

It is not to replace or be taken as medical advice. there is currently no "Cure" for GAD that works across the board, only healing. Also dont use this to self diagnose based on simular experience, you must see a medical professional to be diagnosed with GAD in fact I would prefer that if you have not been diagnosed with gad then you disregard this thread completely.





Hi im James, and heres my story of how I beat GAD and got my life and body back.
Im 23 years old now but when I was 18 I suffered an enormous breakdown.
Resulting in alopecia (Hairloss), weightloss and Of course Generalised anxiety disorder. After the diagnosis from my Doctor It still took a year to even accept it was anxiety because I was so spaced out just getting through the day was a challange, and any thing beyond that was impossible including common sense.

I Walked around in a daze as I said, I see allot of people here saying they feel drunk, drugged or unreal, well let me tell yall that yes it is anxiety and yes it can go away and you can feel normal again. I have felt it all, from numb body, intense paranioa, feeling really really sick, stomach ulcer, Irritable bowel disease, tension headaches, Panic attacks and everything else that goes with or is caused by good old GAD(generalised anxiety disorder).

After a year of lexepro I joined a karate club, this really really helped, just doing something different, breaking the cycle was a huge relief, and its true that a healthy amount of regular exercise helps get your brain chemicals back in order, just like a natural antidepressent. But only if the exercise is Fun! such as a sport you enjoy.

Anyway back to my story, so I was shaving my head because I had bald patches all over my head, and going to Karate class twice a week. Eventually i felt so good I gave up the lexepro and just kept up the Karate. I felt like I had been given a second chance and Things have been getting better ever since, I have a full head of hair again and I am happy. But make no mistake, This took 4 long hard years to get over, And i couldnt of done it without my Mother who supported me every step of the way.

this should be a rule for GAD sufferers in my opinion you should not allow yourself to sit for hours googling symptoms and things you think are wrong with you. You are feeding your anxiety every time you do it, And delaying your healing process.

realise you have to take an active role in overcoming your anxiety, drugs wont do it alone. You cant just think your way out of this one either so stop trying, because thats another form of worry and it just feeds the illness and paranioa. Ever hear this "Overthinking and over analyzing seperates the body from the mind" well its true (Metaphoricly speaking)

It is a PHYSICAL illness caused by a chemical reaction to stress or trauma in the brain, only removing the stress, breaking the cycle and finding an outlet for your feelings can you over come this. Realise that you as a GAD sufferer are trapped in a fight or flight response triggered by a percieved threath to your life. that response is Physical and mental and needs to be addressed both ways. Im not talking any hocus pocus here, I have gotten over an anxiety disorder that caused me to loose so much weight I was in danger of dieing (I dropped from 11.5 stone to 8 stone, Im 6 a foot tall man!! who was 8 stone!!).

Forgive me for being frank but the truth must be understood. Although the symptoms are real they are harmless, they are uncomfortable and horrific but harmless. so break the fear, when you feel anything, from the burning sensation on your skin to the drunken feeling (My personal worst feeling ever), from the numbness to the panic. Just say to yourself this is just my GAD and it will pass and nothing bad will happen.

getting well after GAD is like trying to move a mountain, on the other side of that mountain lies well being and happiness. You sit and stare at it, trying to figure it out, trying to justify the reason its there. Worry about it, obsess about it. You cannot climb this mountain, it is too hard, too big too much. so the only way to beat it is to move it, One pebble at a time, one day at a time, and then, after months or maybe years, I promise you will have diminished it to a point where you can just step over it and leave it behind.

It requires willpower, the ability to change your life completly if you have to, Self motivation and inner strenght.

I did it and you all can too, 4 years ago I was a quivering nervous wreck, underweight, bald, and trapped in a deep unforgiving personal hell. I looked inside and found an ember of hope, I believed in that ember, and one day it burst into flame and now I am a healthy, happy, confidant individual who regurlarly faces situations which would once of had me in shambles.

My prayers are with anyone who suffers this horrible condition, I wish you all the best in life and I know that with strenght and persistance you will all be ok, but you have to take the first step in leaving the worry, Obsessive thoughts, and doubt behind, you only begin to heal when you stop worrying about the illness and start getting on with life, regardless of how horrible you feel. You have to let your subconcious know its ok, everytime you worry you tell your inner self that you are under treath, Provoking the ilness and feeding the cycle. you have to start believing you are getting better and this is all in the past even when you feel absolutly horrible. I know you all can do it and for those of you who have, well done. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life but it was worth every second of it because it made me who I am today.

So people please, do yourselves a favour, think of something you always wanted to do and go for it, now while your suffering from GAD, it really really helps to take your mind of worry and give you something to live for beyond suffering. Try remember what you felt like when you were younger and carefree, what were your dreams then? Why not try fullfill one of those dreams instead of worrying yourself sick? Give yourself a reason to get well and it will be so much easier I promise, .


with love to you all
James

Last edited by ms_mod; 05-22-2007 at 03:49 PM. Reason: There's no need to discuss what you think a Moderator might or might not do.

 
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:45 PM   #2
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ozinpanic HB User
Re: My story,, hope this helps!

Very well put James. It brought a tear to my eye reading your post. Congratulations on getting better. Tell me how you faced panic when all you could think of was escape? When out in public and you get that rush of panic - lightheadedness, nauseous etc., I'm sure that's a question on everyone's mind.

 
Old 05-23-2007, 06:29 AM   #3
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Re: My story,, hope this helps!

Thank you for sharing your story! It really helped me to read it!

 
Old 05-23-2007, 07:40 AM   #4
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Re: My story,, hope this helps!

I am moved that you were moved by my post, thanks for reading as for your question:

Well I ignored it, no matter how bad it felt I just went on about my business, If I was walking down the street and I felt an attack coming on I just thought, Nothing bad can happen to me, I am safe and I am just gonna keep walking and Ignore how I feel, I'm gonna go about my day and just get lost in that and damn how I feel, It cant last forever , nothing does, And Im strong enough to wait that out. I learned how to identify the feelings of panic and when I felt them coming on I just ignored it. I took away it's power to rule my life and day by day I got better at ignoring it, untill I could just cut it off before it started. Shortly after that it stopped happening, and I began to feel normal again. In hindsite its all so clear but when your lost in the cloud of anxiety its hard to see through the fear and the feelings to real life.

I found that remembering back to a time when I was happy and content, imagining I was there and trying to go back into that headspace were everything was ok really helped me, walking down familure streets like where I grew up and doing things I used to do before all this left me emotionally crippled. In essence I tried to return to my inner child in my mind, When everything was ok and I knew I had people looking after me, and that nothing bad could happen to me, because I was safe. The ultimate aim for me was letting my inner self know I was safe and comfortable, and there was no threat. untill it eventually got through and my Physical symptoms started to wane. I dont know if it makes much sense these things are hard to explain.

Maybe Its because Im Irish, (And no I dont drink!) Sigmund Fried always said the Irish were Immune to Psychoanalism, mailnly because, whatever way we are raised most of us tend to be a little eccentric, in a good way and this gives us the ability to councel ourselves, argue with ourselves and sort our emotional problems out through inner dialogue, sometimes you just gotta Order your self to get better, Insist that its just a panic attack. be firm with yourself and dont give in no matter what it feels like. Remember that the anxiety is just a tiny part of you, and your so much bigger then it and that your driving this train and not the anxiety.

Last edited by ms_mod; 05-23-2007 at 09:23 AM.

 
Old 05-23-2007, 04:51 PM   #5
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ozinpanic HB User
Re: My story,, hope this helps!

Thanks again James. Hope you stay on board and offer others advice.

 
Old 05-24-2007, 09:23 AM   #6
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irishmom1 HB User
Re: My story,, hope this helps!

James, can you come to the USA and live with me so that I can hear your positivity every day!

You conquered a hell of a battle. Congratulations! My goal is to get to the place you are now. You have motivated me. with anxiety, the brain makes it easier to feel sorry for ourselves, makes it easier to think "i Have anxiety, so I know I'm going to feel rotten today." I had anx for 3 yrs. I'm ready to change.

Thanks for the encouragement.

best of luck to you!

 
Old 05-24-2007, 09:54 AM   #7
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Re: My story,, hope this helps!

James,
I suffer from anxiety and worry about everything. I usually feel nauseated, especially in the mornings, and have weird bowel movements (sorry if this is disgusting) and have this heaviness feeling in my upper abdomen, which is causing me to feel nauseated I think. I did have it checked out a few years ago, and they didn't find anything. I am wondering if you've experienced this stuff. I"m trying to figure out if it's all being caused by my anxiety or if it's something real that I should be worried about. I don't want to think this way anymore, i want my life back, but I won't let myself, because i'm always thinking of looking for things wrong with me, so that I won't die. but living like this is not really "living". I don't know what to do to stop it. I've suffered from anxiety for the past 7 years. I don't always have panic attacks (very rarely), I'm just a constant worry wart about my health, and am always going to the doctor. And like you said in your post, I am googling symptoms all the time, which, I know, are feeding this crazy anxiety. Now already this morning I think I have colon cancer or lymphoma or something else fatal. This is nuts, i hate feeling like this and I just want to stop, but I'm so tired all the time that it's hard to get up and get moving. Some days i'm fine and I can enjoy life and think it's all over, but the next day, it's starts up again. I can never have 2 good days in a row, ever! I'm scared of losing my job, because of this. Any help would be great to get out of this hell i'm in. Thanks again.

Last edited by ms_mod; 05-24-2007 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Read the posting rules as well as all "Sticky" posts at the top of this board as to why part of your post was removed. Ms_Mod

 
Old 05-25-2007, 11:40 AM   #8
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Kim4616 HB User
Re: My story,, hope this helps!

Bluebird, I can relate to ALOT of what you're saying here. I have these physical symptoms (stomach, bowel, urinary problems) and rapid heart beat, blood pressure, etc, some night sweating, etc...I too have found my mind consumed with thinking something is wrong with me, in the past year, I've run the gambit from colon cancer to skin cancer to lymphoma to ovarian cancer and back again, and the internet is not the best place, considering sometimes I cannot help looking up symptoms, and it makes work hard for me as well, I do know what you're going through....

 
Old 05-26-2007, 09:29 AM   #9
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Jimkel HB User
Re: My story,, hope this helps!

Quote:
Originally Posted by irishmom1 View Post
James, can you come to the USA and live with me so that I can hear your positivity every day!

You conquered a hell of a battle. Congratulations! My goal is to get to the place you are now. You have motivated me. with anxiety, the brain makes it easier to feel sorry for ourselves, makes it easier to think "i Have anxiety, so I know I'm going to feel rotten today." I had anx for 3 yrs. I'm ready to change.

Thanks for the encouragement.

best of luck to you!
Thanks so much for your kind words, I wish you all the best in your recovery and I know that with positive thinking and a few lifestyle changes anyone can beat anxiety, but only if you believe it, not just wish for it, really really believe in yourself.

Last edited by Jimkel; 05-26-2007 at 09:30 AM.

 
Old 05-26-2007, 09:54 AM   #10
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Re: My story,, hope this helps!

Bluebird, I can emphatise with you here, when I was going through my anxiety disorder I had horrible bowel and stomach problems.

In the beginning I suffered from heartburn,gas, bloating and constipation.
The doctor was very concerned because of this and the weight loss and told me I had Chrones disease , he sent me to a specialist to get it checked out.

I had to wait a long time for the appiontment, and during this time I became convinced that something terrible was wrong with me, now I was worried I had a brain tumor and chrones!! so that didnt help, when I did eventually get checked out, It turned out to be a bad case of Irritable bowel syndrome and a peptic ulcer resulting from stress, anxiety, poor eating habits, and too much caffiene and nicotine.

Never underestimate the Physical effects of chronic stress and anxiety,coupled with poor eating habits and lack of exercise, including the usual side effect of these: clinical depression.

That was one of the big turning points for me, I realised that the longer I believed I was sick the sicker I would become. So I began to get regular aerobic exercise, for me doing weights etc was stressful and I think that muscle building exercise only increases stress levels because of the extra strain you put on already tense muscles, So I would recommend things like jogging, Yoga, Martial arts, swimming and other uplifting exhilerating exercise, not to mention the social benifits and confidance you gain from joining a sports club.

I found it remarkable how I went from being afraid to walk to the shop to getting up on stage with my band and singing to hundreds of people, From being unable to go out socializing to performing Karate at compititions in front of hundreds of Judging eyes, So never underestimate the suffering anxiety can cause and the symptoms that come with it, But also never underestimate the body and minds ability to heal and change. If you have trouble googling things you think are wrong with you try go one day without doing it, then two and so on and replace that destructive part of your life with something positive like an activity that interests you.

The best thing about exercise is that just like anxiety is a self perpetuating illness, exercise is a self perpetuating healer, And it works in exactly the opposite way to anxiety.

If you really have a problem with googling things, try this for radical. Get rid of the internet from your life! I know it sounds crazy but thats what I did, I called up my service provider and told them to cancel my account. Problem solved.

now what have you got, boredom?? or some free time to get in some much needed healthy living.

Last edited by Jimkel; 05-26-2007 at 10:21 AM.

 
Old 05-26-2007, 10:17 AM   #11
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Re: My story,, hope this helps!

I'm sorry for going on about this but I just want to say something more about
the benifits of exercise for anxiety sufferers.

Anxiety disrupts metabolism - Exercise regulates metabolism and bowel movements, Increases appitite and burns off toxins.

Anxiety disrupts sociability - Getting out and exercising with a club of some sort and meeting new people fixes that

Anxiety causes Obsessive thoughts - Being busy 3 times a week in your exercise class gives you something else to aspire to and occupy your mind.

Anxiety is a chemical imbalance in the brain - Exercise realeses endorphans and neurotransmitters like seratonin, working as a powerful antidepressent and anti anxiety drug with absoltely no side effects other then getting fitter and healthier!

Anxiety causes depression - after a good aerobic session you feel uplifted, make this regular and you have already won half the battle.

Stress and anxiety causes muscle tension and sensitive nerves - Exercise relieves muscle tension, and gets rid of the toxins building up in your muscles as a result of stress, helping you relax.

Anxiety is emotionally exhausting and rest is hard to achieve - Exercise is physically tireing and sleep and relaxation comes easier.
Anxiety = excessive adrenaline, exercise burns all that off

Exercise is only useful in the right amounts, Too much and its just gonna do ya damage, too little and its not enough to benefit, finding a balance that works for you is what counts

See what Im getting at here? seriously a few months of regular exercise, coupled with the right medical treatment can do wonders for your mind, body and soul. These arent quick fix solutions tough, they are permanent life changes and It took me years to eliminate anxiety completely from my life, I still get normal amounts of anxiety and stress, but nothing I cant handle with a smile.

Last edited by Jimkel; 05-26-2007 at 10:30 AM.

 
Old 05-27-2007, 09:06 AM   #12
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Re: My story,, hope this helps!

thats a good idea thanks

 
Old 06-02-2007, 07:24 PM   #13
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Re: My story,, hope this helps!

Hi James,

You are so wise, at a young age! It took me many years to figure this out. But I'm doing much better now and continue to learn everyday.

Thanks for sharing your story & inspiration. Much continued good health & success to you. And to everyone reading this today. His advice is GREAT!

Marcie

 
Old 06-02-2007, 08:57 PM   #14
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IslandDebTx HB User
Re: My story,, hope this helps!

I have started to try the 'ignoring' thing and sometimes it works, so thank you for posting. I just had a pretty rough attack stemming from me worrying about things I have no control over. It's pretty silly, but I was actually worry over how I was going to get through Christmas, which is normally a happy time for me, but might be a bit sad this year because my mom won't be here (she passed Jan 31). Just sitting worrying about how on earth I was going to get through the holiday without being completely bummed and sad the whole time was actually worrying me into an anxiety attack. It has only been 4 months since her passing but I had gotten to a point where I could talk to her or think about her and not be uncontrollably crying or sad, and tonight I just lost it again. This has been a big source of my anxiety and it has started to diminish but not go away completely. I WOULD like to thank you, and others who post about how they get through it or manage it. It gives me new techniques to try and make it go away, or get through it.

 
Old 06-03-2007, 08:17 AM   #15
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Re: My story,, hope this helps!

Wow, what a story. I too feel better already after reading your insights... I have really been trying so hard to get out of this BOX, of Anxiety.. I have been dealing with anxiety for about 4 years now and I did not realize how bad it was until about a month ago, when I realized, my life is Flying by me and my two wonderful sons are the ones plus myself that are suffering because of my worries and anxiety.. I just freaked out a couple of days ago when I went to pick up my medication from the pharmacy and it was a different color and shape of my regular meds, when I went back in the pharmacist said, they are the same PILLS, just a different Manufacuterer.. Well with Anxiety, I was just so damned determined that something was going to be different with these meds that it THREW me into this great big Panic.. I immediately got online and started checking out my new MEDS and yep every one said it was the same medication just a different maker,, See I can take something so simple and BLOW it way out of order and look I have lost almost 3 days of my life by WORRY... Weird, but true.. I honestly believe your insight will help me.. I pray it does and thank you..

 
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