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15 Jan 2008

Unrelenting GAD, I'm getting tired of it
I have been diagnosed with GAD and probably have suffered with it since my childhood. I have been on Medications, but had side effects, feeling very lethargic, total loss in sexual interest. Even after being on meds a long time, I find I still have the “what if” worrying. Over the years, I have been in therapy on and off, but over the last year have been going monthly. After this last what if worry, I just don’t see any improvement. After my initial evaluation there, I was referred to a licensed social worker. A lot of that has to do with what I can afford. We mainly discuss, cognitive and behavioral strategies, which help, but I don’t think anyone could understand, when the anxiety and fear come on, it’s like it takes control over all rationalizing and all that is learned to cope flies out the window for a while. When I calm down, I know that I am being irrational, but when fear sets in, I can’t control it. I do not get severe heart palpitations, shakiness, sweaty palms, dizziness, breathing difficulty, I just feel very scared.

My what ifs have not been focused on health issues or fear of dying for 8 years or so, they are now about my house, the cars, repairs or hidden disaster hiding in the walls like termites, leaky pipes, what if this is happening, that’s what gets me started, or anything that could cause financial distress or loss. I make up a situation that in reality can happen, I go to worse case scenario, and try to fix it before it happens. More fear comes into play, when things can’t be fixed or will cost a lot. My therapist thinks I have improved, and that I am too hard on myself.

I fear being alone at times and worry what would happen if I did not have the people I love around me. Would I land up homeless. I do not obsess over these thoughts to the extent that I do over the what if.

Some online research has suggested that there is something in the psych , from childhood etc, that needs to be dealt with, and until a person resolves things in the subconscious, healing can be hindered, even greatly. My parents both had depression and anxiety disorders. I can’t find anyone close by who does psychoanalytic type of work. When I am not anxious, I find myself thinking of my childhood, being lonely, lack of emotional support, and very specific terrible incidents that happened to me. At these times, I cry and feel very sad. These feelings pass but eventually return.

Yes, I have GAD, part of it hereditary, part of it perhaps chemical, but could it be that something in my subconscious causes it, brings it on, or makes it worse? What do you do when you can’t find the help you need?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

For GAD, Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy works fine, and alcks the side-effects of medications, and ALL other forms of therapy ( other than a few closely related methods unhelpfully given different names ) do not help. The challenge with the cognitive-behavioural methods is to recognize when you are starting to slide into a phase of anxiety-provoking thinking, and to nip it in the bud before it gets a grip on you. From your description, you have become really expert at finding anxiety provoking aspects to every possible scenario. Maybe a more experienced therapist could help you to take a couple of further steps to get into control of these bad habits.
There is not a single shred of good evidence that one has to "deal with" events that occurred in childhood, in order to gain control of GAD symptoms --- that's merely propaganda put about by unskilled shrinks who'd like to get paid to treat you for years or decades without much progress. What matters is what conclusions you may have drawn and what habits you may have formed, perhaps relaed to whattever might have happened in childhood.
You are very lucky not to have found anyone doing psychoabalytic work, as even after many decades of such work, there's no good evidence of value of such therapy ( except to the analyst ). Its the feelings and thoughts you experience related to childhood that can be dealt with fairly efficiently and brought under useful control, which need to be focussed upon --- the analyst's fondness for spending years rehearsing every childhood event is damaging, not helpful, and re-inforces the habits of thought that are causing your discomfort, rather than reducing them.
Nobody can change their childhood --- it's history. But what we can, most fruitfully change, is what we choose to carry forward with us from childhood.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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