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Author Topic: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.  (Read 4251 times)

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Offline worldbeat99

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Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« on: April 12, 2014, 01:43:34 AM »
For the months of Jan - March, 2014, during the worst winter Chicago has ever seen...I found myself dealing with a case of GAD, generalized anxiety disorder.  My therapist confirmed it.  I seemed to feel anxious from morning to night, 24/7.  I didn't feel like myself.  My life seemed strange to me, distant.  It was unnerving like a nightmare I couldn't wake up from.

But I never gave up hope that I could return to myself.  I started researching anxiety and GAD.  I started going to Meetup groups for people with anxiety and made some great new friends.  I regularly participated in online chat rooms for anxiety which was helpful.  I started doing regular physical exercise to naturally reduce stress and increase endorphins.  About 50 jumping jacks in the morning, some jogging in place and sit ups.

As a nichiren buddhist, I chanted to reveal my true buddha nature, and to reveal my anxious nature to be an impostor.  I found a therapist who exposed me to ACT therapy (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  She also told me a bout mindful meditation.  I found a GP who was great and supportive and a good listener.  She put me on buspar and increased dosages for the best effect.

Gradually, my stress levels started to go down.  I was better able to manage my nervousness, to befriend the affliction rather than be afraid of it.  I even found myself having fun at work, being able to accomplish more.  ACT therapy helped me shift my focus away from the anxiety and toward my goals, the things that gave my life meaning.  And that nightmare of anxiety has slowly receded.  Was it the chanting, the buspar, the therapy, the Meetup groups? Was the GAD just seasonal anxiety?  Could all these things be part of the solution?

All I know is that I no longer felt the urgency to see a therapist and brought that to a happy conclusion. 
I don't even call it anxiety anymore.  I call it nervousness or anxiousness because those words are friendlier to me.  I still take the meds
and do as much of my regime as I feel I need to.  I still feel stress at times because life that's a natural part of life.  But I manage better and I feel much more like myself.  I just wanted to share my success in hopes that it might encourage others.  Anxiousness is a tricky
thing to manage.  I wish everyone the best of luck!
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 12:04:16 PM »
I also posted this same message in the GAD boards and gotten many responses.  So if anyone is interested in folowing that conversation, go to the regular GAD boards.  Much luck to everyone.
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Offline bodhi

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 01:53:13 PM »
So cool, it has been ACT Therapy and Buddhism that has really helped me too!

I am new to this forum have only been doing ACT/Buddha for about 4 months.

It has helped me so much but I still wake up at night and cant sleep.

It takes my mind a few hours to wake up and remember the ACT and Buddha teachings

Then I generally enjoy the day. Very exciting to see other having success with these too!
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Buddhism 5 Minute Introduction: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/5minbud.htm

Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 09:53:58 PM »
That's great, bodhi.  I know that this is an ongoing management thing to keep on top of my anxiety.
I'm also taking buspar, trying to find the right dose.  Good luck to you.
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2014, 08:40:35 PM »
Here's an update.  I'm going to see a psych. for medication management instead of general doctor in a few weeks.
The buspar after 10 weeks doesn't seem to be doing much.  I'll ask the new doc is he recommends lexapro or klonopin.

Recovery is an ongoing process.  I've started an online support group which has been great... 
with people I've met thru Meetups and anxiety chat rooms.  I continue to seek affirming solutions.
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 11:51:58 PM »
Update 8/6.  I'm happy to report after 7 weeks on klonopin that I'm feeling terrific and very much like the old me.
Recovery can happen.
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 01:41:39 AM »
Update 8/14/14.  I'm happy to report the klonopin is still working great for me.  My pdoc has me on 1 mg a day (half in am and half in pm).
But I'm also given the option to take .5 more as needed in the pm.  Thus far I haven't felt much need for the added klon.

I had GAD for 6 months.  I think when I have felt this good and relaxed and energetic for 6 total months, I will feel most confident that this recovery is going to last a while.  Does that seem reasonable?

And even though klon works for me, I still do yoga and chanting in the morning, and deep breathing as needed on the bus ride to work.  ACT therapy was very helpful.  I find myself very busy on projects I am passionate about:  writing my second novel, planning an anxiety Meetup event, being part of my buddhist group, dating, seeing friends.
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Offline comoso

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2014, 07:48:21 PM »
Congratulations worldbeat.  I too an on 1 mg klonopin.  My dr prescribed it 6 months ago.  I only took .5 most of that time, about 3 weeks ago, I read where you were doing great on 1 mg and decided to follow my Dr's prescription.  I've had better days since then, for sure.  I struggle with "what happens when it's time to stop taking" greatly, but I need to get past that. 
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2014, 11:51:30 PM »
That's great, comoso, that you're feeling better on 1 mg.  My doc says I should take the 1 mg daily, and .5 extra if needed.

Personally, I'm hoping to stay on klonopin permanently as long as it keeps working.  I know of many people who've been on it for years
with no trouble. I've been on lithium and prozac for 20 years with no problem.  Plus I don't want to go thru withdrawal from klonopin.

For me, my life has changed from night to day.
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2014, 09:44:20 PM »
8-21-14   I had a little scare today at work this morning.  I too 1 mg klonopin before bed.  That seemed fine.
But at work, I felt vulnerable, bit nervous like when I had gad.  Luckily I carry klonopin with me for as-needed situations.
Took .5 and the rest of the day went fine.
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2014, 02:18:27 AM »
9/10/14   Things are still going great.  I've decided to take .5 mg at night and .5 in the morning.  I always has extra as needed.
I think initially there was a kind of euphoria I felt with klon.  To feel no anxiety after GAD was blissful.  Now I feel like life is normal, but without the anxiety.

And I'm doing all the things I love to do again:  web design, taking an online novel writing class,
seeing my friends.  Now if I could find a boyfriend, I'd be in business.
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2014, 11:42:46 PM »
So again, I just wanted to say that when Klonopin first kicked in and my GAD disappeared -- I felt like a free man.
It was euphoria.

Now just over two months since I've "recovered," I don't feel euphoric.  But I do want to stress that I feel very grateful to feel normal, to feel myself.
The challenges of day to day living are still there to be dealt with, but I'm happy to not have to deal with the irrational dread and stress I felt with GAD.
The moments of euphoria now -- those I'll just create by living a full, meaningful life.  And that's okay with me.

 
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Offline CrazyCatLady

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2014, 04:14:22 PM »
It's very good to see people with positive outlooks on managing their anxiety! Best of luck to you  :bigsmile:
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Offline worldbeat99

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2014, 11:58:38 PM »
Thanks so much, CatLady.  I hope everyone finds their success story.  You too.
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Offline Louve

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Re: Where has my GAD gone? Feeling much more like myself.
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2014, 02:56:54 PM »
Hi worldbeat, thank you for posting this thread. It gives me hope.
I am in Europe and we certainly don't have all kinds of therapy possibilities around us. I would have to go to a major / capital city and I don't even know if I can find it. But you mention ACT Therapy, I will look into that.
Do you think sport helped? I was doing sport as well (running everyday) and it felt good but then I had a big anxiety attack on a particular event, so I stopped doing sport because I figured it wasn't changing much. What are the benefits you get from sports on a daily basis?
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