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    I've recently been diagnosed with GAD (generalised anxiety disorder), which doesn't really come as a surprise, but I'm having a tough time coping with it. I've had social anxiety since I was a kid, and I would get irrationally anxious about things like leaving the house every so often. Recently I've been having anxiety attacks (to the point of fainting), pretty bad depression, heart palpitations, chronic insomnia etc, most likely due to living away from home and having a whole load of new responsibilities alongside university work. As a socially anxious person, there's a whole crap-tonne of problems arising from living with another person too, especially someone who doesn't really understand my anxiety and writes it off as me overreacting.
    I was wondering if anybody else here has similar problems with GAD and how they cope with it, especially people at university and living away from home. I'm finding it particular difficult getting over my anxiety when I've got so much to be anxious about.

    I've got it too - I've always been someone who worries about things but never to the extent that I have been doing over the past 18 months. I don't have panic attacks, but I can get so anxious over the silliest little things to the point where I'll be shaking, crying, unable to sit still, unable to eat because I feel really sick...I've also been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome which I'm pretty sure is linked as the symptoms of that are worse when my anxiety's bad. And it's stupid because I know that I don't really need to worry about the things I worry about but I do anyway.

    I don't cope with it particularly well at home as I don't like talking to my parents about it (because they blame it all on my relationship/being on the pill and don't believe it's as bad as it is and will make me feel guilty about it) but when I'm at uni it's different. All of my closest friends know about it and that I struggle with it so I know that if I need someone to talk to I can talk to them. You said the person you live with writes it off as you overreacting - my boyfriend used to do that, until it started to get really bad in the last few months and he realised it wasn't something that I could control and that it was causing me a lot of distress. How about you look up some things about GAD online and send them a link to it/print it off and show it to them?

    I think the main problem there is when it comes to mental illnesses is that the symptoms of them are often normal emotions (anxiety is a normal emotion - we need it to keep us out of danger), but the mentally ill person experiences them a lot more intensely to the point where they can cause physical symptoms. Because these are just normal emotions but on a much larger scale, people tend to just brush them off when you try to talk to them about it - "I get worried about things too though", "But I feel depressed sometimes, I just do this and this and I feel better". People don't understand that 'being worried' and 'anxiety disorder' are very different things.

    Also consider registering for counselling at uni; I've done that and progress is slow but being made. And if it's really, really bad, then you can always ask to be put on medication for it for a while, to reduce the levels of anxiety and help you to learn how to cope better.
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