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Are GAD and Panic the same?


Marocco
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Is GAD and Panic disorder the same thing? I have an appointment with a doctor this afternoon because I find myself with uncontrollable fear of catastrophic events. To give a little history, I recently divorced and although it was amicable, I went on anti-depressants. Until recently I thought I was coping just fine, but I started making (what I consider) big mistakes at work. I have one I just found out about that I still have to tell my boss tomorrow. Needless to say, this is what sent me into my pit of quicksand. I just want to run and hide. I am terrified of the consequences of my mistakes. I realize now that I haven't really been able to focus at work. I am so glad that my doctor is open today...I don't know what she can do in a day, but I need help:( I had signed up for behavior therapy before, but always felt better or too embarrassed to share and cancelled.

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GAD and Panic are not the same thing, at least according to the DSM (the mental health diagnosis book). GAD (or generalized anxiety disorder) is like a low level constant anxiety that attaches to one thing after another but is never really about those things; it's just always there making you anxious. You might end up avoiding things due to anxiety but generally it won't be becuase you have had a panic attack. A panic attack is a big deal - you'd know if you had one becuase it isn't like any regular sort of anxiety - it's more like you feel you are dying even though you aren't. Some people have panic attacks and aren't freaked out by them, but some people find them terrifying, and they start avoiding situations they think will make them have more panic attacks and that can ultimately lead to a condition called agoraphobia where you don't feel safe leaving your house.

Sounds like an awful lot is going on in your life right now - a lot of life changes. And the way anxiety works, once you get conscious of making errors, it becomes more likely that you notice making more and it feeds on itself, especially if you are feeling unsupported and needy at all (which any newly divorced person is going to be feeling).

Lots of good psychotherapy out there for anxiety problems, and life transition problems, so you're in luck on that account. As problems go, anxiety is a workable one to have. Don't be shy; go seek out some therapy and hopefull it will help you along.

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Thank you so much for the clarification. Slight case of insomnia right now, but I am actually ok. My doctor talked to me for quite a while and convinced me (it didn't take alot) to go to the behavioral therapist again. She gave me something...Atapril (not sure of spelling)??? for the horrible panic attacks and increased my Zoloft. As much as I hate being dependent on drugs to maintain my mental health, I see more than ever, now that I need it. Nothing wrong in asking for help. :) I was able to relax for the first time in a long time. Thank you so much for this website....it has been incredibly helpful. Even though I am feeling better, I will still journal and provide input. I really can't thank you and this site enough. :)

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