This is my first post so hello everyone!
I had very serious anxiety about 18 months ago but am now alot better. At the time I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. When I was really ill I had a very full range of symptoms including complete loss of appetite, constant nausea, loose stools, dizziness, heart pounding, unable to sleep, feeling spaced out, unable to read anymore because I could no longer take in what I was reading and most scary of all episodes of a horrendous sicky headachy, spaced out feeling of dread whenever I did anything that particularly worried me which seemed to be all the things I had loved doing such as going out walking etc. All this was very very scary and so odd I had always been a fairly relaxed happy person before. It came on very suddenly after a cancer scare. I got the all clear very quickly but the severe anxiety remained. I then became afraid of everything. Being alone became impossible, I just felt very unsafe in my own skin. I was afraid to go out and do normal day to day things such as shopping or meeting friends but was also afraid at home.
To cut a long story short my salvation was going onto a drug called velafaxine. I know alot of people have very bad experiences of this but it really did save my life after being horrendous and making me feel far worse for the first few weeks. I was also given zopiclone a sleeping tablet which helped greatly and I only needed for a short time.
I am now fully recovered in most respects, it took about 4 months to improve rapidly with ups and downs, then a very gradual improvement over the next year. I have however been left feeling chronically breathless which is very unpleasant. I am still on velafaxine and know that I still have the chemical imbalance that the GAD has caused. I feel worse in the morning generally before the drug has taken effect.
So my questions are has anyone else had chronic breathlessness caused by anxiety and have they found anything that helps and how long is my original episode of anxiety likely to last? My GP said he expected it to go in around a year in my case as I got treatment early but I still have it which is why I get the breathlessness. Most of my symptoms have gone due to velafaxine and me working through my fears with support from friends and relatives but I am aware that I am still in this first episode of anxiety and know that even when gone, with GAD, it is likely to return again over the years which is something I dread because it was so horrendous. I really feel for everyone who is still feeling like I first did.
It would be great to hear from anyone who has GAD and fully got over their first episode and how long it lasted. Experiences of how people got off velafaxine would also be interesting as I know it can be very difficult to get off.