Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Hi All,

I came across this flyer we have here at the University and had a glance over it at lunch time. What really amazed me was that after going through the checklist for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), I basically fullfilled the criteria! It’s bizarre really because I don’t feel anxious per se. I don’t feel stressed out about doing things etc during the day but do wake in the night feeling agitated a lot and unable to lie on my left or right side.

It suddenly occurred to me that my version of MAV presents strongly as an anxiety disorder even though I would deny I had such a disorder if I was asked. So I’m wondering how many of you think you fail this test as well – and are we the ones who are responding well to SSRIs? Once again, I think this really fits the hypothesis put forward in the migraine-anxiety related dizziness paper (MARD).

I’m attaching a pic of the short quiz.

I’d be interested to know how the rest of you scored on this. For example, the ones that apply to me are:

From the first three : … difficult for them to carry out everyday activities.

Last group: felt tired easily, difficulty concentrating, muscle pain, trouble sleeping.

So the only thing that does not apply to me is “worrying”. I don’t actively worry or stress out during the day. Apart from that, I would definitely qualify for GAD. Perhaps it’s the migraine activity that causes a similar effect on the brain as constant worrying would? Interesting and makes me think even more that Effexor (or an SSRI) is the right med for me although I know Rich waved bye-bye to his anxiety using Topamax.

Scott 8)

I have all except perhaps one on the last list, and yet it’s not one of my diagnoses, despite having seen psychs. I have no idea why, but if/when I talk to one in the future I’m going to bring it up. I’ve kinda self-diagnosed myself with it for the past year or two (not that it really matters since my treatment plan would probably be the same in either case).

Hey Scott,

My reading of that quiz thingy is that you had to answer “yes” to the first three (essential criteria) before moving on to the next lot (un/desirable critieria). I’m a little suspicious as all the symptoms are really vague and the syndrome starts with the word “generalised”. Could mean anything. I am glad however, that the acronym for migraine anxiety related dizziness includes the word “related” or we’d all be MAD :lol:


Hi Vic,

Great work skepchick! :slight_smile: I agree it’s all kinda general but then I qualify for a lot of the second bunch of symptoms which surely isn’t normal. I remember the days I could like in bed and sleep like a baby and lie face down if I wanted to - for hours and hours. Not now. But yeah, maybe not GAD but just a miserable case of migraine bloody vertigo eh?


Hi Scott

I am a little confused. Point 3 of this flyer says “a person found that their anxiety made it difficult for them to carry out daily activities”, yet you said you don’t worry, so how can this apply to you?

I can understand how, with a chronic and debilitating illness (MAV), you must find it difficult to carry out daily activities; but that surely doesn’t mean it is necessarily attributable to anxiety?

I can see how any of the six points in the third section could apply to someone with MAV, I have suffered from all of them whilst being ill with it. I have had difficult concentrating because my brain is working overtime to stay balanced and make sense of the world when it is spinning around; I have felt restless, on edge and irritable because I was frustrated with being ill and having a restricted lifestyle; and tiredness and muscle pain are known symptoms of MAV. All these symptoms are easing as I feel better and the dizziness subsides, although I continue to get irritable at things and am feeling more restless because I want to do more things because I am feeling better but am not yet well enough to be living a ‘normal’ life of living on my own and having a full time job (if that makes sense).

I suffered from anxiety and depression a few years ago, so I am not saying I am immune to it, but it did feel very different to this illness now. Also, I’m not saying I haven’t worried about my future whilst I have been ill (paying the mortgage, being able to get married and have a family, my quality of life in general) but these were because of my illness not the underlying cause (which was MAV).

I’m not saying that you haven’t got GAD, as I am not an expert and I don’t know you personally, but I’m just saying that all the symptoms in the second section can also be explained by MAV (or many other illnesses for that matter). Also if you don’t worry much, get stressed out or get panicky regularly and easily I would say its quite unlikely to be GAD.

I hope this helps. It’s only my opinion though and doesn’t mean I don’t think that Effexor will be helpful for you, I’m sure it will be as so many people have benefited hugely from it.


Hi Becky,

What I meant there was that I do have trouble carrying out daily activities because I feel lousy but not because I feel anxious which pretty much kills part one really. It just seems like this illness mimicks a lot of the above to some degree. There was definitely a time when I was anxious all the time with this years ago. Hmmm … I suppose the only thing that truly applies to my situ are the points I highlighted in the second part all of which apply in one way or another and perhaps just indicates a stressed, tired, dizzy body from MAV but not GAD. Nonetheless, it’s still interesting that SSRIs work for me in this thing even though I don’t think they do a whole lot for neck pain. The jury is still out on effexor.


I pass with flying colors and was my original diagnosis before MAV… However Verapamil is not used to treat this so I feel a little better…LOL But it does seem an overlap on MAV and GAD especially with SSRI’s seem to be the best medication that is effective

Scott - are you saying that the SSRIs are given to help with anxiety, which indirectly helps our condition? I don’t think that is the case because SSRIs are given at a much lower dose for migraines than for anxiety/depression. I don’t believe that many people even reach the therapeutic dose for treatment of anxiety/depression. I like the think that SSRIs are given off label to treat migraine. Perhaps, people with anxiety and depression are more likely to suffer from migraines, in addition to the genetic predisposition.
It’s hard to say which came first, as being dizzy 24/7 is anxiety and depression provoking.
I just want to note that in order to be diagnosed with GAD, the symptoms you listed MUST be interfering with your daily activities.

I was indirectly treating my MAV by treating my anxiety with Zoloft before a diagnosis. You are correct the dosages are lower for MAV. For Zoloft Dr Newman will not prescribe more than 75mg’s to 100 mg’s… You can take up to 200 mg’s for anxiety…But not everyone has to take high dosages for anxiety…You can have a theraputic effect on 50 mg’s so Scotts theory can be correct

Yes you are correct as well… There are studies as Dr Newman said that people who have Migraines also are more likely to have Anxiety as well as IBS so that theory is proven in research

Im not sure how accurate an answer these question could give. Theyre sorta vague and would probably fit most people with chronic illness.

I dont really feel too much anxiety, altough I often have some sort of “anxious body”, meaning my body is not liking this rocking; but that is not the same as having anxiety per se, as I know that feeling all too well… Perhaps because ive been depressed once (due to not being able to play guitar), I am more reseliant?

Last visit to a doc, I told him off pretty harshly, because first he went into the usual psychic mumbo jumbo, which I told him that I dont even feel too anxious about this anymore, Ive accepted on some level that I may have this for life. He was telling me how rational I seemed and blabla and he really didnt know how to deal with me, since I didnt exhibit the usual stuff he sees. I didnt have typical symptoms like nystagmus, but then again I came across as “very rational”, calm, not depressed etc.

He then called a physical teraphist who he thought might help. Talked a little to her, and said something like “Yes I think its fobic postural dizziness its about”…

Which made me really angry, so I blatantly asked him how the heck he could say that to her after just having a conversation with me and saying himself that I did not seem to have a mental problem going on, really how *ing rude. He started saying “no dont take it like that, im sorry!”, “you know these days we dont say stress-related dizziness blabla” so I asked him “you think I look stressed?”. “no”…

He ended up apologizing and saying hed send me to a “specialist” (another ent) if it didnt work out with the physical therapist. Thing is Ive already tried various stuff, and none of it makes me any worse or better; I dont respond at all. I only really feel worse from lack of sleep and long time in a car, and when I get headaches of course…

Anyways, felt good to put someone up against the wall, rather than feeling pushed up there myself for a change…

I could easily pass the GAD test but I don’t consider myself to have GAD. I do have depression however, and I think many of the GAD symptoms could also fit depression as well as many other diseases that have nothing to do with MAV or GAD. Most of what I worry about all day long is am I about to have a vertigo attack. This is on my mind constantly as is what the heck is wrong with me. This disease has caused my anxiety, not the othe way around.



Of the first three GAD questions…i identify most with the 3rd one…but instead of the ANXIETY being the main culprit of getting in the way of being with friends, going to a movie and working at my job it’s the MOTION that gets in the way that brings on the ANXIETY. So i believe the Anxiety is the 2nd problem. I also want to add that the Motion gets in the way when i don’t take my anti-anxiety medication. If i take it on a regular basis (most of the time) i can go to movies, spend time with friends and work a part-time job. I still have some motion daily and occasional bad days and my equilibrium is not the best but atleast i can function relatively well. I honestly don’t worry on a daily basis…but believe me i do have occasional days of feeling worried because of something that may have happened at work and it affected me in a negative way or having troubles with a good friend or partner, etc. I tend to think about it alot…like a Tape going on in my head and repeating it over and over again. I have made some progress in that if i’m worried about something i try not to continue to focus on the tape over and over…i give myself a limited time to think about it then i stop it.

The nex 4 GAD questions i could identify with…i have noticed if i don’t take medication for a whole day i begin to feel miserable…not much fun to be with, with kind of blue. I feel irritable, anxious, difficulty concentrating and also retaining is a problem and most definitely cannot sleep. Again…the MOTION is overwhelming and i continously Focus on the motion. Then i end up feeling more tired.


This is interesting to me. I just got my medical records a few days and seen they have diagnosed me with this back in 2003 and never told me. The papers from each visit state all of the diagnosis I have and generalised anxiety order is still on there. I would think they would of mentioned it to me.

Yes all the way down for me!!!