I am an Australian guy, aged 27. I have been diagnosed with GDA, and have been suffering this constantly (every day) for 7 years. I do not remember what it is like not to have anxiety. I have not left my district in 7 years, and cannot even imagine how this was once possible. I am prescribed avanza, which I have been taking since I first got anxiety.
I experience a range of somatic symptoms. Mainly insane levels of pressure in my head, face, jaw and sinuses, though more recently, say in the last 3 years or so, I have been experiencing vertigo. Sometimes this is so severe I cannot walk at all until the spell passes. I am agoraphobic (hence not having left my district in seven years) though I believe this term is a bit of an oxymoron, as it doesn't really matter how many people are around me, as long as I am in a familiar place, I can manage my anxiety.
I Have had panic attacks where I have gone momentarily blind. I don't really have the can't breathe sort of panic attacks anymore. I wish I did...the kind I have now, when I do have them, are significantly worse...I can't really describe this...its like absolute cognitive meltdown. My complete interface with reality seems scrambled. I cannot estimate distance or calculate space when this is happening, and I have trouble understanding sentences. It's more than that, though...it is though I can feel the weight of all space pouring through a hole in the point of an egg. I know that sounds insane, thats as close as I can come to articulating it. I have a lot of spatial problems...I can't look at lattices, blinds, things of that pattern nature, because when I do I feel dizzy. I have not woken up without everything looking blurry in seven years. I do not remember what, for example, the sky is supposed to look like without these amoeba type pulsations occuring in it all the time. I have my eyes tested, the doctor says my sight is fine. He is a quack. I think. I go through periods of schizo type thinking...it is almost always impossible for me to focus on one thing at any given time, and my thinking is fractured. I am obsessed, often, with abstract things, and can become deeply and spontaneously emotional in relation to art, especially. I generally despise the world. My living environment is terrible...my family are backward, and they don't believe there is really anything wrong with me. I do think about ***** a lot--a hell of a lot, actually, because life, for me, is agony, punctuated by horror and confusion and depression, and sometimes, very rarely, relative peace. I have a girlfriend, but I expect her to leave me, eventually. It's not reasonable to expect someone to limit their shared experiences on the basis of somebody else's disorder, so yes, I think she will leave me, but I have resolved this internally as best as possible, and I have explained to her that she needn't ever feel guilty about that, when it happens. Seven years, seven years of terror, limitation, poverty, destitution, isolation. I have thus far lost seven years of my life, and I anticipate losing the rest of it, tbh. The only reason I have survived thus far is, I think, due to a sort of catatonia of awareness.That, and the drugs. Make no mistake, please, that if I were to be locked in room without my meds, I would *****. Surely. Nothing is so bad as a massively severe derealisation anxiety psychosis. Nothing. It is the psychological equivalent of being burned alive--worse that that, though, it is like being burned alive on acid. Next to that, death is nothing at all. What I am trying to say is, I need my meds to function like a scuba diver needs oxygen. If they ever stop making them, I will die. I can go for months in a sort of...fog. Fog is not the right word, but it is the word I have. It is more like a sort of stasis. I think of nothing and feel nothing, and it is very difficult and very tiring to pretend that you feel and think something, especially when you are doing a degree. And you have to, otherwise people want nothing to do with you. And then there is the stigma, the endless stigma--I deeply resent that fact that I am chunked in with that category of violent devious or otherwise dangerous lunatics, because I am not one. I suppose its that moment of dawning into awareness that is the worst--I can be having a really good conversation with someone, I drop the fact that I am an agoraphobic with an anxiety disorder and then, there it is, that expression--it is like watching a shadow spread slowly over a field, a new difference between us, that is not traversable. It happens a lot with women at uni, I find...I consider myself fairly attractive (maybe that makes me sound like a narcissist, but I really don't think I am) though this is largely due to the fact I work out a lot because it helps me get good sleep, and I am vegetarian. Women will generally talk to me or at least approach me, and I am grateful for that because I enjoy the company of women--in a non-sexual way, I mean. I am just someone who is trying to survive; I don't hurt anybody, and I don't ***** people over. I am not manipulative, and most of the time I just seem to trying to think rationally. I am always exhausted. Always. Exhausted off my medication, and totally fucking destroyed while on it. I have a history of drug use--acid, shrooms, an epic ***** tonne of weed and speed. I cannot use drugs now, because if I did, I would be psychologically destroyed. Destroyed. I am 100% positive that drug use caused this, and I have not used any drug in seven years. I do drink sometimes. It is one of the few avenues of pleasure that remain open to me. I become terrified of fringe sciences etc endlessly, and sometimes it occurs to me that im on a planet in a soup of nothingness and this scares me deeply. Two pschiatrists I have seen have told me I have the worst anxiety they have ever seen, and let me tell you, when a professional tells you that, and does so looking at you like a specimen in a jar of fluid, it makes you want to shoot yourself in the face. I just don't see any way out--death, that is the way out, but I don't want to have to do that, because life is a miracle. Anyway I'm sorry for the tirade, maybe we can share some experiences or whatever. Thankyou,