Anxiety disorders are common, affecting about one in ten with persistent, excessive worrying that can hinder their ability to function. They may worry constantly about things that do not warrant it or that may never happen.
They may have panic attacks, they may feel trapped or in great danger when this is not the case. They may worry obsessively or feel compelled to clean, check or count things repeatedly or needlessly. They may fear leaving home or being in social situations.
In this video clip, participants discuss the events surrounding diagnosis. The health professionals they encountered, the medication they were prescribed as well as the emotions they felt at that time are all explored.
Video 2018 © Copyright Healthily Pty Ltd
Amber - It felt good, actually, to be diagnosed and to know what I was experiencing and know that there was help and know that there was probably 60% out of 100% that felt the same as me. And I didn’t feel so alone anymore. Like, I didn’t feel so weird, or whatever you want to call it.
David - I went and saw my GP, Fred, and told him what I was feeling and he had a chat to me about, um...some of the… I guess he sort of, um, said that the anxiety was probably coming on as part of my depression.
Anne - These panic attacks, etc, suddenly developed worse than… He’d always had them. He used to have them at times of exams, when he was sitting for exams, etc, but they got extremely bad. And he went to the doctor, and then from that, went on to the psychiatrist.
Luke - I ended up going to the G… to my local doctor. And, yeah, I was, like… I walked in one day and I just started bawling my eyes out ‘cause, um, I guess you don’t know what’s wrong with you. And, uh...and then they, like… they ask you a series of questions and, um...then they referred me to a psychologist.
Karen - And find out that it even had a name! I didn’t even know I had GAD, I didn’t even know I had an anxiety disorder. I just thought I was having crazy thoughts and that they weren’t normal. I knew they weren’t normal, but… And just finding out that there were lots of other people out there that had the same thoughts as me and it wasn’t so unusual.
Amber - You’ve got to, sort of, look in yourself to say, “I’m feeling like this.” and you’ve got to ask yourself why and to take yourself somewhere to be diagnosed. It is hard, of course, because you’re scared to, sort of, go in and say, “Hey, I’ve got this and this. Am I crazy? Or what’s going on?”
Karen - I said, “I get so stressed, “and I don’t know what I’ve got to be stressed over,” was basically it. And she said, “Well, you don’t have to live like that, you know? “There is something you can do about that.” So that’s when she referred me to a psychiatrist for assessment and I’ve been seeing a psychologist for two years.
David - He suggested I take some medication, which he prescribed to me
which works very quickly. He said, “I can only give you a certain amount “because they’re very addictive.” Um, and he prescribed them and I would have an anxiety attack in the morning and I would take one, and to the point now where I had two last week for the first time in four months.
Karen - I think, really, just getting my thoughts out is the best thing, and not feeling alone. Um...because you do feel alone when you’re having these thoughts and you can’t share them with anybody and you’re constantly thinking that you’re crazy. So, you think you’re alone.