Have You Ever Wondered About This?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by MsE, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Recently someone posted a website regarding generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. They are almost the same as CFIDS symptoms.

    The symptoms on that list are very familiar. Have any of you wondered if your diagnosis was wrong and that you are really suffering from major GAD? I have. I know I've been anxious since I was a kid. How can one tell the difference between the two?
    [This Message was Edited on 09/24/2006]
  2. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    I have MsE.

    Before I got diagnosed with FM I was first diagnosed with Anxiety/Depression.

    Later I saw a Psychiatrist who suggested GAD. I read a lot about that and it sounded familiar.

    Then I was dx'd with FM and CFS by a rheumy. Next rheumy said FM only not CFS. It is very confusing.

    I saw a naturopath who said I had thyroid problems and vitamin B12 deficiency. Next naturopath said I had weak adrenals.

    All of these conditions have very similar symptoms. It is very confusing to read them all and try be sure you have the right diagnosis.

    hugs Marion
  3. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I have had my diagnosis changed and added to over the years. It seems to depend on the dr and how you're feeling that day. I don' t care what they call it, just figure out a way to make it go away!!
    It's just one big ball of wax, everything intertwined and mixed together. My daughter is mildly autistic, and it's the same w that diagnosis. So many symptoms can fall under more than one diagnosis....


    xxxooo Hermit
  4. MsE

    MsE New Member

    But doesn't this possibility, the possibility of this being GAD and not CFS, pose a major problem in the way it is treated? I mean, if GAD can cause the exhaustion as well as all the other symptoms, wouldn't that demand some kind of anti-anxiety/talk therapy?

    GAD is something that can be overcome, isn't it? CFIDS doesn't seem to be. See what I mean? How on earth an one find out which it is and treat it appropriately?
  5. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    I guess that was the point I was trying to make MsE. I have seen so many doctors and read so much about these conditions.

    There seems to be so much conflicting information. I just get confused.

    Even to CFS and FM. Some people think that they should both be called ME because it is the same illness. Others think they are entirely two different conditions.

    I have read opinions on both and the articles argue very good points. I just don't know what the answer is!

    sorry I can't be more help

    hugs Redwillow
  6. MsE

    MsE New Member

    It does make it difficult. I am going to begin some work with a psychologist for the GAD part of all of this. Since some of what is going on most definitely is anxiety, I guess it doesn't really matter very much which came first, the GAD or the CFS, does it? All I know is I don't want to live this way any longer, and if approaching it via GAD helps, I'm gonna do it.

    Thanks for writing.
  7. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    MsE could you keep us posted on how your treatments for GAD goes? I would be interesting in hearing what the doctor feels is a good treatment plan for this issue.

    My therapist was a big advocate of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for my anxiety. I know that it really helped me a lot.

    hugs Redwillow
  8. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    The common symptom of CFS that seems close to GAD to me is the agitated exhaustion--e.g. being really tired but too wound up to sleep (or to sleep deeply).

    This is a symptom of mild hypomania, too.

    Supposedly the reason that Klonopin works well for sleep is because of the anticonvulsant activity, which causes the agitation to subside.

    If you look at bipolars, agitation and sleeplessness is a downward spiral---if you don't get enough sleep you get more hyper, and if you get more hyper then it's harder to sleep.

    Breaking the cycle by getting enough sleep seems to be the key for bipolars, and I think it may be really important for CFS as well.

    One of my doctors told me that Lamictal (an anticonvulsant that is very popular at the moment with regard to treating bipolars) has been shown as having some success with CFS too.

    CFS and bipolar seem to be pretty related in some ways, I think. (Most bipolars don't have the CFS criteria, but a lot of "classic" CFS patients do have those "agitation" symptoms well known to bipolars.) "Osler's Web" talks about the fact that the "Unidentified Bright Objects" in brain scans of CFS patients show up in only one other group of patients--bipolars--for example.

    I myself started out as cyclothymic (very mild highs and lows), got more bipolar and extremely anxious after a head injury (higher highs and lower lows, with more agitation), and then got CFS a year later. I'm not exactly sure where one illness stops and where one starts at this point.

    The difference between straight GAD/bipolar/etc. (all those things are somewhat related) and CFS....hmm. I think the easiest way to tell is if you get a major crash after doing too much stuff. Bipolars and CAD go up and down kind of randomly, I think. CFS crashes systematically after too much stress. For me that 's been the major change since I got the "flu that never went away," anyway.

    This is not very coherent, I'm afraid. My brain is not in its best shape today. Maybe I can clarify later.....
  9. MsE

    MsE New Member

    The exhaustion after stressful stuff is very true for me. However, I thought this ws a GAD symptom as well because when one is anxious all the time, a lot of energy is used up just trying to stay balanced. Then, when something really obnoxious happens or I do too much, that's it. I'm down and out.

    I guess I'm just double checking on what I think I read on your post: that CFS causes this but GAD doesn't. Did I get that right, or did I misread?
  10. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I think that once you have CFS, it's hard to tell.

    Do you get unreasonably exhausted for days after _physical_ exercise? That would differentiate pretty well between CFS and psychological (GAD, bipolar, depression, whatever) disorders, I think.

    I'm definitely not very coherent tonight, so maybe I shouldn't be posting, though.
  11. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Okay. If I am able to take a good walk at a reasonably fast pace one day, it will be at least a couple of days before I can do it again. Walking is about the only form of exercise I can manage now. If I tried anything else, I'd probably fall flat on my face.

    Also, I have times when I'm down and out for several days in a row. On those days I wander from the bed to the sofa and that's about it. Guess that does sound like CFS, not GAD.

    However, I know that GAD is part of the picture because I have become so nervous about doing so many things, especially driving, because I get upset and flustered when the traffic is moving quickly. And if for some reason I meet one of those signs that demand I take a detour, I can't think well. I stay off freeways when I'm driving!

    But the main point is that you have convinced me there is a difference between CFS and GAD, though it is impossible for me to tell which is in control.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/29/2006]
  12. KelB

    KelB New Member

    Does GAD have post-exertional malaise in its symptom list? This is characteristic of CFIDS.

    I can exercise or be active and feel fine at the time, then 24 hours later be in a monumental crash that can last for days.

    Unless GAD does the same, then I definitely have CFIDS.