I don't know if this community is very active as there haven't been any posts for a bit, but I'll give it a go anyway.
I'm seeing my GP tomorrow to talk to him about the possibility that I might be suffering from GAD (I'll not be that specific, but say I think it's anxiety as he probably won't take me seriously if he thinks I've been self-diagnosing!). I went to see him a couple of weeks ago because I was getting light-headed a lot and having headaches. It seemed to be happening mostly when I was hungry so he did some blood tests for blood sugar etc. but they've come back normal. I've thought in the past that the light-headedness (which has actually been going on for years) might be anxiety or stress related and now I'm sure it is. I looked up info about anxiety and GAD seems to fit perfectly with my symptoms:
• Headaches (pressure)
• Grinding teeth
• Difficulty concentrating
• Easily distracted
• Worrying too much – can’t stop negative thoughts
• Heart racing
• Breathing fast
• Difficulty getting to sleep and waking up during night
• Needing toilet a lot
• Diarrhea (mornings, when anxious, period)
• Upset stomach when very worried
• Early period (3 weeks)
• Making lists
• Listing what I have to do in my head lots of times per day
• Imagining bad things happening to people I care about
• Having conversations in my head before they happen in reality
• Avoiding using the phone
• Mind going blank when stressed (question time after presentations, tutorials etc.)
• Needing to be needed
• Fear of abandonment – seeking reassurance
• Jumping to conclusions re. others’ worries
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
It seems to me that I've been anxious since I was a kid. I think part of it is to do with feeling responsible for my mum when dad left (I was 8) - I felt like I had to be perfect so she wouldn't leave too so I feel like I missed out on a lot of experiences growing up, and I was always worried she'd get really depressed. I was also mugged about 5 years ago and I think that just made things worse (I wasn't hurt physically but it made me really scared of being hurt or my space being invaded). Sometimes I feel anxious just walking down the street - I worry about my facial expression and what people think of me and sometimes my chest feels tight and I start breathing really fast. I've been avoiding dealing with this for so long but I know I need to do something about it. I'm working on a book atm, doing part-time admin and looking for a job so it's a good time for me to try to get this sorted. The worry and anxiety makes job interviews really difficult for me. I've had 5 and no job, so I need to sort myself out so I can try to get a job for next semester (I'm a sociologist looking for a lectureship).
I'm being more open about the anxiety with my family, partner and friends and they're all being incredibly supportive, although some really don't understand, having never experienced anything like this. A couple of friends have similar problems and it really helps to talk to them. Tomorrow morning I see the doctor and I'm really nervous cos I've heard so much about the NHS (I'm in UK) and GPs being crap at referring people to psychologists and I really don't want medication. I'm currently taking St. John's wart and doing lots of exercise which seems to help, but I think what I really need is CBT to help change my thought processes.
Anyway, I hope some people are reading this and will respond. I'd be really interested to hear what experiences you all had with talking to GPs. I just think I'll downplay it when the time comes and it'll not seem serious enough for the Dr to refer me. He might think it can't be that serious cos I managed to get my PhD, I teach (lecturing up to 300 students sometimes, as well as small tutorial classes) and give conference presentations, and so it might seem like the anxiety doesn't really stop me getting on with my life. But I'm finding it so hard to concentrate on my book and it's affecting my relationships cos I'm always seeking reassurance and feel so unsure of myself.
Thanks for reading and hopefully there will be more activity on here soon :)