How would you describe the underlying feeling in GAD?

I was just thinking about this and wondered how other GAD sufferers would describe their feelings.

I'm not really thinking of specific panic attacks, or the worry when something actually happens to you, but the underlying feeling that's their all the time, 24/7, from when you wake up in the morning to when you go to sleep at night. I catch the feeling, or notice it, when I sit down in the quiet, when nothing is distracting me. When I'm actually doing things/am distracted, I feel tense, weak, nauseous and preoccupied. When I just sit down in the quiet I feel something a little more vague which must be the root of all that tension and weakness and preoccupation.

So, to me, it feels like the world is collapsing. I sit down and there's nothing to distract me and I feel something between fear and dread. A sensation of being trapped in a nightmare, I suppose, a feeling that there's no way out and nothing to look forward to/nothing to save me. The way I see it in my mind (I guess I see a lot of images connected with anxiety) is the sky becoming lower, sinking around me, like the world is imploding. Or sometimes I see it as trains speeding towards me from all sides, like I'm sitting in the convergence of several tracks and there's nowhere to run. If I were to describe it as a sound, it would be a low buzzing hum.

How would you describe the underlying feeling of GAD?


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13 Replies

  • Something bad is going to happen but I'm not sure what. Apprehensive.

    A bit like sitting in the doctor's waiting room waiting to see him/her. On edge. Tense.

    That's the sort of feeling I have underlying much of the time.

  • I would describe it as feeling jittery and on edge all of the time. I wake with butterflies and my heart racing most mornings and although this settles down after a bit I feel on edge all day which is depressing as I don't feel as though I have a positive start to the day on which to build on in order to tackle the fear, I am constantly on the back foot if you like

  • I feel apprehensive a lot of the time, embarrasment for little or no reason. Some mornings i wake up with my heart racing, stomach cramps and headaches. I feel a bit better when i actually get up and do things. Not thinking helps, i try not to think about the past or the future. It is easier said than done!

  • As above, like scribbler says, I personally will accept to some degree anxiety with a specific thing but when I am riddled with anxiety and I have no idea what it is I am so anxious about it seems to make things twice as bad because I spend my time thinking and concentrating on the "Why" am I anxious and it seems to make it all the worse ... anxiety of any type seems to be such a vicious circle......seashellx

  • Thanks for all the replies. I think I'm the same that it gets worse when I'm not distracted. I don't tend to feel nervous, though, I feel more helpless and overwhelmed. I've never really been sure if it's a sign of depression or anxiety but I suppose my thoughts in those moments are "oh God, I've still got the rest of today and tomorrow's going to be no better. I can't think of anything now or in the future that gives me the remotest bit of pleasure or excitement. What's the point of my life?" I used to think I had depression because of this, but I've been told it's anxiety. Do other people have feelings of hopelessness as well? Do you find it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel? My life always feels to me like an endurance task. All I focus on is getting through it, rather than enjoying any of because that doesn't seem like a possibility.

  • I can identify with others on this. I to when i go to bed think what the next day will bring and when you do wake up and still feel the same as you did the day before and how are you going to get through it.I have Health Anxiety and panic and find it very difficult to distract myself away from the physical symptoms i get, i try and lose myself in doing puzzles or a favourite soap programne but it always comes back in my mind to my anxieties and what i might have wrong with me. nothing interests me at the moment i cant laugh at anything just feel flat no emotion.hopefully the medication i started a week ago will soon begin to have some affect i just want to be my old self again.

  • I feel like something bad will happen or that I will die at any moment,always alert on edge and tense scared of the future

  • I am in a better place than before but still struggle on a daily basis, this will sound weird but lets say if i get into a car, the car is speeding and I feel like my breath is speeding ass well, now when the car slow down I panic what happened, my breathing is got to slow down, if i don't manage to do it at the exact time the car slow down I develop Panic Attack (breathing fast/shaking/thinking something bad is going to happen to me)

    I never was able to take anxiety off my mind, sometimes when I am cleaning i do not think about it. at work when i am very busy i forget about it, but suddenly I am like "ouhh am I breathing, so I stop what I am doing and check my breathing and I panic a bit, I can't swallow my saliva, but I got to keep it under control (no one knows at work that I have a bad anxiety) when I am eating I have to have deep breath all the time, because of the heavy feeling on my chest, always feel like I am not breathing properly and this is caused by the tension in the chest area.

    when I am walking it feels like I am drunk/wobbly/honestly I don't know how to describe this feeling, like I am walking on a moving boat and cannot balance, this can happen at any time from nowhere, when I am standing as well I feel anxious, when I am between people I am thinking of what will happen to me if I had a bad anxiety, I will faint probably and start to think how embarrassing it will be, very strange things goes into my head, I am always trying my best to put it under control. don;t know if I make any sense!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sounds like you have free floating anxiety try some mindfulness training this may help

  • GAD its when you have more than one thing bothering you. May be a member of the family a job and money. You try to change the subject in your head but another problem pops up. You are on the verge of tears every day. Other peoples problems or things in the news make you cry. You know others are worse off but carnt shake it off. Feel guilty and full of grief

  • I think you sum it up well...

    its that feeling that near leaves, the moment you are no longer distracted it takes over. To quote Arthur Somers Roche, its like a 'thin stream of fear trickling through the mind', thats never ending, eternal.

    Its background anxiety, fear, and dread - even before you begin to focus on specific worries and fears bothering you. The burden you carry around with you - that will never leave you.

  • If I have to do something stupid I start feel anxious few days in advance to the point that I don t sleep at night.panick attack during night time and the feeling that something terrible is going to happen to me when I m at home or outside.the same feeling for my relatives always on the edge!

  • Once you get right of one worry another comes along. Your head is constantly full of negative chatter and dread. You never get a moments peace. You think the worst all the time and are constantly expecting the worst. The dread follows you everywhere. You feel mentally exhuasted from the demon in your head which keeps trying to convince you you are a failure, scum and give into the bad thoughts. You feel something bad is after you but don't know what it is a dread a monster of paralysing fear. You feel sick, wobbly, fidgety and your head is sometimes full of cotton wool. You dread making mistakes or what you think are mistakes and your perfectionism is a prison. Your mind is a jail. You just want to go to bed and go under the covers and disappear into the warm.

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