I read this thread in its entirety and found it fascinating on a number of counts.
First, I have suffered from severe GAD w/ episodes of panic attacks for ca. 26 years. I had absolutely no idea what was happening to me, as I had never even heard of panic attacks or anxiety disorders. This ignorance created the vintage "loop effect" of becoming fearful and further sensitized by the symptoms of anxiety.
I went an entire decade without medication and experienced suffering that is hard to put into words. I have then had several docs who attempted to cheer it with Paxil, and Xanax (as well as a few other things). Nothing was effective until my family doctor started me on Effexor and Clonozapam (the second as needed). The Effexor was the very first thing that dialed down my fight or flight response and gave me hope. However, I still lived with anxiety pretty much every day, which began to influence how I interacted with people.
I write the above preamble inasmuch as I accidentally stumbled upon Baclofen. I thought you might find my observations helpful. About three years ago I began to experience severe headaches/neck pains that were readily identified as originating in the cervical joints and adjoining muscles. I was prescribed Baclofen by a neurologist to control the muscle spasms. I had tried other muscle relaxants that were okay, but shortly after taking the Baclofen I knew something completely different was taking place. As the daily dosage increased, for the first time in nearly three decades I began to experience a completely unexpected cessation of anxiety. My anxiety can be so severe at times that I experience it even while I sleep and wake up with an anxiety attack.
To the point: at a very specific daily dosage my body was no longer capable (if that is the correct term) of triggering a panic attack. In terms of the ongoing GAD, there was no longer any anxiety present--either day or night. In terms of an analogy, it was as if the Baclofen had reached into my brain and adjusted the idle of my nervous system back down to normal level. I discovered that now that my nervous system was no longer sensitized and was back to what I had known as "normal" nearly 25 year prior, my attitude and patterns of thinking followed and became healthy again. I did not obsess about avoiding people; I began to relate to people and enjoyed going places. Again, this had all been unexpected on my part.
I likewise discovered the hard way that you absolutely cannot stop Baclofen, or even titrate at the rate that a pharmacist or neurologist will recommend. When I needed to try to strength my neck muscles, I ceased taking it as per their instructions. I was met with the most severe anxiety and muscle cramping I had ever encountered. This really scared me and made me rethink taking it at all. After several failed attempts, I researched it enough to find out that the best titration schedule was to reduce by 5mg every seven days. Any faster and you would hurt--bad.
After being off it for several months, I realized that all my previous anxiety was back, arguably even stronger than when I began the Baclofen (that may have been a subjective impression due to an experience of such peace). Consequently, with my neck still needing a muscle relaxer, I resumed the Baclofen. Once again, it completely removed what has been 2.5 decades of severe GAD with occasional panic attacks.
There are some side effects, but they are minimal compared to what it accomplishes.
I have no idea why Baclofen is not used as a front-line drug to bring relief for many who suffer with various forms of anxiety disorders. Nothing I have taken even comes close to its efficacy, and I have yet to build up any tolerance to it.
Hope this note helps some folks. Do bear in mind that attempting to suddenly stop it without a proper taper will not only be hell-on-earth; it is potentially lethal.