Anxiety and obsessive scary thoughts

O.k todays post is something someone wanted me to post on. I do have this page on my main site that explains certain things but I will try and explain more here. The original question was……Paul, could you please do a post regarding obsessive thought cycles. Mine are fear of dying, fear of hurting someone physically or sexually, all the usual, fear of self harm/suicide, ITS CRIPPLING MATE and my last symptom to go. I know you yourself have suffered these and your bit in your book is amazing, but without being nosy could you elaborate a little more on what you suffered. Thanks mate! It is the memory of having these thoughts and the fear of them and trying not to think them that is keeping me thinking them!

Firstly anxiety is excess adrenalin, add this to bad nerves and this is why we feel anxious. Now anxiety/adrenalin needs a release, do you ever feel fidgety, like you cannot stand still? Well adrenalin also finds its release in obsessive, odd, scary thoughts, that’s all it is anxiety finding a release. The trouble is the way we lived our lives before anxiety, we think if we think it it must be true or we might follow it through, in fact sometimes its not just the thought, it is WHY we are having them that bothers people. So this is the thing we need to address, understand why they are there and they become less scary and don’t mean as much. Don’t go around questioning why you feel this way or wonder if you may carry a thought through, you won’t, again its just anxiety playing its tricks. I used to have all sorts of odd, obsessive thoughts and I just gave them their space and let them be. NEVER as stated above try not to think them, this means you are running away from them and this means you are giving them loads of respect. As silly and as odd, scary as they are just let them have thier space, who cares they are only thoughts. If you do pay them loads of respect, investigate them, worry or obsees then this tires the mind furthur and it loses some of its resilience and thought seem to stick or race. Also a bit of habit can come into the mix. We may have thought this way for a long while that it seems to have become a habit. But like all habits they can be reversed and they way to reverse them is not to be scared of them, what better way than allow them as much space and freedom to be there. I used to smile at how silly they were at times, anxiety play your tricks if you must I no longer care.

The way to rid yourself of them is to allow them to be there, not to rid yourself of them, worry why you have them. They wont go overnight, in my case they came less often and with less force. I had a great insight into this when I used to go for a long 1 hour run. I came back and all the exercise had burnt off all the excess adrenalin, I had no odd, racing thoughts for a few hours after. Yes they retuned with my anxiety, but I knew that it was just caused by excess adrenalin that needed a release. Otherwise it would have made no difference if I went for a run or not. I was not going crazy or anything, it was anxiety playing its tricks again. I no longer bothered or cared what thoughts came, it did not matter, let my excess adrenalin make me think this way at times, its fine, was my attitude. Again it takes a little time, so don’t think as soon as you give the thoughts time and space they will disappear, have the attitude of ‘It does not matter if they are there or not’ that is always your goal.

I hope there is something there for people to relate to.


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881 Responses to “Anxiety and obsessive scary thoughts”

  1. Anthony Says:

    This is something I can totally relate to, and seems to be my most frustrating symptom.

    Sometimes I think I do it to myself. I might think about my anxiety for a minute, and a thought leads to another thought, and I might become depressed or nervous or whatever. It will affect my appetite, my concentration, and desire to do things.

    That actually happened last weekend. I went to a buddy’s wedding on Saturday, and had a blast. Thoughts of my anxiety came up, but so much was going on that I couldn’t even have time to dwell on my thoughts. I had work the next day, and my job is so routine that I don’t even think when I do things. Suddenly I was feeling depressed, and had a pretty rough day.

    Now this entire week, I felt pretty darn good. I ate, slept well, watched a movie, listened to music. My concentration was better when I read a book or talked to someone. And at work I’ve been fine. Something might remind me of my anxiety, but that was it. No analyzing, no dwelling…just concentrating on what’s goin on around me.

    Today at work, a week from my last anxiety/depression episode, I was fine again. Then with a half hour left in my shift, I felt down for some reason. I wasn’t even thinking about anything. But then a thought led to another, and I wasn’t able to eat much when I got home and cried a little.

    The whole excess adrenalin thing makes sense to me. I haven’t exercised yet, but I’m going to take yoga classes soon. I just hate these setbacks. Everytime I think I have this stuff under control, it creeps back at me.

  2. Amy Says:

    I can really relate too Anthony. And yes, I’ll be fine for a couple of weeks and WHAM, they suddenly pop back in my head seemingly (but, on reflection, not really) out of the blue.

    After over a year of these kinds of scary thoughts, they are becoming less intense. I can be a little more objective towards them, cos – like Paul says – I understand where they come from and that they really can’t hurt me, unless I let them. I remind myself that there is a BIG difference between thinking, and doing. But at the same time I also recognise that they often appear after I’ve been working really hard…and then have the opportunity to relax in an unconstructive way (e.g. aimlessly surfing online, or passively watching the telly), or (and I’m sure this is different for both yourself and Paul!) when I have PMT. I try to combat that by eating a starchy snack/meal (which helps maintain blood sugar levels) every few hours, a week before my period.

    Yoga is great, as is meditation. Both teach you to switch off and just ‘be’ in the moment; a fantastic release from constant racing thoughts when you’re really tense and anxious. But it does take work and you need to ‘practice’ regularly. Sadly, I just do not seem to have the time or money to go to yoga at the moment, though – as I have my own mat, a book, and a DVD – I could probably do some at home each day, if I was more organised!

    I’m having counselling at the moment. I don’t see that as a solution. But, knowing that I have the opportunity to let everything out once a week is very beneficial for me. Now, whenever the thoughts appear, or I read/watch/hear something that could trigger unpleasant images, I can gently say to myself ‘Okay, don’t have to think about that now. Stick it in the bag’. (I have this visualisation technique in which I ‘place’ all unpleasantness in a mental plastic bag, which I ‘take with me’ to my counselling session each week, after which I bring home an empty bag. :)) And it seems to help. I’m not battling with the thought/image. Instead I observe, accept, and work through it. Try and be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when the thoughts recur, just think ‘what the heck’ and carry on. It works, seriously!

    Yeah, it is frustrating when it returns, which it will from time to time, but like Paul says, eventually the nastiness dissipates, the images start to lose their potency. You might even get to the point where you can laugh at the thoughts as they occur!

    Another tip – listening to the radio (i.e. Radio 4 or similar) is infinitely preferable to watching the telly. Somehow I find it easier to filter out anything potentially disturbing (in the content), and I can calm my mind by having to concentrate on what’s being broadcast so much more than when watching the TV.

    Remember, the only way out is through (cliche, I know – but very true!).

  3. Amy Says:

    And another thing…

    Sometimes what really helps to shift an idea or disturbing thought is to articulate it. Yeah, I know, I always that was a load of old codswallop too (i.e that might work for other people, but I’m not like ‘other’ people – I’m me and no one else will understand, etc) too! 😉 But the week before last, I finally felt able to talk in a counselling session about one of the scary thoughts I have had on and off for about eighteen months. It was the first time I had ever expressed the thought openly. And as soon I had, it kind of lost some of its power, its hold over me. It’s reappeared over the last couple of days, but somehow seems less scary and ‘real’ than before.

    I also want to reiterate many others and say a big thanks to Paul and everyone else here. I always knew, rationally, that I wasn’t likely to be the only person in the world suffering with anxiety and, particularly, these horrible, scary thoughts. But to get confirmation of that fact is an enormous relief. It makes me realise that rather than going mad, or somehow being weaker than other people (who seem to be able to cope with everything life throws at them), I am actually reacting to circumstances in a quite ‘normal’ way. It must be if so many other people suffer too. Phew! :)

  4. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Firstly, thanks a lot Paul. Ive had a particuarly bad time with these thoughts this week. Seemingly because there has been quite a lot of murder trials in the press this last week. I try to avoid reading the paper and never buy one anymore. However if I see someone elses paper then curiosity takes over. I know this is common but the most disturbing aspect of this disorder for me, is that these thoughts tend to centre round my girlfriend. Ive read time and time again that this is most common. However its disturbing our intimacy at the moment, because I get so anxious when we’re close. I had a few beers saturday night and forced myself to go out with my mates. I had a good time, but paid for it a little yesterday, mainly down to tiredness.
    My girlfriend wants us to move to London for a year at the moment and anxiety is stopping me a little. Also Im not that certain I want to move anyway. I just hate anxiety getting in my way!
    I keep getting so far and then it goes up a level and I stop accepting and let it overwhelm me again. I suppose eventually I’ll get it right, because I have the determination. I cant really remember life before these feelings now, so I wonder whether I could even recognise recovery, or If I ever wasnt anxious? Anyone else ever felt like this?

  5. samantha Says:


    after having a bout of extreme anxiety that lasted 3 months i am finally recovering , however my thought pattern is worrying me its totally irrational i get thoughts that i wont get better , i will always be like this and this then leads to a feeling of utter despair and what is the point etc, i dont let this stop me working etc but i would love to be able to do normal things and enjoy them i know my mind is inward thinking all the time and i am trying to accept this but its hard . i also get flashbacks to the time i was so ill and this upsets me . i know my mind isnt focused on the pysical symptoms as these have more or less gone so i guess my mind has moved onto my thought pattern if that makes sense. i also dont feel myself which is weird. can anyone relate to my ramblings

    samantha xxx

  6. No More Anxiety Says:

    I knew this would be a popular post as it comes up so often in emails or people asking me face to face. It is with d.p the most popular symptom. I also added this to the post what I forgot to mention last night went putting the post together…….

    If you do pay them loads of respect, investigate them, worry or obsess then this tires the mind furthur and it loses some of its resilience and thoughts seem to stick or race. Also a bit of habit can come into the mix. We may have thought this way for a long while that it seems to have become a habit. But like all habits they can be reversed and they way to reverse them is not to be scared of them, what better way than allow them as much space and freedom to be there. I used to smile at how silly they were at times, anxiety play your tricks if you must I no longer care.

    I will just put a few points across to each individual reply.

    Anthony…..when you get bouts of thoughts and feelings, just see it as a box of rubbish you have to carry around for a while, don’t try and control it all or work your way through it, evety episode passes as you say it did and don’t get down or think you are back to square one after a bad day, just onward and through, the best day ever could be round the corner. Enjoy the good and don’t get too down about the bad.

    Amy…You put some good points across there, people have there own way that works for them, but as long as it does not include worrying, investigating, obsessing because from time to time you do think like that. You also have a good point here, DON’T run away from they way you think, allow these moments as you put it so well in this statement. I’m not battling with the thought/image. Instead I observe, accept, and work through it. Try and be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when the thoughts recur, just think ‘what the heck’ and carry on. It works, seriously! What the heck worked for me and brought me through, but your right it does take a little time, they just weaken in their own time, but again I had the attitude of ‘I don’t care if they are there or not, I understand why they are there and that they will be for a while, so what the heck!

    Joey….Sorry but avoiding reading scary stories is running away. Again you are letting anxiety trick you. You have anxiety so you are sensitised, this is why you get such a reaction from reading something scary, this is the only reason. This avoidence of not reading about something like murder etc again is very common. But you need to not get into avoidence behaviour and understand that its just anxiety that brings on these reactions and to go through them. My whole way of coming through things was no avoidence, this intensified my reactions at times but it also calmed me as I just went ahead and floated past any suggestion that I could not, or this might happen etc. Whatever happened anxiety was not going to rule what I did and I knew deep down to dampen the feelings and reactions I had to go through certain things a few times, to tell my body there was nothing to fear. If you avoid anything you are paying anxiety loads of respect, letting it trick you into avoidence behaviour. Joey, if there is a story and you get a reaction because your sensitised, so what, just go with it, take my advice and as scary and as silly as the thoughts are, give them their space, allow them to be there and just move on, in time you will see the reaction dampen.

    Samantha…Don’t let your thought pattern worry you, again just see it as anxiety playing its tricks, you don’t have to go around thinking ‘I must accept this’ just go with it. I just kept doing this on and on and little changes started appearing, you don’t believe it at times but your body and mind has the best healing system in the world, it just needs us to step out of the way at times and let it.


  7. Tarmo Says:

    Amy mentioned counseling and if I understand the word right (I’m not a native English speaker) it means talk therapy. I’m seeing a therapist once a week as well and it has helped me a lot. I have the same experience with Amy: when you talk about something that has been troubling your mind, the problem loses it’s control over you. I’ve heard some people accusing therapy for keeping the problems in the forefront and therefore increasing dwelling. This may be true for someone, but for me it’s quite the opposite: when I talk about my feelings I get my thoughts better organised and when I leave the therapy session I usually feel that I don’t have to analyse anything inside my head for a while.

    Paul, I’d be interested to hear what kind of help you got from this person that introduced you to these ideas of accepting and not paying attention to the symptoms in the first place? You don’t write in your book if you were seeing this person regularly or if it was just one visit?

  8. Claire Says:

    Hi Paul, I just wanted to say that I can completely relate to what the others are going through. I am having a terrible time with horrible obsessive thoughts that is holding up my recovery.

    I have been suffering with anxiety for years on and off and I have had a particularly nasty bout recently. There have been a lot of financial and work issues that I have had to deal with for a long time and I found myself anxious and depressed at the beginning of January and have been in a bit of a state since. At first I was starting to get a little anxious about my health. Then I diverted my anxiety to my relationship with my boyfriend, who I know deep down I love to bits and I have been very happy with him for over a year now. But I cannot get over the thought that I might fall out of love with him and that we might split up one day. I know its mad and we have a very strong relationship but my brain has found a life of its own and I am finding it really hard to concentrate, eat, sleep and just live a normal life. I’m finding it hard to act normal and I miss the person I was.

    I have good days which is great and I do think less, My boyfriend and I went for a long walk yesterday and I felt great and it felt like I was back to my old self. But the anxiety came back along with the negative thought and dispair and guilt that I could think this way. I am getting help for this and they all say that the issue is not my relationship but my brain does not seem to want to take this on board. Its getting to the stage that I don’t recognise myself and I don’t know how I feel abut anything anymore.

    I am really trying to deal with this but I can safely say this is the worst part of anxiety.

  9. No More Anxiety Says:

    Tarmo….The person I mention I saw for a few weeks. People wrongly believe he was my saviour and taught me everything, he did not, what he did do was not fill me with the rubbish other so called experts did. There are still a few people who do understand anxiety out there and he was one of them. What he did do was open my eyes and pointed me in the right direction, told me of certain books he had respect for and his own beliefs on his experience with helping anxiety sufferers.

    The only way to judge if seeing someone to talk through your problems works, is if it helps. I used to see a woman and I knew far more than she did on the subject, but just talking about things and getting them off my chest really helped. So many of us have to suffer in silence as we feel no one will understand, so talking to someone once a week, even if it is just an ear, I think is great. One thing I don’t like is some of the rubbish that certain therapists come out with, you would not believe the things people have told me they have said, ‘You will have anxiety all your life, you just have to manage it’ , ‘You have to ignore it’ , ‘You need to visulise a happy place’ the list goes on. All I ever say is if it feels right and you find it helps, then go with it, if it does not then move on.

    I totally agree with Amy on that side of things, just talking things over can really help, you don’t need a so called expert that charges £40 an hour, just someone who will just listen.


  10. No More Anxiety Says:

    Claire….But I cannot get over the thought that I might fall out of love with him and that we might split up one day. I know its mad and we have a very strong relationship but my brain has found a life of its own and I am finding it really hard to concentrate, eat, sleep and just live a normal life. I’m finding it hard to act normal and I miss the person I was.

    I have good days which is great and I do think less, My boyfriend and I went for a long walk yesterday and I felt great and it felt like I was back to my old self. But the anxiety came back along with the negative thought and dispair and guilt that I could think this way.

    Claire the mistake you are making is you are judging your whole day and mood on if you think like this or not. Please take in the advice above, if you are new to the site or blog, do read through everything on here and trying get a better understanding. Don’t be fooled into thinking these thoughts are real. Why do you have anxious thoughts? Well because you have anxiety, no other reason. Just for one day just don’t care how you think, let them blabber on no matter how scary they maybe and they may just lose a bit of power, it is all the respect and guilt you are having that keeps them at the fore front of your day. Don’t fall into the trap of trying not to think this way and certainly don’t feel guilty that you do, as you see above many people do also, they will fade in time, if you allow them to be there. The more respect you give a symptom, the more of a problem it becomes, so take that power away and just have a ‘whatever’ attitude to them and just see it as anxiety playing its tricks, that truly is all it is. I am living proof, I have no scary, racing thoughts at all now, at one time I was plauged by them, I truly was as bad as they came on the anxiety scale. I was so bad I had to give up work, why? Because I understood nothing and spent all my days worrying and obsessing about how I felt, I spent everyday trying to work it all out, everyday trying to do something about, everything that just sent me deeper into the condition. The reason I set this site up is because I learnt as much as I could on the subject, helped myself to recover, stuided the subject as much as I could beyond this, so I could help people to not have to go through what I did because of a lack of information.


  11. Tarmo Says:

    Paul, I agree, a good chat with a friend can do the same as a chat with a professional. I’ve been lucky enough to have such good friends who listen. But I came to a point where I felt I needed to get it out more frequently and it didn’t feel good using the people close to me as therapists so I seeked for professional help. But at the same time the chats with friends and family are still crucial to me.

  12. Tom Says:

    Tarmo, I agree with you on the friends issue. I find that because we tend to think about our anxiety everyday, we have a lot to talk about too. I find when I latch onto a person or friend, I cannot stop talking about my anxiety, almost to a point where I feel I may bore that person. If all your friends know that you are suffering, it may come to a point where everyday they ask ‘how are you today, can you manage this or that’ and start to treat you (unintentionally) like an invalid or something. We need our friends and social stuff to escape our thoughts, and to be distracted. I don’t have a therapist at the moment, but when I first got anxiety I found a regular meeting did help.

  13. Ben Says:

    Hi everyone,

    After a nasty bout of anxiety last year (after three years of being fine) I found Paul’s ebook a perceptive, sensible approach to coping with it. I have certainly cracked a few smiles of recognition reading over the last few posts, because pretty much everything mentioned has gone through my mind at some point. So I thought I would add my two pence and I hope it helps people.

    Claire – I have had exactly the same thoughts about my relationship with my girlfriend, worrying about hurting her at some point in the future etc. I find myself constructing scenarios that have not even happened yet, and then worrying about them endlessly; which when you look at it rationally, is absurd. She might meet someone else and I will be the one hurt.

    Regarding thoughts of hurting the self and others, think of it this way; writers, filmmakers etc who create works of art about disturbing subjects and containing disturbing acts, must also entertain these kind of thoughts in order to create the characters who commit them; the same goes for actors who play these characters in films. I think everbody has these kind of thoughts. It doesn’t mean you are going to act on them. To do so you would have to be sick or mad, and anxiety sufferers are neither. In fact, I think that anxiety is in some ways the polar opposite of madness, as it is a state of intense and heightened self-awareness. People who have something very wrong with them invariably do not see it that way. It took me a while to notice that although severe anxiety is very unpleasant, its intensity only ever reaches a certain level; in my experience, it is the duration of the episodes which reflect their severity.

    The key for me is remembering that your thoughts do not constitute who you are, and that your mind is a tool, a mechanism just like other organs in your body, The complications arise from the fact that it is so complex compared to the other organs that we do not fully understand its workings, and probably never will. The real ‘you’ is the consciousness behind those thoughts, the unnamed thing that organises and differentiates between them. Meditation is something that is really helping me understand this.

    Additionally I think one of the major problems faced by everybody these days is the fact that media, in particular advertising, constantly project onto you this idea of an idyllic existence in which you reach a plateau of contentment and bliss. When this life of consummate ease is never attained, it is easy to think that one is somehow deficient. I think that the idea that you are supposed to be happy and relaxed all the time is a fallacy created by people who want to make you believe that they can sell you this state of mind. I bring this up because I think it plays a major role in creating all sorts of feelings of guilt and inadequacy if you pay too much attention to it, and contributes greatly to the onset of anxiety; it certainly did in my case.

    Einstein said that the solution to any problem will NEVER be found on the same level as the problem itself. Therefore, you will not be able to think and analyse your way out of a problem that exists in your mind. I find that whenever I start getting anxious these days, if the circumstances prevent me from meditating, I look around myself and try to percieve myself connected to everything around me; the people near me, the ground I am standing on, the trees, the sky; I try and think of myself as a part of the world around me rather than an entity solely experiencing existence from inside my head looking out. I think that everything is connected in some way we cannot understand, and this is the concept helps me break out of preoccupation with my own mental life, which is what brings on anxiety in the first place. I think this is something you have to practice; I am getting to the point now where I will have two or three moments a day where I start feeling a degree of disquiet, but they don’t really ever last more than about half an hour. The issue is not whether you get these episodes but how you deal with them, I think.

    I know I got a bit existential on the last paragraph, but that is what is helping me at the moment…. hope it can help others!!

    best wishes….


  14. No More Anxiety Says:

    Good interesting post Ben, you are quite right in your last statemet which covers a lot of anxietyy symptoms, it is never if they are there or not that is the problem, it is how you react. A scary thought only has as much power as you let it have.


  15. Amy Says:

    Couldn’t have put it better myself Ben. You’re so right. Everyone has these thoughts from time to time. We all probably did before our anxiety problems, but we don’t remember because we didn’t react/analyse/get pre occupied with them. I still get these sudden thoughts (sometimes just half thoughts) flitting in and out of my mind several times a day – sometimes more frequently, sometimes less, but I remind myself that I have MORE happy, positive, exciting thoughts than bad, considerably more. That helps to ‘rebalance’ my outlook.

    Tarmo – yep, I did mean ‘talking therapy’. I would prefer more input (my counseller is VERY passive), but nevertheless the regular sessions are definitely helpful.

  16. Claire Says:

    Thanks to you all for your very kind words. I’ve had a look at a lot of the information on the website and I just wish I’d found all these answers years ago. I wouldn’t have held back from doing so many things in my life.

    Ben – thanks, its hard to have these thoughts about people that are so important to you. I’ve always been an over thinker and have just gotten into the habit of constant analysis. Luckily I’ve managed to have some great times with my boyfriend recently and I feel a bit like my old self again. Doing excercise has been really good for me too so I’ve started going swimming. But I’ll definitely give the meditation a go.

    Paul – Thank you so much, I understand whats happening to me now and I know thats its just a case of ignoring these thoughts and getting on with my day, Thank you.

  17. No More Anxiety Says:

    Claire, I know its hard having these thoughts about the ones you love, but think of it this way, its not you having these thoughts, its your anxiety, that’s the key.

    It is also good to see people talking through how they feel on here and I am glad people feel comfortable doing that. Again just talking about how you feel can really help. I felt very alone all those years ago, I had nobody close to talk about it with apart from my mother. Once the doctor just stared blankily at me, then I sure was not going to tell anyone else and risk someone thinking I was crazy. My mother was a godsend to me, she was the once person I knew would not judge, she may not have understood, but she always believed me.


  18. AK Says:

    Dear Paul

    I have emailed you, but immediately realised that you must get far too many emails to have the chance to reply, and you state this on your site, so I thought I would post here.

    I am 20, and my problems started on january 3rd 2008, when i was 19. The reason I am asking this question is that you suggest that the taking of ‘soft drugs’ might have triggered your anxiety. For me it was marijuana, which I have smoked casually for three years with no problem, obviously since the incident I have completely stopped and feel good for doing so.

    The next day I felt a little spaced out still, and thought about it all day. I would sleep a lot too as i thought this would make it go away, it didn’t go away, then i found a depersonalisation website after much googling, this worried me of course. I got worse for a week, staying in bed, and when going shopping with my mum i found i was very anxious and thought, why can’t i just feel like i used to? My symptoms were that everything felt different, i thought about everything too much, and why i felt like i did. The depersonlisatin forum i found was of little comfort either.

    I’m glad to say that after returning back the university (this was all in the Christmas holiday) things started to feel better. It has been a week exactly since the incident. I had driven back which i was very worried about, but I had done it, and while still constantly zoning in on how i felt, eventually it got better, i had purchased your book the night before and so i was feeling relieved after reading it. Then i must have had three weeks where i felt i was back to normal, it is so strange as i made a trip to brighton to see friends, and went to several parties and I remember talking of my experience to people, telling them i was fine now but i would never do any drugs again (marijuana was all i had ever tried.) But now it is hard to even remember feeling that way, it was only few weeks ago that i made this trip, and i dont remember feeling bad at all, i was even discussing anxiety with all my friends, saying i’d had it but it had gone!

    However it has come back again now, and I suppose I am looking to you for reassurance, as i have become somewhat of an information gatherer like you stated. I recently have been googling stories of the feelings i got from marijuana, only to find horror stories of people ruining their lives from the stuff, and i panic that i may have ‘fried my brain’ as it were.

    The weeks where i felt back to normal again i feel are a testament that I will be ok again one day, but it makes me think, is this anxiety, or something the drug has permanently done to me, my brain chemistry as it were. I wonder whether you got these feelings of guilt for taking the drugs you had taken too?

    My only symptom now is the racing thoughts, thinking everyday, will i ever be able to stop this constant flow of introverted thinking. I have work to hand in at the end of the week which is of course stressing me out, as it would any other person, but it is doubly as hard with anxiety.

    Sorry this is so long and a bit of a self indulgent post. I would like to say a thankyou to everyone on this blog, you are a source of inspiration. I also apologise for bringing the subject of drugs here.

    On a positive note, I no longer feel effects of depersonalisation, probably because I 100% realise, everything is the same, it is just me thinking about it too much. My appetite is back which had once gone, but I still get a churning stomach sometimes.

    Finally, Paul, your book is a great help, and as soon as i saw your website, saying you had dabbled in soft drugs, but had overcome the feelings you had, i immediately bought the book, and recognised myself in it. However can you elaborate on the experiences you had from them? I realise this is a very personal question, and might be rude of me to ask, so if you dont want to answer, that is fine, you have been such a help already.


  19. Paul McGowan Says:

    Hi Everyone , well this blog certainly has sent everybody into overdrive , its taken a while to read through it all , but it is very interesting , not to mention exhausting , taking in all the information , I fortunately havent really suffered much in the way of thoughts regarding harming others or myself , maybe just the odd thought about dying , or suicide , nothing too extreme , but i class the intensity of my anxiety up there with the worst , these obsessive thoughts can have many varients and not just of the scary type , but they do have the same end product and that is the seemingly endless cycle , that we know is anxiety !!
    It wasnt that long ago that i thought , it was only me that really suffered from this affliction , but to learn that other people do suffer , and in some cases on a larger scale , of worrying symptoms , is indeed a great help to myself and so many other sufferers , without this site , for me , that pain of suffering in silence would still be a reality , this site is a lifeline for me and has helped with my understanding of this illness through the experiences of others and the advice Paul continually supplies . I thank Paul for his dedication in helping others !

  20. JR Says:

    Paul…Your book and site is great. Thanks so much for putting them together. I wanted to share a few things. Claire…I know where your coming from about the negative relationship thoughts and how bad they are. They seem to come from no where. Before I knew that they were a part of anxiety I kind of thought that that was the way I thought or what I really wanted. Now I know that I determine what I want and not my mind or thoughts. I’m just beginning to understand this and it seems hard to keep this understanding, without falling back into my old thinking. I have a really negative thought about my relationship and then I think why do I have that thought, my thoughts keep running around and I try to work out my thought and convince myself that I love my relationship and that the thought isn’t true…then my mind travels to another relationship or thoughts about how I won’t get through this or why am I even trying, etc…them I try to work those out…and the cycle just continues.

    I wondering if there is something I can do, because even when I start feeling better and noticing a little of my old self coming through I start to analyze it. I start thinking am I doing this right? Basically I feel that if I could just turn my mind off I would feel so much better. Sometimes I feel really good, not 100%, but just like I don’t care anymore. Most of the time I feel that my mind is always running and I’m just observing the conversation. When I really get into something, this dies down…I feel like I have gotten into a habit of just listening to my thoughts like a movie and when I need to do something that requires brainwork the thought turn off for awhile. I trying to just accept this with a whatever attitude, but how do you give your mind a rest when its always thinking all the time.

    I don’t know what thoughts are real and unreal…which ones are caused by anxiety and which ones are not.Sometimes I have thoughts that as soon as they pop into my head, my heart races and my dp get worse.

    I also have an extreme need to sleep more. What’s funny is that I’ll go from one symptom to another thinking about each one and then it lessons. But this sleep feeling has me baffled. Am I supposed to go to sleep or is it just tired nerves telling me I need to. I can sleep for a while, wake up and feel good for a little bit then all the anxiety starts and I feel an overwhelming need to sleep…just very tired…and yawning all the time.

    Good times..JR

  21. Paul McGowan Says:

    Just read your post JR , the sleep issue is something i can totally relate to , i would imagine, that this is a side effect that goes hand in hand with anxiety , after doing my post , i could have just nodded off , i also feel the overwhelming feeling to sleep at any given time of day , i suppose its all the running about we do inside our own heads , it is a very exhausting , tireing thing to be doing every minute of the day never mind , having to work and cope with the usual daily grind senarios !! your not alone mate , i can assure you !! maybe Paul could enlighten us a little more on his understanding of this ! Paul Mc

  22. Tarmo Says:

    I used to feel a lot like PaulMc and JR, still do sometimes but less frequently. I felt that I could sleep any time of the day or night and no matter how long the naps were, I’d still fall asleep quickly in the evening and sleep until the alarm clock went on. I had exactly the same thing that JR described: a nap often cleared my head a little but when I got up my mind started feeling very tired again. It must be just another symptom of a tired mind. Also, I think going to sleep has been my escape – it was the only time of the day when I didn’t analyse everything and my mind got some rest.

  23. No More Anxiety Says:

    Firstly Paul, thank you for your comments, its a pleasure to help and again it makes what I do all worth it, just to know that what you do helps others. Also I want to thank everyone who posts on here, we have some really intelligent people on here that really help others. I did not want to go down the road of people giving loads of conflicting advice, in fact I have only had to moderate two comments out of over 200, so a pat on the back to everyone who posts, helps and contributes.

    JR its getting late so I have not fully read your post, but did see the issue of sleep. Yes anxiety does make us feel very weary and sleepy. Our mind and body feels like it has to be dragged around. From reading some of your post it appears to me that you are doing a lot of self analyzing and deep thinking. This does tire the mind and believe it or not your thinking can be more exausting than physical activitys. When you go for a run or do any exercise then your limbs tire telling you they need rest, well the mind needs a rest also, this is why in all that I teach understanding, we need to understand so we don’t feel the need to work it all out or to worry about each symptom. Accept this is you for now and don’t spend everyday trying to do something about it, self analyze, worry, this is what tires you so much, also the physical anxiety you feel is very tireing on your muscles. When you have a cold you feel many symptoms but you understand why they are there and don’t spend all day tuning in or trying to rid yourself of each symptom or worry about them, trust me your mind would tire the same if you did, this is why understanding why you feel like you do is so important.

    The mind and body craves for a rest and we pound it even more, its the daily battle we need to give up, or at least begin to. I know that a lot of thinking and self analyzing can be now a habit, but like all habits they can be reversed. This is why with strange, odd thoughts, let them be, they will burn themselves out in time. When anxiety calms, everything calms with it, this is why I say don’t seperate each symptom and try and work on each one indivdually, you will waste so much energy trying. Just put them all under the umbrella of anxiety. I had many symptoms, some mentioned in my book, some not, but I just shrugged my shoulders to them all as much asd I could.

  24. JR Says:

    Paul…I think I’m understanding. It doesn’t matter how I feel and the key is GOOD or BAD just go with it. When I let go and don’t care if I feel really good one day or if I feel really bad this has the knock on effect of releasing the constant eye on myself. When my mind trys to pull me back to check how I’m feeling just shrug it off, b/c it doesn’t matter, and move on with your day. If I do TRY to feel better than it is actually causing me to care about how I am feeling, which causes the worry and obsessing habit to return. I think on on track with something here. : )

    One thing, I was really tired earlier in the day, but then I started doing a few things that I enjoyed and the fatigued feelings went away. If I am feeling tired during the day what should I do? Should I give in to the feelings and sleep or just float passed them and get on with my day? I didn’t want to start a habit of sleeping all the time.

  25. Tom Says:

    Hi everyone, just on the issue of sleep, does anyone find that the worse part of the day is when they wake up? As soon as I wake up, sort of in a dosy stage, I feel like my whole body is totally tense, and the negative/scary thoughts and racing head are terrible. Around 15-30 minutes it starts to die down a bit. I used to love lay ins, and would take any opportunity to sleep until 10-11am, but now as soon as I am up thats it. If I lay just looking at the ceiling everything just gets worse.

    After around 3 weeks of feeling much better, this weekend I had a bit of a mental crash, now I have the feeling if I ever improved at all. Thankfully, I know this is covered in Pauls book, and I just have to push through. It is so dissappointing, energy sucking and worrying though! Damn.

  26. Claire Says:

    JR I just wanted to say that your symptoms are almost exactly the same as mine. I find it difficult to work out an anxiety thought and a rational thought so to solve the problem I’m not thinking at all! I’ve been trying some relaxation techniques and it took a while to shut off my thoughts but I got there in the end and practice the technique whenever I can. It really helps and you can find them on the internet.

    I also have really bad anxiety when I wake up and thats when I experience my worst panics so I can relate to Tom’s comment completely. As its a pattern that I experience I usually expect it so when I wake up its easier to distinguish that it is anxiety and not me. And I think thats helped a lot.

    Its so great to have a network like this that people can be so honest about how they feel. The support from Paul and everyone on this site helps me more than any counsellor has. Thanks again!!

  27. No More Anxiety Says:

    J.R….What a brillliant way of putting it and yes exactly what happens.

    If I do TRY to feel better than it is actually causing me to care about how I am feeling, which causes the worry and obsessing habit to return. I think on on track with something here. : )

    The tired thing, if you feel tired then rest if you must, but a lot of it is mental tiredness. When you do stop caring as above then a lot of the fatique will dissapear, you are just using so much mental energy by caring so much. Also exercise is a great way to make you feel less drowsy and more awake.


  28. Shirley Dalley Says:

    Yes, my worst time is in the morning. My first waking hour was 4.44am, did move past that at the weekend to 5.55am. As I have no job and no need to get up you would think I would be relaxed – but no. I have no problem getting to sleep but on waking I experience a rushing sensation – like a reverse bungy effect. I have tried early nights, later nights and the time was always been the same. If i have to use the bathroom I usually go in really tired and sleepy and then as soon as my head touches the pillow, my mind light bulb gets switched on.!!! I try to handle it by telling myself that tonight is another night. Never in my life have I had problems sleeping. The Counsellor says that we all need less sleep as we get older, I don’t, I want as much as I can get – was once a real dormouse. I know that once I get some order of semblence back in my life all other things will fall into place, I have been told i’m being too impatient and will only make myself ill again if I try to rush things.
    I find that as soon as I put the curtains back and see life going on outside it takes my mind away to normality, I also have a radio on quietly in the background in the bedroom (music only) or a relaxation CD when I go off to sleep and keep it going for as long as possible and then if it gets too unbearable in the morning – the same. I also try breathing exercises, breathing with your tummy rather than your chest, try concentrating on that. Sometimes I try spelling (silently) the most complicated word I can bring to mind, usually by the fifth letter i’m dozing off and then damn – a very noisy car goes by and brings me back to reality. I know I must get up, have breakfast and try to get a routine – each day I fail. Breakfast is lunch and by 1pm i’m somewhere near normality.
    Paul’s book has arrived this morning – so i’m now off to bed to read it.

  29. JoeyLowtown Says:

    AK- I ended up at my worst through drugs. Not marijuana but speed. I only took it once and ended up in hospital, this was in June 07. I have been through sheer hell mate thinking everyday that I’d damaged my brain like you’ve been thinking. I read all sorts of drug awareness sites on the net that scare the living daylights out of you. I guess we learned the hard way that drugs really are for mugs! I would categorically never ever touch a drug again! So look on the bright side, we learned our lesson!

    Stay off the weed, its seriously bad stuff, so many messed up people off that. Unfortunately only really heroin seems to be perceived as bad these days. Paul if you could share a little of your drug experiences, personal as they are, then I think it would help a lot of readers of this site. Clearly drugs are the cause of a lot of anxiety. On a brighter note Ive felt good the last two days, and feel Ive been accepting my thoughts and gettin on with my day well.

  30. AK Says:

    Glad you’re feeling good Joey, I think i’m just looking for reassurance that I do have anxiety from drugs, and that this can be reversed.

    Many symptoms have been banished, for example the week after the incident, as I didn’t know what was wrong, i was very nervous, total loss of appetite, felt depersonalised etc after getting Paul’s book, after around a week of these intense nerves, it was a big relief. I had been on random forums for dp and marijuana addicts (thinking i had withdrawals, even though i was not a chronic smoker) but here was someone who had been through what i was feeling for 10 years and come through it within months after finding out the key to recovery AND drugs were apparently his trigger, a ray of hope shone through.

    However a week later, back at uni, i had to make food for myself and did so, even getting to a point where I wasn’t even thinking about any of this, it did not bother me. It’s such a strange feeling as it’s really hard to remember feeling good, even though it was a mere couple of weeks ago when i started to feel abit anxious again. I was openly talking about it with people and how I now felt fine again. It was only two weeks since it had happened. I had not looked at pauls book for what seemed an eternity. I’m back to reading bits of it everyday again now.

    I also look back to a few weeks ago where i thought i was over it and think to myself, was i over it or was i still thinking about it then too? to the point where im not sure whether i was or not, like i said, very strange.

    I can totally relate to Joey’s point you made about wondering will you ever feel like your ‘old self.’ This is what we all want so desperately, Paul states in his book he is now the person he was all those years ago, and a much better person too. This is what we must keep in our minds, that Paul has done it, and he suffered for 10 years, AND he had to work it out by himself. We now have his wise words and each other to get through this tough time.

    I am also finding i don’t really get nervous going anywhere, I am just having constant introverted thoughts, thoughts of harming people are not really there, maybe in the first week or so i had stranger, scarier thoughts. Now they are just racing thoughts of, when will i stop thinking about everything so much, will these leave, will i be my old self, etc. All the things that Paul states we might think. The thoughts are not a voice telling me this, rather just images of places I am used to, friends i havent seen since this started, and it will all seem different when i do see them, or go back home. Just a tired mind going over things it has no need to go over.

    A final note, (this has been a stupidly long post again!) Paul suffered for all that time, yet he continues to immerse himself in an environment of people with anxiety issues, i must admit reading some of these posts is great and encouraging, but sometimes it just reminds me of how i feel. If paul suffered for that long, and can come on here and discuss all of this with us, when at one point the word ‘anxiety’ used to send him into a panic, then i honestly know if we stick to the methods, we can all get better.

    Do you have any comments on feeling the like the person you used to paul, maybe you have some success stories of people who have helped to cure themselves? sort of like a morale boost i suppose!

    thanks for listening


  31. Tom Says:

    Hi AK, just to let you know I am in the same boat as you, although maybe a little further down the river. I had a bad experience on some legal highs in October 07 (sorry to bring drugs to the forum everyone, the guilt of this being self-inflicted is obviously a killer, but as with most I am not a addict or junkie, never have been). I also had a period of around 1 and half weeks after the initial experience of feeling fine, and then another stressful day at work brought it all back. I think it was the relief of getting over the initial experience that help me in those first weeks, only to have a bad day and then fall back into the anxiety cycle.

    I felt for months that I had damaged my brain through these drugs, and again looking on the internet for other people who had experienced stuff brought back horror stories which place more negative ideas into my head. I took me a while to be reassured from professional sources that although in some sense it is the drugs what caused anxiety, it is moreover the experience you had on the drugs that can cause anxiety, almost like a trauma no different to a car crash, bereavement. Naturally you think, oh god I have put foreign chemicals into my brain and have f**ck*d it, but this is exactly what causes the anxiety and what you are actually worry about, if you understand. The drugs are no longer in any concentration to effect you now, and many people can do the same drugs and because of a non-traumatic experience they will be fine.

    Obviously, I agree I have learn’t the hard way that drugs are certainly worth avoiding. Sorry about the drugs thing again.

  32. No More Anxiety Says:

    Instead of answering all the above, I will create my next post on the subject of what Joey has asked me, it will answer a lot of questions asked above. Paul if you could share a little of your drug experiences, personal as they are, then I think it would help a lot of readers of this site. There is no need to apologise about the subject, we all make mistakes, I made one and I regret it, but we learn through every bad experience. Most people from 16-26 will dabble in recreational drugs, is a sorry fact of life.

    The message below I will cover also after the post above in the next few days.

    A final note, (this has been a stupidly long post again!) Paul suffered for all that time, yet he continues to immerse himself in an environment of people with anxiety issues, i must admit reading some of these posts is great and encouraging, but sometimes it just reminds me of how i feel. If paul suffered for that long, and can come on here and discuss all of this with us, when at one point the word ‘anxiety’ used to send him into a panic, then i honestly know if we stick to the methods, we can all get better.


  33. AK Says:

    Hey Tom

    Thanks for the input, it is comforting to know I am not alone, i think i realise that the anxiety was brought on by the bad experience, like anyone can have a bad experience and get anxious, and that through lack on understanding i developed more anxiety.

    I suppose like you say, the ‘killer’ in this situation, and one that fuels the anxiety is that we took something that we feel brought on our anxiety, maybe it was laying dormant, waiting for something to bring it out though. The two people who were with me that night are completely fine, and that is a testament to the fact that it is very much the experience we have at the time, and not the drug. I had never before taken the drug i mention and wished the feeling would go away, but this time i did. I hadn’t thought about that until now, and it is somewhat of a comfort.

    When you say a little further down the river tom, do you mean on the road to recovery, or that you have just had anxiety for longer?

  34. Tom Says:

    AK – Yeah sorry, by the river I mean the process by which we start understand what is actually wrong with us, so we can start to get better. I think you understand alot more than I did after just a month and a bit. I went through denial (trying to deny to myself nothing was wrong), the whole ‘pull yourself together stage’, mild panic attacks, and then the ‘whats wrong with me stage’ before I finally recognised all my strange feelings in anxiety and dp. Took me 3 months of worry until I found this site (and I know that is really short compared to some).

    So, yeah I do feel like I am starting to take control of my life again, enjoy stuff, concentrate etc. Like you, I remember the date it all started, and really lived by a ‘before and after’ sort of mind frame, but try not to think like this, and it does sort of merge back into a normal life path when you start to rationalise. I certainly feel that the drugs either speeded up or brought about a dormant nervous breakdown sort of thing, but I guess we’ll never know! I have always been an over thinker, had a fair bit of OCD (nothing stupid) and was over sensitive and I think these are the traits that line you up for a good dose of anxiety. To further comfort you about the drugs thing, you’ve probably recognised that the general syptoms of anxiety are quite the same for everyone involved, although your own personal fears remain unique.

    Recovery to me is not waking up and realising, “wow i’m fixed”, its looking back and thinking, “oh yeah, that thing”.

    ALL – Has anyone tried evening primrose oil, yeah I am a bloke and now its for PMT but It was recommended to me for its calming effects, I ran out on Friday, had a bad weekend and took one this morning and feel a lot more balanced. (Placebo effect lol!).


  35. AK Says:

    Thank you Tom

    Your words have been very comforting indeed, like you, I have always been an over thinker, sensitive, and when i think back, had mild OCD tendencies like if i touched one thing with my right hand, sometimes id have to touch it with my left hand! Of course, silly things like those leave you, but help understand that anxiety may have always been on the cards.

    But thank you for your post, indeed everyones anxiety symptoms here are similar, you are right that in finding this information early we are lucky, but i think everyone who stumbles across this method is lucky.

    I couldn’t agree more, the waking up and feeling fixed thing is exactly what you don’t want, because you’re thinking about it, it is waking up, going through the day and then somehow being reminded you once had a certain symptom of anxiety, think, how strange, well at least if it ever comes again the cure is within me! that way we no longer fear, i feel I really am getting a grip on this now, it does take time, and i am having up and down days, but recovery is worth it, and i look forward to becoming a stronger person that i was before this came along.

    again, thanks tom, it helps to know you are not alone, especially since are situations are somewhat similar, keep me update on your progress!

  36. Anthony Says:

    Paul, I finally got the book in the mail. It’s so great to read something by someone who has experienced anxiety.

    I’m understanding now that time truly does heal all wounds, even in the case of anxiety. I just have to do my part to help with the healing process.

    Since my anxiety returned last month, I’ve gone through quite a few symptoms, and I’m understanding that it’s simply caused by excess adrenaline. Maybe I’ve been stressed for awhile, and once I got weak from the flu, my body and mind decided it had enough.

    I’ve been on anxiety medication for over five years, and even though most of those years I haven’t had anxiety problems, I never understood why and how the anxiety ever occurred. I’m not knocking medication, but like you said, without knowledge, it simply becomes a crutch. That’s why I was so frustrated at first. I kept asking myself why my meds stopped working.

    In the past few weeks, other than a few setbacks, I’ve been a lot better. Eating, concentrating, having a clearer mind…it just takes time. I just hate it when I’m not even conscious of my anxiety that I might feel nervous or get startled by a loud noise, like a door slamming. I’m sure in time those things will go away.

    I guess what I need to learn now is how to deal with stress. Maybe I’ve kept things bottled up for so long, I don’t know. I’m starting to exercise more, and I’m going to start taking yoga classes. I’m just at a point in my life where I have a wedding coming up next year, I’m finishing school, worried about money, etc. And I’ve been through so much in my young life emotionally…losing both of my parents and brother, moving to a whole different state to live with my current fiance I met on the Internet years ago, etc.

    Paul, I cannot thank you enough for the book, the website, the blog…everything. It’s so much more beneficial to get advice from someone who has experienced something rather than studying it. I never had this understanding with previous bouts of anxiety.

  37. No More Anxiety Says:

    Really glad it helped Anthony, my total pleasure to help. Also a very good point above by Tom. Recovery to me is not waking up and realising, “wow i’m fixed”, its looking back and thinking, “oh yeah, that thing”.

    The main point is I think people still aim for this, waking up with no symptoms, don’t fall into this trap, like Tom says it sort of merges in time, my good days started outweighing the bad days, never aim to banish all symptoms, just go with the flow and put no pressure on yourself to feel a certain way.

  38. Tarmo Says:

    Yeah, I did that for a long time, getting dissapointed every morning because “it” (depersonalisation) was still there. I guess I lived for a long time thinking that the day it goes away I’ll start living again. But Paul’s advice made me realise that it doesn’t go away if you stop living. You need to live DESPITE it, that’s the only way of taking anxiety’s control of you away. But I have to say that it took me a long time until I really started believing (during the worse moments as well) that this is something that really works. It was so easy to slip back to the old tracks and lose the faith in the progress.

    I’d like to say to everyone that even when you are on the right track it may take time until you’re 100% back to yourself. This is what Paul says all the time but I only understood it after hearing it the 1000th time. If someone says it took him/her a few months to get better, don’t set that your own time limit. I personally try not to care if takes a year or more, at least I’ve found the right way. After living in a shell for two years every small step means something.

  39. Manuella Says:

    Hi Paul and everyone!

    First of all, please do not laugh if I write something wrong, I’m not a native speaker :)… I’m brazilian.

    I’m going through a lot and yesterday found your website. Today, I spent the day trying to remember everything that you wrote down and fighting my disturbing thoughts.
    When you mentioned that people go brownsing everything to find a cure, I felt like a punch in my stomach. I spend most of my time in the Internet trying to read something like: ANXIETY CURE FOUND! FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL!

    I don’t have the time to write down my story, but I’m sure you understand and it goes without saying it.

    Now, my question: I live in Portugal and have a debit card, and I reeeealy want to buy your e-book but couldn’t do it…it doesnt work. I don’t have a credit card but can’t wait to read the whole book. Is that another way of purchasing?

    Hope to hear from you sooooon!


  40. Manuella Says:

    Sorry! Me again!

    I’m reading every single post and wonder (oh, anxiety) if other people feel dizzy and like they’re going to faint.
    I’m starting to exercice and some days I just feel scared of falling.
    Also, I have insomnia :( and most of the time my body is quite tired…but I know the exercice will help me.


  41. Anthony Says:

    Okay, so today I went to see a psychiatric nurse. I made the appointment weeks ago when I was feeling really bad.

    I told her everything, about my history with traumatic events and medications I’ve been on, and she listened very attentively. She asked me a bunch of questions, just to see what “category” I feel into (post-traumatic stress, GAD, agoraphobia, etc). She told me that I would most likely have anxiety for the rest of my life, and wanted to increase my meds.

    As soon as she told me about having anxiety forever, I immediately thought about Paul. I didn’t want to mention the website or book, afraid that she might feel insulted or something. That comment really upset me inside.

    Paul, I’ve learned more about anxiety from your site and book than any doctor I have ever seen. Medication has worked for me in the past, but it was my crutch. I had no understanding about my symptoms. Now I am going to go with her advice about increasing my meds, but now I have such a better understanding of this unfortunate disorder.

    I have gotten better every week, and the good days absolutely outweigh the bad, and a lot of that has to do with this website.

  42. Rick Says:

    Hi Anthony
    Just a quick note.
    I would definatly say that the nurse is wrong, i have been there . i can remember going into the doctors so wound up and in such a state that i found it hard to talk. All the doc said is im putting you on Vallium. At which point i refused. OK i was saying things that maybe sounded strange to others. But it was just the anxiety. I had been taking somthing called citelapram which if im honest did not make one bit of difference. An as soon as i have come off it i feel doors have opened that are the right way to full recovery. If im really stressed i go for a massage. This week it has been in the media that some meds have been proven not to help in any way shape or form. i think that if the docs had given me a PLACEBO i probably would have felt better/ or no difference.
    I no its a hard slog, but trust me i found going for a jog or going doing something physical is far more benificial than anything.
    Just for reference im not a doctor and am just putting my point of view across. Not sure what pauls opinion is on the rescue remady would be good to know.??

  43. No More Anxiety Says:

    Rick, no offence but can you try not to use text talk in your reply’s as I have to go through and edit them, search engines frown upon it and its hard to read at times..Cheers…Paul

    What the nurse said to you is because in many cases they have no way of knowing how to treat anxiety, mainly because patients come back and say what they were taught in a medical manual did not work, so they take the easy option and say stupid things like this as they scratch their own heads on what how to treat it. I am not alone, over the years I have met more people than I can remember who have recovered, so take no notice. There was something in the media about certain medications including seroxat that I was prescribed and they were found to be of little use. I found medication of no help to me and always wanted a natural route, more so because I always believed the answers were never going to come in the form of a tablet, I wanted to understand WHY I felt like I did, I felt that was the way to move forward. I looked after myself and it made a difference, exercise is a great way of burning off excess adrenalin and the fresh air can really blow the cobwebs away.

  44. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Anthony, after waiting 6mths to see a counsellor on the NHS, I finally got an appointment a couple of weeks back. In this time I’d discovered pauls book etc and had a good understanding of my condition. The counsellor was lovely. However I asked her if she’d ever suffered and what propelled her to her chosen career path. She answered that she hadnt suffered and it was a natural progression from her psychology degree. At this point I realised I knew far more on the subject than she did. We had a chat which was helpful to a degree, but i was scared to venture into a lot of my symptoms because of her lack of knowledge.

    I said I’d been doing a lot of self-help and told her of Pauls stuff and I commented that she should look at it. She claimed that as Paul is not a health professional that she cannot recommend him.

    My mum is a psychiatric nurse and thinks Paul’s work is amazing and has even recommended it at her clinics. Her clinics are for alcoholics, but obviously many of them suffer anxiety!

    I agree with Paul that how can anyone who doesnt even understand the disorder, claim that you cannot recover from it?

  45. Manuella Says:

    No answer for me…:(

    After reading again what I wrote, let me just say: I’m doing the effort to STOP fighting the thoughts.

    Have a blessed evening.
    I’m very glad to have found your website (and still want to buy your book, please heeelp!)

  46. Debbie Says:

    hi everybody!!
    Hope you are all doin ok. These obsessive thoughts are a nightmare!!!! mine are about my health, i know in your book paul you talk about people hearing about illnesses and then thinkin they have them, and thats kinda whats happened to me!!! JR, The tiredness thing, i went through it too, and af course worried about it. but its just a tired mind. I just slept when i needed too, but if i could drag myself of the couch and go for a walk, the tiredness had left when i got home again… Now my blurry vision, is making me worry that i’ve got some horrible illness thats creeped up on me during my breakdown…. and i’m doin so well otherwise!! Help! its so annoying!!
    Oh, and being a nurse (not a psychatric one but a adult nurse none the less) i can put my hand on my heart and say that anxiety is something that is not understood at all!! By Drs and Nurses alike.
    We will all get there, i am so much better, and its all down to this website and the book you recommended by claire weekes. so i am sure that if we all listen to you then the light at the end of the tunnel will get closer and closer until we emerge from the darkness..
    lots of love to everybody

  47. No More Anxiety Says:

    Hi Debbie, nice to have another post from you : )

    The doctors lack of understanding I don’t really knock as they have a whole host of things to cover and trust me anxiety really is a subject in itself and the raw facts are that everyone I respect on the subject went through it themselves. So although I found very little help in the medical world I can’t really blame the medical world too much. What I would really wish for is for them to be able to send you to someone who does understand. I think there is nothing worse than someone first going for help and receiving no answers, I know this made me feel more bewildered and worried than ever. I still say to this day that nobody knows the true extent of the problem, which is not helped as a lot of people like I did, tend to suffer mainly in silence.

    The blurry vision, don’t give that two hoots of attention. I had that really bad, it is a mixture of a tired mind and also with anxiety it affects the muscles in our eyes, very, very common and trust me it does pass, again pay it no mind.

    Regards Paul

  48. No More Anxiety Says:

    Manuella, If you live in Brazil and are having problems purchasing the ebook, then just contact me and I will send you a copy out for free. I would rather you receive it than not because of problems purchasing.

    Regards Paul

  49. Amy Says:

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to make an important (I think) point about medication. I’m taking a low dose of citalopram at the moment (20mg per day), and I actually do think it has helped, from the point of view that it has helped me to separate myself from the anxiety (if that makes sense?). It certainly isn’t a ‘cure’, but it put me a better place to deal with the crap that I was experiencing.

    Initially I was really terrified of taking anti-depressants, but I was so ill, the decision was kind of taken out of my hands. I didn’t necessarily think that I was ‘getting better’, but my parents certainly noticed a difference, and – on reflection – I can see it too. Placebo or not, at the time I needed something. Taking a pill does give hope – which can be just as beneficial if you can allow yourself to have faith in its efficacy. If your GP has recommended that you take medication, it might be worth a try – that’s all I’m saying. And if you have already been prescribed anti-depressants, please don’t stop taking them without medical advice/support. By all means, be informed, but don’t do what I did and spend days googling SSRIs and end up being convinced that – despite not having any symptoms – I would get every devastating side-effect going – which are, in fact, very rare (in the end my Mum made me surrender the information leaflet in each new packet of pills to her!). SSRIs are not the same as old style anti-depressants. I’ve tried amitryptaline (sp?) in the past, and that really was nasty stuff. The newer medications are gentler, don’t cause as much weight gain and aren’t accompanied by that horrible sense of observing life from inside a bubble – at least, in my experience. But you do need to give them time – at least three weeks – and be prepared to feel pretty rubbish until then (I had flu-like symptoms). Helps if you have someone to cook your dinner and bring you cups of tea. 😉

    However, having said all that, I have resisted all attempts by my GPs to increase my dose during times when the anxiety has increased (it subsides within couple of weeks and is usually preceded by a period of stress or change – I’m realising that the key to preventing ‘flare-ups’ is to identify potential stressors and take proactive action to help ease myself through rough patches). And I am dismayed that this seems to be the general approach of the medical profession, when – as Paul (and increasingly the rest of us) has demonstrated what’s really needed is decent advice and, crucially, reassurance. Perhaps we should gang together and start a pressure group! Lol. 😉 I have had lots of negative experiences with conventional medicine over the years (not necessarily related to my anxiety problems) – and it has really brought home to me that i) doctors are fallible; and ii) they rarely admit it if they don’t have a diagnosis! So, it’s perfectly okay and reasonable to demand appropriate care from your GP and if you’re not getting it, ask to see someone else. Most large surgeries/health centres have a number of GPs who specialise in different areas – you might have access to a mental health specialist (who may, or may not, be more understanding) without realising it!

    A long post -sorry. Just wanted to reassure those on medication that the story is not all doom and gloom and anti-depressants can, sometimes, be quite beneficial. Though I reiterate – they are no cure, just another tool at one’s disposal.

  50. Amy Says:

    Oh, and I meant to say that yes, I too have experienced my worst anxiety first thing in the mornings. There is, I believe, a scientific reason for that (which escapes me)! But, at the same time, I’ve always felt better as the day goes on, so now I just say to myself ‘I’ll feel less anxious later’, and that helps get me through. On a related point, I did suffer from TERRIBLE insomnia. But, since I’ve been on citalopram (sorry – more medication propaganda from me! ;)) I have slept SO well – often eight-nine hours of largely unbroken sleep per night. Bliss! Bedtime always used to be a battlefield for me. I hated it – would I get to sleep, would I stay asleep? etc – but now I love it and turn it into a ritual: Have a cup of cocoa, read a few chapters of a good book, allow myself to have a little day (night?!) dream before settling down. And failing that lavender oil on my pillow really helps to calm and relax.

  51. Tom Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Just on the topic of medication, I also read something in the British press about anti-depressants being useless. I suffer from anxiety and don’t take any medication, so I have no opinion but I certainly agree with Amy if you feel they help then great, it was just the way it was portrayed in the media made me angry. I think mental health (anxiety, depression) is one of the most sensitve subjects going, and with so many people taking meds is it so great to scream and shout that maybe they don’t work??? Even if taking a placebo helps the mind, a headline like that can devastate a person who feels that meds are making them feel better. Efforts should be made to keep this within the health service and government.

    We get these university departments (i think it was Hull) revealing there results alot, and as ive been to uni I sort of know how it works, if a uni has a large project such as this they receive funding, if no noticable results are found, a project is unlikely to receive further funding, which means the department suffers (equipment, jobs, cash etc). Get an attention grapping headline, quids in. So basically, don’t believe everything you hear on the TV, take it with a pinch of salt. Rant over.

    Herbal tea is the way forward, after giving up coffee, there is so much variety!


  52. No More Anxiety Says:

    Amy, Medication is always a personal choice and you had the right ideas to move on from certain meds that made you feel worse. I always say there is a place for meds, IF they help ease things to promote other action. I chose not to go down the medication route after countless tablets made me feel worse, that was my choice and I got home naturally, but I am not anti meds for the right person.


  53. Anthony Says:

    Medication worked for me for a very long time, at least in my eyes (almost five years), but after a recent bout of the flu, my anxiety returned. I was so down on myself, until I got this this site. I have mostly good days, some bad, a few in between, but for once I totally understand what is going on in my body. I just had my meds increased, so we’ll see if that has an effect. The only side effects I ever had were nighttime sweats and a little weight gain (which I probably needed, as I’m still skinny as a twig).

  54. Manuella Says:

    Hey Paul!

    Oh God, how can someone be so nice? Really…it’s amazing.
    I’m brazilian, living in Portugal at the moment. I appreciate the gesture and trust me, would love to buy your e-book because I think it’s fair enough…you are such an inspiration and have the patience to write your posts and answer us nearly everyday…
    When I first read this blog I wondered: why does he moderate the comments? Is he scared of bad reviews?

    I know, shame on me…obsessive thoughts are a torment! lol

    Maybe I could work a bank transfer? Don’t know if it’s possible but if not, my e-mail is the one I use here at your forum.

    Thank you ever so much :)


  55. Anthony Says:

    I guess what I’m thinking is, if medication helps relieve my anxiety, what steps do I take to make sure anxiety doesn’t return? In the past, medication has worked wonders for me. Talk therapy? I’m just really confused when people say that meds are a crutch.

  56. JR Says:

    Does anyone feel like their thoughts or the constant mind chattering feels like you? Like I just listening to my mind make choices or decisions for me. Then it’s like you can switch it off when talking to someone and what comes out of your mouth is different than what you are thinking. Sometimes I start talking and things I taught I didn’t remember or did know start flowing out. Then I think…where did all of that come from? Sometimes I think I want to stay this way all anxious with the constant mind chatter b/c it’s me and I won’t be able to perform my job or be “me” anymore.

    Thanks for listening. I have had moments of clarity where everything feels right…maybe just for a few minutes…and it’s awesome. But then my mind starts running trying to feel like this all the time.

  57. Tarmo Says:

    JR: I can relate to what you’re saying. But I feel more like “me” when I talk to someone because then my mind is often clearer than when I’m alone with my thoughts.

    However, there was a time when I was so confused that it was very difficult to follow a conversation – because I was just observing myself all the time. So I guess it’s a huge improvement that I feel more present when I’m with other people.

    People seem to analyse a lot here. It’s uselful to some extent if it gives some peace of mind but I advice everyone (including myself) not to make it a 24/7 project because by keeping it all in the forefront it’s impossible to let it go and give our minds the rest it needs.

  58. No More Anxiety Says:

    Manuella, No need for any payment, I will send it to you today to the address provided….you ask also

    When I first read this blog I wondered: why does he moderate the comments? Is he scared of bad reviews?

    I know, shame on me…obsessive thoughts are a torment! lol

    lol…No I am not scared of bad reviews, people can say what they want. The reason I moderate it is because I have to agree to a certain extent with what people write on here, I don’t want it full of mixed messages and beliefs that are way off what I believe in, otherwise this blog would be a waste of time, but this has rarely happened.

    Also I can’t have someone coming on recommending £300 dvd miracle cure sets, firstly because I don’t agree with them and secondly because they are probably an affiliate to them. You would also not believe the amount of people making some silly comment and then plugging their own website selling their own miracle cures.

    You can’t have a free for all on any forum or blog, you would be spammed to death within a week and it would drive all the decent people away.

    Anyway I hope the book helps you.


  59. Manuella Says:

    Paul, I can’t thank you enough!

    And I believe you: it must be hell sometimes…deal with all the people ready to take advantage of someone vulnerable.

    For example: sometimes I feel like posting loads of questions and asking for advice but now, after getting to know you and your blog, I can see why I feel the urge to have the answers: anxiety and the need to have someone saying that everything will be fine, or: yes, Manuella, I have the same symptoms, you’re not alone.

    Anyway, THANK YOU AGAIN!

    Hope all the good things you’re doing bring loads of happiness to you and the people you love.

  60. No More Anxiety Says:

    No problem Manuella, If I have learnt something it is to keep a certain distance, otherwise trust me I would be spending 24 hours a day answering questions. The site has grown into somewhat of a monstor that has surprised even me and with that comes a lot of people who want your time, but I do have a life of my own and I can only help so much. This is why I come to answer or expand on posts that I feel I need to. It is not an ignorant thing if I don’t reply to personal emails or every post on here, it is I just don’t have the time. This is why it is better for me to comment when I really feel I need to. Saying that there is a lot of good advice from others on here, people that share their own experiences and little milestones.


  61. Lee Says:

    hi everyone, got a few things to share and a few experiences that i would like to share. first of all my anxiety like a few others was triggered off by drugs 3 years ago. i tried speed once and the next day had a full blown panic attack and ended up in hospital. that was the beginning. i suffered on and off ever since. my latest stint started in january after a time worrying about my health and spiralled from there. i have been through d.p and came out the other end and i came through the despair and depression and one of the main reasons was pauls book. i had been to see doctors who prescribed citlaproman 20mg which to be honest did help me along. but before i read pauls book i had never accepted the anxiety i just worried about it. the only thing i have been left with now is the strange and weird thoughts. like many others ive had the feeling of “what if” i hurt someone like my girlfiend but have realised this is just a fear of losing control and anxiety playing its nasty tricks. i too have always been an over thinker and i think what is keeping my anxiety going is my constant analyzation of everything. even to the point where you ponder life? why your here? how strange life is! could anyone relate to this? i find when im working or at the gym or doing something i enjoy all these thoughts are still there but dont trouble me. i know these thoughts will go eventually because they have before and its frustrating and scary at times because you feel so isolated but i will get through it. time as they say is a great healer. really would just like to know what other types of thoughts people have while going through anxiety. i.e the what ifs? and the whys? and if people like me something on tv and spend all day obsessing about it? the thoughts are really the last thing to go but think im in a habit cycle. thanks for reading and listening to my ramblings

    any advice is greatly recieved


  62. Anthony Says:

    These thoughts suck. lol That’s how we should look at it!

    I was having them yesterday with the family over. Even while we were playing a board game, I was having them. I know it’s the anxiety playing tricks. I know this because I had the same thoughts five years ago when I had anxiety. I ended up having a little chat with my fiance’s dad, and after that I felt like a million bucks for the rest of the night.

    This morning…again…woke up nervous. Started having the thoughts. Even went out to do things, paying bills, getting gas in the car, and they are there.

    I always feel comforted when I talk about these thoughts with someone, or come to this blog. My biggest fear, and this might not even be an anxiety-driven thought, is that I’m going to battle anxiety on and off for the rest of my life, especially after the psychiatric nurse said I would.

  63. John Says:

    Howdy everyone, I am so happy to find this site. I have felt so alone for the past couple years. These scary thoughts have taken over my mind. The guilt that comes after the thought is overwhelming. If I hear about a shooting or a man harming himself and his hole family I immediately put myself in his shoes and make myself the bad guy or imagine myself doing those things to the people I love. Then I ask why am I doing this? If my family or friends knew the thoughts I was having I would be locked away.

    I am glad to know that there is a way out of that hell hole. If I don’t give the thoughts power they can’t affect me as much. It comes and goes. It was really bad when I was under a lot of pressure to perform at work.

    I would love to order Paul’s book. How can I get one? I need all the help I can get.

    Thank you so much to everyone on that shared. I was just giggling with joy relating to all of the stuff I read. I AM NOT ALONE!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!


  64. John Says:

    Howdy and thank you to everyone that has shared on this blog. I have been suffering from scary thoughts for a couple years now. I am so glad to hear that I am not alone.

    I can come up with some really creative and scary thoughts. I am an artist and very creative and when I get going I can just spiral down into a hell that seems inescapable. The guilt is horrible and I wonder if I will ever be able to have a normal life again.

    I know that I can come out of it and be fine. It is so comforting to me to read Paul’s story and know that it is just the anxiety playing tricks on me.
    I have heard someone use these bad spells as practice sessions. A chance to practice what we have learned about how to deal with the scary thoughts. That helps me sometimes.

    I am so glad to know I am not alone. I like what Ben had to say about film makers and some of the movies that are made. Maybe that is they’re way of working through their scary thoughts. I sculpt to try to distract myself from thinking to much. If I am busy and thinking about what I am doing instead of getting lost in my mind. Thanks again to everyone for talking and listening.


  65. No More Anxiety Says:

    Welcome John and I am glad you have found comfort in the posts on here and thanks for sharing your story. On how to order my book, I don’t want to self promote, so I will email you direct to tell you all the options on how to order it. I also had to edit the program you mentioned you have just purchased, I don’t want to promote any expensive programs on here for many reasons.

    Also I hope you don’t mind me showing others, but I took a look at your website and wow you have a real talent there, fantastic sculptures there, really impressed, well done!


  66. Lee Says:

    just a quick note hopefully this might help some people. i over the last 4 weeks have been seeing a teacher of the “alexander technique” which teaches you to connect with body and your movements and really helps to relax and eases my anxiety greatly because apparently there is a real connection between stress and pressure on your muscles and body and anxiety especially if you suffer from sore necks due to stress or anxiety and it really helps to relive pressure and helps you relax. its an aid towards meditation aswell, but i would definatley recomend as it really helps to build confidence and awareness of yourself and helped me greatly to come through d.p, hopefully this will help some one.


  67. Anthony Says:

    I just had my first yoga class tonight, and it did help to take my mind off of anxiety. Now I still had a few thoughts creep in my head, but it was hard to concentrate on that while having my leg behind my head. lol And the relaxation at the end of class was nice. I’m sure I’ll be a lil’ sore tomorrow when I wake up. lol

  68. John Says:

    I had a great day today. Now that I know I am not alone and that I can ride out these feelings and thoughts I have been having lately. I have read a couple chapters of Pauls book and look forward to reading the rest of it in the next week. I need to get some art projects done for some up coming deadlines.


  69. No More Anxiety Says:

    Do let us know how you get on with the book John, I am sure you will relate to a lot. It is not about stopping how you feel it is about just going with it, like a leaf that blows with the wind.


  70. Dan Says:

    hey guys, just linking back to this blog topic.

    My thoughts are not so much scary but they are concerned with my anxiety, for example my mind may be on some information that i have read from your book paul, or just generally about my anxiety.

    Im a bit lost, im not sure whether im ‘working things out’ or worrying, then if i am i should stop.

    I’m relating to bits of advice in your book paul where you mention ‘let all thoughts be there’ but also ‘don’t waste time trying to work things out’ and also ‘don’t tell yourself you should NOT think certain things.’

    I could let every thought about my anxiety go, is this the way forward?that when a thought concerning anything about my anxiety arises, that i should let it go and not dwell on it?

    The LAST thing i want to be doing, is doing things the wrong way!
    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

  71. Edward Says:

    Hi everyone – I’ve just found this site and it’s good to know that im not alone. Im 24 and have struggled to the point of breaking over the last three years just dealing with days only being told by my doctor that it was stress. Only in the last 2 weeks since finding this site I feel a little more informed. I find it hard to convince myself that it is anxiety as my thoughts seem so frightening and personal to me. I also convince myself of things due to my symptoms. My biggest fear is I have NO emotion; I can’t feel love, excitement or be interested in anything I used to be. My thoughts too affect intimacy with my girlfriend even though I love her dearly and this convinces me of all things. This lack interest in intimacy with my girlfriend scares me most! How to I know that this is anxiety and when will these horrible thoughts subside the book is good but does not address this, is it normal in the circumstances?

  72. John Says:

    I would like to comment about Edward’s comments. I can relate to the No Emotion and can’t feel love. The really notice it in the relationships that I am the closest to. I don’t feel love like I use to. But a lot of things are not like they use to be and I guess I just need to accept those feelings and not question them so much.

    I think what Paul is saying is stop trying to figure it out in your head. You know that you love your girlfriend you may not feel the way you expect to but that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. I think some of us are so scared to share these scary thoughts with the people we love because we are afraid of judgment or that they will have this reaction that will push them away from us even further.

    I gave in and told my little sister that I suffered from scary thoughts and it just so happened that she was doing the same thing and some of the same kinds of thoughts. It has really helped to talk to her about this.
    I still have the thoughts but know that I am not going crazy or that I am still the same person I was but I just think to much. I am going to try to stop fighting it and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    So hang in there Edward, you are not alone in this.

  73. Lee Says:

    quick reply for edward. dont worry edward i too felt exactly like you did and got scared that i wouldnt feel anything for anyone again even though i knew i loved my girlfriend deeply it was hard to be close and share intimacy. as soon as i told her how i felt she was absolutley brilliant and was my rock during the darkest days of my anxiety. we are now much stronger because of it. she may not have understood how i felt but she did not question it she was just there to listen to me and i felt so much better after i shared it with me she will be more understanding than you might think. also on the subject of doctors treating anxiety! i had been seeing my doctor for 3 years regards my anxiety and was only on my last visit 2 days ago when my doctor was off and i got a female nurse did she tell me they actually had an anxiety specialist who i could see at the clinic up untill that point i was given my tablets and sent on my way. i urge anyone who sees the doctor regarding their problem ask them about advice and help that is available and dont let them fob you off by giving you a prescription and sending you on your way


  74. Edward Says:

    Thanks both, I suppose that the hardest thing is trusting the advice that Paul and others give. Im now beggining to understand that this could be anxiety and the last few years were not just simply stress and me thinking I was changing in some way. I can honestly say that these out of character thoughts, feelings and emotions (or lack of) have been the most scary thing I have ever had to deal with.
    To be honest im still terrified and even on better days I still get the thoughts that leave me questioning myself all the time. I suppose im still new to accepting the whole thing. But for me my lack of interest in whatever I used to be interested in scares me massivley. Sorry to ramble but im still at the stage where I need to grasp as much knowledge and understanding as I can to try and understand at least some of this. I want my life back and I want me back!
    I too have an understanding girlfriend and family although unless you have suffered this you would never have a full understanding of how devistating this thing can be.
    For me it seems important to know why it started, Ive always been a deep thinker and grew up in a split family, but I new somthing was wrong after a 6 month spell in a very pressured job. This broke me and 3 years on here I am and only 24!

    Are these thoughts the last thing to go, and will they go now I am trying to accept them ?

  75. Lee Says:

    i think its hard to say because for a lot of people its different, but from personal experience yes the thoughts are last to go, i still have them from time to time just now but untill i started to accept anxiety i was just getting worse an worse it did take a couple of weeks for me to stop being anxious and even then thats when the thoughts took over and i experienced what i think is called existantial anxiety which is where you actually question life and not just yourself, but glad to say i accepted that and now its fading, still get them but hey it doesnt scare me half as much as it did, so just persevere because i think you will find your old self is just waiting to come back


  76. John Lopez Says:

    To comment of what Edward said. I know exactly what your talking about on the lack of interest in things I use to be interested in. The places and people that used to make me comfortable and happy don’t seem to have the same effects on me as they use to. I don’t know what that is all about but I know that fighting those feelings and wishing I felt like I did when I was 19 is not helping me. I guess I need to accept these feelings and just let what ever is coming, come and just deal with it. If we think about it to much and try to figure it all out it is just to much for our brain to handle thats what causes the scarey thoughts and anxiety and it just starts a vicious cycle.

  77. No More Anxiety Says:

    John just a quick reply to why you feel a lack of interest. Anxiety drains us of a lot, physically and emotionly and we feel tired and spent. Our body also tends to shut down our emotions to protect from all the worry. We also may be full of self-pity about the way we feel, moping about feeling sorry for ourselves, which again drains us emotionally, there are a few factors but again you have answered your own question, don’t look back or wish you were the person you were a few years ago, all emotions do come back. Trust me it all comes back bit by bit, like layers of a tissue. I am as happy and positive as I was before anxiety struck, perhaps more as it changed my whole outlook on life and what was important.


  78. John Lopez Says:

    Thanks for the hope. I am glad to know it will all come back.
    I don’t know how long I can go on like this just an empty shell not feeling anything. So you have given me some hope. thanks John

  79. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Lee our stories sound almost identical. At my worst I was searching all over the net for someone like you. Bad bad stuff speed isnt it! One night out where I didnt wanna feel tired ha and it nearly cost me my life. I struggle also with the existensial ‘Why are we here?’ thoughts, but you know what, we’ll never ever know and also it helps when I tell myself that everyone else in the world, celebrities the lot, are all in the same boat! I suffer the lack of emotion for my girlfriend as well. I know I desperately love her, she’s amazing……. but sometimes when she speaks to me and im irritable, I just can’t be bothered. I really working on cooling off at the moment. I feel so bad sometimes still but I cant think of any reason that I’d not want to be here, fear or no fear. Like I said to my mum, I could write a book of reasons on why I still enjoy life!

  80. Lee Says:

    snap joey, sometimes like you say if im irratable and she speaks i just cant be bothered and i get snappy and its not her fault but i know its the off shoot of anxiety and so does she, the existantial stuff seems at least for me to be dying down but it was quite scary becaue i almost felt like i wasnt really part of the world because i felt like this, i have got to say since i got pauls book and found this blog accepting al these things has become so much easier and i feel so much stronger if it ever creeps up on me again! i also love life and have always sort of know the thoughts of suicide really were not me but more the fear because i want to live and i want a full and happy life!

    cheers lee

  81. Mim Says:

    Dear Paul,

    Thanks a lot for creating this blog. I suffered from anxiety last year. I was getting worse day by day. My anxiety had reached such a point that i was having those “what if” thoughts and negative thoughts about my fiance. I was very scared for my mariage. I was having the fear of losing control there and i was really worried why i was having this thoughts and feelings. I was very depressed and crying a lot everyday. I even thought of committing suicide. But my fiance was always there for me.

    I even tried to break up my engagement in order to escape my mariage and to escape those thoughts about him. But my fiance never deserted me. Then some weeks before my mariage I came across your website. A lot of my symptoms reduced down after reading the information on your website.

    Then 5 days before my mariage I bought your book. i knew i had taken the right step for recovery. My mariage went on very well and today I am married for four months.

    Some of my symptoms(Very few) are still here. But i still have those racing thoughts and i often have setbacks. I am doing what you have directed in your book, but i think somewhere in my brain I am still trying. Paul, I want to become pregnant now. Won’t anxiety cause a problem for me. Please help.



  82. clare Says:

    i also have suffered just like you candie. i was completely terrified of my thoughts how could i think like this i also wanted sectioning i even went to the hospital and told them about what i was thinking they just told me to go home and not to be left on my own its the anxiety thats causing them thoughts. i never wanted to be left on my own as i am a single parent with 3 children and for me to be thinking them about my children also i was terrified, when anybody came to my house i was terrified because i was having thoughts constantly, i threw out every knife i had, every sharp object i couldnt even hold in my hand, i was in an absolute state of panic over them. I know its a long time to still have them but 3 years later they are not as loud in my head, i had cbt which i was shown facts that over 90% of people have them. but most people just dismiss them, as we seem to grab on to and hold on to the fact that we find these the most worrying or scary. so once again its worry thats keeping these thoughts alive. we need to just keep reminding ourselves that we would never hurt anyone, we are not violent people and the fact that we would never hurt anyone. and that we are definately not going to act on them in the future. these thinking skills are about managing the worry of having the intrusive thoughts. lots of distraction is needed when this happens and to not pay any attention to then to stop engaging in them. it does take time as ive said its took me 3 years to get to the stage im at myself now, and i still feel like i have a while to go to retrain my brain into thinking positive instead of worry. ive suffered with anxiety all my life (33) so obviously its not going to take me a few weeks or months to get well it does take time. BUT IT WILL HAPPEN !!!!!!!!

  83. David Says:


    I ran across this blog while searching for advice for obsessive scary thoughts. I suffered from this in my 20’s and I am now in my 40’s. I had a moment in my life in the later part of 2007 where there were so many external stresses and I did not see or feel the warning signs of anxiety. I ended up having scary thoughts again as a way to avoid dealing with the present moment. The present moment was too scary. I remember distinctly thinking of scary thought A) and then B) and finally right back to scary thought C) that plagued me in my 20’s.

    As far as I understand, the entire process seems to be based on the idea that we cannot deal with all the stress in the present moment. It may be a lousy relationship or an awful job, guilt or a combination of them all that bring us to the point where the scary thoughts become a problem.

    The one way I have sort of dealt with it, is to find humour in the scary thoughts. I try to envision my thought as a cartoon character and get a little laugh. That sort of turns them around and they become a little less “top of mind”.

    The other thing I like to think of is a hamster on it’s wheel. I feel there are two wheels in our head and our thoughts are the hamster. Well, when we get really stressed out the hamster jumps onto the negative tread mill and keeps running. The trick is to visualize the hamster jumping over to the positive treadmill and running. When he’s over on the positive tread mill long enough, the negative treadmill gets rusty and the old hamster doesn’t want to go back. :)

    I am 3 months into this again, but this time I understand it and I’d say my Hamster is jumping back and forth from tread mill to tread mill right now. But, he is starting to like the positive treadmill alot more these days. So, I know it wont be long until he gives up that worn out old negative tread mill.

    I haven’t read the book you are all discussing here, but I plan to order it. I live in Canada, so this is the first I have heard of it.

    Kind regards


  84. Raymond Says:

    The more i read this blog the more i realise that all the symptons of anxiety are very similar.The subject or scary thoughts might be different but the carry the same feelings of fear and dibilitation.Does anybody find that when they have bad or scary thought in a particular situation the thought and axiety repeats itself each time you go back to that situation.Then as these situations increase your world gets smaller.

  85. Brandi Says:

    I have been having some very odd and scary thoughts in my head and feel like I am going crazy. I cant eat,sleep or take care of my family. These thoughts are horrible. It started out with a bad dream and I woke up wondering if it was something I really did. Then it went to a scary spirtual thought about losing God. I have all these scary thoughts about God which really scares me.
    I really need help. I dont know if this is depression or axiety or what. I have had trouble with panick attacks in the past and recently. These thoughts keep me awake at night. I feel so scared. I have lost 11 lbs in 3wks.


  86. Angie Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Paul, do you have any advice on “phobias” that you could post about? maybe you have and I just missed it somewhere…I’m fairly new here.
    Greetings from Arizona!


  87. Alex Says:

    Oh my god – I have no idea why I didn’t think to search for this months ago. Reading all your posts has taken the most enormous weight off my shoulders I could almost cry! I thought there was something seriously wrong with me and was petrified to talk to anyone about it. Oh the relief! I just want to thank everyone for their advice and just knowing there are other people out there who have the same problem feels like it has brought me one step closer to getting rid of the horrendous thoughts and constant analysis over everything! thank you, thank you, thank you!

  88. Ashley Says:

    yes, thank you as well. i haven’t read everything yet but just coming across this and seeing i’m not alone with the scary thoughts or self-created scenarios in my mind. i have never spoke about it in therapy but am starting new therapy soon and plan on doing so. i’m just not sure what a therapist can do about it because it all comes down to it being my mind and only i can control it and i don’t really want to go back on medication because i’ve been OK without it for three years now other than the images. if i could draw or paint or make scary movies i’d probably be rich, though. =p

  89. JR Says:

    Ashley and Alex…just wanted to welcome you guys to the site…there are so many great people on here, just read and look around and get a good understanding of the condition…paul is great. i felt the same way when i first stumbled across this website. what a relief!!!

  90. Ally Says:

    Hi I just found this website today. About 2 months ago I had the worst week of my life. I was at home sick for a weekend, and couldn’t wait to get back to see my boyfriend that Sunday night. Well I saw him and woke up Monday morning with this strange feeling of butterflies and my heartpounding. I tried ignoring it and it got so bad i couldn’t move from my room shaking, vomiting, worrying. I’ve never experienced such emotion, so out of nowhere! I thought I had gone crazy. I saw a therapist that week and was put on medicine, I just wish I didn’t wait that long to go talk to someone because I think I tried figuring everything out in my mind instead.

    From that I pinned all my anxiety on my relationship with my loving boyfriend who I am sure I am meant to be with and never questioned it before. It was/is the worst feeling. I question EVERYTHING. I wonder when I see him if I will feel excited… I wonder if I really love him. I hate this more then anything and I really can’t seem to stop this cycle, my mind is always trying to figure this out. I want to be certain again and rid of this depersonalization, obsessive frightening thoughts, and anxiety.

  91. Karen Says:

    Hi Guys
    Isnt it amazing! We all have the SAME types of thoughts…and you know something else…a lot more people than we even realise have thoughts like these. I went through a horrible time in my life last October. It was truly devastating and awful.A very personal and tragic experience which meant great grief and sadness for me. I lost my baby to stillbirth and it crippled me. I had NO idea what i was going to go through as I had never experienced grief before. IT WAS DEBILITATING AND CRIPPLING AND i WAS SO SCARED OF IT. The stress was awful and anxiety sat its big FAT a$$ on top of me. I honestly thought I was going mad. I mean MAD. I was so scared and every conceivable “what if” thought came into my head, and when i look at it now 7 months later…those thoughts are still there and still scare me, even though they are COMPLETELY irrational and senseless. Yes the murderous thoughts…what if i go mad from Post Natal Depression…and try to kill EVERYONE i love…what if everyone dies…what if what if what if….i was convinced i would lose control and stab my wonderful loving boyfriend and i was TERRIFIED of the knives in my kitchen and wanted to throw them all out but i didnt , simply because i knew somewhere that that would only fuel my fear. So they are still there. Another thought i was TERRIFIED of was that i might sleep walk and KILL anyone…we have a gate at the end of out stairs to keep the animals out…and i firmly close that every night…with the thought that it will be more difficult for me to open it if i sleep walk ….IMAGINE THAT!!! You know what…Im going to leave that gate open tonight….
    The thoughts are awful and upon reading the book (Paul you are wonderful- thank you) everything died down and things were ok for a while.
    But as we all know, anxxiety can rear its head again and so it has. Im back focusing on things and worrying about it. Thinking I am doomed forever as i “never” had this part of it before. But I now realise its just watching myself and part of dp also….so Im just going to let it be there and get on with my day.
    Yes when Im anxious it feels sooo bad when I wake but from personal experience, I can say that when anxiety dies down so does this…
    God its horrible and when i start to feel better i dont come near the site or the book. But now Im back reading it again. And yes its given me hope again. Thank Goodness. I have been slacking in work big time cruising the net trying to find “answers” I cant believe Im back questioning and searching again.
    Anxiety eh!
    I know I have my grief to deal with also so my journey is a tough one. It gets so overwhelming at times. But we all have our difficulties and our own stories.

    Just want you all to know that you have another buddy here.
    Please remember that SOOO many people have scary thoughts just not a lot want to admit it. I know this because TWO people i have talked to since everything happened with me (my sister and my sister in law) both of them have very similar scary thoughts and i NEVER knew this!

    Hope people…hope


  92. David Says:


    I just wanted to comment on the topic of scary thoughts again. So much of what we suffer from is habitual. The fact that we scare ourselves with our own thoughts is something that we have likely been doing most of our lives. I am not sure about the rest of you, but as a child I had many phobia’s including, loud noises, violence and many social anxieties.

    As an adult I pushed myself beyond my fears by taking on more responsibility. I took on long hours of work to distract me from my thoughts. You know eventually, the thoughts stopped coming. I remember sitting there going, wow.. I can’t beleive I ever thought those thoughts. However, I got hit again by stress and alot of it all at once and again, my bad habit got started.

    When you really think of it, this is a bad habit. Similar to a cigarette smoker under stress. What’s the first thing they do? Run out and start smoking. So, what do people that are very creative do when presented with too much stress. Our over active creative mind dreams of things to scare us. These things aren’t real but they help take us away from the the “real” thing that is frightening us.

    I had a friend of mine who suffers from this ask me today if I think her anxiety has anything to do with the fact that she hasn’t forgiven herself for something she did in the past.

    Well, I told her most likely, if you are afraid of accepting what you did, the scary thoughts could just be a way to not have to deal with the situation. We are all human and these silly scary thoughts that dominate at times are an escape mechanism for the mind.

    I love the one post above that says, that we’d all make good horror novelists. The fact is, if you write down all your fears, some say it does help. I wish we could all get together to just settle our fears. It would be interesting to meet someone face to face that has the same scary thoughts. I think that would likely be a healing experience. I’m not sure though.

    I do know, that 1 in 4 people suffer from anxieties of some sort so we are not alone.
    I feel that there are times we could just band together and solve this once and for all. It is not easy at times, but together is always better then alone.

    All the best


  93. Karen Says:

    You know David, you are right. I had a read of the book that Paul recommends here on this site..not his own book(which i have read also) but another one on scary thoughts. I read it, now whilst I do feel that it is a lot to take in and it can be confusing, he does hit on some interesting points. 80% of people have scary thoughts…80%!!!! Most people either dont like to admit it …some people just pass through them…and then there is us dear people who COMPLETELY PANIC about these thoughts, to an extent where we think into it further and further, trying to explain it and throw evidence at ourselves that the thought may be real..and we haunt ourselves by it. One tip this book has is when a thought hits..when you actually become conscious of it, you have already dealt with it in your subconscious. The only action to take is – nothing! Dont react to it. Remind yourself everytime that its already been dealt with and you dont need to react. Its tough to “try” to not react because you are almost then acting on it. But picture a boxer about to get into a boxing ring, when these thoughts come just dont get into the ring. Stay outside it. Dont fight or grapple or try to make sense of the thought, you dont need to try to explain it to prove to yourself that its not real! If it was real you would not be afraid of it. Think of the thoughts that make you happy…they are natural and dont scare you at all. These are real thoughts.
    Yes this thinking is very much habit. I can definitely relate to this through personal experience. I had scary thoughts when finishing a stressful year in college..just one really , terrified I was or could become a child molester (I know!!! Im a woman and had been in college training to be a teacher!!). But Damn ER i watched an episode about a man who was one and he was terrified of it…I have NEVER watched ER since! I got so scared of that thought that I threw up every scary image I could muster to try to “prove” that I either was or was not this type of beast…I was distraught and grappled with it for a while always rationalising it out in my head. I had a very stressfull time about a year later and sure enough the same thoughts came up and haunted me terribly for 8 months. After that things settled down and it got to a point where I could just say..yeah whatever. But if you see from my above post I went through a terrible time once again last October and as SOON as that stress hit..lo and behold the thought came back. Except due to the utter trauma of my tragic experience, anxiety crawled up on me without my knowledge of what was actualy happening to me, and the thoughts spiralled into much worse initial fear seemed like nothing in comparison! I was convinced that I would go “mad” with Post Natal Depression (even thouh i didnt have it!) and turn into a murderer. You will see my other thoughts above.. Im sooo glad I read Paul’s book as I now understand that these thoughts came as an off-set to my anxiety every time! But yet they lingered in my life because i never knew that. I was terrified to tell anyone. But i opened up to my sister in law and amazingly she has had the EXACT same thoughts as me and been terrified of them. She still gets paralyzed in fear about them even though i have explained where they come from. I am going to give her a copy of pauls book. Its amazing we doubt ourselves so much and convince ourselves that we are capable of these things. I was literally TERRIFIED of our block of knives for so so very long. I still have doubts. My thoughts were so scary and real that I cried and cried thinking at any second I was going to pick up the knife and stab my beloved boyfriend. Its amazing. Yet all we have to tell ourselves is that its just anxiety. I think we are afraid of losing control, that and our lack of self belief.
    Ive been aving a rough time lately. Its been 7 months since my loss and anxiety has popped up again. I somehow started to think my body was going to give up on me and that i would forget how to breathe. They started thinking too deeply about “breathing” and freaked myself out completely. Its still not great now and it upset me so much that the old dp started popping up and i was like the walking depressed shell again. I cried for about an hour this evening because it had upset me so much. I was SO strong earlier . I even felt like a human being again which i havent felt in some time. It was great, a moment of clarity after weeks of fuzziness. The breathing thing just offset my anxiety all over again and i had been doing SO SO well, not really bothered by it at all. But its deffo a bit scary at the moment. I miss me!
    Anyway, I had a positive moment this evening. My boyfriend, bless him, had some very painful lung pain all day and by the time he picked me up from work, he had himself convinced that he had lung cancer my boyfriend is one of the most un-anxious people i have ever met. Most of my “stuff “he is baffled by! But I was able to talk him down and explain to him exactly why he was feleing that way and why he was thinking that way. If ONLY i could apply my own information to myself :)
    Anyways Im off to bed soon. My eyes are still puffy and my boyfriend has been out all evening. Have a lingering niggly anxious feeling as I woke up at 4am this morning with the old pounding heart etc. I know grief and anxiety go hand in hand and I need to just let every feeling be there. Its not gonna kill me right? Goodnight people. Sweet Dreams :)

  94. trey Says:

    I need some advice i been having the scary thoughts now for about 5 months i get alot of comfort reading the post but when i have thoughts they are so vivid and recurring i cant help but feel im different even though i have anxiety dp and evey other seemingly crippling symptom everyone else has. even after 3 years of anxiety and thinking i have ever disorder or illness know to man i cant seem to just realise this last symptom is just anxiety. can anyone help me with something they may have done to accept these thoughts. I got to the point where i felt scared to be alone with my fiance and ashamed at my horrible thoughts. they scare me more than the thought of dying. i feel like i have a phobia of goin crazy.

  95. David Says:


    Wonderful post, do write more. I am always so amazed at the intelligence of us who suffer. Everyone of the people that posts here probably has an incredible IQ. I loved reading your words Karen, although a bit scarey, I too have fell victim to the “Oh my Goodness, THAT could be ME!” syndrome. I see a thing about violence in the news or read a headline and BLAM, TCBMS (That could be me syndrome) hits me like a ton of bricks. I am so with you on the knives and or sharp objects. I have a guy at work who eats with a knife and it drives me nuts cause it triggers off the negative thought process some how.

    But let’s be real here people. We are smart. I mean, I can talk to any one of you on here and say, you are not mad, you are not crazy and truly mean it. However, trying to convince yourself sometimes is very hard. So let’s put our collective minds together and use this big IQ that we have and work together to help each other.

    Karen, your fears and thoughts are similar to my own and similar to thousands of other STS (Scary thought sufferers) people. So, what is it that we have to continue to scare ourselves. We don’t enjoy it that’s for sure.. I know it’s a bad habit, but it also is very hard to break.

    I was wondering tonight what it would take for me to feel comfy all day long. Would talking about it all day with a person who completely understands make me feel better. I am not sure of that.

    I think we all think we are “unique” and that’s part of the problem. Like no one has had THIS scary thought. We are actually keep setting ourselves up for more pain.

    There has to be something we can do to help ourselves when we feel this uncomfy. Let’s work together and resolve this STS. :)


    I want you to know whatever you are thinking, it’s not real. We think in the past and in the future, neither of is actually the present moment. So, try to think of a positive spin on the scary thoughts. I finished the Midwest program just recently and they talk about staying IN the present moment. Don’t fall into the past thinking or future thinking.

    You will be fine, know that.


  96. Karen Says:

    Isnt it funny that even when we know that these really are just scary thoughts and we KNOW where they come from and we KNOW why they are there, we STILL doubt oursleves. I do find , David, that talking about them and actually having a laugh about them with my sister in law really helps. We actually refer to ourselves as “people like us”..but in a funny and positive way. We do see ourselves as unique and we do pride ourselves on being pretty intelligent people. You see what got me is that when I seen something on TV I began to think…hmm they are just a normal person too and they did it! But you see thats not the case. Their “normal” was to kill or assault or molest or attack or stab or whatever. They did not have any other thought process only kill because to them that was the correct thing to do. And that is the difference, we do not think these thought are normal at all. We are severely disturbed by them. Think about it…you never ever read about someone convicted of murder who said they grappled with the thought of killing someone for a long long time ..mulling it over in my head and feeling TERRIBLE about it. NO…you hear of vengeful angry agressive people with little or no remorse, who comitted the crime out of whatever anger agression etc. FEAR is what keeps these thoughts alive. Its THAT simple (and believe me, i know that nothing with anxiety seems simple)..but it is only because we are horrified about these thoughts that they are there. Again, think of something that makes you happy..that feels natural and right…find how that thought doesnt stick around all day. No it flits in and out again, you may smile and it goes happily on its way! We dont need to keep checking that thought because we BELIEVE it to be right, so no poblem! The only reason we have repetitive thoughts is because initially it terrified the holy crap out of us and is totally against the thinking of the kind of person we are..and because it created that initial response, we feel the need to “make it right” To play it and replay it trying desperately to solve it. But it goes deeper. When you cant solve it by thinking positive ie. “thats not true” “thats not me” …you throw something negative at it in hope to disgust yourself and prove that you definitely would never do something like that..but HEY presto…we have now made ourselves feel even WORSE as now we cannot believe we have had a thought as bad as that so we MUST be a killer/murderer/child molester/stabber etc! I only KNOW all of this because i have been right there.And STILL knowing this, from personal experience, there are still times I doubt myself. What if this or that or the other! Remember there is NO limit to your imagination so you have the capacity to scare yourself into oblivion and back if you so wish. What I like to do when I get overwhelmed by a thought..when Im really in it and freaked out..I think, well if Im capable of that then why am i not thinking of going and burning down the neighbous house or running up and down the road naked or jumping out a window or going round licking random people…I try to make myself smile by this. I try to make it a little light hearted. I mean if I am capable of murder then surely Im capable of running around licking random people for example!
    Oh yesss the knives! You know something I think its so sad for us that a random image in our head can have such an effect on our lives. But I made SURE I did not throw out my knives because that was anxiety winning. Now I do realise that I was going through such a very very dark time in the last 7 months and even grieving alone scared me. Everything I went through scared me and that left me very vulnerable and afraid. So everything still seems a little threatening but Im sure in time I will get back a bit of my confidence. As I said Im in a bit of a flunk at the moment. The whole concentrating on breathing think is very frustrating and I got so upset about it last night. The thing is, I think I need to re-establish trust with my own body, somehow I started to belive that I had to control the breathing and that the breathing was not happening naturally. But Im just putting it down to anxiety. For now I can live with it because this is me for now..Its just anxiety playing its tricks and just like the terrible dp I thought Id never get over, it did fade when I accepted it as part of anxiety. You know something I have noticed…
    The first time I felt a pang of anxiety was when I was about 9 or 10 ..I was in bed and the thought hit me that yes I am going to die some day. And I was terrified. I mean terrified beyond belief. Fear like no other. I do grapple with it on and off since (terrified of dying and I can bet ya that most anxiety sufferers are!)
    But ever since then its always been the same feeling. That pang- Im sure you all know it…the stomach turn and the funny feeling..yuck. But what Ive learned that whilst all anxiety feels the same…it never ever gets worse than that feeling…yes there are a few variations..but I think that all my anxiety relates back to that first initial fear …death. Thats the one thought that almost floored me with fear and now I have assocated that “pang” with my initial fear and so every time i feel it, Im in fear of my life per say! Interesting!
    Anyways getting back to the scary thoughts…remember that we are amazing creative human beings…with very active imaginations. If we were capable of those things…we wouldnt be woried about them in the first place. Take comfort in that.
    I can bet we are all so common…I too have a fear of going mad, I too have scary thoughts, I too have a fear of external things because of internal images..It really is just ALL habit and memory. Once we change that habit (which i admit, is hard) we change everything. Just try it for one day. Everytime a scary thought comes…and yes i mean every time.. dont react to it. Dont try to rationalise it and dont try to push it away. It only seems so big because we have let it get that big. (Treat it like a monster and it treats you like a victim) Every time that thought comes are just anxiety playing your as you will but Im not paying you much attention. Have a whatever attitude..just for one day..see how it feels and sure if it doesnt work, whats the harm, its only one day. You can go back to fighting tomorrow. All we need is a break and for our minds to heal a bit and when it does, clear thinking is natural.I am telling you this because I have felt the great feeling of a clear mind after only a week or so of letting anxiety play its tricks and not reacting to it. We are now confused and scared and our minds are sooo tired from all the bashing we have given it. Time for a break. Let that thought be there no matter how it much screams…just dont pay it much respect because when your mind has recovered, the thoughts wont be there! Just for one day…see how it feels, dont be tempted to give in and try to rationalise it or explain it just let it be and remember its juts anxiety playing its tricks! Simple as that.
    One last thing….we are all GOOD people, if we were not , we would not be here.
    Remember, mad people have no idea they are mad!
    Lots of Love people

  97. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Karen you are a legend! I have suffered these thoughts majorly! I’ve had a good few weeks but im having a setback at the moment. My initial thoughts were about murdering my mum or my girlfriend. I now can see how ridiculous that is. I’ve moved on to am I the wife beating type? (this stems from me occasionally getting angry with my girlfriend – generally when she’s done something ridiculous or took 4 hrs to get ready). I have also had the am I a child molester thoughts. It happened the first time when I was 15 when we were babysitting my ex gfs neice. I had this thought of did I just look at her weird. Its because I have such a strong sensitive reaction to bad things happening in the press. Im sickened that humans are capable of such attrocity!
    I feel us thought sufferers are probably more sensistive than your average!

    I’ll run you through a scenario I reguarly have here………..

    Driving down the road in my van, I may notice an attractive woman/girl (im only 22 by the way)

    I’ll be naturally drawn to look…………………… then the THOUGHTS that come in are…….

    Will I ever be happy in a relationship?

    Am I sex obsessed?

    Do other lads look at lots of girls?

    What if I ever attack a girl?

    Don’t I love my girlfriend?

    This also particuarly happens in the gym, to the point I have to purposely look away


    Im biologically programmed to be this way at 22, I cant change nature. I know I would never act on these thoughts. I’m not the type for messing round!

    I too have had the knife thing, over that now, luckily seing as I’m an electrician (constantly using a stanley knife amongst other dangerous objects)

    Also im a very conscientious electrician, often have worry over god what if something happened on a job ive done that injured someone. I triple check everything is ok.

    If I was some mentalist I wouldnt care what my work was like, would I?

  98. Karen Says:

    Joey, youre not a mentalist at all. Your just a worrier and a deep thinker with a moderate amount of anxiety which probably stems from these thoughts. When youre in the anxiety process ie. during these thoughts, the adrenaline is pumping big time. Im sure you will have gathered from this site, or if you have read Paul’s book, that anxiety is just a build up of adrenaline …and the build up of adrenaline causes off shots in the body if it does not have an outlet… these offshots result as Scary thoughts (one of the most common),depersonalisation,anxiety attacks etc. The more upset we become by these thoughts , the more adrenaline is produced and therefore, more thougts. Its a cycle – simple as that!
    By the way, the ONLY reason I know all of this is because of Paul’s wonderful book and through personal experience. There is just not enough information out there on anxiety- even some consellors and doctors dont have much knowledge on it, thus the reason so many people or on medication for it. And I can understand why people want medication- it can be terrifying!
    But please remember its just a cycle. Fear feeds fear, its a condition that relies on the fear of it to stay alive! Isnt that crazy! We are the ones who can stop this, just as simply as understanding why its happening and letting it be. If we DONT react to the thought/feeling etc then we do not create any more adrenaline so it will eventually settle down all by itself. Once it has no fear to feed on, it just fizzles out. Think of a fire…a fire cannot exist without fuel to keep it going..and as long as we keep adding fuel to the fire, it will keep burning, it will crackle and spark and burn, and will continue to do so whilst the logs are being fed to it. But what happens when we allow the fire to smoulder burns bright for while, then slowly the sparks fade and the crackling stops..eventually that fire will die down and come to an end. There is no fuel to feed it so it just dies off all by itself. This is how anxiety works. Adrenaline is the fuel, and as long as we continue to produce the adrenaline, all the symptoms will remain. Crackling and sparking as loud as they wish. BUT when we eliminate the fuel (the adrenaline) anxiety has nothing left to live on. How do we do this? We dont react, we dont get scared…let the thought/ feeling be there , let it shout as loud as it likes let those weird feelings pass over no matter how scary they are…they are only an offshot of adrenaline, nothing more. Anxiety has NEVER killed one person – ever! Think of that!
    So there we go! As hard as it may seem, we really need to do NOTHING! Just let those thoughts come and stay as long as they like, no matter how real they seem! You now know where they come from and why they are there. Adrenaline…which needs more adrenaline to stay alive. SO dont feed it. Dont react. Let it be, let it float past you. Its anxiety playing its tricks and it WILL not be there when the anxiety is gone. Its not a miracle cure, its just an understanding. Recovery from anxiety takes slow steps and lots of patience. Set backs are expected, but that is just habit and memory. Your body had been used to acting this way for so long, its only natural your habits will be hard to break.
    But with patience it will come.
    Remember, do NOTHING. Reaction is what keeps it alive. Let be and it will let you be.
    Again remember that we are good people.
    We are only here because we care :)


  99. candie Says:

    Ok, i will add my bit on here. I see a lot of myself in everyone of you.. from thoughts of molesting, murder.. you name it iv thought it! I was convinced one time i had a compulsion to stab my fiance, i begged my doctor to section me. When we panic, we either fight or flight. The Panic caused by this can feel like an urge to act etc. But it is all the confusion of just wanting to make it all go away.

    The reason im telling you this is i was unhappy as you all are, now im not far of full recovery. I stuck with Pauls teachings and it is now paying of. I know now it is not my thought that scared me, its my reaction to it. I have laid to rest so many fears, and i know 100% it is only a matter of time before i am fully recovered. I thought at first im different, it wont work for me etc… but i am living proof this method really does work. I’m even nearly of my meds now.. which is a major thing for me.

    At first i just wanted these thoughts to go away, and reading this if you are at an early stage in your journey living beside these thoughts happily may not seem like an option. Alls i wanted was for mine to go away, the more i wished the more i fighted them the worse they got. Now i’v accepted them, learning not to fight they are coming less often and mostly dont bother me the slightest.

    Everyone of you will recover, you have everything you need to do so.. its just a matter of time now and patience. I wont go into convincing much as it breaks my heart to know anyone suffers like i once did. I can try convincing you till im blue in the face that its just anxiety, but the real acceptance and beleif needs to come from you. Once this new way of thinking comes to you, confidence builds and the anxiety and thoughts fade.

    Remember, if you was an evil person… you wouldnt be here, at your wits end wanting to rid yourself of these awful thoughts and feelings. An evil person that molests,murders etc doesnt see it as an issue.. they enjoy it. You are repulsed by it… which makes you the very oposite of evil.

    This bits for Joey- I have had the relationsip ones. I’v looked at other guys etc. But it is just looking, part of human instict. Us girls do it too! Its not your looking at others girls that are the issue.. its your reaction to the thought of it. I notice when people are good looking all the time.. so what. As for you threating you may accidently cause a fault because of your work.. well put it this way i would rather have you wire my house then someone without anxiety! You are thorough with your work because of your anxiety- give yourself some credit and remember you are a good person.

    Remember, if a thought is distressing- then it doesn’t reflect you what so ever. It is ok to even think something and not be distressed by it. Its only bad when evil people think these things and enjoy it, they savour the thoughts and feelings and like how they make them feel. They even repeat over and over again such bad actions as they enjoy how it makes them feel. They dont worry about them and visit sites like this in search of a way to rid themselfs of the thoughts/feelings!

  100. trey Says:

    I was just wanting to say that for a while i was having a hard time trying to look at my scary thoughts in a positive way espically when there strangling or beating some one to death. but something that has been helping me is i tell my self that the the anxiety i feel about the thoughts are the same reason i wont do them. Noo cold blooded murder or serial killer EVER said the thoughts scared them. also crazy people feel there normal and every one else is the ones with the promblems on the other hand we know we dont feel normal but we strive for that so much. in the begining of my anxiety before i knew what it was i thought i had all types of physical illnesses i.e. ( heart attacks, tumors, vertigo and this ones funny a tape worm lol … my stomach hurt alot.;) but when i started to dp it went to mental problems so its hard but the scary thoughts are just another facet of anxiety. i hope i help someone cause reading everyones post have helped me greatly whenever i dp i just read the post over and over and i feel much better thanks everyone.

  101. candie Says:

    Lol a tape worm trev! mind you, there is nothing wrong with thinking that.. it was the worry that came with it thats the problem. Saying that i think many people without anxiety would threat if they thought they had a tape worm!

    I remember opening the kitchen draw one time, feeling anxious… and there it was……………… the potato masher. Instantly a thought popped into my head about attacking my fiance with it.. but then i thought, what ya gonna do candie- mash him to death! Lol, sometimes we have to laugh at how obsurd our mind can be.

  102. Karen Says:

    Ah Candie I do love that last post! Mash him to death eh!! Thats a funny one! I love that we can laugh about it too because at times in the heat of it these thoughts can be soooo scary! Well I decided to stand up to my anxiety the last 2 nights. My thoughts of “what if i sleepwalk and go down, get a knife , stab my boyfriend etc” …well, as i wrote above, we have a gate at the end of our stairs to keep the animals out, I used to keep that gate closed shut every night “in case” and because it would be harder for me to open in my sleep! BUT i left it open the last 2 nights and said..ok well if im gonna do it…then lets see the proof (by the way Ive never sleep-walked in my entire life)…Of course NOTHING happened and now Im simply not scared anymore! Its just a scary thought…with no power only the power I once gave it. I know that now. Paul’s book is amazing and I really REALLY recommend that anyone who comes to this site should read it. Its so simple and not at all gimmicky! Hes just a person like us who wants to help people who once suffered like he did. I understand why he wants to help as I feel the same, if I can help someone just by helping them tp understand…great. I would hate to think of people suffeing so needlessly. I love that this is the most visited site in the UK.
    Paul I have so much respect for you. Thank you :)

  103. candie Says:

    Hi Karren,

    Leaving that gate open shows you have and are getting better. Your realising its not real etc.

    I have probably thought every discusting, evil thought.. but you know what- thats fine. I dont care about the thoughts now, im just concentrating on letting go of the fight which causes my reaction. 😀

  104. trey Says:

    i just wanted to say the scary thoughts are becoming easier to deal with. today i had a thought of just wrecking my car on purpose and then instead of trying to think of something else i just told myself to do it! just do it! do it! but i couldnt lol. then i said out loud to myself your not crazy its anxiety you stubborn idoit! lol. also i know paul is from the uk and it seems like most of you are from the uk im from florida in the u.s. is anxiety as widespread in the u.s. or the world as in the uk just curious? also i have always been called “smart” and every one on this site seems very smart does anyone think maybe were all a bunch of over thinkers! lol. thanks for the replys!

  105. Lissette Says:

    Thanks sooo much guys. Just reading all your stories helps me feel a little better. I just want the reassurance that Im not going crazy. I havent eaten in about 4 days. Im constantly obsessing about panicking and not knowing where I am or if i will ever see my family again or if im in a big dream. Im just soooooo drained. i feel terrible. I have a 2 year old son and I feel terribly disconnected from him. I just want to cry all day… Im so desperate for help but I do not want to go to a doctor so they can just give me pills. Please comment and give me advice.

  106. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Hey ppl, anxiety is pretty damn common the world over I’d guess. My flatmate, who seems completely un-anxious to me was having a conversation with me over breakfast the other morning, and we discussing the drugs we’ve took in the past. I then told him how its given me major anxiety etc and mentioned depersonalisation. He replied “No way, I’ve got that, I’ve been going out of my mind. Sometimes I just look at my hand and think this is real, this is now! Life is just consciousness” I quickly got him my copy of Paul’s book!
    Candie, thanks, I always enjoy your posts. I think Im at a similar stage to you, to be honest. Think we joined this blog at similar times also and we are the babies of the blog! Anyways one point you made that has helped me majorly is that “The Panic caused by this can feel like an urge to act etc. But it is all the confusion of just wanting to make it all go away.” that line is brilliant. Because I have felt as if Im physically stopping myself doing something awful.
    Karen thanks for taking the time to answer my post! Trev chin up mate, because it does get better. Sometimes I dont think these thoughts for a while and then I start them up again. Just gotta keep accepting them. I had all sorts. Convinced myself I was suicidal, schizophrenic, bipolar, cancer, Im a murderer, Molester, evil, depressed, gonna comit a sexual crime, that Im gonna take drugs again, throw something at someone in the gym, drive into a wall, fancy my girlfriends sister the list is endless! Its utter rubbish, but when you get some resilience back you start to see them for what they are! Anyway thanks guys, your all amazing!

    And yes I think we all are uber intelligent over-thinkers!

    My mum works in mental health and I asked her why aren’t people scared of dying etc, scared of various things etc.

    Her reply was a lot of people aren’t intelligent enough to realise issues within the world etc

  107. candie Says:

    Im glad that helped you Joey,

    I do sometimes feel like i have to fight to stop myself acting on disturbing thoughts too. There is an explanation for this though, when you panic so much there is so much adrenaline swimming around causing fear.. your mind cant tell between what is real and what is a thought(FACT) so it causes the ‘fight’ reaction because acting on these thoughts is not what we want to do.. ofcourse we are discusted and deeply disturbed by certain thoughts, so subcontiously our mind tells our body to fight the thought (remember our mind cant tell the difference between thought or whats real).. so we then we prepare ourself to fight.. we see it as a thought, but our brain sees it as a real situation making us fight unnecasarraly doing everything we can to stop ourself acting on thoughts, which can feel like an urge.

    When really it is all the confusion in our mind because it sees the thoughts as real, so it makes your body fight to stop you doing something.. which is a false fight as you are clearly not going to do anything bad, your mind has just over reacted to a thought, perceiving it as real.

    Thats why people with Obsessive thoughts, OCD etc are 110% not going to act on a thought, they have a false fight all the time with ther mind because there brain sees the thought as a real situation. Its really just a hyper awareness of ones self, constantly watching yourself, thoughts, adrenaline panic… fight. The adrenaline burns out eventually, and we feel releive and can think clearly and more subjective to the thought.

    LOL we think alike Joey, i have had the bipolar, murderer, paedophile.. sexual crime.. thoughts, i’ve even convinced myself i was going to hurt my dogs before!

    Lol the only thing nuts about us is we are fighting a false battle.

    If that confuses anyone sorry, i know what i mean but when it comes to wording stuff i find it hard to get my point across.

  108. JoeyLowtown Says:

    ha candie my mum has four dogs (clearly she is insane) and Ive had thoughts about hurting them! When they bark too much.

  109. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Hey, I’ve been wondering whether any of us have similarities in our fears and thought patterns throughout growing up.

    When I was little like 3 or 4, I wouldnt go out of my mum and dads site, when some kids go wondering off anywhere.

    I was quiet-ish in school didnt like fighting or anything of that nature.

    I had a spell at about ten years old, where I was petrified of the dark, I woke up everynight at about 3am and woke my parents up, they went mad of course! I then stood on the landing scared stiff of every creak or noise till it was light.

    I was and still am to a degree scared of being murdered. I live in Liverpool so when I was about 6 the James Bulger murder happened, and that sickened me and scared the life out of me.

    I dont really like horror films, far prefer comedy!

    When the BSE scare happened I refused to eat beef in case I got it.

    This is random jabber and I could go on all night. But just wondering if anyone relates to any of these things, or whether they want to add more!

    Also I was adamant I was never gonna smoke, and apart from the very odd pull I never have!

    Have done drugs tho, which I swore I wouldnt, but think it was because my parents split up and I split up with my first gf all at the same time!

    Regret that now, the drugs not the break up ha

  110. trey Says:

    hey joey i acutally have had the exact same symptoms you have had even the waking up at 3 am every night my anxiety is worse at night still. i have even quit the gym cause i felt if i did go crazy id be to strong for people to fight me off lol. but im doin much better thanks and now i do everything i want to do even if i fell anxious. my anxiety has had 1 benefit im more sesitive to peoples promblems now because i know what it feels like now to suffer from something you cant control. candie every one wants to hurt dogs who keep barking lol even when im not having anxitey

  111. trey Says:

    hey joey i acutally have had the exact same symptoms you have had even the waking up at 3 am every night my anxiety is worse at night still. i have even quit the gym cause i felt if i did go crazy id be to strong for people to fight me off lol. but im doin much better thanks and now i do everything i want to do even if i fell anxious. my anxiety has had 1 benefit im more sesitive to peoples promblems now because i know what it feels like now to suffer from something you control.

  112. trey Says:

    sorry i posted twice lol my comp is acting up on me

  113. trey Says:

    hey candie i was wondering if you are over your anxiety problems? you seem to have gotten past the scary thoughts. i feel im almost through them being scary to me also. is there anything after this? i have past through all my other symptoms i.e. pysical symptoms and thinkin i have schizophrenia etc now once i fully convince my self im not a psychopath is there anything else i should plan to be scared of lol? p.s. i love dogs i was just jokeing about hurting them!

  114. candie Says:

    Haha my dogs are my babies!

    To be honest Trey i am on the verge now of coming out the other side, getting over this thing. I know i am because i dont wish to be better anymore, i dont wish it would all go away and i dont care how long it takes till im better. Im just going with the moment, flowing past thoughts, feelings etc. I wont like i still see some thoughts as obstacles, but that is because some are still quite raw to me. Before i new these thoughts where anxiety i conditioned my mind into beleiving i was a monster.

    When i have thoughts now, i beleive them to be just thoughts. Some still come with certain feelings of anxity, but thats memory. Just a case of letting the memories fade for me now i think. :)

    Joey, i am still scared of the dark and im 21! I wont sleep in a room on my own without some form of light as my mind thinks about ghosts and stuff. I sleep with the TV on if my fiance isnt sleeping over, its silly really as whats my TV going to do.. jump up and chase a ghost away lol.

    We all have certain fears, its natural. I hate been on my own when its dark outside too, i fear been murdered etc lol. I find horror films interesting and like to watch them, but find myself hiding behind a cushion for the majority of the film as im frightened it makes me jump that much il have a heart attack.

    We used to live on a farm when i was a kid, i used to be scared senseless a wild panther cat would attack me when i was out later on a night! Then again i do feel like i have to defend myself on this one, as my dad and sister claimed they saw one! And as posh people used to keep them as pets upuntil the 70’s.. when a law said you had to pay a rediculous amount for a license to keep a wild cat, lots of people released them into the wild illegally! (you learn somet new every day eh!)

  115. trey Says:

    lol i am 21 also and i use to love the dark couldnt sleep with any light on but now if i dont have on my tv i cant sleep! so embassing to tell my fiance ,that thinks im the strongest most fearless person that im now “scared of the dark” lol im starting to see that anxiety although a little different seems to effect us almost exactly the same. i wish i had found this site 3 years ago would have saved me alot of medical bills and probably dp so badly! too bad

  116. trey Says:

    you would think paul would understand but if he gets mad il just read and not post as i use to as i feared that paul may feel we are just using his blog as a way of chatting but really thats not my intention at all.

  117. JoeyLowtown Says:

    CAndie I added ya to MSN, it’d be good to chat to some of you properly, so if anyone else wants to chat, feel free to add me, its

    Had that address for liek 8 years, I used to like rap n cars – not anymore ha.

    SO dont laugh!

  118. No More Anxiety Says:

    Trey don’t worry I check all posts and unless I really have to, nothing will be deleted. Just don’t post links to sites I don’t agree with or say anything nasty to other people who post and I will not get involved. We have a lovely, helpful community here and if you enjoy chatting then carry on.

  119. trey Says:

    thaks paul i really enjoy this site and your book has helped me and many others theres not many truly good people but you are one of the few good people. thanks for helping people with there promblems even when your all better and have your own life to enjoy. i bet you do enjoy it now :)

  120. No More Anxiety Says:

    I do enjoy my life now Trey and I also enjoy helping others. As I said last week it could be me first searching for help and I never forget that. Also when you get anyone improving and making strides, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

    Hopefully the longer the site/book/blog is around, then the more people will also come through and wont have to suffer through a lack of information that myself and so many others first struggled to find.

  121. Karen Says:

    Hey guys

    I too was (and still am) afraid of the dark as a child. I was quite clingy to my mother and didnt stray too far from my house. I remember my sister went missing when i was quite young and I was frantic. She was found asleep under a bed in the house though. Ive always been kinda quiet and I too have done drugs. More as a reaction to a break up than anything. Went wild on them for about a year and then gave it all up completely. I dont go near anything now. Cant even smoke as I get too paranoid.
    Having a stressful week here. Had to hand in my notice in work and my boss is being a complete a$$ hole about it. Im here now feeling awkward and weird. Anxiety levels have risen a little because of the atmosphere.
    Still leaving the gate open at night…even after watching a scary film last night (I am Legend- oooo scared the life out of me!!) The scary thoughts are not bothering me as much either. I too had scary thoughts about hurting my beloved cat and dog. I love them so much. And I so agree that the adrenaline used in “fight” can make it feel like an urge to do it…or an urge to stop yourself to do it. Isnt it horrible what our minds can do. I guess our minds are just confused and tired. I know mine is. And so am i. Im wrecked. Havent slept too good the last few nights. Between the worry about quitting my job (for a better one) and my boyfriend being sick and tossing and turning all night Ive been just all over the place. Hoping to relax this weekend a bit. But if Im not relaxed then so be it. Its just anxiety and it will evetuually go away. And so what if it doesnt I will live with it. I have done so far and it hasnt killed me so let it be there. It always dies down eventually.
    Keep smiling guys :)

  122. David Says:


    Ok everyone, I haven’t been here in some time. I have been doing pretty well and have lots going on. However, today I was faced with looking at a newspaper article. It described someone who did some terrible things. Of course, this triggered my core fear. I am finding it particularly hard to deal with at the moment. I wish I could reach out to you all for support at this moment, but I know I have to reach inside for my support.

    Anyway, I read this article to the very end finding out what this person had did and it scared me so much. My mind always wonders, how can someone do this? Will ever be like this person? All of these questions and scary thoughts.

    I am reaching out here. Scarey news items are hard for me.


  123. candie Says:

    Ya know what david, its probably not even the article that caused your fear. anxiety clings onto thoughts, scary stories etc to release adrenalin if you hadnt of read the story you would of felt like this about something else. Thats why sometimes we can read the most scariest thing, horror films and not be bothered. Yet when where anxious our mind grasps at anything to link the awful feeling to, giving the adrenalin a release. I supose giving up the battle for me is not trying to do anything about thoughts, not trying to convince my self and talk myself round.. its pointless and just prolongs the process and causes habits which can sometimes cause anxiety aswell.

    Whenever i have thoughts etc i dont try getting my head around them anymore, its impossible as at the time my mind is so irrational because of the anxiety making a mountain out of a mole hill. Its ok to be a bit warey of them and not happy they are there, just dont investigate as that will fuel the thought to stick around way past when your anixety levels would of gone back down had you not investigated.

  124. David Says:

    Thank you Candie, that helped me. I hve to examine other parts of my life which are causing issues. I know that these thoughts tend to creep in during times of stress. :)

    This is a great site. Again many thanks



  125. trey Says:

    david i just wanted to say that i had the same promblem you did i would watch the news and a storie about a murderer would trigger my anxiety. i realised that there are millons of horrible stories told yet your never bothered by them, its only the ones you read about that makes you anxious. i still have my promblems but bad things do happen thats the sad truth but the fact that you are bothered means that you are a good person and you just have to let it go. ask your self this had you not read the article would you have had anxiety about that exact situation? i remember when i would get dizzy and my heart would race if you just mentioned the word schizoprenia around me, i realised people do have it but my anxiety made it seem like i just had to have it also but i couldnt go around scared to death of a illness i didnt have worring sick about what i “may” have! for this you see was worse than having the illness to me. anxiety is a beast but it needs your attention to stay alive! save what you read and in a month when nothing bad has happened to you re read it, it probably wont even bother you at all cause all your fear of that situation will be gone.

  126. JR Says:

    david…the news deal is one I can relate to. actually my profession is news-related and one of my responsibilities of my job is to read and metro section of the local newspaper. I read a lot of stuff that made me anxious and I wondered and thought the same thoughts you mentioned. What I think reading a story about a murder or accident is that when you read you “talk” inside you head which, for me at least, makes me pay more attention to my thoughts or gets them “brewing”.

    what I’ve learned is that the thoughts are just anxiety. You will not do those terrible things and the reason you are so scared about them means that you never want to or will do things like that. The thoughts, although may seem real at the time, are not rational.

    I just let them come and bounce around and do want they want. No reaction is the key.

  127. lisa Says:

    hi you lot,just read the posts dint realise people were chattin on this subject..when i had my thoughts can i tell you what i did..i invited them all in for tea and biscuits.when one comes id put the kettle on,another thought fill the sugar bowl,another fill the milk jug,another put biscuits do it over n over filling the kettle put some lemon cake out pouring the tea,rinse the teapot out,refill the teapot until eventually the thoughts just stop coming for tea and biscuits thats how i overcome my obsessive thoughts all mentally doing it not physically .not easy to start with but after time it stopped me fightin ,worrying about them,analysing them until they stopped coming.i invited them in thats how i took control .after a while i thought iv not thought of that today,or for a while i was so chuffed.everyone will have their own ways but thats how my thoughts stopped.takes practise and patience but it worked for me :-) your inviting them not wanting rid of them or trying to push them away which is the key.hope iv made sense :-)

  128. David Says:

    Thanks all for the points. You are all so gracious to offer your assistance and input. I am just having a hard time right now.

    This news item is very big here in Canada and is making all the front page news. It is so scary to me because this person phoned his parents the night before he did these things and told them he was having a breakdown. Gosh, that scares me. How come he couldn’t go to the hospital or seek help? He knew what he was facing… It makes me so scared, what if this was me. Can anyone help me with getting through these fears. I have had so many negative thoughts but never have acted on them. It seems like this person just didn’t understand what he had enough to seek help. Gosh, please any help at this point would be really welcome. I have so much fear at this moment.

  129. lisa Says:

    hi david have you read wills book which paul has talked about on the site?your adding the second fear to your thoughts “what if its me” “iv so much fear”. i no its hard but youv to stop adding the second fear thats why youv so much fear ,your giving your thoughts the attention thats what youv got to change your attitude to them.thats what i had to do invite them in and give them a cuppa thats stopping the second is hard because your habit is to add the second fear. youv to change the habit like i had to and keep at it.i no its hard david but have faith you can do it,once you find your way like i did it becomes automatic and that becomes your new habit,yeah you might fall ,slip back but find your own way like i did and that becomes your new habit.i know you can :-)

  130. No More Anxiety Says:

    Do you know I like to give people an explanation of things as I know it helps take away a lot of fear and bewilderment which is so important. I also try not to give lots of medical jargon and try and keep things as simple as possible. I had a very simple way of coming through the thoughts issue, I understood and talked about the above that is in my book. But I just put them all down to my tired mind and that was it. I could almost see why they stuck and hung around or I got an exagaratted reaction to them, it was my tired old mind. From this day I improved, I did not over complicate it, I just accepted this was why and stopped bothering or caring about them, I had my explanation.

    We are all different, but that really worked for me. As I say I had a very good knowledge of why they came and hung around, but just simplified it to this. I do think sometimes we can over complicate things at times, when a simple ‘O.k that’s why, time to move on’ is a better option.

    This is why sometimes certain books are useless they don’t simplify things, they are just full of medical jargon. These books though are usually written by people who have not been through it and that tells me enough. It is like someone who has never fished writing a book on fishing!


  131. David Says:


    That’s a great analogy. Unless you have gone through this, it’s very difficult to talk about this with any accuracy. I find the “trigger” fear is often the hardest part to get your head around. Why did this trigger fear bother me in the first place?

    Your simple answer works for me too: The mind gets tired and when it’s tired, these thoughts sort of bounce around more easily. I know that I have read that we are suppose to let these thoughts float in and out naturally. I wish it were that easy.


    I do have will’s book. It came in about 3 weeks back. It’s very good. I will start practicing not going to the secondary fear. This will prevent that spiraling effect that is so easy to fall into with anxiety.

    You are all very nice and I appreciate your feedback very much. I have two wonderful little children that I hope I will not pass this on to. However, I want to be in the position in the future where I can explain to them if I have to, the technique that will free them from their anxieties.

    Thanks again


  132. lisa Says:

    just want to say thats how i conquered mine,no books,no medical jargon.ok wasnt enough for me so thats what i did like i say everyone different.

  133. No More Anxiety Says:

    David I understand its not easy and even though I simplified things I found it an annoyance at times, but I always had one bit of control and that was how much respect I gave them, I really did not care. But again although I simplified things, I did have a very good understanding so there was a lot less fear. Everything builds gradually, I got better not just with time, but with a greater knowledge and more experience of coming through and understanding behind me. Don’t rush or demand anything of yourself, this is very important. You will be amazed how many people I have helped or advised, that show the real results a while later, they may email months down the line, the people that first stumbled on my site with little or no information and saw little or no way out.


  134. trey Says:

    david i dont know the whole story and when i read your comment i felt anxious my heart pounded i thought “what if” same as you but immediately i thought thats not the first time i heard a thought like that! like i said at first i dont know the whole story and nethier do you! he may have not had anxiety he may have had psychotic episodes and didnt get profesional help or maybe he was takin wrong medication and maybe drinking alcohol with it. so if it made you fell anxious and me anxious are we both gonna lose it? not likely lol. yourll fell better soon!

  135. candie Says:

    I dont know what that guy did, bit it wasnt anxiety that made him do it. There is all kinds of illnesses out there, anxiety is not a psychotic illness.. infact we have a constant hyper awareness of ourselfs, checking in etc. Someone who does psychotic things like murder is clearly disturbed… not someone with anxiety.

    I read an article about obsessive thoughts online before, it was by a doctor who actually understood them which was refreshing. He wrote ‘i have yet to hear a story about anyone who has commited an act of crime who claimed its because they had distressing obsessive thoughts which drove them to do it’.

    People without anxiety dont threat because an everyday normal person like them has done some awful crime.. thats because they know that person is not them. We cant tie ourself in with the same brush as every psychotic maniac just because we have had silly, meaningless thoughts from time to time. The reason we have these thoughts is anxiety, simple as- we are overly aware of them which can make us fight them, so we have twice as much stopping us doing anything bad. Ironically we are the opposite of insane, the hyper awareness of ourself and thoughts makes us some of the safest people on this planet!

  136. David Says:


    Prior to this news event, I really was feeling quite well. I think this is more of a setback for me. I have a pretty good understanding on how this all works, but still get that bone chilling fear from articles and events such as this.

    Today many of the old fears keep drifting in my mind and I am trying not give them any relevance. It can be tough at times but with each setback I hope to gain a better understanding.

    There is a sense of disappointment as well, because I was feeling rather good prior to this. This tends to get me depressed. I understand that anxiety and depression can go hand in hand because of this cycle.

    I also feel that I am thankful that I have got my doctor involved with me and have been taking courses for anxiety and scary thoughts. I just really want to feel better for everyone’s sake around me. I often feel that I am a hinderance because of what I am going through.


    I am sorry that my post brought anxiety to you as well. It was especially hard for me at work when the topic came up. I was cringing in my chair with my heart beating heavy. I do thank you for your supportive message. It made me feel much calmer.


    You wrote a terrific post, it made me feel a lot better as well. I liked the way you described us as at the end as “some of the safest people on this planet”. It was brilliant!

    Again, thanks bunches to all of you. I know that I will get better, I just have to continue to try what I have seen work for others on here. I am trying and that’s the main thing.


  137. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Hey David! Dont sweat it man, I’ve been there big time! The news still gets to me daily, but I’ve no got enough insight and taste of recovery to know that Im incapable of any of these acts and so are you.
    I had all the what if im the one who’s different and what if im the one who does something episodes. That guy and all killers are a different breed to us, they dont sit there sweating, fearing these actions. That is what they enjoy!
    I had to work in a psychiatric unit just before christmas, that really convinced me that I was perfectly sane.
    Another thing that helped me was being around animals, stroking a cat made me realise im no maniac. a few mths ago I couldnt even hold my friends nephew without shaking and feared I’d never have kids!
    You really need to start to trust in yourself. Also Candie is really impressing me with her posting, so people take notice of her, she’s talking serious sense! Thanks a lot Candie!

  138. David Says:


    Speaking of great posts. Yours was a great one my friend. I do have to start trusting myself. I really have had a hard time with that all my life. I am the youngest in a large family and felt that I often got so much protection from my siblings I needed not worry about myself.

    I really wish this was a much easier process. I really wish I could slow down the thoughts at times. I know who and what I am, I am not what my mind keeps scaring me with (actually me scaring myself). I hope that in the future, as this passes all of these thoughts will fade and I’ll be able to get a better understanding and help others out of this cycle of worry and fear.


  139. lisa Says:

    hi david dont try to slow the thoughts down, they just slow down themselves when you stop trying to ,or it means your fighting them,just invite them all eventually they stop coming. because when your better youl understand because youl of been through it ,so when someone needs help you can say well actually….. and help them. its a bit like a spot on your face the more you pick it ,the more it bleeds, so leave the spot alone and it heals…hard i no but you will :-)

  140. David Says:


    That’s a good analogy. I sort of think of it like a song that you can’t get rid of in your head. the more you try to get rid of it, the more it stays.


  141. lisa Says:

    yeah thats right ,leave the window open n off the song goes ,the more you say this bloody song the more it goes round n round,invite the song it stops playing :-)

  142. David Says:


    I think we are on to something here. I think I can actually explain anxiety to other people now. I also gave some thought to pro athletes. They go through anxiety as well. When an athlete is in the “zone” they are thought to be not thinking and reacting to their mistakes. In this state, they are simply playing without thinking of how they are moving and they get optimal results.


  143. trey Says:

    yea david when an athelete is in the zone he is just completely focus on what hes doin nothing else is in his thoughts nothing but what he is doing. when we have anxiety or dp we are in a sence in a “zone” its just not one we want to be in! we focus on how we fell and “what ifs” and we let nothing else in. also wanted to comment on the song stuck in your head thing. we a song is stuck in your head its annoying and no matter how hard you try you cant get it out but you dont think ” o my god this song will always be in my head!” yet with anxiety when we have a crazy thought we automatically think we will always have then when really we should treat it as the song and let it play out! easier said than done i know!

  144. David Says:


    yes it seems that way. a song really isn’t that frightening but the thought of it continuing on and on can be. I came up with a neat theory about these thoughts and brought in other emotions to help me prove something.

    I have always wondered where do irrational thoughts come and why do they come? I know this is way too analytical, but for what it’s worth here’s what I have come up with.

    Let’s take love and anger as two other emotions other then fear. Both of these seem to have the same effect on our thoughts as fear does. When I am head over heals in love, I have irrational thoughts as well. Like, “I want to give the world to her” or “I want to make her the happiest person in the world”. We never question these irrational thoughts. However, they are truly irrational. Also if there was a microphone on the love emotion, it get’s turned up to full and we do all these silly little things that we would not normally do because we are so in love. We pick up on the littlest things like how her hair looks, how she smells etc. Over time, this fades away and our thoughts change and we are not so taken by the strength of love. The microphone level turns down and we work about in the world living like we do day to day.

    Anger also has the same affect. When we get angry, the level on the anger emotion gets turned up to full. We become more sensitive to anything that can make us angry. Little things will make us angry that did not make us angry 10 minutes before we got angry. Of course there are irrational thoughts during anger as well.

    Fear is exactly the same as any of the other emotions. When it’s level gets increased, we are more sensitive to smaller things around us. If you just got startled by someone, the odds are something small would startle you much easier once you were initially startled. Of course like the other two emotions, irrational thoughts accompany fear. However, there is one difference. Fear, is a instinct that gives it a bit more weight in the way we think. I believe this is by design. If we get frightened, we must escape our situation, adrenalin etc kicks in. So, Pauls model fits perfect into why we must not react to fear. We must not attach emotion to this because it’s the trump card of our emotion. By not reacting to the fear and giving it any top of mind, the mic volume control comes down.


  145. trey Says:

    very very intellegent thought it acutally makes perfect sense. the only problem is not why we feel the way we do its the fact that when we are anxious we tell ourselves that it cant be that simple. like for about three days i have “relapsed” but i try to tell myself every time it comes back if i relax and let it fade the closer i am to recovery. for me i seem to tell myself i will never be recovered because as long as i remember how i felt with anxiety it will always come back! i know this only strenghtens the fear but its hard when i get so fatigued that i feel im goin to have some sort of massive breakdown and be “lost” forever. has anyone ever just felt like there losin it so bad they fell like there fixen to pass out. also way worse when im trying to go to sleep! which makes me more tired and so on! on my “good” days i fell so strong like anxiety has no grip on me and i leave post to try to help people but when i having a couple of bad days i say to myself why do you leave post you cant even help yourself! i find it hard to follow even my own advice does anyone else fell this way! thanks. p.s. i cant give you enough credit your post david was really helpful though very well explained!

  146. Raymond Says:

    Karen’I have anxiety 20 years and had these symptons many over this period.I am even going through a bad setback at the minute.You have got to look at this as a stepping stone to success.Let it pass over you and the next time it wont hold the same power.

  147. David Says:


    First of all, you are not going crazy. We all have these thoughts, that’s the unfortunate part of anxiety. Rest assured that you are a gentle human being that is going through a setback. I just went through one last week! However, with every setback, we get stronger. The feelings you have will too pass. You are not alone in any of your thoughts, millions of others have suffered the same way before us.

    Just remember, you are not your thoughts, you are YOU! You will be fine and we are all here to support you the best way we can. When my father passed on, I had so many scary thoughts just to avoid having to feel the present moment. Often, that’s all it is.

    You are a strong person, you know it’s anxiety and that’s it! Try not to look up symptoms of other things if you can. It’s hard, but please try. I am confident you will make it through and when you do, it will be a wonderful place for you to be.


  148. Peter Says:

    Hi guys I’ve found this blog really interesting. My anxiety has improved a lot over the last few weeks eg the physical symptoms but it seems that the disturbing thoughts are the last thing to go! I certainly notice they get worse when I feel anxious and have a surge of adrenaline. At work yesterday I was just walking along and then suddenly felt down for no reason….then the thoughts kicked in of course! My main ones are about death and suicide which I find VERY disturbing! I know that I will never do such a thing but find it very hard to ‘accept’ such a thought and let it be there without questioning it.

    I also seem to be very sensitive to the weather at the moment eg if it is a grey day I immeditately think ‘I’m going to be anxious today’. This is of course silly and I think it’s because my anxiety was as its worst during February when it was dark and gloomy and of course my memory is still making this association!

    The good thing I suppose is that I can see these thoughts for what they are. The hard thing for me is trying to let them be there in my day and not react to them!

  149. David Says:


    I’m glad you found this blog. I wanted to commend you for not giving your disturbing thoughts any notice. That’s a great accomplishment!

    Weather is something that a lot of people seem to have issues with including me. Sunny days are great and gloomy days are sort of gloomy. However, getting active really helps me. I try to get as active as I can on something that i like to do on Gloomy days. Sometimes, I play piano or do cross word puzzles. This helps me excercise the other part of my brain and when I do, it somehow makes the anxious part not so active.


  150. Peter Says:

    Thanks for that David. I do try and let the thoughts go but it can be difficult at times! I’ve got a cold at the moment which is bringing me down a bit and I think this can make it harder to let the thoughts just be there – they can stick and race!

    Good advice re dealing with the gloomy weather. I think I need to be more active on such days rather than just moping around and feeling sorry for myself!

  151. David Says:


    Not a problem Peter. If anyone has tips on what they do to sort of let the thoughts pass through please post them. It would be good to compile a list of ideas that we could all benefit from.


  152. Karen Says:

    Hi guys…still having it a bit tough lately. Thoughts of course being the fuel to my ongoing fire. Just wondering, has paranoia ever been an issue with any of you? Its silly little things that probably I would have thought about before but with me being so anxious they have scared me. Just little thoughts like…did my sister in law just send me that text message because she feels sorry for me, wich escalates to ” oh god are people feeling sorry for me” which goes further to” am i acting weird and people are noticing” just thoughts escalating but now Im aware of the paranoia and it scares me. I dont like being like this. Its more being bothered by actually being slightly paranoid than actually being paranoid myself. If you get me…. I know its just anxiety but on these days I feel like .,…it just cant be that simple…its hard sometimes. And adrenaline kicks my butt big time. Making me worse. I know its just a set back…but i could do with a little encouragement right now. Urgh its tough!!

  153. candie Says:

    Hi Karren

    Your mind is just tricking you again, its all anxiety.. as when it passes you will see that it is nothing to worry about & probably wonder how you managed to get so worked up about. Oh the tricks anxiety plays!

    Like Paul says in his book, dont worry how people perceive you, ya will get a chance to be yourself properly when you recover.. its only because you have your full attention on yourself and over thinking etc.

    When i was at my worst i used to think this at college, now i dont care. If anything now im a lot better, i joke around more and talk more etc.. which sometimes i bet i do come across as a nutcase!! That is me naturally though so im not going to change anything soon!

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, we tend to beat ourselfs up a lot throughout this illness, when the anxiety and any symptoms of it are not our fault. So cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to be this way for now, your going to be like this either way.. so allowing yourself to be like it will stop fuelling the illness.

  154. David Says:


    What Candie says is correct. It is anxiety doing it’s thing. I find it useful to catch myself in these patterns and work through them. You will do it, you have the support of everyone here. You are doing great!


  155. JR Says:

    Karen…i understand the thoughts pattern. I’m getting this thought that maybe I married the wrong partner this is why i’m anxious/dp. It really kicks my butt sometimes and brings up any negative about my partner and feels so real. I was just having these thoughts for the past few hours and that led to worse thoughts. Finally my thoughts and mind went to “ok i gotta get a divorce to get better.” then it kind of burnt out and now the thoughts are gone.

    candi or david when you get these thoughts do you just let them burn out like that and realize that they’re not real?

  156. Karen Says:

    Yeah I reckon you really have to let them burn out..when they do die down they dont seem so scary at all. But when in the middle of scary thoughts they are so overwhelming and real. Believe me i know. And even though I KNOW that its just anxiety…my mind has funny ways of convincing me that its not, it could be this or it could be this. Lately the dp is strong and i dont feel like me anymore. That really scares me. When i dont feel like me I dont feel grounded and a whole host of anxiety symptoms set in. It really is a matter of saying HEY…you are just anxiety now step aside so i can get on with my day. It doesnt matter if you are there or not..Im doing my thing anyway!

  157. David Says:


    It’s like what Karen said. It’s just the idea that these thoughts are here as a distraction. You really can’t give them the time of day. It’s the fact that we give them attention that gives them an credence in our mind.

    Karen, the dp feeling is normal, but I find working with my hands, singing or playing guitar really helps me feel like me. Often time, it’s just the fact that we have spent so much time on these scary thoughts that makes us not feel like ourselves. Do something that you like to do, for YOU. This tends to make me always feel better.

    Don’t forget scary thoughts are just worries and we are just real big worriers.


  158. Peter Says:

    Hi all, I think this is the crux of the anxiety problem! Even though we rationally know that when we are having an anxious period during the day the symptoms are just anxiety and we should ignore them the physical feelings/scary thoughts make us think something awful is going to happen/I’ll never get better and to make us think/obssess about them and explore them further.

    I’ve had several points today when I’ve suddenly felt low for no reason and had really negative thoughts but an hour or so later the adrenaline has burnt itself out and I feel ok(ish!) again. I am slowly ‘learning’ that there is a pattern to this illness and once you can convince yourself that the bad periods will pass (they always do) and the thoughts are not what you really believe you are gradually on your way to recovery.

  159. candie Says:

    Yes i do JR, there is no point trying to even rationalise them and try think of all the reasons they arn’t true.. if ya let it burn out you come to a clearer point of thinking when the anxiety dies down.

    If you investigate, thats when they stick and turn into bad habits etc.

    At the time mine feel real, but after i always think isnt it mad the tricks anxiety can play. Each time it passes it becomes easier to dismiss them as anxiety.

  160. Dave Says:

    ahhhhhhhhhhhh I’m dealing with these worries now.

    Like JoeyLowTown said, i’m 22 and I find a lot of my worries revolve around sex. For a while I was VERY worried that I was going to become some type of rapist or pervert. I also would force myself to stop looking at women in the street etc. to try to “make sure” that I wouldn’t go down that path. I understand that fear and it’s really scary.

    Thing is now I have new fear and this one has been scaring me a LOT the last three days… you guys might laugh, but I’ve been worried that maybe deep down i’m GAY and I just never knew. It doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve always been attracted to women since a young age, and never been aroused by a man or had any fantasies about men, but for some reason I keep thinking of things I do and how they might seem kind of gay and it’s like i’m convincing myself that I am and torturing myself. Even the fact that I have ANXIETY made me wonder if I was gay as they say women are twice as likely to get it as men are. The other day even, I was at work and was gonna go get an oreo milkshake from the store, but then stopped when I got there because I was thinking how it was something a gay person would drink. I never was really homophobic either. I don’t know how you can go from worrying that you will become someone who rapes women to worrying that you are someone who is gay. Only thing is now It feels like it’s ruining my life. When one of my friends makes a gay joke I feel uncomfortable as if I am gay and when I think of women or look at them I think about how i’m feeling and if I’m really attracted to them or i’m just making myself do it. This is REALLY BOTHERING.

  161. Candie Says:

    Dave, you ask how you can go from pervert to gay… well these are irrational anxiety thoughts, thats why they are so silly! They dont make any sense or bare any truth what so ever, that is why you have gone from one extreme to another (not that been gay is wrong).

    You wont beleive me at this moment, but when the adrenalin burns out and u stop panicking… you are going to find this though hilarious and have some understanding of how anxiety plays its tricks!

    This is a very common thought with anxiety, you are not gay… it is so obvious you are not… deep down you know your not too. You are probably paying this thought way too much attention.

  162. Gery Says:

    Hi guys!
    I’m glad that I found this blog and Paul’s book. They are very helpful .
    Thanks Paul!
    I have anxiety for one year. I went through every physical symptom, also through suicidal thoughts, awful depression and dp.
    Now I suffer from very scary, unwanted thoughts. I was fine for 3-4 days. This happen to me few times. Here I discover that there are setbacks, but I can handdle with them. When thoughts comming I start questioning myself again: “What’s wrong with me? Maybe it’s not anxiety, maybe I have some mental illness. ” And the cycle carry on! And I wonder why I carry on fair, though I know that is just axienty and it play its tricks.

    What really bothers me is the mind chatter, that says completly rubbish, thinking bad things about my mother and son. I love them so much but my mind tell me that I hate them, that I want to hurt them, its like some stupid song come in to my head and stick in there.
    Maybe it’s sounds funny to someone, but for me it’s so scary. I try to let those thought just be there, do not fight, but it’s so so hard.
    Today it’s a worse setback I ever had:(( I even think that I’ll never be normal again.

    Thanks everyone, it’s a wonderful blog!

    P.S. Sorry about my terrible english:(

  163. No More Anxiety Says:

    Gery I had to edit your post a little for certain reasons, but your message is there. Why not watch the video it may help a little as it covers what you talk about. I did put it as a post but thought it maybe better in this post instead.

  164. David Says:


    What you suffer is so very common as a symptom of anxiety. Rest assured you are not crazy, you have developed a bad habit that can be changed. These thoughts are only thoughts. You are likely above average intelligence and a very compassionate person. You will not act on these thoughts because they scare you so much. You have to just learn to let them flow through your mind like any other thought. I know hard that can be, but you will do it!


  165. Gery Says:

    Paul, I understand about editing my post. And thanks again for the video , I’ll listening later on, because I should go and care of my little baby.
    It’s so nice that I have your support!

    David, thanks for your quick reply!
    Yor’re so right about my compassion. I use to be a very good person, so compassionate and kind-hearted. But now…what could I say, I can’t recognise myself. I feel so much anger and worry. I’ m emotionless.
    Looks like I lost forever my real nature…I even can’t lead a normal conversation, without this stupid, nasty voice in my head. I know that I’m not capable to do anything awful (I can’t hurt even a fly), but this awful voice make me feel so disgusting from myself. These thoughts are so opposed of real me, that’s why it’s so hard to accept them.

  166. David Says:


    You still are a great compassionate person. You have anxiety right now and it will get better over time. Follow what Paul discusses in his book and you will eventually see these thoughts for what they are, “Just Thoughts”.

    You will be fine my friend, millions of others have suffered the same as you and millions have kicked the bad habit. You will kick the bad habit too!


  167. Gery Says:

    thanks again for encouragement. My husband also give me an support, but he doesn’t know the half I’m going through. And of course he doesn’t understand. I think that axienty is very hard to understand from people that never been there. If he knows about my thoughts he surely would think that I’m crazy one.
    I’m so glad that I can communicate with people like you.
    Have a peaceful night!

  168. Candie Says:

    oooh the link works now! i will watch the video 😀

    I have read a bit on the site, it mensions Pure O , a form of OCD based on purely obsessions. Now to a doctor i would probably be classed as that, however i dont think it is the case with me. The thoughts i have dont come out of no where, i make my self think them depending on my anxious state.. sort of testing it. The thoughts dont come to me, i go to them. I dont think i have ever had an intrusive thought that came to me… or maybe i have i just didnt suffer with anxiety so they where never an issue.

    Maybe i do have OCD, i dont care though. I am wise with these symptoms now! As for as im concerned obsessive thoughts are just a habit we use to express our anxiety. Just like agrophobia is a habit formed by avoiding places etc that people link with when they feel with anxiety.

    My motto now is ‘let the illness be itself, and the symptoms will take care of them self too’. The reason we suffer is because for so long we have been doing too much – always fighting and tensing. The book Paul had on here by Will Beswick has really helped me change my outlook on these thoughts.. if anyone hasnt read it i recomend it. I am learning to change many bad habits through that book, habits i didnt realise i had.. which where holding me back from recovering.

    Sometimes recovery has to be a subcontious ‘do’ when it comes to habits. Like if i find myself fighting or testing myself with thoughts, i think to myself that it is unnecasary to put up a false fight. Eventually this will become ingrained subcontiously. I was a bit confused that ,doing anything, was not accepting, but Will explained that sometimes you have to remind yourself not to fight, to create new healthy habits and not fuel the anxiety… resulting in a not ‘do’ by not fighting the anxiety.

  169. jimmy Says:

    Ugh – the thoughts. Yes, I can relate to almost every post on here. They may not be the same thoughts but they’re all part of the same condition.

    I am in a bit of a setback time now as these existential thoughts are back in full force. Thoughts like “what’s it all for?” “who are we?” “what is the purpose of it all?” Also, the feeling that this will never go away is there. I know that my non-anxious mind passes these questions/thoughts off as nonsense but they are sticking right now. I know that my issue is giving them far too much respect and letting myself be negative. I also think I am subconsciously fighting them even though I know this is the wrong thing to do. I know I’ll get there – needed to vent.

    Hope everyone is well.

  170. Karen Says:

    Hi Jimmy
    Ah yes the existential thoughts. They have gotten a hold of me the last week or two. They bring with them horrible dp..i just keep on telling myself that this will pass…i dont bring worry to it as i know exactly where it comes from. I have my mind a bit muddled at the moment though. Im so afraid of becoming paranoid that I seem to “test” myself with paranoid thoughts and of course then the thought is there and i convince myself that i am indeed paranoid. Ive been so anxious lately in general about everything. Im just in a pretty crappy setback and the one thing i find Im missing is my ability to see past the bull $*it. Its like every fantasy and “what if” is flying through my head at warp speed and im lost in them. I just notice the lacking thing is my ability to say hold on a second, thats not true, thats not me, thats not real. And of course, stemming from that I become afraid that Im going to be locked in this way of thinking forever.
    Its not nice, I will say that much. But we have to keep plugging on. We have to keep going about our day and let anxiety chatter away in the background. Because thats all it is…background noise. Thoughts and more thoughts…and as Ive always said, there is NO END to our imaginations so we have the potential to scare ourselves into oblivion and back again if we let it.
    You see…anxious mind, anxious thoughts…
    The thoughts are just that…thoughts.
    Once a false sense of importance gets attached to any thought, your mind will keep bringing it up, its just habit. Let your new habit be…so what…whatever. Every time the same…so what, whatever…as hard as it is…thats the only response you give it. No matter how many times it comes up…the same…so what..whatever, and go about your day. Even if you have to do it a million times each day…it will become habit eventually and the importance will diminish and your memory wont need to keep throwing it at you to “sort it out”. Its HARD, but it WORKS

  171. David Says:

    I just wanted to share with everyone something that has helped me out recently. I have been sort of tracking when these types of thoughts occur. When they do occur, it seems to be when I am about to let myself feel good about something or feel good about my future. I have trained myself it seems, to beat myself over these positive things. I also know that if I get really involved in complicated thinking for my job, the anxiety seems to disappear. Just thought I’d share that with everyone.


  172. Manuella Says:

    Ohh…I’m feeling very dumb now! So much going on around here and I had no idea!

    Paul, how can I keep track of the new comments in different topics? 😀

  173. jimmy Says:


    Thanks for the post. Agreed that the thing to do here is remember that it’s only a thought and that’s it. That’s the hardest part though – it’s almost re-training your mind and breaking the habit. I’ve had too much success and have felt too good lately to get too down. You are right – it WORKS – it’s just a little bit of a journey and doesn’t happen overnight.

    I’ve also tested myself where I will feel good for a while and then say “wow, I don’t feel anxious” and then it comes back. The way I see it, if anxiety wasn’t present within us, it wouldn’t come back like that. It would be there anyway and rear its ugly head in some other fashion.

    The existential thing has kinda morphed into a hyper-awareness of living thing for me at times and then I get all worked up. It’s like I find it hard to fathom how I will be able to tolerate this feeling for the rest of my life. I guess it’s just me being too inner-focused and paying way too much attention to myself. The physical symptoms don’t scare me too often because I know where they stem from and that they always end – I suppose I need to try to remember that the thoughts are just another symptom that will pass also.

  174. Scarlet Says:


    I was plagued by intrusive thoughts and panic attacks for a long while (had PND after my second child). I am fully recovered myself now, with the help of Paul as well. Re: that video, take what you can from it and no worries about the label of OCD. The thoughts didn’t come out of nowhere for me either, and I also felt I was constantly testing myself. Personally though, I don’t find labels useful, it’s all anxiety at the end of the day, but that doc. does offer some useful tips for these type of thoughts..

    Generally I found that if I faced my fears and intrusive thoughts, i.e if I was afraid of crossing the busy dual carrigeway, or driving on the motorway, flying, bathing my baby… then I just went and did it anyway and accepted the anxiety… and I got on with ‘normal’ daily activities despite the way I was feeling. I read somewhere that you need to face your fear around 15 times to get over it. It’s difficult at first but this is what helped me enormously, as at one time I didn’t leave my house and became afraid of everything. Today I lead an absolutely ‘normal’ life, and you can too, please know this.

    Best regards Paul my friend :-)


  175. No More Anxiety Says:

    Hi Scarlet!

    I want to add what Scarlet has said and it was her that brought this video to my attention. I also say don’t go for labels, I certainly did not have O.C.D as I read it, but would have found the video helpful in my own suffering. I did not have a lot of the symptoms he mentioned, never angry or hurtful thoughts, just constant random thinking, which I understand now. But the video mentions not challenging them and leaving space for them, just allowing them to be there, not caring if they are or not. Also he mentions as I have done in the past about not spending your time trying to be perfect, which really means fighting to be better. Allow yourself not to be perfect and you may find some peace. I also like the way he goes on about not finding the escape door all the time. Feeling anxious or another symptom and taking the escape route, this could be running away from a situation, making excuses to get away while talking with someone, running around feverishly trying to forget about how you feel, these doors may work in that instant, but not in the long term.

    And Scarlet exactly what you did, whatever my thinking, just get on with my day, allow any thought to be there and in time without reaction, they dampened, they had lost their edge to shock and shouted with less force and came less frequent, until like you say my body re-adjusted itself. I had took all the anxiety out of the thoughts, the anxiety that kept them alive. My anxiety was the cause and while I stood in fear of them and let them bother me they would continue. I used to walk around trying to figure everything out, worry why I could not think straight, wonder if I was going crazy, try to not think certain things, which is a battle you will always lose. I began to do the opposite and saw massive changes.


  176. Candie Says:

    Yea, it is a good link, and that doctor seems to know what hes talking about. I think my symptoms mimic OCD very closely, and if i told my doctor he would probably diagnose me with it.

    I dont think i have it though, as i say i dont have random intrusive thoughts, i sort of create and test myanxiety with them. Sort of creating thoughts to sum up how anxious i feel. Iv had no anxiety the past two days and havnt been bothered by any thoughts, so i know thats all it is.

    Saying that if what i have is OCD, i dont care.. as i think all anxiety can be treated by accepting it. If there adrenalin isn’t there, then i dont panic about thoughts or obsess- so i know im on the right path and thats all that matters :)

    Scarlet, it is nice to have someone come back that is better… it shows us all it is acheivable. :)

  177. David Says:

    Very excellent posts, thank you all for sharing.


  178. Gery Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I have very tough days lately. My thoughts are so scary and my brain jabber is so intrusive and I start to think that I have split of personality…?!? If I have this disorder is it possible to know it?
    I don’t know what to think anymore:-(
    Please, help!!!

  179. David Says:


    You are ok, please understand that this is only anxiety. The brain jabber is intrusive because you are reacting to it. It takes time, but the jabber will slow down. Please rest assure that you don’t have a split personality disorder. You have likely gone through a stressful event in the past 6 months or so. The fears and brain jabber is just a distraction away from what you are really worried about. Try not to pay them any attention and the will not stick around. It’s hard to do, believe me I know.. but, you can do it!! You will do it!!!


  180. Gery Says:

    David, thanks a lot!
    You’you’re right about stresseful event. It was an operation one year ago and I was scared to death. One month before operation I was so scared and stresed, and then I’ve got the most frightful physical symptoms. Now they are all gone but the strange, scary thoughts and mind jabber still bother me a lot. I worry so mutch that I can’t control my thoughts, and day after day I scare myself with different thoughts and images. I feel
    helplessness, nothing can’t distract me. What shall I do, I try to not react, but it’s so difficult…

    David, you look like you’re overcome your anxiety, right?

  181. David Says:


    I have worked on it and I still have my anxious set backs. I understand how hard it is as well. These thoughts seem to come from no where, but they are just a distraction, pay no attention to them and they will go away. I know easier said then done, but they do fade. It makes you feel awful having them and I know, because i have had them. One thing to remember is that they are “thoughts, only thoughts” You wont act on them and you know it.

    The reason they scare you so much is because you are a kind sensitive person with lots of love in your heart. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t scare you at all. So, it’s a good thing really. I know I know it feels horrible but it is ok, you and millions of others around the world suffer this way.

    Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone and that we have all the same scary thoughts. It’s just anxiety. I’ll give you an example of how I still get my scary thoughts. If I am procrastinating at work, I will sometimes get a scarey thought. It’s diverting me from doing what I need to do.

    This is similar to what you are doing. These thoughts are just diversions.

    I have found that injecting spirituality into my life has really helped with these thoughts. You may want to try this too.


  182. Gery Says:

    Thanks for the post. I’ll try what you said.
    But the most frightful symptom is my mentally talking. The voice in my head that jabber nonsense, insult myself and people I love, it says vulgar words, I argue with myself. It’s so dificult to not react at such a thoughts. And the main problem is that I doubt that is anxiety. I thing that I have some serious mental problem. I have to care of my newborn son, but with this constant mind jabber is very, very hard. I have to admit that I’m afraid of myself, of my thoughts to death…

  183. David Says:


    Just remember that this jabber is nonsense. It is very common that new mothers have this form of anxiety. It used to be called post natal depression. I have read so many articles on the subject. If you want to not feel so alone there are free online chat rooms with other mothers that are suffering the same as you are. If you would like me to post the website address I will. I have talked to many new mothers and expecting mothers that have exactly the same symptoms. This may help to bring some relief. Please let me know and I will post the web address here for you.

    It’s just anxiety, please remember this. A very famous American actress Heather Lockleyer is suffering the same at this time and it is helping to bring anxiety to a more public place.

    You will be fine. These thoughts are just that thoughts. They are here as distraction that is all.


  184. Gery Says:


    Today I had four great hours thanks to you:)
    This morning I felt so anxious and desperated, but now these feelings gone. I don’t know about tomorrow but right now I feel so optimistic, I even make a plans for the future. Thanks again for your support.
    And Yes, please give me that site you’re talking about.
    Hope that Paul doesn’t mind.

  185. David Says:


    I tried to post the URL but it would not let me. Please let me know a way to get this to Gery if you can. I really think she would benefit from this.


  186. Gery Says:

    David, you can send me the link to my e-mail address:
    Many thanks!

  187. candie Says:

    Hi everyone, i havnt posted in a while.. as i like to keep a healthy distance from anxiety as a subject. Gery, one thing you said is the key to your full recovery of the anxiety.

    You mensioned that you have four hours and felt great, now them four hours you probably didnt have much adrenalin circulating around your body.. so doesnt that tell you that all the fighting with the thoughts and trying to argue with them is not the answer… as that adrenalin will be there regardless, so why not let it burn out and not add to it with more worrying and fighting. Eventually your adrenalin levels will drop, and the anxiety will disapear.

    I am proof that this works, as i am in a much better place then i was back in february. I had the most awful, strange thoughts.. i still do sometimes but i have learnt to see them as just thoughts- and they are coming a lot less often.

    I am guessing you even push yourself into thinking these thoughts, as a way of fighting them by trying to gain clarity. The truth is there is no 100% proof that i may lose my mind one day and go harm someone.. there is no solid proof anyone in this world will never commit an act of crime, so all the fighting in your head will get you no where.. as that form of clarity doesnt exist. Your mind will clear when you let your thoughts be, have a bit of confidence in the fact your a good person too.. been to hard on yourself will just make things worse. You didnt ask to be anxious and you certainly arnt happy with your thoughts, so that is enough proof to know it is simply thinking the unthinkable.

    I hope i dont scare anyone by saying there is no proof any of us will not do something bad, im not for a minute sugesting we would ever be capable of that… im just saying you can fight for clarity, worry, obsess .. but it does no good; because no one can ever prove to themself otherwise, we know we wouldnt do anything bad deep down.. we just cant prove it. If we could prove these things then this part of the illness wouldnt exist so take a gamble and have a bit of confidence in yourself. I dont have any thoughts about harm or anything like that now, i lost fear of them a bit back and they disapeared.

    Also Gery, people that are going mad dont know it! This illness is the opposite of going mad… infact you are 110% sane- you have simply started to over analyse yourself and zoom in on certain thoughts and feelings due to the anxiety.

    Paul introduced us to a book written by the man that owns this website, take a look as it really helped me.

  188. Gery Says:

    I like your posts so much!
    You’re right that I push myself into thinking these thoughts, I’m kind of provoke them and then I feel afraid. But I haven’t control over them.
    Last two days I noticed that I feel much better in the evening, I feel a little bit soberminded and even I thought for normal things, did plains for the future. In the evenings my mind is much clear and my OSD don’t bother me so much. At that time I see the thoughts for what they are-just thoughts.
    But in the morning, when I wake up I feel so anxious, my OSD is so intrusive and…I start with all doubts again. Then is so hard to cope with my day and to do things I have to. And the most stresseful thing is that I say to me that I never be normal again and I may have some serious mental illness (it’s maybe because I readed somewhere that OSD is mental illness) and I panic even more.

    Candie, what do you think, is it normal this alternation in my mood?
    Am I on my way to recovery?

    Thanks to everyone!
    Have a peaceful night!

  189. Candie Says:

    Gerry, the reason you have an alteration in your mood is because you have less adrenalin to cause anxiety in the evening, thats all. So thats all you need to know. Maybe u have less in the evening as you have burnt a lot of it of during the day?? Makes sense to me.

    When ya feel like forcing yourself back into thoughts to get clarity, remind yourself that you dont need to fight, as the fight proves nothing because u can never find clarity, it comes to you subcontiously! I learnt this from Will beswicks book. Dont test yourself with thoughts either, i know its hard at first but it is unnecasary fighting. I really think Will beswicks book will help u, he has fully recovered from obsessive thoughts so like Pauls book it shows its possible if u just let go of the fight.

    OCD is a label doctors use, its nothing just a habit you have used to express your anxiety. Once the adrenaline has calmed u will react to these thoughts rationally. So dont think u have to do something to sort the thoughts, u dont… as they are just an of shoot of your anxiety as paul says. Thats why on some days they bother us and some days they dont.

    Sometimes recovery has to be a ‘do’ in order to not fight, so for a while your will be remind yourself not to fight.. then it becomes inbuilt and thats when ya start to feel a lot better.

  190. David Says:

    Just wanted to say, I’m in a bit of a rough spot again. Lots of pressure at work and went and read something on the internet that scared me. I hope all of you are doing well.



  191. JoeyLowtown Says:

    David things in the news etc scare me too. I keep thinking im a bad person these days also and thinking back on anything bad I ever did in my teenage years. Truth is we are fine, we will and can get through this. I know it comes in spells, cos I’ve had good spells also and my scariest ever thought has faded a lot. Do you have a hobby? Fishing helps me loads, gives me a focus when I get in from work etc! Chin up mate, if you need to ask any questions, dont hold them in, fire away!

  192. David Says:


    Thanks a lot for your comments. I think I got a lot on my plate these days and an echo from the past has resurfaced to cause me again more anxiety. You know Joey, have kids and a wife and this stuff is such a let down to have at times. You know these thoughts are anxiety but I can’t wait till they fade a bit more. My biggest fear has sort of slowed down over the past month or so, but I just feel sort of empty at times. I got lots of hobbies, just no time to do them. I am commuting 3 hours out of my day to work, so little time left at the end of the day. I was thinking about getting a new job maybe. I have to feed the family and keep it all together cause my wife doesn’t make that much. I always felt this pressure, but it’s part of being responsible.

    I thought back to when I was a teenager and these thoughts sure were around back then too. I used to be afraid to do certain things and I would say certain things to myself to make myself over and over if I was afraid.

    Now these thoughts are doing the opposite, they are making me afraid. I am just trying to let them go the best I can. Some days they seem to be constantly there others hardly there at all.

    Anyway, we’ll make it my friend.


  193. Gery Says:

    Candie, thanks for reply.
    I try to avoid reading in forums, because sometimes some posts make me scare even more. I understand that is’s just bad habit, but still can’t accept some of my scary thoughts. I think of them almost every minute, it’s so
    disturbing. Whether I ever will achieve peace of mind.

  194. Peter Says:

    Hi all!
    Have been much better recently but still struggling with the thoughts on and off. Worst one for me is my anxiety associated with dull/cloudy weather. If I wake up and the day is cloudy it seems to trigger negative thoughts and then the adrenaline starts!
    I know this seems to be a bit of a strange obsession! Oddly some days it doesn’t seem to bother me but I’ve noticed it always seem worse when I’m tired……
    Any hints/tips on what I should or shouldn’t do?


  195. Debbie Says:

    Peter, My mood and worries are much worse on a gloomy day, i think its cause i can’t busy myself in the garden!!!! don’t worry about it, its just your body playing tricks on you, you’re worse on a gloomy day because you think you will be worse…. you’re expecting to be worse so you thin and worry and bang you’re in the cycle again!!! try not to worry about it, just ake each day as it comes.
    Does anybody worry about having illnesses???? thats my absessional thought. i worry about my physical symptoms, and think i’ve got a horrible illness..
    can anyone help???

  196. David Says:

    Hi Debbie,

    I have had that actually back in 2002. I know how horrible it is. At that point, I worked out at the gym 3 times a week and within about 2 months it went away. Now I am struggling with other fearful thoughts. I just think we can’t stop thinking at times. All of these thought based fears seem to be based on self esteem. It is important that we keep our self esteem high. I think that’s why working out at the gym makes the symptoms less.


  197. Gery Says:

    Hi Debbie, I was obsess with physical illnesses year ago. Now I know that I haven’t physical illness, but doubt that I have some mental problem, because of my awful thoughts. This symptom is so terrible and thoughts look so real…
    I think that when you believe in something your subconsciousness can make everything to convince you of it. So now we all have to believe opposed. We’re all wonderful persons and there is nothing wrong with us. It’s just anxiety and panic…

  198. David Says:


    Well said. There is nothing wrong with us at all. We are worrier warriors and are empathetic, sensitive individuals. I have just read the Linden method and I quite like what he has to say about it all.


  199. Lynn Says:

    After reading some of your posts I cried.

    I cried because I am not alone and I cried for everyone that has to deal with these horrible intrusive thoughts. I also feel soooo much better knowing that I am not an absolute psycho!!!

    I have been dealing with my anxiety for 14 years. It got really bad during my pregnancy with my second child. The most annoying thing is trying to be the old you and trying to be normal but not really feeling it. I desperately want to feel ‘normal’. I guess its something that really does require a fair bit of energy in order to get better. I also think that one of the worst things with these thoughts is bottling them up and feeling like you have a hidden secret!!

    I really wish I could help everyone including myself. We deserve more so lets give it to ourselves. Life is ok and ultimately we CAN choose to live it how we want. Sometimes I imagine someone I love being in so much turmoil, I would do everything in my power to help them so treat yourself with the same respect. EVERYBODY has stuff to deal with lets put an end to it and try to enjoy our precious lives.

  200. clare Says:

    hello everyone, i suffer with d.p constantly from the moment i wake up till i go to bed, i dont remember things i have only just done i know i have done them but it feels like i dreamed i done it. well recently i decided to try and carry on my life as normal and started my driving lessons, my anxiety went out the roof, i had anxiety rash all over my body and at the time i was trying so hard to concentrate on my lesson, what i had to do, it was so hard trying to concentrate when i just cant get myself to be here in the living, anyway i plodded on, fine, the next lesson i had (no nervous shaking or rash!!) just completely not here at all, i didnt even remember doing the lesson as soon as i had gone in my home 2 minutes afterwards.
    i felt like it wasnt me, i know i really want to do this just for myself, its just so hard when i dont even feel like im here and no matter how much i relax, it still wont go into my head and stay there.
    i dont know whether i should carry on with my lessons? has anyone done their lessons while having d.p. at the time??? how did anyone else manage to do this can i please have a few tips???? and did u manage to pass your test!!!!!
    from clare xxxxxxx

  201. lisa Says:

    your worrying about the dp being there clare,your worrying about the rash,your worrying about the dp being there morning till night so your not accepting clare..i know its hard i truly do but you need to try and stop worrying about it,pay it no mind like paul said.i was the same but changed my attitude.yes your there but balls, im going shopping,or going on my driving lesson,work,hoovering etc…everytime it drifts in accept it and refocus back on your driving etc…your training your mind you dont care whether its there or not.i know its hard clare but the more you say or do things your paying it no mind. i no longer have dp now but you will be fine.i cant comment on your driving but im sure youl pass just let the worries go :-) hope you class balls ok paul!

  202. Lynn Says:

    I was absolutely terrified of doing my drivng lessons. I was convinced that I would kill everyone in the car with my terrible driving or I would lose it and freak out at the most inopertune moment. As it turns out I did just fine and passed with flying colours. If your anything like me you will think you are the one that cannot be cured, your condition is worse than anybodys and actually you really are going mad!!! It sounds ike everybody here feels like that now and again. If I can do it so can you – believe me. Its amazing how when you actually need to focus you will. Lisa is right pay it no mind, it is hard to trust yourself but practice it when you feel safest try and induce the feelings try make them do their worst – personally I could never do it. Even in therapy sessions when I was actually scared to be there I could not induce full panic attack feelings/thoughts – How strange that when you invite them they have no strength. I am still practicing this though as it takes a wile to beleive in yourself as if you have been doubtng yourself for as long as I have you need to build your confidence back up. Take solice that you are not alone and this condition is not unique to you. Believe when people tell you everything will be ok. Wishing you well xx

  203. Lynn Says:

    Just thought I’d let you know that my dad is schizophrenic – woohoo, so as well as having anxiety I

  204. Lynn Says:


    constantly worry that I am going to turn out just like him! Isn’t life just fantastic!!! lol xxx

  205. clare Says:

    lisa and lynn thankyou so much for your words, i felt so comfortable today on my lesson, i dont know what it is but i never panic im just so flat is the only way i can explain it i think thats why i worry more??? its weird how i make myself feel like this, its like i need a jump start myself to get me back to the living, its been 3 years since i had my breakdown and i can honestly say it frightened the life out of me. im in the middle of reading clare weekes book self help guide, which paul says he read himself i do see alot of myself in there im not really afraid to do anything i just constantly feel flat, does anyone else feel like this??? i know im going from one worry to the next, i just cant help it, i had cbt a while ago and she said i have free floating anxiety????? i thought anxiety is anxiety????? well thats what i know now anyway, lolololol, i too feel like im going to flip out at any moment i have the same thoughts as alot of people on here about my children, but ive learnt to believe in myself that they are only thoughts no matter how loud they shout. :)
    lynne, my mum got sectioned for anxiety and depression and i watched her go through it not wanting to see us when she was in hospital i was 14 at the time and had to look after my 3 siblings me dad was and still is an alcoholic and when it hit me i thought oh my god its in my genes me kids are gonna get it now its like a disease, i think ive learnt to be anxious through my upbringing and never felt anything different apart from anxiety. i am enjoying my recovery even though at times its hard to understand, but the more im finding out about it and with other peoples great words i know it will fade out.
    lisa i didnt even realise that i was paying my dp so much attention until you pointed it out to me, i am constantly aware of it being there so today i thought just get on with my driving lesson and enjoy it clare, and i did, even my instructor said i was a natural! thanks for putting back on the right path!!

    cheers mateys!

  206. clare Says:

    ps…. the thing that makes me panic is death, i am absolutely terrified these thoughts just pop into my head and bam full blown panic attack, almost instantly, as soon as the thought comes im off screaming my head off like a wild banshee running around my house hysterical with fear, i dont know how 2 overcome this fear my therapist couldnt even help me with this one, my first thought happened when i was 13/14 i remember telling my mum to hit me to stop it coming. and ever since ive had these thoughts that just pop into my head.its always the same one. that im going to die thats all i need to say to myself im palpitating now even writing the words. i read someone elses post who says their own fear is death, how do i overcome this fear when it is so real??????

  207. David Says:


    I just read all the new posts. I totally feel for everyone that is suffering from this. Just remember we are not are parents. If I were I would be an alcoholic and this I am not. In my opinion and this is from all the various things that I have read, it appears that most people that suffer from the “Pure O” are generally great people. They are loving, empathetic and in general wonderful people. There seems to be a common thread though and that is, that we had an upbringing that was scary. My dad was an alcoholic and my mother was quite depressed at times. My mother was the one that taught me how to be loving and happy and my father taught me fear. Do you see any parallels? We OST or pure O sufferers seem to have problems deciphering love from fear. This again is my opinion. I know that over time the condition does get better. I am feeling somewhat better these days but still can have a “spike” thought that makes me ruminate for hours. I read an interesting article and i wanted to share it with all that suffer. it is from an American in New York city.

    I have showed this to other sufferers and they got a lot of relief. i hope you do too.

  208. lisa Says:

    invite them in clare your thoughts about dying,there only thoughts ,come in i dont care ,the more you do, the less power they have.let the thought and the fear come so what to it.i promise you it does work.i got to the stage where i said oh you again, hi, and let them be they just go when you no longer fear them anymore.youl be aware of your dp but let it be there dont try and get rid of it or your fighting again.mine just faded on its own,it did take a while but it does get drove me nuts i wont lie but then changed me attitude and just got easier.its paul putting you on the right path,iv followed alot of his advise and put it into practise,but as i read your posts i could see what you were doing just like what i used to do. well done on your driving keep at it x

  209. JoeyLowtown Says:

    I have a fear of death, its terrible, I cant look at hurses when driving in the street. The thing that helps me most is saying to myself, “hang on a minute, find me someone who isnt going to die” without death, there is no life. Hope this helps, it isnt easy, I have instant panic of this aswell and have became far too aware of my own mortality. Chin up

  210. Willbo Says:

    Hey just read this page whilst searching for the problem which i’m suffering from; these scary anxious thoughts! i’ve been searching the web to find out what it meant etc, but kept finding dead ends. I even went to my doctor and he said they sounded like depression symptoms, but i wasn’t so sure. It feels like theres a monster of thoughts just lurking there at the back of your mind, and you feel like you need to be constantly battling him to stay sane. However, this just makes you mentally tired and weaker i discovered. If you accept the way you’re feeling and just keep telling yourself when you feel low, that someday you will feel fine again, and you’re not the only person ever to feel like that. It’s the train of thoughts that feeds this monster, but we are all strong enough to beat it, maybe getting some help along the way with exercise/yoga etc. And talk to someone, the monster doesn’t like it when you shed light on it’s presence! Thanks x x

  211. Carol Says:

    Hi, i wonder if anyone can help, i’m in a nightnare at the moment. I wasgiven morphine for 5 weeks after surgery then i stopped it dead, i then began to have acute anxiety and what feels like constant panic. The scariest thing though is i’ve started getting really off the wall, terrifying irrational thoughts that seem so real and cause intense panic. I’m half afraid to tell you what they are in case you think i’m totally mad, i’m not sure whether its come from movies or what but one thought started off as what if i get possessed, then it went to the more scarey oh i am definately, then another came what if i turn into a werewolf and then that changed to i am. Surely this can’t be just anxiety can it, why do the thoughts seem so real and a what scares me is that if i believe them when anxious i will when not anxious won’t i? i have problems seeing them as symptoms of anxiety, i think that they will be in my head even if anxiety goes, can someone please help, best wishes, Carol.

  212. Sarah Says:

    Carol, Please read and re-read Paul’s orginal posting on obssesive thoughts, You sound SO desperate, I am sorry I only just noticed your posting. Lets get something straight here….No matter what your thoughts, they are not REAL, they are REAL thoughts you are having, but they are not REALITY. Consider a simple example, I have a thought, ‘Oh, I must put the bins out. The only time it turns into reality, is when I actually put the bin out, until then, it was ‘just a thought’ NOT REALITY. So to take your example (and it never ceases to amaze me the way we always begin with ‘What if?’) ‘What If’ I was a werewolf? Deep down, do you really believe that? I doubt it, so anxiety plays it’s ‘tricks’ and you turn this in to ‘I am’ a werewolf. But at the same time you do not really believe it, because if that was so, you wouldn’t be posting here looking for answers. One of the most scary moments I had was hearing a very negative little voice, that told me all sorts of things, that literally had me jumping out of bed in panic. It was my own voice though, but the voice of the analysing and very tired part of my mind- NOT my common sense or wisdom.
    I know what it is like, I deal with a horrid state of mind quite often, your not alone, but I am understanding a bit more. Someone recently posted ‘What actual harm did we come to?’ NONE, thats the answer, except we depressed ourselves, and wore ourselves out. For what? nothing is the answer. Please, do not try to be so impressed with your thoughts, they are not real, even though they feel terrifying to you. To have odd frightening thoughts, is actually very normal for someone even without anxiety, the problem is, when we are anxious, they tend to stick like glue, and that is when we get caught up in them, and place to much importance, on something that is not even real.
    Everyone’s individual fears and horrible, upsetting thoughts, are sometimes unique to the individual, thought some are more common than others. My point is this, regardless of the type of thought, the origin of anxiety is the same, and when anxious, one can expect anxious thoughts.
    Finally, I would say try not to make the mistake I always manage to do (thought I am working on it!) Once a terrible/revolting/frightening thought pops in to my mind. I start ANALYSING it. Ok, so now I am analysing it, looking at it from ‘this way and that’ The poor old mind, gets very tired with the same subject, and it seems to grow and grow. Then after 2 days/weeks/months, The penny drops so to speak, and I think, ‘how silly was I even to waste my time on that?’ However, no sooner than I put one to bed, another one pops up, then the cycle begins again – another few hours/days/months/whatever, on wasted time. The problem, is not so much the thoughts, ANYONE at ANYTIME (anxious or not) can have these types of thoughts, our problem is the way we DEAL with them, that is the TRUE problem, and trying to deal with them when you are tired/stressed/anxious does not produce very satisfying results! It is not easy, but does get easier with practice, just say to these thoughts’ ok,your here, I am here, but you are NOT REALITY, you MEAN NOTHING TO ME, carry on if you wish, but I am NOT playing this game anymore. Remember, practice makes perfect, and I promise not matter how bizzare your thoughts, you are NOT ALONE.
    Wishing you courage, and good practicing, and warm wishes.

  213. Carol Says:

    Thankyou so much Sarah, i am so scared at the moment, i have Pauls book but got scared as he mentions what if thoughts and not i am and also my strange thoughts aren’t mentioned i did try desperatly to contact him but sadly didn’t get a response and even cried about that but i know he’s busy. I really am having trouble dealing with the thought as the content scares me and i think that even if the anxiety and panic goes away i will still be thinking and reacting to them. A person on a helpline told me she’d never heard of such bizarre thoughts and that i should find a hobby and scared me to death as she said that the thoughts might not go even if anxiety goes as they are imprinted on the brain. Is that right? will they ever go away? thanks best wishes, Carol x

  214. Sarah Says:

    Good evening Carol.

    Ok, because you were/are desperate you spoke to someone who had no idea what she was talking about! presumably cause lucky old her, she has never suffered with anxiety. ONLY someone who has had this experience can understand. I went to see the Dr when my anxiety all kicked off. I rattled off my strange, bizzare, repetitive thoughts to him. He looked at me, obviously not understanding a word, and do you know what he said? He said ‘well, the mind gets ‘stuck like that sometimes’ maybe take some prozac, and you will feel better in no time’
    That was the first time I had ever come away from the Drs feeling worse than when I went in! So there I was, in the chemist, walking out the door with a box of Prozac, looking at them and wondering ‘what really was my PROBLEM, if the doc doesn’t understand?’ Since then, there has been many a time I almost wish I had been a Dr, to stop other people like me, worrying themselves pointlessly. Do not search left right and centre for answers, you only end getting tied up in knots, further more, it only takes a bit of thoughtless advice, to send you spinning off in a further turmoil of misery and despair. When people, such as Paul, write a book to help others, they are, I am sure, very careful about HOW they write, and WHAT they say. They are like this, because they know that people are vunerable to suggestion at times of acute anxiety (remember they really understand, having suffered themselves) so you will never find your exacts thoughts, and that can also include your particular concern, ‘what if’ turning into ‘I am’ So let me answer your question about the person on the helpline about thoughts being imprinted on your brain. I will be charitable by saying perhaps by this she meant ‘memory’ Let me give you an example. If I was to see a terrible road traffic accident, that image would be imprinted on my mind. Probably, after the event, my mind would replay the event, that would be perfectly normal. The very second after I had walked away from the actual event though, it would automatically become a memory, albeit a very fresh one. You know as well as I do, memory takes time to fade, and at anytime I could re-call the image should I wish to do so, but after time, one no longer bothers, it has no relevance in my day to day living. So will you remember this bad period? The answer is yes of course, we all have memories! I can immediately recall the time my mum told me my dad had died, but do I recall this often? NO, what possible relevance does it have in my schedule today? Anyway, when you are feeling better (YOU WILL YOU KNOW, as impossible as it seems right now) Why should you want to erase the memory? We all have both good and bad memories, but they are part of life, and help us learn some very valuable lessons!
    Ok, on to your bizzare thoughts, I reckon Paul should start up a bizzare thoughts thread, someone’s bound to be more bizzare than yours, if I was a gambling girl, I would lay money on the fact that even mine at times have been weirder than yours!
    Joking aside, how do we deal with them? Why are they there anyway? What is wrong with me? Lets look at 2 senario’s one is fact, one is fiction (not REALITY as I explained in my earlier posting)

    1) The phone rings, and it is the police, who tell me my husband has had a motorbike crash, is in A+E, and upon me asking how bad is it, the reply is, ‘serious, we believe he has a spinal injury’ Ok, so now I am on my way to the hospital during this time, obviously I am HIGHLY anxious, and so a thought process begins……..Will he live? What if he never walks again? What if I have to give up work? Am I going to be able to look after him? Yes, I AM going to help him no matter what. Ie; Problem solved, no matter what the worst case senario the Dr tells me, because I am prepared now.

    2) I am anxious, because I have been frightening myself all day long. I try to watch some telly (let’s say a vampire film shall we?) As I watch this, the thought suddenly pops into my mind, ‘what if I was a vampire?’ Then in the same way, the thought process begins again………..What would it be like never to see daylight again? What would it be like drinking blood? OK, lets stop right there, and look at this a little more closely Carol, Are these bad thoughts? Nope, ANYONE watching this type of movie, may or may not find themselves wondering these things. The difference is, when not anxious, another thought will pop in to your head, such as ‘ I fancy a cup of tea, I will put the kettle on’ You become immediately distracted, and the previous thoughts go. Ok, but we are anxious, so we continue on this thread. In the end, we present ourselves with the ultimate, ‘I am a vampire’ Ie; problem solved, no matter what the worse case senario, because I am prepared now.
    Do you understand now? Can you see the similarities? Your mind has been presented with a problem, one real, the other not. Your analysing mind, is predisposed to help you ‘work it all out’ to ‘prepare yourself’ for the worst case senario. The only difference being, it doesn’t know what is real, and what is not! It is just doing it’s job! A job in ordinary circumstances, you would be very pleased with!
    So give yourself a break, stop being so hard on yourself, you are not different from anyone one who has suffered with obsessive thoughts, above all you are not crazy, just tired and very anxious. Please make good use of this website in doing your searching, do not go to other sites, and end up chasing your tail. In the game of anxiety, you are already ahead. why? Because somewhere tomorrow, someone, maybe many people will wake up and begin this wretched cycle for the very first time. They will have no idea what is wrong with them, and quite possibly get all the wrong answers, in all the wrong places. You at least know what is wrong with you, and can now work towards getting better. Getting better, starts the moment YOU KNOW what is wrong, how else could you be expected to get better? Tell your thoughts, welcome, come on in my dears, I know you are not reality, and I have nothing to gain by engaging with you, so your welcome to hang around if you wish, but I am no longer going to analyse you, and try to ‘work it all out’ cause that simply is not going to help me, and right now, I am tired, and need to look after myself, that is my top priority.
    Take care Carol, you have my fondest thoughts, and high regard.

  215. Carol Says:

    Thanks again so much, do these thoughts eventually go away, that woman made it sound as though even when the anxiety and panic goes they would still be comin constantly and i wouldn’t even want to think them when well. Do they just fade away and are they a symptom of anxiety, i seem to see them as a separate thing that will still be there after, thankyou as always, Carol x

  216. Sarah Says:

    Carol, The questions you are asking me, are the answers I have given you. One of the worst aspects of anxiety, is the feeling you can no longer rely on yourself to come up with the answers, and it is very common for somebody with anxiety to need constant reassurance.

    I would like you to try and practice trusting yourself just a little bit more. If you feel like you can’t trust yourself, trust me, and the words I have told you!

    You ask me the following;

    Do the thoughts fade away? Yes, memories (thoughts and events) FADE over time.
    Is this anxiety? Well, if your having horrible thoughts that upset you, you are anxious!

    There is no seperate ‘thing’ just two naughty school boys that have got together in the playground, they are called FEAR and IMAGINATION. There is no great mystery to it.

    If possible and if you wish, find someone wise to talk to, not someone like my Dr, or that woman on the so called helpline! Spending all day thinking this way and that, can be very trying, and having a sensible person (preferably one who understands anxiety!) to discuss your fears with can help immensely.

    Read Paul’s book again, buy Dr Claire Weekes ‘self-help’ for your nerves, they amount to the same thing, just using different words. These will help you with giving yourself a plan of action, and steer you towards complete recovery. Just don’t get on the merry-go-round, seeking answers here and there, these two books, and this wonderful, common sense website is enough. There will be a time when you look back and be very pleased that you were lucky enough to buy Paul’s book, and have found this website.

    I must go now, the cat has just bought a perplexed looking mouse in. Never did I think life in the country would be so much fun!

  217. Jennifer Says:

    I firstly want to say how greatful I am to have found this website and if you haven’t ordered the book you should because it is amazing!! About 2 months ago I had a very stressful job and was becoming sooo overwhelming! I started having these odd and very scary thoughts that mainly revolved around my boyfriend whom I live with. These thoughts threw me into instant panic mode and they effected me so much I quit my job. At my worse I begged my boyfriend to take me to the emergency room because I felt he wasn’t safe with me around. By the time I got to the emergency room my heart was racing, hands were shaking, I was sick to my stomach and light headed. They gave me ativan to calm me down and had a nurse come in and talk to me. I just new I was losing my sanity and turning into some kind of murderer, why else would I think awful thoughts like that? The nurse reassured me that it was simply anxiety and it was just built up adrenalin and then sent me home. I followed up with a family doctor who put me on a low dose of paxil. Over the next couple of weeks I found myself getting online to find more answers. I wanted to know everything I could about anxiety and if these odd scary thoughts were truly what the nurse explained. By the grace of god I came across this website and the more I read tears just streamed down my face. Finally, people I can relate to and finally someone giving me an explanation. I ordered the book by Paul and even though I’ve read it I still refer to it daily. Accepting these thoughts helps tremendously! It is hard to tell myself it’s ok to have these thoughts and to just let them come in. I’m always giving myself some sort time line like I better make sure I can go a month or two without acting on these thoughts before I accept them. But in all honesty these thoughts scare the crap outta me, I know I would never hurt anyone close to me!! It’s always the fear of what if I lose control. I just want to thank all of you for sharing your stories and mostly thanking Paul for this website! Coming to this site and reading the book gets me through some of my toughest times!! If you let the thoughts be there and you don’t give them any reaction they do die down. When I have them I kind of roll my eyes and think of how rediculous that is. Sometimes I almost give them a giggle when I realize how absolutely silly they are. So it’s been almost 2 months since this has started and Im still on the Paxil. I take the good days with the bad and most of the time the good outweighs the bad! I believe that with time, patience and acceptance I will be able to get on with my life. Thanks again for everything!!!

  218. Carol Says:

    Dear Sarah, thankyou for answering my questions, i’m sorry if i offended you in anyway by asking the same again but i am at the moment very frightened and bewildered firstly at the bizarre content of the thought and secondly at a UK helpline that told me even if the anxiety went they may stay, that is scary for anyone to hear when already terrified, so forgive me if i repeated my questions, thankyou anyway, Carol.

  219. Sarah Says:

    Hi Carol,

    No, you did not offend me in any way! That’s another symptom, we tend to be a bit over sensitive, or ‘raw’ as I seem to feel on occasion! I was going to post anyway, to see how you got on over the weekend? Is it you on the friendship page, under Carol in London? I was going to email, but was not sure if it was you!

    Pay no heed to that silly old ‘UK Helpline’ whoever you spoke to did not have a clue what they were talking about! Anxiety is very poorly misunderstood, which is a real pity considering todays day and age. But try not to heap on the worry further Carol, you just end up chasing your tail. I understand only to well how the thought content can be terrifying, I have been there remember!- us, as well as millions of others!

    Let me know how your doing,

    Kind regards Sarah

  220. Carol Says:

    Hi Sarah , no i’m from Somerset. Ireally feel alone at the moment and that my life is just full of fear whereby only 7 weeks ago i was enjoying my job, laughing and joking with my friends, enjoying my family. I don’t see a way out of this if i can’t stop being afraid of the feelings and this awful thought. I walked around the town yesterday , although i didn’t feel panic stricken i was anxious and uneasy, i did manage to concentrate a bit on some things but got upset remembering how i used to do it all so easily , the thoughts too kept coming in. Then i realised that i hadn’t had the awful thougt for about a half an hour then as soon as i said that to myself wham back it came, so how do we get out of that trap? as we could do that forever couldn’t we?. I think with me its the bizarre content of the thought i am a werewolf, it doesn’t make sense and i don’t understand how i can become terrified of something that can’t happen yet when anxious believe it can, i fully understand how people become afraid of spiders, snakes etc but how do you overcome a fear of something you can even see? Did you believe your thoughts when you had them and where do they go when not afraid do they just melt away and can you talk about hem now with no fear? thankyou, best wishes, Carol.

  221. Sarah Says:

    Hi Carol, Somerset, what a beautiful place – I am Dorset Dumpling orginally!

    I am pleased you went out, as you discovered, even for just half an hour, it ‘took you out of thinking about you’ If I was to be asked, what makes for a typical anxiety sufferer, I would say, someone who is very compassionate (generally putting themselves before others, often at great cost to themselves) a bit of a naturally deep thinker, and someone who has under gone a difficult time, either a period of poor health, or personal trauma, or series of such like events. I daresay, you can see yourself in that description somewhere, if not all of it!
    The problem when anxious, is that thoughts tend to be very bizzare, in the same way as yours are, plus we allow fear, to interupt our logical thinking. The reason you are so terrified (apart from the fact that you find yourself in this rather bewildering state) is that, although you know deep down, you are not a werewolf, the thought is ‘sticking’ So I am sure you have found yourself arguing to yourself about this thought, which merely keeps it alive in your mind. Once we get into analysis over a rather silly thought, it goes round and round, and far from going away, it hangs about even more, which is the very thing we don’t want! I don’t think one ever really believes these thoughts, because our true wisdom never really leaves us, it is always there, a bought of anxiety is not enough to detract from years of common sense! Infact, you could say it is your common sense, that is trying to sort this out for you. When you ask could we think this way forever? What your instinct is actually doing is preparing you for the worse, a worse, co-incidently that is not going to happen! Yes, I found myself wondering about the difference between being scared of spiders etc. But really in an ironic way, this experience can, in the end, be good for us, because what we are dealing with is, as you have rightly recognised; fear itself. Once we know how to deal with that, we would not find ourselves scared of this or that, fear of flying for example. With my thoughts (I do still get them, I am only just into my recovery, so I hope you will be joining me shortly!) is that, I have really realised, that me analysing the impossible, is a pointless waste of time. I have made a deliberate decision, not to use the analysing part of my mind. If I have a genuine problem, my common sense will tell me if it needs attention. Other than that, I have said to myself, let my thoughts come, as is their habit (because it is a habit) but from here on in, no more disecting them, and chewing over all aspects. I have found that they are fading rapidly, quicker than I expected actually! Once I gave myself a break from all this introspection, my mind must have got a bit of a well deserved rest, as when these thoughts do seem to pop in, I can see them a bit clearer now, even find myself smilingly inwardly, at how silly they were, so therefore, they are holding no fear for me.
    There is an old adage, that I am sure you have heard of; ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it’ This is very true, consider not doing fractions for a long time, as an example, I used to be able to do them as a kid at school – wouldn’t have a clue now! So I have decided to use this saying, for the positive I have simply chosen, not to ‘use it’ (the analysing I mean) I am feeling all the better for it. So what if there are odd thoughts rattling in our heads? Everbody gets them, we do not have the monoply on odd thoughts you know! The only difference being, is that people who do not have anxiety, can see that they are rather daft thoughts, and do not bother taking a closer look at them, so they pass quite naturally. As will yours. They go quicker if we can stop attaching fear to them, but I have found, that the fear is going quite quickly enough, just by not engaging with them. That is why they do ‘just go’ They become no use, or relevance to your day to day living. I have said before, that these thougts or this period of time, will become a memory. We all have lots of memories, a mix of good and bad, but we do not spend all day re-calling bad memories, or even good ones come to that.
    Try instead, to concentrate in allowing them their space, but not engaging in trying to figure it all out. Make a start after you have read my post. As I said before, it does help if you have someone wise to talk to, do you have a friend, or family member? A bit of company, and a few re-assuring words, can go along way. I left it far too long, before I asked for some help, I did myself no favours, I was utterly convinced, I could sort ‘all this nonsense’ out for myself. I guess I would’ve done- eventually, but why bother climbing a mountain, when you can skirt round it? However, if you do find youself a bit lonely, it has been said that anxiety can be a lonley business. But do not worry, you are never really alone, all these postings from people who are struggling in their own way is a testiment to that, besides, I am thinking about you!

  222. Carol Says:

    Dear Sarah, thankyou for this i needed it as today has been quite tough. My husband and children are great and very understanding and supportive. I also saw my GP this evening and actually plucked up the courage to tell him about my thoughts, i was comnvinced he would think i was crazy but he didn’t bat an eyelid, he was much more clued up on anxiety than i gave him credit for, in fact he typed out the following and gave to me ‘The thoughts you are getting are not he cause of how you feel, they come as a symptom of your anxiety. In the future they won’t come so intrusively and you will be able to consider them as you wish without them making you anxious’ I keep reading it and your posts, thankyou again, best wishes, Carol x

  223. Sarah Says:

    Hi Carol well that is great news, what a little gem your GP is! I have had a bit of a rubbish day myself, I have a terrible cold, and spent all day with my husband at hospital-waiting for an operation that never happened, great eh? Just what I need right now! Still, it was a good opportunity for me to practise what I have been telling you, and I must say, it is working well. The thoughts drift in and out, but I now know better than to engage or analyse them so they gave up in the end, and went their seperate way. Anyway, let me know how you get on, I am rooting for you!
    Take care of yourself, Sarah x

  224. Carol Says:

    Thanks again, sorry you had a grotty day. I managed somehow to get to town and get to the hairdressers, she said are you ok Carol you look so ill and scared so i did explain a bit about hoe i felt, she was understanding, it was sad as we usually have a laugh and joke together but the feelings were awful, things that used to be so easy only 6 weeks ago now hold fear. One thing i find myself doing though is as i sat there with the anxious feelings i suddenly realised that i hadn’t had that awful bizarre thought for a while then wham back it came and i felt so despondent, i had done it to myself, not for the first time today either, does anyone else do that and how do we get out of that trap as surely we can do that forever can’t we? i also find myself worrying a lot about the bizarre content of my thought as it does seem really off the wall compared to others and can’t understand still where it wil go, i’ve read somewhere that we have to get used to them being there without reacting to them but that makes it sound as though we have to do that forever, just me being confused somemore, thanks, Carol x

  225. Sarah Says:

    Hi Carol, let me tell you, it is going no where – (the content of your thoughts) at best, you go round and round in circles. What we are aiming to do, is step out of our own way, and get off the merry-go round. Of course, the thought(s) flick in and out, they are going to, because they frighten you! However, your thoughts are no more ‘off the wall’ than others, indeed, some people would say, their thoughts are more unpleasant than yours. The less attention you give them, the lighter they ‘stick’ until they bother you no more, and stop coming altogether. You do not have to live with them forever, so do not think this is the case, it’s only your imagination working overtime. It seems to me that you are not accepting that they are with you for the now (not forever) I know how difficult it is to accept, I struggle too sometimes, there is no over night cure, you just got to work with it for a while. This is the only way. As I said before, wierd thoughts in themselves are not abnormal, everyone gets them. The difference being, is that when we are anxious, we ‘tune in’ to them, and pay them more attention than they deserve. Also, it takes a bit of time to adjust to not paying them any respect. For example, as I said, I had a bad day, and I knew, all the chances were, that as I was in a postion of stress, that I likely would start to be a bit introspective again. Well, I did not disappoint myself! Wham, I was in a setback, getting all stressed out and looking at my thoughts, from this way and that. However, I got on with my day, tried not to ‘tune in’ to the content of my thoughts, they are afterall, just a load of old c**p, and very ,very boring. The morning was a bit difficult, I think the mornings, for me, always are. However, by mid afternoon, I was out and about with a few pals, and had a really good laugh, and forgot all about myself and my woes for a few hours. In a way, you are right, when you thought your thought, you had done it to yourself. However, you need to try and reconcil youself to the fact that you have been frightening yourself for 6 weeks or so now, you will probably (out of habit) continue to frighten yourself for a bit longer. As difficult as it seems, just go with the flow. Try telling yourself, if I think these thoughts, so what? who gives a damn? They are NOT reality, and as upsetting as they are, they can do me no real harm. Did you buy Dr Claire Weekes – self help for your nerves? I think you may find it useful. As I said, very similiar to Paul’s book, uses different words, but the same common sense approach, perhaps a little more indepth. She is just like a pocket Aunty, one we could all do with from time to time!
    Do not fret that you are confused, hey, we all get that way from time to time- you will be OK.
    Sarah x

  226. Jennifer Says:

    I wrote previously about my anxiety and I feel as if since finding this site and Paul’s book my recovery has been tremendous but there are a few questions that I’m hung up on. So I guess I’m reaching out and directing these questions to Paul or anyone else on here who can give some friendly advice.

    1)I quit my job when my anxiety started to really focus on my health and getting better. I’ve been out of work for almost 2 months now, when will I know that it’s time to go back to work? I’m on the fence with this one because on one side I don’t want to take any steps backwards by rushing back into work but on the other I think it would be good for me to have something to keep my mind busy.

    2)These thoughts terrorized me for the first month of having them until I found this sight. Now when I have them I recognize them for what they are….just thoughts! I can’t help but keep giving myself a timeline before fully accepting them. I tell myself that I need to give it more time and make sure that I won’t act on these thoughts before I should be ok with them being there. I know I’m not crazy and I would never EVER hurt my loved ones!! I just keep thinking what if this is more than just anxiety and I feel as if I need to keep a close watch on myself to make sure I don’t lose it. My question to you is this, how long should I go before realizing that I will not act on these thoughts and that I can just accept them completely?

    3)Finally my third question stems from the following. Recently the more I give these disturbing thoughts no reaction the weaker they become but they still exist. Anymore I just have this fear that is almost more annoying than the thoughts. I am afraid that when I’m around my loved ones that I might hurt them and not remember doing it. Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep at night next to my boyfriend because I’m afraid I might hurt him in my sleep. Is this also anxiety playing tricks on me? Is there any way of calming this fear?

    I am greatful for any advice!!! I thank Paul for helping me through my hardest times with his book and I thank everyone one on here for reminding me that I am not alone!!!! I feel like the people on here are the only ones who truly understand me, which is why I turn to you for your advice. Thank You!!

  227. Sarah Says:

    Hi Jennifer, I can try to answer your questions.

    You ask;

    1) Should I go back to work?

    A lot depends, on what YOU want to do. certainly, keeping busy, and being’out and about’ can help immensely. The point is this; Work if you wish to, maybe even just part-time for a while. But if you go to work, purely to see ‘if you can’ or to ‘try and forget yourself’ then it is not a good idea, as you are making the mistake of ‘testing’ yourself. Go to work if you WANT to, for no other reason than that. If you enjoy it, great! If you struggle, well it is to be expected, do not see it as a hurdle, or a something to be tested out, try to see it as a practise run. If you enjoy yourself, wonderful! if not, or you find it too hard, so what? You can always find another job when you want to, we can all be inventive with our C.V’s eh? Remember, you look no different from anyone else -no-one knows you have anxiety except you, if you choose not to tell anyone.

    Point 2 & 3 are pretty much the same.

    If you give yourself a time line for being ‘rid of these thoughts’ You are putting WAY too much importance on them! Weird thoughts can be put into perspective one monent, and terrify you the next. I know what that is like. If only I had a video of myself in the past ( especially during the night!) Where you could see me, getting out of bed, pacing the floor for fear of doing something ‘terrible’ After watching 5 mins of it, you would swiftly come to the conclusion, that it was a terrible watse of my time, and in doing so, you would realise that it is a terrible waste of yours! Believe me Jennifer, these things WILL NEVER COME TO PASS, it is only your FEAR and IMAGINATION wreaking havoc. You ask, if there is a way of calming these fears? I could tell you to pay them no heed, and in ideal world you would do just that. However, I know how frightening they can be, and because of that, it is impossible to ‘banish’ them at will. As Paul has said, you need to try and realise, that they are there because you are stressed out & the adrenalin is flowing-they bring NO TRUTHFUL MESSAGE’

    Unfortunatly, I always made the worst mistake; I would spend literally months, with a horrible thought going round and round- ‘would I do that?’ ‘What if i did this?’ What a total waste of my time and energy reserves. Time, would pass for me, and eventually I would realise, it was just a load of old crap, and if it hadn’t happened by now, it never would! Peace for all of 5 seconds or so, before I would come up with another impossible problem and start the whole process again! This is anxiety, no more, no less. Jennifer, if I asked you the following question, what would you think and advise me?

    Me; Hi Jennifer, I have a problem, it has happened yet, it is something I have cooked up in my imagination, but never the less I have spent ages trying to work out ‘what I would do IF it happened’ and how I would react? I have not slept properly for quite a while, trying to work out what I would do, what do you think I should do about it?

    I would suspect your first instinct, would be to say’ well, Sarah, it is more than a bit silly to imagine a future uncertain event, and then make yourself ill trying to work it out! If you told me you were having difficulty in managing your mortage repayments, then I could understand why you were having sleepless nights!

    And that is the key to anxiety, really, what is the point, imagining a senario, then spending hours/weeks/months trying to work out, something that has not even happend yet? (and co-incidently never will in your case!) It SO common to have a fear of hurting others in axiety! No-one with anxiety ever did hurt anyone. Anxious people just spend all their time worrying about a load of ‘what ifs?’ Perhaps try saying ‘so what!’ instead.
    Anyway Jennifer, hope that helps a bit, Like I said to Carol, do not waste your time thinking ‘this way’ & ‘that’ – you just end up tying yourself in knot’s – only to find it was a total and complete waste of time.
    If your reading this Carol I am hoping you had a better weekend.
    Kind Regards

  228. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks so much for your advice Sarah! I guess what it all comes down to is anxiety effects everyone differently. Even though it’s the same it differs in everyone. My advice on your question is that if I’ve learned anything in the last couple of months it’s to live for today. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, today. I do believe that worrying about what tomorrow may bring is what got me in this anxious state to begin with. I think as long as you know deep down that you would never do any of those things that should ease your mind a lot! In Paul’s book it has a whole chapter on scary thoughts and ‘what if’ thinking and even though I have read the book completely I can always refer to that chapter when I’m having a bad day! Thank you again for the advice, it was very helpful!

    Take Care

  229. Carol Says:

    Hi Sarah, some moments in the evening have been a bit calmer but boy i wake at 5am full of adrenalin and panic then of course all starts and i recoil in fear. i have though been practising at letting the thoughts be there, what i;ve found is maybe i start to lose fear of maybe one thought that was scaring me then another pops in that seems even more frightening than before. Did see the Dr who said that coming of the morphine caused acute anxiety as it dampens down the brain and nervous system so when i cold turkied it my nervous system and brain go hyperactive and you can have up to 6 times more levels of adrenalin and cortisol than normal so its really hard at the moment as all i feel is fear but i’m plodding on, hope you are doing ok,love Carol x

  230. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone, can anyone help, i was doing a bit better with the thoughts although anxious in the day the evenings have been a bit better but today i am crying, panicking and terrified as i have been missing my late parents since having anxiety i thought about them this morning but keep getting these awful mental pictures/images of them rotting in their coffins, is this still anxiety or am i going mad, it is so distressing as its about those i love, surely it can’t be anxiety can it/ please help, love Carol x

  231. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone,
    It is reassuring to know that I am not alone with these crazy thoughts. I too have realized that you get over the shock of one horrible thought and another one rears it’s ugly head, only this time much worse. I have been suffering for 11 months now and with the help of my cbt therapist, felt I was getting there. However, I have been on Cymbalta throughout and did not like the way they made me feel, so for the past three weeks have been reducing them with doctor’s advice. Unfortunately, I now feel shocking and I am only half way there. Has anyone else suffered due to withdrawal? My therapist thinks it is just withdrawal symptoms, but can’t help thinking the anxiety is back. I bought Paul’s book at the onset of my symptoms and refer to it regularly as it makes so much sense and really helps, but feel like all my good and hard work has been undone by reducing meds. With regards to the last post by Carol, I am positive it is anxiety that is causing these horrible, mental images. Just when you think you are coping with the thoughts, a worse one always comes to bite you. You are not going mad(I too have thought that and still do at times), trust me it is just the anxiety playing tricks again. You can almost imagine it saying “Ha, thought you were coping, well try this one for size!”.Try not to let it get you down, even though it is distressing. Take care. love Carol X

  232. Matthew Says:

    Hi Carol. It most certainly is anxiety that you are experiencing. These thoughts are vey real to you but that is all that they are: just thoughts. I used to have similar images a few years ago of seeing myself rotting away and dying from AIDS. (For some reason AIDS was a major anxiety issue for me ). I “let the thoughts/images just be there” and in time they gradually subsided. I realise how hard and confusing it can be to accept certain thoughts. The method to recover from anxiety is simple, but not always easy. BY that I mean your emotional reaction to your thoughts may still be very strong. It takes time to heal a nervously ill body. I for one minute do not believe you are going mad. The fact that these images cause you so much anxiety shows that.

  233. Carol Says:

    Thankyou both,it has been very distressing and i’m also finding that when i seem to become less afraid of one thought another comes in and they are so bizarre and irrational, yet seem so real, the two others that keep popping back are i am possessed and i am a werewolf, both came from nowhere one day but seem so real when they come did you believe yours too, i’ve had great help from this blog and also from Sarah and especially Candie, its so hard to let this all be there without reacting with fear thanks agin, love Carol x

  234. Sarah Says:


    Jennifer, thanks for your thoughts, you really hit the nail on the head, when you pointed out there is no point worrying about yesterday – the past, and tommorrow – the future. My dad used to say, all the worrying in the world would not move a matchstick, how right he was (unless you are Uri Geller of course :-)

    Have been ‘off air’ for a while, have been at hospital with husband, which leads me nicely to the subject of adrenalin. he had a very wretched experience at hospital, of having major surgery under a local anesthetic. It was a long and complicated op, and for this reason I had my concerns. I knew (making full use of my imagination!) That he would be able to hear the surgeon at work, although he could not see him. It involved a lot of bone grinding and sawing, and he was a bit of wreck afterwards! The main thing was (and play close attention to this) Was that each time he began to nod off AFTER surgery, a massive course of adrenalin would SHOOT through his body. I was watching him twitch and jump, and after a while he said to me, that he could not understand what was wrong with him, as he seemed to be frigthening himself, and stopping himself sleeping (having just a bit of knowledge in this area!) I was able to put his mind at rest. His body had been through a major trauma, and as such, the troops(adrenalin releasing nerves) were rallying to sort the problem out. This part of his brain, had no idea that he was not facing a FURTHER on-slaught, so kept preparing him for the flight or fight response. All it knew was, that he had suffered a shock, and who knew if another one was around the corner? Once he realised, that his pre-programmed nerves were merely doing their ‘job’ and once they felt the danger had ‘passed’ they would ‘settle down’ again. So from then on, he ignored the churning stomach, the surges of adrenalin, and since yesterday, once the body had adjusted to the fact, that nothing else was coming his way, began to settle down nicely. As anxiety sufferers, we do the exact opposite! We analyse, we inspect, we watch and ‘tune in’ What chance do our poor old nerves have to recover!? What Paul says is true, our bodies are pre-disposed to ‘sort us out’ – if only we give it the chance.

    Carol, a suggestion for you, when you get these thoughts ; werewolf/possesion, if you find yourself examining them, and that they are really getting to you, why not having a different look at them? How about asking the validity of these thoughts? For example, based on WHAT ACTUAL EVIDENCE? If I had the somewhat more pleasent thought enter my head that I had, lets say. 3 million pounds in my bank account, but I did not really, would it be any easier for me to buy that 7 bedroom villa somewhere hot and sunny? Or be able to wear Dior couture every day? Nope, it was just a thought, or looking at it another way; an idea. Not reality! So, the next time you have one of these horrible thoughts, about werewolf/possesion, ask yourself this? Based on what evidence? try as you might, you won’t find any. Nor will you, I know that, and so do you deep down. Thoughts can be very persuasive sometimes, but it comes down to this’ They are thoughts, not reality, no more real than the thought I have 3 million stashed in the bank!

    Has another Carol has joined our little chats? but with regards to ‘terrible images’ Having lost both my father and sister, I had those too. Not nice. However, time fades memories, and even if you feel it will not go, it does. you are sensible enough to know that after time, there is no more ‘decomposure’ – Just bones, so think what you will, but remember this; revolting flashing images is so normal in anxiety, I have lost count of the number I have dealt with. Also, you are dealing with a situation, not everyone has dealt with (death of a loved one(s) However, everyone I know who has lost someone they loved, or cared for, all have that thought! It is not in the least bit unsual! Our imagination, can be a wonderful thing, but when you couple it with fear (anxiety) it can lead us a right old merry dance. The only difference being, is that an someone with anxiety, feels it so more acutely.

    Anyway, due to pain, my husband is only sleeping a few hours a night, being the ever loving, loyal (and exhausted) wife, I am on ‘tea duty’ several time during the night. So for this reason, I am going to sign off and have a little siesta. Once upon a time, not so long ago, it would have been impossible for me to allow my mind a bit of a break, and enjoy a little nap, I really do understand, I have come to the conclusion, ONLY someone who understands the ‘horrors’ of anxiety can really understand.
    So take care, one and all, my thoughts are with you. x

  235. Carol R Says:


    Yes another Carol has joined the site but will refer to myself as Carol R to avoid confusion. I have all sorts of crazy thoughts and each one I beleive. Eventually I convince myself that they are not true, only for another one to appear and the cycle starts again. I have now finally accepted that the thoughts are just thoughts, but they still bother me regardless. Once you can accept they are not real, it does get easier. We just have to pay them no respect. Hope your husband is OK Sarah. Take care everyone. Love Carol R. X

  236. Robyn Says:

    Hi I just wanted to ask what people think about taking medication for these obsessive thoughts?

    Does it really work in the long run?


  237. Matthew Says:

    Hi Robyn, I took medication (Aropax and Xanax) for a good 3 and a half years to help me deal with obsessive thoughts. The best thing I ever did was come off those meds. If you aren’t on medication at the moment then I certainly don’t recommend you start taking it. If you are on meds, then I’d recommend slowly weening yourself off them. For me the Cold Turkey approach proved way too drastic and I couldn’t cope, but I slowly weened off them. ie: 1/4 of xanax tablet very 2 weeks. Came off Aropax last.
    To answer your question: In the long run medication doesn’t work! It kept me in an apathetic state where I had no real anxiety but no “get up and go” either. I felt numb!!! The true way to recovery lies in living to accept and live with these thoughts until they no longer matter.

  238. Robyn Says:

    Thanks for your reply Matthew I definately won’t go down that road!

    Would you say you have fully recovered now? I’m currently seeing a councellor and have been for the last month or so but still can’t seem to shake it. I understand it’l take time but i feel kind of stuck like I’m not getting any better- or worse.

  239. Matthew Says:

    Hi Robyn, I am not yet fully recovered but I am well on the way to recovery. I first got referred to my councellor back in 1997. I noticed big improvements ( i was still on meds at this stage ) using this type of acceptance method. The biggest thing I had a hard time dealing with was seeing improvements and then slipping back again. I was only 20 years old at the time, and thought because I was feeling better, then I was near recovery. How wrong I was! I came off the meds cold turkey and suffered the worst depression ever for a good 7 months! Just awful! I have never experienced anything like it. My body weight went from 68kgs to 88 kgs over this time! This made me even more depressed.

    One day I forced my self out the door for a run. I managed about 20 mins before staggering back home. I did this daily for the first week. By the second week I was running 30 to 45 mins each day. For a brief 45 mins each day I would forget myself and the state that I was in. Pretty soon after a month I was running an hour a day and ready to enter a half marathon. I had been a New Zealand High School Road Running Champion and it didn’t take me long to get fit. After a few months I was 70kgs or thereabouts. My confidence was back again. All this time I was practicing accepting the anxious thoughts. The depression had lifted and was now anxiety.

    Around Oct 1998 (Im good with dates for some reason), after feeling uch better my anxiety started to get worse again. I wasn’t coping too well at all. It was that contrast which I found so hard to deal with. People had seen me happy and again and to fall back again was tough to take. Luckily I had few understanding friends who were there for me. Others I lost because they expected me to be my happy, funny self and when I wasn’t they sort of didn’t know how to deal with it I guess. Not their fault, just didn’t know how to deal with me. This was hard to take. If only I could have realised that this anxiety would soon pass, then I would not have wasted much time. I didn’t have the confidence within me to believe this though.

    By wasted time I mean, from January 1999 to September (ish) 2002 I went back on medication. (aropax and xanax). Yeah at first it was great and I was out partying again and full of confidence. I was asking girls out again and life was pretty great. It was strange though. For about 6 months my whole life revolved around going out drinking and hanging out with people who deep down weren’t my type. No disrespect, but just people whose life was all about drinking and partying. No real substance in my opinion. I wish I could have seen this at the time. Maybe the medication clouded my thinking or maybe I just needed a year or 2 of partying to feel like I was living life.

    I bega to feel tired a lot of the time, but put it down to the fact I was still running a fair bit and running my own lawnmowing franchise. About early 2002, I just one day thought enough is enough. This is not living! Life isn’t meant to be like this. Well not for me anyway! I rang my councellor who I hadn’t spoke to much for the 3 or so years I was medicated. (Didn’t need to as I had no real anxiety symptoms). Told him about my apathetic state a lot of the time. Worked out a plan with him and we gradually cut down on my medication over I guess an 8 month period.

    2003 was a tough year for me many times. I was full of anxiety a fair bit. But I was so glad to be med free! I also realised that I would never ever go back onm medication again, that was for sure. Part of me was so angry at myself for wasting nearly 4 years of my life on meds. (5 years later I can see it was a great learning curve).

    2004: Was still dealing with anxiety (for me anxiety has always been obsessive thoughts, OCD if you like) but was exercising each day. Not to get rid of the anxiety but because I was back running competitively again. All these interests do help. Was slowly gaing confidence again.

    Around mid 2004 I misinterpreted something my councellor said and this sent me on a downward spiral yet again for another year. I had just totally misinterpreted his words. Stayed off all meds though.

    Mid 2005: Finally got my thinking right again through ringing him and telling him my scenario. Pretty much picked up from where I left off a year ago. Kept my running up, met some really decent people too.

    2006: Confidence was startin to return. Was working as a postie in Auckland. Wanted a fairly simple job as my mind couldn’t take much else. I knew in time I would be my old intelligent self again.

    2007 – today: Major gains in my confidence and anxiety. Enrolled to go back to Univesity mid 2007 and finished my final year of my degree. completed it this year. Am due to fly to Sth Korea in 2 weeks time to teach English! The last 2 years, even though I am still suffering I have seen as a privilege. MY set backs are less severe, my confidence is so much better. I have a real zest for life which I think only those who have walked similar paths can truly appreciate. I voice my opinions (diplomatically) and I just love life. Again, I am still not recovered, as I do have some anxious days. Mostly for me now, I just get anxious mainly around females that I really like! But non sufferers get that too!

    Sorry if it was long winded Robyn, I didn’t pla on making it so. The words jkust kind of flowed out from me. Again, this my journey. My councellor did say OCD can take a while to recover from more so than say panic attacks. Not always the case though he said. When I first heard this I felt demoralised. But I also realised that it will take as long as it takes to recover. I can’t hurry the process. All I can do is keep accpeting and letting the thoughts just be there! Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing I have been through. It took me a while to see this point of view but it was worth it.

  240. Carol R Says:

    Hi Matthew, Glad to hear you have done so well and have less severe set backs. I have been suffering for a year now and was doing so well with the help of my therapist and medication. But I felt so numb on the meds that I have been reducing it, although think perhaps too fast. I now feel shocking and worse than I ever did. I know it is the withdrawal symptoms but find it so hard to keep positive. It is good to know that there is hope and that I must be strong. Any words of advice for me would be much appreciated, please. I understand the thoughts and symptoms I am suffering are just the anxiety but still need to pick up my mood. Good luck in Korea teaching English. Be proud of yourself!

    Love Carol

  241. Robyn Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Matthew it really helped. I’m only 22 and I just feel there’s no end in sight but reading what you have to say gives me hope of recovery. I guess it will just take as long as it does.

    I really admire you for not letting these stupid thoughts get the better of you and getting you life on track! My life seems to be pretty perfect right now apart from my metal state- which is the most bugging thing!

    Thanks again.

  242. Matthew Says:

    Thanks Robyn and Carol. Yeah I can’t wait to get to South Korea and start teaching. It is the start of my teaching career for me. Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher and now at 31 my dream is finally coming true.

    I really wish they could teach this kind of “acceptance” method in High Schools. It would certainly be an asset. In NZ the medical profession still don’t understand what anxiety is all about. It gets coned as a mental disorder, whereby Doctors simply write out prescriptions at will. Frustrating. Hopefully, there will be a change in this thinking eventually.

    Words of advice I can offer you Carol: With the meds. I’m not exactly what you are taking but it is important to come off them very slowly. I was cautious to reduce mine very slowly. ie: 1/4 of tablet say every second week. (of course this may vary for you) Your therapist should be able to give you a good idea of this.

    It can be very hard to keep positive, I agree. I remember trying to be positive and all, but it was hard to keep doing that. In time though I automatically started to not try being positve and the more positive I became! Such a paradox! Trying too hard to be positive was one of my biggest problems early in anxiety. Over time, it does become easier. Just give it time.

    I understand how easily your thoughts and feelings can bluff you too. With me now, I still get bluffed occasionally. These thoughts can seem so real, that you believe it must be true. If you do get bluffed which I sometimes still do, then don’t beat yourself up, over it. I analysed thoughts instead of just letting them be because they bluffed me. It all gets easier in time as you see yourself having more successes.

  243. Carol R Says:

    Thanks for your words of encouragment, Matthew. I am on cymbalta medication and I have cut down to half my original dose within 4 weeks(gone from 60mg to 30mg.) Think this might be too quick. Sometimes I feel OK and can cope with the stupid thoughts but other times they do bother me. I can be enjoying myself and then I start analyzing everything. Did you ever get the thoughts”what are we all here for?, what is the world about?”. They drive me mad and wish I could accept life as it is. I am sticking to my 30mg dose for a while on advice of my therapist and then will cut down very slowly next time. I agree the meds make you numb and quite emotionless. Your journey has given me hope and wish you the best for the future. Let me know how the teaching goes in Korea.

    Take care,

  244. Matthew Says:

    Thanks Carol, I often get the thought or question in my head “What are we all here for?” When I was at my worst I always wondered why the heck I was here on earth. What was the purpose of being here when I felt so lousy. Now I still get these thoughts: they are spiritual thoughts I guess. Spiritual fatigue is one of the 4 fatigues associated with nervous illness along with mental, emotional, and physical fatigue. When things became to overwhelming for me I realised I was experiencing spiritual fatigue.
    Now I often have the thought “what am I here for?” but I see it more from who created us, what’s our purpose etc… (ie: God or evolution). In other words I am actually interested to know why we are or for what purpose. Deeper questions in life to ponder I guess. The difference now is that I have the emotional and mental reserves to want to search for my own anwers. But I can certainly remember asking what the heck am I here for when I was feeling low at times?

  245. Carol R Says:

    Thanks Matthew, that helps a great deal. Hope one day I will feel like you, just a matter of time and hard work I guess. Thanks again. With Best Wishes.

  246. Daniella Says:

    Hi Carol R,

    I have the same thoughts of ‘why are we here?’ and also seem to be analyzing everything at the moment – like how the body works etc, it really scares me and i hate being such a deep thinker and analyzer and the past few weeks have desperately wished to, as you say, just accept life as it is. Every day feels such hard work. I just keep telling myself that these thoughts wont bother me when i’m better, that i’ll be more able to dismiss them as my brain will be less tired and more resilient, that helps make me feel a bit more positive. I dont want anyone else to have to suffer but at the same time it helps to know I’m not alone in feeling this way.

  247. Carol R Says:

    Hi Daniella,
    Sorry to hear you are feeling this way. It is awful and I think we just must just think too much. I have had a few good days, but still get the “why are we here” thought. I have just tried accepting my thoughts and what ever I feel like and it seems to be working. When my stomach churns, or my heart beats fast, or I get a thought i just say to myself”whatever, do as you wish” and most of the time it works. I just try to stop analyzing what everything feels and looks like, as I feel it is a habit I have got into. I too feel like every day is hard work, but once you accept the thoughts are just your anxiety and not you, then it does help and you start to feel better. Take care and correspond any time you feel you need to and I likewise. We will get through this I know we will.

  248. Robyn Says:


    Just wanted to know if anyone has had false memories? I think this is what i am experiencing now but i can’t be sure. I’m scared that these might be true and i don’t really know what to do about it.


  249. Helz Belz Says:

    hi everyone,
    I just had to say that the original post and this thread have helped me so much! I have had anxiety problems for about 2 years now, and the worst symptoms are the scarey, obsessive and disturbing thoughts. if anything, its the worrying about these thoughts that keep me in the anxiety cycle. I’ll think ‘oh, im feeling better now’ and then a thought will just hit me and then i’ll worry about why ive had the thought, how i could even think about having the thought, and then i end up in a whole heap of guilt and anxiety. Sometimes the bad thoughts will sneak up on me, i wont see them for what they are, think them through, and then, oh look!, i’m back in the worry cycle. It makes me feel so much better to read here that i’m not the only person with these problems, and i truly feel for everyone here who is going through this too
    it is hard to get to grips with the idea that these thoughts aren’t ours, they are just anxiety. that is very hard for me to get my head around. but i will eventually. am just so used to thinking that everything that pops into my head actually means something and must be taken so seriously.
    this website is truly a light for all of us!

  250. Carol R Says:

    I too have to scary and obsessive thoughts. It is like I am busy doing something and then something visual will set of the thought and however much I try not to think the thought, I just have to and then it get that feeling in the pit of my stomach. I must have thought everything from hurting or abusing people to thinking I want to die. Not wishing to be nosy, but are your thoughts on this line? I had a crazy thought the other day. I was out in the garden with my rabbit and due to all the rain, there was a bucket that was full of water. I suddenly thought” I could drown my rabbit in that bucket, but would have to hold him under”. But for once, I did not react and laughed to myself. I even laughed about it with my husband and friend. I told them I had bought my rabbit a life jacket and a snorkel just in case I got tempted. Somehow, making a joke out of it helps, but some thoughts are so horrid I really scare myself. I think that once we can accept all our thoughts are just anxiety, things will get easier. Take care. x

  251. Pricey Says:

    Hi all.

    I’m having a particulary tough time with Anxiety at the mo, well, really over the last year. I have terrible obsessional thoughts. From commiting suicide (which I don’t want to do as I have so much to live for)… however will it get to that stage in the future… to ending up drugged in a mental hospital, my partner leaving me, my mother dying (who has had poor health), everything I have no control over.

    I try to live in the moment… and as you say Paul accept but how can i accept that I may no longer be able to cope…. I cope just now but what when something bad does happen…. I can’t even test out these fears….

    I also obsess that I have clinical depression, my mind is on the go 24/7, I’m so tired. I have always suffered from Anxiety, although mild to moderate. But now it’s crazy…. my mind just keeps going from one fear to another fear. I just can’t control it, it’s so intense.

    Everything I read is about panic attacks (which I dont have) or health anxietys…. my is about not coping in the future…. I just want to believe in myself again, I used to think I could deal with anything life threw at me.

    I have a toddler and so desperate for another. And although I think I am a good mum, my confidence is chipped away at every minute of every day. I cannot understand why I cant pull myself together, she was the centre of my world but now it seems anxiety is, which is destroying me…


  252. Helz Belz Says:

    hi carol,
    my thoughts have been along similar lines, i will admit. literally reading the thoughts you have had is like a list of my own! the thoughts have only really come along in the last few months, before then i just had terrible fears about the future and things out of my control. it is good to know that i’m not the only one with such irrational scarey thoughts. when they first started coming, i honestly thought i was going mad for me to be thinking such things. laughing at them is a good way i find too, but it can be very hard. at the mo, they less severe thoughts, more along the lines of ‘what if it really is depression’, ‘i cant do that’, ‘this is all pointless’. but i know these periods will pass, so i try not to let it got to me.

    the mornings and usually a period mid to late afternoon are the worst times. then i feel so low and depressed for no real reason. but at least recently the feeling of needing to cry twice a day has pretty much gone.

    honestly, it is so great to finally know im not the only one. have suffered pretty much every symptom in the book. it finally feels like the answers are here.

    Hi Pricey,
    you sound like your at the end of your tether, and i know how you feel. have been there before. I’m sorry i can’t offer much help (am still very new to all this), but things will get better. it just takes time. wishing you well!


  253. Carol R Says:

    Hi Pricey,

    I too have had these horrible thoughts, but beleive me they are just your anxiety. Be strong and remember that one day these thoughts will go, it just takes time, but you will get there, I promise. I still get these thoughts now at times, but not as severe. Do not try to rush it, just accept they are just thoughts. Take care. We are all here for you. x

  254. Carol R Says:

    Hi Pricey

    How are you doing?

  255. Pricey Says:

    Hi Carol,

    Thanks you so much for your message and asking how I am. I’m very up and down as expected I suppose. When I read the blog I want to comment and comfort everyone with words of positive support but when It comes to my own thoughts nothing makes sense… blooming anxiety.

    I also suffer from really bad DP but after reading the blogs I now realise all the feelings or lack of are quite normal when suffering….

    Thanks for saying that all my thoughts are anxiety related, the strange thing is I have a stronger voice inside my head which says there is no way you’d let any of the fears happen…. so I’m trying to believe that. xx

    Paul – Seem to remember reading that you writing a new book – or did I dream it?


  256. Carol R Says:

    Hi Pricey

    Do beleive it, because they are just thoughts. Listen to your stronger voice.
    It is the way you react to these thoughts that keep you in the cycle,I have been there myself but am learning to accept them as just thoughts and nothing else. I have never had any of my fears happen and just tell myself that I have no evidence that any of them ever will, however much I have thought them. Just tell yourself this and you will get through. I too struggle sometimes to listen to my own advice I give other people, but yet just another symptom of this stupid anxiety. Take care. x

  257. Pricey Says:

    You are so kind Carol, I’m fully aware of how selfish you can become with anxiety but you are truly not! x

  258. Carol R Says:

    Hi Pricey

    Thank you for that lovely comment. I spoke to someone yesterday who is actually a trained therapist and he gave me some words of advice. He said ” Today is a whole new day. forget about the past, it has gone and do not even think about tommorrow. Every day, wake up and think what you have got to grateful for and what you have to be happy for ie family and friends. You yourself, plan in your mind what you are going to do today and do it. Live for the day”. I am going to try this plan and not even think about the negatives, just the positives. I am not lying when I say that I have had the same obsessional thoughts about suicide and mental hospitals, but promise you that they are just symptoms. After all, I am still here and have not been near a mental hospital! In time you learn to see these thoughts for what they are, JUST ANXIETY THOUGHTS!. Take care and blog me anytime. x

  259. Pricey Says:

    Sounds good to me, I will try to do the same. Thanks again. xxxx

  260. Matthew Sweetingham Says:

    Hi guys. I posted a fe times earlier on this thread and I can relate to so much of it. Mostly a few years back when my obsessive thoughts were very intrusive. Even now I have anxious, obsessive thoughts which can seem so real at times. It is the emotional reaction that we give to the thought that frightens us. Lately, I’ve been going through a fair bit of anxiety due to moving from New Zealand to South Korea. I guess it all comes down to wanting to make a good impression at my new job teaching and all, not knowing many people, etc…. However, I know this will soon pass and my confidence will come back too. Just a bit of a set back I guess. Getting out of your comfort zone can be tough for anyone let alone anxiety sufferers. Yeah, living in the moment is the way to live life, hard to do when you are apprehensive and anxious but it does become automatic as you see progress.

  261. Matthew Says:

    Hey guys. I agree with you Carol. Listen to your stronger or right inner voice. This is the voice of confidence. I’m over in Sth Korea teaching and have been here 10 days now. My anxiety has intensified a bit. I think it is due to leaving NZ, not knowing too many people over here and all. My OCD thoughts have definitely been a lot more persistent than they have been for a while. However, this just further reinforces to me what a bluff OCD is and how our “voice of doubt” can play its tricks. I’m just letting it play its tricks on me. The thoughts can seem so real at times but by letting them be I know in time they will subside. It’s interesting how anxiety can creep back in at times of change or stress.

  262. Eva Says:

    Hi everyone

    This is the first time I have used this blog and I have to say reading this particular topic is already helping me in understanding and trying to get through my overwhelmingly scary thoughts.

    About 10weeks ago I split up from my long term boyfriend 3 days before we were meant to move into his new house…great timing eh!! I guess I’d been having random doubts for around 6months, coinciding with two family deaths and a change in job. However, I knew that I had to split up with him as I started having which I now know were panic attacks, almost unable to move but extremely irritable, very light headed, racing heart, feeling sick etc…infact I think I’d been supressing the feeling of doubt for so long (as part of me really wanted things to work out with him) that it took the night of the worst attack for me to split up with him….basically the closer I got to moving in, the worse i got.

    Anyway, since then I started having really weird thoughts, which i think may be either depersonalisation or simply just an overworked super sinsitised mind! i would sit at work and see people walking to the printer and i’d think…i wish I could do that, or at least be as happy as they are. This got worse until I would look at someone with a baby and be like…oh my god I can NEVER see myself being able to cope if I was pregnant. I then started not to be able to see the point in things, like why buy an ornament to sit on a table, why build houses…until eventually i got no joy out of anything – which is extremely horrible as I’ve learned that this enables us to live happily. Then the worst thoughts happened which were that i couldn’t cope anymore, didn’t want to be here anymore and infact wanted to kill myself. Every day I face these thoughts, particularly when i wake up in the morning. My doctor and therapist both tell me that this is simply anxiety (GAD) and that it wasnt pretty severe. They assure me they will go and that I wont hurt myself. I really dont want to hurt myself, I just want to be me again. i would say the thougths have been with me for around 8weeks and at times seem relatively tame and at others so real it’s like i know I’m going to die. I get really upset at this and always find talking to someone really helps me on a daily basis.

    In some ways I do feel better, I can get up and have a shower etc and I do make myself go places e.g. to the shops etc (although i’ve been signed off work for around 6 weeks now). I have less of the racing heart or faint feeling, but in some ways I wish I did have more of that as it would be easier to deal with (in my mind). I do find myself constantly checking in to see how i feel, really annoyingly!! Also I find myself quite uneasy, with no way of really letting it go, lieing down or watching tv etc doesnt really help. One of my friends told me that I’m in depression and that it’s severe, that set me off on a weekend of feeling even WORSE!! Thinking I have something seriously wrong with me, that I’m never going to get better and that I will have to end things. Reading this article again has given me hope that it will all go with time and that other people have felt like this too.

    The things that makes me know this is anxiety is that other thoughts seem to cling onto it, e.g. I might see something like a diary and I think to myself “whats the point in buying one…i’m not going to be here by then” or “what’s the point in eating or going to the toilet if I’m going to die”. I know this is irrational, but I cant seem to get my brain to alter how it thinks…maybe thats my problem that I’m trying too hard. I do let them be there and I think fine think what you like, but i am going to go to the shops anyway…etc.

    If anyone has had anything as severe as this or has anything they think might help me, i would really appreciate it. At the moment I have no real emotion other than complete sadness, despair and worry.

    Many Thanks, evax

  263. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva,

    I have been there too. It started about 2 years ago in a really unsuitable relationship, where he was too old for me, and it dawned on me that he was going to die and leave me (i know now that that wasnt a certainty, just my anxieties). this eventually became like you ‘why do this, why do that’ it took all the joy out of life. this was constant worry….it nearly ruined my fourth year at uni, i coulndt do anything without having this little voice in my head saying all those worrying things, it was there in lectures, when i cooked, ate, went out, the only escape was sleep. i was convinced i had depression, and got real bad d.p. that lasted about 4 months. this was bad depression too, crying 3 times a day stuff.

    eventually, it did pass, but only when my mind got so tired that it just kinda gave up thinking. then one day i remember looking out of my window and realising ‘hey, im back! i’m here again!’. you will eventually get that feeling too, but it can take a lot of time. I’ve come to the conclusion that my depression is linked to my anxiety…as the anxiety builds up over weeks and months the adrenalin causes depression after a while. i think last time that when i stopped focusing all my thoughts on myself, and just getting on with stuff like you are doing the depression does eventually go, followed by the anxiety. ive recently gone back in to depression too, with many of the same thoughts. just keep reminding yourself that eventualy it will pass. thoe thoughts are just your anxiety picking up on anything and everything that just adds to the anxiety.

    i dont know if any of that has helped. but it will pass eventually, even though it probably doesnt feel like it. just try not to force it, just take one day at a time. just trust me, you are not the only one that has had those thoughts!

    keep looking up! h -x-

  264. Eva Says:

    Thanks for that Helz Belz. I know I must be depressed in some ways because I lost the way of my life. I do cry alot mainly because I just cant see a future for myself. When i wake up in the mornings I think to myself that I just cant get any joy with life. It sounds ridiculous but it’s true. No joy = not wanting to be here anymore. Could depersonalisation be the cause for this? I dont seem to have many of the other symptoms of depersonalisation, other than thinking strangely about things and feeling like this cant possibly be my life!

    Feel like I really need help…

  265. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva, am glad that my post was of some help. It could be linked to the d.p., yea. I vaguely remember not being able to feel joy or happiness, and that convinced me i had depression, or seasonal affective disorder, or something like that. All i could feel was a pit of dispair and sadness that i can only describe as extreme grief. i hid from everyone.
    dont try and force yourself to be happy though, ive tried that and just found it to be exhausting and disappointing which just made me feel worse. for me though, the first thing that helped was to say ‘i have depression’, it stopped me worrying about it so much if that makes sense. like the anxiety, just accept it. stopping fighting it did work for me once, we can pull through this together this time :)
    go to the dr if you want, but dont expect much. either they will do like mine, say that your just worked up and give you valium (which i never took, but still have the packet to say that drugs arent the only way) or put you on ADs.
    but to prove that you can come out of the other side of this, the first time i had these depression thoughts and feelings i felt like i wanted to curl up and disappear. later that year, i finished my degree and went on a placement to yorkshire, something that i would never have considered when in the depths of the depression. so there is a light there, just remember that it is mostly chemistry in your brain, not you, that is causing this.
    i hope this helps at all. i know just how you feel, and wouldnt wish that feeling onto anyone. you have come to the right place here. h -x-

  266. Eva Wilson Says:

    Helz Belz, you did so well getting through your degree with this. I dont think I can even cope with a day at work. TOday has been one fo my worst. I woke up and tried to change my thinking process, instead of waking up and thinking “am I thinking the suicidal thoughts?”, I woke up and said to myself “yipee I’m not thinking them!”. I managed to sleep for an extra hour by doing this. When I got up though it all kicked off again, and I really fear that I’m going to do something to end everything. I feel that I just dont want to be here anymore, I cant cope with feeling so strange about things and as I said before feeling no joy or want to do anything. I’ve made an appointment to meet a psyciatrist who also does cbt. From brief discussions with him, he wonders if I have a bit of OCD. I guess anxiety and OCD are very similar in that the thoughts make you anxious etc. I’ve honestly spent the day looking at myself in the mirror and crying from the bottom of my soul. I just cant go on feeling like this every day…

    OH I have tried beta blockers and an AD, but they made me pretty much unable to move and had cold sweats and other terrible feelings. Doctor is happy for me to stay off tablets. I have the doctors tomorrow and like many other aniety sufferers fear that they will put me in ward of somekind. All of this is so ridiculous and I cant believe it’s happening to me. I used to be so lively, happy and just me.

    Do others get to the brink of despair like this?? P.S. My therapist also told me that I am not depressed, which I had wondered for ages.

  267. Helz Belz Says:

    Eva, just remember that feeling better will not happen overnight. thinking the thoughts can become a bit of a habit. its good that you got some extra sleep though :) i found though that thinking along the ‘hey, im not thinking them’ still kept them in my mind, by keeping some amount of focus on them, if that makes sense.
    i nearly didnt get through the degree to be honest. i remember when i was really bad revising for an exam in the afternoon, with all the anxious, depresing thoughts running through my head, nearly in tears, not taking any of it in. i remember everything looking very grey. went to the exam, and one comment by someone just set me off again just before going in, and spent the whole exam nearly in tears. i have no idea how i got through, but passed well, despite how bad i felt. just shows that so long as you keep going, no matter how bad you feel, nothing terrible will happen.

    sounds like you have some d.p. too. that would cause the feelings of strangeness and dispair. ive been there too, and it will pass. have had feelings of strangeness where i feel like i am not there, dont exist, in another time-phase, even thought that i was 1-second out of sych with the rest of the universe once! the feelings can be very disturbing and scarey, but remember that they are just caused by too much adrenalin in your brain and body.

    many people have been there too. scarlet posted her story on another thread earlier today, she was at rock bottom but is now completely recovered. i will find the link and post it to you. you can recover, just take one day at a time and dont expect it to be overnight, otherwise there is a lot of disappointment. dont try and force yourself to feel any particular way either, that can cause disappointment too, and is very tiring.

    keep looking up eva! you may not feel better today, or tomorrow. but eventually, you will feel better, just take one day at a time. -x-

  268. Helz Belz Says: here is the tread -x-

  269. Eva Wilson Says:

    Helz Belz,

    You are very kind taking time to answer my posts, I just dont know what else to do. I know what many anxiety sufferers feel like they are the only person in the world to feel like this, and I have to say that I feel like that too. I keep worrying that maybe I am one of those people to commit suicide, how do people know that I wont? Sometimes I really do feel like I dont want to be here anymore, but maybe thats just due to feeling strange and like every day is a nightmare.

    I have tried to do the going with the flow thing, but I think I had a set back a week or so ago and I automatically must have fought the feeling. If it was just the thought I think it would be easier for me, but I now feel like I dont want to be here…does that make any sense? I guess that’s OCD though, as I’m sure if people truely believed that something wasn’t going to happen they would be able to stop their compulsion. I know this must be anxiety as een as I looked down and saw the words “submit comment” I was sure they said “suicide commit”…totally mad!!!

    So basically I should just continue doing things, even though I think whats the point if I’m not here and have a strange feeling through my body. What about going back to work? How do I keep my concentration when everything seems so irreleant compared to this…

    Sorry if I’m asking alot of questions, just really worried

    Thanks millions


  270. Helz Belz Says:

    do not worry, many people with bad d.p. and depression have thought like that, but we all have a feeling that stops us, and that is that we know that eventually things will look up again. everything goes in cycles, like the seasons, and this is no different. you will eventually feel normal again, and you will be stronger for it, believe me. i have been there too. my first anxiety was caused by continual worrying about an existential crisis i had, and the night that i had the suicidal thoughts was when i realised that i had a problem and stopped being in denile. at the mo, you seem to be very caught up in the suicide thoughts, but realise this, that they are just thoughts caused by the excess adrenalin/depressive chemicals in your brain. thoughts are only a part of what makes up ‘you’, and you are so much more than the thoughts you are currently having, which are just caused in reaction to the bad chemicals currently in your brain. yes, the thoughts are scarey, but they are just thoughts, and that you are scared of them tells me that you wont be following up on them. let them be and ignore them. they may shout louder, but they will get quieter when they realise you are not interested in them anymore.

    to be honest, no-body knows what anyone will or will not do, but it is that uncertainty that anxiety plays on.

    it is automatic for the body to fight things, that is why the adrenalin reaction is called ‘fight or flight’. i personally tend towards flight in my reaction, by avoiding things, you may be more of a fight person. just accept that fighting is a reaction and it becomes easier to get along with it. habit comes into play too. after a while you get so used to worrying and fighting that its very odd not to fight. only recently have i got the hang of not fighting, and it still feels very strange to be doing things with my thoughts wizzing around but not reacting to them!

    yes, the feeling is very odd. for me d.p. felt a bit like my life was already over and i was just re-living it all as a memory from the future. i had myself convinced of that for a while. but once you just acceot the feeling and start to get on with things again, no matter how odd or bad they feel, you will start to feel more like yourself again. it can take time though, and wont all come at once! for me normality came back in little ‘windows’ of about 10 mins a day, that slowly got longer and longer until it was the other way round with d.p. only there for 10 mins a day. by then, i hardly noticed when it was there or not.

    dont worry abuot all the questions at all! it makes me feel better to be able to use the experiences i’ve had for good, instead of them just being a terrible shadow over the last few years. i can now see that what i felt, no matter how bad, has a good side in that what i learnt can be of help to others.

  271. Eva Says:

    I really relate to what you are saying and i think I too had my own emotional crisis regarding my boyfriend and it was the indecision about this that started me feeling anxious. I’ve always been a nervous person, so hence probably more susceptible to this sort of thing happening than some people, although I know it can happen to anyone.

    It’s hard because I know I do feel like I dont want to be here anymore, but thats just because of how i’m feeling just now right? Dont know why i asked that because I know it is. I’m hoping to go back to work tomorow as maybe being busy will help me feel like my real life is back again, which is in some ways accepting it, no matter how much the feelings want to make me stay at home and cry. The way I’m trying to see it is that now it’s time for me to help myself by at least trying to live the life I once had and i’m under no illusion that it will be hell, but maybe i will surprise myself and feel even 10% better than i expected. I’m nervous about tomorrow but at the same time excited because I wouldnt have even contemplated attempting to go back to work a few weeks ago.

    My doctor tried to give me valium today, but I decided not to, i’ve tried beta blockers and an antidepressant which were terrible for me and stopped them after 3 days. I’m going to see a psyciatrist on Monday who does cbt. My sinsible head is doing everything it can, telling people, seeking help, only thing left is for me to try and help myself.

    Wish me luck for tomorrow, I may go online and be like HELP!!!!! it’s so ridiculous!!

    Thanks millions xx

  272. Helz Belz Says:

    I hear you eva! the confusion and indecision in both my previous relationships are what caused me to panic and over analyse everything until i just had to leave. Although there were cracks in both of the relationships, i think i didnt want to see or acknowledge the cracks and try and fix them by thinking if that makes sense. (i am still friends with my last b/f though, he didnt understand the panic, but knew that i was over thinking everything too much). whenever i went to visit him i would d.p. A LOT…he could tell when i was there, he said i had ‘dead eyes’ when i went d.p.

    people who seem to be more sucseptible to panic and depression like this seem to be very sensitive, over thinkers, and intelligent! the number of times i have thought ‘if only i was more stupid, i would probably be happier!’. that you are nervous shows that you are very in tune with everything that goes on, you are obviously an intelligent person! :) i am like you, generally quite nervous, deep thinker etc. also realsied earlier that i had what can only be described depression when i was 5 in relation to a bereavement (apparently i didnt smile for a year and didnt speak much) so for me, it could be a deep, built in coping system for me to become depressed when things get tough…who knows…

    good luck with going back to work tomorrow! it will be hard, but going and expecting it to be amazing would cause more dissapointment than help. just take it as it goes, it would probably be good to be around people again even if all you want to do is run and hide. take it a little bit at a time. i am quite jealous to be honest, ive got no job to go to so am stuck at home all day with plenty of time to ruminate on problems, which i know is not a good thing to do. although i have emailed my local museum asking if they need volunteers, so heres hoping! getting out and about again can be tough, but its for the best in the long run! you will be fine :)

    it sounds like you are on the right road to me already eva. your posts are more positive already, which makes me feel better too. have had a few black days lately, noticing my lack of joy more than usual, but i can feel an ‘up’ coming for the next few days. the more i hear of the drugs the drs give people the more i dont trust it. drugs are often just a crutch, and once people are off them they usually just get worse again. best to do it ourselves, to prove that we can!

    you are doing amazingly well eva. everyone is here if you need help, this wont be forever, it is just a phase, like a phase of the moon. all the best for tomorrow! much light! -x-

  273. Sarah Says:

    Hello all,

    I have recently been battling with a lot of the above, especially pertinent recently are the thoughts of harming self/others.

    I experienced my first ever panic attacks recently and realised I am probably suffering from anxiety – so have been investigating it and other illnesses online. Thinking that I am indeed going mad and really scared to talk to anybody about my thoughts and syptoms (for fear of what they mean), this blog has really made me feel not only a lot more human, but also a lot more comfortable – I’m not going mad and I can deal with this problem!

    Thank you for your opinions here, I really appreciated reading all your stories. For all of you that have come so far though are frustrated with your progress from time to time, your slight progress has helpt me take the first step. Thank you and good luck.

  274. Eva Says:

    Helz Belz

    Well I went to work and it was awful, but I managed. All these thoughts about “what if” I’m not here tomorrow or next week or by Christmas were flying around my head. I had the worst morning ever and actually was really upset infrot of my mum for complete fear that I was going to do something to myself, which of course I didnt. I did however go to the doctors inthe morning after advice from my therapist reagarding a particular drug which would help to take these thoughts away. I was in some state last night and this morning though, overwhelming feelings of not wanting to be here, which obviously i do because they upset me so much. Anxiety is an absolute nightmare, I cant think of anything worse.

    I guess I just need words of encouragement that this will all pass and that Im’ normal. Still really struggling to cope, but I will keep trying to go with it all and keep talking to people and tell myself that it’s all going to be ok.

    Hope you have a great weekend


  275. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva,
    you did so well to go to work, well done! i know how you must have felt, the feeling that you aren’t there or wont be soon can be very hard, but after a while, work will start to take your mind off of them. just let them be there but dont react and eventually they will get quieter until you hardly notice them.

    i have been having my own problems again recently too. just a feeling that my mind is always conscious of itself and its thinking, its kindof blocking out automatic natural thinking if that makes sense? its a bit like my conscious mind has gotten so used to thinking and worrying that now i am ignoring worrying thoughts, my conscious mind doesnt quite know what to do with itself but doesnt know how to turn off. it always seems to be having to consciously think about everything i do ‘do this now…do i need to do that?…why are you doing that?’ its very annoying! hopefully this is the last part of the anxiety to get going…

    it can be very scarey in a way to show how you are feeling in front of others. only my last b/f knows about my suicidal thoughts, nobody else (well…except anyone who reads this!). and it took a long time before i felt comfy to just cry whenever i needed to when i was at my worst. but remember that crying can be healing too, there is nothing wrong with that! i read somewhere that emotional crying releases toxins from the body in the tears.

    you will come through this eva. just remember that it is not a linear path, there will be bumps in the road and sometimes the path doubles back on itself. so do not worry if you have a good day then a crappy day, just accept that it will happen and the journey is a lot easier. :) you are on the right path already, and you have found the right people to help you along the path!

    have a great weekend! h -x-

  276. Eva Says:

    Thanks HB, it’s very hard because it’s with me all the time, as soon as I wake up until I go to bed. I can only keep going though, as much i just want to curl up in a little ball and die, but I know that’s not an option. Going to make myself go shopping this afternoon, Christmas seems to have taken a complete back seat to everything this year. I guess for me suicidal thoughts are one thing, but now to actually feel that i dont want to be here scares me even more, do you think this is just the anxiety trying to take me froma different angle? I seem to think of weird things like people living their normal day lives makes me feel physically sick, I’m so jealous of the easy going life others have, i just want it all back.

    For you HB I think that you are definately just coming out the other side of anxiety, and i think you’ve done the right thing looking for work. I bet that will be the last stage of your anxiety and then you will be free!!! Just think, you will be you and I bet everything will be appreciated so much more in your life. you are very lucky and i only pray I can be like you one day. You are an inspiration to me xx

  277. candie Says:

    Hi Eva, i can promise you this ‘thought’ you are having is not real- i have had lots and lots of them even the same one and i got over many of them and im continuing to recover. The thing is when a person has the thought your talking about…. if they are really in that state of mind then they wouldn’t panic over having the thought… if that makes sense.

    The mistake you are making is thinking having your thought is wrong and wanting to banish it- when the truth is most people on here have thought things like that at there lowest eb… thinking something doesnt mean its true…. if that was the case with my thoughts then i would officially be classed as a nutter haha. From what i can tell you like to be in control and this thought threatens your control so you are fighting it and making yourself worse. Even people without anxiety think odd thoughts and the thought u have…. its just part of being human and the ups and downs of life. I think you may benefit from Wills book- he teaches us that it is ok to have any thought.. but what is not ok is to ruminate and obsessively fight to put them right- when you have the thought think to yourself ‘whatever, i am choosing not to take this fight with myself any further’. Its amazing once you adopt that attitude the thoughts lose importance and your mind will eventually let them go. Remember for a while it may be your habit it think them, that is fine and not obsessive having a thought come to you… obsessive is taking the thought further.. investingating, trying to prove to yourself its not real, fighting. For a week just adopt the whatever attitude and things will become clearer. Also, i am no doctor but there is no tablet to make thoughts go away- if that was the case then obsessive thoughts category wouldnt be the most popular place to post on the blog!

    Everyone the anxiety and thoughts etc… they didnt randomly pick you, you arn’t an unfortante victom doomed forever- they came to you because of some form of stress. When we are stressed and anxious our mind can feel threatened by any silly thought- so it is so easy to fall into an obsessive nature. But the good news is everone can recover, its not something that will be with you for the rest of your life- i know it can feel that way but beleive me again that is just another thought tricking you. I have met many people on this blog and the ones with obsessive thoughts have all got better or are on the verge of full recovery. Hel Belz, Eva- recovery is right there for you- apply it correctly and your going to be just fine! x

  278. Eva Says:


    Thanks for your post, it really gave me much needed reassurance that it’s going to be ok. I’ve had these thoughts for 10weeks solidly amongst others that make me feel like being sick. When I do get them I try to say to myself let it go, it’s just the anxiety, but I cant help but delve deeper into them questioning do I really feel like this? The answer varies from yes – no – yes – no throughout the day. Isn’t it strange that once you question a major thing like that you start to question everything, is my job really for me, can I live on my own, does it even matter what I look like etc etc.

    You said that people with that sort of feeling/thought, if they were really in that state of mind they wouldnt panic over it. Well I dont know if I’m panicing or not. I know I wish i didnt feel like that and that it mkes me cry and worries me that I might do something, is that panic? I know this sounds so stupid, I just dont know what to do.

    I felt so much better last night and then today it’s happening all over again. I wish I could be happy again, I’m spending so much time crying and just trying to keep on doing things, it’s very difficult when everything seems completley pointless in relation to feeling like this.



  279. candie Says:

    Hi Eva- yes that is panic… if that thought distresses you then it is simply not true. People in that state of mind dont question there intentions, cry or worry about it- they are way past caring and feel no anxiety about what they are contemplating doing. Honestly from what you have told me i can tell what you are thinking is just another obsessive thought braught on by your anxiety. Now you need to understand it has become your habit to think this way- dont try reason with it or prove to yourself that its not true- allow this thought to be there… recognise that it cant be true other wise you wouldnt be anxious about it! All the anxiety you feel about the thought just proves that you wouldnt act on it. Your going to be just fine, there will be times when you may think otherwise but thats just memory and anxiety tricking you.

  280. Eva Says:

    yeah the thought definately distresses me, but I also do feel like I’ve just had enough and I dont care anymore. It’s the most horrible thing. I’m so down I just have completley lost the will, I will keep trying though coz there’s got to be a way out of this. Even if it is depression that I have people get well from it. I have the help around me, you guys, my family and friends, my doctor and therapist. How on earth did this ever happen to me, I’m a happy person, not someone who feels like this. I will do what you tell me, it’s just a habit and habits can be changed. I cant let it get thte better of me and stop me living my life incase of what I might do.

    So tired of it all, I’m totally exhausted inside. All I want for Christmas is to be better again, that would be better than any gift.

    Thanks again Candie xx

  281. candie Says:

    Eva- we all have times throughout our anxiety that we feel so low and cant see a way out that we feel at our wits end. Life makes everyone feel like this sometimes.

    We where all happy people at one point, it doesnt choose weak people who arnt happy- it can happen to anyone. The good thing is the ajority of the time i am happy again now… i have my ups and downs but im coming through and yo can too. Please dont see yourself as a victim- it will hinder you greatly… the truth is you are one of the lucky ones who has found help and answers which lead to full recovery.

  282. Eva Says:

    Thanks candie, I do feel very lucky that I have the help to get better. You’ve made a big difference to me this weekend. I really mean it when I say thank you. Going to try work again tomorrow and keep going with it, giving the thoughts and feelings as little attention and respect as I can. Looking forward to speaking to my cbt man tomorrow aswell.

  283. RD Says:

    Hi Eva,
    I have just read your posts, and wanted to let you know I’ve been going through the same awful feelings as you. It started exactly two months ago with a panic attack, followed by ups and downs, trying to deal with all the thoughts, trying to work out why it had happened to me, because I also consider myself a very happy person, and trying desperately to visualise returning to my old self. I discovered this site a few weeks ago, and it was an enormous relief just to see proof that I wasn’t the only one with these symptoms: as I read through the posts, I spotted all the types of scary, obsessive thoughts, including suicidal thoughts, that were so incredibly painful and almost unbearable. Just this realisation made an immediate difference to me, and also made me realise how narrow the line is between suffering and recovery.
    That was the main thing I wanted to say, but I also thought I would tell you some practical steps I have taken over the last couple of weeks, which have started to give me a bit of breathing space to put this acceptance method into practice, based on the scores of websites I’ve been obsessively trawling!: I have totally cut out coffee, greatly reduced sugar and alcohol, started taking fish oil capsules and B-vitamin complex tablets. At the same time I have greatly increased the amount of exercise I do (and I already did a fair bit). The realisation that things looked so much better during and immediately after a half hour jog round the park has convinced me that working on having a healthy brain chemistry at the same time as using the method of accepting the thoughts and not reacting in an adrenaline-filled way to them is an approach that really will work.
    The result of my lifestyle change (probably mostly due to cutting out coffee and doing more exercise) is that I have now slept soundly for at least six hours a night for almost two weeks. That in turn has really helped during the days, and I feel this is a positive spiral that is leading somewhere.
    If I had sat here writing this a week ago, it would have got me into a very anxious train of thought, but as I sit here now, I am just desperate to try and help you as much as I can.
    Hope there are some bits here which you can relate to.
    All the best.

  284. Eva Says:

    Hi RD

    Thank you for writing to me, even hearing people sharing the same experiences with me makes me feel a little relief. Do you find that every day you just cant cope anymore? I find myself increasingly sinking into the depression pit and thinking that I’m never going to get any joy out of anything, i’ve nothing to look forward to and hence I just dont want to be here anymore. I’m trying to tell myself it’s the anxiety…

    your tips on the food are interesting. I do alot of horse riding, which is actually quite physical esp on your heart. I found that i am sometimes at my worst after I’ve been riding, perhaps because it’s something I used to love and i’m just not getting the buzz. as much as I try not to give my thoughts attention, I cant help but think about how I’m feeling all the way throughout my lesson. I dont drink coffee, or alot of alcohol (none at present) but i do like the odd glass of diet coke, so I’ve went and bought caffeine free stuff. Also I’ve started taking multi-vitamins. are you on any medication?

    When I hear how you’ve been going through this, I think mine is more deep seated and am convinced I have depression. however on Saturday night at home i felt the best I had in ages. its weird as when you do feel that lift all the wee stupid thoughts that pop into your head about stuff vanish and I feel more confident. however sunday morning was back to being awful. I’m going to a CBT class tonight with a psyciatrist, I really want to be better. Have you found you are improving alot now? Like you mine started with a panic attack after months of feeling agitated and not quite right.

    pleas stay in touch and thank you for your help x

  285. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva,
    i hope you had a good weekend. just a quick idea on why you may feel worse after your horse riding. like you, i often feel worse after doing something i used to love (for me its my art, i just feel so empty when i am doing it). i wonder whether it might be because we unintentionally try to enjoy it again, and that trying causes anxiety because we are trying to force ourselves to feel a certain way. this would be tiring anyway, and add to that the disappointment of not feeling anything, and then it makes you feel worse. its tough, but we all get like that. dont stop going, just accpt however you feel, good or bad.
    you are going great, don’t forget that! -x-

  286. RD Says:

    Hi Eva,
    How did your CBT class go?
    I was thinking about what you said about being sure you had depression. I also have this going through my mind a lot. Last Monday, for example, just over a week ago, I had my worst day of anxiety yet, and within the space of a morning’s internet trawling (my work is not very busy at the moment, which is giving me more time than I would like to ruminate over everything) I had pretty much convinced myself that I had some sort of depression. These thoughts made my anxiety much worse, of course, and I got to the point where I felt like I had to finally seek medical help to get me through this. I felt like I really must have some deep seated problem, and that it wasn’t just anxiety after all, and that therefore the acceptance method wouldn’t, after all, be able to save me, and this in turn made me feel worse and worse, etc, etc. At some point in the afternoon, after pondering the feelings of depression, I realised that they had been there for a long while and that I had been suppressing them. They are related to problems in my marriage, and I do need to deal with these problems, but they are completely separate from the anxiety, except that suppressing the thoughts and not dealing with the underlying issues has put me in a weaker mental state, less able to deal with the obsessive anxious thoughts. Just admitting to myself that I had to finally deal with the underlying issues pulled me a fair way out of the desperation. Together with my resolve to clean up my brain chemistry in regards to caffeine, etc, I felt I had turned a bit of a corner, and could carry on. A week and a bit on I am feeling much better. I am not fully recovered, because I still spend too much time monitoring my obsessive thoughts, but I am convinced that the advice on this website is absolutely sound, and that my problem is anxiety and not deep seated depression. Seeing the difference between the two has been critical for me. To answer your question about medication, by the way: I haven’t been on any. At some points of desperation, I can well imagine medication being a useful tool to help someone through for a while, though. I guess the caffeine avoidance, fish oil and vitamins are a form of medication, but I can accept them with feeling anxious about them!
    Reading what you wrote about your Saturday night being much better than the other days was really positive. It sounds like light at the end of your tunnel, but the tunnel is twisting in weird ways, which is the case with my tunnel too! I hope I won’t be writing in a few days to say it’s all gone pearshaped!
    I know I have been rambling a bit here. I didn’t want to miss any important points, just in case they struck a chord with you.
    Please let me know how you are getting on.

  287. Eva Says:

    Hi RD

    When I looked through internet sites I pretty much came up witht he same conclusion, every questionnaire i did came back with ‘severe depression’..that freaked me out. I studied abroad for a while and my flat mate and I keep in touch, she said that she thought i maybe had something going on as I was saying similar things to her about how i felt rejected by alot of people. i brought this up with my old therpist a few weeks ago and I felt alot better about it. I know I have good friends and whats in the past is gone so to speak. My friends have been really great through all this and i appreciate them alot. My ex boyfriend said I thought negatively about alot of things, which is maybe why I feel like i’m never going to get better.

    i didnt go to work today after breaking down in tears (again), the thoughts of not wanting to be here are completly taking over me. I kept thinking I’m either going to have to go on medicationthat will completely knock me out and I’ll live like that forever or I’ll end up doing something to myself. both of which really upset me and i didnt know what to do. it makes everything else like work etc seem irrelevant. I admire you for being at work, even on your worst days. I have these other thoughts about just not being able to live my life, being happy and being alone…i hate it.

    CBT was really an introduction, as my first session. He looked at my background etc and the lead up to being ill. Now he will focus on how I am feeling/thinking/bahaving in the present. He thinks I am worrying so much about it that it’s making me worse. How i’m meant to accept feeling like i dont want to be here i dont know… I dont think stopping worrying about will help though, inact if i didnt worry i’d probably be more worried…if that makes sense. I ave bits from a book to read and he will make an agenda each visit. I’m so tired o it all, i’ve made a doctors appointment aswell as I think i’m going to have to go on some stronger sort of medication (as much as I dont want to).

    Pretty low and trying not to give up here…hope your day is better!

  288. Eva Says:

    P.S. Thanks for your idea HB, I think it’s purely the fact that i cant get the way I feel out of my head. Dont know what to do with myself. Really not doing good. Hope your day is better, any news with your job?

  289. Eva Says:


    I wondered if you could tell me how long these thoughts are likely to continue for? I’ve had mine for around 10weeks and i’d say they were at their worst just now. I wasnt able to go to work today, really really upset and overwhelmed by feelings of not wanting to be here and sacred about my future. I’m going back to the doctors tomorrow as my 2mg dose of medication is doing nothing other than making me very sleepy!! This anxiety has certainly got the better of me, if I could just rid myself of the thoughts of not wanting to be here I think I would be better…

  290. Helz Belz Says:

    Hey Eva! am glad that my thoughts could help you. i’ve been there and am still there at least once a day now. usually my worst time is the afternoon, and read in another thread that the afternoons are often the worst time for many people, i thought it was just me! do you feel any better (or at least not so bad) in the evenings or mornings? am not sure why some times of day are worse than others, but it seems to be a relatively common pattern
    no news on the job front, not even had a reply for volunteering. yet another blow for my already suffering confidence. just have to ride it out i s’pose.
    the thoughts of not wanting to be here can be tough. i had them too, they are what brought on my severe anxiety 2 years ago. i got through them by researching spiritualism, but i know thats not for everybody. personally, i see that everyone and everything happens for a reason, we just dont always know what the reason is. this is a phase that many of us are going through/have gone through, and we come out the other side as stronger people. -x-

  291. Eva Says:

    Hiya Helz Belz (love your name)

    Sorry to hear they’ve not got back in touch with you, it’s their loss remember. Keep trying though, maybe some places are looking for people to help over Christmas? If I could afford to, i would like to do voluntary work with animals, quite good therpy aswell i believe.

    For me the worst time is definately when i wake up in the mornings. before I know it I am completly submerged in really deep thinking about my thoughts. My thoughts usually run in this order: 1. I dont want to be here anymore, 2. What have i got to look forward to, I get no joy from anything, 3. am I ever going to get out of this, 4. everything makes me feel strange, I cant cope with living my life, 5. Tears… ;(

    My dad suggested that i set the radio to come on for my alarm clock, that way my brain may decide to listen to that instead of thoughts spiralling out of control. Worth a shot I think, going to try it tonight. I also find I have probably at least another two rough patches during the day and am mst calm at night. I find the thoughts are still with me, and I’m teary about it, but the extreme panic isn’t as high if you know what I mean.

    I too believe that everything happens for a reason, and I hope tht I get through this and that it makes me a better person. I now know that people do care for me and I’d always worried about that. Plus I think alot of the hurt from the past seems quite far behind me now – my hypnotherpist helped me with that. I just want to get rid of these thoughts/feelings and I think i will be on the road to being eva again. i’ve been told that these sort of thoughts are sometimes the last thing to least an anxious person, ever heard that??

    Nite nite xx

  292. RD Says:

    Hi Eva and Helz Belz!
    Hope your Dad’s alarm clock suggestion is helping!
    About getting rid of the thoughts. I’ve read a lot of things similar to the method in Paul’s book, ie accepting the thoughts. There seem to be various ways of “letting the thoughts be there” without actually digging into them and then getting lost in anxiety. Some of the suggestions I’ve read are: having a hotel in your mind where you let these “guests” check in, having a boxing ring in your mind where you let the thoughts stay, but you don’t get in with them, having a bag in your mind that you slip the thoughts into until you are ready to talk about them with a friend or therapist. I have been using a bookshelf where I put the “books”. No idea why I have this image, and I guess everyone will have their own different way of “shelving” the thoughts, but it has really helped. Here are a few of the fun titles in my mental library: “suicide”, “drowning”, “falling out of skyscrapers”! A perfect evening’s reading! I haven’t read past the first page of any of them for several days now, and it really has freed up my mind for more positive things. The key then is to truly believe that doing this will lead to the thoughts eventually losing intensity and eventually dying away. The hardest thing is to resist the temptation to open the book and start reading, even though I know that way leads to lots of pain.

  293. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva and RD,
    Eva, your morning thoughts sound very similar to a lot of ones ive had. in the first depression, mine went along 1. what if this is all there is? 2. when you die, is that it, nothing more? 3. well, if im gonna die anyway, why wait? it was a horrible pattern. last depression over summer was 1. do i love my b/f? 2. well, i am owrrying so much, obviously not. etc etc. i was living on my own in crappy accommodation over summer too which didnt help
    try setting it to radio 4. i found that the sound of voices, even if i wasnt listening to what they were saying, can be a help. just gives the mind something else to focus on. the thoughts are very loud for you now because they have your attention, and anxiety loves attention. once you begin to believe that they have no place in your life, thats when they will get quieter. i still get those thoughts even now, and they still scare me, but putting the thoughts in their place (the mind bin!) and moving on gets easier. It sounds like you might have a bit of d.p. too Eva, if everything makes you feel strange. that is your body just saying it has had enough of the worrying and has shut down your emotions for a while. unfortunately this can make it hard to connect to anything and worrying thinking can actually be more pronounced when in d.p. (i always described it as being stuck in my own head), but this will pass. the anxiety will be fuelling your thoughts too.

    RD, the idea of putting the thoughts on a shelf is a good one. i tried to put mine behind a screen, then even though they are still there they are quieter and easier to ignore.

    Eva, have you looked at Wills website? its one that Paul recommends too. its a bit confusing, but basically it says that there are two types of thoughts, primary and secondary. primary thoughts can be positive and negative, but they are completely natural and normal. secondary thoughts are the conscious ones that follow on from primary. our problem as anxiety sufferers is that we have a primary thought and instead of just leaving it and moving on , we move into secondary analysing which is what builds up the anxiety. at least thats how Scarlet explained it to me! RD, it sounds like you have gotten the hang of this, by leaving the primary thoughts on the bookshelf and moving on. Although the temptation to go back and re-analyse the thoughts is so hard! for me, i feel a bit like a failure if i havent completely thought something through, even though there are some things in the world which are impossible to completely think through…but leaving them alone is hard

    I hope the radio idea helped you this morning Eva. take one day at a time and everything will work out in the end. working with animals sounds like a good idea (the closest ive got is my pet birdy, no animal places in this town). you said that you went riding, maybe you could volunteer there? am back applying for jobs again, oh the painful life on the unemployed! RD, i am glad you are finding time for more positive thinking, those mental books dont need to be read at all

  294. Kay Says:

    Hi I am new here, I posted a blogg of my story on the depersonalisation site . But in short this is the 4th time i have suffered from anxiety and it always happens after a long period of stress i have 3 small kids problems in work and marriage and i am very perfectionist. For me whats worst is the feeling wierd and not feeling myself. i do everyuthing normally as i always do , nobody notices how i feel. ive always been a very happy outgoing person. The problem is that i cant get rid of all these what if thoughts running round my head my worst ones what if i go crazy forget who i am or stay like this forever i see happy people around me i think how luck they are poor me or when i remember places that i have gone when i was ok i think how on earth have i changed cant i feel like that again why cant i feel like i used to. When i wake up in the mornings for 1 minute i am fine but suddenely its as if my brain says hey wait a minute u have something wrong and then i start analysing how i feel and thoughts start coming back towards the night i get better but mornings are the worst. anyway just like to say that the other times i have had anxiety i always thought this is it this time i am staying like this and i have always completely recovered so can u and everyone else once our minds just learn to forget this bad habit and soon the day will come when u think wow i havnt thought about this in days and you know u are better.

  295. Eva Says:

    Hi HB and RD

    How are you both? RD Thanks for your comments on dealing with the thoughts, I’ve tried to visualise putting them on a shelf etc, but i find that hard to do because they dont stay there. One thing i am noticing is that I cant help but think about how I’m thinking…it’s very weird. I mean most people would choose not to think like that, but I think because I know it’s there I cant help but delve into it and the consequences are ‘what the hell is wrong with me!!??’. I came off another medication at the weekend to try and help me through this phase, but they made me really tired, faintish and sicky – was horrid. yesterday after and argument with my ex boyfriend the suicidally thoughts were really strong and I hated it, in floods of tears. However by night time I felt a bit better. Then this morning I had strange thoughts about how ill I’ve been and I thought back to my past e.g. going to university, previous boyfriends and just generally living my life. It suddenly seemed to totally overwhelm me and i just felt i couldnt cope with living anymore, made me feel so sick. Sometimes I wish I could just sick all of this away haha!

    It really sounds like anxiety doesnt it? I’ve to go back to the doctors again today. I’m trying to let my anxiety just be, but it’s so frustrating that it’s not gone away by now. It makes me think something else is going on in my head? Do you think this could be depersonalisation?

    HB thanks for your honesty regarding your thoughts, it’s really scary isn’t it. Even having and trsuting you guys makes me feel less alone. I talk to friends, doctors and family, but I think unless you’ve had severe anxiety you cant really understand it, dont you think? I hadnt seen this web site before, but i presume it means that you have to stop when you have the primary thought e.g. I dont want to be here anymore and realise it’s anxiety and not go further into exploring it? easier said than done.

    I really hope i am ok, it really does freak me out that everything is not normal in my life, it’s quite embarassing how ill i am. it’s funny, I feel like a little girl who just wants her mummy to make it all better ;(

  296. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva,
    Yes, it is hard to let a thought go ‘uncompleted’ as it were. Partly, the blame lays in modern society, we are told from the start (by school, media etc) that we have to analyse and learn and understand and that if we are not ‘perfect’ then we are bad and wrong for not doing it to completion. its been hard wired into us for so long. i have a similar problem of letting thoughs go, its like they are there and that by not thinking them through or being aware of them then i am almost cheating by not thinking them. its very hard to explain. i remember one time last year i was having trouble with thinking/worrying about what happens after we die, it was nealy all the time somewhere on my mind. and one day while cooking i momentarily forgot, then when i remembered again i kinda thought ‘you didnt think about it then, you werent worrying, that is bad, you havent completed this thought yet, keep working on it’. but some thoughts can never be gone through to a satisfactory conclusion, they are just too big or uncertain. those thoughts i am slowly learning to abandon, thinking them through gets me nowhere, there is no end to them, they just keep me from living/recovery/normal living. just think, that there are millions of other people out there, hardly any of which are having those thoughts yet are getting by just fine without them. we have them partly because of modern society, and also the adrenalin, which is like the fuel on the fire making the thoughts stronger and making them stick. kinda long-winded, but i hope that explain it a little.

    Eva, i am not sure whether you have full-blown d.p. yet, but it sounds like you are in the first stage i was in before i had d.p. the constant thinking, worrying and panic reacting is tiring your brain, and it may soon go into full d.p. don’t worry if you do, if you dont worry about it and let it be there it will help numb your reactions to the thoughts. the thoughts are only sticking around due to anxiety and habit and maybe a little fear of letting them go and not ‘completing’ them. hopefully, the advice here can help to turn your anxiety around before full d.p. can set in. but if ti does, dont be scared of it, see it as your body helping you and it will not last.

    i hope you feel better Eva, it is painful to know that anyone else is going through what i went through. -x-

  297. Eva Says:

    That was a quick response, I love this website!

    I think I have quite alot of dp as I do feel no joy from anything and most of the time I feel like I’m watching everyones life as a total outsider. Nothing seems as important anymore and it’s sometimes having and realising that I dont get the buzz out of things anymore that makes me feel sick and brings on my suicidally thoughts. I realised today that i dont want to die i want to be well!!! It’s the total opposite of my thoughts and I think it’s only with me because I cant control how i’m feeling and i dont like it. As you correctly pointed out before, i am someone who wants to be in control.

    Sometimes I think I have turned a corner with how i feel, made myself go to two housing development sites today – my job, even although I didnt know what was going to happen to me – feeling you cant cope with life anymore and still actually doing my work is really difficult. I had to drive a fair wee bit and then somehow make it seem like I wasnt a nutter about to breakdown infront of the site manager. trying to reward myself for doing well today, hard though when there’s nothing I really want as a reward. To be well again is all I want.

    Thanks for your help HB, it’s appreciated more than I can say xx

  298. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva,
    am glad i can help. and the quick response is that i am sat in front of the comp all afternoon looking for jobs 😉
    am having a crappy few days myself. felt down but could just cope with it and did stuff even though i felt like curling up and hiding. then this afternoon i went and looked up symptoms, something i havent done in literally ages, and have scared myself a little. prob because i havent felt proper scared/panicked in a while, was testing myself, but too soon! looked up things that i shouldnt have looked at and has set me off again, convinced myself i have borderline personality disorder, i have some of the symptoms and its scared me. my bad, i knew i shouldnt have done it :(

    am just in a set-back, but have come to expect those times. oh, this is going to bug me though. the anxiety is discolouring my memories too, making them seem worse than they were. i should prob take a break and have a meditate to calm down.

    glad you are going back to work and getting out and about. the lack of enjoyment doesnt necessarily mean full d.p., i think that adrenalin just blocks feelings of enjoyment, wether there is d.p. or not. keeping a grip in front of others is also hard, and can be tiring. just dont hold that grip all the while, when at home let yourself let go of that grip on yourself. the more days you are back at work, eventually you will start to forget how you feel and get back into real life. it may take weeks or months, but eventually you will feel a change :)

    am glad i can help. sometimes giving advice is a lot harder than taking the advice myself! -x-

  299. RD Says:

    Hi Eva and Helz Belz,
    I’ve just read your posts from the last couple of days. I actually had a really busy day at work yesterday, and that helps me a lot with keeping my mind off the thoughts. Something you said, Helz Belz, about feeling as though you had failed if you couldn’t carry a thought through to its rational conclusion, really struck a chord with me. The temptation to test yourself with the thought is sometimes overwhelming, and sometimes your brain starts the test even without your permission! All I can say from my last few weeks is that every second not spent pursuing the thought is a second well spent in my books, and really does help towards recovery.
    I had a minor setback at the weekend, one of the type mentioned in Paul’s book. I was out at a Christmas market in the local town, and for the first time in my life, started feeling a bit panicky about being among so many people. It’s mad, because I love being out and with loads of people. Anyway, I managed to really believe that this was just the anxiety running out of tricks now that I had managed to shelve (for most of the time) the other nasty thoughts, and the feelings passed, helped by a couple of glasses of mulled wine! The following day, I was due to play a piano piece at a Christmas concert, and I lost a bit of sleep over it, which is also unusual, and also down to the anxiety. Anyway, everything went off without a hitch, and I feel as though forcing myself through these things has really helped.
    Something else you said I also related to, the bit about testing yourself too soon. The way I try and look at it is like a broken leg or sprained knee. I need to avoid walking on it until it is really mended. Having said that, I can’t resist once or twice a day testing myself by thinking about things, and the outcome, although not always intense, is rarely good.
    Eva, reading your posts over the last week, you sound so much more positive. I get the impression that you really have turned a corner, even though you are clearly still having a really hard time. I really hope this is the case. It would be the best Christmas present imaginable that we all feel we’re on the road to recovery!

  300. Eva Says:


    Having a really rough time at the moment so thought I would write a note on here. I’m at work and was feeling totally overwhelmed by the dodgy thoughts (that i’ve said above). I dont feel my heart rate has gone up but i feel so faint. I haven’t been eating alot, infact the thought of food makes me feel really sick. I went to the shops to get St Johns Wort and a sandwich (to try and force feed myself – eaten half so far) and I kept thinking I was just going to collapse. I then forgot where I’d parked my car…after that I just kept thinking that I have to go home, and that i’m petrified that I do something to myself. I really dont want to, I just wnt to be well, but I cant help but have that pit of the stomach feeling that I’m going to die. Has anyone else had that sort of feeling?

    I’m starting to think I must have something else and not just anxiety. I do have the cold which isn’t helping matters, but i can cope with a cold, not this though. It’s really hard to have a conversation with anyone and be focused on work when I feel like this, everything seems so pointless.

    On a positive note, I did feel a little better this morning, which is usually my worst time.

  301. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva & RD,
    Eva, it is just anxiety, those are all normal symptoms (as is doubting if it really is anxiety). have been in the same place of not being able to eat, but have always had that when i was nervous. not being able to eat will have made you feel weak too, so dont force yourself to eat too mcuh, it will only make you more ill and anxious. just eat what you can when you can, once it took me a whole evening to eat a bagel, i was that bad. maybe this evening when you feel calmer you could try to eat something light? usually i find a small salad or plain sandwich is best, to be easy on the stomach and cooling. the panicky feeling of needing to go home is just anxiety too. had that in a mild form all summer, but now i am home i still feel it, like a need to be somewhere safe, but with the adrenalin pumping through you it is hard to find a safe place. hope you manage to eat something soon

    RD, am glad what i said could make sense to you, i hope it has helped. at tho mo i am having trouble with obessive thoughts about how i communicate with people, which are very hard to ignore as they get in the way by analysing when i am talking to anyone, particularly my family. they are so annoying, but not causing any serious physical symptoms. its almost like my anxiety is finding new things to attach itself too now i am starting to get the hang of ignoring it. the temptation to test is so strong too, but am trying.

    pink days to both of you! -x-

  302. RD Says:

    Morning Eva and Helz Belz!
    Eva, the pit of the stomach feeling you get and the lack of appetite is something I went through for the first couple of months after my panic attack. I lost a load of weight, and I normally love eating. It was like really bad exam nerves, but with that scary trapped-in-my-thoughts feeling added. That is definitely a symptom of anxiety, and is adrenalin related. The anxiety can find any thought imaginable to “express” itself through, but the really scary ones stick more, because they cause your body to produce more adrenalin, and the brain makes a note of that, and keeps the thought at the front of your mind. We then get into the habit of revisiting the thought and reinforcing it, which is a vicious circle. If you can make the first step to believing that this is anxiety, you will relax enough to allow you to see what is happening and you will start to recover. Other anxiety sufferers like us are real proof that this can happen, because we’ve been going through the same thing, but I realise it is really difficult to make the leap of faith that this is anxiety and not something even worse, and your anxiety will magnify this thought as well.
    Helz Belz,
    I have exactly the same thing at the moment, with my anxiety starting to find new things to attach itself to: started having phobic thoughts about water while I was under the shower this morning! It is laughable, because I used to be a competitve swimmer, and going for a long swim is one of my favourite pastimes. Somehow the mind seems to search out your worst fears and confront you with them, but I realise they are just anxiety driven because they most of them are ridiculous, and, more importantly, as soon as I relax, I see things in a completely different light.
    Hope you both have a positive day!

  303. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone, i haven’t posted for a while had major computer problems. I am still snduring prescription med withdrawal, i have had the most bizarre thoughts during all this they did change at the beginning but they have all been of the most strenge nature and i find it hard to relate to anyone elses due to this and to accept its anxiety, my biggest fear, apart from the bizarre thought content is that it will still be there when recovered, someone on a anxiety helpline told me this and it scared me so much. I became frightened during halloween week and went for a walk to see if it would help, i saw loads of scary things in shop windows and had a ia am a werewolf thought which stayed quite a while then that changed after seeing pictures of spiders in windows, i hate them anyway and the thought i am a spider came in from nowhere and totally freaked me out as it doesn’t make sense but feels so real, i can’t imagine anyone thinking things like it, this one is persistent and i despair of it ever going. Love Carol x

  304. RD Says:

    Hi Carole,
    Sorry to hear you’re having a hard time at the moment.
    It still sounds exactly like anxiety to me. I think probably everyone on here has had some bizarre thoughts that weren’t mentioned by anyone else, because the anxiety seems to be good at picking on things which scare us, and everyone has different experiences and memories which the anxiety can draw on. You say yourself that you hate spiders, so what better thought for the anxiety to pick on than you being a spider yourself! As for the person on the helpline telling you about the thoughts remaining after you’ve recovered, I’m sure the memories of the thoughts do remain, but the important thing is how your mind reacts to them. I am on the road to recovery myself, and am finding that the thoughts that used to give me butterflies or severe panic every time I went near them are now more distant, and I have developed some detachment from them. Sometimes now I even feel strong enough to laugh at them. As well as that, the thoughts come up much less often, and they just won’t bother you any more in the end.
    Hope you feel better soon.

  305. Eva Says:

    Hi RD HB

    Hope you are both well! When I type your names i always think RD = R2D2 and HB = Heinz Beans…I’m a weirdo!

    I’m so envious when I read that you are doing so well. I’ve tried not to post for the last wee while to see if I can manage things on my own, to some extent I have and then I think I’m not. There had been a guy at work that i thought was nice, but knew he prob had a girlfriend, but wasnt sure. Anyway, we started texting, work stuff then just friendly banter, he was v supportive of the anxiety (although didnt tell him my thoughts, I always just say dodgy ones). over the end of last week he ended up saying that he really liked me but wasnt sure what he was thinking as he has a gfriend and a wee boy. I thought oh god, i’ve started liking someone who I cant have… The interesting point though was that I really felt like I had perked up, even just knowing that someone I liked actually liked me was a great feeling, and i felt myself believing that my thoughts were just anxiety. However, once I knew that there was nothing going to come of it, the saddness and strange thoughts hit with force. They were still there when texting this guy, but it was like I had something else to focus on. That led me to realise that in every relationship I’ve had with someone I’ve really depending on their attention and love…now that I dont have a boyfriend i feel unloved (in a romantic way).

    Anyway, the question I wanted to ask was that do you think this is depression? I read a bit in a mind over matter book last night and it was so true…freaked me out as i thought oh no I have depression and people who have depression are more likely to commit suicide. Every day I feel like I cant cope anymore, meeting people, having christmas time etc all just seem totally overwhelming and i dont feel like there’s a way out of it!! The way I’m feeling absolutely petrifies, it’s like i’m in a dream and this is not my life. I just wish it would all go away.

    RD it made alot of sense what you said about the anxiety needing an andrenalin release and that it finds scary thoughts, but are these thoughts with you all day every day? For me they are and have been for about 12 weeks. Sometimes they heighten more than others. I do revisit the thought alot, I cant help myself, i dont want to, it’s so horrid.

    HB the eating thing is prett bad isn’t it!? I’ve lost a stone in weight which is more than a tenth of my body weight! My prob is that I’m either not hungry or when i eat I think what’s the point…AGH!!!! I wish I was someone else!!

  306. RD Says:

    Hi Eva,
    R2D2 here! Beep beep! I have also seriously thought I was depressed at times, but then at the times I am relaxed and not having the thoughts, I feel normal and very positive about things, even though I really do have some serious rmarriage difficulties to sort out. I think in my case, most of the depressive thoughts, especially the stupid ones about suicide, have been due to the general anxiety and desperation at the scary thoughts.
    I had the thoughts all day every day for about 9 weeks, so I know the desperation you’re going through. Every day had its own special most intense thought, which then seemed to put the others on a backburner for a while, until they came to the forefront the next day. I thought I could deal with these thoughts one by one until they were all sorted, but actually there’s a never ending supply of anxious thoughts, and you can’t double guess yourself. All you can do is try a method for giving your mind a break, and let it do the rest and recover. There seem to be various methods out there, and I’ve read a few which are similar to the one described on this site and in Paul’s book. One of these was also mentioned on this blog higher up: It basically describes the scary thoughts as having two parts: spikes (where you think of the topic) and ruminations (where you actually start battling the thought in your mind). It says that spikes are not the thing that cause the problem; the thing to avoid is the ruminations. The hard part is avoiding the ruminations, of course! I have found I really have to work hard at this, and, more importantly, believe that this approach can work. All I can say is that it is really working for me, and I believe I have been through something very similar to you.
    Another thing which I found encouraging (although it says something about the stress we’re all under) last week was when I had a mate round to mine for a beer. We ended up talking about anxiety of all things! It turns out both he and his wife have suffered with it over the last few years and fully recovered. For one thing it means I can now talk to him about it, which is fantastic, and I also feel less weird for having it!
    I’ll be checking for updates from you!!
    Cheers, R2D2

  307. Helz Belz Says:

    Hey Eva and RD!
    just a quick post from me, been on comp all day job hunting and need a break, lol!
    Eva, anxiety and depression are both caused by similar chemicals in the brain. i was anxious for a long time, with severe depression and depresing thoughts thrown in too like you have. so you probably have some depression, but as it was triggered by anxiety it will go eventually as the anxiety subsides. i have had the ‘but its still there so it must be depression’ thoughts too, but it does pass. when in the thick of it like you are now, the feelings of depression (a bit like feeling like a lump of lead swimming through treacle i find) will be there a lot of the time, but as you move along recovery road, the feelings will be there less and less. it can take weeks or months though, it is a long road. but there will be a time in the future when this will all seem like just a black time that has passed. you are still very afraid of how you feel, and rwading about it in a book will have only scared you more. i would advise to stop reading about anything to do with phychology for a while, no reading about depresion/anxiety or anything like that. reading those things will just keep your mind always ticking over on the subject. also, do not worry yourself about relationship troubles for a while, your mind is tired and needs a rest from worry for a while. when your mind is tired like this it will not be able to reason thoughts through properly and just got more anxious. i have had 2 relationships break up over my anxieties about them, so i know that not worrying about those things can be hard.

    RD, that article is good isnt it? found that yesterday myself, it fits in well with Pauls advice here and Wills advice on thoughts. have been trying the cut-off technique, where i stop any conscious thought process i am having when i realise it is conscious. it is having an effect already, have been doing it a week now. you are right that you cannot handle one thought at a time, the anxiety will just keep throwing up new challanges that way!

    the feelings of dread are still very bad and scarey, think it will take more than a few weeks to overcome my biological instinct to run away from anything that causes dread, but the anxiety is attaching this dread to odd things, like talking to family, putting up the xmas tree, normal things that usually have no dread! but am working on it.

    you are both doing great! i wish pink days for both of you -x-

  308. RD Says:

    Hi Eva and HB!
    Just to let you know I’m finishing work today for this year and will be travelling from tomorrow onwards, so probably won’t be able to post very much for a few weeks. I will try and look in when I can to see how you’re both doing.
    Hope you are both able to have some peace and relaxation over Christmas.

  309. Eva Says:

    You too RD, will keep posting here in the meantime. Fingers crossed things improve for everyone!

    Have a lovely Christmas time

  310. Helz Belz Says:

    Have a good christmas RD! -x-

  311. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for the support. I have for the first time this last week had small bits of respite from the thought thats been terrifying me , it doesn’t go away for long and comes back so i am a bit worried this is as good as it gets, also i worry so much that it may keep coming as obsessively even when anxiety is gone, thats a huge fear for me as well as the content of the thought itself, i find it hard to relate as it seems so bizarre for anxiety. Take care, best wishes, Carol.

  312. Eva Says:

    Hey HB RD

    It’s the day of my Christmas party today at work. I’m absolutely dreading it, petrified that I go to be sick and faint. The thought of even getting on the bus there fills me with fear. Combining that with my thoughts of not wanting to be here anymore and I’m exhausted. I think if it was just the panic about going somewhere then I would try and focus or think about something that I’m looking forward to e.g. christmas or having a lie down, but I cant feel any joy from anything, which then reinforces my feelings about not wanting to be here anymore….

    I got the train into work today, which was weird but at least I managed it. But when I got into work everything felt really strange, it’s as if i’m not actually at my work, although it’s the same place I feel like it’s a totally differnt place…very horrible. had an upset stomach this morning too. Do you think this is all just the anxiety?? Particularly the feelings about not wanting to be here – that’s what concerns me the most.

    Hope you have a wonderful day travelling (RD) and relaxing (HB).

  313. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva and Carol!
    yep, what you both describe is anxiety. i have and still have the same things as you. it is very hard to get along with doing anything while it is there, but thats the only way. to teach the mind that this isnt something that needs any attention. if the anxiety gets attention the mind thinks that it must be something worth focusing on and so it will become the main focus of your mind. as you re-train the brain to ignore all the symptoms (both physical and mental) it will get less and less bothersome until you dont notice it at all.

    Carol, i know what you mean about having an obsessive mind, mine is very obsessive too. have been through all sorts of crazy obsessions at the height of anxiety/depression/d.p. (time, memory and death were the main ones) but now i am really having a go at brain-retraining the big crazy obsessions have practically gone, but seems to have been replaced by smaller ones (like how irritable i get, relationships, jobs) but they are still just obsessions. does it seem like your mind is always chattering and talking/analysing? this is where the conscious talking mind has become so used to thinking it cannot seem to turn off. ive been practicing stopping my thoughts, all thoughts, to show my brain that it doesnt have to think all the time. try giving that a go for a few weeks, stopping all conscious thoughts, see if that helps at all.

    went to london yesterday, did well in the morning, mind was only half on me, but the afternoon was too much, got mild d.p. and my mind was very loud and chattery. feeling bit better today. have realised i am still watching myself too much, keeping tabs on how i feel. more practice needed i feel.

    hope you are both well, pink weekends for both of you! h -x-

  314. Eva Says:

    Hi everyone

    Carol – I just want to let you know that the fact you do have respite from your thoughts is a great positive and you should see that as you being on your way to recovery. As Paul says it does take time and it wont happen overnight. I have times when my terrible thoughts are at lower levels and at other times sky high so I appreciate the fact that you just want rid of them…me too! I also feel that nobody could have had the terrible thoughts that I have. My original thoughts started as suicidal thoughts, which linked themselves together to now become a feeling of not wanting to be here and not seeing the point in being here. In addition i also question the purpose in life and whether im in the real world or not. I get no/little joy from things and every day is a struggle for me. The point im trying to make is that you are not alone and yes it will be individual to you, but know that the scared/petrified feelings you have are similar to many people who post on this blog.

    Helz Belz – i think you did great going to London, well done!! Can totally appreciate how hard it is when you have all these thouhhts running in your head that seem to domineer the importance of everything else. As you say the more you practive the better it gets (with little dodgy moments in between). I’ve found being back at work (although difficult) has helped a little. I still get extremely concerned over the fact that I cant seem to find meaning to things – it’s almost unhuman if you know waht I mean. It makes me not want to be here, but it will go right? Whn you get mild d.p. what does that feel like?

    Hope you’re still feeling positive!


  315. Kay Says:

    Hi Eva i can so relate 2 what ur sayin that ur in work and evrything seems the same but different that is derealisation and nothin 2 worry about its just an offshoot of anxiety if u ignore it and occupy ur mind wiz something else , divert ur mind it gets better. For me this is the most prominent and worst aspect of my anxiety. Sometimes its not my surroundings that feel unreal its me who feels wierd like I’m not myself anymore even though i do evrything exactly as i used to wiz 3 kids husband work housework etc….. well on a more positive note ive had this 3 times b4 in my life and i have always fully recovered, recovery comes to me when this thing is no longer in my mind, no longer a bad habit or memory. have anice Xmas

  316. Eva Says:

    Hi Kay

    Thanks for your message, I think i get dp at home aswell, however thatst he first time i’ve had it so bad at work. I went to the party and coped better than I thought which was good.

    This is the third night in a row where i’ve had terrible sleeps, nightmares about how I’m feeling infact, waking up with the feelings of suicide, its really horrible. I’m so tired from it all. I try to pay as little attention to it as possible and infact I dont talk about it nearly as mcuh to my parents or friends. I still worry that it’s not anxiety that I have and perhaps depression. Everything seems to have lost its meaning and I have to make myself do things to feel like I have any sort of life. Has anyone tried the herb Valarium root? It’s meant to be a relaxant and help you get a good nights sleep?

    Getting quite concerned this bad spell of mine isnt going to go away, just over 3 months and in that time i’ve gone back to work, started eating more, went to Christmas party, did christmas shopping, tried 3 medications, now taking st Johns Wort, done hypnotherapy – 8wks, saw a councellor – 4wks, now doing cbt (3wks). As much as the attention I give to my thoughts etc has somewhat diminished, i still find myself struggling to cope. I feel very low and sometimes i cant even remember what it feels like to be ‘normal’.



  317. Kay Says:

    hi Eva anxiety, depression, dp and obssesive thoughts all come under the same umbrella of anxiety, some ppl get more prominent in some aspects than others. I am always a very happy outgoing full of life person, but when this hits me the worst thing is not been able to feel as i used to, it seems i am not me anymore at times. What helps me mostly is just continously diverting my mind, if i start feeling wierd i just say this is nothing just extra adrenalin, its me for now but i will get fully better cos i have b4 and then i do something to occupy my mind, things that i nornally do. you keep on doing other things to distract yourself and in time this becomes ur new habit and slowly u forget about ur anxiety. Funnily 4 m4 nighttime r the best times i dont really have problems sleeping, but wen i dream id do feel wierd in my dreams as well although 2day was the first time that i dreamt and it was a really nice feeling. I started feeling like this about 5 weeks ago after a big period of stress, but i am getting better, the more i ignore this stupid feeling. Do you have kids etc.. cos i notice that wen i am around my family and in my home surroundings i am better. dont despair cos it only makes you worse. If you wanna read my story about my anxiety i posted it on the depersonalisation blogg in 1 of the comments u should read it .
    well hope ur better soon

  318. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva and Kay :)

    Eva, the d.p. for me comes in one of two types. the first is where i become trapped in my thoughts which seems pretty ‘normal’ for me. while i am in that type of d.p. i think and analyse but it seems like the ‘right’ thing to be doing that i don’t really notice it (although i have been told that i go very very quiet and my eyes don’t focus properly). i don’t realise i am in this type of d.p. until i come out of it and notice my surroundings again. its a bit like going into a daydream or answering an exam question, my mind becomes very focused on a single topic and won’t budge. somtimes i have tunnel vision too.
    the other type is more derealisation, where nothing feels ‘real’. more deep d.p. than the other one, but instead of focusing on my thoughts, i become more focused on my surroundings, its like living in a dream, nothing seems real. this is when i have felt out of time-synch, like i dont exist, like living itself is suddenly an alien feeling to me. this is the scariest d.p. for me, usually not too full of thinking like the other type, but scarier because it i am more ‘with it’ not so numbed like at other times.

    you prob have a bit of depression, but depression and anxiety are caused by the same brain chemicals so it is still linked. i often feel like i have depression and even get paniced by the word (they mentioned it on QI the other night and it made me feel so low, like my mind zeroed in on the word), but depression is natural, it comes in response to things, and yours has come in response to the irrational thoughts that you have. you are doing the right thing in not giving the thoughts the attention they crave. if you give them attention, your mind will become sensitised to them and think that they are then important and make them louder and harder to ignore, and the content scares you and tricks you into thinking that they are true, which then makes you depressed. but depression can be overcome, just keep doing what you are doing, am sure that soon you will feel that the thoughts are getting quieter and less important. i have been there too, and it literally took about 3 months for me to be able to get by with the thoughts, it is not an overnight thing i am afraid. oh, and try not to go looking for meaning, that is another way of ‘fighting’ the feeling. if you feel empty (which is perfctly normal for anxiety) just let it be, try not to search (ie fight) for something to fill the emptyness, let it be there and slowly it will be filled again on its own. doubt is normal too, but you have came a long way from where you were when you first posted. :)

    pink xmases for you both! -x-

  319. Eva Says:

    Hi Kay and HB

    Hope you both has nice Christmas’s! Kay thanks for your advice, you have a very good attitude to everything and I think thats something that I’m slowly being able to change. For a long time – and I still do feel like this sometimes – I convinced myself that this was never going to go away. Now I tell myself that it will and it’s just a matter of letting time pass. I compared it to when I split up with a boyfriend of mine when I was 21, it devastated me and I thought I’d never get over him…and although I still think of him, I’m over him if you know what i mean! So there is proof that your thoughts can be wrong!!

    HB my doctor has been really great and when I told him of the feelings that I’m having on a daily basis, he told me I was suffering from depersonalisation, he said it’s not a nice thing to have but that it would pass. He is such a nice man and he really seems to care…not once have I gone to the doctors and felt that he wasnt interested in helping me. What you said about not trying to fill the emptyness was quite interesting and it made sense. I’ve found myself searching through my brain for things that used to get a happy or productive response from me and I get nothing…it’s like they seem unimportant and a complete waste of time. It’s been about 3-4months now that I’ve had these thoughts, they dont really get any better, which tells me that I’m still giving them too much attention…will keep floating on by them and saying ‘yeah whatever, this will pass and I wont feel so overcome, strange and unhuman – with all the thoughts of not wanting to be here…they will all go in time, just keep on moving and continue on with what you can do’.

    Thanks both of you for being so understanding, it really does put a totally different slant on life doesnt it!! Oh and I was rereading posts today, quite helpful and HB I think you said you constantly search for somewhere safe to be, but you cant find anywhere…that is so true!!!

    Merry Christmas xxx

  320. Kay Says:

    hi Eva glad ur better just to say that some days i fel much better nearly 100% and then the next day i feel worse again but thats just part of healing nature doesnt heal in a straight line. anyway the important thing is to keep on going distract ur mind go out watch a good movie talk to friends laugh listen to music excersise dont keep on going on about how bad u feel focus on the postive not on the negative. for me i no wen i will be completely recovered from my dp wen i spnd a whole day wizout givin it a single thought cos 4 me memory brings it on. anyway ive been out wiz my frends and husband 3 times this xmas and drank quite a bit i was abit worried b4 going out bu i did it and danced and had a good time even though i wasnt feelin myself i’ve also had a few family parties with parents and inlaws etc… and loads of mess wiz presents and 3 kids. my worst fear is goin crazy cos i am a person wiz alot of responsibilities and very organised. my motto is take it 1 day at atime and dont fear the way u feel its just temporary and in time i will be completely ok.
    happy ne yr 2 evry1


  321. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Eva, i saw your posts on the other thread and here too, i hope you are feeling better today. just so you know, i was as bad as you, crying and getting sick over my thoughts and what those thoughts implied about how ‘normal’ i was. it has been over 2 months now since i came here and started putting this all into practice, and even though the thoughts and back times are still there, i am starting to get the hang of ignoring them. so even though you have been ignoring them for a month, it may take another month or so of practicing before it starts to really show. for me, last week it all sort of clicked for me, how to ignore them and let them be there. its hard to explain how the ‘click’ happened for me, but it will happen for you too. one day, after all the practice, the thoughts will be there and you will feel ‘nah, not now, don’t feel like thinking you’. it will happen, it just may take a while. i hope this click comes to you soon, it will once you learn not to attach emotion to your thoughts and just let them be there. once the emotion is gone from them i found they go away quicker and feel less important. i still can’t belive that i can have that feeling myself, and i really hope that you can feel it soon too :) keep practicing! pink days, h -x-

  322. Eva Says:

    Thanks Kay and HB, I get myself into knots with this anxiety. I dont know what to do with myself these days. It’s like I can feel what mus be adrenalin flowing through my body, which is obviously causing the strange thoughts about everything, being human, am I dead and am I going to die/commit suicide, what is life about, how can I cope with all the things in life, holidays, meeting people etc etc, yuck, makes me sick tot he stomach. I’m so fidgety, though little energy due to the physical fatigue that the anxiety is obviously playing on my nerves…I feel like I know the ropes of what I need to do, but I obviously havn’t quite mastered it yet. Everyones replys give me that little bit of support that keeps me going.

    I also just wanted to say that I hope you dont think I’m being selfish, I feel like I go on about mememememe all the time. I’m honestly someone who would do anything to help somebody else, it’s just that in the place I am just now I cant…I promise that when i am well I will ensure that I visit this web page to help others along the way, just like you have me. I’m a bit believer in everything happens for a reason, so maybe me being like this is so I can help someone in the future and also maybe it’s so I can have a very happy life and not the life with someone who wouldnt have made me happy.

    Really appreciate the time you guys take to reply to me. You all must be very strong people to be so positive and helps others. Hopefully I will be the same soon and fingers crossed no more horrible nights for me this week…

    Take care all xxx

  323. Kay Says:

    trust me this is just an anxiety phase ur goin through thers nothin serious goin on wiz u the ay u write u sound like a very down to earth logical person (not at all crazy ) who is just suffering from nerves. One thing that always kept me goin was that crazy ppl r not aware that they are crazy evryone else around them sees they are crazy except them if u r questioning wots wrong wiz u and doin somethin about it u r not crazy they say that ppl wiz anxiety r the most sane ppl there r. sometimes i get this confusion in mind like how do i really feel maybe i bring these feelings on myself wot exactly r these wierd feelings. Then i go on to think who am I wot am i doin here (even though i know the answers) istill keep om wiz the questions its like i am thinkin too deeply of things and wen i get in this mode it scares me. anyway enough about the negative. i just have to thk this is a bad habit and in time i will forget about it and not give it any thought.
    bye and have a good day(p.s i am 35 how old r U???)

  324. Eva Says:

    Thanks Kay

    I think way too deeply aswell, perhaps i could have thoguth this way before my anxiety, but managed to stop myself… My thoughts are so awful and real that i sometimes get this weird feeling along my jawline, almost like chills or numbness, have you ever had that? i cant wait to be well again, I just keep telling myself that no matter how long it takes it will be worth it. I’m only 26years old…dont have any children and live at home with my parents. I actually studied abroad for a year…how I managed that I dont know!! I was about to move in with my now ex boyfriend when all this started 3-4months ago…the thought of living at home isn’t that great, but then again it has to be better than living alone.

    Sounds like you are going through very similar things to me, perhaps a bit more upbeat as you’ve been through it all before. Hope you have a lovely evening and that we both get rid of this bad habit pronto!!xxx

  325. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone, i hope you had a good christmas, sadly for the first time in my life mine was spent in fear and panic and crying constantly about this bizarre thought. My huge fear is that it will keep coming when anxiety has gone. Also does it matter that it isn’t a ‘what if’ thought, everything i read on anxiety mentions ‘what if’ ones but mine was only that for about a minute then it went to the more positive ‘i am’ and that scares me. I have some moments, maybe half hour or an hour where it eases a bit and goes to the bakground or goes altogether but it always comes back. Whilst part of me knows its irrational it feels so real and i can’t imagine ever being free of it as i still worry its way too bizarre for anxiety. Can anyone help please, love Carol x

  326. Kay Says:

    hi eva i wud just like to say that i have always been a very outgoing party going,down to earth popular person who gets on wiz evryone i am the rock of my family evry1 depends on me for evrything, but i am a perfectionist and a big worrier i thk wot got me like this was the fact that i was under too much stress wix work(we own a Company) marriage and 3 small kids then for a whole yr i developed a phobia of cancer any little thing i honestly thought i had cancer, then after all this the anxiety started again, for me the best way tol wiz it is constant DISTRACTION, DO ANYTHING CONSTRUCTIVE DONT LEAVE UR MIND VACANT AND DOND DONT TRY TO ANALYSE OR FIGURE OUT WOT UR FEELING IT WONT MAKE SENSE TRUST ME JUST IGNORE I!! i thk back to wen i was ok and i aspire to be like that again if i was like that 2 mths ago i WILL BE LIKE ME AGAIN.

  327. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi Carol, yes it is still anxiety even if it isn’t a ‘what if’ now, it started as one. it sortof depends what the thought is, but if you don’t like it and its causing you anxiety then it probably is just related to anxiety. many of my ‘what ifs’ became ‘this is true’ but that didnt stop them making me anxious and depressed. its just the anxietys way of cementing them into your brain more, so still keep ignoring them and dont give them any respect. they will get quieter and leave in time. -x-

  328. RD Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I just got back from travelling, and am getting ready for a New Year’s Eve party, although with two sick kids, I may not get out at all.
    Christmas was an interesting time, quite hard sometimes, because I had so much time on my hands to ponder. It was a case of two steps forward, one step back, ie some days I felt like I was heading back to square one, but the next day I was better and realised I was overall much better than say a month ago. From everything I’ve read, this seems to be the normal recovery pattern. On good days now, I feel completely normal and can go for hours without even thinking anything anxious.
    Carol, your thoughts are anxiety driven. Even the worry about whether the question is of the type “what if” is anxiety. Believe that this is just anxiety and try to let the thoughts sit there without tackling them.
    Happy New Year to you all, and thanks for your support on this forum. It really has meant the world to me over the last few months. I hope, like Eva said above, that I can also help someone recover, both on this forum and in my day to day life.

  329. Eva Says:

    Hi RD HB Carol and Kay

    Just wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year adn lets hope this nightmare for us all passes us by smoothly and swiftly. Thanks for being great mates, think it’s great that we support each other.

    RD I’m totally with you on feeling like you’re back at square one, I think being around alot of people and having to try and be ‘normal’ for a while, also the time factor on our hands is greater which makes things worse too. I too have been having really anxious thoughts, this time to do with looking at people in a relationhip or who have children and really panicking about the prospect!!

    Anyway, trying to ignore it all!

    All the best for 2009!!


  330. Carol Says:

    Thankyou all for your kind words and support, best wishes for the new year to you all. I saw my GP yesterday and he thinks i’m improving as i am having the odd hour or so when it eases and the bizarre thought is either in the background or not there for short periods but i get despondent as it always comes back and scares me again. He said like you all do that it doesn’t matter how bizarre it is or whether its what if or i am, he also mentioned that i am worrying too much about where the thought will go too when recovered, which is tru as i worry it will just either keep coming as obsessively as it does now or be there somewhere in my head waiting to start again. He said i was making the mistake of seeing a thought as a separate thing instead of a symptom. I am quite confused those as when this all started i had some different weird thoughts such as i am possessed and i am w werewolf, don’t know where they came from but they terrified me for a couple of weeks but the strange things is this spider one took over and while the others terrified me i can think them now yet they don’t do anything and disappear straight away yet this one i’ve had since october and it seems to scare me more than they did, my family said the others made me feel exactly the same when i was having them but it seems this one is weirder and scarier, does that make any difference to the outcome? that it scares me more and is so persistent? thanks, Love Carol x

  331. Candie Says:

    Carol your GP is right- trust me you was suffering just as bad with the wherewolf thought, but now your getting better you desensitised to it so it doesnt bother you- nor can you imagine been scared of it. I remember those emails you sent me and you seemed really desperate(remember me telling you that these thoughts would eventually not bother you? and i was right!), much more desperate then now- the truth is we always see our present suffering as the worst as we are experiencing it. By the sounds of it you are on your way to recovery. You are placing way to much importance and stigma on the products(thoughts) of your imagination… i made that mistake for a long while… its a symptom, not the cause. As soon as you stop fearing it been around it will go. New thoughts may catch you of gaurd when you lose fear of old ones, but thats fine as you need to deal with accepting your anxiety not the symptoms.

  332. Candie Says:

    Just to add on my last post- i meant accepting your anxiety and not spending time trying to figure out the symptoms.

  333. Carol Says:

    Dear Candie, thanks so much, yes you were right about the other ones easing, i was taken by surprise when it changed again. Last night i had about 3 hours(the longest yet) when it all eased again, i felt less afraid , the physical symptoms had eased and the thought wasn’t there but today back are the tears and the fear and the thought. I do still have that underling worry about thoughts like these coming obsessively when recovered from anxiety even if we don’t fear them anymore as i think to myself where do they go, people say they fade and disappear, but where too? thats my analytical part again. Take care and thankyou, love Carol.

  334. Candie Says:

    Hey Carol- dont tire yourself trying to figure out where the thoughts go… once we desensitize they lose importance (like your werewolf one). You no longer obsess over it- and thats how it will be with all the scary thoughts you have had once you recover. Can you see that you no longer care to obsess over your werewolf thought… so when recovered the same will apply for all thoughts. You seem in a much better place then before, and as you have desensitized to the other thoughts these present ones will go in much the same way… you will see them just what they are for, and not care to think and obsess over them. You now see your other thoughts rationally, and this will become your habit permanantly eventually. Please stop trying to work this out and concentrate on accepting how you feel rather then figuring out how you are thinking. All the best for 2009 .


  335. Carol Says:

    Thanks Candie, its ironic after having such a better new years eve at leas 3 hours without it today has been horrid again, the thing thats ironic and scary is that last night the werewolf one began to scare me again so i’ve had both thoughts panicking me today, haven’t a clue why 3 days ago i could talk about it with no reaction yet now i can’t. The other one is still so blooming persistent though. I realise what you say about its the anxiety but its hard to grasp when everyone says its not the thoughts as it seems to be as when i think them i panic so if it wasn’t them surely that wouldn’t happen. Its weird coz if i try to think something else bizarre , along the same lines maybe it doesn’t do anything. And i still after this time have that underlying worry they will come as obsessively when anxiety goes as they do now, maybe even if i don’t fear them anymore as how do they know not to come when we do lose the fear? All the best to you too for 2009, love Carol.

  336. Carol Says:

    Hi all, i seem to be in a real horrible setback where i’m so terrified again. The mornings seem to be the worst. I wake a couple times in the early hours but not overly anxious then go back to sleep but when i wake properly at 5 or 6am i feel full of adrenalin and the thought seems to be there before i even open my eyes so then the panic starts and my heart sinks and i cry with despair because as it starts when i’m sort of still half asleep i don’t know what to do about it. Its times like this that the awful added fear of it being there even if i work hard on the anxiety, i can imagine the physical symptoms going but not the thoughts as i don’t understand how they know not to keep coming back when we lose fear of them. I seem to fear these so much due to the bizarre content of them and because a helpline woman told me once she had never heard ones like it and they may stay after anxietys gone due to me having thought them so much and because they are imprinted in my brain now, can anyone please help, i feel so alone and scared, love Carol.

  337. angie Says:

    TO CAROL, i can totally understand where you are coming from the morning is when my anxiety is the worst almost ‘impending doome” feeling its like as soon as you wake the of oh no another day of trying overcome these thoughts why cant i just be normal i know so much of how that feels and can relate to alot a good thing to remember is it is just anxiety and as you can see so many other ppl have the same thing as you soyou are not alone and IT WILL PASS!!!! thats one thing i have learned over the years it always passes i hope you feel better

  338. Eva Says:

    Hi Carol

    Please dont worry about how you are feeling, the way you feel during the night and the thoughts seem to be very common with alot of people (me included). Although we feel very alone, this site will help you not to feel like that. It is the one place I can come and feel a wee bit more comforted. I am still recovering from my anxiety and it is truely the worst thing that’s ever happened to me…but I’m trying to take a positive from it and think that maybe it will make me a better, stronger person in the future. I also took some comfort in knowing that my body is there to protect me and was telling me that something in my life wasnt right for me…it will be the same for you Carol, even if it is simply that you needed a break from everything. I hate my anxiety, but I just tell myself not to fight how I feel…im only just getting the hang of this I think, but remember it doesnt matter how you feel, just think of it as your outer skin – so to speak – and the true you inside is simply carrying on with things, until the outer layer wears thin and disappears.

    Hope you have a better night todayxx

  339. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi all,
    Carol, do not worry about your thoughts coming at night. think of it this way, you are getting better at letting them be during the day, so they are getting your attention by coming at night when you are more relaxed and less resistant to them. the emotional response you get will go with time. you will always be able to remember those thoughts but they will not always affect you emotionally. once the emotional response has gone, then you can start a bit of thought-retraining and learn to stop your thoughts, a bit like meditation to clear your mind. it is true that the more you think a thought the more ingrained it gets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lay new, better thought processes over the top. keep in there, :)

    my irrational thoughts are much less now, my anxiety emotional thoughts are now more directed towards more normal worries (not that i want them around). its more constant worrying about ‘am i good enough’ ‘do i have a good relationship with my family’ ‘did i snap too much earlier’ ‘am i too reserved’, that kind of thing. the anxiety must have realised that irrational thinking is getting it nowhere so its giving rational but nasty worrying a go. in a way Carol, i would prefer your irrational worries to these!

    Eva, i hope you are feeling better too. it sounds from your posts that you are starting to get the hang of acceptance :)


  340. Candie Says:

    Hey Helz belz- this is indeed what happened with my thoughts… they started as way out there irrational, bizzare odd thoughts- now they are mostly natural thoughts braught on and exagerated by my anxiety. I think your anxiety is losing its grip on you so it is grasping at straws so to speak, it may do this for a while as it didn’t come over night and it wont go over night either. I have the same thoughts of guilt over snapping or been a bit nasty, wondering if people can tell if im feelin a bit crap, wondering if im talking too much or what people think of me- its all inward thinking braught on by habit and anxiety. I know what you mean about preffaring to have carols thoughts, but thats only as you can see hers rationally and atm she cant. Just like a lot of the thoughts you had carol would be able to see rationally and not be bothered by. It just depends on that one moment you where really anxious and read into a thought, sensitizing your own mind to it. Anxiety can really trick anyone into fearing anything if you dont have the right attitude and response to it. You are doing really well though Helz Belz if your anxiety has lost its power over you to create so many irrational fears and obsessive thoughts- i think if you can overcome that then you can get past anything as to me that was by far my biggest acheivement… to be able to stop myself rumernating and now i am gradually learning not to fear my own mind.

  341. Melissa Says:

    Hello everyone I came across this site as well and have read a lot of the posts. I have been suffering from anxiety and obsessing since 4th grade I am 22 now. I have seen a councilor but I can relate to everything everyone has said.I am a hairdresser and I have scary thoughts if I have a cut on my hand and touch the persons head I will contract something. Or even a stupid thought to as If I see a car addicent I am involved in it and I didn’t even drive down the street or hear about it till I see one or hear it on the news. I feel like i am going crazy. I am currently on lexapro 20 mg and have kilonopins to calm me down. Driving is another I get anxious about. I get really upset and cry and think to myself why me? Im 22 why can’t I live a normal like just like everyone else. I can’t go out and even have 1 drink without my anxiety playing tricks on me. Does anyone have any advice. The obsessive thoughts kill me, Im to scared to have a child because I think something bad will happen and it will be my fault. Also I live with a brother who is a heroin addict and have a lot of anxiety with that. I feel like no one understand me. I just get really sad.Thank you for listening.

  342. Carol Says:

    Thankyou al for your kind comments. My gp said my worry about the thought being ingrained is unfounded as thats not medically possible but i do worry about that.

    Candie, may i ask, you know my huge fear is that it isn’t anxiety because i can’t relate to anyone with ones like i get but i am so scared that when the anxiety goes the thought will still keep coming even when i lose fear of it, where do they go, do they just disappear, this is the bit i get confused about and where my gp says i make the mistake of seeing the thought as a separate thing from the anxiety when i should see it as a symptom, its hard to understand how anxiety/adrenalin can make me think such bizarre stuff then one day it will just go away, thanks for any help with this, love Carol x

  343. Candie Says:

    Carol your GP is right, you need to stop worrying where your thoughts go as this is whats keeping them coming! I have explained this to you a few times before… ‘its like breaking your leg, it hurts like mad and is very uncomfortable- yet after you heal you dont force yoursel to confront the past every day…. sure you can remember it but with no emotion or fear, so you have no obsessive thoughts. You are hindering yourself with this one as no one will be able to give you a scientific answer to explain this- you need to let go now because you are tiring your mind further and making the thoughts linger longer. They dont go over night, its a gradual thing that takes time- your not going to wake up one day and everything has gone over night, its a gradual process.

  344. RD Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I just wanted to share something that I thought might be useful to someone at some stage. Last night I had what seemed like a “back to square one” experience: I have a bad chest cold and fever at the moment, and woke up from a feverish dream barely able to breathe. Even in pre-anxiety days this would probably have been scary enough, but in my current condition, much improved as it is, it brought on a full scale panic attack, only the second I’ve had, the first being the starting point for my anxiety last year.
    So, in a sense, it really was back to square one, but the good news I wanted to share is that I reacted completely differently to this panic attack, ie didn’t start fighting the thoughts or digging up old ones. The result is that I managed to get back to sleep, and today I am not feeling shaky or scared, like I did with the first panic attack.
    My point is, then, that even if you feel like you’re back at square one following a really good period of recovery, you’re almost certainly not: something will be different, and all the good thinking habits you’ve got into are still there, and will continue to help you recover.
    Hope this helps someone at some point.
    Have a great weekend!

  345. Eva Says:

    Hi RD

    Thanks for your post. That’s great to hear that you totally noticed a huge change in the way you are dealing with things. I think I’ve been gettin better in taht I’m learning to accept how I feel more…however today for me has also been really not good. I cant get out my head the feelings of maybe this is the end…it’s really horrible. I cant seem to be bothered to do anything, day after day feeling like this is terrible. I think how on earth can i keep going for more and more weeks….i’m so tired of it all. I dont think I’m actually goin to hurt myself, but the feelings of not wanting to be here are still pretty overwhelming.

    Quite jealous of your progress really haha, actually wanting to go tavelling etc. I’m slowly starting to get to know a guy that I really like and I feel hindered in finding out more because I’m just not myself and if he knew what was goin on in my head I’m sure he’d run a very fast mile!!

    Anway, enough of the feeling sorry for myself…hope you have a great weekend and your post helps me think there is light at the end of all this. Well Done!


  346. Carol Says:

    Hi, thanks to all for the support here it really helps. Today i had some periods where things eased off after a horrid day yesterday. Am i right in thinking that most of our problems are caused by adrenalin, i can understand that adrenalin could cause physical symptoms like shaking and tingling but how on earth can it make us think bizarre things? Also is the aim to like Candie says desensitise ourselves to the thoughts? what does that really mean please? and once we achieve that is that when get rid of them. Its only i have had people say that even once we’ve worked hard and done this we could still be plagued by them without anxiety, thats why it worries me so much due to so called anxiety experts telling me that, thanks love, Carol

  347. Candie Says:

    Hey RD, thats great news- i remember that first happening to me, and for once i laid in bed and didnt add any forced fear or thoughts- i felt like i had really overcome something to do that…. its like facing a monster, but then when you do you realise there never really was a monster- just fear of one!

    Carol, to desensitize yourself you need to have an approach simlar to this one. Do whatever works for you, but follow the same method. Say i had your thought about the spider, well an anxious mind and anxious body full of adrenalin is more prone to over react- you can even over react when your not anxious if its become a habit. So a lot of the time i would rumernate in my mind, facing the thought of the spider over and over again, trying to make it right. The thing to see is its all your efforts in thinking the thought was ever wrong thats made you suffer- as to us on the outside we can clearly see your thought is acceptable to have- however your reaction is not. If you ever feel threatened by any thought think ‘its ok to have that thought and its ok if it comes back’. Eventually you desensitize and see that theres no need to worry over a thought and dont even feel the need to face it or try irradicate it. Carol you have spent too long looking for answers, the only true ones that will help you will be allong them lines. It doesnt matter what a person think, a thought is spontanious and harmless, an over reaction can cause fighting or flighting- something you are doing now. Everyone really has told you all you need to know, yet you seem set on having someone set in stone that you wont ever think an odd thought again after recovery, when the fact is you will do- everyone thinks them, its natural- therfore if you spend all your time and energy trying to prove otherwise you are fighting a battle that cant be won. After recovery you wont think an odd thought that scared or bothers you, it will be spare of the moment fleeting thoughts in flow- random and not often and deffinately not obsessively. You can be that happy person you was before, just stop trying to get rid of thoughts, as that happy person before had them! You just never saw them as an issue, like you wont after recovery.

  348. Helz Belz Says:

    hi Eva, Candie, Carol and RD, hope the path of recovery is going well :)

    just a good note (but at the time it didnt feel it to be honest) but this afternoon i got that feeling of not being able or bothered to do anything, followed by the dreaded feeling of having to decide something. plumped on dusting, used to enjoy it but now just gives me the very worst ‘whats the point thoughts/feelings, so thought it would be best to go for that as it made me feel the most anxious and depressed. felt better once i had gotten started. once, i would have cried because of those feelings, and to be honest it they did make me feel down, and there was some obsessing over them, but a lot less than usual. makes me feel better thinking about it now. not a single tear despite the crappy feelings!

    Carol, i had irrational thoughts like you too (the fear of time was very bad, made me sick and shaky a lot like the spider thoughts must make you). they were at their worst 2 years ago, but disappeared for a long time when other worries took over. i got close to recovery about a year ago, and the thoughts still ame to me, but believe me, as the anxiety leaves you these thoughts will become less scarey and you will rect much less. you will get to a point eventually when the toughts will be there, but you will not notice them, they will be lost in all the normal brain chatter that everyone has but don’t notice. so for now, follow Candies advice, and whenevr the thoughts come say ‘whatever’ or ‘hello, its you again’ and get on with something else. to me now the fear of time just seems odd to me and not something worth worrying about, you will get to that point too with your thoughts as well. hope this helps

    pink days all

  349. Bored in PA Says:

    Karen, you are hysterical. Licking random people! How nice to learn that we are all alike. None of us are alone, a huge component of this anxiety beast, I suspect. I have had the scary self-injurious thoughts. I’ve had the terminal illness thoughts. Now I’m on to the insane and sick thoughts. I’ve apparently bored myself with the others. But I was laughing out loud at some of these posts. My husband is baffled by my stuff too. It’s baffling b/c it’s wacko! How wonderful to be able to see the absurdity in my own processes. Thank you all.

  350. Kay Says:

    feelin betta now much more normal and closer to the person i was a few mths bak for me now the worst thing is the memory of this thing it seems that memory alone can bring it to my mind sometimes i thk if i wud neva hav had this in the first place i wud neva get it again if my mind cud just forget i wud be ok completely cos i just feel a bit wierd wen i remember and wot i get stuck in my mind sometimes is wot do i hav do i actually feel wierd or am i just imagining it maybe i am fine for me now its mostly analysing and thinking about this that i just cant seem to get rid off. I just want to go awhole day without givin it a single thought any tips pls
    thx(my writin is so bad cos i am used to writin like this in msn and facebook sorryxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx :) :)

  351. RD Says:

    Hi Kay,
    I know exactly what you mean about wishing it had never happened in the first place. I used to wish I could meet the guy from Heroes, the one that can extract particular memories. For me, this wondering about why it happened and how to stop it happening again is the last thing to go, but this last week I have started to be able to think about it rationally without feeling any panic, and my thoughts go something like this: “I know it was originally brought on by some underlying stress and by excess adrenaline, made worse by the stress. I know the obsessive scary thoughts were all caused by adrenaline and made worse by my fearful reaction. I know it could happen to me again at some point, but so what, if I dealt with it back then when I knew nothing about it, it will never be as bad again now that I know what is happening and that the mind can heal itself if you can develop the discipline not to fight the thoughts”. And I have a new found confidence that I can deal with things, which in turn makes me feel more positive about things in general. This is a positive spiral which I hope will continue, and I am amazed how quickly it came about. If there’s another setback, so what?
    All the best,

  352. RD Says:

    Hi HB, Eva, Candie, Carol and Kay,
    I wanted to ask how you are all getting on.
    I have great news to report, that my recovery is feeling really solid. I have the odd phobic experience and still spend a bit of time every day thinking over the last few months, but basically I am feeling completely normal again. If I start going down the path of the obsessive thoughts, it can still be disturbing, but I find it really easy now just to think about something else, ie no compulsion to go down the painful route.
    My general joy of being alive is back, and I find that I am questioning less and less why I am here, and what the point of it all is. The feeling of relief, as you can imagine, is huge.
    I hope you are all feeling better, and would love to hear from you.

  353. Carol Says:

    Hi RD,
    I am glad you are feeling better. I am still very up and down with it. Like Candie says i analyse the thought too much as i often think its too bizarre and i question where it will go when it eventually does disappear, whether it will just be waiting to come back. Its strange as some of the others i had don’t come as often or have the same effect yet i can’t get to the same stage with the recent one and i worry that the longer i think it the more entrenched it will become as i’m not sure if the length of time we have thought them makes any difference to recovery. I am having some periods in the day now when it eases for a couple of hours, then it sometimes goes to the background or is not there at all but because it comes back i despair of it going for good. I can grasp that the physical feelings are caused by anxiety/adrenalin but can’t get how it can make us think weird stuff so at times i realise that if anxiety goes all those awful feelings will go away but thats when i worry thought will keep coming. Thanks for asking after me i do appreciate that, best wishes to you and everyone here, love Carol.

  354. Candie Says:

    Hey RD. great news :) I started of losing the compulsion to investigate and rumernate- eventually once you do that the thoughts go away too! Sure we all naturally have odd ones as its 100% proven everyone has them from time to time, but there fleeting and not invasive or threatening in any way. I can now go places and not feel the compulsion to force myself to think bad things, my mind is slowing down now and de-sensitising to my anxieties.

    Hey Carol, these moments you are having without the thoughts, they are what its like when you recover- they go away as you dont fear them. Trust me there is no way a thought can become so ingrained you think it obsessively forever. I had a thought that i used to think about every minute of the day, repeatidly- now i dont think it at all, and if i do its a fleeting memory nothing scary at all. Now let go of your worrying of the thoughts been around after recovery, your making yourself ill trying to figure it out- i can promise you there is no way a recovered person thinks any irrational thoughts obsessivly or anxiously. You have a choice now, you can take a gamble and beleive that- or you can carry on rumernating, making yourself ill and unhappy. Those hours of normality are are what you will feel like when recovered, now do you want that or do you want to hinder your recovery looking for answers? Good luck, if you really apply the right attitude you can do this i know you can- give it a shot, u have nothing to lose been positive and having a healthy mental attitude to your anxiety do you :)

  355. Candie Says:

    Would just like to add to my message to carol that my obsessive thought lasted a year, i used to think it all day every day- now its gone. Now it went pretty quick, took like a month to desensitize too. So no one is stuck this way forever.

  356. Carol Says:

    Thanks so much Candie, i do feel quite stupid sometimes for taking so long to grasp all this so thanks for your understanding and patience. Today has been a lot better, sometimes when the thought came in i dealt with it better and sometimes it wasn’t there at all, i am slwly beginning to recognise that its much worse when my body is flooded with adrenalin. I am looking forward so much to when i desentise to it, thanks so much again to you and everyone here for your help and support, love Carol x

  357. Eva Says:

    Hey RD

    That’s brilliant news that you are feeling much better!! I totally appreciate how much the feeling of joy must be for you as I’m also starting to get glimmers of it again. I’m not quite as far on as you, but I too am feeling a bit better. Your daily thoughts sound similar to mine, the meaning of life and do I really want to be here…not nice, but it is getting less powerful, I think this is me starting to become de-sensitised to it. I also get a weird feeling sometimes, like I’m not with it and things seem unimportant – think this is dp, but to be honest i dont care what it is, it will be related to the anxiety somehow and like other symptoms it will go. Also random thoughts about he future grab me sometimes, I just try to laugh at them now though. So in short, all is getting much better!!

    Anyway, I’m so chuffed for you!! :))

  358. RD Says:

    Hi Eva,
    Well, that is fantastic news that you are recovering. Thanks for posting. I think you have the right attitude in terms of not letting the weird feelings get to you, and realising it is all part of the anxiety. Every day that goes by can give you more confidence. I know there’s always the possibility of a setback, but I really am convinced we never go back to square one. The brain is such a weird, complicated thing, but it does seem to be able to fix itself, given the time and space without the horrible adrenalin vicious circle.
    I hope your glimmers turn into hours and days and end up being constantly there! It’s time we got our lives back!
    All the best,

  359. Eva Says:


    Thought your post to RD was really useful. I agree that sometimes I force myself to thing along the strange feelings/thoughts that I have, especially the ones that i cant describe to people. As you say they are probably acceptable thoughts to have, but the emotion or feeling attached to them is somewhat massive compared to normal. Like other symptoms I just say oh there you are again, try to let it pass and continue with what i’m doing. This is by far the hardest part to anxiety for me as it brings a counteractive low mood with it because you feel so weird and just not right. It’s great to hear that this does all pass in time, thanks for your support!

  360. Candie Says:

    Hey Eva

    Glad it helped, i was really bad honestly. Every minute of every day forcing myself to think things to test how i felt, before i new it i had to think these things-to test if i can handle them. Now i dont force myself to think anything, sometimes an odd thought will catch me of guard but its not an obsessive one- just a natural one tht came to me. Now your anxiety will try bluff you in thinking you cant stop thinking this way, you will be stuck this way forever etc- but its not true. If after a year i can learn to recover from obsessing every minute then anyone can. x

  361. Helz Belz Says:

    Hi everyone,
    its great to read that you are all getting so much better. i am getting there too, but its very slow at times, but after being like this for 2 years i know it may take longer. i am still ruminaing a lot on thoughts i have (they are much more rational worries now, but still very negative and intrusive), but ruminating now lasts a day or two, not the months that it would have been a year ago. i know how you feel candie, to have been thinking a single worrying thought over and over for months, theres no room left for anything else! have taken to vetting my thoughts a little, i ask it ‘would someone without anxiety bother with this?’ or ‘will i worry about this when i am better?’ and if the answer is no, i ignore it. generally trying to ignoire all pointless worrying and obsessing, but if one is very persistant i find that just helps to make it less important.

    have been a little worse the last few days (even though my mum has said i seem to have been better in myself, the anxiety had fun making me panic about how i hadnt actually felt better). went to see friends for the weekend and had a great time, very little worring about the anxiety and the negative thoughts, but being back home has just brought it on a little again. now im slowly getting the hang of the thoughts the physical symptoms are coming on more, but am not really bothered by them. its just the ruminating and getting tricked by the negative thinking that is keeping me down. the pink times though are getting better, everything seems so much clearer then!

    adrenalin evolved to make you feel and think bad, such as if you saw a lion adrenalin was there to make you think ‘that lion will eat me’ so you would run away and be safe. but for us, adrenalin has nothing to do that for, so it just makes you think bad things about eveything. i don’t blame it at all, its just an evolutinary response that has gotten a little confused by our modern world.

    Eva, RD, Candie and Carol, i hope you all have the pinkest of pink days! you are all doing so well -x-

  362. Kay Says:

    Hi- to start off wiz i thk u shud read my story ai the dp blogg like that u can know me better- i started wiz this wierd stuff about 2 mths ago i had gone thru it about 5.yrs ago and b4 that about 17 yrs ago. i cant explain it its just that i dont feel myself. i go thru different symptoms, the physical dissapear very quickly but the phscological stay much longer. i am very outgoing happy person who loves going out,discos, parties reunions etc i am married and hav 3 small i am 35. anyway at first it was that evrything around me seemed wierd called dp, now thats gone but now i feel wierd and the symptom i am goin thru right now is that i am hyper aware of evrything i normally do, i keep on analysing it all and testing myself. my worse fear is going crazy and not been able to function, losing control or thinking that i am going to forget hu i am or what i have to do, its like i am not in touch with nmyself. i know i am not ok cos i dont feel like doin things that i loved doin. the worst thing is the memory of it i cant seem to shake it off its like i remember all day about it (this thing) its all the time popping in my head. sometimes its worse cos i thk that i am never goin to forget and gonna stay like this forever. sometimes its confusing cos i dont even know how i feel. i just wish i could forget and be the ME that i was a few mths back without giving this thing a single thought. any advice on how to forget this cos i know that if i forget to be constantly thinking about this i will be ok. its like my mind makes me thk about it. well enough negativity hope u all had a good new year and lets hope in a few mths we can laugh about this crap.
    have a goodnite xxxxxxxxxxxx

  363. Carol Says:

    Thanks to everyone here for your continued help, support and patience. Things are still pretty up and down but last night i had couple hours where i was able to enjoy tv do some puzzle mags without the thought there. Today though i had a really bad experience. My husband and myself went to see a counsellor. She seemed pleasant enough to start with although she kept looking at the clock on the wall. I told her what had been happening, she said she had never had anxiety or been through drug withdrawal but wasn’t sure if thoughts like mine were part of anxiety, she said it could be post traumatic stress disorder oe even a delusion, my gp had previously told me it wasn’t either of those but she seemed adament he could be wrong. Then she terrified me by saying well you may have to accept the fact that the thought might not go away and you will have to learn to live with it. She then saw the furious look on my husbands face as i of course immediately burst into tears and panicked as she then said ‘oh dear i think i’ve said the wrong thing’ and that was it, she said she had another appointment and i was left in distress. The journey home and since has been spent crying and worried although my husband di ring our gp who has a keen interest and knowledge of anxiety and he was livid and said she’d hadn’t a clue what she was talking about but understood how her words to a scared and vulnerable person could be terrifying. Any words of advice or comfort would be much appreciated, I don’t know if Paul ever reads this blog anymore but i wondered what his opinion on my bizarre thought was in his experience,thankyou, love Carol x

  364. Candie Says:

    Hi Carol

    Firstly, dont threat- a counseller is in no position to medically diagnose you- they have no PHD- just counselling certificates. They are suposed to listen to you get things of your chest not diagnose you. Secondly, you are not deluded- a deluded person doesnt see there thoughts as bizzare… which is what makes them deluded as they think they are normal to think and true! You really do just have anxiety, like the rest of us- same odd thoughts etc.

    I chose not to see a counseller as i had a bad experience like this on the phone with the crisis team. Dont threat as this counseller obviously has no expertise in anxiety- many people on here have been told they may always be this way, but have recovered.. you basically had an ignorant counseller who wasnt interested in your illness. Listen to your GP, you have a good one.

  365. Carol Says:

    Thanks Candie, i’m sorry you also had a bad experience with a Counsellor, she did not have a clue, she didn’t know whether anxiety could cause bizarre thoughts just physical symptoms. I don’t think i’ve ever heard my GP swear in all the years i’ve known him until i told him what she said to me! He said i was extremely anxious and my fight/flight was switched on when i looked in the shop window at halloween and because there was no visible danger i latched onto a thought and it could be anything. I think i understand that but the bit he said that i didn’t understand was that the content is irrelevant as its anxiety driven, as it does seem to be the thought and its content that scares me. He was grateful i’m getting support from others who have endured this, and that it will eventually becaome a memory, he said it will just be up to me then whether i want to talk or think about it but it will then hold no fear, a bit he said like our photos in our albums at home, we sometimes take them out and look at them then but them away again. The Counsellor though made it sound as though the thoughts come as often even if we lose fear of them which to me would be distressing, thanks again Candie and everyone and i certainly won’t be seeing that woman again, love Carol x

  366. Candie Says:

    Hi Carol

    What your Doctor says is very true and 100% the gospel truth regarding anxiety! Thats exactly how all my thoughts started too, i had the fight or flight so my anxious mind produced odd thoughts that scared me due to my anxious state. You are very lucky to have such a good doctor who understands this illness, please listen to what he says as its obvious he knows this illness perfectly and can help you get well again. If i was you carol i would stick to your GP and what you learn here, dont ever see that counceller again- if she didnt know anything about anxiety how can she possibly diagnose or understand it. I remember when i spoke to someone on the phone who scared me too, asking me specifically about the content of my thought which was irrelevant and then she scared me asking if i beleived my thoughts etc- i new then i was staying well away from them! You have to understand that with this illness the help is limited as the medical proffesion are diagnosing and treating people from textbook methods that just dont work, thats the only reason why people get stuck ill as they dont find out the answers to help themself. Where as you was lucky carol, you have a good GP and all the answers here which will help you recover. When you recover you have a memory of suffering, but nothing repetitive or invasive- like i explained to you before its like remembering of a time like breaking your leg, you know that you suffered- but feel no need to confront the issue as its long gone and your better. You move on and no thoughts scare you and you see that you where been irrational and over reacting so you let all the past issues go.

  367. katie Says:

    hi everyone. i only found this page a couple of days ago and its taken me a while to get through reading everyones comments. i have to say that it has made me feel sooo much better. i accept that my thoughts are part of anxiety now-which i have had for 4 months and at first couldnt accept it at all.many trips to the docs, trying to get him to explain why i didnt feel ‘normal’ etc but with time i accept that the way i feel is anxiety. I am on medication for it (citalopram 20mg) and have found that it is helping me alot(almost on my 7th week of the meds).i do still have better days than others, but i know that i am slowly but surely recovering. i am finding, that the thoughts are definately the last to go.its amazed me how similar my thoughts are to so many of yours on here- the ‘knife situations’-i stopped using them for a while and would get my boyfriend to use it if needed, simply because i would have a bad thought about them.anything that could be dangerous, i would turn into a negative, the not wanting to be on my own with my child(whom,iv had so many bad thoughts about but know that i would never do anything to harm her)i stopped listening to the news, watching anything bad on tele etc. however since finding this site, i find it reassuring to know that there are so many others out there who have the similar thoughts.i just hate it when one day you can brush them away easier than that the case for some of you?you have times where you tell yourself they are just thoughts, and they seem to go but then they reappear.its hard to keep telling yourself they are just thoughts when they keep coming back but i know eventually they fizzle out!i can hoestly say that you all have helped me even more on my way to recovery and i am really interested to know where i can get pauls book from and what it is called.thanks ever so much.

  368. katie Says:

    i just want to add that i too am seeing a counsellor, and i think that speaking to someone who has been through anxiety is definately a positive because they know what it is counsellor has made no judgements,sat and listened to my experience and helped me lots.iv got another session on wed which im looking forward to. but since having this condition myself, iv realised that there are alot more people out there than you imagine who are going through the same thing and it definately helps to talk-i believe it cuts the worry and fear you have about your thoughts in half.

  369. Carol Says:

    Hi Candie, hope you are well. Candie may i ask, when you were recovering did you still have the thought popping in at times even when you felt a bit calmer. I seem to have anxiety most of the time, just to different degrees, there are times when the thought eases or goes altogether and then it will overwhelm me with panic again. What i don’t understand though is why it does intrude when i don’t feel highly anxious, would like be because even then i still have some underlying anxiety as you see when it does happen like that is when it sort of confirms my worry that if it can intrude when i feel calm it can keep doing that when better. I hope i explained that ok, its hard to get across what i mean but i hope you understand. Best wishes and many thanks, love Carol x

  370. Candie Says:

    Hey Carol- yes of course i did, i can still make myself think odd stuff now if i want… but without panic. I would feel fine, my mind would forget for a bit then id remember what im supposed to be anxious about. I had anxiety all the time too at all diff levels, i had thoughts like yours too carol. I can clearly see your exact problem and its the exact one i suffered too.

    What is happening with you is you are thinking a thought, which you know isnt true- however in your anxious mind you cant get 100% clarity that your thought isnt real (due to anxiety) so you are presuming you are going mad or weird… when the fact is you are just having an anxious response. Heres an example, see if you can understand what i mean. Say you had your thought ‘i am a spider’, now your first response would of been ‘thats odd, im not a spider why am i worrying about that’. You was linking your underlying anxiety to the thought wondering why you couldnt just dismiss it, but an anxious mind cant just dismiss you see. So now everytime you have the thought you get even more mad and scared that you cant think about the thought rationally. Eventually the thought reaches the final stage, where you repetitively think the thought in your mind- your doing this to see if you can get clarity, but doing it now scared you too as you cant understand why you cant stop thinking it. Do you see how easily this all happens when you have anxiety carol? Your mistake is to think you and your thoughts are crazy, when infact your not and your thoughts are perfectly acceptable to think- however your anxious mind wont let you switch of. Now to do this you simply need to be ok with not having to figure it out in your mind, have the thought then after that dont think more into it about why your having it, if its true or weird etc. Its not true, you know its not true as if you beleived it as true your anxious mind certainly wouldnt be perceiving the thought as a threat- and that, carol is why you are not mad! I find it hard to explain the process to people, god knows how Paul and Will managed to pen it down and make a book out of it lol. Hope you understood though, and i can tell your much better too- ya dont obsessively ask the same stuff over and over, your begining to understand and that means your getting there :)

  371. Carol Says:

    Dear Candie, thanks for the great explanation love its helped a lot. Anxiety does make us ask the same things doesn’t it i have been a real pain in the a** where thats concerned. I am understanding more about the fight/flight response and adrenalin and that my brain feels the thought is a real threat even though its not, its like having to retrain the brain i suppose isn’t it, not to react, which as we all know is easier said than done. Sometimes now i can do it much better than others but the small breaks from it are lovely although i do tend to be a bit on tenderhooks during those times waiting for it to come back but i suppose that too goes in time. So the stage you are now love that means the thoughts come into your mind only if you yourself choose to put them there, is that right? they don’t come unbidden anymore? I went to ASDA today and did some shopping etc and when i came out i realised that i did al that without the thought intruding once which is the first time, course then it came back for a bit but progress is being made. Thanks for everything, this blog is a great help and support, love to you and everyone here, Carol x

  372. katie Says:

    im just wondering if anyone can answer my questions?how long does it take for the thoughts to go when you start to try and ignore them?i definately accept they are anxiety although sometimes i will try to doubt myself but then make myself believe its anxiety again, and now iv got the attitude of ‘oh its you again,come on in’ and then it goes but will reappear, is that normal?i definately have started the process of ignoring the thoughts but how long does it take before you can say 100% no feelings of adrenlin/fear attached to them?
    iv read all the posts on here and its great to read the difference of some of you in earlier posts compared to how you sound now.

  373. katie Says:

    hi carol, your last couple of post sound similar to the one iv just left-about the times when you can brush the thought away more easier than the same at the moment.i can tell myself that it is just the anxiety and believe it and then other times i will tell myself its anxiety but then my response wil be to create another thought!its hard but im getting everyone has said, it takes practise.the more you practise at something, the better you get at it!:)

  374. katie Says:

    oh and thanks candie for your reply.i think il get that book, lots of positive comments on here about it.x

  375. Sarah R Says:

    I am in a right mess. The worst I have been for a long time. Normally, I do not try and seek reassurance, but I could REALLY do with some now. I have had all the usual old racing rubbish; always starting with ‘what if’ etc. Recently though, I have almost been crippled with what I have read on here as ‘existential thoughts’. my mind keeps asking me, how does my brain work? Not even I can answer that one! And it is frightening me to hell. Sometimes, the voice of reason answers’ well, frankly it doesnt really matter!’ But before long I am back at it, and such a wave of panic washes over me. I hate myself when I am like this, it feels like my ‘anxiety’ has moved up a gear, and I feel so trapped. Can someone tell me if this just another ‘scary thought’ and should be treated as the others? I am so fed up, my husband is very kind, he says it is just my anxiety playing its tricks, and I will not worry about that kind of thing when I am better again. I feel like I am in a living hell, and desperetly need relief. Once I read on here, that others has suffered with the same type of thoughts I did, you know the ones, self-harm, fear of this and that. I knew then I was not alone, and I really felt so much better, and was able to go with the flow. But finally, all this analysing has produced an unanswerable question, and I do not know which way to point myself. I rather stupidly read up a bit on these types of thoughts, and of course, my heart nearly stopped when I read ‘sign of lunacy’ Frankly, I am so fed up, I couldn’t care less, if I was bonkers or not. I have tried to reason this much; If it is a thought that frightens me, then it is anxiety. No more, no less. Am I right? If anyone can help, please do so, just go easy on me please!
    Thank you one, and all.

  376. Candie Says:

    Hi Sarah

    Your thoughts are very normal for anxiety, they are even thoughts people without anxiety have- you are merely over reacting due to your anxiety. AS for the internet dont google as the majority of the info is rubbish, a person going mad or a lunatic wouldnt be aware of there mental state- you are over aware so the only thing it could be is anxiety.

  377. Sarah R Says:

    Thank you SO much Candie, you are a very special person. It’s funny, everyone turns to me for help and advice, I am good at giving it at least! I will keep trying to tell myself, the only reason this thought is so fear inspiring, is because I am so emotional. When I am feeling better, I will be able to have this thought with no fear attached. After-all, I have been living with ‘my mind’ so to speak, for almost 40 years – blimey, nearly 40! That is upsetting in itself! I guess, it is rather like the ‘fear of death’ thought. You can look at it, this way and that, ain’t gonna make a blind bit of difference either way. It is a bit difficult for me, as I moved abroad, after living in England my whole life. Although I speak the lingo to a certain degree, it is not enough to see a councellor, who is knowledgable on anxiety. I have been to see my doctor here, but to be perfectly honest, he is a bit ‘manic’ himself! He is always laughing his head off, even when I have told him I am in the depths of despair, and generally perscribes me Prozac or something, which, I like most anxiety suffers, are way to afraid to even try!

    Oh well, time to ‘pick myself up from the floor again’ so to speak. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart, and from my befuddled head.


  378. Tracey Says:

    Hello everyone! I’m so glad that I have found this blog, I don’t feel so alone anymore or “weird” to know that its actually common and we all do have similar thoughts is a little comforting. I’ve been dealing with anxiety for about 4 months now. It started with one panic attack and progressed from there. Now all that I’m dealing with is these obsessive thoughts and let me tell you they are SO annoying. I get so frusturated with myself — and I know I shouldn’t but the content of some of my thoughts is just so bothersome. I’ll give you alittle run down on the types of thoughts that I’ve obsessed over these past 4 months from the beginning to now: I feared panic attacks, fear of anxiety & the physical symptoms, thinking I was dying, thinking I had a brain tumor because I had 3 wks of an off/on headache, thinking I had cancer, thoughts of death, thoughts of my mom dying, thoughts of my boyfriend dying, fear of suicide, picturing myself being stabbed or stabbing someone and oddly enough fear of being gay. All of these thoughts at some point have caused me lots of anxiety, some of them I don’t even fear anymore(i think maybe my mind got bored of it or i finally realized how stupid they were) but the last one is the one i’m on right now…it drives me nuts because I’ve never even thought of a woman that way & I know how stupid is sounds, the only reason why I even got that thought in my head is because a friend of mine was talking about how we used to think an old friend of ours was a lesbian–which she wasnt. I have always been attracted to men–I even have a boyfriend right now that I’ve been in a happy,loving relationship with for over a year. I’ve had gay friends (before my anxiety) and its never bothered me before but now just the word makes me cringe. I realize that its my anxiety making this into a bigger deal than what it really is and some days i’m absolutely fine and other days i’m not. I read some of the previous comments and noticed there was a guy named Dave who had the same problem. I’ve kept a journal since my anxiety has started and I was reading over my old entries and noticed a pattern. Every thought that I’ve had that i’ve gotten stuck on has been either something I heard from someone or from the tv, it seems as tho I put myself into the situation and then I freak out at the mere thought. I feel a lot of my problem and maybe some of you will say the same is I take the thoughts too personally and too seriously. and I’m working on not doing that, as I have always been an over thinker but before I had anxiety I was able to let things go where as now its very hard for me…it is hard but I know I can do it. and like I said before I’m SO grateful that this blog was made because it is very helpful. If anyone has any imput on what i’ve written please reply.

    Thanks and good luck to everyone!

  379. Tracey Says:

    Something else I forgot to say in my comment above is I fear my thoughts returning. I dont think its just the content of the thought that scares me its the thought of having the thought. I expect it to come back how do I get past that?

  380. Candie Says:

    Tracey these are anxiety thoughts, the gay one is especially common- i have heard it from lots of anxiety sufferers before. Its your over active anxious mind trying to scare you as the adrenalin is releasing, nothing more.

    As for the memory of having the thought then it coming back, that goes when the anxiety subsides and you gradually lose the fears and the thoughts.

  381. Tracey Says:

    Thank you Candie, that’s what I figured. I appreciate your reply, it helps to know that its a common one

  382. Maggie Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Thank you Paul for your great book and thank you guys for sharing your experience with anxiety.
    I have been dealing with anxiety for 4 years but on August 2008 I reached the top. Scary and obsessive thoughts about hurting myself or my little one who I love to death. Where did I get them from? I don’t know? How did they start? It is another question I can not answer.
    I have been seeing a therapist for 2 months and it helps, but reading this comments is helping more. I see that some people feel the same way than I do. I am not alone!
    These scary thoughts get to the point when sometimes I can not breath and I feel that something is going to blow out inside my chest, then my panic attack starts and my vicious circle starts. Scary thoughts, Stomach cramps and sometimes dry heaves.
    Anybody who feels this way will help me with his/her experience.
    Thanks a lot and good luck everyone.

  383. Katie Says:

    Everytime you get that thought Tracey-jus say’ I aint going to fight you or stop you being there’. Its just a thought-your anxiety trying to scare you, try not to worry bout them. I have the usual harming thoughts, and im in the process of unwinding in the habit of thinkin bad things and too am telling myself this everytime a thought pops up! It works-the less you panic bout a thought, the less it pops up. I aint saying it wont keep popping back, as mine still do but its a habit and one that needs to be reversed.

  384. Katie Says:

    Hiya Maggie, I too have had the thoughts about hurting my little girl, which i too love more than anything in the world and know that I never would do anything to hurt her. I now accept that they are part and parcel of anxiety and try not to panic about my thoughts.Iv had all the usual thoughts-if anything bad can be made out of a situation than you can guarantee iv had a thought about it!even a ball point pen today!!it sounds funny now as i type it, but i didnt panic, i let the thought be there. Its hard but im getting there. It is accepting the thoughts thats the first step and now i am in the process of getting out of the habit of thinkin bad things. It sounds like you are very scared of these thoughts still. I admit, i have some thoughts that catch me off guard sometimes and then the panic gets intense where you think, ‘god, could i have done what i just thought’, but Candie has given me sooooooo much FAB advise- about this intense panic feeling being the fight/flight syndrome. Its your reaction to the thought that creates the panicy feelings.Just try and let the thoughts flow-its hard but I know Im getting there by doing this!
    And Candie, thanks for all your advice-your a gem!!!!

  385. John Says:

    Howdy all !!!
    It has been about a year ago that I found this site. I have not checked this site for six months or so because I rarely think like I use to. My scary thoughts are few and far between today. My anxiety and panicky feelings are not at all what they used to be. At one time scary thoughts controlled my every day and the guilt was unbearable. This site was a god send. Once I learned not to fear my thoughts I eventually got to where they faded out. If it could be thought I thought it and worse. I would obsess about it. Anyway I am proof that one can over come such a scary thing. Thank God!!!

  386. Carol Says:

    Howdy John, thanks for posting, its very encouraging for those of us who are struggling with bizarre thoughts. This blg is great, such supportive people and great advice from Candie. I still have a way to go but there have been improvements. I still fear my weird thought more than i should but i am working on that. Best wishes, Carol.

  387. RD Says:

    Hi everyone!
    Just thought I’d leave a quick update in the same vein as John’s above. It is now five months since my original panic attack, and I am almost back to normal most days. The thoughts are still there, but mostly in the background, and I can be quite rational about them most of the time, ie think about them without descending into panic. I do have some bad times, but the pattern is fairly predictable: Sunday evenings, when I am getting mentally prepared for work the next day, and days after I’ve had more than the recommended amount of booze, which I try to limit to once a week maximum. When the bad feelings start, I start thinking back on how many times this has happened, and fill my mind with confident thoughts like “I’ve been here before, and got through it, and I’m getting better on average every week”. During these times I still occasionally have that horrible feeling of helplessness, just wishing this had never happened, but I can get through these times more easily now, and, more importantly, they don’t lead to adrenaline-filled sleepless nights, which means my mind has time to recover while I sleep.
    There was a quote I saw from Paul on his main blog, where he said he reached a point where he could say to himself, “do your worst anxiety, because I always end up winning against you”, and I feel as though I am getting closer to that point.
    I’m still doing plenty of exercise and am convinced that that can only be helpful to the recovery process.
    Basically I’m doing everything that I did before in my life, and feeling positive almost all the time, which is something that seemed a very, very long way off even a few months ago.
    Hope you all have a great day.

  388. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone, sorry to be on a downer but the last two days i’ve felt right back to square one, the anxiety and thought has been so strong and terrifying and even a new one popped in as well lie what if the radiator, tv etc talked to me. I don’t know what i’m doing wrong. There were days over the last three weeks when i’ve had some hours free of it but why does it keep coming back? Is it normal to have more than one scary thought? i am at work today but sadly my colloeagues are not very understanding although two were helpful this morning when i got tearful but another said well that spider thought is stupid just forget it so of course i felt stupid for being scared of it and got upset. What id don’t get is if the thoughts are irrational what makes them feel so very real and terrifying as my doctor said yesterday that i am making progress and he says to remember the thought is irrelevant but i never fully understand what he means as it seems relevant to me as its what is scaring me plus i do still have problems with the underlying fear of it being too bizarre to be just an anxiety thought, how do they know not to keep coming when we don’t fear them anymore? that confuses me a lot. Thanks to you all for listening and for your kindness, love Carol x

  389. RD Says:

    Hi Carol,
    Your anxiety has invented these thoughts because it realises they are strange and scary to you, and as soon as you get scared by them, the mind fixes them there more strongly, ready for the anxiety to pick them up next time. When you start letting them just be there, realising they are anxiety driven, and reacting less strongly, the thoughts will come with less intensity each time. Your worry about them being too weird to be anxiety is unfounded, because everyone on here has had weird, scary thoughts. If I wrote down all my anxious thoughts, you would find most of them completely ridiculous. The thought itself is not important, no matter how weird it is. Thinking you’re a spider, thinking the radiator is going to talk to you, all it shows is you have a creative, but anxious mind. Your other worry about where the thoughts go when you recover is also unfounded: the memory of the thoughts, and the thoughts themselves will remain, but they just won’t bother or scare you anymore.
    As for being back at square one, the setbacks seem to be part of the recovery process for everyone. I know having faith that recovery will come is difficult, but it is absolutely necessary.
    Hope you continue making progress.
    All the best,

  390. Carol Says:

    Dear RD, Thankyou so much for your kind words and advice, i have written it down like i do with all Candie says and need to keep reading it all especially during the bad times. Last night for abot 3 hours i was free of it again its just that i get despondent when it returns, thats whats makes it seem that this may be as good as it gets even though i do know progress has been made but the extreme feelings that come with these thoughts as you and everyone here knows only too well is horrible. Thanks so much again, this blog is such a help, love Carol.

  391. Manley Says:

    Hey guys I don’t wanna be a downer as well but I struggling a bit with my aanxiety. I can only describe it as being locked in your own mind contantly monitoring my thoughts, its like I’m thinking about what I’m thinking then my mind races and races not giving me a break. I would be getting anxious over simple thoughts, just everyday thoughts that normal people would have but they made me anxious. Is their an answer to that. Why do our minds race and race and all of my thoughts just stuck in my head, I would be thinking about simple job duties at work and I would think about it right before I did it or said it. That would make me anxious, I would always ask myself why am I thinking this, or its normal to think this then start to question myslef right away. I’m hoping their are answers for what I experience. I can’t explain what its like for me to be stuck in my own mind all my thoughts seem to stick, same with images or memories. But any explanation would help. I can’t seem to turn off the racing thoughts for a few hours. Then I’m scared of it returning because it seems to be over nothing at times.

  392. RD Says:

    Hi Manley,
    You have anxiety, and your racing mind and feeling like you’re trapped in your own mind are caused by adrenaline in your body overstimulating parts of your brain and central nervous system. Everyone on this blog has had these horrible feelings. The way to get through this is the following:
    1) Don’t get scared by your own thoughts. No matter how awful they seem, they are not real.
    2) Let the thoughts sit there, and be confident that they will scare you less and less as time goes by.
    3) Believe that you can recover from this. You will see enough evidence on this blog, but I know it is sometimes difficult to feel confident. These are real people who have had the same problem as you and have recovered. I am among those recovering, and the above method really does work, even though it looks simple.
    I often wondered why this happened to me, but the truth is it doesn’t really matter. It just happened, and it was awful, but you will recover.
    All the best to you.

  393. Manley Says:

    Makes a lot of sense. For me this is my most trubblesome symptom. Its like I just want it to be gone and I’m having no patience with it. But I didn’t know it was this common. I have had anxiety all my life but never had this. I’m 24 years old now but can’t seem to handle this one well. I’ve read up on some people comments and they made it sound so easy. Is it really that easy? For me its the worst in the morning when I wake up. Its like my mind tends to do this all on its own now. My mind constantly is tuning in to what I’m thinking making it hard for me to sleep more than 5 or 6 hours. I read on some peoples posts that it makes them tired. Not me I can’t sleep. Is that common? I never knew as much about anxiety until this web site. Its great but I still feel like I’m an individual to what I’m mmentioning. How do we turn all that off. Its like I’m constantly thinking about what I’m thinking and their is no stopping, maybe only for an hour or 2 in my 8 hour work day. It feels like I’m the worst at times and ask if I’m really that bad. You can tell that I’m being really hard on myself, and its only cuz I want answers to what I’m feeling. I can still be me deep down inside but its the mind that spins and spins that I want to stop. And eventually begin to sleep 8 hours again

  394. Katie Says:

    Manley, what you need to do is accept that this is you for the time being. Having no patience and ‘wanting it gone’ is putting pressure on yourself and adding to the problem. I remember when my anxiety started, i couldnt accept it and kepth thinkin, this time in a week or so, it will be gone.However this wasnt the case and I realise now that in the beginning I wouldnt accept this change.But 5 months on, I am on my way to recovery!Only the last month or so, from finding this site, purchasing Pauls book and speaking loads with Candie have I started to recover.It has helped me loads. The thoughts and mind racing was my biggest problem to overcome, but as Paul states in his book, you have to make space in your mind,let them be there but pay no attention to them. Once you learn to be this way with them, you become that little bit more confident when they appear. It is harder at certain times e.g when your tired, particularly having sleepless nights caused by anxiety as you become more sensitive to the thoughts, but still you need to continue to give them the ‘whatever’ attitude. So yeah sleepless nights are definately common!I had one Sunday night and aint had one since before christmas , so this made me anxious thinkin were my sleepless nights back again, but i tried not to worry bout them and also tried reverse psychology and tried to stay awake last night, but fell asleep!so try that-let your mind race whilst you try to sleep but pay it no attention. Hope this helps.

  395. Lou Says:

    wow what great reading. just like anna above I also suffer what I would call “debilitating” anxiety about my relationship. I have tried to deal with it for over a year now. The anxiety mainly centres around the thoughts of “not loving my boyfriend” anymore. It has caused me so much pain in recent weeks that I have no energy to do the simplest things. Today has been particularly bad. I had to take a xanax to calm myself down. I honestly thought the only release I could get from this pain was breaking up with my boyfriend, and then the thoughts of going through with it in turn cause more anxiety…that I might in fact go through with it as I am at the end of my tether. Ironically the only things that stop the anxiety is when i argue so badly with him that he brings up the breaking up and then in turn i have a period of a few days of being insanely in love again….however the doubts/anxiety ALWAYS come back :( I dont know how to stop it. I would describe the anxiety like a loud voice in my head coninually pushing me to end my relationship even though deep down i dont want to :(

    How do I get rid of this anxiety?

  396. Manley Says:

    That’s is great advice I have to admit. I’m waiting on pauls book and I can’t wait. I’ve been reading the posts and to all of you it seems so easy. I keep telling myself to accept this and float with this feeling but I still tune into all my thoughts and think and think and thoughts race and race especially when I’m half awake in the morning then when I find myself tuning in I wake up and stay up. I dint want to give into the temptation of meds but sometime I feel hopeless. All my other symptoms are gone and this is the one that bugs me the most. I’ll take all the advice I can get. All this seems like really great advice I just need to let go of the self pitty and self analyzing and take everyones advice. But is it easier said than done?

  397. Manley Says:

    And its not that I get scarry obsessive thoughts but often I do but its more of the constant flow of thoughts. Only way to descibe it is that your monitoring your thoughts or thinking about what your thinking and I start to obsess about it and that creates more anxiety. Its like I keep obsessing about what I’m thinking and its so hard to turn the focus outwards. Any advice? And what does this sound like? I also wanna add that random memories pop up maybe its cuz I pay attention to what I’m thinking I’m not sure. But its so frustrating. I refuse meds and know that I can do this med free. And sometimes my thoughts race and that what spirals me into a panick. Is what I’m doing deep thinking. I wanna stop all this figuring out and just want to know. I know I’ve had a few answers. But can someone help me figure this out so I can stop all the running around in my head.

  398. RD Says:

    Hi Manley,
    Accepting your thoughts being there is not easy, and I don’t think anyone here has found it easy to use this method. It sounds easy once you start to recover, but it can be awful getting there.
    Personally when I first found this site I felt a huge initial relief that this was a common problem, but I then started to have doubts as to whether this method would work for me, or whether I had something different to everyone else. A few months on, I now know it was anxiety, just like everyone else. Everyone has their own special horrible thoughts, although there seem to be a lot of common ones, and it also seems to be common to worry about whether you have something different and, potentially, worse. Feeling worse in the morning also seems to be common, and a good explanation that I have read for this is that your body naturally produces more adrenaline in the mornings, and it is the adrenaline that fuels the anxious thoughts.
    This method of letting the thoughts be there and not worrying about why you had them has worked for a lot of people, who are all grateful they found this site. My advice would be to read Paul’s book and try it for yourself. You will soon be in a positive, upward spiral of feeling better.
    Al the best,

  399. Manley Says:

    I understand. But the constant thinking of thinking is what bugs me most? Is their an explanation for that. That’s what I want to know. The scary thoughts I can handle better it just why do our minds contantly flow and flow with thoughts and make our minds race. But these are just everyday kinda thoughts. Its like my brain has a mind of its own and keeps thinking and I keep monitoring them and never stops. I just want a clear mind again. Does that sound like anxiety? Yesterday was the strangest day for me. I was on the high way and my mind just let go and kept replaying past events, it was like re-living them. Then my mind started to race again. What’s with that. Any answers out their? Why do our minds race? Why do our minds keep thinking non stop? And why does it pull random memories up? And why do our minds think and think without giving me a break?

  400. Katie Says:

    All it is Manley is anxiety. You need to accept that it is anxiety, coz it still sounds as though your thinking maybe it is something else.I too, did this at the beginning, quite often to be honest,but now i accept it completely as anxiety.You sound like how I was,needing reassurnce all the time that it is just anxiety but it definately is.The mind racing is completely normal-its jus the excess adrenalin findin a release in your thoughts.They may just be ordinary thoughts but you find that they come all at once, and your mind feels like it is swamped! its when you start monioring these thoughts that they stick and then you find yourself in a circle, non stop thinkin about these thoughts and worrying over them. Try to let them be there and carry on doin your everyday things-it is hard at first but the more you do it the easier you will find it.

  401. Manley Says:

    Okay so when these thoughts race how do I ignore it. I find if I try to distract myself and that doesn’t ever work as much as it use to. This is the hardest and most depressing symtom for me. It ruins my sleep, cuz first thing when I wake up I just start monitoring these thoughts and I know I’m doing it so it creates more anxiety. I tense up and get really anxious and I feel it coming them wham its all out on the table and my mind starts spinning. I just got a massage done and all I could do was monitor thee dam thoughts. Their was no stopping. If I try and ignore it, it some times gets worse, feels like I’m fighting it. And all it is, is adrenalin?? Some people tell my my mind is to active and doctors tell me to take meds and seek help. I’m frustrated of this feeling. I just want mental clarity and it seems too much to ask for at times. Its been almost 3 months of this. I can’t even enjoy family time. Which speaking of I’m on vacation as we speak. I try to live along side this awful feeling but everyday it gets the best of me. Am I that bad I need to take meds. Has anyone on this forum felt this low? I remember reading on pauls site and feeling great for a week when I read how to deal withracing thoughts. It worked then now I feel even worse. I only had one good week of feeling great and up and down days but its constant. If I had a switch to turn my brain off I would feel so much better. So how do you ignore this or live along side racing random every day thoughts. And how common is all this.

  402. Katie Says:

    Very common!most people suffering anxiety have this frustrating symptom-where the mind seems to have a mind of its own and constantly races. Also alot of people on this site find morning is worse too.I had tht for a while-coz the 1st thing i would think of as soon as i woke was anxiety and then i got stuck in the habit of thinkin the thoughts,getting anxious bout them and back to square 1. The first stage you need to get thru is accepting that it is jus anxiety/ excess adrenalin-and the thoughts are another way of it finding its release.instead of tensing about the thoughts wen they come and race, let them be, say to them ‘oh its you again, come do your thing.’ The less anxious you get about them, the less they will come.I no it sounds impossible at first but its a habit you need to break and habits take time to revert, so dont be hard on yourself!

  403. Manley Says:

    That’s the best thing I have heard in a long time. I felt so alone and depressed, and I kept thinking if it was something else. Your so right. I’m full of self pitty and guilt. I have had high liver enzymes and kept worrying about if that’s what’s causing me to have this unclear mind or if I had a heart palp I would think it was cuz of my liver. And it does sound vary impossible but like I always tell everyone else nothing is impossible. I just need to learn to take my own advice. But I’m going to take this and move forward with it. Before I do I did have a question. Yesterday on this forum I was also told it was excess adrenalin that effected some nerves in the brain and my central nervous system. Hard to believe if that’s what it is but if it is then so be it. But my question was can this get worse if that all has been effected. To me it sounds like that medication is the only way to fix what was said to me earlier what I have. I’m confused and in the same time feel more confident. Can you shine some light on that question

  404. RD Says:

    Hi Manley,
    You asked whether the adrenalin and the nerves can get worse. If you focus on your racing mind and get more anxious about it, you will get more adrenaline and tire your nerves and mind even more. The whole idea behind letting your thoughts be there, and saying “oh hi anxiety, it’s you again, come on in, I can’t spend any time with you because I’m busy with my life, but feel free to hang around until you get tired of it” (or whatever you want to say to your anxiety) is to give your nerves and mind a break so they can recover. I can tell you for sure that they can and do recover. When I first got anxiety last October, following a panic attack, I was in a constant state of mild shock, shaky, nervous, worried that I was going mad or had some disease (I also worried about my liver and heart, especially since I had several years of drinking quite heavily beforehand), worried that I wouldn’t be able to work anymore, unable to sleep….etc….desperate basically.
    I was very lucky to find this site, and gained a lot of confidence from it that I could recover.
    I also took a few other steps, which I can recommend, if you haven’t done so already: have a full medical, to check that there isn’t a medical reason for your anxiety, step up the amount of exercise, reduce the amount of alcohol and caffeine (I only felt able to get back onto coffee two weeks ago!). I personally also took some B vitamins, but don’t want to give that as advice, because I’m not a doctor.
    Fortunately, I managed to carry on working and I don’t suppose anyone in my life (except for the very few people I’ve told) has any idea what I’ve been going through, and now I’m well on the way to full recovery, ie confident that I will get through this.
    Hope there is something here that helps you, and I hope you can enjoy your holiday!

  405. Katie Says:

    RD, mine too started in Oct after dealing with a stressful event and i too thought i were going mad!sooo crazy how everyone has such similar thoughts with it all!and the racing mind is jus sooo annoying, but ur right, this site is the best thing since sliced bread lol!
    Manley,definately take your own advice as its a good piece of advice.Nothing is impossible!It does take practice and like alot of others say on here,setbacks are sometimes around the corner, but you just need to keep practicing at breaking the habit!You will have doubts whether it is anxiety, as i did despite being told and the advice from other people-but again tht is the anxiety trying to play its tricks with you.
    So stick with this method and no,you wont get worse!As it soooo puts you on the right track.

  406. Carol Says:

    Hi, tha last two days have been easier, i seem to be at a stage where the thoughts go for periods then return, whilst its better than them being there all the time its difficult for me to not worry whether this is as good as it gets, is this how recovery goes? its just rather confusing, i suppose i was hoping that when they started to go they would just go and not keep coming back. Thanks to you all, love Carol x

  407. Manley Says:

    Okay so just let the mind have a mind of its own and when the thoughts race just let them race. To be honest its hard. The constant checking in on your own thoughts to is hard. I woke up pretty early and I had some racing thoughts and I just let it be their. Even now my mind wants to wonder and do its own thing so I’m letting it. Is that kinda the right approach. So if my mind races and I let it race that’s giving it a break? Cuz I think my whole body needs a break. I don’t want to tire out it further, that get me in a depressed state. When I have that depressed state its cuz I’m tired of this feeling and racing thoughts and want it gone, then I get frustrated. What advice you have for that. Just let it be their? Cuz I can’t ignore it its really hard unless theirs a way. And their is another prgram they recommend me to do and its a cognitive behavioural program therapy. That prgram helps to change the way you think. But on Paul’s site it sayd don’t try and change the way you think. Any advice for all that I just said?

  408. Manley Says:

    And all this checking in is like a habit now. How do I break that habit

  409. Manley Says:

    Sorry guys I wish I could remember what I wanted to say to you all at once. I get dp often but when I woke up I felt depressed and a feeling that I can only explain like it didn’t feel like me. Any adcice? Also one last thing. How do you explain this.. When something happens for example the mail man came here this morning and it sticks in my head, like I mean the whole event does and It replays over and over sometimes in my mind for no apparent reason then I get scared at times cuz I don’t know why. Can anyone explain all 3 of my posts in detail?

  410. Candie Says:

    Manley, you really do need to slow down! Your grasping for all sorts of answers that you dont need as when you accept your anxieties and move towards the anxiety the questions answer themselves. As for thoughts, events etc replaying in your mind- that is completely normal for anxiety, however because your worrying and tiring your mind further ‘obsessing about the obsessive’ you are keeping yourself in the anxious loop. Letting a thought be there without rumernating is the basic concept of cognative behaviour therapy- you are changing your mental habits from worry to acceptance… there is no tension and the anxiety can lift- therefore you are changing the behaviour of your mind.

    Carol, you are still worrying about the thoughts been there- which is why they come back in. When you no longer worry about them been there your mind wont throw them back up as pottential problems and they will eventually go away. But your concept of recovery seems to be getting rid of the thoughts will make you free, however putting that pressure on yourself to be rid of them is what has kept you anxious about them. As soon as you accept these thoughts, invite them in and learn to dismiss them as rubbish they will go away. But how can your mind ever let it go if your constantly conditioning it with ideas that your thinking is wrong and you must be rid of it… putting that pressure on youself to be a certain way will always bring the anxiety to the forefront of your day as your mind will be on alert. Your attitude needs to be one of dismissing your thoughts as rubbish, laughing at them and not ruminating. When you adopt this they will go, please dont ask where they will go as if they no longer are a problem mentally they can not stick in your memory and replay.

  411. Carol Says:

    Thanks as always Candie, i am pleased with my progress just get cross with myself when i still let the fear get to me. Last week i went back to work part time, it wasn’t easy although today was a bit better, i’m just training staff which should be second nature and is usually easy to do, i trained 20 today in basic life support and using a defibrillator but was conscious that the thought was there a few times. I’m surrounded by medical people all the time and we aren’t that tolerant of each other as a rule, we are ok with residents and patients but they haven’t any understanding of anxiety, they are of the pull yourself together brigade, one i did confide my thought to just said thats weird and stupid just stop thinking about it and another said you are usually the life and soul but lately you are miserable and cry a lot . My close family though say i am loads better than even a month ago, i just need to clear the final hurdle. Thanks again, love to you, Carol x

  412. Katie Says:

    Manley,you said you woke this morning and let your racing thoughts be there?how did you find it? coz yeah this is the right approach. Let your mind chatter away to itself-again, its just an over anxious mind fuelled by the adrenalin so if your worrying bout these thoughts, then this is jus going to add more adrenalin and like candie says, will keep you in the anxiety loop. Keep letting the thoughts in and be there, try,try,try not to evaluate these thoughts in any way coz remember you aint controlling them-they r anxiety driven, you jus need to concentrate on how you respond to these-which should be to pay no attention to them(coz attention to them is what is needed to keep them there)so do the opposite-pay no attention and see how you go

  413. Candie Says:

    Hi Carol

    You sound like you are improving which is great. Dont feel the need to explain to people why you arnt your usual self, if i came across as differant i just told people i was under a lot of stress at the time- if someone hasnt suffered from this they will never understand how anxiety can make you over react to thoughts, so telling you to stop been silly and forget about it is insensitive and cruel- but they just dont understand. Confide in those who you can trust and support you, otherwise dont make a habit of confessing your anxieties to people who dont have knowledge on the condition as you will be faced with ignorance!

  414. Manley Says:

    Okay thanks Candie and Katie. I’ve always been that type that just needs to know everything. But to be honest I’ve been doing well all day just letting this constant mind chatter and checking just be their. When you say don’t pay attention to it, its really easier said than done. I know its going on I just choose to have a whatever attitude towards it but I still know its going on. But I do have to mention 2 things, first its the problem I’m having with myself, I just came out the hospital and I just figured out I have both higher liver and kidney enzymes. I’m scared to death and the worry just settled back in. They first checked my blood pressure and found out it was super high which stresses me out even more. I’m worried and scared. I could just be making a big deal about it but their is reason to worry cuz you said candie make sure theirs nothing going on physically that’s causing my anxiety. So I’m worried if all this stuff that’s wrong with me is causing my anxiety. Now the second is my BIGGEST fear. But this is what lead me to anxiety. One day I was working out and I noticed my heart rate, and I kept on paying attention to it. Then I worried and then I panicked which then increased my heart rate even more so I’m scared to work out. I’m 24 years old and use to be a body builder. But now I have this fear. Any advice on that one. Cuz when I had that panick I took me to my knees at the gym and thought I was going to die my heart was going that fast. It was probably in the 180-200 range. Scary for me anyways. So what I’ve been doing is been walking and eating really great. The walking is helping me slowly but my goal is to be back at it in full but take baby steps. That’s my story in short form. I never had this great advive from any other forum and stumbled upon this one in desperation. Thanks. I’m a really hard working canadian boy and am struggling with this anxiety but thanks for your help. Its hard to do this from my blackberry cuz I can’t see what I wrote but ya any advice to help me move forward again. Just back into this cycle worrying about my health.

  415. Carol Says:

    Hi Candie, thanks as always, no one at work understands at all so you are right its no point talking to them about it. I’m a bit upset today as i had a good day yesterday and this morning was pretty good i was doing what you suggested and then from nowhere the old werewolf thought came back and took me by surprise, i thought it was gone but its scaring me again, would you expect that or is it unusual, its upsetting as i thought i’d beaten that one, love Carol x

  416. RD Says:

    Hi Carol,
    That happens to me quite often with the old thoughts coming back and surprising me, but most of the time I can then deal with it a lot more quickly, and within a few moments I’ve stopped thinking about it again. The road to recovery seems to be a really weird shape! I’m sure this is a really common experience amongst us anxiety sufferers.

  417. Katie Says:

    It isnt easy Manley, but once you get used to accepting the thoughts for what they are-a load of rubbish and let them be there, that is when it starts to get easier.But at the minute, you still sound like your battling with the thoughts,
    ‘what if my brain gets so tired i wont be able to establish which thought is real and which thought isnt’
    – this is another classic ‘what if..’ scenario that your anxiety is creating.It aint happened and worrying about whether it will is tiring your mind and that is prob why you are not feeling yourself.But try to stop worrying about thoughts that aint happened and wont happen.You are creating a battle with the thoughts by thinkin ‘what if..’ and then worrying about an outcome for that ‘what if’. This is what will keep the thought there and worrying about it makes it 10 times worse for it to stick. so let it be there, say’ whatever, i aint worrying bout something that is just sooo irrational’ and then let it be, coz why try to rationalize something that is pointless and irrational?
    Also what you said about your racing heart and high blood pressure. Im on beta blockers for them symptoms.They basically slow down your heart rate which will have some effect on other physical symptoms. They do help alot, but at the moment, im reducing them. Seek advise from your doc if your worried the high enzymes may be causing yours.

  418. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone, thankyou for your help. Gosh i feel right back to square one today. Thursday was a much better day, yesterday morning not too bad either then just after lunch i felt anxiety building and thats when i was shocked at the return of the old thought, i really thought i’d dealt with that one so got scared and upset quite quickly. It was strange as it seemed so real again and very scary, is it normal to have more than one thought, i still don’t know why mine have to be so weird compared to most i read about though. Well i woke at 1.30 this morning full of panic and that has gone on all day, the worst for ages yet i have done nothing different, so lots of tears today , i was moving forward but this has scared me somewhat. Its hard to believe what my gp says about me being able to talk and even laugh about these thoughts one day without the fear and panic. Love to you all, Carol x

  419. RD Says:

    Hi Carol,
    I’m sorry you’re feeling so upset. Your series of setbacks is very much like what I’ve had myself. I know you are worried about whether your thoughts are extra weird, but, you know, they’re not. I don’t even want to write down the weird, incredibly frightening thoughts I have had, just in case they trigger anxiety in someone else, but believe me, I’ve had thoughts which are at least as scary as yours, and have gradually become able to deal with them. I have carefully read all your posts over the last few weeks, and you seem to me to be getting better and better at dealing with your thoughts, ie I think you are well on the way to recovering.
    The scary thoughts can catch us unawares, but we will end up winning.
    Hope you have a peaceful week. I’ll be watching out for your posts!

  420. Carol Says:

    Thanks RD for your kindness. You are right i do worry they are so weird and where they came from in the first place. Its hard to imagine that one day , like my gp says i will be able to talk or even laugh about them, can’t wait for that day to come, its hard to understand how something can terrify you then not terrify you. And like Candie always says to me i worry where the thought goes after its gone when i don’t need to, i think thats coz i worry it may just be waiting to come back even months or years after its gone. I am glad you are recovering and thanks so much again for your help, best wishes, Carol.

  421. Candie Says:

    Manley, you need to step back from this and see it exactly for what it is, adrenalin making your mind race. I was exactly the same, but what did i do? exhausted myself like you are doing now- questioning, fighting and desperate to make it go away. However all the determination in the world will not quieten your mind down if you are worried over it racing in the first place as your are adding further pressure. Why not give yourself an hour in quitness, give your anxiety, thoughts etc free reign to go wherever… and i mean wherever. Let go of the control and learn to dismiss the anxious thoughts as an exhausted mind and irrational as some are, they arnt real. Now you have two choices, you can do this and you will get better and your anxiety will be by far easier to live beside without the added tension, or you can further tire your mind and your nerves. Your mind is going at 100 miles an hour so to speak, everything has speeded up and racing due to the adrenalin, so dont add more adrenalin and give your mind and body the rest it needs to recover. You can wish this away all you want, but its welcoming the symptoms that will help you recover.

    Carol, no offense but how can a thought come back to scare you if you no longer hold a fear response to it? If you arnt sensitized to the anxiety there is no possible way it can just pop back in and frighten the life out of you- when you recover further you will recognise this too. Have you even tried mocking and dismissing your thoughts as rubbish yet? for instance with your spider or wearwolf thoughts you should mock them… maybe think, ”what a load of rubbish and nonsense, would be funny if i was a spider though with all them legs”. You need to retrain your brain to react with the appropriate response of dismissing the thoughts and anxiety attached, even if at first the thoughts still scare you- keep doing it till its ingrained. I know you are frightened at the fact your thought is not a possibility, which frightens you because your anxiety wont let you be rational about it- however you are not nuts, a person gone mad beleiving such things wouldnt question the authenticity of the thought or be scared by it… they would genuinley beleive it and not be scared by it…infact they would argue till they are blue in the face that they are a spider and try prove everyone wrong, you have simply gone to far in proving that you arnt due to your anxiety. You are scared and anxious- nothing more… its time now to let go of all your questions and find peace through recovery.

  422. Candie Says:

    Manley, this is just anxiety- making you think the worst. I used to be exactly the same- my mind would scan for things, checking i wasnt hearing or seeing things. I would also test myself checking my thoughts, creating new ones to check if they where delusional or not… of course i was not psychotic or delusional, however anxiety will make u think the worst! I had months of no good days sometimes, so dont threat- just allow this to wash over you.

  423. Tracey Says:


    I was doing great and then I had a setback and i feel myself slipping back into bad habits. I guess my question is how do you stop fearing your thoughts, cuz obviously I have not if they still scare me. I get too excited when I dont have them and then I check to see if I do and it brings it back, then I get into the worrying loop again even tho i know its anxiety playing its stupid little tricks–I get frusturated (I know I shouldn’t that feeds it more) I thnk that’s why i get frusturated because I know I need to not fear but its so hard to get past the fearing, how did you do this?


  424. Candie Says:

    Manley, no offense but your working yourself up into a frenzy after these questions have been answered to you already. I had constant mind chatter like you too, adrenalin does that- its nothing more. If u was going mad and these thoughts where caused by something else you certainly wouldnt be afraid of them, fear proves its just anxiety. I know exactly what illness you are fearing, i have a friend who has it and he doesnt react or thing like you do… you think exactly like i used to do, all caused by adrenalin speeding your mind up and causing you to think fearful things.

  425. katie Says:

    You are not crazy!!!!it is only anxiety and the thoughts that you are having- the harming thoughts are completely normal!!!i have had them about the ones closest to me-esp my 2 yr old daughter.At first i used to worry about why i would think such things, and like you i couldnt accept that they were anxiety and so paniced about them, which resulted in further thoughts!!a complete need to break this cycle and accept the thoughts as anxiety-i feel you are finding this difficult as you are still convinced it must be something else.this thought about it being something else is leading you to believe you must be crazy but if you stopped and accepted it as anxiety,the thoughts would come with less force and your mind wouldnt be constantly inward thinking, like it is doin at the mo for you. this is why your mind is racing non stop-because you are soooo anxious about these thoughts. as bad as they may be, jus let it be, say’ok anxiety fire away’. and try not to panic about what the thought may be, as you are not going crazy!!!the more you begin to accept it for what it is, the less impact it will have on you

  426. Helz Belz Says:

    hi again everyone,
    there are a lot of new posts here, i am sorry if i have missed anything. I hope you are all having pink days
    have been having a bit more trouble with racing/circular thoughts again lately, but unlike last time when i didnt realise they were just anxiety thoughts until they calmed down, this time a very small part of me kept saying ‘they are just anxiety, dont pay any attention to them’. a small victory. they were more disturbingly worrying ones, that dont have a clear ending (the kind of worrys that anxiety loves the most, without a clear answer it can keep you going round in circles for days). set back time really, with anxiety being more at the front of my mind than it has in ages, but i know i have to go through it and learn from it to keep moving forward.
    this is a question for candie really. did you find as you went along recovery-road, that as you got further along that you went through the stages of your symptoms in reverse. like recently ive been having more panic reactions to things, but with much less DP and depressive reaction. it feels more like i’m back towards the beginning, with more clear but racing thoughts and worrys (but still with the odd really black day).

  427. Manley Says:

    I know what you guys are saying, I do work myself up lots and I always beat myself up. Its just when I experience something different I turn to this forum it really honestly helps. So its common to have mind chatter then? Never had it like this before. I don’t get panick attacks just waves of fear so to say. I think and think and think and analyze everything. That’s just me and I tend to over react and can’t accept it as anxiety. Sometimes my mind chatter get so negative and it scares me. Its constantly chatting away. In the morning its the worst. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m actually hearing it then I start the cycle :( then I’m trapped in my mind all day with inwards thinking paying attention to every thoughts that crosses my mind. Don’t get me wrong I now am better at just letting it be their. The only fear is why so much mind chatter. And why so loud in the mornings and so negative??? Then I think something like ay random thing and ask myself ALL the time why did I pay attention to that thought? Can someone explain? Is it the adrenalin?

  428. katie Says:

    Yeah the adrenalin causes the mind to be overacive thats all and because of this your mind becomes swamped with all these thoughts.however these thoughts will only have the impact you decide to give it by your response to you need to accept that it is just anxiety!!! the thoughts are negative because you are over anxious-therefore you are fearing the worse in any situation you come across. iv had all the usual thoughts- the knife thoughts, listening to the news and then associating stories i hear on it with myself, harming those close to me, scissor thoughts, even perverse thoughts. N i accept its all anxiety and once you do this,it does start to get easier.

  429. katie Says:

    also you find its worse in the morning because of become your new way of thinking so as soon as your wake, anxiety is on your mind and sets off all the thinking straight away

  430. Manley Says:

    Then how do I break the habit. Everything is habit. I always think the worse. If I feel a tight band around my head then I have cancer, if I talk to myslef in my head then I think I’m crazy or if I talk out loud I look around and make sure I’m not in a dillusion, mind chatter I think I’m skitso. And the thing is I know all these aren’t true but sometimes I worry and its automatuc, then the fear rolls down and the cycle starts. Its ALL habit. Especially now I’m waiting for it, its like I’m anticipating it now. Habit again. I always tell myself its anxiety but my brain is always searching for something. Habit again. How do we stop this habit. I know if you guys can do it then so can I right. Again how

  431. katie Says:

    By not worrying about your thoughts when they come in!your still fighting your thoughts as your worrying about them, so to break this habit you need to change your response to these thoughts.that tight band feeling around your head is another classic symptom of anxiety,and paul describes this in his book.

  432. Candie Says:

    Hey Helz Belz… nice to hear your doing much better 😀 Yes this was 100% true for me too, as my nerves started to heal i sort of faced symptoms in the reverse order they came… like the anxiety was been stripped away in layers. Like now im almost at the first stage of anxiety, with the mild gereralised anxiety that odd thoughts come with… however i am not thinking anything scary so to speak anymore or repetitive to an obsessive level, im just over reacting to silly things like i did when i first realised i had anxiety. I too noticed i started standing up to the anxious thoughts too, like i can think to myself yes i feel kind of strange thinking like this- but my nerves are clearly sensitized so they will make a mountain out of a mole hill! I could not accept for a long time that it was just nerves, thought i must be doing something wrong to think this way- but now as the layers of anxiety have peeled away i can finally see that this is all anxiety and nothing more…. so i can be subjective to the mind chatter now, dismiss it and leave it be as i beleive deep down this is nothing more then tired nerves coupled with a tired mind making me over react. Thats what sensitisation is, your nerves over reacting to things that shouldnt alert them- that is the only differance between a healthy none anxious body and ours. This is why Paul says dont pay to much respect to the individual symptoms, as they are not important when the root cause is your tired nerves which made you over react to begin with.

    Manley, honestly you are not schitzophrenic- trust me i have spent a lot of time with a person that is and they do not even know they are delusional…. there thoughts, delusions etc are normal to them and the think everyone else is weird for not understanding them or beleiving them. You only have anxiety, and you know it too… if it wasnt anxiety then why the hell would you spend so much time worrying it was something else! A deluded person doesnt question there mind. Your thoughts are mimicking your fears- thats what anxiety does. Like when i had fears of schitzophrenia… my imagination would make me think thoughts to test if i was schitzophrenic, for example the mind chatter would be like voices- now dont get me wrong not for any minute did i hear voices or have delusions, i just feared thats what the mind chatter was. But lets be logical, if it was part of schitzophrenia you wouldnt recognise your mind as odd- its like its real. Just like my schitzophrenic friend the voices and delusions he has are like real people talking to him… why do you think a person with that illness has delusions, as they cant seperate what is the illness from reality- you are questioning the authenticty of your reality obsessively which shows you just have anxiety.

  433. Tracey Says:

    I think I’m finally really grasping what you are saying because I still fear my thoughts, I thought I wasn’t but I’ve realized I am because I still get anxious with them and I feel like even tho I’ve made progress before, when the thoughts came back I let them take me into that loop of anxiety again and got scared and have been worrying constantly. But I think I’ve figured something out by reading your comments. I think that I’ve been so worried about the content of my thoughts and thinking that if I keep thinking that way it’ll never go away but really if I stop looking so deeply into the thought it wouldn’t bother me so much because I do realize how stupid it is that is why I get so mad at myself. Do you think that’s why I’m still struggling with this because I’m so consumed with the content of the thoughts and scaring myself instead of looking at it as anxiety? (sometimes I can see it as anxiety and other times I can’t)

  434. Tracey Says:

    also I still catch myself Checking sometimes and it drives me nuts. Like if I go out and look at something or someone I think am I going to think it and obviously if I think that the thought comes up, does this eventually just stop? I hate the checking, I actually think that if I didn’t check I would be fine because I think that’s what provokes most of my thoughts cuz I will be fine and then I’ll check and that’s when they come…as I’m typing this I’m realizing that’s still fear of the thought isn’t it?

  435. Candie Says:

    Yes Tracey that is exactly it, you get frustrated at the fact your having the thought and then read into it…which makes you think things repetitively. This used to be me for a long time, i would think one thought and instead of dismissing it as rubbish and allowing the anxiety feeling i would look into it deeply thinking if i could figure it out then i could solve it. So then next time i would think the thought in the same situation, and before i knew it was thinking the thought most of the time. You would never think obsessively if you didnt have anxiety- your mind would be able to dismiss silly things a lot easier- so it really is just a case of accepting its just adrenalin based anxiety… nothing more. When you do that your mind is already at more peace as it doesnt rack itself for answers and tire you even more.

  436. Tracey Says:

    I do understand this, I just need to have patience with myself because I totally understand all of this and I kind feel my normal self deep down underneath the anxiety–when before I didn’t. I just have to learn not to let these silly thoughts get the best of me, Anxiety is a real pain in the butt lol. Thanks Candie.

  437. Tracey Says:

    Candie, I just had the most amazing moment and I wanted to know if I was on the right track. This morning I was letting my thoughts get to me and then when I read your reply I put it to use and everytime I would get a thought I would just let it go and not dwell on it, as much as I dont like the thoughts I just said ‘you know this is stupid and I’m not going to continue to let you get to me’ and it faded away and then it came back as a different thought but around the same subject matter-i did the same thing with this one..I let it go and didn’t react to it and it just faded away then I realized when I did that it came back again but this time as the orignal thought that I had 2 months ago (again same subject matter–i hope this isnt getting to confusing lol) and I realized right there at that little thought this is what i should’ve done from day one and then I wouldn’t have had all these underlying thoughts surrounding that one tiny little thought. I let one little tiny thought create many other thoughts which then became this huge massive annoying thought that caused me to be paranoid, tense etc. haha So while I continue to have this same attitude to the many thoughts surrounding the initial thought this is the way to recovery correct? I feel completely relaxed after realizing this and feel like I finally really do understand this whole thing now. Am I on the right track with this little discovery I had?

  438. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone, gosh i can totally relate to what Tracey says, i am at the stage where i am having some days from hell then days where i can cope better. Its strange as two days ago i completely got overwhelmed again yet yesterday even if the thoughts came in i was able to deal with them much better, they didn’t seem so powerful, i still didn’t like them being there at times as you worry then that this is as good as it will ever be, sort of hovering waiting to pounce again. Does this feeling of it being in the background eventually go too.? Also like you Tracey when not there i seem to sort of go looking for the bloomin things, like i suddenly realise i haven’t thought it for an hour then wham its there, how do we get out of that one? Candie am i right in thinking that on the days when i can deal with them better or they aren’t there is that when the anxiety/adrenalin levels are lower? I am trying to do what you said about mocking them, sometimes today i managed but a couple of times got bit tearful as got scared again, i sometimes think for me it follows a pattern, i feel the anxiety build in my body, then the bizarre thought comes, i panic and cry quickly followed by the other 2 thoughts thoughts of its too bizarre for anxiety and it won’t ever go away, i think those last 2 thoughts scare me more than the original but i am again trying hard to remember what you said that if i’m not anxious then how can they scare me, its lack of knowledge of how the brain works i think, like my daughter says i’m assuming i will feel and react how i do now when recovered and i talk about the thought. I’m finding this blog a help, does Paul ever read it? Thanks everyone, love Carol x

  439. Candie Says:

    Tracey this is exactly right yes, god your on the ball these past few days arnt you! Things must be really coming along for ya 😀 Too many people spend to long thinking they should be doing more about there thoughts, when the fact is its adrenalin based nothing more- and your fight or flight protective side works on overdrive and makes them obsessive. This is why its all about dismissing them as rubbish and adrenalin fuelled, as you learn to retrain that panic urge and the thoughts and anxiety fade away gradually.

    Carol, you are gradually seeing things for what they are which is great stuff- here is the best way for me to describe why thoughts never come back obsessively. remember the good days or hours where you forget to think them, when when recovered every day is like that and even if u remember as there is no anxiety to cause a reaction they seem insignificant and you think your daft for ever over reacting!

    Hi Manley, you sound like you too are facin your anxiety instead of shying away from it and avoiding. I can understand how that story of that man scared you, however i moderate this blog for Paul and iv had to edit your post as we dont allow talk of going mad to such an extent… as people are open to interpretation and can pick up fears from your posts. Dont worry about this though its common for people to post things and not realise till afterwards…. as if you think about it that story scared you so much imagine how many thousands read this blog and it could scare them too. Keep up the good work though, eventually your mind will slow down and you will be able to see this all as anxiety :)

  440. Tracey Says:

    Thanks Candie…I feel a sense of relief now that I finally get it. There are times where I still feel myself wanting to get scared by a thought but I just remind myself ‘hey this is just anxiety trying to trick you and get a reaction out of you…just let it be’ I realize now this is all habit. I just try to remain as calm as possible and it really does work, wish I would’ve got this earlier haha but I’m glad I do now! This blog has helped me so much, I’ll be checkin in with ya to let you know how I’ve been doing!

  441. katie Says:

    I had exactly the same thoughts about the knifes-i wouldnt want to use one for a while. but now im completely over that thought as i dismissed it as rubbish for so long and let it be, i now dont panic at all when i use one.i still sometimes remember how i felt back then with knifes but it doesnt scare me at all.u will get like this too eventually, as long as you keep accepting as anxiety and jus leting the thoughts be there. Also, it too is normal to have the scenarios in you head- but if you think about it,they are just scenarios acting out the ‘what if’s’- they aint happened and are just trying to make you fear somethin that aint real so jus let them be and you will soon start to get over the fear! and well done for not running away-that is a big step as anxiety like avoidance!!

  442. Tracey Says:

    Manley, I do the same thing. You just have to realize that your anxiety is trying to scare you…that is what I’ve finally realized for myself. Any scary thought you may have you really just need to dismiss it for nothing because it won’t stick if you do that and when another one comes up dismiss that one too. I kind of see Anxiety as a big bully –it keeps pushing your buttons just to get to you and to get a reaction. but the trick is if you don’t give it the reaction it wants eventually it will get bored and won’t bother you anymore. It’s a slow process as I too am still working on it but if you look at it that way it kinda helps and makes sense. Just remember anxiety wants the reaction. I’ve realized that with all the thoughts i’ve had the only reason why the stuck was because I gave it the attention..I know its hard but just try not to give it the attention, let it happen then let it go.

  443. Tracey Says:

    Everything you’re feeling I think we’ve all been there at some point. With the sleeping, I used to have a really hard time with that also but I don’t anymore. When I couldn’t sleep before I would drink green tea during the day its relaxing (but the decaf kind) and also I find listening to music before you go to bed can really help. The key to the sleeping tho is when you’re going to bed don’t worry about if you’re going to get to sleep or not, just lay there, close your eyes and don’t expect it. I know it can get very frusturating because I used to have the same problem but it does go away with time like everything else….as for the thoughts again I’ve been there and sometimes still am there, the thing I’ve learned and I know its really hard is you just really need to not pay these thoughts any attention, like Candie told me before fear of the thought returning is still fear of the thought itself and the way around that is to know what is causing that and that is anxiety and the is a lot easier once you realize that. the answer to all your thought questions is really one answer and that is do not look so deep into everything (trust me I have done it too) you just have to dismiss everything and let it go no matter how scary or odd the thought may be rest assure we have all been there and by dismissing it everytime is comes around, no matter what form it comes in eventually your anxiousness to the thought will go away. That is what I have gathered from all the advice I have been given –it does work it just takes time. You are not alone, I’m still working on it too but you will get through it!

  444. Dancegirl Says:

    hello, I was reading everyones storiess and can really relate to them. After my daughter was born I had all these horrible thoughts that I was going to all of sudden do horrible things to her.I have gotten past this now but, I was wondering if scary thoughts had to be that of hurting yourself or someone else. Now I think all these wierd scary things like what if I am in a dream and the world is just going to disappear. I know that it sounds funny but it is causing me so much pain and scaredness. Can anyone relate to this? Is this just anxiety?

  445. manley Says:

    Hey guys I din have a better day yesterday and it was easy for my to except and have a positive outlook. And went to bed feeling good. Then for the second night in a row I woke up at 3am to racing thoughts. And then after I tried to go back to sleep and couldn’t. It seemed everytime I closed my eyes thoughts were all distorted and weird. Why is that? And I fell into that worry cycle asking myself why am I thinking this way it scared me. It feels like its not me. I would wake up in a panick. It was like a panick in my mind and kinda shot through my body down my arms and legs. A really uncomfortable feeling. Hard to accept whn I’m waking up in a panick.

  446. Helz Belz Says:

    Thanks Candie, thats just cleared up that little niggle I had. My mind was trying to convince me that I was getting worse again, but its good to know that its just as the layers get peeled away (thats a very good way of describing it by the way 😉 ). had a slightly worse week (combination of commuting, hormones the ‘bad taste’ that Monday’s set-back left in my brain). am ready to get back on track again. still having a lot of trouble just letting the thoughts be there, am still fighting against them, but a lot less. just still haven’t got the hang of not getting caught-up in the content. thats the nesxt step for me i think, not get bothered with that the content is.
    have finally ordered paul’s book too for me and my mum, we are both being more open about our anxiety, i think it helps us both that we both have the same thing, but that i have hed help here, whereas mum never had any help from all the drs she went to. the book will do us both good.

    can i ask how long you had anxiety before you found this website? i’ve had it for 2 years before finding this place 5 months ago. some days i feel like i have come a long way since then, but other days i feel just as bad as i did when i was at my worst. but deep down am sure that am on the right track. -x-

  447. Carol Says:

    Hi everyone,
    It seems that most of us are moving forward but still have problems with the content of our thoughts, that has been a big one for me too, especially as i couln’t relate to anyone with anything remotely like it. Yesterday i had a much better day, it didn’t start good but i never let it keep me in so went to Town , had a walk around, the thought at times was quite prominant but even though my body felt really uncomfortable i didn’t go into major panic attack and last night it eased off for about 2 hours again and wasn’t there. Today has been a bit more difficult again but am trying to do the same as yesterday. I still don’t quite understand why i can think of a thought thats almost identical, say ‘i am a tree frog’ or ‘i am a beetle’ yet that doesn’t scare me and goes away as quick as i think it yet the spider one still has an impact. When i finally lose fear of it is that how it will be when i choose to think it, it will be just like when i think of those others? its so hard to imagine not being scared of it. One last thing is everything thats written about anxiety thoughts seems to be that they start with ‘what if’ well mine was that for about a minute then went straight to ‘ i am’ which just seems a more positive scarey statement and seems to make the thought seem more believeable even though part of my brain knows its irrational, i wondered if that made any difference to recovery. After Candie and the GP explained i understand its not a delusion but just wondered if anyone else’s anxiety thoughts were ‘i am’. This blog is such a help, best wishes, Carol x

  448. Candie Says:

    Carol, i did answer this for you before but you are determined to prove something thats irrational which is silly. Your thoughts are ‘what if ‘ thoughts, ‘what if i beleive them’- what if im deluded’…. when people say they think what if thoughts it doesnt mean there thoughts start with a mental saying of ‘what if’ it means the uncertaincy they experience due to the anxiety of the thought. You are experiencing the exact same uncertaincy, however you are pinning your anxiety on the content of an irrational thought- when how we picture of mentally think an intrusive thought is not the issue, the ‘what if’ is the uncertaincy caused by the anxiety not the thought. So if i have a thought… for example, stabbing someone- i dont usually mentally say to myself in my mind ‘what if i go stab someone repeatidly’. The ‘what if’ comes in when the anxiety makes the thought feel real not by anything i have mentally repeated to myself obsessively. So when you think ‘I’m a spider’… thats just an intrusive anxiety thought, but you do have the what if we all have- when you rumernate about the uncertaincy anxiety gives you… probably thinking ‘what if im deluded, what if im going mad and beleive im a spider’. Can you see its not the first thought that contains the what if, its the uncertaincy of the anxiety that follows. Now for god sake woman give your tired mind a break and accept this lol!

  449. Carol Says:

    Hi Candie, you are so right my mind is b****y exhausted with all my analysing. I have understood now that its nothing to do with madness or delusions it was just puzzling me as when i said to gp did it matter my thought was i am not what if he said makes no difference they are the same thing really but i should of asked him what he meant. He said agin thats the thought is irrelevant anyway, he said ‘Carol you could have come in here and told me you were a packet of chewing gum and it wouldn’t of made any difference, it would still be anxiety’ I suppose i just wanted to at east be able to read of something similar, i think that may somehow help people, like when they read Paul’s book and go down the list, if they come across their fearful thought, whilst it wouldn’t stop it at least deep down they could realise that others have actually had that and recovered. I will try and give my mind a well earned rest, like i said yesterday was much improved, today has been not quite so good but although underlying anxiety and the thought there today it didn’t give me a major panic attack, so thats the last two days, just remembered reading that forum where the woman said her anxiety had gone but her thoughts hadn’t , that freaked me a bit but i suppose she must still have anxiety somewhere. It was a bit strange yesterday though as when calmer the thought did come in sometimes, was that purely as although calmer my anxiety level was still higher than normal coz of course that had me thinking blimey if it can come in when calmer then what hope is there. i will keep plodding on as i want to nail this thing, i hate anything getting the better of me and this has been winning too many times, best wishes to you and everyone here, love Carol x

  450. Tracey Says:

    hey candie,

    Over the weekend I bought the book Hope and Help For Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes, I believe Paul has recommended that book before…I just wanted to say that it helped me understand even more and I’ve been doing good about not getting anxious…obviously the memory of the thoughts are still there which I expect but I just let it. One question I do have is with the memory of the thought sometimes I catch the classic “what if’s” — I don’t let myself get anxious by it but are the what if’s the same as a normal anxiety thought, you just let them be there and eventually it will go away? or will the what if’s hinder me from recovery?

  451. manley Says:

    question. why do all our thoughts seem to stick? day after day thoughts seem to race and all thoughts seem to stick, everything i think just stays in my mind, its what i like to call being trapped in your own mind. its frustrating. any advice to move forward from this.

  452. Tracey Says:

    Manley I used to do exactly the same thing…EVERYTHING used to stick..some more than others, I would feel like my mind was a sponge soaking everything up. but the key is to not freak out over it, your mind is just tired. When I started getting more sleep it went away for me.

  453. Candie Says:

    Carol why you trying to get people to understand? Nurse or not she is ignorant and has never suffered nor is she an expert with those who suffere so stop telling everyone your experiences! Yea you could say im just a bit stressed, but dont go into detail. You are trying to make a rational none anxious mind understand the irrational fears of an anxious mind- it is impossible. So the answer is to confide in those close to you and tell everyone else nothing as you wont get the answers you want!

  454. Carol Says:

    Sorry if i scared or upset anyone with my last posting, i know what its like as to be honest there have been things here that have scared me. Its just that if i’m not honest and say what my thoughts, fears and reactions etc are then i can’t get proper help and advice. The blog is a great help and support but there is no sort of private email or anything where we could get a private reply or mention things that may scare others here. Sorry again, love Carol x

  455. Paul David Says:

    Carol all I ask is that you don’t start putting on here what other negative things people tell you, they can have their own forums and blogs or practices for that and please don’t go into so much detail as others do read this, just stick to having irrational thoughts as some of your posts have had to be edited in the past as they have not been considerate to others.

    I rarely get involved as I don’t want to, I just ask your a bit considerate and understood many others come here for help and support and I want it to stay a positive place.

    Thanks Paul

  456. Carol Says:

    Gosh, sorry Paul, i have never in my life been called inconsiderate and i’m quite devestated, i’ve spent 32 years in the caring profession and volunteer work as well and anyone who knew me before anxiety struck would know that i would never knowingly upset or be inconsiderate to anyone. Its just that this whole process has terrified the life out of me and it has been hard to get information on the type of fears that i had with it. I have just shown this to my GP as i was explaining how helpful this blog has been and he too said he knows the real me and i would never upset anyone knowingly and of course i burst into tears in front of him about this as it has hurt me deeply. And i also did not intend to hurt anyone here. I didn’t know how bad anxiety could be i’ve 3 children and 5 beautiful grandchildren and all i want is to be well and enjoy them like i used to. Thankyou, Carol.

  457. Candie Says:

    Hi Carol

    Dont get yourself upset, no one is trying to personally attack you- Paul would just like to keep the blog a positive place and to do that we have to remind people now and again that some posts are innapropriate. Like you said yourself you have been scared by things you have read, i dont doubt that you had no intention of scaring anyone- i guess in the height of it all you just forget how your fears will influence others too. Next time you post just have a little think before you submit it, review the content and if you are posting something that you find scary- perhaps you could word it so thats its not too deep and wont influence others in an anxious way. This Blog only works as Paul has to keep it positive and not allow information that is misleading or scary- by doing this people have a place to come for support and good advice… unlike all those scary forums that frighten the life out of us eh!

  458. Maggie Says:

    Hi All,

    It took me sometime to read all the comments posted on this blog, it is amazing how many people are dealing with anxiety just like me. I find myself on each of the comments posted, irrational thoughts, What ifs, getting crazy and finding myself in a psychatric hospital,..asking myself why do I have to repeat the same things everyday(routine), what are we doing here?how some people can accept their lives the way they are that look to me sad….
    I do feel sometimes great and nothing scares me and some other days I can be a mess.
    I do feel that sometimes I am unable to control my emotions and also sometimes I find myself looking for this horrible and irrational thoughts(like where are they hidding?what happened to them?
    I am learning from my therapist that patience is the key. We all need to be patient it will take sometime but we will make it. We are so used to deal with fever, colds, and some other conditions where we have to take some pills and after some days we start to feel better. This is a different situation.
    I feel very weak sometimes and I am having a bad week but reading your comments help a lot.

  459. clara Says:

    first of all hi paul :0)
    think you are amazing and this website is fantastic, im still wanting to purchase book and will do once i have the money to do so :) so glad to read everyones comments and stories on here its just a huge weight off my shoulders.
    All your tips have helped me so much but i still find myself engaging in the scary thoughts :( alot of mine seem to be around my children especially my youngest baby i get a thought of harming her and literally viziialize myself doing it and then of course i tell myself that im going to do it and then i get a scary adrenaline feeling go right through me which makes me all hot and freaks the hell out of me :(
    I love my baby and my children so much and never ever want to harm any of them i see the thoughts for what they are some days and other days i cant ..of course once i start engaging in them and worrying about them they then race and race and i end up back in the full panic cycle.
    Im finding the thoughts the worst part of my anxiety to be honest.. i just really want them to go :(
    Im also constantly dizzy and get funny eye floaters i know it is all anxiety related so i try and not let it bother me too much
    i just need to try harder to not let these thoughts get to me and to just let them be there its just that sometimes i worry im going to do follow one through :( even though i dont want too..
    hope that makes sence

  460. Candie Says:

    Hi Clara

    Totally understand what you are saying here, it is very common for a mothers anxieties to focus inward and be fear of harm etc. Infact it is one of the most common obsessive thought i have come across, anxiety has sent your protective maternal instinct into overdrive thats all.

    If you read some of the more updated posts from Paul from december onwards under the other headings- you will find lots of posts from a lady called Scarlet. She had exactly the same fear as you and with this acceptance concept she fully recovered and is fine now.

    Have a look around the posts on the blog and u will see plenty of people have overcome this- this isnt something ya need to just put up with and live with, with the right attitude and knowledge u can get over it.


  461. clara Says:

    thankyou so much Candie :)

  462. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Hey guys,

    I was and still am to a small degree, a thought sufferer! My main ones, were fears I was gonna hurt my gf. I would sit next to her, literally sweating, thinking I was just gonna whack her, or grab a knife from the kitchen and murder her! I couldnt stop it.
    So I then started to think I was going to have to Kill myself. It led to a lot of confusion and misery. With the help of Paul and everything that is taught in this blog, I am back on track. It’s taken around 18mths! But dont set a time limit.
    I have thought and feared suicide everyday for the past 18mths, but now it doesnt bother me so much. Its so irrational. I could write an essay on things I hate in life, but I could write a book on things I love! So does that sound like somebody who would commit suicide?
    I also used to wonder if I depended on my girlfriend too much, truth is I probably did! I thought she was my happiness. I used to worry that If she wasnt here, then there would be no reason to carry on.
    Well guys, she finished with me last saturday, and im pretty sure its for real, at least for the foreseeable future. We are deeply in love but in very different places within our lives. Im utterly heartbroke, however I feel no more depressed or anxious because of this! I could still write that book. True happiness comes from within yourself! I can’t say I Love myself as much as I maybe should, but I Love myself a lot more than I did this time last year.
    Keep the faith! and that old line “Don’t force anything!”


    Also Candie deserves a special mention, legend that she is. She and I have spoken lots, she really knows her stuff, and is getting there bless her! Her help and dedication impresses me!

  463. Helz Belz Says:

    hi everyone,
    JoeyLowtown, what you wrote could apply to any of us here, i know i have been there too, especially with the thoughts that there would be no point/no happiness without that someone else. they are very difficult thoughts, and am sure that many people have them.

    I recently started a new job, which is pretty stressful anyway, and the obsessive thinking has come back, mostly stuck around the ‘i’ll never fit in, i cant settle in here, people dont know im here, you dont really like this work, you want to go home’, not really far-out there scarey thoughts, but nasty intrusive ones all the same. the fact that they are so much more ‘normal’ than some of the ones i’ve had in the past makes them a little harder to accept as just part of anxiety.

    dont know if anyone else has picked up on this, but ive found that when my anxiety is worse i end up buying more stuff. must be a sunconscious thing to try and fix the empty feeling anxiety gives you…

    pink days all, enjoy the lovely sunshine! H -x-

  464. Paul David Says:

    Helz, I have edit the last part of your post and emailed you, if you don’t get an email just contact me through my main site and use the contact form but the answer is yes and I will sort it out for you.

  465. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Helz, I buy stuff all the time! But that may just be me, everyone likes new things. Dunno if thats anxiety related really. I am a compulsive buyer though ha, got more guitars and fishing gear than I could ever need! Indulgence is allowed at times xx

  466. lisa Says:

    clara, the more you want them to go the more they will stay. when you get them , let them come, welcome them, then think you again hello,and refocus back on what your doing.the feeling will still come because you dont like them thoughts ,just dont add the 2nd fear, but in time they will stop because you no longer believe them , fear them, and off they go. it takes practise, so keep with it :-)

  467. claa Says:

    Lisa- thank you so much hunni:)
    i feel so much better lately just letting them come when they want too :)

  468. Maggie Says:

    Hi All,

    My therapist gave me an assignment which was reading a book written by a psychiatrist(Gordon Livingston) here in USA.

    These are some parts on the book I wanted to share with you guys and believe me I am having myself my worse days with existential thoughts leading to hurting myself. I hate them and I am loooking so bad to become the person I used to be. Please share your own experiences with these scary thoughts. I rather have racing heart, chills,… than these thoughts.

    …Mental health is a function of choice. The more choices we are able to exercise, the happier we are likely to be. Those who are most unwell or discouraged suffer from a sense that their choices have been limited, sometimes by external circumstances or illness, most often by the many ways we restrict our selves.

    …We are never out of choices, no matter how desperate the circumstances. This, more than anything, is the stuff of psychotherapy, to empathize with the burdens that people bear without giving in to despair, conveying always the conviction that all is not lost. We are not dead yet.

  469. clara Says:

    Thanks for that Maggie
    Hope you are ok!?

    I couldnt sleep last night .. havent visited this site since my last post above but loast night i was awoken out of my sleep by a horrile dream of literally just dropping my baby :(
    so of course i then got scared and have been really anxious all morning, when i held her this morning the thoughts were there to just drop her and of course normally i would tell myself dont be silly but because im SO anxious this morning the feeling i may do it has mde me put her down in her chair and not pick her up which is daft isnt it as this is the avoidance behaviour! Arghhh i can definately see how i get myself into the panic cycle
    It is so hard at times though as the thoughts feel so real.
    off out tommorrow night so wll hopefully take my mind off things

  470. Candie Says:

    Hey Clara

    You have over reacted to a dream, nothing more. Everyone has weird dreams that scare them now and again… i have a friend who told me he had a dream about drowning his daughter and it upset him- he doesnt suffer anxiety either nor did he obsess after it. I think and dream allsorts of weird things that dont reflect who i am at all, so dont pass judgement on yourself regarding the content of the dream… disregard it as scary rubbish your mind created subcontiously. All dreams are created subcontiously, therefore you dont choose to dream them and they dont reflect the type of person you are. Now lets get to your over reaction, upon waking and then picking your baby up… you probably mentally checked to see if you could find any truth in the suggestion of your dream- the panic set in and your mind gave you ‘false fight or flight’ which can feel like something bad is about to happen, in your case it prob felt like you may drop your baby. What i would suggest you now is to ‘pick your baby up lots and make an effort to dismiss any anxious thought as rubbish, dont get angry if that panic and flght or flight is still there- thats why thoughts stick as people get angry that they cant do normal things without thinking odd stuff or having the panic response. Pick your baby up often, do what needs to be done as a mother- dismiss your fear as false panic and dont be bullied by it into thinking its real…. its not. Dont shy away from the fear or try to rid yourself of it, pick her up and dismiss it as often as you can… dont do it to rid yourself of the panic reaction, do it and then focus on the moment.. external things, dont get wrapped up looking for truth in the thought checking the what ifs. Dont be bluffed!

  471. clara Says:

    Thanks Candie
    that makes such sence :)
    I will do everything you have said :)
    i get really dry lips and mouth with this anxiety and hot flushes… i gather they are other symptoms related to anxiety?
    Thanks for replying
    clara x

  472. Candie Says:

    Your Welcome Clara

    Yes I used to get dry mouth and lips too, drink more water as it really helps to keep hydrated. Hot flushes are caused by the adrenaline releases and getting yourself worked up…. up your water intake and if you can try a bit of exercise to work of some of that lingering adrenalin…. it doesnt have to be anything strenuous. It could be a fitness dvd or walking round the park with baby in pram. These things also help to clear your mind too, which in time will making sleeping much easier as there is no energy lingering that is converting into racing thoughts as you sleep. Do the exercise before 6pm though, anything to close to bed time will make you more alert for a while!

  473. Maggie Says:


    Our minds are so tired that we believe everything. I have a boy and some days I can not get close to the kitchen because I have this scary thoughts I am going to kill him and what I do I start hugging him and kissing him to prove myself that I am not a bad mother. But it is so strong that I get shaky and I get dry heaves. Some days, I feel so tired and tense I start questionning everything I look at people how they can be so happy with this routine? How they can even handle doing same things everyday when I feel so bored?… the list is long.This is the most scary part to me. I don’t know if it is anxiety or I am going mad or what exactly. I am so scared to remain like this for the rest of my life if I really can handle it.
    Anyway, good luck and just think that we all are on the same boat.
    Any ideas about this guys please talk to me how you handle them.

    Kisses all


  474. clara Says:

    hi maggie
    I know exactly how you feel
    i also have to keep cuddling my baby and then reminding myself how much i love her and im not a bad person etc but i think maybe to keep hugging them and reminding ourselves we arent nasty people means we are fighting the thoughts?
    It isnt nice when the thoughts are about those we love it really isnt the guilt is awful but it makes sence what paul and candie are saying in the sence that if we dont like these thoughts and are desperate to rid ourselves of them then they cant be true…..
    they really are false thoughts caused by our anxious minds the whole thing makes perfect sence but i know what you mean it still isnt nice getting them especially when you tell yourself you are actually going to follow it through ive done that a few times and of course i havent ever follwed it through ive just got even more anxious and anxious until im so shakey and hot and have scared myself half to death
    With me i really need to learn to just let the thoughts go some days i manage really well and other days i dont but it seems thats normal anyway when recovering
    Stay in touch maggie

  475. Candie Says:

    Clara, Maggie

    By sounds of it you are giving your thoughts way to much respect… almost asif you beleive they hold some truth. It is very common for a person with anxiety to react this way, but its the wrong thing to do. If you fear things maggie thats fine, go towards the fear- you fear the kitchen like most of us did at one point, its because it has loads of knifes and sharp stuff….. so you should spend as much time in the kitchen facing that fear- when you have the thought, dismiss it as utter nonsense and dont look for proof that maybe its true…. an anxious mind will have false fears that seem real- which is we we must dismiss them as rubbish. I get the feeling you both hug your kids out of guilt, but this is re-inforcing to your mind you have something to feel bad about when you dont! I can make myself think allsorts these days, means nothing as a thought holds no weight or truth in the person you are. How many times do we all say ”i could kill joe blogs” we say it without even acknowledging the fact we have just said we could kill someone. Thoughts become like that when anxiety goes, they are empty and hold no fear- you dont question them. You need to train your minds not to over react to them, not feel bad about thinking them- then they will fade. x x

  476. clara Says:

    yes thats right i am still looking for some truth in the thought mainly i spose cos they have been there so long i actually feel like im going to do it even though i dont want too and Hope i dont..
    when im in a rational state of mind i can laugh them off
    When one comes should i actually say to myself whatever or is that then replying on the word whatever to make me feel better or fighting it etc?
    thats what im confused the most on really or do you just let the thought come and then carry on with what you are doing
    so this is an example if i vizilize myself harming my baby do i say to myself in my head whatever and then let me mind think of something else?
    the problem i have is the thought occurs and then i try and dismiss it and it comes back within seconds
    sorry candie to keep posting everything you are saying makes so much sence so thank u

  477. Candie Says:

    Hey Clara, You wont do anything bad…. you need to realise that. No matter how anxious you feel and what you think it wont make u do bad things- fear can make it feel like bad things are going to happen, but fear is the key really as if you where capable of bad stuff you wouldnt fear doing them.

    Next time you visualise yourself doing anthing intrusive, say harming your baby… you should dismiss the thought as rubbish, but give it space to go of its own accord. The mistake a person suffering anxiety makes is they need to be rational and bring themself out of the anxious state, but the truth is if you just acknowledged ‘that thought was a load of crap’ then didnt force yourself to look for truth behind it and left it to go naturally you would find it would go for longer periods of time and eventually disapear. You can not force the anxious mind to be rational, thats why we must wait for our cut ofs to bring us out of the state (which happens subcontiously). Once you learn to do this the mind starts to cut of from thoughts sooner and sooner, till eventually you can think something and your mind will dismiss it and you will move on, without even realising or creating conflict. Even if you dismiss the thoughts as rubbish and it doesnt feel like u beleive it, you still need to do this till it becomes ingrained- dont do it to rid yourself of the thoughts, do it to retrain your brain not to over react to them… thats when they go.

  478. clara Says:

    Thank you Candie

  479. Maggie Says:

    Candie and Clara thank you so much.
    Tell me ladies, did you ever get existential scary thoughts? Watching people and thinking how can they feel happy? I start to question every single thing?

    Thank you

  480. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Clara, didn’t realise this thread was active, I have only been posting on Pauls most frequent blog entry, thinking that no-one posted on these old threads anymore.

    “I couldnt sleep last night .. havent visited this site since my last post above but loast night i was awoken out of my sleep by a horrile dream of literally just dropping my baby
    so of course i then got scared and have been really anxious all morning, when i held her this morning the thoughts were there to just drop her and of course normally i would tell myself dont be silly but because im SO anxious this morning the feeling i may do it has mde me put her down in her chair and not pick her up which is daft isnt it as this is the avoidance behaviour! ”

    Clara, Something similar happened to me. My SIL (don’t get along with her at all) rang up my husband when my baby son was about 6 months old and told him she’d had a dream that I’d dropped him… can you believe it, trouble maker she is. My hubby is the anxious kind, although not suffering from any disorder (well nothing too obvious to other folks, winks). At the time I was still suffering badly, but I was so riled by her phone call that I was adamant that I would carry my baby around with me most of the day to prove to myself (and my husband and her) that I wouldn’t drop him. I picked him up at every opportunity from that moment on, and faced my fears head on. Putting him down in fear/dread that I would drop him would have made things 10 times worse, and I know that it wouldn’t have helped in the long run, as it would have been a step backwards, and my confidence would have deteriorated (it’s amazing how sometimes you have a gut instinct, isnt it, as I’d never come across useful info like this at that time… didn’t even feel well enough to turn on the computer). An

    Anyway I wanted to tell you this becasue my baby is gonna be 3 in September, and I didn’t drop him, and at the same time I overcame a huge hurdle and built up my self esteem in the process.

    Hope this helped


  481. Scarlet Says:


    Sounds 100% anxiety to me hun.

    I had a terrible fear of knives for the same reason as you mentioned, so I got one of those knive holders and hung all the knives on the kitchen wall. This made me HAVE to look at the carving/other sharp knives every time I went into the klitchen. I also made an effort to chop up everything with the largest knife I had, and I did this every time I cooked. Took me a couple of weeks and the fear disappeared.

    Try to do the same thing with your fear of the kitchen, go in there as often as you can, cook, boil the kettle, cut up meat/veggies, everything that’s required for normal living, do it shaking/panicking if you have to…just do it, and after a couple of weeks your fear will have subsided.


  482. Maggie Says:


    Thank you so much for your message.
    Did you ever got the irrational thoughts about life? Questionning every single thing in life. Something I never used to do.

    Kisses to all.

  483. Scarlet Says:

    Yes Maggie, these type of thoughts are part and parcel of anxiety, you get into analysing mode and then start to question everything about your being, are you happy, why are you here, is anyone else happy, what is our purpose on this planet, why does life continue…. etc. I have had these tpes of thoughts as well, together with loads of other irrational thoughts about life.

    It’s fruitless to start analysing thoughts like this, as you will make yourself more anxious/depressed. So when you have thoughts like this that you know will get you nowhere, stop analysing them, let the thought enter your mind, but don’t feel the need to follow it through to it’s irrational conclusion (into secondary thinking)… it takes practice, but this is the way to go to step off the continuous cycle of obsessive thoughts.

    When you have recovered, you will find that analysing in this way was actually never in vain, and you will use in a more productive way. So please don’t fear thoguhts like this, just don’t follow them through for the time being.


  484. Kate Says:


    I’m new to the site but have had Paul’s book for a couple of years now. It’s fantastic!!! I had suffered with anxiety for over 10 years and last year I had my first year without anxiety. At Christmas I had a slight setback when I had a panic attack whilst shopping with a friend. It shocked me as I had sort of forgotten how to deal with it. So, I picked up the book (bible) again and reminded myself how to cope. I still do have one upsetting thought which I just can’t seem to free myself of. Due to this, I obviously have not fully recovered. I’m worried I will lose control of myself and can’t seem to accept this as just a thought. I think I have over-analysed it!! Was thinking about having some sessions of CBT – do you think this would help or should I just continue practising acceptance and trust in myself that I will not lose control and this IS JUST anxiety?

    I would appreciate anybodys comments.

    Kate x

  485. Kate Says:

    My losing control thought is that I will wet myself. As I have not seen this mentioned anywhere I wondered if anyone has suffered with this? Is this thought due to anxiety? I now sit in dread of it coming every day as I seem to test myself until I panic. I think a lot of it depends on my moods as when I feel good I can let it be there and not react but when I feel a bit low it can take over. I’m worried that it’s taking over my life, for example I don’t like to travel too far away from home, dread being asked to attend a meeting at work as I have visions of me losing control of myself in front of everyone.
    I have got quite a few functions to attend through the summer and don’t want this thought/feeling to ruin them.

    Can anyone help?

  486. Maggie Says:

    Thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions? also thank you for your help. Sometimes I feel strong enough to tell myself that these are thoughts ridiculous and senseless when on other times they make me shake. I am trying to let them be there.
    Welcome aboard and I don’t want it to sound sarcastic please! I”ve been there with this thought of losing it and making foul of myself in front of everyone. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN BELIEVE ME. I was thinking every single day like that. Go for your meetings, try to enjoy life as much as you can nothing bad will happen I promise you.

    Keep in touch please all of you out there.
    Scarlet we still need your advices.

    Kisses all.

  487. Kate Says:

    Hi Maggie

    Thanks for replying. It’s really helpful to know you’re not alone in this. It’s gradually getting better. I now have really good weeks where I feel positive but then a bad day gets thrown in and knocks me slightly. I have just got to accept these bad days through recovery and stop avoiding situations.


  488. Vee Says:

    Hello everyone,
    I am writing from the US and came upon this site. I figured it might help to talk about what I’ve been going through. I believe I’ve always had obsessive thoughts. When I was a child I remember waking up in the middle of the night in a panic about dying. As I got older, my fears shifted to being abandoned. I would start dating someone and I would obsessivly think they were going to leave me. I think I ultimatly pushed them away because of this obsession. Now I’ve found the most fantastic man in the world. I love him so dearly. We’ve been together for over 2 years now. I feel how much I love him everyday, when he holds me, or when I say the words ‘I love you” to him. But I’m having obsessive thoughts in a different direction.I recently had a dream that I cheated on him. In real life I would never do this to anyone I cared about. At first I just brushed it off but then about a week ago I started coming down with a really bad cold. Ive been laid up in bed trying to get better. Problem is, I keep thinking “do I love him?” or “Do I want to breakup”. Now my heart knows this is bull (I love him and when I think about being with anyone else I can’t see it. I want to marry him one day) Yet I can’t stop these thoughts. They race through, “Do I miss him now, do I love him, will we be together for the rest of our lives, am I lying to myself” I feel like my head is going to collapse. I want to get out of this house and exercise, see friends, see my darling, do something but I’m sick and stuck here till I get better….Wow! that was a lot but its been brewing for days.
    Also, do you all think that cold medication you be adding to my anxiety? thanks

  489. Tracey Says:

    Hey Vee, you have to understand to not be upset by these me i know its hard i’ve been there and still am on occasional days. but it really does work if you dont give any weight to your thoughts, don’t look too deep into them. Just let them come in and let them go…as for the cold medication–i don’t know for sure with other people but that’s actually how my anxiety came about to begin with wasn’t over the counter medication tho! it was prescribed by a doctor and it ended up giving me heart palpiltations which then resulted in a panic attack. So i don’t know if that’s contributing to yours but reguardless your thoughts can’t be taken too seriously, they are just thoughts and your anxiety is magnifying them.

  490. Vee Says:

    I am working towards that goal (of not taking my thoughts too seriously) but as I’m sure you all know, that is not always easy. Sometimes I feel like it is difficult to stop something I’ve done my whole life. My thoughts race all the time, which is annoying in of itself, but its worse when those thoughts are scary. I wonder if anyone else considers themseleves analytical by nature? I feel like I am highly analytical, which is good and bad. I have a tendency to look at every angle of everything. Most of the time it is a helpful way of being, but other times it is slow torture. Obviously, there isn’t an answer for everything in the universe. I keep telling myself “Thoughts are not feelings.” That is something my old therepist use to say.

  491. Maggie Says:

    Hi Vee,

    I live in the US too. Did you make sure that your cold medicine doesn’t have Sudaffed. This composant has side effects on heart(palpitations,…) read the box and it could be the cause of the problem. Your heart start racing and then it triggers a panic attack… and the vicious cycle starts.
    Let the thoughts be there. Mine started with a cold too,I had fever and I was in a terrible shape. I am having ups and downs.
    You are not alone.

  492. Tracey Says:

    That’s how mine started too Maggie…I too am from the US. I don’t get panic attacks anymore but like I said that’s how mine started, the cold meds i was taking caused heart palpitations and then I was in a cycle of panic attacks and lingering anxiety. Now, i dont get panic attacks I just get the obsessive thoughts but I have grasped the concept and have been doing well for several weeks (minus the time of the month) but like Maggie says Vee just let the thoughts be there and dont add anything to them. its hard but that’s the way out of the cycle.

  493. Maggie Says:

    Hi Tracey,

    Glad to know that you live in USA too.
    My anxiety started 5 years ago because of a stressful job and some personal problems. I was getting panic attacks everyday and everywhere. But on August 2008 I had what they call a Nervous Breakdown. Quit my job and Couldn’t stay home because that’s when I started to get racing and scary thoughts about either hurting myself or my little one. I was sleeping may be 2 hours a day. I can tell you Tracey, those were the most horrible moments that I had to deal with. Since then I have ups and downs with obssessives and existential thoughts which if you read the posts on this wonderful site some people had to deal with them or are still dealing with.
    I never take Sudaffed. This year I had to most terrible cold and I was doing fine with my anxiety but right after getting sick and had fever for 3 days my anxiety came back worse with non stop obssessive thoughts.
    This is my story.
    It helps a lot when you know that lot of people are going through the same struggle.

    Take care and keep in touch.

  494. clara Says:

    thanks scarlett :)
    having an off day today so logged on for a read
    hello kate welcome to the blog hun
    maggie how are you doing?

  495. Maggie Says:

    Hi Clara,

    I am recovering from a terrible Sinus Infection. Thank yo ufor asking Clara.
    I hope you feel better from the anxiety.

    Take care.

  496. Claire R Says:

    hi everyone,
    have read all comments, which are are so so helpful.
    have been following this site for a while & have read Pauls book, which has been an amazing help. But have has a blip recently, and are having all my awful thoughts doing all what you are meant to do.. but not going..please help, if anyone has any more ideas to help me..perhaps I am not truly accepting them as Paul says..think I have some terrible mental problem..know alot of people say this too..any suggestions will be truly grateful .. C XX

  497. Tracey Says:

    You are having a setback…trust me I’ve been thru many but the thing is you have to keep at what Paul is saying no matter what to get thru the setback and you will. I know it’s hard as I have a hard time as well sometimes..the weird, strange thoughts are dreadful but you just have to remember its the anxiety playing its tricks. Every disturbing thought you get look at it as if its nothing..let it in and then let it go continue to do that and it will help, try not to analyze anything because that’s what’s going to keep you in the worrying, questioning mode and it will continue to make you feel horrible. I totally understand where you’re coming from because the thoughts to me are the worst part but like i said as long as you do what Paul says and “not do” you will feel the weight lift off of you.

  498. Claire R Says:

    Thank you so much Tracey for your reply, yes I dislike these you still have them or are over all Anxiety symptons now?
    I agree, you have to remember its Anxiety playing is dirty tricks again…I just needed some reassurrance, I am not always on here as I know its not good for me to completely absorb myself on here, even though this website, peoples comments & Pauls book has saved my life!.. if you know what I mean?!
    It such a comfort to speak to you & others that have these thoughts etc.. as I know you said I should not start analyzing which I do & the most possible worst thing you can do…Are you in USA? I am in UK, near London..nice to know its not just us here in

  499. Tracey Says:

    Hey Claire,

    Yes, I am from the US. I do still find myself in setbacks..sometimes I get frusturated because i’ll be doing well for weeks not letting thoughts bother me and then boom one day it’ll be the worst day ever. it does suck but we only have to remember its part of the process and of course its not going to go away overnight(as much as we would like it to) it’s become an awful habit that we need to break. I’ve had the obsessive thoughts for about 5 months now and pretty much the only symptom that still bothers me from time to time. I don’t get physical symptoms anymore and if I do I don’t really pay much attention to them anymore. I think the obsessiveness is hardest to break because its all mental but I remember I can’t really complain when there’s other people on here who have suffered much much longer than I have. So I too am so grateful for finding this website.

  500. clara Says:

    Hi everyone
    Hi claire
    I also am experiencing the same thing as you I have managed to go a while without the thoughts bothering me but BAM out of the blue tonight I went to bath my baby girl and I started worrying what if bla bla and then it all came back and so since then the thoughts are here with me and i can feel myself getting that hot flush feeling go through me as if something is about to happen… very scary but I have to tell myself its just a set back
    but it still isnt easy but we will get there eventually :)

  501. Susan Acord Says:

    I watched my mom and dad die from cancer just a year apart. I have always been a nervous person and thought I did real well with their deaths now gone for 4 years. I have lost my daughter-in law recently due to divorce and I loved her as a daughter. I miss her lots, she was my bright light and best friend. The end of March I got the flu and started getting real nervous feelings, the doctor told me I was having panic attacks and put me on effexor which made me totally panic and spazzed out. I quit taking them but was left with the dreaded GAD and depression. I have lost over 20 lbs and of course in my mind I have cancer. I have test scheduled on June 17 for my stomach. I am scared to death of doctors and really dreading the test to the point of dying on the table when they put me to sleep. My biggest problem is I have NO appetite, I could care less if I eat or not. I smoke so of course in my mind I have lung cancer. With my nerves like they are the only thing that helps is having a cig. with makes me feel guilty and also feer cancer more. I also am a spirtual person and beleave in my God with all my heart and feel guilty that I don’t have the faith for him to heal me. I also have a HORRIBLE fear of losing my husband after married for 35 years. Its a visous cycle of fear, panic, worry and depression. Does anyone else have this severe of GAD?

  502. amiee Says:

    iv read alot of the comments left above and some of them i relate to i worry non stop about wether i love my boyfriend it all started december the 1st 2008 i had been going out with him for a year and had liked him for so long i was so happy couldnt wait to see him everytime i did i couldnt stop smiling and when i got home all i could think about was him i thought the world of him well i went to my aunts funeral on the 1st of december. about a week before that i found out a boy liked me id never met him or new nothing about him, his family was at the funeral and kept asking me to finish my boyfriend and meet him and that my boyfriend was a looser i started to worry what if i do end up liking him what if i dont like my boyfriend im with maybe i should see what its like with him maybe ill like him…. well the worry went on and on for 2 months finally it got so much i ended it with my boyfriend and within an hour seriously regreted it all i wanted was him back i didnt care about being with any other boy didnt want anyone but my ex finally after alot of explaining we got back together for a day i was so happy but within 2 days the horrible thoughts started coming back what if i dont like him, what if i get married and still have these thoughts then it led to what if i never want children well 6 months down the line im seeing a counseller and hoping to get better i know deep down i love my boyfriend all the world if i could just stop worrying its getting in the way of me having a lovly relationships i feel stuck i dont want to be without him and the second i think im loosing i go back to my normal self and try to do everything to keep him even when im not loosing i convince my self i am. then when im back to normal and feeling good the thoughts start again, its hard to belive now they are not my boyfriend they are my thoughts and that there not real but i will get there and we will be happy i belive there is a light at the end of the tunnel why should some people rrcover and others not i seem to always need reasurrance im going to get better but finally im starting to belive it my self we will get better everyone i think we just need to realise these thoughts are not us they cant harm us and when we realise that whenever it will be we will live the lives we want to good luck. xxxx

  503. Claire R Says:

    Hi Clara..its claire..hows everything going? Hope all is well with you..since your last post..?I know what you mean by the that really hot feeling/scary thoughts..its horrible…Yes these are setbacks.. Paul’s current post for July is good, as always, has helped me..As you say we will get there in the end :-) xxx

  504. Carol R Says:

    Hi Dennis,

    I too have the same kind of thoughts. I often think, “I hope that this person dies etc” but I know deep down that this is just anxiety. I sometimes find it hard to work out what I really think, but I just tell myself it is just anxiety playing it’s tricks and just say to it” oh no not you again, what now” and just accept it is trying to beat me up. I do struggle sometimes with accepting it, but the more you react to it, the more it does it. Give it a go, just laugh at your thought if you like. Good Luck.

  505. dennis Says:

    Thankyou for the advice carol, i shall give it ago…may i wish you luck as well..thanks again..dennis….

  506. Lisa P Says:

    Hello All
    I’m so glad I found this website or rather my husband found it for me :) I’ve been suffering with this type of anxiety off and on for years. I’ve even had years in between when I had none of these thoughts. My thoughts are truely crazy making. My thoughts center around the philosophical question of how do me know things and situations around us are really real, and not a product of our minds. There, i’ve said it….now you would think I could figue it out!! But it’s just a trap, with no answers it seems for my mind. But it seems when I’ve snapped out of it, i’m out. It’s really strange, I have been able to tell, in the past when i’m done with the questions. Has anyone else had this experiece. I can even think back on how I felt and not be inclined to feel the same. It started years ago, I attended a boarding high school, when I began to have some sleepless nights. Not really thinking about these things, I just couldn’t sleep. Well I began to get upset that I couldn’t sleep and would go talk to the dean, and I’m not sure what she said, but I started to have these thoughts. She’s not to blame of course. This was in my senior year of high school. I’m not really sure actually when the thoughts started, but this sensation i’m going crazy was there for sure. When I started college, I would have a bout of it every year it seems for a few weeks. Over the years I’ve just had a few spells, mostly in emotional stressful times. I’ve recently had an emotional situation that I felt destrought inside, but it has all been resolved, but now i’m in this state again, the aftermate I call it. I’m very depressed with it, because when i’m in this state of “brain lock” I feel some disconnect for my family, kids and husband. I feel i’ll never be the same again. It’s hard not to pay attention to these thoughts and feelings. Or try to resolve them. The Adrenaline that was discussed here, is very interesting!! Could this explain why when i’ve “snapped out of it”, that the adrenaline has corrected itself or something?

  507. alyssa Says:

    Hi my name is alyssa, and am 19 years old. First i would like to thank everyone for there posts, they have made me feel alot better about my anxiety.Paul thank you so much for this blog! I truely look up to you and hope that i can be like you someday, fully recovered. It all started when i was 11 i had choked on a taco and it freaked me out bad enough to were i didnt want to eat because i thought it would get stuck in my throat, and every night i thought i was going to die. my mom was very concerned and had taken me to a lovely psyciatrist that she had worked for, for ten years. And i started taking zoloft and it seemed to cure me almost instantly. But i dont think it was the medicine i think it was just me believing that the medicine would cure me, so it did. and so i was fine for about 4 years! until the anxiety decided to come back even scarier. when i was about 15 i was watching a suspensful movie witha aboyfriend when all of the sudden i felt dread like something terrible was going to happen.Then i got the thought that i was going to hurt him. this thought then went on to evryone else i thought i was going to kill my family….i was so scared i would cry i didnt know what was wrong with me and then i thought i was going to hurtmyself i was so scared i cried all the time i thought this was really going to happen, and my mom knew about these thoughts because i told her and she told me that everyone has thoughts that are scary and even she does, but the difference was that she could let them go but i couldnt. so i went to the doctor again and got some zoloft again and it cured me…. well i cured myself i think because i believed in the medicine…and i was fine for a year. And now it is back again and i feel these scary thought of self harm/ harm to others or suicide are going to come true at times,espcially when im alone.And all those times it went away it felt like i was just running away from them and not facing them. I just feel like sometimes im crazy and i believe it. when i think about anxiety when im in a rational state of mind i think wow thats all i have anxiet im lucky but when im in it I feel as if its something worse then anxiety, i fear i have a more worse of a mental issue, like what if i have schizophrenia, or ocd….and i just want to cry when i think these things….i have a very busy mind i know lol and i can laugh but it just feels so real to me and i just cant get over it…i need to just let it go but cant. I feel like im always looking for answers that i never can find. im always asking myself do i really want to recover?the answer is always yes but im like how do iknow i really mean it, im like not confident in my answers it seems. And at times i feel guilty of myself im always saying how can i be like this so selfish i hate myself i dont deserve my awesome life and family and loving boyfriend…wothout them i would be nothing ….then i get mad at myself for that lol its funny when i write it down or talk about it … I know this will pass but i feel as if i need tolearn something from this experience..even though its not a good one….can anyone give me some advice or does someone relate thank you so much Paul and everyone! you guys are awesome

  508. alyssa Says:

    Lisa i feel the same way at times like i can never find the answer and am always looking for an answer

  509. Lisa P Says:

    Hi Alyssa
    Yes, that’s the trap. I wished my brain had never wanted to worry about that. Right now, my brain has given up, thank God, I so hope that it will be the last time. It certianly does seem like a big issue when you’re in the thick of it, such a contast when you’re not. Very strange. I remember seeing a psychologist some years ago, who said I most like had ocd. I was so devastated by that and was bawling in his office, dispite the fact that he reassured me i wasn’t crazy. He said it was anxiety not psychosis. Well I decided I didn’t want even the ocd diagnosis and that I needed to knock it off lol!! And needless to say I did feel better or went into remission as I call it. It’s amazing that I can go for years with no worries and then WHAM!! There has been a few times when I’ve stopped myself from going into it full blown. By just refusing to be concertained with it, and maybe that’s the key. If one can get oneself to not worry about the worry. The last bout I had can after some devastating news I received. I was completely blown away by it and also I’ve been under a great deal of stess over the past 2 years, so I was ill equiped to help myself. And it seemed worst this time. It does seem to come now when I’m in a great deal of stress. I’ve started working out and trying to eat better. Just tell yourself, it’s not the question that’s the problem, it’s the worry about the question. And also, remind yourself that you’ve come out of it before. I’m just soooooo glad to be feeling better right now. I miss the connection with my family when I’m locked in like that. Lets keep each other encouraged!!!

  510. alyssa Says:

    hey lisa glad your feeling better….i worry to that i have ocd but paul said that it is common for people that have anxiety to think this so i too cry about it at times….its just crazy lol and the funny thing is i know my thoughts are crazy and are unrealistic its just like they keep bothering me for some reason. and i always question everything i do and think, i think at times im just to hard on myself,i need to learn how to accept myself and thats the hardest for me and to accept its anxiety and not something else..i always want to think it something else but at times i can accept it,but soon this will go away for both of us…yes lets keep each other encouraged!! THANKS

  511. Lisa P Says:

    If we can find a way to get rid of the fear behind the thoughts. My thoughts shouldn’t really be fear based, but for some reason it is/was. That’s the key, getting rid of the fear behind them, the thoughts aren’t the problem. I did have a book on anxiey that said that to combat the fear behind them, one should plan a few minutes a day and live on those thougths, let the anxiety come, do not try to run away from the fear, and after time, the anxiety over the thoughts would lessen. Kinds of like when people have phobias, they have to physically confront the object, feel the fear until it’s not fearful anymore. Even though we know this, it’s still hard. The fear doesn’t want to let go of us and fights even harder. In fact the book even mentioned this, but just know that it’s a part of it. No Alyssa, you’re not crazy or even going crazy. Keep hanging on to the support of your family. My husband has been a big support for me. And remember to seperate yourself from your anxiety. It’s not you!! You seem like a lovely young lady with lots and lots of living ahead of you, able to do big and great things :) We’re keep encouraging one another!!!

  512. alyssa Says:

    thanks lisa you have helped me alot! its just so nice to relate with people who really understand what it feels like. You seem like a very good person and really keep me encouraged :) I feel alot better today i just took a final exam today and think i did well, just glad that i have summer break for 2 weeks until i go back to school. like you said i had alot of stress last week with a bunch of things in school and work, and that must of did it for me. Tomorrow im going running with a girlfriend so im getting started on that again lol. Eating healthy is hard i like eating junk food lol….doritos. well lets keep it going good we both are doing good…its just keeping it away for good is the hard part….i have no idea how to do that

  513. Lisa P Says:

    Yeah!!! I’m so glad you’re feeling better. Live in that moment and soak it up!! I hope you’re exam went well indeed. Yes, I think exercise for us anxious types is a must!! lol!! Hey, a little junk food goes a long way lol!! You’re younger than me, i’m sure your metabolism can handle it. I finally recently lost the remaining pregancy weight, so i’m on a role at the gym. I’ve never been a large person, but a few extra pounds on a short person makes a lot of difference. As far as keeping the thoughts away for good, I think it’s like Pauls says, we have to just let the thoughts come, but remove the anxiety about them and then they have no power.

  514. alyssa Says:

    Good im glad your on a role at the gym! lol I have been trying to get rid of the fear like you said behind the thoughts…mine is are these thoughts really going to happen? thats my fear…how do i know there not going to happen then im constantly looking for the answer.. i keep asking myself am i a bad person am i going to follow through with a thought, etc. like you said its not the thought that bothers me so much its the fear of is it REAL lol….i just want it to be over and going through this fear will help…but i do feel better still its just dealing with that now. i found out about myself as silly as this sounds every time i see something on the news or on a movie thats scary i think omg what if i do that what if im crazy like that murderer and then i just obsess and try to figure out in my mind how im not like them. But me realizing this about myself has helped but still have anxiety at times about the thoughts….but im happy still because i love my family so much and they make me super happy! tomorrow going to an amusement park so excited! thanks for all your help your wonderful

  515. Lisa P Says:

    Have a great time at the park :)Remember, the thoughts are just thoughts,no indication of how you really feel so therefore you’re not going to act on them. Feel free to turn off the news!! LOL!!! I’m surprised we all don’t have panic attacks after listening lol!!! Glad to know you’re feeling better!!

  516. alyssa Says:

    thanks Lisa! today feeling a little down but went to get college books with my boyfriend and mom :) then going to exercise, then work….. my mind is still always going but it doesnt stop me from doing things, i know one day ill be better. Glad your doing so well Lisa! At times i just feel hopeless and today is one of them…thanks for the encouragement!

  517. alyssa Says:

    back to being worse :( im up in the middle of the night. I hate this…. im so bothered by the questions i keep asking myself. I keep asking myself do you want to kill someone? and ill scream at the top of my lungs well in my mind NO!Its like some part of me doesnt believe myself, i guess and i hate to say this a part of me thinks i will or that i want to…..i know this sounds crazy, and i dont want to kill anyone why cant i believe myself. Its like i cant get an answer from myself. please help…anyone i just want to be good…. im so lost i dont know who i am anymore it feels like. Paul if you see this can you please help…I know you are sooo busy with helping others but i just want to talk to you I feel as if you could help me alot! :)

  518. candie Says:

    Hi Alyssa

    read the second to top post on the blog, the most active recent post. Not the one about boots volunteer, the most recent after that. I have given some advice on the comments to a few people which you can relate to and will help you. I suffered the same thoughts at one point, untill i give in tryin to prove things to myself.. no one can ever prove they wont do anything bad, they know they wont but they can never prove it… the thought will go away when you stop battling with it trying to prove its not true. I cant prove i wont go on a killin spree bumping half of my home town of, but i know it wont happen.. but with anxiety we dont like uncertaincy which is why we get tied in mental knots… even people without anxiety have thoughts like this but dont try and prove them wrong, they just dismiss them and then forget them.

  519. Lisa P Says:

    Hi Alyssa
    So sorry to hear that the thoughts are keeping you awake. I’ve often heard, like Candie said, it is living with the uncertainly. That seems to be the “cure”. Of course, the questions comes, well how does one do that!! But that is the key. Anxiety has caused us to have the doubt about these things, and not that anything real has happened other than anxiety causing doubt in our minds. Doubt makes things or situations seem real. Of course we know all this, it’s how to find the answer inside of us to reconcile the doubt, to accept the uncertainty. It seems like we’re giving in to it when we accept the uncertainty, but we accept the uncertainly because we know it’s an unrational doubt, deep down we know we’re not those thoughts at all. It’s the hardest thing, learning how not to give the thoughts power. Doubt it the part of you that doesn’t seem to believe yourself. The doubt won’t let you fully believe yourself. Irrational doubt is very deceiving. Just think of all the writers to these horror movies, these are all thoughts created in their minds, BUT, they don’t have doubt attached to them as to whether they want to kill or hurt someone. Even the thoughts I have, books have been written about. It’s a common topic in many philosophy classes, but my anxious mind wants to attach doubt to it. So it’s the doubt that’s the problem, not the question. I guess the questions is how do we practically learn to live with the doubt. What can we do? How do we come to terms and accept the doubt?

  520. alyssa Says:

    Hi Lisa yeah that probably is the problem its the doubt…and like you said i dont know how to accept that uncertainty. Its weird because sometimes i can and thats when i feel better but like you said it feels like your giving in and then i go right back to it. Ill just try to live with the uncertainty and try to figure it out, hopefully. Glad your doing well Lisa, keep up the good work! :)

  521. Lisa P Says:

    Hi Alyssa
    The question I still have is how the others know that they are recovered. I feel i’ve recovered every time it “goes away”. I know the key is living with the uncertainty, but again, practically how does one come to that acceptance. It’s such a weird thing, because we come to acceptance of other things in our lives, usually with time, but it seems not even time can help. If it did, we would all be other these issues by now. I hope Paul can give you some practical solutions to acceptance. I once read in a book dealing with anxiety, that part of the trap is running away or trying to dismiss the anxious feelings, when we should allow ourselves to live in the anxious moment and through time, the thoughts don’t provoke anxiety. One book said that we should plan a few sessions each day to intentionally put ourselves in the moment to lessen the anxiety over time. It did warn though, that the anxiety doesn’t like to give up, the anxiety fights and it may be worst before it gets better. Maybe that’s how you’ll know if you’re winning the battle, when it fights back. The book did state that when one is really ready and so sick and tired of it all that they’re willing to go through with the exercise. For me I need some practical exercises I guess, to just “think” about it all inorder to except the doubt, well we all know that’s not the answer, we’ve been thinking all day!! LOL!! But here’s the good part, it’s soooooo good to hear that others have overcome it!!! THANK GOD!!!! Now we have to figue out how they did it :) I haven’t bought Paul’s book yet, maybe I should. Have you read it yet?

  522. alyssa Says:

    Hey lisa no i havent read it yet. You are so enthusiastic i need to be more like you lol :) Im just ready for it to be over! i just want to get on with my life and never worry about it again….wish that was possible or atleast look at it in a healthy way. I hate it because it just feels so real to me….and it feels like im always looking for the answer it feels like it should be easier than this but its soooo hard, do you feel this way sometimes? I feel at times it not anxiety and im just crazy and thats a fear i also have, that I really am a bad person and am just using anxiety as an exscuse for it. But i know really it is anxiety i had the first thing when i was 12 and i think it just progressed into this….and then now its the thoughts that create the anxiety….not the anxiety making the thoughts come. Because when i get out of it…it always comes back because of me remembering them….and then im like what if this is true of me and theni automatically get into it again….i guess the thing we need to do is beable to look at it in a healthier way without getting ourselves stuck into it again. We can do it i know we can!

  523. Lisa P Says:

    No you’re not crazy:) The fact that you worry that you migtht be says you’re not.The reallllly crazy one’s aren’t worried about it lol!! Yes, it does seems so hard. We’re smart people, so it’s not in our reasoning, it’s just this “thing” seemingly independant of our true selves. I think you found the answer, is to be able to see it in a healthier or lighter way. If we could just laugh at these thoughts and not see them as a serious things, then maybe the doubt, fear and anxiety will disapate for good.Now, HOW DO WE DO THAT!! lol!!!

  524. alyssa Says:

    lol i know …go to the other place where candie said to go maybe we can find some answers there.

  525. O.o Says:

    Everytime I began having a panic attack, I would begin to either run or freakout until I began running. So now, I’m runing every day and that helps. Sometimes I feel weird doing it, like I HAVE to or something, but I’m getting better and I’m going to join the track team when school starts. I’ve begun to run really fast it’s kind of cool. This has helped I figured it had something todo with too much energy seeing how I don’t sleep more then 4-5 hours a night and have to constantly be moving. Honestly the only time I acctually sat down relaxed for more then 20 minutes was when I was really really sick and ended up in the hospital. I was really scared to talk to other people, until I started joining clubs that kept me moving and thinking about other things. The only problem now is that I don’t want to come home after wards and deal with my dad. I start panicking on my way home.

  526. Lisa P Says:

    I did read through some of the post, some very helpful insights. I’ll buy Paul’s book at some point. Okay, off to the gym, before I change my mind lol!!!

  527. alyssa Says:

    Sorry havent been on lately glad to see your still going to the go girl!

  528. Lisa P Says:

    lol!!! yeah, i’m still at it :) I’m determined to get a flat stomach LOL!!! I may never get there, but at least it’s motivating me to work out :) How are things with you? Have you gotten any relief or any resolution? Hope you’ve been able to sleep. I was talking with a friend today, who had a panic attack last night. Anxiety is definately a common thing these days. I’ve started a new blog the other day, not related to anxiety though. So I guess I have a new focus, as if I needed more :) My son starts 1st grade on the 31st of August, so it’s off to the races again :)

  529. alyssa Says:

    Hey Lisa i am getting better sleep now…and am back at school again :) I have gotten relief ive been able to go out and have fun, but with anxiety still there, but i have to just learn to not care about it. I still have a hard time sometimes with just accpeting that its just anxiety and nothing more, even though i truely know it is, lol. Anxiety is tricky for me atleast. But yeah everything is getting better slowly but surely :) Awwww your son is going to be in first grade how cute I bet hes excited. Glad to here from you Lisa glad your doing better and have such a good attitude!

  530. Lisa P Says:

    Hey alyssa
    so glad to hear you’re getting better sleep!! Our brains and emotions certainly need a break. RELIEF!!! YEA!! Any relief is welcomed. My son is starting in a new school this year, I’ll have to monitor his anxiety and make sure he ajust well. Given his family history of anxiety, hopefully I can not make it worst for him. Hopefully I will skip my kids or that part of the genetics will just fizzle out.

  531. alyssa Says:

    Yeah hopefully it will fizzle out for him, my family too has anxiety but i think i take it to the next level with my obbsessive worry instead of just letting it go, I have a hard time doing that still at times, but it is getting better I dont do it all the time :) Well it was nice catching up with you again

  532. Sara Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Just thought I’d welcome myself into the “club”. I found this site not quite a week ago and I’m so glad because I had no idea what was happening to me. Hopefully I can get some helpful advice and support on here, because I need it! :) I was unable to order Paul’s book for some reason – it wouldn’t accept my card, I don’t know why. I’m in the States but I don’t think that has anything to do with it. Anyway, I did buy Claire Weekes book and another one by Eckhart Tolle, thanks to suggestions I read on this blog. They did explain things pretty well and I think I’m getting a better understanding of things, but I still feel a long ways off. Does anyone else have constant heaviness in their chest and a constant lump in their throat? I almost feel like I’m so far gone that it’s going to take forever to get back. Those things wouldn’t bother me so much if I wasn’t having the scary thoughts along with them. Anyway, just thought I’d say hi to everyone and let everyone know that I’m open to suggestions for the scary, obsessive thoughts, and the throat and chest. :) I’m sure I probably just have to let more time pass.
    Thanks for listening,

  533. Sara Says:

    Hello again,
    I just posted last night but wanted some clarification/help from someone – anyone – about the scary thoughts. I guess I’m just having trouble realizing how you accept them. Some of the scary thoughts I’ve had are losing their scary “edge”, but they still stick around and then I constantly have to remind myself that they are thoughts and aren’t true, and sometimes they’ll get a little scary again. If I’m constantly reminding myself of this, does that mean I’m not accepting them? Sometimes I try to explain to myself why I won’t do those things and I guess that’s wrong, right? I just have to let them stay and just trust in myself that they aren’t true? That’s so hard to just trust yourself when you feel so crazy sometimes! It’s like I want a definite answer on why I won’t do those things and then I’ll feel better. Does anyone else struggle with this? Any help or advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Sara

  534. Katie Says:

    Hi sara,everything you describe,iv had and almost over now!!the tight throat and chest i had for a good while and sometimes when anxiety decides to pop in,it can come back, but i dont let it bother as i know its just another anxiety symptom caused by adenalin!But yeah it does feel like a lump in your throat.all you have to do is just let it be there,dont worry about it as you know why its there and just carry on with day to day will find, when you dont work yourself up about it,it will go. Same with the thoughts, working yourself up over them is what keeps them there,along with the habit you have develped by checking in on your thinking. Just see the thoughts for what they are,a load of rubbish-excess adrenalin finding a release in a situation that aint real and so scenarios,other thoughts are then created. It burns itself out however,when you just allow the thoughts to come, be there and then pass by. Just give them ‘yeah whatever’ attitude. I can still have thoughts on a daily basis sometimes,but give them no respect anymore and they really dont scare me. With practise,you will get to this stage,but like Paul says,recovery is very up and down,and iv experienced this on the long way iv come!!But i can say,im almost there which makes me feel very proud!

  535. Sara Says:

    Thanks, Katie. It’s hard sometimes. I’m experiencing so many different emotions and sometimes I just don’t know what’s me anymore. I don’t know what thoughts are mine, what feelings are mine, what’s me and what’s not me. Some days I feel better about it and then the next day I’m just confused and frustrated again. I guess it’s just the feelings of helplessness and being out of control that really get to me sometimes. Then I think, “Well, what if I get really mad one day and can’t control that?” Or, “What if I get really depressed one day and can’t come out of that?” I know it’s ridiculous but it’s hard when I feel like this. It’s like I feel like I can’t control anything anymore, so then who knows what’s going to happen next. I don’t know… I don’t mean to be a downer, but I guess I’m just struggling right now.
    I’m glad that you’ve come so far, though – that’s awesome! Keep it up! It gives the rest of us hope to hear people say they are getting better and recovering. :) Are you in the States or are you somewhere else?

  536. Katie Says:

    Hi sara, im from the UK. Cold and wet here at the minute!hardly been any sun over the summer :(
    if you think about it, your more in control than you think- because you are controlling your reactions to the thoughts,your emotions etc. Its this reaction that you need to change,you just need to accept that this is you for the time being, and with time and patience, you will get there. Honestly! I too sometimes will get frustrated sometimes, if anxiety pays a visit, but i no longer fear the symptoms and this has helped loads.the less you fear,the less the symptoms will be, but i accept now that this is me for now,im nearly bak to the old me, or should we say-the ‘new’ me as i really feel much stronger by almost coming through this.
    It is a bumpy ride along the way though, but its good that you are having days where you feel better, the days where you dont,jus let the anxiety be,let it burn itself out and it passes. These are the days when you are a bit more inward thinking on how you feel,but just try to concentrate on whatever it is your doing, let it be the way you feel and it soon goes.

  537. Sara Says:

    Thanks, Katie. That makes sense about being in control of my reactions. That makes me feel a little better. :) It sometimes feels like I’m not, but I guess I’m more in control than I realize. I’ve just made some bad habits that I need to correct, and that will probably take awhile. I guess I just need to be more patient. :) It’s reassuring to hear that you’re almost through this – good job!

  538. Katie Says:

    Yeah habits are formed and need to be corrected,im the say thats all that is keeping my anxiety there. But its your reaction that you just need to change-let whatever symptoms come,no matter how scary the thoughts may be, or the physical symptoms being there etc.allowing them there rather than trying to rid yourself of them is what moves you forward. You name it,iv had some crazy thoughts, and when i first started with anxiety i thought i were going crazy but i now realise because i didnt have much knowledge on the subject, i couldnt understand how they came or why they came and so they scared me,which kept them there and coming at a stronger force. now when they come, i dismiss them as rubbish and just let them be there and they soon fizzle out!u will get to this stage too if you just allow and not fight against!

  539. Lisa P Says:

    Hi alyssa
    i’m so glad you’re getting some relief, may there only be good things!!


  540. Lisa P Says:

    Hi Sara
    glad you found the site. A lot of good info. on here. We’ve all felt we were going crazy too. Having the knowledge about anxiety is really really helpful. I wish I had this info. years ago. I may not have made my anxiety to these thoughts so bad. Always checking in on thoughts does keep us in a tail spin and spirialing down. It was after I began to “give up” did I feel relief. This “giving up” was actually the key lol!! I kind of resigned myself to them, so to speak, and they did begin to fizzle out. It is a hard place to come to.

  541. Sara Says:

    Yes, Lisa, that is hard to do! Especially when some of the thoughts are so frightening or disturbing. They are hard to just dismiss.
    So is it possible to eventually stop worrying about things – especially about things that are not likely to happen or are just ridiculous? Or does that always stick around and you just have to learn to not let it bother you? Does that make sense?

  542. Lisa P Says:

    Hi Sara
    Fear is such a powerful emotion, maybe the strongest. It makes us “believe it” even though our deeper knowledge and understanding is contrary to the fear, and yet we still believe the fear. Even though I understand this concept, i still stuggle with it as well, we all do to some degree. It’s literaly impossible to stop thoughts from popping into our minds, it’s our emotional reaction to them, which is usually the fear of them. There have been times in the past when i did manage to stop them at the start, by just telling myself, okay, i’m not going down this road again. And somehow I didn’t worry about it. Other times I weren’t so strong as to not let them worry me. If we can neutralize the fear of the thoughts, they would have no power over us. Once we’ve attached fear to them, it’s very hard to get rid of. This last bout I had, I was completely unprepared. I was under an extreme lots of stress, and had no inner strength to just let them roll off. The last few weeks have been good though. The concept that Paul talks about has been something i’ve never heard about, the adrenaline. So I’ve started a workout routine. It helps me focus on my body, and not my mind :) I did read a book a few years ago that described worry as a bad habit. I like that description better, it puts worry a managable category and not in some psychiatric description. Again, in a “normal” category and not in a fear based description. We are worrying about enough already lol!! Once these thoughts do not become a big deal to us, they most likely will subside and fade away.

  543. Candie Says:

    The thoughts do go away once you dont analyse them, you stop been on alert and they stop flooding in. I had them for two years with no respite, now i rarely think em

  544. Sara Says:

    I appreciate all the help and encouragement from everyone! I guess I’m just struggling right now because I feel like I can’t think anything positive anymore. It seems like no matter what I look at or who I look at or what I do, I think/see something scary/negative. It is so overwhelming sometimes. It’s like there is no escape or relief from my mind and the scary, worrying thoughts. Has anyone else ever felt like this? My emotions are all over the place – I might be somewhat happy or relaxed, then I can feel sad or depressed, and then I can feel mad and angry with myself because of it all. Does that make sense? Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in my symptoms or like I’m worse than everyone else, and that really scares me.
    Anyway, I don’t want to be “Debbie Downer” or anything :), I guess I just want reassurance that other people have felt the same way at times. You all are huge inspirations to me! I have read thru other people’s posts and stories and I get so much hope from them! I wish I could meet some of you in person! :) Thanks again, everyone! And hopefully one day I can help in giving encouragement/reassurance instead of always needing it!

  545. Katie Says:

    Sara,that first big paragraph is exactly what anxiety makes you think like-it sees the negative in any situation you are in,and creates unrealistic thoughts, so that it can find its release in them. Trust me, when anxiety were high for me, i had thoughts about anything i would be doing,or any situation i was in. It made me a nervous wreck, scared of using anything that could be harmful e.g using knifes, even a bloody ballpoint pen!i would be scared of being close to people in case i went ‘crazy’ (another thought we tend to all have) and loose it with them.ANything and everything i would think!!!!!!!and now,i look back and think how laughable the thoughts were.You just let whatever thoughts want to come. At first,they do scare you,as like you say you think the worst possible scenario, but when you accept them as rubbish and allow them to be there so that they can burn themselves out,they start to fade, and more of your unrealistic thoughts stop scaring you, until eventually, you stop creating negative thoughts/scenarios of everything you are doing.
    Everyone thinks they must be worse than everyone else,but honestly we have all been there/are there and you just need to trust the fact that you can recover and will doxxx

  546. Sara Says:

    Thanks again, Katie! I’ve been doing a lot better these past few days in not letting the thoughts scare me as much and dismissing them as nothing. I was wondering, though, will these thoughts eventually just go away? They have died down quite a bit, and they don’t scare me as bad as they used to, but they still come pretty much every day. I don’t know what types of thoughts anyone else has struggled with, and I may sound like a total idiot, but my worst ones were that I would hurt someone or become a killer or something, or that I would become a child molester. This probably sounds crazy, but I heard some stories about these things awhile back when my anxiety was VERY high, and before I found this website, so they scared the crap out of me and REALLY bothered me. I had no idea why I was having these fears/worries. I kept trying to figure it out in my mind, and they just became more ingrained in my brain. After I found this site, I felt a little better, but obviously still had the thoughts. I really have gotten to the point where they don’t scare me as much, and I truly believe they are ridiculous, but they are still there and they bother me every once in awhile. Anyway, I just wondered if eventually they’ll go away or if they’d stop bothering me completely. I don’t know if anyone else has had those same fears – I probably sound like a nut. It’s probably worse for me because my job requires me to take phone calls from people reporting these types of crimes, so I hear about them every day. It never bothered me at all before I had the anxiety/panic, but when the anxiety and panic got really severe, they started to bother me out of nowhere. It scared the crap out of me. Now I see them for what they are, and I am so grateful I found this site to help me realize that! But I just wonder if I’ll get to the point one day where they will eventually not cross my mind at all or at least very rarely. Anyway, thanks again for all the advice and help – I really do feel like I’m getting better and the symptoms are starting to fade somewhat. So I really appreciate all the help from everyone on this site!

  547. Katie Says:

    Sara,they are exactly the same thoughts iv had and all based around my daughter.And they all stemmed from when anxiety started and i went on meds to help with anxiety, and because of that i thought i must be going crazy if tablets are needed to help me feel that one thought of going crazy created a whole load of thoughts of what if..i go crazy and hurt my daughter etc. then id picture the scenarios and it would scare the crap out of me.Now they dont scare me at all, coz iv got used to dismissing the thoughts as rubbish and you definately sound like your on the right track and in the right direction!!so keep with it, and you will get to a point tht none of the thoughts scare you, they may be around every day for a while, but that will be due to the habit you have created of being scared of them and so looking out for them to come. Mine still appear almost every day but i see myself lucky that i go for hours and hours without a single one and then probably the main thought that scared me back when it started,but is still there due to habit may pop up,but i allow it and again,i know some day the habit will fade! but you are doing great and definately got the idea of jus seeing the thoughts for what they are!
    WOW jus had a big boot in the stomach off baby no.2-not long before shes here!x

  548. Tracey Says:


    I did exactly the same thing. My thoughts started when my anxiety was extremely high and I would get scared and bothered by the littlest thing. Things that never bothered me before anxiety/panic. I have come a long way since then which I never thought would happen (another anxiety thought). I still get bothered by the same thought every once in awhile but I do understand its out of habit.. we’ve gotten ourselves into this awful habit of fearing things that aren’t even happening. but as long as you continue to dismiss it for what it is, just a silly random thought (that for me would always be provoked by other people or hearing/seeing something on tv) cut off from it and not analyze it, the thoughts will fade. My biggest habit is analyzing and I have come a long way by cutting off from analyzing.

  549. Ant Says:

    Hi to everyone :) Firstly id like to say that i find it brilliant that everyone helps one another with what of course seem like really difficult times. This is my first post as i found it really difficult to get the words out… Im sure you know what i mean. It started for me a fair while ago when i felt fine (no anxiety) I had a random thought of how id react if anyone was to ever hurt a younger member of my family, i then thought how could i ever possibly do that whether it be physical or sexual etc.. Feeling fine i immedietly said yea thats horrible and it was dismissed more or less straight away. However a couple of months ago was the start of a really busy and nervy period of time for me. I was going over to meet my girlfriends family in a different country for the first time so i was really nervous about this, added to this was flying which i was terrified of, then there was the fact that i knew the minute we were back we were literally moving into a new flat. So in the build up to this maybe i hadnt realised anxiety had been building up, i then somehow was reminded of that horrible thought and it came and left occasionally. However being back from the holiday and moving into the new flat plus fairly long hours at work the thoughts and images seemed to creep on me and have a lasting effect. I was beating myself up a hell of alot and it had made me physically sick, i know that im not kind of person and feel terrible because of it. I got to the stage of oh my god, i need to take the risk of telling my girlfriend just so i can a little peace of mind that im really not that horrible. She listened, wasnt freaked out and has been an angel to me. I have read this website looking for advice and info and i then bought the book and it has definately helped. I understand that i need to let the horrible and unwanted in and realise that its because i made a big deal out of it from the start that its why im the way iam now. Big thankyou to Paul David for the book i have to say.

  550. Tracey Says:

    Yes Ant, that is exactly right and I realized that about myself as well months ago… we make a big deal about the thought when we first have it and it creates a never ending cycle. If only we knew not to react and to just let it float by, not thinking into it-it would pass and we would think obsessively about it.

  551. Sara Says:

    Thanks, Katie & Tracey! And congrats on the pregnancy, Katie! :) When are you due? Do you know what you’re having?
    I can totally relate to the analyzing thing – I analyze everything. I try really hard not to, but then I get confused as to what’s “analyzing” and what’s not. For example, my fear about if I could become a child molester – I know that sounds crazy, but it scared the crap out of me and seems to be the one bothering me the most right now. Any time I see a kid in the store or in a restaurant, it reminds me of this fear and shouts it in my mind all day long. Now, to completely accept this fear, do I just have to accept the uncertainty of it? Before I found this website, I tried to explain it out in my mind, along with the other fears of hurting someone, going crazy and killing someone, etc. I would try to explain in my mind of “why” I wouldn’t do those things because that was the only way I could feel better is if I had the reassurance that I was not that type of person. So do I have to just accept the uncertainty, or is it ok to tell yourself that people that do those things must have some other issue or do other bad things that lead up to it? I hate that my mind works this way right now… like I said – I never worried like this before the anxiety. But now it’s like I feel like if I don’t have an explanation as to why I won’t do those things, they won’t leave me alone. Anyway, I’m sorry again for asking so many questions, it’s just so hard to deal with sometimes. Some days I do well and other days I just feel so bad and am on the verge of tears all the time. So is the key to acceptance just accepting the uncertainty of it all?

  552. Katie Says:

    Ant, its crazy how it stems from one thought int it?but tell urself this,if u wr tht kind of person to carry out such thoughts than why do you have such a panicky reaction to them-its coz ur the total opposite to them thoughts and just thinkin them has freaked u out,more so because of the anxiety.but honestly let them be there and just see them for wot they r-a load of rubbish

  553. candie Says:


    I used to be exactly the same. Since then i have had a baby and dont ever think thoughts of that nature really as i just know there silly. The idea behind getting over these is:

    *Accept that you cant get this right in your head when your mind is trying to convince you figuring it out and explaining to yourself why you wont do this is the route to go, its not… anxiety will never let go of the what ifs, it will cling to them- the best way is to let your mind forget them naturally and the way to do this is not to rumernate. You are only over reacting to these as the under lying anxiety makes things seam more important then they are, it can make things seem like we need to fix them when really we dont.. your mind is perfectly capable of moving on from this if you retrain it to let go and not get fixated with figuring it all out. You dont have to accept uncertaincy really, as most of us like to safely say we are not a pedophile etc.. but what you do have to do is reason with the fact that ‘you cant get this right in your mind at the minute’. Accept its OK not to be 100% certain over your thoughts and for the time been its ok for them to play in your mind as anxiety has given them a good dose of false importance which has given you a few bad habits. So next time you see a child and think somet bad, so be it… at the end of the day a thought only need be a thought, something imagined- we cant control the content of our thoughts but we can control how we react and what attention is given to them. The trick is to realise the thought has already occured, but thats all it need be a silly meaningless thought- therefore there is no point in trying to get it right in your head. I promise you there is no answer to these thoughts to make them go away, the only reason rumernating can seem like it works is we desensitize after a while occasionally.. but it always comes back until you stop trying to rationalise it. If something is so silly and irrational, how on earth are you going to be rational about it? ANXIETY WILL NOT LET YOU…. you have to wait for your adrenaline levels to come back down before you can see the fears are false. Now i honestly have no obsessive thoughts of this nature, i got over them by stopping tryin to figure them out and leaving them alone. Eventually my mind cut of from the anxiety associated from them and i realised how ridiculous they where. I had them for years too, now i have a 3 month old baby boy, whos nappy i have to change, who i have to bath and hold and dont ever think this way. The only way is to not get caught up with your thinking. Thoughts arnt actions and your thoughts will never become actions- think about it, when did a pedo ever worry about harming someone or be repulsed by there thinking… the very thoughts they have dont produce anxiety in them, without sounding to discusting they get excited by them greatly and dont for a minute think there wrong… they know its not acceptable to many, but to them its the norm and something they lust after. However, dont get caught up in proving why you arnt one, these possitive thoughts will come naturally when your over reaction has calmed.. which it will do once you stop trying to sort this out in your mind. Have you never dreamt someone bad that doesnt reflect you at all? I do often, but know its no reflection on the type of person i am. Dreams are just thoughts whiles your mind sleeps, created by your emotions. If you feel anxious you will think scary thoughts as your mind and body is scared for no reason, if you feel happy you will think happy thoughts of contentment, if you feel low you will think sad thoughts. But they only need to be momentarily.. the real problems come when you obsess over them and thoughts create secondary emotional reactions that stick through habit.

  554. Ant Says:

    Thankyou so much katie and tracey, also to candie even though the message wasnt directed at me. It feels like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders when i hear feedback like that. I really appreciate it. It is really strange and seems unfair that even though we, (i hope i can say we) know that we have never or never would be that sort of person that we still seem to beat ourselves up over it.. grrr. And candie you are totally right that the reason they get more intense and get to me more is that its because of being in an anxious state of mind, my normal self wouldnt even bother with something like that. After reading on the subject in the book and bits on this site i know that i need to just leave them be no matter how terrible as its clearly the only path to overcome it. Thanks again for typing back guys it really helped :)

  555. Katie Says:

    Fab advice candie-as always!sara,thanks for the congrats,im due beginning of january,another little girl.cant wait!take candies advice on these thoughts as she is really gud at making you see sense!like candie says ur emotional response to these thoughts jus show that you are not that type of person your thoughts try to make out,so jus let them be,a thought is only a thought,nothing more than it need be.
    Ant,glad the advice has helped, again candies post is great for you to understand the thoughts alot better.the thoughts spiral but only because of your emotional response, now you know to just let them be, the spiralling will fade and the thoughts wont seem so scary!

  556. Sara Says:

    Wow… all I can say is thank you! Thank you, Candie, and Katie, and Tracey, and everyone else for your responses! I truly feel so much better – especially after the last few pieces of advice given by Candie! You guys are great and I really appreciate the help and support, especially since none of you even know me and didn’t need to respond at all. You have no idea how much this means to me. I don’t know anyone that has suffered from these things, so I really have no one else to go to for support, encouragement, or advice. I appreciate all of you so much! Thank you and congrats on all of your progress thus far – you guys are inspirations to me! I wish we could all meet and have lunch or something – it would be cool to meet you all. Anyway, thanks again!! And congrats on all the babies! It’s so nice to hear that you all are doing so well, even with the challenges of motherhood, etc. :)
    Hope everyone has a great day!

  557. Katie Says:

    It really helps to talk to people who have been through what you have and its such a relief to know why the thoughts are created in the first place,aswell as to know that others too have exactly the same thoughts so you aint alone. Im glad the advicehas helped you sara, it gives relief doesnt it when people guide you in the right direction-all you have to do now is take this advice on board and you are on your way to recovery!Recovery is up and down so dont be put off if one day you feel worse than the day before,just ride it out and it soon passes-just stick with the whatever attitude throughout and your soon back on track. But you sound like

  558. Katie Says:

    It really helps to talk to people who have been through what you have and its such a relief to know why the thoughts are created in the first place,aswell as to know that others too have exactly the same thoughts so you aint alone. Im glad the advicehas helped you sara, it gives relief doesnt it when people guide you in the right direction-all you have to do now is take this advice on board and you are on your way to recovery!Recovery is up and down so dont be put off if one day you feel worse than the day before,just ride it out and it soon passes-just stick with the whatever attitude throughout and your soon back on track. But you sound like you have taken the advice on board so now practice with this new found attitude!

  559. Sara Says:

    Thanks! One more question, though. I’m sorry to keep asking so many questions. :) I just want to make sure I get this right so that I can get past this. One of the fears that I have is even though I know I’m not a child molester, what if one day I become a child molester? I can accept that I’m not because I know I’m not, but I’m having a hard time with the fear of one day becoming one. It has taken so much courage on my part to post on here and tell everyone my thoughts and feelings, and I might be alone in this fear, but I just know that this isn’t me and I want to get past it and not have these fears anymore. So when I have that fear come up that “What if one day in the future I turn into a child molester?”, do I just tell myself that’s not possible and dismiss it that way? Again, before I found this website and realized what was happening to me, I tried to come up with all kinds of reasons on why this wouldn’t happen and tried to figure out in my mind how someone does become one, but obviously that didn’t work because here I am with the same fear still. I don’t want to spend every day of my life worrying about this because I know I am a good person and this won’t happen – and I don’t want it to happen – but that fear keeps coming up and that is the hardest one to dismiss. It’s like I can dismiss that I’m not right now, but what if one day in the future… does that make sense to anyone? This is so frustrating for me because about 6 months ago I actually decided I was going to go to school to be an elementary school teacher. Now that these fears have come up, I’m so disgusted and afraid, and don’t want to even think about it. How can I go to school for this and be a teacher eventually if I’m constantly in fear of becoming a child molester? So anyway, how do I dismiss that fear? Do I just put that off as an anxious thought and have faith that it will never happen? I wish I knew how people turn into sick things like that because then maybe I could “rule myself out” so to speak… does that make sense? This probably all sounds so ridiculous to everyone, especially since everyone else seems to just have the hurting/killing fears, etc, and not child molester fears, which makes me feel even worse. Anyway, do I just have to have faith that this won’t happen in the future? Will this thought eventually leave my mind, too? It’s like an unanswerable question that’s driving me crazy! I’m such a logical person and this is not logical… lol. :) I guess now that I’m thinking about it, that fear is bothering me the most because I can’t “answer” it. Which then ignites the fear because if I can’t answer it then how do I know it won’t happen, which then keeps the fear coming back. Will I be able to answer it after I get better? Is that how this works? Thanks again for all the help everyone!!!

  560. Sara Says:

    Ok, after I just re-read my post and re-read Candie’s long post to me above, I think I have it. This fear is just another anxious thought, and one that I want to try to answer and explain, but I can’t. So I just need to not answer it, dismiss it as an anxious thought, and eventually it will go away and I won’t have that fear anymore, right? When my mind is better and I am better, then I’ll be able to answer it then, right? It’s like my mind just keeps getting stuck on that and I don’t know why – I’ve never worried about this before. I guess I’m just afraid that I’m going to spend the rest of my life worrying about this because I can’t answer it or whatever.

  561. Katie Says:

    Your last post sara,has cracked it!it is just another anxious thought, and one that you should not try to rationalise when at the moment your mind is irrational-which is why your thinkin such thoughts.and dont think you are the only one who has the child molesting ones because that has been one my main thoughts, all stemmed from one innocent thought of how people could ever do such things to children and then wham!anxiety turns it round on you and you get the what ifs…’what if i did something like that’.then you get the scenarios etc and then it keeps coming.Even now through habit, i get them, but no longer panic,just allow them to be there and then cut off from the thought. and eventually the habit will fade and the thought will fizzle out. But dont put off wanting to be a school teacher, facing your fears is the best way to desensitize to such thoughts. I have a daughter that such thoughts would stem around and again am pregnant, so i aint been put off having another baby,it has helped to become desensitized to such thoughts and i really believe your gonna get to this stage,as your taking the advice on board really well!

  562. Sara Says:

    Thanks again, Katie – I am now trying to see that as just another anxious thought that my mind wants to answer but can’t right now, and I hope one day it will go away, or at least not scare me or make me believe it could happen. I’ve been doing pretty well this morning with just letting those thoughts go and trying not to analyze them. I think I’m starting to understand more and more and hopefully I’m getting the hang of it. :) It really helps to hear you say those things and to hear that you have gotten past the same things – gives me lots of hope!!!! I’m so happy for you that you’ve gotten to the point you’re at and so happy for you that you’re having another cute little baby – good for you! I’m sure you’re so excited! To be honest, most of my symptoms have really started to dissipate and lessen quite a bit. Or maybe they’re still around but I just don’t care/fear them anymore. :) The only ones that really seem to hang around are the thoughts and then the guilt/depressed feelings that follow. I’m trying not to let those get to me, though, and not feel sorry for myself. :) I just keep thinking that it will all get better in time. :) Thanks again!!

  563. Ant Says:

    Hi again guys, and hi to Sara… I dont mean to but in or anything but what Katie said is hitting the nail right on the head. I was having an absolutely horrible time trying to keep saying to myself ‘oh my god im not like this, im a great guy, id never do this or that so leave me alone thoughts and images’ but the truth is the more i did this the more awful i was feeling. Its like you feel as if your doing the right thing by explaining and fighting your own corner in your head and feel like ignoring or allowing them is wrong, but i must say since last night i literally did just that thing.. I said ok then, go for it, enter if you like im going to carry on anyway, its not the real me or a fantasy of mine, its something ive made way worse by trying so so hard to figure out. And you know what? it was amazing how i approached the day today with that attitude and my day has been great, yes through the habit id created they may have popped back in but i was able to let them go more or less straight away because they didnt have the same power or effect. From all the reading on the subject ive been doing i came up with a similar sort of situation…. I started to see it in a different way, maybe you can try too, look at it like a high school bully who comes at you aiming to make you scared, he’d like it all the more if you told him to go away or ran away yourself he would then feel power over you and seem to get worse. However what happens when the poor kid finally turns round and doesnt move, says ‘ hey do your worst to me, because im not affraid anymore’ Wham, the once scary bully has lost the power! I know this may seem strange and there may be people looking at the computer screen saying who the hell is this guy but its a technique that i tried and it really helped along with great advice from the guys on here. Hope your feeling good :)

  564. Katie Says:

    Hey ant,dont feel your butting in lol! that anaology you have come up with is spot on, im sure someone else has said something very similar in the past,but its exactly how to approach all your thoughts-they do seem like bullies,taunting you,coming back for more when they scare you, but your shift in attitude about facing them head on and feeling better just shows how well you have taken the advice on board and what a difference it makes ey? Letting them be there,not working out why you think them is the right way to go. Sure,there are ups and downs but honestly keep at it,your definately in the right direction!!!

  565. Katie Says:

    It will do sara honestly, the more you get used to letting the thoughts be and see them for what they are-rubbish,rather than try to figure out why your thinking them and working it out in your head, the less they hang around. When they aint got an anxious response to cling onto,the less they will come! Its just getting used to this change of attiutde,some days you will find it easier than others,but in time you will get to the point im at-honestly. but dont let the thoughts put you off doing anything you want to do-great advice from candie when i were in two minds about trying for another baby! and she were right,if it stops you doing something,your still letting the thoughts control you!so i say go for it-if you still want to go into teaching,do it! You will feel a great sense of achievement!

  566. Sara Says:

    Thanks, Katie! I appreciate you sharing all of that with me – it really makes me feel better! I am doing much better at letting the thoughts roll off me and not reacting to them. Even though the anxiety is still there, I do feel like I’m getting better at not letting the thoughts bother me and not trying to answer/analyze them. It’s so funny how anxiety can make you so afraid of yourself! Even the most ridiculous things! I went and saw a movie today with my hubby and the main guy in the movie had bipolar disorder – I then started to think, “What if I’m bipolar or what if I become bipolar?” And I noticed I was paying attention to how the guy was acting and was trying to see if I had any of the same symptoms or whatever. Then I realized that it was anxiety playing tricks once again and started laughing and just let it go. I didn’t analyze it like I normally would – I just forced myself to move on from that thought. It’s just so crazy the things anxiety will make you think/believe! :) Anyway, I truly feel like I am getting a better handle on this and had a much better today even with the anxiety being there because I didn’t let the thoughts get to me as much and noticed there were times when I wasn’t even thinking about anxiety or the thoughts. Baby steps, but steps nonetheless. :)

  567. Katie Says:

    OH i know exactly what you mean. i used to think like that when watching something that had summat bad in it.i used to stop watching horros/thrillers/anything of that sort that would make thoughts come in my head!i used to drive my other half crazy just wanting to watch comedies or romance films all the time,anything that couldnt create negative thoughts. now i know that was the wrong thing to do-you shouldnt avoid doing/watching anything, so i watch whatever now,and if a thought pops in my head,then so be it,its only a thought. but your doing well moving on from the thought of bipolar,rather than analyze it.its funny coz i too had that thought too,stemmed from reading something in the news lol.its funny what it makes you think and its good we see the funny side of it,and you did to tht thought!keep going!!xx

  568. Sara Says:

    Haha… Thanks.
    If you don’t mind me asking, how long have you been suffering from anxiety/panic? Have you read Paul’s book? What about you, Candie, if you’re reading this? I’m just curious since you two are so helpful and full of advice and seem to be doing so well. :) Did either of you suffer from a little bit of depression here and there, too? I sometimes feel a little low/depressed, which I never did before, and then that scares me and makes me afraid I’m going to slip into some deep depression or something. I know that’s an anxious thought, too, so I’m working at letting that one go when it comes up, I just wondered if anyone else felt like that from time to time along their road to recovery…?
    I just got Paul’s book last week and I’m almost done reading it. I’m so grateful to him for writing that book and sharing his experiences – I don’t know what I’d have done if I hadn’t come across this website! It’s so nice to finally have an understanding of anxiety and panic and to know that I’m not alone and that recovery is possible!

  569. Tracey Says:

    hey sara,
    I know this wasn’t addressed to me but I wanted to answer you anyway. Anxiety/panic started for me at the end of last October. I didn’t really start obsessively thinking until last December tho. I myself have come along way since finding this website… Candie and Paul have really helped me a lot. I did sometimes feel low, i still do every once in awhile but i know that its nothing so i dont really pay much attention to it. Everyone feels low from time to time but like u said wondering if its depression etc is just another anxiety thought and you must let it pass. I can relate to you a lot because I was where you are right now a few months ago. i can tell you right now if u continue to let things pass and not grasp on to every little thought u will feel so much better. it’s the most amazing feeling when you start to feel free again and like your normal self. Good luck to you Sara!

  570. katie Says:

    Mine started last oct too, so its been nearly a year.started by dealing with a traumatic situation and led into this but like tracey says you do feel low every now and again,its just because you have the need to feel your normal self again,but the more you are letting the thoughts pass,the more your normal self returns and then you stop wanting it to go,you just live alongside it and accept that you will recover in the time your body needs to recover.

  571. Sara Says:

    Thanks, Tracey and Katie. I do feel like I’m getting better at letting the thoughts go. I still have good days and bad days, but I am trying to not let the bad days get to me and realize that it’s all part of the process. I’ve had a good couple of days and then last night and today my mind has really been racing and I’ve been feeling a bit more anxious and down and just tired. When my mind races like that, is it ok for me to try and sing a song in my head or something so that I just have one thing to try and focus on? I don’t know if that’s like some sort of “compulsion” or something that I shouldn’t do. It’s just overwhelming sometimes when you can’t stop your mind – which I know you’re not supposed to do – but is it ok for me to just try to find something like a song to focus on so my mind isn’t all over the place? Do you guys still feel like you think alot/have a lot of mind chatter now that you’re recovering or does that go when you recover? Not necessarily analyzing, but just still thinking (if that makes sense)? It’s probably normal to think and to talk in your head, so it’s not something to worry about/panic over, right? I guess that’s something that won’t bother me once my mind isn’t so tired and I’m not so sensitized? Sometimes I wish my mind had an on/off switch! :) It’s not necessarily the content of my thoughts that bothers me, just that I am always thinking and I’m aware of my thinking. Anyway, this helps sometimes just for me to write it down and talk to you guys, so thanks for listening and thanks for replying! I hope to be where you guys are one day and I have confidence that I will as long as I keep to the rules as much as possible. :)

  572. Sara Says:

    Also, did you guys ever have the fear of schizophrenia? I don’t know why that one came up for me, but I’ve been afraid of that one of and on and have had to dismiss it. I just wondered if anyone else had that one? I guess it might be because sometimes I’ll be in that “in-between” phase when you’re falling asleep but still kind of awake, and part of my dream will seem kind of real and so if I “hear” anything in my dream, then I’ll think I just heard something in real life. Haha… that’s so funny now that I’m writing it down. But it scared me when I thought it. I know I have more bad dreams when I’m anxious, so this is just probably part of anxiety, too. lol.

  573. Tracey Says:

    Hey Sara,
    I’ve had a fear of schizophrenia before, it wasnt one that really stuck with me but throughout this whole thing thats been one thought Ive had and I know that other people on this site have had that fear. You ask if I still feel like I think a lot, I have my moments. I’ve actually been in a bit of a set back today because of something I saw on Oprah a couple days see I still get caught up a bit too once in awhile. you really have nothing to worry about Sara. you are in the same boat as all of us–I can assure you that any thought you have had somebody on this website has had the same at one time or another. I can vouch for myself and say I have had some pretty weird ones, we just need to learn to not have such a negative reaction or try to figure them out..they dont mean anything about you Sara. Being too aware of my thoughts used to really bother me as well and sometimes on a bad day it’ll still bother me. when I feel that happening I just kinda take a step back, take a breath and continue what I was doing.

  574. Katie Says:

    I agree with everything tracey said above.its just learning to not have a negative reaction to whatever thought you get. i too had the scitz thought,in fact iv had some crazy thoughts,you name it and iv prob had it,but its now that my reaction has changed that if any decide to pop up they rarely stick and fizzle out,so just let whatever thoughts in,however strange or random they are,you are the one who controls the reaction to these thoughts so just stick at letting them be there and then give the whatever or ‘yeah right’ attitude to them and you will honestly get more and more confident with this new attitude. I too get the mind chatter and its usually when im really overtired.Me and candie call it ‘flooding’!where you just get a load of random cr*p come into your head,again just let it, dont try and stop it.

  575. Sara Says:

    Ok, I’ll quit asking about all my different thoughts. :) I’ll just assume I’m not alone in the really crazy ones! 😉 Thx again Tracey and Katie and everyone else! Have a great day!

  576. Sara Says:

    Oh – and thanks, Ant, for your reply a few days ago! That was a great analogy with the bully. That totally makes sense. I hope you’re having success with everything you’ve learned!

  577. Sara Says:

    Hey everyone. I’ve been doing pretty well lately with all the scary thoughts and just dismissing them and not analyzing them and they haven’t been bothering or scaring me as much. Then last night I got a brand new scary thought that threw me for a loop and I wasn’t able to dismiss it. It kept me up a good part of the night and has been bothering me all day today. It’s a silly one, I know, but for some reason it’s hard for me to dismiss it and not be afraid of it. I’m wondering if I post about it maybe it will help me to get it off my mind or maybe someone will have a suggestion to help me thru it. The thought was what if I develop a fear of thinking? It scared me because you have to think and everyone thinks and that’s normal. But it really bothered me because if I did develop that fear I would be an even bigger mess and nut case! 😉 I tried so hard to dismiss it but it made me aware of all of my thinking and every word and thought going thru my head and so I couldn’t let it go. It made me even more aware of my thinking and would then make me afraid – a nice vicious circle. Anyway, I know it sounds pretty ridiculous, but we can’t help the things that come into our minds sometimes. 😛 I know that what I am in control of is my response but I’m just having a tough time with this one – especially since every time I catch myself being aware of my thoughts (which is a lot right now), it reminds me of it and that thought/fear pops back in my head. Anyway, I’m doing well with all the other ones so that makes me feel good and have hope, it’s just this one that’s getting to me right now. Hopefully after getting it off my chest a little I’ll feel better. Anyway, hope everyone is having a great day and coming along in their recovery! :)

  578. candie Says:

    Sara, uv over reacted to this becaused your mind is doing so well with dismissing the other stuff the adrenalin is lookin for a release elsewhere. Thats what it does, just keep dismissing and understand why u feel like you do and it will pass. Also, you cant develop a fear of thinking as its an automatic process that happens subcontiously- therefore you cant stop thinking! You can develop a fear of the products of thinking- thoughts, but what you really fear is your over reaction as you dont like how you feel. So no, you wont ever go nutty and not be able think!

  579. Sara Says:

    Thanks, Candie! When you say “you can develop a fear of the products of thinking – thoughts”, that’s what this whole blog is about anyway, right? We’re all afraid of the thoughts that come into our heads and so then we add “second fear” and panic about them and obsess, worry, etc, over them. So this new thought/fear of mine is no different, right? My fear is of the thought itself, but my mind and body is trying to trick me into thinking that I’m actually afraid of thinking. I’m really only afraid of the thought? And if I feel fear or adrenalin when I’m thinking, it’s just because my mind and body is tired, and because the anxiety is trying to trick me? Just like the fear of hurting someone – we get the thought of “What if I hurt somebody?” Then we fear that it might be true and add second fear and panic. If we see someone, especially someone close to us (friend, family member), then we get the worry/thought again and can even get an image of it. But really we were just afraid of the initial thought? Is that right? I hope I’m catching on here. :) I feel like I’m going round in circles sometimes. :) But you’re right – the anxiety is still there so it’s trying to find it’s release in something. It seems like it takes awhile for a thought to “de-sensitize” after it gets a response from you. I can now dismiss all my old thoughts and not let them bother me, but that took awhile to get to that point and for them to lose their scary edge. I can dismiss a lot of new thoughts that come up, but when I get one that gets a reaction, such as this one, it will take awhile to “de-sensitize” again and for it to become less and less scary and eventually go away, right? Sorry to sound so dumb, I think I’m catching on here, but I’m still learning, too, I guess. :)

  580. Tracey Says:

    Sara you are catching on! It took me a little while too but you are getting it…don’t feel dumb. and try not to get discouraged when new ones come in and try to scare you because like candie said its just the adrenaline trying to find a release. you are only scared of the thought and the reaction you are giving it. You doing great sara just keep dismissing :)

  581. Will Beswick Says:

    Hi all, just to contribute for the first time on this fantastic blog. Paul and I seem to see things in a very similar way and he has done a fantastic job bringing this out into the open. For what its’ worth, I appreciate people’s feedback when they visit my site and some say it’s confusing/some say it is exactly what they need as they want to know ‘why’ they suffer to be empowered, so I take note and will respond here!

    The reason I suppose is because I found out so much that I wanted to explain it all as knowledge is power, BUT the solution is really quite simple!

    Whatever your anxiety/follow-on obsessiveness, you just need to realise as higher up on ‘Hells-Bells’ response – my primary-secondary thinking concept description is ‘exactly’ the way I look at this.

    However, it is important to note that my recovery has moved on so much, that the solution to ‘banishing’ those secondary unnecessary ‘reactions’ has become so much more refined and ‘to the point’. It also makes SO much sense when you can look clearly at what you’ve been doing.

    Basically, I wrote an addition to my book called ‘The Rule of 10’ because of this movement forward in my understanding.

    Ready? Ok, When we have a ‘bad’ thought/feeling – we ‘respond’ ”every time” with tension – right? Ok, so this tension is basically a ‘speeding up’ of the brain. Now, quite simply – this IS ”unnecessary” as I explain re this being ‘secondary AND conscious’. SO – we simply have to ‘reverse’ this process to ‘regain/resume’ our mind flow. This ‘calming to flow’, as I call it – cannot be ‘saying things in our heads in response to our panic, or repetitvely doing things to recover’ as this IS the problem all over again i.e. all these do is ‘intensify/speed up’ our minds further – which is our panic again.

    So, without going into ‘too much’ detail as I don’t want to confuse anybody – we simply have to calm our mind when we feel panicky – and yes, I know that this can be difficult to stick with when you FEEL that you want to keep intensing – as you feel you ‘have to’.

    Eventually, this ‘taking your foot OFF the pedal, rather than putting it back ON it, will see you flowing better through ALL those good AND bad thoughts – as that is what life is and should be. However, it is just our heightened ‘propensity’ to react which IS the problem. This is the ‘habit’, as Paul says, which we can change. cheers Will (ps sorry if I am not always able to answer on this blog as very busy) but thought I would try to help!

    There is also a lot of stuff re obsessive habits being the ‘over-protective’ side of holding onto positive controls – I will leave this to another day – but this is STILL the same ‘conscious intensing’.

  582. cherry Says:

    Just want to say this website is a godsend! I have suffered from anxiety for 5 years on and off now and it seems to come about when I have had a stressful time. I can relate to so many people on here who say its the obsessive thoughts that disturb them the most as that is what gets me.

    I remember being to the doc wanting help when all they did was hand over a prescription of antidepressants..I became very private about my negative thoughts as I was convinced I was not normal and I must be weird to have such thoughts.

    I remember being so desp I went to the docs and told her I was having thoughts of harming my family..only for her to ask if I would?!!!!

    It is no wonder that so many people suffer alone, thinking they are mad or abnormal in some way.

    I was bottling up these thoughts for years..only to have a good chat with my mum which lead to me telling her those thoughts..which also lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

    I have ordered your book Paul and look forward to reading it..I am defo feeling more positive about the whole anxiety thing :)

  583. Jim Says:

    Hi everyone. This is my 1st post. Ive had mild depression for a number of years on and off but in january had my first bout of anxiety, absolutley terrifying! The website and comments have really helped me through and i dont feel the physical symptoms any more, at least i dont react to them anyway. Im really having trouble with the obsessive thoughts though. They are ridiculous and mostly centre around my fiancee, they convince me that i dont find her attractive anymore even though weve been together for 10 years and ive never thought it before now. I find i get nervous when shes due home from work or when i have to see her because i feel awfully guilty about thinking this, mainly because shes caring and kind and has been understanding through this whole episode and i hate myself for these thoughts which do not seem to go away. sometimes i find it hard to know what my true thoughts are as i keep argueing with myself. Has anyone else found that they begin to feel confused about what thoughts are real and what is anxiety?

  584. Laura Says:

    Hi Guys

    I have been suffering with anxiety for about a month now and am finally coming to grips with what it is and why it is making me feel like this. I was at uni for the most part (exams, essay, i guess that was my stressor) but continued with my uni life despite my anxiety! I started to feel really good about it all, like I can get over this, but these past few days I have been having some majority disturbing thoughts of hurting others (I never would) but it is sooo terrifying all I do it cry. I can’t sleep for these thoughts, I can’t stop thinking about them. I’m scared that this is actually me and not the anxiety. However after reading the blog and posts I realise I have to learn not to doubt myself and realise it is just anxiety, pure and simple. But I still can’t help doubting myself with the ‘what if’s’ all the time. But I am feeling so much better about it all after reading all this and now are starting to come to terms with the fact I have anxiety and it is not a problem! If I had a broken leg I wouldn’t be willing myself to get better everyday until it did, I would just let it sort itself out, which I have to do now!!

    Thanks, just reading your posts has been a massive source of comfort!
    Good Luck to everyone, I know we can all overcome this!

  585. Rosangela Says:

    Hi my name is Rosangela, I’m new to this web site, and so far I love it the lilttle time I have read all of the blogs has helped me very much….I now have 1 year battleling anxiety….From time to time anxiety could just disappear but unlike other days could just be there…and like every one else I have those obssesive thoughts!!

    As time goes by I am scared that my symptoms will get worse, I hear alot of people have different symptoms like hallucinating and hearing things…..just by thinking about it scares me and makes me feel anxious….But I know i’ts all gonna be okay, it’s just that my mind plays a few tricks on me….

  586. Ged Says:

    Okay… I’m new to this site as well. I still don’t know if it is OCD or just GAD playing a lot of tricks on the mind. Does anyone know the difference? Basically, I get a random thought and sometimes dwell on it, but now I’ve learned to cope with it by not trying to fight it.

  587. vicki Says:

    Hi Paul- I am new to this blog. I have suffered depression/ anxiety etc since I was 11 on and off [am 39 now].My present bout has been on and off for the last 4 years. I start with extreme nervousness about nothing- just a bad feeling in my tum. After a week or so this goes onto the obsessional thought about harming my eye- always the same repeating thought- sometimes no more than an emotion – but it instantly makes me feel scared and down. The the next moment I am convinced i would never hurt myself and can feel “high” for a bit then down- and so on! I have found your website very practical, and am attempting to let the thought flow thu without analysing it- but the emotion gets there first- any advice??

  588. Jess Says:

    Hi everyone,
    First thing i would like to say is thank you to paul for this website. It has been excellant as there is alot of rubbish out there that can cause more damage. I could sit here and spill my scary thoughts but what would be the point ‘ these thoughts are just thoughts’ they have no meaning. Nobody was ever hurt by a thought, nobody ever died because of a thought, and no disasters ever occured from a thought. It is very easy for me to say this, and im at the point where i am building this belief in my mind. But as we all know there are days that my mind is too tired and i let my gaurd down, and away i go down the anxiety path.

    Im starting to feel good again, and this is because i have done what paul says ‘ let the thoughts come’ they cannot harm me or anybody else. I have developed a classroom of worrys where i let them come and give them space and when i get a really bad one i make it come sit to the front of the class. I remove all its respect, and its meaning!

    Patience is a virtue, everyday i am getting better. I just want to go back to the old me, and i am getting there. I cannot give myself a time frame or set a date. I have learned that they way i think has become a learnt behaviour and recovery has to become a learnt behaviour. The more i use my tactics, the better i get at them and therefore thoughts loose their meaning, anxiety reduces and the old jess is back in town. HAng in there everyone, we’ll get there.

    Thanks again Paul

  589. Jade Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I am very nervous even typing this email as I am so afraid to put in writing the horrible time I am having. I suffered from PND after birth of my daughter and had terrible depression and insomnia. To be honest I did not believe I had PND I just felt frightened all the time and obsessed over my sleep issues. However I lived life, went to work and just got on with it.

    One day I decided I just didnt care about not sleeping if I did I did, if not so be it and hey presto, I never slept better. However thats when my really hell started…

    I was really stressed with my daughter starting nursery, she was distraught and wasnt settling, someone mentioned abuse in nurseries etc and I started getting upset thinking maybe something bad was happening there (of course it wasnt but the thought plaugued me) I was reading in papers about abuse in nurseries and one awful article about mothers abusing their children which was distressing. Out of the blue (and this is where I feel panic and ashame typing this) an image came into my head of me sexually abusing my daughter. I know this is problably the worst thing a mother can write, I dont know where the image came from but I nearly fainted with the pure fear I felt run through me. All I thought as ” I DO NOT want that thought to come back!!”…and ofcourse it did, over and over and it got to the point I couldnt look at me beautiful girl without having this image.

    It has been six months now and all I have tried letting it just be there/laugh about it etc but in truth I just want it to go. All day I tell myself just let it be there, it will fade in time and some days I can just about brush them off and then I get caught in the trap of impatience I just want them gone as I am so ashamed and guily ridden for having such horrendous images in my head.

    Ive read other people have had thougts of harming otheres, and they fear they will do it. I have no fear of this at all, ofcourse I wont. I dont have What If I do this, thy are just images over and over.

    I watched the video on a much earlier post about OCD/PURE O and the doc said it wasnt the image that was the issue it is all the rumination about the image that is the problem. I dont understand what he means by rumination. Do you think he means my endless mind chatter I create reminding myself to just accept the image, let it be there etc, is that the problem, should I stop this? Or do you think he means the meaning we give to the image ie Im a bad mother for having that thought, or both? Also Paul stresses (as does Dr Claire weekes) that the thought is nothing more then memory, fear and fatigue but that doc on the video said it definately is NOT a habit. So now Im more confused than ever, as Im trying to reassure myself it will go once I can accept them, it sonly habit and fear etc but I feel my belief in that way of thinking has been shaken by what the doctor said.

    I am so ashamed what people may think of me, I love my daughter more then life and this image would never ever ever happen. I cannot believe this is my life at present. I have not read anywhere of any mother having this. Ive read they have a thought, like what it I do this? But mine is just an awful stream of images of a similar vein.

    Can anyone out there help me, talk this through as I get so lost in am I doing this right or wrong.

    Praying for help and advice.


  590. Hawkeye Says:

    Ok this is working.

    Jade I just read your post and felt I had to reply.

    Please do not be concerned whether it is a thought or an image they are all anxiety based and your image thought is soooooo common. I have heard of it alot and well done for been brave and typing it. I bet alot of people will sigh relief when they read your post.

    About it been a habit or rumination etc don’t worry to me they are quite similar when you are focused on something for long enough it will become a habit. And because you have focused on it now for awhile it is not going to leave over night. BUT IT WILL in time. this is what you need to be patient with now TIME. Let your mind do what it wants you do not need to get into an internal dialouge or argument.Like one voice saying ‘I don’t want to do that at all’ and the other voice saying something else. This only gives the thought attention. Just let it be you do not need to listen to it. It is only because there is alot of fear attached to it that it is sticking around. It’s like your subconcious keeps sending it back because it thinks it is imprtant becAUSE you have given it importance. Your mind does not know what is fact from fiction. You do though. And you deep down know you would never do this. It’s just that you are having trouble believing it because you are surrounded by fear.You will be ok.

    Let your thoughts do what they want do not give them attention. They can swirl around as you carry on doing what you want to do.

    I too have suffered obsessive thoughts off and on for a very long time, but I am now learning how to handle them. I also know that they tend to focus around the people or things we care most about. Mine are relationship based. Always questioning my love for my partner even though I know that I love him sooo much. I used to do it with thoughts of my parents dying, but as I got older it moved into my relationships. I now know it is an old pattern and I know what to believe.

    Hope this helps

  591. jess Says:

    Hi Jade,
    Jade the first thing you need to identify is that a thought is just a thought. I had something similar to you after watching a film on child abuse, it completely disturbed me and i couldn’t stop thinking about it, then the thought came into my head ‘ could i ever do something like that?’ at this very moment i should have dismissed this thought, but because of my already anxious and tired mind ( due to other aspects in my life) i gave this irrational thought meaning. I am the oldest of seven kids and the youngest is 1. I was always so active with my brothers and sisters and when i gave this thought meaning i avoided them ( as i thought i was protecting my brothers and sisters from me) i thought i was a bad person and took myself to hell and back.

    That was 7 weeks ago, and know i am getting better. I did go to a psychologist who explained to me what i was going through,i also did alot of research of Pure O thoughts. Education has brought me back into recovery. I have decided i will not let myself be a victim of negative thoughts. Act and your thoughts will follow…. I made myself spend time with my brothers and sisters and not overnight i began to desensitize those awful feelings of dread and fear that i felt in my body. By reacting to these thought i told my body i was afraid and then there we go on the ‘fight’ and ‘flight’ reaction that our body does to protect itself. The main thing you have to remember is that you have ‘anxiety’ this is not you! Stop trying to justify or make an explanation for these thoughts. They have NO MEANING!

    Jade, you are a mother. ALL mothers worry, the difference is other people are able to dismiss these thoughts as irrational. Although because you where already worried you ask yourself these WHAT IF questions? and ruminate on then ( which yes does mean mind chatter, obsessional mind chatter). Things will get better but we can only help ourselves. I feel as if i have rambled on a bit, but i hope this helps. I am really starting to feel and see the old me again, and its such a good feeling. As i mentioned before in this blog, in my head i have created a classroom of thought ( worrys ) when i get a really bad one in my head i tell it to go to the classroom of worrys, and if its really bad i tell it to come and sit at the front of the class. By doing this i am removingthe fear i had once before. I also have tried a couch of worrys, let it in offered it a cup of tea because you are not afraid of it anymore because it is just a thought. It cannot hurt you, and it cannot hurt your daughter it is a offshoot of anxiety. Again i hope you are feeling better and please please please realise you are not alone, you are normal, and you are not going mad ( which i thought i was ). Keep your chin up and do the best you can.

    Take Care


  592. Jade Says:

    Thank you for both of your kind replies and for not judging me. It is the first time I have put in wriitng these images and it was terrifying to do.

    I understand to let those images in and have their time. I have had times where they are there and I barely even flinch and there are other times when they really get to me and they begin to upset me again. Also there are days when there are loads of images and days when hardly any, and I was wondering why this was?

    Can I just double check something? I think about this situation alot, sometimes it feels like all day, my mind keeps racing and dwelling on it ( I cant stop it from doing that) even if Ive had a good or bad day. Thoughts swirl around that are not scary just self comforting ie reminding myself dont worry it all down to anxiety, just let it be there etc.Then I get the What Ifs, the 2nd fear thoughts, what if it doesnt go, what if Im doing this all wrong? Can you tell me whether I should be trying to stop all these thoughts, the self comforting aswell as 2nd fear thoughts, or let them be there, all of them, and just try not to react to any of them.

    Truly Im sorry if Im asking something you’ve already answered I just cannot think straight, I am just needing reassurance im doing thinks right, and not doing anything that can stall my recovery.

    Once again I feel huge relief I can ask someone these questions, as what ever answers I come up with seem correct one minute, then wrong the next.
    Thank you again for your kindness I burst into tears as you were both so lovely and made me feel it is ok, im not awful, for the first time this year.

  593. Hawkeye Says:


    I’ll quickly say this yes let all thoughts be there. Don’t try and stop any but also remember that you do not need to get into an internal argument with your thoughts. If they are comforting that is good but just let your mind do what it wants. It takes practise. Sounds like you are getting a grip on this already.

    Have your read Claire Weeks More self help for your nerves it’s brillant. You do not need answers to anything your mind is playing tricks on you and because you gave this image/thought importance in the first place it is sticking around. Your mind will change it’s mind so quickly because you are suggestible to answers you give yourself but it can’t hold onto any answer because it is tired.

    All you need to know is there is no answers once you practise this method things will die down and you will begin to see it for what it all is aload of rubbish.You will never do these things I know this.


  594. Hawkeye Says:

    I only said quickly say this as off to work keep posting if you need to

  595. Jade Says:

    I have read Dr claire weekes books and she really is wonderful, I have her CD playing in the car too on bad days!

    I guess I get thrown when I think, right, I have an expalanation for it all so stop looking for any other reasons. Then when I read or see something else (like that video posting) and even the slighest difference of opinion on the subject scares the life out of me. I just got overwhelmed with a whole host of what ifs. What if Ive got this wrong, maybe there is something wrong with my brain, maybe dr weekes method is wrong. I guess Ive just added a whole heap of 2nd fear there havent I?

    Today I have had loads of intrusive images and I have said to each one of them “hello come in and your welcome to come back” I have also realised the awful fear emotion attached to thought is nor “true” either, its just an over the top reaction that anxiety brings. I have found that feeling of shame or dread after the images the hardest to bare, so I now say to it “and your not true either, you are created by anxiety and you are not real”

    Is that awful 2nd fear I have to watch as ever time I buy in to, and start trying to engage in it, it gets me in an awful state for a long time.

    This is hard work but just getting advise of people who are further in their journey than me is a god send. Thanyou.


  596. jess Says:

    Hi Jade,
    Im just on the way to work, so can’t be long! You are doing all the right things.. but this all takes time. Im still there im not fully out of my head….. yet. But everyday i am getting better. The worst thing that i did was create a fear of children. I didn’t want to look at them and didn’t want to be around my brotehrs and sisters. This was by 2nd fear after the thoughts. This was the worst thing i could ever do, as it gave my thought lots of respect. I just need to learn IN TIME to trust my body again, believe i myself. Jade stay strong as i read in previous posts from other people, we are the most sensitive people in the world, and in that fact the safest people. The only people we hurt is ourselves, but we have to forgive ourselves and try and move on. I want to thank paul again for this website. Chin up jade and keep moving! Things can only get better from here. Recovery here we come….


  597. Hawkeye Says:

    Hey Jade,

    It may not feel like it but you are going about this the right way. I will take time as those thoughts are pretty ingrained at the moment so they will take awhile to shift but they will fade until you don’t worry about it anymore. keep letting them do what they want. They never tell you anything.ts only because they have scared you that your brain thinks they are important. Only anxious thoughts stick.

    You said

    I guess I get thrown when I think, right, I have an expalanation for it all so stop looking for any other reasons. Then when I read or see something else (like that video posting) and even the slighest difference of opinion on the subject scares the life out of me. I just got overwhelmed with a whole host of what ifs. What if Ive got this wrong, maybe there is something wrong with my brain, maybe dr weekes method is wrong. I guess Ive just added a whole heap of 2nd fear there havent I.

    Yes you have but that is ok so common in the anxiety state. You are having all these what ifs because we are in a sensitised state and this also makes you highly suggestible to words of others. I too feel this and it can be so annoying. As the fear can rush through you when you hear something else that scares you. Let that first fear rush at you don’t add that second fear. Just let it all happened.

    Sorry have to fly to work.


  598. Hawkeye Says:

    There are truely no answers to find you will not do these things. Have you read through this blog alot of people have had the same fear. Keep posting we Jess and I are here


  599. jess Says:

    Hi JAde,
    I hope you are feeling better, was thinking about you today. I really am starting to turn a corner, and its a great feeling. I still am getting the what if’s that are trying to drag me down, but i just shrug it off and say thats just my anxiety trying to trip me up. Then off i go and have another hour of peace. I am hoping that this is how it goes, an hour of peace, to 2 hours of peace, to a day of peace etc etc. This morning was the first time i woke up and didn’t first analyse how i felt straight away. Of course when i realised i hadn’t, the analysis started… haha but thats just ironic isn’t it, but it is a start.

    Hawkeye, i completely relate to how you feel. I know that the thoughts i have are just anxiety, and created by my wonderful imagination. But once i have one, i do find the need to explore it and create an explanation. Although this is giving the thought meaning, when it is just a figment of my imagination. For example i watched this film that was based on a girls survival of child abuse, it was very graphic and completely traumatised me to be honest. I thought about the film and a thought came into my head ‘ WHAT IF i ever did that?’ absolutely ridiculous but with a tired mind and already anxious i took that thought in and let it domolish my rational thinking. Then not understanding what this was, and looking for answers i thought back to an episode of SVU that at the time didn’t bother me, that was a boy who knew he was a peadophile but handed himself in before he did anything wrong. So in my search for an explanation i thought omg what if i am like that boy? it completely knocked me over and i took myself to hell and back. This is completely irrational thinking, they are automatic negative thoughts that are involuntary and come without any notice and because of anxiety i gave them lots and lots of respect. It was as if they where in charge of me, i had no control.

    I am now starting to regain this control again and understanding what anxiety is, and the thoughts aren’t that scary anymore. I am not afraid of them anymore, the thoughts have not dissapeared… YET but i do notlet them stop anything that i am doing. I make sure that i spend lots of time with my brothers and sisters and enjoy and love them as their big sister. When i was at my worst, i did not want to be around them as i thought i was saving them from me. It broke my heart when my little sister who i love soo much, and was soo close to said ‘ why do you not want to spend time with me anymore? i miss you?” i think this was a big moment for me as i realised that i am not only driving myself nutty but i am effecting other people this has to stop!

    I said to myself Where is that girl i used to admire and love? i know you are in there somewhere and i would like to see you again please? I decided i am not going to be a victim of these thoughts. I am going to live and be happy and do what i WANT to do. I wanted to make peace with my mind. I am getting better and in time i know i will be happy again, i am getting short previews of it now and it feels good. This site is amazing, no rubbish just help and support.

    Everybody lets keep moving and keep smiling



  600. Jade Says:

    Thank you ladies, its amazing to hear such positivity ans I cannot wait for the day I am able to support people through this :)

    I am seeing a CBT lady but to be honest she drags me down a bit and I think my progress has been hindered as she creates such doubt in my mind. I ask her “right ok, so if I can live alongside theses thoughts for a while and let time pass, they will fade out?” and she just says ” I cannot confirm that, and why are you so bothered if they are not there or not” She stresses its not her job to reassure me and I should just work on not giving the thoughts meaning.

    I must say I do need hope though. If I could share my main fear with you guys?. It is not i “Will I do these awful things?” like some people have, I must stress I know I never would do that, that thought does not worry me at all. My burning worry is that “What if they never ever go away?” and ofcourse when CBT lady wont tell me anything and then when another intrusive image pops in my head it is just more confirmation that they never will go. If someone were to say to me ok, you will have these images for 10 years but they will go, I would be ok with that!!

    Reading other posts some people seem quite content and sure they will go in time and happy to live along side them. This I feel is were my progress gets delayed, I constanly fear that they wont go and that I am not dong things correctly. As Hawkeye said, “it may not feel like you are doing it right but you are” That hit the nail on the head for me, I cannot get past the fear that they wont go, and that everyone else is recovering quicker than me and I cannot be doing it right. People keep saying (like my partner and CBT lady) but you would never do these things, and I want to shout “yes I KNOW THAT, the content of the image is not the point, my fear is they wont ever go!”

    I love Jess comment she wont be a victim to the thoughts. That made me think, as some days I definitely am, others Im like whatever, come back into my head if you want I dont care… I just need to feel more of those days as they are still few and far between :)

    Thanks again for your wondering support, that will be me doing the same hopefully soon xx

  601. jess Says:

    Hi Jade,
    Even though we are not speaking face to face jade, i feel that you are getting stronger. Maybe its our oversenstivity to the world that i can feel this, lol. I also tried CBT didn’t really do very much for me to be honest but everybody is different. Do what works for YOU. Its a long process this old thing, but we will get there. I am getting better everyday although i do have my silly slip ups, ill give you an example because as i am writing it, its making me laugh…..

    ” i was at uni today and i was enjoying a conversation with my mates, somebody told me a joke and i burst out laughing” ” my friend, turns to me and says god that was an evil laugh” “i looked at my friend and the laughing stopped and i thought to myself well if i laugh evil, maybe i am evil”

    Now my analysis of this now, an hour later is what the hell are you thinking about? it was just a matter of speech. Laughter is a sign of happiness, kindness and light heartedness i want to hear more of that coming from you jessica. If it sounds evil, it sounds evil… but the origin of that laugh is from happiness, and that is what we all need more in our life.

    I need to stay strong and positive and enjoy all the good things around me. We are the most sensitive people in the world, and that is why we are effected so easily by a passing comment. On the subject of whether these thoughts will ever go jade, im not sure if anything misfortunate has ever happended you in the past but at the time you think that you will never get over it and that it will effect you for the rest of your life. BUT that is not the case, we get over these things and then it becomes a memory. This will just become a memory jade, a bad time that you went through in your life. Although i am trying to see the positive side to this, my whole life i have over obsessed about things and over thought things that have taken up so much of time i could be using to be happy and enjoy life. I want to use this wake up call as a turing point of thinking positive. I am doing a course now starting thursday for the next 6 weeks and it involves getting balance back in your life, and starting to love ourselves again. Keep in touch and keep your chin up jade.

    Chat soon


  602. hawkeye Says:

    Jade hope you are doing ok.


  603. jess Says:

    yeah jade – hope you are feeling better


  604. jess Says:

    hawkeye how are you doing?

  605. hawkeye Says:

    I’m doing really well thanks Jess. Just moving forward and doing what I want to do with ther thoughts there. They are not ruling me anymore and I know they hold no truth that took me a long time to truely believe. i wish they would leave for good but I know this will take time old habits die hard so to speak. Hope you are doing ok too. Post if you need a hand or advice I love too help. We are so lucky have found this site. I actually found this site through another program they are both great. I am going to buy Pauls book soon to as I believe education is the key.


  606. Jade Says:

    Hi girls

    Had a really positive few weeks, and bought Dr claire weekes cds which I play in the car and have to say they have helped greatly. I have been simply banishing any 2nd fear so not thrashing my sensitised nerves over and over. When an intrusive image comes, if I have an intense fear flash I simply accept it, its only my sensitised nerves, and move on.

    I feel a lot more peaceful now, and when the intrusives images come my reaction to them is much much less fearful. I have also stopped asking when is this going to go? when when when?? I have accepted time, more time will be needed thats all.

    Was feeling happy with myself and then tonight, I got sucked right into another second fear cycle. totally got me by surprise this one!! As i was listening to dr weeked cd in car she said ” so many obessions are born from sensitised reaction to thoughts and mental fatigue. Sensitised nerves and mental fatigue make obsesional thoughts, they are following natural laws which can be reversed” sounds hopefulful doesnt it, and makes sense? BUT what did my naughty anxiety do? It said ” So many obesessions? You mean not ALL? So that means maybe its not anxiety creating these awful images! what if its something else, what if Im one of the other ones?? Grrr and I felt gutted and fearful again. In reality it was probably a turn of phrase, but the darn anxiety jumped right in their. LOL, you have to laugh really!!

    Hope you all doing ok, thanks again for the support xxx

  607. jess Says:

    HI girls,
    feeling better just got to keep that level of calm and flow. Still have crap moments to be honest but im doing alright and thats good enough for me at the mo. Just at work sooo ill update properly sooon. Take care ladies and keeep smiling!

    jess xx

  608. hawkeye Says:

    Good Stuff Jess!!!
    Jade yes our mind will always find ways to scare us. it’s funny how we can interupt things. God your way of thinking sounds exactly like mind. I used to have good days then read something in a book and because I was so suggestible i would be over sensistised to it and it would be begin again treat it like all other obsessive thoughts just let it do what it wants no need to add that second fear our minds are over exaggerating again.

    Sorry hope this makes sense so tired need to sleep.

  609. hawkeye Says:

    Good Stuff Jess!!!
    Jade yes our mind will always find ways to scare us. it’s funny how we can interupt things. God your way of thinking sounds exactly like mind. I used to have good days then read something in a book and because I was so suggestible i would be over sensistised to it and it would be begin again treat it like all other obsessive thoughts just let it do what it wants no need to add that second fear our minds are over exaggerating again.

    Sorry hope this makes sense so tired need to sleep.

  610. Jade Says:

    Yeah its just like that, a simple turn of phrase, or my interpretation of a sentence sends me in such a spin of fear it puts me on a downward spiral.

    I guess the key thing is to accept my reaction, accept the fear it brings, as i am oversensitised, let the flash go through me, and thats it, move on. I have found when a what if thought comes in to frighten me like “what if i never get over this” I tend to try and answer it, argue with it as to why I will be better. But thats engaging in it. I should let it be there, label it a 2nd fear thought, and not engage with it, as I can never properly satisfy myself with an answer. I think that is what they mean when you tire your mind further.

    In the last few weeks I have reminded myself to accept every strange thought, every over reaction etc and just let my body and mind do what it wants to do. I have never felt better for it! my nerves seemed to calm and my emotional reactions were far less. If the reoccuring image came I put it down to my tired mind and let it be there.

    I know I have had a downer the last few days and I know why. A second fear thought came in and frightened me, I tried to reason with it, talk myself round from it, and more and more of them have come in, the more I engaged the more worrying thoughts I got. So I accept this too. I feel down and lacking in hope again But i feel this will pass!! I am now just accepting I am down again, working at not engaging in any second fear thoughts and those stupid images. I dont felt utter despair like in the past. Just more practise for me to stop engaging in these 2nd fear thoughts…again!!

    And Jess you are right, some days good/hopeful, others days not so. That is good enogh for me too. I am no longer fighting to be rid of these reoccuring images, just focusing myself on letting them be there and putting it down to a tired mind.

    So second fear thoughts, youve got the better of me this time, but watch out cos next time all your getting is space and time, and no response from me!! :)

  611. hawkeye Says:

    You’ve got it in one !


  612. jess Says:

    Well Jade,
    Sounds like you are really getting it. Just to let you know my thoughts are still there, and sometimes im sitting there playing with my little sister and one will pop in… and im lik ‘jeeeez gimme a break would ya’ lol im not afraid of these thoughts anymore because i know what they are and understand it. So jade and hawkeye you are not alone we are all in the same boat and all helping each other to row ourselves back to recovery island. lol

    I read in somebody elses post that if you had a rash, the doctor would tell you not to scratch it as it will get worse. Well thats the concept im going with these thoughts too, they are there due to anxiety (like the rash its a condition) therefore i shouldn’t be afraid or react or ill make the anxiety worse (just like if i scratched and scratched the rash i would make it bigger and worse and the infection would spread ).

    So there we go jade, we just have a little rash in our heads at the minute and you are doing well not to scratch it lol. You know what i love coming on this site and talking to you girls it really does help me more than any meditation class, exercise, or self help book. ( not talking about your book paul as i haven’t got it yet but will do soon lol)

    Im a student nurse ladies and today we started our mental health module… i was sitting in class and the teacher was explaining schizophrenia, and bipolar etc and i found myself trying to analyse all the symptoms ad relate them to me and i was really starting to doubt and worry. I then stopped msyelf and thought now jessica you are a very intelligent girl, if you had any of these conditions you would be standing on top of roofs and running mad throughtout the town you are not a schizophrenic and you do not have bipolar. But hawkeye the point im getting to is that you are right we are so sensitive to the world around us due to anxiety, so its important to realise that this is just……. ANXIETY! can i even tell you that anxiety is not even classed as a mental health disorder ( quote my psychologist, who has many years of experience) it is a nervous problem which has consequently leads to worries ( due to the fight and flight response or if i was to get technical as i am a student nurse the parasympathetic nervous system) lol

    Another thing i want to add, i went through something similar to this when i was around 14, i went to an all girls school and i remember some idiot said “you go to an all girls school you must be gay” well at there was other home factors that were going on that probaly did raise my anxiety levels for 6 months i petrified myself that i was gay, that i would never get married, that i would never have children, when i saw a boy that i realy like my head would say no you can’t have him your gay! things spiraled out of control. I did not know what this was, but without any help i did get over it and rarely ever ever thought about it. When this happended to me recently, i told my psychologist about my previous experience and even though it was a different situation it was along the same lines of the obessional thinker. Now what i am trying to say girls is that, now that i know what this is, and i can identify it early i have the power to live my life to its full potential. Never letting things spiral outof control and get myself into that rut. We now have the skills, education and determination to nip this thing in the butt once and for all, As you can see girls i love to chat, im irish so you can’t shut us up! lol Im off now to my yoga class….

    Girls keep smiling there is light at the end of this tunnel, we just have to accept that, and keep using torches for the minute lol

    Take care


  613. jess Says:

    just realised i said parasympathetic nervous system – jeeeez some nurse im going to be i meant sympathetic nervous system! lol i blame anxiety hahaha xx

  614. Jade Says:

    Ha ha, i wouldnt have had a clue either way, im just nodding and smiling at the long technical words you use, pretending i know what youre talking about!

    I think I had this twice before when I look back. When I was 9 my mam had a baby and think homelife was unsettled, lack of money etc. I must have been anxious at this time as I had this awful thought I was pregnant. I was so panicked by this thought, it went on for months and all I could think was I was going to be the youngest mam in Britain, the shame, the shame!! After a few months and me realising I didnt have a bump so I must not be pregnant was when I calmed down.

    So yeah now we have the understanding and education, if anxiety rears its head in this way again we can catch it early and not be as bewildered.

    Sometimes recovery island is in sight, sometimes Ive lost it in the mists, but glimpses of it are enough for now. Can wait to land on it tho!!

    Take care all xxx

  615. jess Says:

    Jade you sound alot happier in your post than your 1st one and it sounds like you are getting it. We both had a similar experience with these intrusive thoughts, so i understand where you are coming from. Sounds like home life as a kid was much the same too. I liked that saying ‘sometimes ive lost it in the mist’ i can relate to that too but i keep moving everyday and keep moving towards recovery island where i hear the sun is hot and they serve cocktails on beach. lol (if only)

    Take care jade

    and let me know how your keep’n



  616. Jade Says:

    Thanks Jess

    You know I feel better knowing someone has a similar vein of thought to me. I know the content of the thought is irrelevant but I tru

  617. Jade Says:

    sorry my daughter pressed a button there!!!

    as I was saying the content of the thought is not the point but part of my 2nd fear was no one else would have these thoughts in the world, so what a relief to know Im not alone! And hawkeyes reaction of, “oh thats so common!!” was great.

    I find when the thoughts come sometims I can just brush them off and think whatever, but sometimes they upset me and have a much stronger upset reaction. This is where I feel frustrated as I just want to have no reaction to them However realised this morning I have to accept whatever reaction they bring. Frustration is 2nd fear, so no need for it.!!


  618. jess Says:

    good on you jade, you are doing alright girl! Im really starting to get the hang of this thing! Let them come jade, they are just little messy rashes in your head, don’t sratch them as i told you they will get worse and spread into more stupid thoughts.

    You are not alone jade

    Head up, and keep me updated

    We are doing well, as as i said this is good enough for now. Lets just let this thing run its course and get back to our old selves. It take time just me patient.



  619. Nick Says:

    Hi there,

    Great to hear other peoples thoughts, glad to hear i’m not alone! I too am suffering with obsessive scary thoughts.

    I had a huge panic attack (my first ever) about 2 and a half months ago. D.P followed and the usual thoughts of ‘im going mad etc’. Despite actually finding out a bit about it I continued to worry and was fearful constantly. However, I managed to get rid of the d.p after i found out what it was and paid it no mind, but soon started feeling depressed. I felt down and would have certain moments in the day of utter doom and every morning wake with my heart beating out my chest.

    I was stuck in a bit of rut before this all happened but nothing like depression or anything just felt a bit down as I have no full time job so was turning into a bit of a fatty and spending way to much time on my computer! Basically had my head in the sand not really acknowledging I needed to move on with my life (happened around my 27th b’day).

    Anyway after I started to feel depressed i continued to worry (obviously) and focus completely on my self, even only ate salad for a week or so I was so paranoid. Then I found this site, got the book and read and some of claire weekes stuff too which has really helped me understand.

    However I have developed scary thoughts. Only 2 but they constantly bother me, everyday. One is of killing myself, not even anything graphic or even thoughts about how I would do it or anything, just simply the thought. The other is that I have nothing to look forward too/the future is bleak.

    They are so jarring and constantly intrude. I also start to worry i have OCD or something.

    Funny thing is I am actually the most healthy I have ever been as I started running loads, meditating and eating better. Almost changed my whole life since this happened. Funny what fear will do to you!

    I have been trying to just ‘let them be’ and not place an emotional attachment on them but I am finding it really hard. I have been trying hard to get a new job too to keep my mind more occupied as currently I work freelance and spend most my time at home.

    Any help/tips or words of encouragement would by hugely appreciated!

    Goodluck to everyone! Keep it up, time will heal all.

  620. jess Says:

    You seem to have everything in order pal, right lifestyle, right frame of mind etc. Now what you need to do is give it time. My anxiety started about 3 months ago, and now my anxiety is just being stripped away bit by bit and replaced with the old me. Its quite funny i always believed i was quite ordinary, but after going through this and slowly seeing glimpses of recovery i have started to realise how wonderful and beautiful life is. Soooo yeah nick your right it is funny what fear will do to you.

    Paul mentioned in this blog that patience is very important with this anxiety symptom, so the nick just give it time. Live alongside these anxious thoughts, and don’t be afraid of them. I just laugh at mine now, and realise that they are really a load of rubbish! Although sometimes i get one that just knocks me off my feet. But i keep moving, and smiling and do not give them any power!

    Hope that helps a wee bit



  621. Nick Says:

    Hi Jess,

    Thanks so much for the words. Its so great to read this and realise there are others out there with EXACTLY the same scary thoughts. It is just incredibly unearving to go from one day feeling totally fine to having a crazy panic attack, D.P, thoughts of madness, then suddenly becoming brutally aware of yourself and having these bleak thoughts and feeling depressed. I mean prior to this I never even questioned my mortality or my reasons for being here or anything. Then suddenly my whole world was turned upside down.

    My panic attack actually came after smoking some weed, when i was bored, which incidentally I never do although did quite a bit when i was young. Seemed to have triggered something. During the attack a whole stream of worries and anxieties I had came flowing out of my like I was possessed or something. I was shouting at my cousin, i’m scared of life! i’m scared I can’t get a girlfriend! i’m scared of the future! etc etc, all sorts! I mean literally every anxiety I had ever thought of came out. So odd because I obviously had these worries at one time or another but I never dwelled on them, they were never so amplified and I never thought they could have affected me like this.

    Although I had fallen in to bad habits/a bit of a rut It is was still so unlike me. I’ve always had an uncanny ability to keep my mind occupied and take joy in the small things (probably why I never got a full time job! LOL). So far I have never had any major problems in my life, I had a great upbringing and have been very lucky.

    Although I have always been prone to worry and overthinking and I believe that when I split up with my first girlfriend I had anxiety although did not know what it was at the time, but makes perfect sense now as i had similar crazy thoughts/depressed feelings and worries, but managed to drag myself out. Thats the only time I can ever re-call feeling depressed.

    Paul and many on here spoke of the ‘glimpses’ which I have started to get particularly after going for a run. Small windows of 10 or 20 minutes when I actually feel a lot better and sometimes even think the thoughts are ludicrous. However normally i just try and let them be there but don’t go down the futile route of quetsioning while they are there which inevitably leads to me feeling worthless.

    It’s just the mornings that kill me. The meditation really helps to calmme though. I know from reading claire weekes as well I should get out of bed straight away before the bad thoughts and feelings come but i find it so hard.The constant general worry associated with the scary thoughts is also a killer. The claire weekes book really helped though to explain why I could not dismiss them and the ‘loss of self’ that makes them feel so real and almost forget how amazing life can be and all I have going for me.

    Sometimes as well the thoughts become too overpowering, I almost had a panic attack the other day after an evening of intense worry but because I now know
    what it is I recognized the feelings and was able to calm myself and face them without it escalating into one. Just really need a full time job/occupation, claire weekes says it is imperative to recovery.

    Every time I start feeling really bad though I say i’m gonna go to the doctor but then I start feeling a bit better and don’t go. Always ups and downs.

    I also feel like I now know whats wrong and don’t want the doctor trying to push meds on me or tell me something different. I guess I don’t really trust medication and I know this condition is not that well understood. Although I acknowledge that perhaps speaking to someone might help. I am learning slowly but it’s just so hard sometimes to find the strength and stick to the plan. When the doom descends I sometimes feel like I have forgotten everything i’ve learnt.

    It’s also annoying because it seems I have a definitive answer to what I have been going through but it’s just frustrating I can’t change it straight away and in fact should not even be trying to! I also hate the fact my mind tricks me and makes me believe the thoughts. The fact that it saps your confidence and resolve is also so brutal, many times I have felt defeated.

    Just wish I had never got myself into this state. I know though it is how it is and I must accept it. Great to hear that people are coping and pushing through though. Just not sure whether its worth seeking extra advice from a doctor on the matter.

  622. Ella Says:

    Hi Nick, you sound a lot like me lol my first panic attack was when i was smoking some weed with my boyfriend which I hardly ever did, i ended up screaming at my boyfriend to take me to hospital because i thought i was going to die… after that i seemed to go down hill. Constantly worrying about life, panicking that i’m going to drive myself mad and have to go to the loopy bin, I also have horrible thoughts about the people that i love the most, which really upsets me and has affected my relationship with my boyfriend. Sometimes i just feel so down. But since realising that i have anxiety and im not schizophrenic or something i have seen those ‘glimpses’ of normality, and Pauls book has helped alot. Also all the comments on this site have shown me that everyone has a different experience with anxiety but we are all in the same boat.

    I went to the doctor before i read Pauls book, the doctor just told me that it was probably just stress from my uni exams that was the problem and to take up some regular exercise and it should go away. but it didn’t, that was when i started looking for answers, which was where i came across this site which has been amazing. I feel like i’m getting better everyday, even when its a bad day, like today! So i am hopeful for the future. Sometimes it can feel so hard to not question the thoughts that pop into my head, when i feel myself start to question or panic i just say whatever, i know its just playing tricks, and it has played alot of tricks! Its a sort of clever thing in a way.

  623. Nick Says:

    Yeah tell me about it! I think the fact that I wasn’t exactly super happy before is also not helping because it’s like I feel I also have to overhaul my whole mind/outlook and make myself see things in a much more positive light too, so as to aid my recovery. Probably a good thing but I have had the same mental habits for a very long time so having to create a whole new positive outlook on top of ignoring the bleak thoughts is proving damn hard. Feels like the anxiety kind of plays on my already depleted confidence and tries to make it even worse.

    There is a big difference though from being in a bit of a rut to having the dark feelings and thoughts that this damn anxiety gives me! It tricks me everyday but saying that I have definitely seen an improvement. It’s strange as well because over the last couple of days the thoughts haven’t been bothering me so much it is more a down/worried feeling. I know discussing it isn’t doing me any favours either but like you say it’s nice to know there are a load of people in the same boat.

  624. Jade Says:

    Hi all

    Just wanted to say that I have been doing miles better then where I was a few months ago. Yes I still get these awful images but my attitude toward them has changed.

    I realised by constantly testing myself to be perfect to ‘do things right’ or thinking ‘there must be something others are doing i am not’ or ‘am I reacting less to them now?’ etc was the main problem. I was focusing my whole energy following the advice I had read to try and STOP the thoughts/images from coming. I was in such a constant state of tension to try and lose them, that I remained tense and completely focused on them, checking if they were still there. Well ofcouse they would be with that attitude!

    I know its been said before but at last I have grasped the point. It is my attitude to them that was the problem. You need to work on the attitude ‘if they are there or not I dont care’ If i have a stronger reaction to one particular thought/ image well ‘i dont care!’

    I have now stopped focusing on ‘when will they go?’. I now think, if you are there or not thats fine with me. I felt free for the first time. Sure the images are not pleasant but they are there for a fraction of a second and thats it, whatever, get on with your day.

    I have been to hell and back with this and I guess it takes time to be able to say and feel ‘well I dont care’. Truly I never thought I could be able to say that but after time you can. The whole situation stops dominating your day, you are able to think of other things, laugh and feel closer to normal again.

    I am now living alongside these intrusive images. They irrate some days and other days I dont think twice about them. As Jess says above, its all about letting time pass. I believe in time the feeling of not mattering if they are there or not will be fixed, a permanent state of not caring will be established, and this will mean a much happier me!!

    Take care all xx

  625. Hawkeye Says:

    Hi all

    Just to let you know I am still here. I have been away on holiday. Ella and Nick glad to see you posting post when you need to and Jade great to hear you are doing well.


  626. jess Says:

    I am sooo happy to hear from you, and so glad you are doing well.
    Keep up the good work and just let time do its thing. Let the body heal itself.
    Keep in contact. Hawkeye hope you a great holiday and are feeling good.

    Just about to head to work

    Keep smiling every1



  627. Hawkeye Says:

    Thanks Jess

    Yeah i had a great holiday I got engaged!!! A major for someone who suffers ROCD a type of relationship OCD. I hate labels but I had OCD as a child and when it attacked my realationships I was glad to find out it was not just me so to speak. i am coping well. Hope you are well.

    Post if you need to.

    Ps Please call me Rach

  628. jess Says:

    HI Rach,
    That is amazing congraulations. This is a really big step for you, and that is fantastic. Look how far we have all come thru since our original post, jade is doing well, me and now you too rachel. Damm this anxiety thing we have really got the hang of it. Im about 90% ther ei think rach, the thing im having a problem with now is the memory of what i put my body and mind through, i get sort of a lil angry with myself? Did you ever feel like this….

    Again congraulations

    Your friend



  629. Jade Says:


    Congrats Rachel, proposed to abroad how romantic…better than my bloke who muttered when we were in the car ‘so do you want to get married then?’ hmmm

    Jess I sometimes think,… Ive done this to myself, – others wouldnt have got so wound up by it, or I think Ive made such an issue other nothing, and now I have these images all the time just because I ‘overreacted’ and god knows how long I will be like ths. However, being angry or despairing is still 2nd fear.

    Remember what you said at the beginning, you are seeing this as a wake up call to focus on what you want and stop overly worrying about situations. Well I feel the same, and I feel guilt and anger at times about this period too. Then I think, actually no, this has been an educational experience for me. All my life I have worried about everything, always holding the worse case scenario in front of me, catastrophising things.

    It has took this experience to educate me on how I have oversenstised my nerves and caused a

  630. Jade Says:

    try again!

    It has took this experience to educate me on how I have oversenstised my nerves over the last 2 years, and caused my brain to become chronically tired ( all through anxious brooding over things ) and has thus lead to where I am today.

    I am gratefully for this experience – although far from pleasant – to retrain myself and how not to brood on situations. I was the queen of 2nd fear, and now Im learning to take it with a pinch of salt. I run 3 businesses and when sales are down previously thats all I would think about, torturing myself with panic. Now Im learning to shut that out and focus on whats important – the outcome I actually want as opposed the one i DONT!!

    Am I making sense? In a nutshell this experience has been hell for all of it, but we come out far wiser, what an amazing life lesson to learn!

  631. jess Says:

    Thank you sooo much for the reply jade, i see what you mean. You are trying to say that i shouldn’t look at the negative side and feel guilty and frustrated. I should use it as a turning curve, as i believe i suffered from anxiety from a young age without even knowing what it was. I need to keep at it just….

    MY mind chatter has calmed down sooooo much, all i have know is stupid thoughts that try and trip me up, and i get a bit freaked when i read something. Was reading something about sigmund freud the other day in class and it said something about anxiety that obvioulsy scared me…. my heart started racing etc and i was afraid. But imade sure i finished reading the article, i then carried on with my day…. and today i can’t remember what the article said….lol

    So yeah these images that i also have jade which are very similar to urs will pop up for a wile, and try and get us to bite but we have to stay strong and categorise them as bloody ridiculous….

    Can i just say Jade Well Done! If you remember in your earlier posts you said i cannot wait for the day that i can feel strong enough to give some advice on this blog… well there you go you have! You gooo girl…. lol

    Thanks Jade

    Keep smiling…


  632. Jade Says:

    Jess you are funny! There is always humour in your posts which is great!

    I think my mind chatter has calmed down a lot too, the what ifs have slowed down which is good. Im going to say something which will may you laugh, hopefully not too crude….

    Since jan I have lost 2 stone and always had ‘the runs’ which is a off shoots of anxiety on my digestive system. For the first time this year I was constipated and nearly whooped with joy knowing I must have less adreniline in my system!!!! Cant believe I shared that you all :) but it made me happy

  633. Jade Says:

    Oh and one more thing as I do have a serious question for anyone out there.

    I still have these intrusive images every day, on the whole I am able to brush them off and get on with my day. However some days there are a lot more than usual and those are the days I get upset and a set back threatens.

    As these images are about my daughter and I am with her every day, why are there more on some days and not others?

    I know you will all say well does it matter? but to me yes, if I had an explanation it may help me handle the days when there are a lot more images and stave off a set back. I had a bad day yesterday will loads of them and by the end of the day I was in tears, and the whats if /2nd fear thoughts started again which made me more upset and got sucked into the fear cycle again. Grrrr

    Thanks all


  634. Hawkeye Says:

    Jade I know what you mean. I too have little symptoms but the thoughts stay, but you know what we have given them so much attention and importance that yes they will be there for awhile and I guess because we are aware of them then you are still not accepting completely I guess.

    And remember just let them be there don’t try and logically dispute the irrational nature of the thoughts as this only gives them further power. Just move on with what you want to do and let them swirl.

    And let more time pass.


  635. Jade Says:

    Yes im being impatient with time no doubt. As we keep checking, have they slowed down yet or oh no, loads of them today we are still very aware of them. I guess with enough time and practise at not mattering if they are there or not, we wont care if there are loads or a few, and will stop being so aware of them full stop.

    I will continue to let them swirl…..


  636. Jess Says:

    I know its easy for me to just say don’t worry but please don’t. I am exactly the same… I still have these thoughts when i am with my lil brothers and sisters and sometimes my body tells me to run away…. but know i have caught on that it was the running away that gave these thoughts soooo much respect. I gave irrational thoughts that are caused by adrenalin ( it has now been proven that adrenalin can attach to opiods in the brain and this is what causes irrational, and over the top thoughts) so much respect. We had no control over these thoughts jade and they do portray the people we are in any sense.

    Jade just give it time, my thoughts still come jade, but they come with less meaning and force. So when i have these thoughts, I make sure that i don’t run away, i do not analyse them and try my best not to get afraid of them and what happens they pass…….

    About the going to the toilet situ…. Girl i hear ya! lol I lost nearly 10 kilos i was already a thin size 10 and dropped down to 54 kilos, im quite tall too 5’10 so i looked like a walking pencil…. and on a funny note i lost the majority of my weight from my boobs. They were like two balloons that had deflated…. My boyfriend was very traumatised at this body change and became very anxious… ( I said to him, you bloody don’t know what anxiety is boy) lol Anyway where was i…. You would think that i wouldve been happy as a woman to loose this weight, but i wasn’t, every time somebody said jess you have lost soo much weight it was a constant reminder of how unwell i had been, and i started to scared that people where noticing. So when i realised that there was no answer to this thing, and accepting that this was just anxiety… I slowly started giving my head a break, wit the breaks came less stress, which slowly started me gettingmy appetite back. I have put on 5 kilos in the past two months and i am absolutely delighted. Its funny what anxiety can make you appreciate. lol

    Jade you are doing sooo well just keep at it. Look at the progress you have made of the past couple of months…. Imagine yourself in a couple of months or even a year. This will just become a memory. You said why do the thoughts come more some days and the other you are ok…. Ive worked out that when im tired, or stressed with uni that my thoughts come more often. Even if you don’t actually feel tired physically mentally your brain is tired and that is wat is increasing the thoughts, as we have said before invite them all in jade, laugh at them, they are a load of rubbish.

    Good advice there from rachel actually not the thoughst that where the original problem it was our emotional reaction to them. Keep dismissing them jade and this will become a learnt behaviour, just keep at it.

    Hope you are doing well rach


    P.s. everyone keep smiling

  637. Jess Says:

    Missing word in the last line of paragraph one! They do NOT NOT NOT portray the people we are in any sense! lol thats wat i meant to say

  638. jess Says:

    P.s. i just noticed that this topic on scary thoughts and anxiety has had the most posts. Just gives more emphasis on how many people experience this symptom of anxiety and how we are not alone…. just thought i would mention that…..

  639. Hawkeye Says:

    Yeah I found this the hardest to deal with and then when you begin to feel normal you get scared they will come back again. I just hate how they linger even when the symptoms have subsided. Tricky little gremlins

  640. Nick Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Glad to hear people are doing so well. I know how bad it can get and to hear of people are improving is fantastic.

    Just wanted to report on my progress. I too have been doing much better. About 3 or 4 weeks back I had a shift in my attitude towards the thoughts.

    After a brutal thursday/friday I had a good weekend going out with friends (which always takes my mind off them anyway) and then built on it in the week by trying really hard not engage with the thoughts and just let them be rather than constantly trying to examine them. This for me has been they key.

    My mornings used to be absolute hell, waking up with my heart racing with unbearable thoughts of doom but now they are significantly better. I have also made a concerted effort not to read about anxiety as much (as Paul suggested), hence why I havn’t been on here much.

    The thoughts certainly havn’t gone, it’s just their impact and my reaction to them is far less severe. I am far less scared of them although sometimes I will get sucked in. I also don’t think about when I will get better I just take everyday as it comes now.

    I often find myself overly emotional and affected by the wheather in particular and sometimes get strange down feelings but now I just attribute it all to the anxiety, the acceptance really helps.

    I always have the same thoughts of ‘whats the point in my life’ i I have no future’ ‘ I should die’ etc etc the thing is though I am definitely learning to live along side them. It is very annoying though fearing your future and worry what it holds when you never used too even think much about it.

    To be honest though It has just been amazing to get a bit of life back. I mean the thoughts were literally consuming me every second of the day. My lack of full time work has also been a major contributing factor I think and i’m really trying to change it.

    I also worry sometimes I will not be able to fully get rid of these thoughts and they will just linger leaving me in an almost limbo like stage. However the evidence suggests that I have been seeing a considerable improvement week after week so fingers crossed that as time passes they will fade more and more.

    The running and meditation I have been doing has also definitely helped.

    Good luck everyone!

  641. Hawkeye Says:

    So needed to read this Nick. Sounds like you in in my head I feel in limbo no major symptoms jsut lingering thoughts that are just there and because of this I just feel blah like I have plateaued. However I still know I am moving forward. Thanks for posting

  642. Nick Says:

    No worries Rach, it’s reassuring to know someones at a similar stage too. I’m not sure about you but I only had my panic attack on June 6th and for at least 1.5- 2 monthes I didn’t even fully understand what was wrong with me or how to improve.

    I know I shouldn’t think about time frames but it has been a very short space of time and my the improvement has been significant. I find It always helps to look at the bigger picture and remember that we all get better in our own time.

    It is also strange but in some ways I actually feel I am a bit more positive. Some of the things I used to worry about seem to have a lot less importance now after all that has happened. I almost feel like I am now obligated to actually go out do stuff, make the most of things and try and achieve what I want in life instead of getting angry or worried about the consequences of possible actions.

    I agree though it is a frustrating period as you say due to hardly having any symptoms apart from the thoughts. I have noticed their frequency deteriorating though. I definitely do not get them as much and obviously their severity has reduced too. My general anxious feelings are also reducing.

    Although it is still hard when I do engage with them and they start tricking me again. I think when claire weekes talks about ‘floating’ it is the best way to describe it.

    It’s like you just have to move past the thoughts, rather than involve yourself with them. Because I find when I engage with them my suggestibility always leads me to not being able to rationalize the doubt and counteract it so I start believing them. Letting them be seems like the only way to deal with them…

    We just got to stick to the plan! We are on the right path…keep the faith!


  643. jess Says:

    Nick I know what you mean, my experience was very similar to yours. My first hit of panic began on the 4th June and for the first two months i searched my brain for answers that weren’t there and that i didn’t need to prove. Through these two months of despair i took myself to hell and back…

    Its only been the past month and a half that i have started feeling myself again, not a 100% but im just at that lingering stage where its not bothering me or affecting my life but i just wish i could forget about it now and move on…

    But ur right, we just need to let these thoughts float by and not get caught up in them, cause thats what got us into the mess in the first place….. I still get a heavy chest but i try to just move on with it! I know that it will lift eventually….

    Rach, Jade hope you are well



  644. Jade Says:

    Hi Guys

    I am worried about posting this as I know its not anyones job to help me but I am in a bit if a state. I usually get through it but today I am just so upset and no one to talk to.

    I have have an awful past 2 days. Started getting upset over the intrusive images again, and geting caught up in it and paniking that they will never go, and they will be with me for life.

    I have been doing well until now, they were there, they reoccurance kept niggling me, but I wasnt as anxious over their reoccurance just kept letting them be there. Then I just hit a wall.

    I dont know if I am supposed to ask for reassurance that they will go, or what, as this is the one big fear that I have had since the beginning and that keeps me getting upset and cant shake this fear off. Is this normal? Has anyone experienced this or spoke to someone who has reassured themm over this as my CBT lady is so hard and refuses to answer this question.

    Hope you are all doing well as it is lovely to hear.


  645. jess Says:

    You are just getting frustrated with yourself. You want this to all go away and its still here. You are doing soooo well jade, you need to be strong. My mind chatter is nearly completely gone, but my thoughts still come floating by… But i have learned that if i actually pay them no attention do not react these thoughts do pass by and we are able to forget them…

    Jade this is all still raw for me tooo… I just want the old me back! Im fed up, but i know that i have to re-program my body and mind. As i let my body believe i was afraid of something i should never have been afraid of! Remember Jade ‘ a thought is just a thought nothing else’ do not give these thoughts any importance!

    I get afraid all the time that this will never go away. So i decided that if its never gonna go away then i need to get on with my life anyway! Don’t put soo much pressure on yourself to get better jade, this causes unwanted strain and tension. Just take each day as it comes… You’ll be ok!JUst try and keep moving jade. Remember i said to you before jade, im not sure if anything bad has ever happened to you… At the time you think you will never get over it! But Jade we do get over it, and the whole thing just becomes a memory that we think about very little. This is what will happen about this whole situtaion Jade… It will become a memory, a rough time that you went through!

    YOu have lost your confidence in yourself, remember you are a good person! Try and believe that jade, and just try and live again… You have come sooo far, remember that!


  646. Jade Says:

    Thanks Jess as always you talk so much sense!

    Just got sucked into a whirlpool of what ifs (again). And that is a great attitude to adopt, well if they wont go away then Im still going to get my life back anyhow!

    I know deep down at some point my brain will decide these grooves of thought arent to be worried about and will gradually stop coming…I think I have expected it to happen alot quicker though and then got panicky and frustrated as it wasnt happening as quick as I demanded.

    Just let our brains do what ever they want and be happy to let it do it. Think I will get that engraved on a pen or something!!!

    Wow I feel calmer already thank you xxxxxxxxx

  647. jess Says:

    Sucked into a whirpool thats an excellant way to put it jade! Coz thats exactly what this is… a whirpool of crap that we don’t need! Just have trust in yourself jade and live alongside these thoughts for a while, treat them like your little bag of rubbish and just let it be there and not let it bother you! Ive realised that this acceptance aproach takes quite a bit of discipline! Just hang in there jade… we’ll be alright! Just trust in yourself again! Remember we are good people that is we react with such terror about these thoughts, these thoughts do not characterize the people we are! They are caused by access adrenalin in the body, we had no to over these thoughts! BUt we have control over how we react to these thoughts, stay calm jade! Deep breaths k…. Hahaha if you get that pen made, send me one my way! I might get it put on a badge! lol what are we not lik… Jade keep smiling my love! Don’t think about the negative side to how you have been thinking over the past few days! I want you to stop and congrats yourself on how far you have come! Give yourself a big hug jade, and say well done missus! Im doing alright….

    Im here if you need me love

    Take Care

    Your friend

    Jess xx

  648. Nick Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Just reading back the last few posts, great advice as always Jess, hope your feeling a bit better today Jade. Just a little update on my progress really…hoping to calm my nerves a bit.

    I had been doing really well last time I posted but the last week I seem to have got worse, no where near as bad as I have been but worse than the 2 weeks before which were the best I’ve had.

    The severity of my reaction to the same old thoughts seems to have increased again. ‘how am i gonna cope with today / the future / rest of my life’, ‘I need a break from life’ Also the old classics ‘What if I never get better and I’m stuck like this for ever’, ‘there no point I should kill myself’ .

    So frustrating as well, haven’t been able to go out and get drunk for 4 monthes since this happened and it’s really starting to irritate me that i can’t just go have a fun drunk night out with friends cos i’m worried about how bad I’ll feel the next day.

    Seem to be getting sucked in again to the constant questioning/fear and starting to believe the thoughts. The problem is there are no concrete answers…

    Surely this must go away eventually? I can’t live life questioning my whole existence and being in fear of being able to cope with my future the whole time.

    I was thinking about going to the doctor, just for reassurance more than anything and to ask them about similar cases they may have encountered. This is only the 1st time (possibly the second, as I believe I had something similar in college but was unaware it was anxiety) that I have had this so I’m clearly not OCD although the obsessive thoughts are a trait of it.

    I know the rules I have to stick to, and I know there’s no quick fix….just gone back to longing to be free of this worry and fear and scared I will never be able to get past this.

    While I am hugely thankful to Paul for this site and his book, the issue I have is there is no person to guide me through this process. He was lucky enough to have a great therapist who really understood and was able to support him all the way until his recovery.

    I feel like speaking to friends and posting on here is great but I need some kind of concrete evidence to suggest I will get better and some support from a real person who knows these problems inside out and has seen many cases that have recovered, to really give me the belief I need to beat it. Not easy to find though plus I don’t have the money.

    I dunno, guess I just feel like I’m not gaining the upper hand at the moment, the blind faith I need to have in myself and my power to dismiss the thoughts just doesn’t seem as strong at the minute.

    Hope everyone’s keeping their chin up though.

    All the best,


  649. Mike Says:

    Just wondering if anyone here has experienced over analyzing of words. I started to do this without noticing and now when I’m in a conversation, sometimes, a lot of the times now, everything just sounds funny to me. It is very frightening. Does anyone have any advice or has anyone experienced this. With anxiety it’s like it finds new things to attatch itself to when it’s tired of something. I just hope this goes away. I’ve had it for a couple months now. Thanks.


  650. Jen Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I am 25 years old and new to this site. My first experience of anxiety was when I was 21. It was a terrible time and I had no clue what was happening. I had various symptoms- dry mouth, no appetite, lost weight, detachment, etc but it was the scary thoughts that feared me the most. I had 2 year of recovery and it was brilliant. Now I have it back for the last six weeks and am terrified again. My scary thougts centre around words like murder or stab. If I think them, I get so scared and sometimes associate someone love with them. It might seem silly but it really kills me when I think like this. i am a very sensitive person and these thoughts stay with me bcause I am so concious of them. I am very upset as I worry that these thoughts will stay with me. I get scared at the thought of even thinking them and as a result they go on and on. I kno they ae only words but one word could be in my head for a day or two until i am so scared it culd be something else. This has caused alot of suffering. Please could someone reasure me that these will go in time., Thank you very much

  651. hawkeye Says:

    Hi Jen and Mike,

    I am in a huge setback at the moment too and Im having ‘why are we here thoughts’ which is just horrible as it feels like there is no escape. However the content does not matter. We are all afraid of the same things thoughts and only thoughts. We have just become sensistised and because of this the thoughts have stuck and seem so real and terrifying but it is only our over active minds scaring us with this thught and that. Let them do what they want and they will pass slowly but surely.

  652. Jen Says:

    Yes that is true- thoughts are just thoughts and I would have these exact same thoughts 2 years ago and they would have never bothered me. They would be a fleeting thought that I would shrug off. It is sometimes laughable to b so afraid of a thought. But its the getting caught up in the thought and the wory that it will never go that frightens me. And of course thats what makes them stick. I decided today come on in to my head, i am not afraid (even if I am!) Its the fighting off the thought that makes them all the more scary. I was 100% for 2 years and wont let a setback bring me down. I just wont- you loose too much. I can tell we are all such good kind people and we deserve so much more. It may take a while but we are all worth so much more than this.

  653. Mike Says:

    Hi, I’m glad people are posting some responses. I struggle with the existential thoughts every day and have since last year. I’m 23 now, began suffering after a nervous breakdown at work. For others who struggle: In some ways it feels like you have lost your sense of innocense completely. And in a way we have. But we are trying to restore that innocense, that sense of wonder and happinness that we had before anxiety (when we children as well). And we will get there in time. The thoughts will be there when they are there, and there will be moments of each day that we find the thoughts are not there. This is Good! Because when we see these moments we will know that in time they will be gone all the time. They will not go if we sit around and think and analyze. They will be gone when we are socializing, laughing at funny movies, singing songs, watching funny videos, working on art or house projects. The more we do these things, the more we will find those thoughts absent, until they are just never there. This is why paul says not to try and figure it out and just live your life. BECAUSE That is what we were doing BEFORE ANXIETY!
    I’m recovering nicely. Depersonalization almost entirely gone. Praise God!

  654. Caron Says:

    Hi Jen,

    I can totally relate to you. I have had bouts of anxiety on and off for 10 years, mine are obsessive thoughts too. There is one thing I have a real fear of when I am anxious but when I am well I can think of it and just dismiss it immediately. At the moment it is just there and I think to myself – crikey how can I ever get rid of this thought? How can I live with this fear? Surely I am gonna be frightened always? Even though I know I have got on with my life before and not paid it any attention when it is so intense as it is now it is so hard.
    I am waiting for Pauls book to arrive so am hoping that will give me some tips :-).

    Looking forward to getting back to 100%!


  655. hawkeye Says:

    Guys I am freaking out. I have never felt this before. I am questioning why we are here and nothing feels right. Scared I am going to loose it. I have never felt this way before I get scared that maybe I am going through some big life change since reading that book and I am just afraid as I don’t want to face it. I have never had these sorts of fears before. Feel so trapped help

  656. hawkeye Says:

    I know I should have no read such a full on book in a sensitised state.

  657. Nick Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Great to see people posting again, wondering where everyone went!. Rach don’t worry, I have exactly the same thing. Reading what you wrote the other day really helped me, as I have been going through a bad phase last few days too and it made me remember I am not alone and there are people that understand and are in the same position and there is hope.

    My fears revolve around all the same questions like….. Why am I here?, there is no point to life, I should die, this is a huge change and is to big for me to handle, I will never get better, I will never get my self together, i’ve lost who I am, I will never not be worried, will this constant dark cloud ever lift? I can’t cope living my life with this fear, I need a break from life.

    These have always been my main thoughts/fears through this. I have realized though that the intensity of them comes in phases, one week I might be only slightly worried, the next it could be brutal, but as Mike mentioned there are times when i’m occupied or in a good state where I pay them no attention or they seem to weigh far less. I’m sure you know.

    We can only stick to the plan. Despite my understanding of the condition, I am seriously considering going to the doctor just to get some perspective on recovery and whether as a medical professional the doctor can tell me how often he sees these types of cases and how often people get better etc. It is starting to irritate me, I just want an untroubled mind.

    A point to remember though as well Rach is that our mind state and outlook has an incredible capacity for change through this anxiety stuff. You just have to look back at some of your past posts to remember how it can change, there have been many times on here where you have posted in a much better state and offered people great advice. Look at my last post prior to this! I was feeling a lot worse than I am right at this moment.

    Hope this helps,

    Stay strong! Keep it up, it will pass!


  658. Jade Says:

    Hi all

    Sorry have been not on for a while, trying to keep busy and get through a few rough patches myself.

    Nick you sound like you are doing much better now, thats great!

    Rachel, you KNOW it is your sensitised state that is causing these over the top emotional responses. It is not what you read, it could have been anything that upset you as your body was more sensitised at that time when you read it at the time. This is 2nd fear, its a bluff, its anxiety latching on to something else. The great news is you are in a set back. It is great as it shows you must be moving forward, your suffering highlights the progress you have made. When you get these thoughts of big life change, its your strong (over the top) emotional response that is convincing you it is true. Let the thoughts come, let the fear sweep right through you, but remind yourself its only emotional fatigue causing these feelings.

    You said ‘ I am scared I am losing it’…..sounds like second fear to me missy!! You know deep down this will pass, remember Dr Claire Weekes said she likes us to have setbacks, it gives us all a chance to practise acceptance again.

    You will be ok, you are still moving forward xxx

  659. Mike Says:

    Hey Nick, and other new folks

    I have gone to the doctor a few times this year and asked the same question as you, Nick. I once was so bad that I fell down on the floor and said, “Please, is there hope I’ll get better? Please.” But things have gotten better for me, for one reason and one reason only: I became OKAY WITH FEELING TERRIBLE. I have had every symptom of Dp (where I feel ALIEN TO MYSELF), and terrible existential thoughts for the past year.

    I now go to work every day and just feel semi-terrible and strange. I was thinking today how brave I am, just because I am living my life as if I am normal, but I DO NOT FEEL NORMAL. This is Acceptance. My attention is on myself most of the time, but I don’t let it bother me to the point of freaking out anymore. It’s just me. SO what if I am scared of my own existence? It passes when I get off work pretty much. I go for walks in the woods. I read and visit my parents several times a week. I draw pretty often and see friends 2 or 3 times a week. I just always try and remember that when I was a little kid everything was alright.

    I wouldn’t reccommend going to the doctor, as I have done it several times, and have been a terrible, terrible case! Just being brave and continuing on with life is a big, but quite simplistic task.

  660. Hawkeye Says:

    Hi Jade.
    Thanks Honey exactly what has been going though my head too. Wise words. Hope you going ok sweets.

  661. Jade Says:

    I have been doing ok Rachel, I have let a bit of 2nd fear get to me now and again but im just getting on with it, and at times anxiety hasnt even been on my mind, just lving my normal life alongside my symptoms. Sometimes they bother me and I get frustrated and upset then I remember acceptance and if I feel upset so be it, it passes.

    I found the most amazing thing is that I am no longer so impressed by my emotions, I can dimiss them as ‘over the top feelings’ therefore not true. Before anxiety we put so much faith and belief in our emotions, we lead our life by them. Once you suffer from anxiety you have to be a bit more objective towards them, as because of sensitisation, they convince us of things, terrify us and we buy into them everytime. If something brings us peace or happiness thats great, buy into that all you like as it is like medicine for your battered nervous system. But if the feelings are negative, fearful, I just try not to read too much into it as I know I am sensitised and I am feeling things to an extreme. I let the feelings be there, but I now just watch them, and think, god that fearful feeling, hmmmm probably a bit over the top there, good all sensitisation at work again!!

  662. Hawkeye Says:

    Good work Jade you have got it. My problem is that because my thoughts have changed I am believing them to be true. But you are right sensistisation at work and overactive emotions and imagination. Just horrible when I think god what happens if I don’t come out of this setback or oh no the thoughts have changed these are worse than the last thoughts and now I am back to square one with them. However I know this is all part of the bluff.

    Glad you are doing well. And thanks your words helped alot. Can’t believe I thought I was nearly free of this a few weeks back.

    Mike and Nick have you read Claire Weekes brillant!


  663. Nick Says:

    Yeah I bought self-help for your nerves a while back. Amazing book. Wish she was still alive and I could go see her! So amazing how well she understood the condition, it’s almost like she had a 6th sense.

    After a really bleak period at the end of last week and the weekend I’ve had a couple of OK days actually. So strange how I feel so bad and it’s all encompassing on day and I almost can’t see out of it yet a day later I can feel a load better.

    Problem is I just long to better for good, and forget all this ever happened and forget about myself and my life, just live instead. It’s all well and good trying to stick to the plan but I’ve changed so much through this It’s almost like I don’t know who I am anymore!

    I Still find it so strange that I feel so much fear sometimes and things that never even crossed me mind before are so scary and make me doubt my whole existence! I never ever questioned my place on the planet and function in the world now the worry about it travels with me almost everywhere.

    The almost constant aprehension is also so jarring. I also worry that i will just stay like this and never be able to pull through. I know i’m just going over the same stuff, just helps a bit to write it down and get responses from people who are in the same boat.

    Great to hear you are all moving forward though. Keep it up!

  664. mike Says:

    Nick, Hawkeye,

    Glad you wrote these things, as I can relate and let you know how common this is. Anxiety makes you question your existence because it is how your mind is responding to the nerves. The stress and tension has put our minds in analysis mode. Nothing looks or feels the same because a tree is no longer just a tree, your body is no longer just your body, it’s a million other things because of how you have thought about it. Believe me, IT does go away. I used to not be able to shower when I had depersonalization for 10 months, because I kept being like “weird, this is my body? I never noticed it before…weird, I have two arms and 10 fingers, what’s a finger? on and on. This has passed though, because I just allowed it to think these stupid thoughts…until the thoughts moved on to other normal things…music, family, books, places I wanna go and see, pleasant memories… etc.

    Yes, it follows you everywhere (for a while) and it makes you feel like you don’t know who you are. Try and find situations where you feel like yourself and repeat. REpeat, repeat this place and situation. You will find you have come back fully in time. (i felt strange around my parents, analyzing, analyzing, for a while, but then it stopped, and found being with them brought the most comfort) Then I found I stopped analyzing stuff when I was with them. So then I said, well, I’ll just spend time with them a lot. THen I was like Well I’ll spend time with my friends a lot. Then the analysis just died down A TON, because there were such long periods of non analysis. So maybe, find situations where you forget yourself and do them because you enjoy them, not just to rid yourself of anxiety.

    I too have worried that I will stay like this. But the moments, hours, days of freedom let me know that WE most certainly will not.

    I try and remind myself from time to time, “If it didn’t matter when I was a kid, it doesn’t matter now”… regards to “why am i human, why am I here, why do we do all sorts of pointless things?” It just doesn’t matter. I don’t think God made me so that I would walk around questioning it all..rather that I would just enjoy it all and take care of whatever needs to be done.

  665. jess Says:

    Hey Guys,
    Hows things been goin? Just wana let you know that ive been doing sooooo well reecently! Im not saying everything has disapeared coz it hasn’t but my attitude towards it has… I really dont care anymore! Sometimes i feel yucky and anxious but uno what im never impressed about how i feel anymore as i know that it is anxiety trying to bluff me…. ( you are sooo right jade)

    Hope you are doing ok jade, rachel

    Let me know if there is anything i can help you’s with?

    Im always here

    Jess xxx

  666. Hawkeye Says:

    Mike and Jess and Nick thanks heaps or your posts. This all started for me after I read Eckart Tolle a New Earth. I was in a sensistised state and I think my OCD grabbed hold off every notion in the book and then I thought ‘oh my god things happen for a reason why did I pick this book up. Maybe I am going to go through a big life change, Then I started analyzing everyone etc etc and thinking about the ego etc and everything got blown out of control. Thinking why do I want to be around these unconscious people it was horrible. I’m not likethat at all. Then I found a New Earth forum god knows why I read that and they were saying. Sometimes you go through this depression as you are leaving your old friends and life behind YUCK.
    The thing is I have had a few moments of peace now and see it for what it is. But when anxiety takes it grip again it gets cloudy. Sorry for the fruity ness of this post.

    Sorry Mike I am not one for great advice at the moment.

  667. mike Says:

    Great post!

    Totally understand Hawkeye. I used to read that book. Getting into spirituality is basically what caused my obsessive and scary thoughts. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but that stuff will make you think very very abnormally.I Became EXACTLY LIKE THAT. “Look at all these asleep people” I would say. Everything is so pointless and I am so advanced. It’s baloney. I’ve seen statistics with the connection between new age people and depression. It is very common for people who want to “know too much,” to suffer severely. They just can’t be content. I am trying to avoid all otherworldly thoughts, as they are never ending and pointless.

    I believe in a God who loves me and my family and anything else to me is just fluff. No meditation, no aligning myself with the universe, power of now, gurus, etc. It’s ALL ABOUT SELF. Meditation has been known to CAUSE Depersonalization. I don’t ever want to think about myself again. And I believe this is what anxiety taught me about life. Life is about serving others. There is no proof of an ego/ a subconscious..etc. These are just words which mean nothing. Why do you think psychologists can’t cure depression? Because the mind is not a tangible thing. It’s unknowable. My friend is really into spirituality still and I’ve tried warning him…if something terrible happens in your life, you’re not gonna be able to just meditate/think yourself better. I could not think myself out of anxiety, anymore than a parapalegic can think themselves out of a wheelchair. Eckhart Tolle does not understand this. The answer is in getting OUT OF OURSELVES.

  668. mike Says:

    I remember when I got into New Age spirituality and whatnot and this was before I got anxiety, and my parents were just like, “it all sounds kind of selfish to us, but whatever…” and it turns out I became very very self concerned, self seeking, getting into self help. Then I had nervous breakdown at work, and no amount of effort on my part could get me away from these terrible feelings, existential sensations. etc. NOthing could stop me from being SO SELF AWARE. And life became a living hell. All i wanted to do was run away from myself, and get away from all these deep spiritual thoughts. Now, from time to time I find myself looking at my friends and see what they are doing. They are having parties, going to sporting events, going fishing, playing games, going to concerts, dating girls, getting married, and when I’m around them they are just not concerned..and I wonder, “Why are they so free, and I am trapped inside my head? I wasn’t always like this.”

    Well, I became like this when my biggest concern was figuring out the mysteries of life and all. I hardly know anyone else who thinks about all this stuff. And that is why they are happy. They aren’t “Trying to live in the moment, trying to find enlightenment,” They’re just content with what they do know…and they don’t even know they are. Because they aren’t thinking about it. They’re thinking about sports and games, and work and their families, and their on the phone, their watching movies, going to parks. They are alive. I am the one with the problem. Not them.

    Steve Pavlina, a leading self-help and enlightenment teacher tells of this game he plays with his wife when they are at the airport and at the mall, where they look at the crowds and try and guess which people are “unconscious.” YOu can find this on his blog. What the heck? It’s the most selfish, maniacal thing in the world. Who does that? I never want to be like that. I definitely don’t think life is about standing around and trying to figure out who is more spiritual and who is happy, who is just “working for a living.” The real men and women, in my opinion, are those who are taking care of their families and working despite the struggle, and just trying to make a living..not those trying to figure it all out.

    HOpe this meant something to somebody.

  669. Nick Says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for commenting, I appreciate what you say, but I see things a bit differently. Thinking about spirituality and talking about meditating is very different from practicing and using them as tools to enhance your life.

    As Paul mentions, you should not aim to look to deeply into why you have ended up with anxiety and attributing it to deep thinking is not really constructive in my opinion.

    Prior to my anxiety I never questioned my place on the planet, I just lived my life. My anxiety was triggered one night when I smoked some weed (despite not having smoked for years) which lead to a panic attack and the cycle of worry and focusing on my self and my well being began. This in turn lead to obsessional thoughts of ‘why am i here?’ whats the point in life, I can’t live life properly anymore, I need a break etc etc. But these thoughts and my over sensitive reaction to them is simply a symptom of anxiety it is not me or you for that matter.

    Before I had anxiety I could think about anything from spirituality to the meaning of the world etc etc If I wanted to, it would not affect me, it would simply be part of my existence another thought/conversation etc. My nerves were not frayed so thinking about these things did not cause fear or provoke a strong reaction in me like they do now.

    I’m not religious neither am I particularly spiritual although I believe in a higher power. When my anxiety started, every morning was so brutal and I would wake up in a state of panic and constant worry, with crazy heart beating, I also had DP.

    My friend taught me some meditation techniques, something I had never taken an interest in at all. However I know that it was one of the only things that gave me some calm through those first brutal months of anxiety. Funnily enough my depersonalization was one of the first symptoms that disappeared. It had never returned. I have no symptoms left apart from the thoughts now.

    Meditation although used by spirtual teachers and adopted by certain religions is neither religious nor spirtual in it’s essence. It simply involves focussing on your breathing and the feelings in your body, with the aim of gaining a sense of calm, well being and clarity of the mind.

    It in fact it has been used for centuries to give you exactly what you seek, to be able to live your life without worry and without self consciousness. Millions of people all over the world live great lives and enjoy the benefits of practices like yoga and meditation and are the exact people you describe who ‘are just content with what they do know’…everyone knows different things and lives their life in a different way.

    Your self awareness is part of the anxiety condition, not a cause of thinking about spirituality or reading books by Tolle. Rachels extreme reaction to reading his book is also a symptom of her anxiety.

    I have read some of his work he’s a great thinker, agreed it is not the best thing to read when your nerves are so sensitized but nevertheless it is not the cause of anxiety. I could have read any book about anything before anxiety and not thought about it too much, just enjoyed the content and got on with my life.

    Meditation and relaxation techniques are recommended by doctors and normal happy people the the world over and in almost every website and text i’ve ever read they are said to be be very helpful in easing and curing anxiety, there is no evidence at all to suggest it causes depersonalization, it is in fact the complete opposite. Only a few weeks ago I was reading about a man with sever anxiety and depression who found a cure in meditation.

    After 4 months of practicing it has definitely helped ease my symptoms.

    I appreciate we all see things differently, this is just my opinion. However our main aim is to get back to a calm state, where we can just live life without self awareness, DP or obsessional thoughts and be normal. However we get there is not important. Like claire weekes says

    ‘Face – Accept – Float – Let time pass’

    Rach – If you want a great book to read check out ‘The Monk Who sold his Ferrari’ – it is a nice story which will really help to lift your spirits.

  670. Mike Says:

    good post nick. Can’t say I agree entirely, as my experiences are quite different. I am glad you seem to be doing well. I got my degree in Religious studies, and I would say ever since then I’ve been very confused about life, and am finding the best solution to be jsut put it all behind me.

    If you don’t mind my asking…what did DP feel like to you? For me it was as though I am not a person anymore. I felt little emotion, though it is coming back. Felt like I never realized I was alive before. And very intensely self aware of all my actions, and places seem “funny.” And I felt very strange talking to other people. THis too has subsided a great deal.

    I don’t feel Paul went into much detail about how it felt for him, and I don’t know why. HE jsut talks about feeling no emotion, when IT IS MUCH MUCH MORE THAN THAT! It is like ceasing to exist. I am wondering if it was really all that bad for him. For me it seems like something that could never possibly leave me because, Now I have seen it and know it.

  671. hawkeye Says:

    It will lift. You need to carry on gently with what you are doing. Take it with you like a dark cloud following behind but the real you is in front of it. When thoughts enter your head you are not to analyze them work out what they mean. Just say thanks for coming and gently carry on. It is the analyzing and the trying to work out that keeps us in this state. There is nothing to work out. try not to dwell on why you feel this way as that is also trying to work it out.

    It’s quite amazing how often we are trying to work things out in our head without even realising. When you catch yourself out try to bring your thoughts back to the now. You will be ok.
    and Don’t worry about not feeling like you exist it is just extreme nervous fatigue and it will lift but don’t try to force it to happen it will happen naturally.

  672. Sara A Says:

    Hiya everyone,
    I’m new to this site and so far although i have read alot about the thoughts that alot of people are experiancing i havent yet come across someone who has had the thoughts i have.
    im 20 years old and suffering with thoughts/images of my past, past relationships, books i have read scary or not scary, memories of programmes i have watched, peoples names. Some are staying and some i wont have again or atleast i dont think i do. I dont understand exactly why this has happened. Its weird to me because anything and everything seems to flit through at the moment and none of it ties or makes sense.
    Is this anxiety? I think im expecting the weird flashbacks lets say and im scared. the thoughts shouldnt scare me i know but why am i even remembering dreams that ive had years ago and now they pop up? its like my mind is going off like a firework and im recalling everything.
    Has anyone else experianced this? Also im going to sleep at night but dreams etc are so vivid that i am not sure wether i have slept. it feels as though i have 100 thoughts/dreams a night and im confused as to wether i have slept :S
    Hope to hear from someone XXX
    Hope your all doing well.

  673. Mike Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Yes, Of Course I’ve experienced this, and probably everyone on this site. When anxiety hit me, all of a sudden I was terrified of movies like Matrix, Truman Show, and others. I didn’t want to see them or hear about them. And all sorts of other existential things began to bother me all the time.

    Now all these thoughts and fears are still there, I’m just not scared of them, because, Like Paul said, you just have to not respect them. I have existential thoughts all day long and they pretty much never stop. I have very vivid dreams, but not nightmares anymore. It is because I am very creative, very imaginitive, and I don’t have too many creative activities taking up my attention at this time so my mind is just going all over the place. The same thing is probably happening to you. You will learn to accept it in time. I am still obsessing over analyzing words, the meaning of life etc.. but it’s not nearly as bad as it once was. I’ve learned to accept it and keep pretty busy. Hope you do better soon. Just don’t respect the thoughts to much, and let them be there.


  674. Trey Says:

    Hey guys this is the first time I posted in two and half yrs!! It’s crazy time flies when your having fun! I was reading my old post about 500 comments up lol! And I have to say that I’m a totally diffrent guy! Back to my old self just more understanding person! I just want to leave this advice but first I want to say to Sara a it doesn’t matter if it’s anxiety or not it’s your thoughts and memories it’s good you can remember them, any body with alzhimiers would love to remember all their mems and dreams lol! Also yes I randomly have my dreams from when I was a child or even from a yr or two ago pop
    up in my head! Lol but I also can remember almost anything I see lol. Any way my advice is this….. You must must must let it go! If it’s a scary reoccuring thought so wat it sucks but just let it go, go to a movie with friends, don’t analyize everything! I know this may seem harsh but if your so scared of dying or going crazy that it holds you back from the life you want to live than you worst fear has come true your DEAD!
    Just live your life we all get sick and we all die just enjoy your life now! Go outside get some sun and be with family say what ever happens happens and mean it! I promise if you do that in no time your mind will heal and you will be perfectly healed! Trust me I had anxiety for 5 yrs and it was bad bad! But I feel great thanks Paul lol! I hope every one applies what there told I hope you get well soon! C-ya in couple yrs!!!!!!

  675. hawkeye Says:

    Sara this is all anxiety because you are afraid of it. I know heaps of people who this has happened too and when you are sensistised your mind thinks it’s important so it keeps sending it back up. Post on the recent blog it seems to be more active than this one.

  676. Sara A Says:

    Hiya thankyou for the replies. Has helped me to understand a little more. I’m doing my best to put pauls advice into practice.. i have just never had much patience so its a tough learning curve to just accept that this is happening at the moment. I’m currently 6 and a half months pregnant so i have wondered if the stress of wanting it all to be perfect has added to how im feeling :s
    Where is the recent blog?
    thank you again.

  677. hawkeye Says:

    October 21st post on how long it takes to Recover? scroll down and you see see replies. Yes patience is a huge key. As been impatient will only prolong anxiety. You must let time pass and accept how you are today. Don’t put pressure on yourself about wanting things to be perfect. You will cope no matter how you are.

  678. Paulina Says:

    Hello everyone..hello Paul,
    I dont know where to start.. I am 24 years old and my problems started in June of this year with a panic attack.. after that day I started to have more panic attacks and became very scared of health problems. While trying to figure out my poblems and constant fear of a heart attack or perhaps to suffer from an illness, i became anxious 24/7. This’s been going on for a bout a month or so..
    This has been the most awful days of my life. At first like Paul explains in his book, I thought I was going mad.. I couldnt stop thinking about what i was thinking..with All of that mental stress I started to be extremely concious of who I am.. and questions like: why am I who I am,, What is it to think? Is this real? What is life? why am I me and not someone else..? very odd thoughts.

    Then despersonalization and derealization started to hit. This was very scary for me, as I started to feel detached more often every time (every day). I will get very scared with thoughts of dying or hurting my self or others.. If I hear or see something related to suicidal stuff, it will make me very scared and my thoughts and imagination will put me in situations that NEVER EVER in my life i had thought of.
    This is not me.. and I really want to be the happy, person that loves life and enjoys family and friends. Now every thing seems so complicated and I cant seem to enjoy life as I once did. I cry often because I cant believe this is happening to me.
    When I found this website a lot of my questions and fears were answered,.. I just couldnt believe there was people out there that is feeling the same way i am.

    The thing that i am struggling more with is being so concious of my thoughts and who i am.. and how others are normal and happy… Then everything is like a chain of thoughts that I just dont want in my head anymore. I have been trying to put into practice Paul’s advice about letting the thoughts come.,, and eventhough they dont scare me as they once did…. I am tired of thinking in this way.

    Any piece of advice will be greatly apreciated guys.. I am willing to try my best to get out of this hole…I just dont know if I am doing somthing wrong.

    Thanks again!

  679. Mike Says:


    yup, this is exactly what happened to me. After a breakdown at work. This had never happened to me, but it was like life turned to paper, or a cartoon. I was dizzy, panicking and everything looked funny and off. This was the beginning of depersonalization and derealization. I could not function for about a month. Struggled with panic for a few months, couldn’t keep any jobs. Depersonalization is very difficult to overcome. I have had it now for about 11 months. It is nowhere near as frustrating as it once was. But I still feel lost and confused about my existence. I do all normal things I should be doing now. And I have been working steadily for 6 months. I feel completely different….but I am getting better. If you keep on moving forward you will find eventually the depersonalization doesn’t bother you as much.

    i struggled with: What is it to think? where am I? What is life? Am I dead? Am I the only one? And on and on. It never really stops because of the depersonalization. And it’s just not TOO MUCH of a problem anymore. I personally don’t think Paul David struggled with these things as much…because he said it took him three months to be completely back to normal. It has taken me about a year, and I have accepted and am moving on with my life, but I don’t know if things will ever be “the Same”….at least as long as I want them to be like they once were. All you can do is move forward.

    My best advice, as someone who has never had anxiety before this year, and has now been thrown into existential hell, would be to move on with your life and don’t think about/ desire recovery. you can’t attain recovery. It just happens over a long period of time. Every day I have huge periods of complete normalcy… Good luck.

  680. hawkeye Says:


    I have suffered with anxiety off and on for years. But believe me I have had way more good times than bad. I would often have a good two bouts of it a year. My setbacks would last awhile too. However I would forget about them and get on with my life. I have had horrible obsessive thoughts about a number of things and I seem to replace them with others. And like you my latest one is about life. It just shows what a bluff it all is. Things that used to scare me don’t bother me anymore. It always seems to attack the things you love the most.

    I found Pauls site and another site a while ago and I have been soooo much better. As long as we practise the right way we will move through this. It’s only because you gave your thoughts so much attention that they are sticking around. They are not important your mind just thinks they are because so much emotion has been attached to this thought.

    It does not matter how long you have suffered or for how long. If you practise the right way you WILL RECOVER. I am well on my way. Hardly having these thoughts any more. They still bother me sometimes as they lurk. But this is when we have to be patient with time. They can not go over night. I believe Paul suffered just as badly. We are no different to anyone on here or him. You must have the right attitude no self pity no wanting this to leave. You must take it with you well you get on with your life. Wheny ou do this you are moving forward. It may take time but this is only because you gave these thoughts so much attention.

    It does not matter what the content of your thoughts is and it does not matter what your mind or body does as long as you don’t worry about it.


  681. Paulina Says:

    I really want to thank you for the reply.!

    Hawkeye, I really enjoyed readying for post.. I was having a horrible night before readying yours. One of the things that get me depressed the most is thinking that this is me from now on..Its so hard to accept it.

    Besides, 24/7 im so conscious of my thoughts and self chattatin.. and if suddenly i happen to focus on something else.. then the minute after i will be like ” huh what was i thinkin about?” Its so hard to just get distracted by a conversation or my surrundings..

    I haven’t had any panic attacks lately,, but some unwanted thoughts of dying have started to diminish,, eventhough my memory is what keeps on bringing thouse uwful thoughts and images. Its upsetting … really upsetting.. I will take your advice though… but I HATE readying posts of people saying that you will never recover, that you just have to learn to live with it., I just want to be me again.

    Thank you all again, and hope to hear more good things that can cheer me up and take me yo the other side!!

  682. Emma Says:

    Hello Everyone!

    I am new to posting. First I want to say how thankful I am for everyone sharing their experiences with anxiety and I am also so thankful to Paul and his book. I believe my anxity started about 8 months ago when I had my first panic attack. I didnt really understand what was happening to me , but I did get through it within about a month and started feeling like myself again; recently though (about 2 months ago) I had another panic attack and spiraled into the constant worry and thinking that somethiong else was wrong. I found Paul’s site and book last month and it has been an amazing tool and guide for coming through this! I know what is going on with my body and what anxiety truly is and that has put me on the road to recovery!

    One thing I am struggling with now; which I see that many others do as well is the “questioning life” thoughts. I have been able to let so many other thoughts pass through and I no longer fear them but these “questioning why everything is here and what is the point , why am I not happy, what is happy….”type thoughts are hard for me to ignore. I also fear that I will have them forever as though it’s like since I have thought them now, how could I go on without questioning agian (even though I know I went 24 years without becoming obssessed with them…)

    Deep down I know they will fade and I know it is just anxiety but it is just hard to think that way when you are having them and everything feels like there is a dark cloud over it. I also know I am in a setback right now and honestly I believe setbacks are a good thing in that they are sign of moving along in recovery and give us a chance to practice what we know. I guess I would really just like some reassuarnce that these annoying questioning life thoughts fade… has anyone gone through these thoughts and now no longer have them and could just share their experience with having them fade away? Sorry that this post is not that uplifting but hey we need to feel how we need to feel…

    Thank you all for your support and advice!

  683. hawkeye Says:

    Emma you sound like you have the right attitude and that is the biggest thing. i have had many obsessive thoughts throughout my life and now have similar ones to you. It’s like we become so aware of ourselves that we begin questioning everything. I still have these thoughts but they have faded alot. My thoughts on this came after reading Eckhart Tolle ha ha. I was already sensitised about my other obsessive thought and it was like my mind grabbed onto a notion in the book and freaked me out. Thing is all this stuff never used to freak me out before. its just that I was in a sensitised state when I read it. Funny thing is I don’t have any of my other obsessive thoughts anymore they don’t even bother me. Just shows what a big bluff it is.

    It’s your very worry that they will stick around to why they are sticking around (if that makes sense). We need to fully accept them and let more time pass. They will fade. Also the October 2010 post is more active than this one now so you might get some more advice.

    It’s funny when you are anxious or you panic your mind starts searching for why and comes up with all sorts of things and tunes into the thought that you fear the most.

  684. Emma Says:


    Thank you so much for your response! It gives me so much comfort to hear your experience with this. I know deep down they will fade and at times when I am busy teaching and doing other things I don’t even think them so I know they are only there when my anxiety kicks in. I also do believe I need to give them their space and TIME (i have done that with other thoughts and they have just faded away…these new thoughts should be no different) Thank you for your advice. I know everyone on here is on the right track and we ARE doing everything right!

  685. hawkeye Says:

    Yes they will fade Emma. Funny I am a teacher too. xx

  686. RD Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I haven’t visited this site for a very long time. I was a regular visitor and contributor at the end of 2008 and early 2009, and can totally relate to all the posts. I can still remember exactly how I felt way back then, following my panic attack in October 2008.
    I just want to post today to tell everyone who is having the obsessive thought problem, no matter what form the thoughts are taking (and I really mean “no matter what form”), that it really does get better, and your life will get back to how it was before. You will always remember what happened, but you will be able to deal with it, almost without sparing it a thought…and you will be proud of yourself, that you got through the (really) bad patch.
    I also know that that it is difficult to believe this, but it is true. Just hang in there, and you will get your life back, and have everything you had before.
    All the best,

  687. Jess Says:

    Thanks RD,
    really good lil post… im defo coming out the other end… and their is light at the end of the tunnel….

    Always good to read a positive post….


  688. jade Says:

    hello all

    I have been following your work and dr claire weekes work which I have found amazing. I have a question on up and down days days.

    I have suffered with recurring violent images for a year and have come a long way in this year, it took me 4 months simply to accept this WAS anxiety. Now, I havent had a day without them YET, but they are coming less and less and dont hurt or bother me half as much as they used to.

    I have great days where if they come, or feelings of anxiety are there I just dont care, but some days I really get wound up and upset over them. Is this what you would call a setback, or a down day? Or is a setback where you have no syptoms at all then they come back? I am just feeling a bit lost on my road to recovery in that I am still aware I have not had an anxiety free day yet…and just checking Im doing ok I guess!

    Thank you so much x

  689. Paulina Says:

    hello RD,

    Thanks for that great post.. just what i needed today. I will loe to know more about what helped you the most and nw that you are anxiety free help me/us with all those scary thoughts and what if’s that run around all day.

    Good day.

  690. james Says:

    Hey guys,

    Just have a quick question. It seems like my anxiety is starting to go away. I no longer have that feeling in my chest of my heart racing a million times a minute, I’m starting to eat again, and I’ve calmed down allot. However, I still get these disturbing thoughts everyone once in awhile even though I’m calmed down. I think it’s just me overcoming my anxiety and these thoughts I once had are still in the back of my head for now. I feel like it’s my anxiety trying to come back with it’s last breath and I’m almost putting it down hah

    I’m I just crazy or does this sound pretty normal?


    And I do see the light after my attack and there is hope for everyone thinking they can’t over come this! :)

  691. Jess Says:

    Hey James,
    You are definitely getting there pal… my heart racing, mind chatter, can’t eat symptoms have all gone… Yes i do get some disturbing thoughts at time, but the attitude to have is ‘what the hell?’ and carry on withyour day! The fear reaction that we have to these thoughts are caused by the increase in adrenalin running round our body… so just let the scientific side to our existance do its thing… but just don’t let it effect you! Live beside it for the moment…. Sounds to me u r on the right track kidd… Just keep at it, loving urself & life…. Remember we got ourself into this mess and we can get ourselves out…. Im doing really well at the minute, im not syaing i don’t think about what i went through everyday but to be honest its all more like a memory now and if i could forget what happened i would be ok… but thats ok for know… I know in time i will move on from this… we just gotta give our bodies and mind time to recover….. It is a bumpy ride but i am starting to feel the smooth road ahead… Chin up my love! and pat yourself on the back you are on the way to recovery!

    Your friend


    p.s. remember we are smarter than anxiety now… we know how to tame it… so keep puttin that bad boy down! lol

  692. Alg Says:

    Hi everyone, I’ve been looking in on this website and messageboard for about 3 years and have to say when I have my bad days it’s the first place I come just to read some of the posts and it actually helps me recover from a bad bout of anxiety. I’m not alone.

  693. James Says:

    Thanks Jess! it really means allot :)

    And yea I feel like I’m almost of getting rid of this, but every once in awhile I think back to the things I thought of and it makes me upset that I even thought of those things. And then when I do think about it I think it’ll last forever and I’ll never be the same again. But I just have to keep thinking positive and I know t will all go away and I’ll be normal again :)

  694. Paulina Says:

    Hi there,
    I just wanted to give a lil update aout these last few days..
    most of my scary toughts are gone..just following Paul’s advice and reading some other people’s post. :)
    I do however feel funny about reality and q’s about life, or scary stuff,,, bt nothing serious i supposed.
    I was going to post somethings that has been happening lately, but I found the answers just before I started typing.
    That is that lateley i have over reacting to anything such as over worrying about someone.. or having negative toughts about situations or people.. as if everything was sort of harming or bad…
    But i re-read some older posts and i saw one from Candie where she explains this, and i feel i relates to my current obssesive thoughs and the “worrying about worrying” kind of thing :

    This was Candies post from 2009

    “however i am not thinking anything scary so to speak anymore or repetitive to an obsessive level, im just over reacting to silly things like i did when i first realised i had anxiety. I too noticed i started standing up to the anxious thoughts too, like i can think to myself yes i feel kind of strange thinking like this- but my nerves are clearly sensitized so they will make a mountain out of a mole hill! I could not accept for a long time that it was just nerves, thought i must be doing something wrong to think this way- but now as the layers of anxiety have peeled away i can finally see that this is all anxiety and nothing more…. ”

    Just a quick question about this negative thinking about other external situations or people… I guess i just have to let the thoughs run,,, no reaction, no fear? Its because I feel i ahve been doing that.. and my memory keeps on remainding me about all that ngativity.. any “thoughts” hhuh

    For now I leave you with a smile and recovery here we come!,

  695. james Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I really need someone’s help right now. I thought everything was getting better but it hit me again with this thoughts. I know I’ll never do anything but i feel like there’s a voice telling me to do something and I just keep trying to ignore it but i feel like it’s just draining me. I’m thinking about going to see some help but I know I don’t need to go. There really disturbing and I hate this feeling. Please help! :/

  696. hawkeye Says:

    Say to them ‘do what you want thanks for coming’ let them come say ‘who cares if I do this’ ‘yeah that’s right I want to go and …..’ Stop giving them importance. Just becuse you think them does not mean they are real. YOur mind does not know fact from fiction. You will not do anything.

  697. James Says:

    Thank you hawkeye!

  698. Danny Says:

    Yes i have been under a lot of stress the past two years which has caused anxiety.. well i think it is ive never been to the docters about it.
    as my dad was battling cancer for 2 years and died in june this year. and all i know before we got the bad new i was happy go lucky.

    know im a shadow of my former self.. but i can see a small light at the end of the tunnel

    For 18 months i have been fighting off these thoughts and still to this day, which has left me asking why?
    i know i dont believe theses horrible thoughts. but they leave me alone & leave me with extreme guilt.. very short term memory. unable to focus and anything and as i type this sounds crazy. but its all the effects of stress.. the minds a powerfull thing i really did underestimate it and how it can turn on you. with stress, loss, bereavement, lost love ect..
    (the ego not getting its own way)

    i try and look at it this way. we all have dreams and wake up in the morning take a deep breath and think, im not really being chased by a monster ect, we take a deep breath and continue are daily life dont we. treat theses thoughts the same.

    i can never remember my anxiety giving me a happy thought, but because its a bad thought we try and get rid of it.
    then youve created a monster
    i know say to myself ” i can see whats going on” “its my anxiety” ” i know what is real” ” its not going to beat me!!”

    i have come to learn suffering is a great teacher..



  699. James Says:

    I can tell I’m getting over everything but still have some thoughts that bother me. It seems like certain places where I experienced these thoughts come back to me when I come back to those places. I also can’t really get no sleep, I tend to get about 4 hours and wake up and tend to breathe heavy because of certain thoughts. Just wondering if someone can help.

    Thank you!

  700. Prof Says:


    As with everyone else I can relate to the persistant scary, unreal and disturbing thoughts. I am aware they will go in time if you just challenge them, welcome them in or ignore them. That is the strategy I guess I use.
    Whenever one comes along I say let rip and watch the show. I don’t dwell or obsess like I used to I merely let them happen. And the same as everyone else I know that at some point later in the day I will feel better or normal or happier. But after some months you just wonder when the hell they will go away and not bother you at all.

    I think this is obviously the whole problem. I know I am doing the right thing but how long till it goes. I know you will one day just find that it’s lessened and get that morale boost, doubled efforts after that as it’s a sign / evidence that it is working. But until then it still feels like searching in the dark.

    Sorry everyone, I don’t mean to be so negative. But I guess I get frustrated as my initial panic attacks don’t phase me anymore and the high levels of anxiety generally seemed to have dropped and the d.p I felt often seems to have gone down to the occasional wierd feeling, but the whole time the thoughts have been and I agree with everyone that the thoughts are the worse thing.

    I would swap these thoughts for a daily panic attack anyday.

    First blog comment, hope it was ok and unsure of exposure details.

    Keep the faith, light and love.


  701. LisaP Says:

    I really do believe these existential doubts are the worst things!! I know the worst thing to do is to analyze them or attemtp to solve them, as there never seems to be an answer good enough, a trap indeed, but come on!! Something has to give here. I have to accept or not. I really do feel silly. Why did my brain ever “choose” to worry about this thing.
    Thanks for letting me vent. This is a great sight…it’s nice to know i’m not alone.


  702. Cori Says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I have been dealing with this problem for about six months, now. It is very difficult and can really ruin much of your life. It seems like the thoughts can be present no matter what you are doing. I have tried to accept them. Sometimes I am more successful than other times. If I let my mind go and chase the thoughts, I end up feeling terrible and even more like crawling under a rock. Do any of you find that you analyze, overanalyze and analyze again, looking for answers and reasons? There is so much self doubt. I always have the what if questions…even down to questioning my very character. It is the most horrible feeling, ever. This all came up at a time, when I was coming off of a very abusive relationship and dealing with major emotional stress at work (social worker). I am surprised i have not read the ocd at all, here. Do you think this is what we are dealing with?

  703. vicki Says:

    Hi James- I am sorry to hear you are suffering- I have had similar with horrible thoughts for years- the wierd thing is that sometimes they do not occur, and othertimes they won’t go. This is how I cope with them.I think what you have to bear in mind is that when these thoughts are popping up unbidden, it is perfectly natural in your present state. Everyone in the world has strange and unpleasant thoughts- it is a part of a healthy mind in a way, as your mind is doing a kind of protection exercise- ie what could happen and how will I cope? It is something left over from our ancestors [thanks folks!} so the bad idea pops in. Now, usually the idea is dismissed, but in our cases our minds are tired and things like anxiety and depression will give us an exagerated view of the idea’s importance and will give us a nasty dose of shock or fear when we think it- I know that this is something I get- usually when least expecting it. This can happen so fast that we do not have time to be rational about it- our evolution is too strong!We than worry and so the thought becomes important. I’m sure you’ve worked all that out already! I found [ and boy does it take practice] that if they pop up, don’t try to ignore them and don’t try to “work it out” what we have to aim for is indifference- not easy! But remember that it is possible- if you just say ok- off you go, but I’d rather you did it quietly, because I am above you, and I deserves better- I hope that it helps, Vicki

  704. Cori Says:

    Vicki, what you say makes total sense. I find that I am better and “going with the flow” of the thoughts, when I am less exhausted/stressed. I just had a few good weeks and then..BAM! Work got stressful and a new flood of thoughts came. It was then hard for me to let them pass and i got scared all over again. I find the rumination about the thoughts to be the hardest part. I start to question myself and all of the what ifs about my character pop up. Can someone offer some advice specific to the rumination? I feel l can breathe through the initial scary thought, but then sometimes get caught up on it and my creative mind sometimes takes it way beyond even the original thing (hence, more anxiety…a constant spiral). Some days it feels like my thoughts are completely consumed with this rumination, which as you know, doesn’t lead to the highest quality of life. Thanks so much. I appreciate the support of this site, very much!

  705. SG Says:

    Hello all,

    I have been suffering from anxiety for 3 months now. Lately I have some obsessive thoughts like “Is my thought popping automatically or am I thinking myself”, “Am I thinking from my consious mind or subconciuous mind, etc”. Everytime I think of something these thoughts follow. They really scare me and I want to know if anybody else has experienced this. Thanks in advance for your support.


  706. Cori Says:

    Hi SG,
    Yes, I experienced that same thing and still do from time to time. I think it is all about checking in…we are so self-aware that we check in constantly and this almost brings on the thoughts. I would check in and say to myself “wow, I haven’t had a scary thought for a while, which would inevitably bring one up…or “oh no, what if I thought something scary in this situation or about this person” and this would also bring up the thoughts. It becomes a muddled mess. Look on here about primary and secondary thoughts. I think it makes sense that we have on scary initial thought and then we pick this apart with the secondary thoughts. Then it all becomes habitual-a behavioral problem. The key is to try not to react to the thoughts with fear, as this sort of solidifies them and more meaning. Does that make sense? Try to observe them and recognize them and let them float on by. Eventually, this will help them go away. It can be hard, I know.

  707. SG Says:


    Thank you very much for your encouraging words. I have a lot of suicidal thoughts today. Perhaps since I am feeling very down. Hoping to see a better day tomorrow.


  708. becs Says:

    hi SG,

    I have these thought too – very scary. I kind of detach myself from what I am saying, its hard to explain. I can hold a conversation with someone but am so busy thinking about me and how wierd I feel that I wonder where the words I am saying are coming from. I had this thought about 12 years ago whilst under the influence of cannabis and it really freaked me out then – do we think before we speak or can we speak without thinking of what to say first? its like over anyslzing every thing I do, have done it with breathing too and swallowing once you start to focus your attention on it it becomes hard to switch off and gets me really panicky. So your not alone. Its funny i have read most of these posts on this blog and at one time or another have had every scary thought here – and each time i think this is the worst thought I have had, I have never been as scared as I am making myself now…etc etc. Just proves that the anxiety is always there bubbling away under the surface waiting for another scary thought to attach itself too. So the problem is anxiety not the thought, without anxiety they would just dissipate like all other thoughts we have. So I figure deal with this, am going to start eating proper and running again, making my body healthier and more resilient to stress. Lets not forget the stress response and anxiety are normal human emotions, we cant rid our bodies of them, just better learn how to deal with them and live alongside them. Like Paul says, the day he recovered is the day anxiety no longer bothered him, and by that I suppose he means the thoughts we deem to be scary no longer frightened him. Hope you feel better soon

  709. berwick1002000 Says:

    need reassurance – Im clever enough to know they are just thoughts , im at work now in a hig pressured bank job and ive had all the symptoms for 4 years , DP has been over 2 months now and I can accept most of the thoughts but im scrambling on here today and cant find this thought that I have that sends me in to a spiral of Anxiety and wanting to go home take a few diazapams and sleep ..basically ive had all the thinking things arent real dream like syptoms now I have this strange feeling like im trapped in someone elses body its been my Mums today and it feels like im looking through her eyes , now im terrified to look in the mirror thuinking ill see her not me ..

    please say someone has had similar



  710. LukeC Says:

    Hello all, As a survivor of obsessive thoughts/panic attacks/depression I have experienced many of the symptoms described above in peoples articles. I can only now look back and see that obsessive thoughts were the root of my problem, I am 29 and battled daily from the age of 22 to age 28 with anxiety. I have read some research which refers to this type of thinking as “Purely Obsessional” a form of OCD.
    How I fixed myself was through personal trial and error, I was determined not to let anxiety consume my life.
    As mentioned above in the blogs, the way to gain your life back is to engage in life regardless of how you feel. I had to recreate my life because I had yielded to anxiety and stopped engaging in areas of my life that gave me joy, this is a vicous circle of avoidance in which you end up at home alone with your anxiety for company, not as entertaining as it sounds!
    You must be willing to engage in life and make room for the anxiety. This doesn’t mean welcome it, but if it occurs then do not try to avoid it, because this avoidance amplifies it, I know this from experience.
    Exercise is great, it aids sleep.
    There is no magic cure, but if you feel terrible, you obviously have to do something different.
    A great book on obsessional thoughts is called “The imp of the mind” by Lee Baer.
    You cannot get yourself better by reading books though, you must create a life of meaning, the anxiety then slowly fades into the background.
    Once you win the war over anxiety, most other “difficult” challenges in life are a breeze in comparison.
    Take care and maintain your sense of humour about anxiety, laugh at yourself this helps break the pattern.

  711. berwick1002000 Says:

    has anyone had a obsessive thought about where we come from why we are here etc

    i know its a new thought only the last couple of weeks but i feel i will never be able to answer it because who can knowone knows …

    driving me mad at the moment

    Paul ever had these ?



  712. Cori Says:

    Hey Berwick,
    Yes, I have had those types of thoughts (along with many others) and am still struggling with them a bit. They are the last things to leave…
    I would say that you need to treat these just like any other of the scary thoughts…let them float. Acknowledge them, but don’t pay them too much repsect. Let them drift on by and try to just go about your business and live beside them. These are all questions we can’t answer and they can really drive you mad…so, just let them be there…let them float. If you practice this, you will feel better.

  713. Berwick1002000 Says:


    You have made my day I have dealt with all the other ones but this is te most scary as there is no answer and googling the history of the earth and so is just does no seem right , I got rid if the others I’m sure i can do this one thanks again


  714. Talya Penn Says:

    By the way, I want to thank those who return and tell us how well they are doing it brightens up my day and sometimes I giggle at the fact that we ALL think the same senseless things. Our minds are totally over worked. Things I think of now scare the HECK out of me and before I couldn’t of cared less. I used to be into God so much and accepted the fact we die and just wanted to enjoy life. Now because I over analyze so much when I think too much the thought of God frightens me and the thought of death stays with me, it’s like I know it scares me so badly and I can’t control it nor know what will happen so it’s something that can never be “resolved” but before and (and every single ‘normal’ person in the world) doesn’t think these things or care … I can’t wait to be like that again. We will do it. I am keeping my faith in God and my faith in myself nomatter how much I want to shy away. I am in control and that’s the bottom line. Blessings to all.

  715. Jenah Says:

    After years and years of suffering, and after a particularly bad bout of anxiety this past summer, I finally found Paul’s website and this blog. I am awe-struck. It is a truly amazing thing to see just how common this problem, and all of my exact symptoms are! I would have never imagined it possible that I wasn’t completely alone in my suffering, my panic, my bizzarre, obsessive dark thoughts. I thought it was impossible that anyone could think the same things…that I was secretly crazy. Now I know that is not the case. It is completely illogical that so many people could suffer the same symptoms and all simply be “crazy.” It is an anxiety condition, reinforced my memory and habit…cyclical thought patterns reinforced by fear. Now, living with them is the difficulty, of course; the minute to minute hardship they cause as you learn to deal…but I must admit it is a huge relief to simply know I am not alone. It is a terrible thing that the wonderful human mind can cause so much suffering…I have a theory that this is an intelligent person’s disease…a thinker’s plight…May we all learn to let go enough to use our thoughts for the simple, good things in life, yes? I thank Paul for his incredible insight, and all of the brave sharing I have read in these comments. Good luck and strength to you all.

  716. Kay Says:

    I want to say thankyou to Paul David cos his book helped me alot. Towards the end of 2008 I started with the anxiety. It lasted a few months & I have been completely well since then. This was about 3 years ago. His book teaches you that you have the power to get rid of the anxiety & recover completely.

  717. Tim Says:

    Hello All,

    I am just writing here to get the conversation started and to talk to others who are going through the same disturbing thoughts as I was. They are all so ludicrous and just symptoms of my over-active anxious mind but it is so nice to see that others are facing the same stuff. Before I knew it was anxiety, I had myself so wound up I went to the mental hospital for help. It was a short stay as they tried to tell me what Paul says. They said that you are not going to do any of this and I knew this too! Since them I am doing so much better. I have gone back to work (i am a teacher) and most days are pretty fun. In the back of my mind, I am so worried about each day though. Will I revert, will I get better? When I have super good days, I almost feel weird because normal seems like it can’t be permanent. I am super optimistic with this new plan but sometimes I find myself fighting these fears instead of accepting. It is tough, but I think I am on the right path.

  718. angela Says:

    i am making massive improvements there is just 2 things? i had a massive panic attack just over a year ago (didnt no it was one at the time) i thought i was going mad!! i remember my husband was out and i was on my own feeling strange.. when he got back i lost it and had a massive panic attack as i no that is what it is now!!! i will explain a bit.. i lost my mom very suddenly a couple of years back and my youngest brother gained custody of his children… it was a very bad time and i was under imense stress.. anyway at the exact tiem i had the panic attack i had a thought!!! it was to hurt my youngest son :( i dint no at the time it was justa thought and i lived in fear of this thought for over 6 months.. instantly after the thoguht happened i went to a.e to try and get myself sectioned.. thought i was going mad and was very frightened.. i recovered over time. and then a few months ago i had a relapse.. i found pauls book which is amazing.. i had a few weeks of my life were i have never felt so good almost undescribable happiness?? then it came back but this time the thoughts of harming my son was accompanied with the fear of using a knife!! and the fear of hopelessness :( the thoughts are subsiding and im left with occasional thoughts of harming my son (which thats all they are) and thoguhts of hopelsessness, whats the point, your lifes crap, you wnat to die etc.. i no there not real cus i dont actually feel depressed? i just wondered if anyone else feels like this.. i made the mistake of googling again.. im back on it now lol and the only advice for me is pauls.. im currently coming off medication as my doc wont diagnose me but all of a sudden the bipolar which no way on this earth i had has now turned into anxiety… if only i had found this book and site before all this i would have never gone to the docs in such a weak state.. as i dont beleive in medication at all!!! not for anxiety.. anyone had anything similar :) thankyou you paul i am slowly recovering from the hole i was in :)

  719. Nez Says:

    Hi everyone, this is my first time commenting on this blog. I just wanted to say thank you to Paul David for making his journey through anxiety available for everyone to read. 3 years ago when i first got anxiety and panic attacks, i thought i was losing my mind. Until i stumbled upon Paul David’s website and book. Before this website and book, i could not understand what was causing me to have palpitations, scary intrusive thoughts, dizziness, and much more. I used to be very active in sports, dances, and just a overall outgoing person. I thought this life was gone forever. I couldn’t watch tv, cook ( just holding a knife used to scare me), or read the newspaper, without having scary thoughts. However, after applying Pauls advice about accepting and not fighting the thoughts and sensations of Anxiety, the layers of my happy true self started to slowly but surely come back. I go out and watch movies, tv, hiking and cooking again for my love ones and not afraid of holding knives anymore. Although I definitely had many “setback” days, someone once told me that in life we sometimes take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, but you are still 1 step ahead to a positive achievement and goal. Eating healthy meals, taking supplements, and exercising helped me to calm my nerves and release a lot of adrenaline, which left me with not much adrenaline to release itself into scary thoughts. Even though, i still have some anxiety here and there, thanks to the advice from Paul and many other peoples positive advice and stories from this website, I dont let anxiety get in the way of my daily life anymore. I live in California and i recently accomplished one of my dreams, which was to fly and travel across the world to Europe for two weeks. Although I had many scary thoughts, i just accepted them for what they were just thoughts, and i had the time of my life with my friends and family. 2 and 1/2 years ago when i was afraid to even leave my own home due to anxiety and scary thoughts, i never thought i was gonna be able to travel across the world. Because of Pauls Book and seeking Holistic/integrative guidance, i was able to do a speech in front of 500 people and was featured in Beyond Medicine Magazine to help raise money for people who were just like me and felt lost and trapped in our stressed over worked minds and looking for answers. I can gladly say thanks to Paul, and because of him I’m about 98% recovered, but i feel even stronger than before i got anxiety…Learning how to laugh at many of anxiety’s silly thoughts, understanding what anxiety is, PATIENCE, and ACCEPTING ANXIETY as just TEMPORARY FALSE SENSATIONS, will Guide you to the road of recovery. Thanks again Paul David for guiding me back to life.

  720. james1978 Says:

    What are the signs that a thought is irrational or it is what you really think?
    THis is what I am really struggling with at the moment even though I thought i knew EXACTLY who i was before these thoughts.

    I have had a history of anxiety for 10 years. THis started first when i was dabbling in soft drugs, had a lot of stress at work and a bereavement all at the same time. I was given ssri and it passed fairly quickly.

    In between then and now I have had bouts of anxiety which have focused on something different each time. One time I even questioned my sexuality and this all came because i looked at someone attractive and thought i wasn’t interested. When i look back at those thoughts i can see this was ridiculous.

    THe last spell of anxiety I had, I felt really low was after a relationship break up. The relationship was very destructive and i was on edge a lot and although i didnt want it to end i knew it was the right thing to do.
    I was put on ssri again and it did seem to help slightly and i moved on and met someone i have been with for 3 years. After being on ssri for 3 years and still having feelings of teariness and anxiety at times I decided i wanted to come off them. During this time I have been very happy and content with my partner.

    However, 3 months after I have come off SSRI I have been suffering with anxiety and mild depression. For a good month or so i was constantly tearful yet would never cry and couild not find a reason why. I was obsessed with this feeling and thought it would never go.
    It has subsided, but a worse feeling had just taken its place and Is hard to shake.

    Throughout this time (about 2 weeks) i was always worrying that i would ruin my relationship if i could not get better and shake the feelings. Then, out of the blue, I had a thought that I shouldn’t feel bad round my partner. I got upset at this and thought it might happen all the time.
    The next day she said maybe she is the reason i am unhappy. I knew this wasn’t true but i latched on to that thought and have become obsessive with it ever since.

    I know this is not true at all, because i felt like this before I met her and i really do love her more than anything. When I am with her before these thoughts I feel completely fine and happy.

    However, since this anxiety and those negative thoughts my mind is constantly questioning what my true feelings are. The feelings and thoughts are making me feel sick in the stomach and get very upset because I do not want out relationshi to end.
    I try to just say to myself – ‘these are just thoughts from the anxiety and i know they are not true or important’. When i do this though, my mind will always ask ‘but how do you know it isn’t true’ and ‘Maybe you would be happier on your own’. I know that if I followed this through i would be more upset and it is not what i want’.

    I keep thinking to myself ‘if it was true that i wasnt happy with her, i wouldn’t be so upset about the thought of not being together’ but every time I think of a positive like this my mind thinks of an alternative view such as ‘maybe your only upset and anxious because your scared of change, but in the long run you would be better’…. THis then makes me feel butterflies/sick and tearful and guilty for thinking it.

    It is really confusing trying to work out these contrasting thoughts all the time and when I feel like I am giving in to them i feel worse.
    I feel that If I ignore the thoughts I am ‘ignoring the real me’. But then I think ‘the real me last week didnt think these thoughts over 3 years with this person so it isnt the real me’..

    I do not understand how can i go from worrying so much that a person will leave me due to my anxiety to the complete opposite of maybe i will have to leave her because i could be happier without her.. I have thought maybe my brain is putting up a barrier to prevent me getting hurt in future, so it is trying to deaden my feelings for her… but i do not want this to happen because i love her and cant stand the thought of being apart.

    I am trying to accept and live beside these thoughts, but it is hard when there is so much false uncertainty.

    How can you just let these thoughts come and accept them.. I feel by accepting them i am agreeing with them.. yet I know it isn’t what I want.

    This thought pattern had happened overnight and it is taking over my thoughts 24/7 now. I don’t want to think things like this about people i care about the most and cannot understand how the beleifs I hold as a person can be stripped away so very quickly by a thought pattern.

    Does this sound like I am scared to end a relationship or that I am creating my worst fear and feeding on it?

    I feel guilty for even thinking that I shouldnt be with the person. And i am constantly scanning everything we do or have done to see if things are ‘right’.

    ANyone who has experienced and come through this your advice would be very helpful.


  721. angela Says:

    im confused with the depression bit? i am not sure if its something else as i have never felt like this before.. i wake up early hours then start thinking and thinking i cant stop it then it gets outof control and feel almost suicidal. although i no it wont happen the feelings are soo real anyone else been like this im getting desperate for some answers now as im ssooooo confused i feel recovery isnt to far away but depression and sleepless nights are really starting to get me down :( help!!!!

  722. Marie Says:

    Also a sufferer, I’ve just come across this website and it’s fascinating to read through everyone’s comments.

    One of the key things a sufferer will feel at some point is that they are going mad but when I read all these messages, it is very plain to see that everyone here is of sane mind and totally logical about their anxiety and thoughts. What does that tell you?

    Anxiety sufferers are actually very strong, well adjusted people. How many others could cope with what we have to – you have to be of a strong state to deal with it and we all do.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel and I agree that the body and mind has a way of telling you it needs to heal and slow down, so listen to it. You’ll be even stronger for it afterwards. :-)

  723. james1978 Says:

    Angela – I have the same feelings. I start to think something that I do not want to think then it eventually gets to a stage where i just cannot stop thinking about it and i think that suicide could be the only way out as i do not want to have to act on the thoughts i am having.. this then makes me worry even more because it is something i do not ever want to do. As an example, I will think ‘what if I no longer find my girlfriend attractive and have to leave her’ I will look for reasons why I don’t and beat myself up over it, even though I know these things have never entered my head before and i definitely don’t want to leave her… the more I try to reason my way out of it the worse it becomes, because i start to believe the negative thoughts… I keep telling mysewlf it is just anxiety but it is hard when you think ‘perhaps its true’… I have had these worries before about different subjects, but they have passed.. It just seems as if they wont at the time and that ‘this is the ‘worse time ever’.

  724. angela Says:

    im not too bad all the time? its like when im soo tired.. and stressed. my thoughts run away in my head and i hate it!! but i keep on going along with my day. i will beat this i no i will i have had to deal with a lot worse in my life.. i just hate the thought of having anxiety and it being something i could control theoretically.. i also am aware that i have anxiety because i am exhausted and rightly so!!! i have been through soo much in my life and the last 2 and half years have been a nightmare for our family :( but i am strong and thats whats keepig me battling on.. i no now that these things are just thoughts. not that it makes a difference… they are horrible thoughts about ending it all and now also about hurting my young 9 year old son!!! i no its all rubbish and its just my shit in my head. but its so upsetting at times :( i am on my second set back and its true it does get easier as you get to no that its all just your tired thought process!!! but each time it gets easier… they are not nice but it kind of makes me go back to the drawing board and start again as i probably wasnt doing it right last time.. its working very slowly but its working :) ijust need to keep reminding myself that its just a thought which leads to a bulshit feeling. THATS IT!!! good luck to everyone its a lonely road but at the end there surely has to be rewards :)

  725. james1978 Says:

    angela – I think that sometimes it helps when people on these types of forums share good stories – thats what i come on to look for anyway :) . Just to let you know that my mum has told me that she had the exact thoughts you say you are having and she is totally fine now. So when people say you cannot get totally better it is not true.

  726. Ally Says:

    I have suffered from anxiety, panic, and obsessive thoughts for almost 15 years, and came across this blog when researching the topic. I think the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone! It is normal for the brain to produce irrational, impulsive thoughts. I think everybody experiences disturbing thoughts from time to time… but the key is to not over-analyze! This past summer I opened up about my obsessive thoughts for the first time, and it was truly liberating. A friend confessed to me that she experiences these thoughts as well and suffers a lot of anxiety because of them. I couldn’t believe that somebody close to me was going through the same thing all along, and I could finally rest assured that I’m not crazy. I later opened up to my boyfriend about the obsessive thoughts. To my surprise, he said he experiences this too, and that he thought he was crazy! When in doubt, remember that you are not alone and that many of the people around you may be going through the same thing. We’re all just too afraid to open up about it!
    I hope that provides some reassurance for you all. Best wishes. :)

  727. Sara A Says:

    i Havent been on here for about 10months maybe more.
    i wanted to let anyone who remembers me that im doing it! im getting better!
    I did everything that i wanted to with all the horrible thoughts etc and it really works :) never thought id stand a chance but hey ho :)
    hope everyone is ok and good luck!
    merry xmas!
    Thankyou for everyone who supported me!

  728. John Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Jst Lyk to start off by saying that I’m so glad to have found this web page, jst by reading the messages above its made me calmer over nyt , thanks , I’m 25 nd I first had my anxiety attack when I was 20, which then went on to be my first panic attack to, I thought I was going mental to the point I could not control , the thoughts and images towards my family were just sickining to the point I couldn’t eat drink or sleep , I went on the sick from work and I was scared to talk to someone incase I was sectioned for being mental , I eventually got the currage to go to see my doctor which to be fair didn’t really help my situation , this went on for weeks until I received a number for councilling , as soon as I rang this lady she was able to explain what was wrong with me and was able to calm me down over the phone , I went to see her for about 5 weeks, an hour a week that is , which in that time helped me massively , I went through a lot of stress and pressure which led to my first experience of anxiety and panic attack, After the scary thoughts what were aimed towards my family, the thought dissapeared after a while and I was starting to feel myself, when one day I was driving across a bridge when all of the sudden a thought just popped into my mind of jumping off and it petrified me and I could jst not get this out of my mind, I no deep down that I would never ever act upon any of the thoughts I had, so I could just not understand why I was having these horrible scary thoughts, eventually that thought passed me by, but what I did notice was after a while I found it really uncomfortable when even I seen a bridge or a knife due to my past experiences which then triggered things back off again. I found that when ever I was going through a hard time at work and felt under a lot of pressure and stress that my anxiety and panic return ( can anyone relate to this behaviour ?) which led to me having more time off work, over the last 5 years I’ve been able to sort of keep it under control through cognitivepherapy to a certain level, I must add that within these 5 years I’ve had a lot more good days then bad where I can carry on with my normal life, and then i would read or hear about something in papers or the news and the alarm bells would go again. I will also say if ever I had a drink of alcohol the next few days was terrible for me, I found I was really sensitive to Red bull , please people who read this try and avoid Redbull as it just kick starts adrenalin. Me and my fiancé found out that she was expecting , which we were over the moon with, we were living in a rented property which we thought it would be best for us to have our own place and mortgage. This was a very stressfull to us both because we were both back at our parents by the time our son arrived, as wel as going to work all day I was then having to go to our new home to work in there, sometimes till late at nyt, which meant I was having very little time with my new family, also the way things are with job cut backs these days there is a lot of pressure at work which at the time I did feel stressed but had to much going on to think about, then in November 2011 I read the tragic news of Gary speed the footballer, I must say that the night before I heared this news I was out celebrating my brothers birthday drinking alcohol, When I heared the news it hit
    Me like my first ever panic and anxiety attack and I jst can’t stop thinking about it, to the point where I’ve thought about it that much that i think that this will happen to me and lose control, I can’t enjoy my new home or my new family because these terrible thoughts which have actually made me to go back off work. Once again I’d like to say thanks for people sharing the experiences it’s nice to I’m not alone !

  729. adam Says:

    i would like to say paul your book is the greatest! it has help sooooo much! but this is one of the biggest things that bug me the most! so i am looking for help, about 2 and a half months ago i smoked pot for the first time and let me tell you it was the worest thing i have ever gone through. during this terrible time i had a panic attack and during this these crazy thoughts were running through my head and these thoughts were about hurting my self nothing i have never thought of befor this time, so it was very scary. now what i have been going through is a constant feeling of anxiety and the thoughts come back and scare me more! i try my very best to let the thoughts stay there and give them space but some times it is just so hard not to think them because they scare me sooo much! i know have a life coach that helps me with it, and she says that it is ptsd because of the trauma i went through during my high. and i was just wonder if anyone could add or help because i want to recover more than anything! thank you very much for seting up this sit and writing your book! and a very great thanks to anyone who can help i wish you all the best of luck in your recovery!


  730. Norberta Says:

    Hello Paul and all,

    Paul, I must say that you are my rock right now as I am reading your blog and advise and it is helping me alot get through this phase of anxiety that I am in. I ordered your book and am waiting for it.

    Basically, what I am going through is scary and irrational and obsessive thoughts. I was fine around 3 weeks ago and then a switch turned on and this started. It was because there were 3 deaths of people I know in a short period of time. What happened to me was that I started getting scared that I am going to die, then that I am going to harm myself/ suicide, then that I am going to harm my boyfriend or people around me and then I also got scared that I am going to end up in a mental hospital because of the way that I am feeling and all these things scare me to death. I was trying to suppress them or saying to myself I am going to be ok to no improvement.

    Then, I came here and started going with your advice as in letting these thoughts rumble and dwell in my mind without me giving them any notice and slowly slowly they are fading away. I am also trying to understand this whole concept of anxiety.

    Also, I seem to reverse everything bad that I read/ hear or see on me (I guess this is all down to anxiety), like if there was a murder on the news, I put myself in their shoes and get more scared. I am learning to not run away from them but rather let the thoughts come so I will not give anxiety any respect as then this will come out again at some point in my life.

    I really want to recover and want this to be fast but am being patient and trusting myself that things are going to be ok but there is no rush. I want to feel good and I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Would love to hear your answer Paul :)

    Thank you for your help


  731. adam Says:

    i have the same thing Norberta, i have been dealing with them for a good month and a half! and then thank good found this place! but i have been doing what you say paul and just let the thoughts be there and give them space (which is working alot) but i often have time where i think “ohh i havent had a bad thought in a while” and then that brings on a bad thought. i guess i just have a problem with fulling accepting that its anxiety. was it had for anyone eles? so if anyone could put some thoughts about this, it would be great! thank you very much and best of luck to every one out there!


  732. JS Says:

    Hi everyone, I have grazed through all of your stories and believe that I may be suffering from anxiety aswell. I am taking medication to help with depression but I am CONSTANTLY thinking things that I wish I could ignore. My thoughts all started when I woke up one morning with anxiety, I was living with my mom and my boyfriend at the time. I have had a very troubled childhood where my father was EXTREMELY abusive and spent most of his life in jail thus being absent from my life. anyways thought i would give you a little background. To make a long story short, my boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years and I love him with everything part of me. My mother didnt like hm because she didnt trust men. Anyways after having my anxiety i went to her for advice (bad idea) she told me that the reason i was feeling this way was because my boyfriend was abusive and cheating on me. This was completely crazy and irrational, I was very confused and sad and mad all at the same time, so i had a serious breakdown and left my moms- moved in with my sister. At this point I was VERY confused about absolutly everything that went on in my head. I doubted every single feeling or choice i have ever made. I spent most of my time in her dark basement crying my eyes out and wanting to die, because deep down inside i KNEW my boyfriend would never hurt me and loved me and that my mom was wrong but i couldent think straight, i felt like i was in a twilight zone, my whole world went dark and twisted. I started to hate myself and i wanted to die. After i thought about it for a long time one day i decided to go get help. Then when i finally thought i might be able to controle this depression that had taken hold of me the CRAZY thoughts started to sink in.

    Every day i had a new thought that was insane but I had to analyze it, i had to call my sister and ask her if this was normal and why am i having it. My thoughts were and are as follows: I dont love my boyfriend and all of our five years together have been fake, I am secretly inlove with a gay guy i worked with, Iam a pedofile like my father, I have been inlove with my boyfriends uncle this whole time and not my boyfriend ( i did this with many different guys). These thoughts KILLED me inside, i was ALWAYS crying and hopeless, and every time i thought okay this MUST be true because i cant stop thinking it, i would look at my boyfriend and think am i crazy? I love him so much! Or i would look in the mirror and be like wtf i am not a child abuser. Anyways it has been about 9 months of this torture, Right now i am stuck on a thought that I am inlove with this random mail man at my work and that I am going to cheat on my boyfriend with him, or with other co-workers. I actually avoid looking at or talking to these people. These thoughts have completely consumed me, I am definately not myself anymore and I am not living. I am just existing to feel guilt, pain and serious anxiety. I dont even sleep anymore. I have a constant gut wrenching feeling in my stomach. I have talked to a few people and they have said stuff like “well maybe you ae not happy in your relationship” which has actually made me question that aswell BUT I am happy. I love my boyfriend, and if it wasnt for this crap eating me alive i would be so much happier. We are finally buying a house together which we have been dreaming about since we have been together and I cant wait but then I get these feelings and thoughts like “you better not because one day you are going to realize that you have been secretly inlove with his uncle and have been using him” then I analyze that for weeks!I start to feel guilty as if it is actually true and then i feel stuck with that thought. My sister tells me that this is all crazy, and I wish I could just say to myself..This is all not true and its just anxiety and have it go away. But it never does. I want to know does anyone have anxiety like this? is it consuming your life and making you think you have done or will do these terrible things? As soon as i get rid of one obsessive thought another popps into my head RIGHT away! I know i would never hurt my relationship, but then its like sometimes the anxiety actually makes me believe i already HAVE or will. This is killing me. Any advice? I feel like I need to hear that this is ALL anxiety because I am in a constant state of doubt.

  733. james1978 Says:

    This is for JS. Elements of what you are describing are EXACTLY the same as the thoughts and feelings I have had. What works best for me is just acknowledging it as anxiety. I have got much better over a period of 5 months, but I do still struggle at times. The ‘what if it isn’t anxiety’ question is always the hardest to deal with for me. Expecially when you start to get better and the level of anxiety is lower – so watch out for this. At this point just think ‘what if it isn’t who cares’ and do something you enjoy instead. It is hard but it works. You will improve, you just need to carry on as though you don’t care. Ultimately, if you really believed the thoughts you were having were a true reflection of you, then you would not be unhappy or scared of them.

  734. nicky Says:

    Hi all,

    This is a question for Paul David or if someone else can answer.

    This is my first time on here. I’ve recently purchased the book. It really has helped me over come most of my anxiety,but one stupid thought that keeps entering my mind. What if it turns into something else. Some other mental illness. I keep thinking what if today is the day, i loose my mind and start hearing voices or seeing things. It scares me sooo bad. Is this a common thought of anxiety?

  735. John Says:

    Can anyone give me any info on this plz ??, Iv been on the sick from work for 4 months now with severe panic attacks and anxiety, has anyone else been off for this long or does people think I’m taking the piss now, I’m really concerned over this but I no I’m not in the right frame of mind yet to return to work, any feedback would be great thanks ???

  736. Zero61 Says:

    Hi guys, ive been reading this for awhile now and it makes me feel good when i read it because i see that people have the same symptoms as me and that im not alone or a ‘freak’ im only 18 but i finished school in September 2011 and i never went to college because i didnt know what i wanted to do yet, so after finishing school i was doing nothing just sitting at home watching tv day in and day out so you can imagine i eventually got bored and depressed, around December 2011 i first experienced anxiety and i was really bad with it i couldnt eat i couldnt sleep i was depressed 24/7 , and i was so scared and ashamed of the thoughts i was having i didnt want to tell anybody in case they wouldnt talk to me again or disown me! these thoughts went on for ages and i started to believe that i was a freak and there was something wrong with me for having them but then i found this website and it has really helped me through a lot, in january i got an interview for a job and i got the job soon after the thoughts disappeared for awhile but very recently they have come back and their really bad this time, i dont wanna give up my job because i know it will set me back to square one again! i just need some answers should i seek some Councilling? because i am afraid no one will understand me or want to know me when i tell them my thoughts even tho i would never in a million years act on them , they make me sick to my stomach when i think of them!

  737. May Says:

    Thank you… you helped me so much

  738. ciara30 Says:

    Hi John having a councillor was a fantastic help to me, I was so lucky that she knew Alot about anxiety and used a combination of Claire weekes and Paul s techniques together, I had to take 6 weeks off work at the start of the year I m in the middle of a setback now so decided to take another week off! Don t feel u have to justify the length of time off work at this stage it s all about whatever helps until u can truly realise and understand what Paul is telling us. It take s time, as much time as is needed there is no limit and remember everyone is different. Oh and who cares what people think their opinion does NOT matter :)

  739. Emma Says:

    I have been suffering from disturbing thoughts for about 2 months now, and at first I felt so awful. I felt so guilty and distressed at why I was having these thoughts and I felt as though there was no way out, for the first few weeks I was just walking around in a total daze and I got so upset about it. I experienced a lot of depersonalisation and felt all the time that I was going crazy. This was until I found your website and it was like a revelation and I felt so happy because finally I understood why I was feeling so awful and it felt like a weight off my mind, so thankyou! :) I have had a lot of really good days where I have felt completely like me again and I have been positive and have still had some thoughts but a lot less often, as I tried not to pay them any attention and just let them pass. However just in the past week or so, whenever I have a thought telling me that I am going to do something horrible (which I know i am not) I get another thought saying to me ‘but maybe you want to do it’, which I really know that I don’t but I find these thoughts very upsetting because I know I don’t want to do these things but my mind is telling me I do but I know I don’t. I know these thoughts are probably just my anxiety but I find it hard to deal with them. I have been feeling a bit low recently because of these thoughts and I can’t focus on anything because whenever I have these thoughts I get a feeling of dread through my body and I find it difficult to relax. I am remaining positive though but I wondered how to deal with this.

  740. Greta Says:

    Emma I am the same way. I am learning to deal with all of this and let the thoughts just come and go which is helping and was doing really good for about three weeks and then just one day it hit again, however this time the anxiety/thought racing I was better able to control and it only lasted a day or two (its the thought racing that drives me crazy and brings on the fear). After a week I am feeling much better but am still in the “waiting for it to happen again” phase. I still have to read the book Anxiety No More, and there are a few more that I am reading and want to read. I have also taken up some meditating which I think is helping. My next endeavor is yoga, anything to help a person relax has to a be a good thing, right?

  741. ann Says:

    I’ve been having these thoughts for 6 weeks now. Feel like I’m losing mind. I can’t eat I can’t relax. Someone please help.

  742. Nic Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I have trouble with obsessive thoughts about existential things (having worked through every other fear that has presented itself). I basically freak out about the very fact that I exist. I could deal with this better if I believed that death was the absolute end but I also have a fear of reincarnation and afterlife. I guess because I don’t want my suffering to continue indefinitely. I used to find peace in the belief that one day this would HAVE to end. Is this just anxiety? I’m so scared and confused. Please post or answer my question.

  743. John Says:

    Hello again everyone, Iv suffered with jst about every topic of OCD over the last 5 years with intrusive scary thoughts, well at least I’d thought I had then bang Hocd hit me, this is the most uncomfortable one Iv ever had, the panic and anxiety that this topic causes is the worst ever for me and I jst don’t no how to deal with it, please please if any of you have went through this or no anything about this please advise me, would be much appreciated thanks !!

  744. Memzy Says:

    Hello everyone,

    recently I moved house, moved in with my mother in law & father in law my partner & 2 young babies, I went to my doctor about a sore chest that i woke up with every morning for the past year & he told me it was anxiety, which i never believed i never felt anxious & wasnt worried about anything but he assured me “you dont have to be anxious to have anxiety” so he prescribed me propranolol, after a week of taking the propranolol my anxiety heightened to the point i was getting scary thoughts that literally scared the life out of me, i couldnt sleep, couldnt eat, couldnt think, i felt like i was walking around in a dream i even convinced myself that i was going insane. So i went back to the doctor, this time i tried a different doctor, she diagnosed me with depression, i definitly wasnt going to try the anti depressants she was trying to give me after the propranolol making my anxiety far worse, but since coming on here & reading everyones comments i know im not depressed, im suffering with anxiety i just need to try step up & fight these fears! i have been doing EFT/tapping & also looking into yoga so hopefully i can get rid of these horrible thoughts & feel like my usual self again, which i never thought i’d say, I miss my old self so much!xx

  745. jess Says:

    I have had all the worrying thoughts that have ranged from everything and anything, I have realised i have been like this for a long time but never new what it was untill it got really bad. Just wondering if any of you new being impatient and fustrated all the time is that the same case of anxiety do we just not react to the impatient and fustrating thoughts when they come?

  746. Lauren Says:

    Hi, this is my first ever post on here and I just wanna say how very relieved I am for stumbling upon this blog and these wonderful comments. I have suffered from anxiety for 3 yrs, the first two yrs being mainly health related and me convinced I had cancer or was dying.. This past 12 months I’ve incurred sickining scary intrusive thoughts which scare the hell out of me and make me feel like an absolute evil vile awful person. My thoughts are of a very similar scale of jess’s and jades stated above and girls, u have made me feel so much less alone! It’s hard to open up to any body about the depth of my thoughts in fear of them thinking I’m nuts or capable of acting on them – which I assure u is the part that scares me the most! I would like to thank u all, especially jess’s and jade for being so honest through out your posts! I feel so much less alone and comforted by ur comments and positivity. I begin cut on Tuesday and am scared to death of opening up to the therapist I case they think i am an awful person or unfit mother! I just want to be the happy go lucky young lady my husband met and my family deserve. I hate the empty, lost, internally scared shell I have become. Good luck to u all out there and lets try to get through this together and beat the stigma that surrounds anxiety. Wish me luck for tues speak soon xxx

  747. Lauren Says:

    Should say I begin CBS on Tuesday lol xx

  748. Carly Says:

    I know this post is extremely long and you do not have to read it, but I just started typing my story and this is what came out, so I thought I would share.

    I was a googler. I was obsessed with figuring out what was wrong with me. My name is Carly, I am 21 years old and I started my battle with anxiety and panic 2 years ago. I was always a care free child growing up. I was the type of girl who would play outside with the boys, get extremely dirty and not care. I am very outgoing and love being around people. This all changed two years ago when I experienced a tragic death. This death marked the beginning of my constant worry. It started off with me continuously worrying about people close to me dying. Of course this is a normal fear, but not to the extent that I would worry. I would cry every time I left my parents (even if it was just to go to the grocery store for ten minutes) thinking that they would be dead when I came home. This anxiety was just there and it never seemed to bother me. I never thought it was a problem. I would just get on with my day and ignore any physical or emotional symptoms I was experiencing.
    My anxiety about losing those close to me soon turned into health anxiety which lasted for about a year. I would think a cut would kill me and every month I would convince myself I was pregnant, even before I started having sex! I would google everything expecting for someone to tell me they had the same problem and they fixed it and everything in my life was going to be fine. This was never the case. As I said before, my anxiety was always at the point that I could deal with it and get on with my life. I would just have panic then go do my regular activities, not even thinking it was a problem. Well it became a problem. I had created an anxious mind from two years of worrying that 5 months ago it back fired on me.
    At the beginning of the summer, I went to go visit my boyfriend and everything was fine. I was driving up to see him, but all of a sudden on my way this feeling came over me. Ten minutes from arriving, I felt numb and all of a sudden I started questioning everything about our relationship. “What if I don’t like him?”, “What if the feelings aren’t there when I get there?” “What if…what if, what if…” This scared me so much and the entire weekend was ruined because of it. I had no idea what these feelings were, but they made me sick to my stomach and continuously worried. I fixated on them so much that I wasn’t able to enjoy myself and those feelings I normally had for him weren’t there. This made me extremely depressed. When I got home I couldn’t function. It was a struggle to get out of bed and even do the simplest things like brush my teeth. My body shut down. I didn’t know that this was anxiety. I tried so hard to have strong feelings for him, I would stare at his picture and wait for the feelings of love that I would normally experience to come back. I wanted to love him so badly. I tried to figure out ever possible explanation for these unwanted feelings, that sadly I blamed my boyfriend. I broke up with him and made him think that I lost feelings for him because of him and I pointed out every bad thing he had ever done. I know you are probably thinking I am a terrible person, but at the time I couldn’t explain my feelings and I believed it was something else rather than a problem I had.

    I originally thought these depressed and confused feelings were going to go away in a couple of days and I was just tired. I was so wrong. These feelings of confusion and depression didn’t go away, but rather got a lot worse. It wasn’t his fault, there was something wrong with me. I was trying so hard to understand why I felt like that that I started to convince myself of very scary things. I convinced myself that the reason I felt disconnected from him was because I was a bisexual. The idea popped in my head one day and I started fixating on this thought. I then retraced my memory and thought of the several times in my life that I thought of a girl in a sexual way and convinced myself that those several times I felt more connected to girls than guys meant I was secretly having a sexual identity crisis and I was actually interested in girls (even though I have like boys for my entire life). This thought then turned into the thought that I was having an overall identity crisis. From one thought to the next, I was just trying so hard to figure out what was wrong with me. From this, I then began to start questioning life and general and the purpose of it. What was the point if we were all just going to die? I am just one little human being, I don’t matter… I would ask myself those questions daily to only get nowhere, but into a state of deep depression. It became so bad, I was not motivated to do anything and could not enjoy any activity. I thought of ending my life every day and did not care if I died.

    I had to quit my job. My boss knew something was wrong with me and she was very understanding that I had to do what was best for me. I was doing a terrible job anyways. I decided to apply for a different job. I knew I didn’t want to, but I also had accepted that I wasn’t going to get anywhere by sitting on my couch all day. I applied randomly for a summer camp counselor job working at a camp for children with physical disabilities. At the time, I wasn’t excited about the job, but something inside me said “apply anyway!” I ended up getting the job.

    In knowing that I was going to be working with children, I had hope that my spirit was going to be restored because I love children and I want to be an elementary teacher one day. This all changed one day when I began fixating on a thought that disturbed me so much. I was watching Dr. Phil one day (really bad idea!!) and the episode was on child molestation. I was fine watching it until the end when I decided that this was must be what is wrong with me. I started panicking and convincing myself that I would enjoy images of children naked or that I would one day put those thoughts into action. I was so terrified by this idea that I began fixating on this thought. I would purposely put disturbing images in my head to see if I could deal with them and try to convince myself that I liked them. I want to work with children before and I want to have a family when I am older which is why this thought was so hard to deal with, because it was going to affect everything I wanted in life. It got so bad that I wasn’t able to go to a store out of fear that a child would be there and the reaction I was going to have to it. I was so scared that I tried to convince myself that I am actually not disturbed by it; that it actually is enjoyable. This anxiety hit me the hardest and my parents knew something was wrong with me. I eventually told them how I was feeling and they were amazing about it. They helped me in every way and stayed up with me all night if I couldn’t sleep. One day I had the worst panic attack that I have ever experienced that I started puking. I never wanted to go on meds, but after that my parents and I didn’t know what other solution there was. I was so happy that something was going to finally help me. Well it didn’t.

    It was so hard to start my new job with this disturbing thought in my head. By this point, I knew I was having anxiety, even though I still let those thoughts control me. Camp was initially so difficult to adjust to. Being around people, something that was so easy for me to do, was now extremely difficult. I felt so disconnected. I felt like everything else around me was moving normally and I was frozen. Disturbing thoughts would continuously change. For several weeks I convinced myself I was going insane, then for several weeks I convinced myself that it was something more than anxiety, then for a while I believed that I was going to get to the point where I was unable to control my actions and do something terrible to someone, then I was so scared that I was going to disconnect from the people I love like my parents, then I would look at every object I saw in a sexual way, and I would question things that have always seemed normal (i.e. why does water feel so weird? Why are people the way they are? Why do people only have one face?), then finally my obsessive thought about being a bisexual came back. I was continuously fixating on something new. I would almost get excited when a new obsessive thought came on because I would feel relieved of the old one. For example, once I started obsessing about liking women, I was no longer obsessing about going insane! It seems so funny when you look back on it, but at the time it was sad the things that made me excited. I guess I thought having anxiety about something that was more socially acceptable would be easier to handle because I felt less pressure… or so I thought. I was stuck in an endless cycle of anxiety, dealing with one to the next. I would exercise everyday because I knew that feeling physically good would help me feel mentally and emotionally good. Although this was a step in the right direction, I really needed to find strategies to learn to let go.

    My life changed the day I came across this blog. The phrase I saw that began my journey of recovery was “THESE SYMPTOMS CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT A TIRED MIND”. It all made sense. My mind was exhausted from so much thinking that it was making me believe things that weren’t true. It was making me obsess over thoughts I would normally pay no attention too. I started letting go and just letting things happen naturally. When I did, my feelings for my boyfriend came back and stronger than ever (we are together now!) and I started to not worry about things that I normally did. I forced myself to do things even if I was terrified. I started to accept that this was my tired mind and not me. If I wasn’t like this for the first 20 years of my life, there was no way I was going to change so suddenly. I am still recovering and I have many setbacks, but I have realized several things that I want to share with you.

    It is people like us, people who normally go out of their way for other people that develop a tired mind. It is so important to put yourself first before anything else. This does not mean being selfish, but making sure you take care of yourself and take time for yourself because YOU are the only person who matters and YOU as much as everyone else deserves your love and affection.

    YOU are not broken, but wonderfully made. The fact that you are recognizing that you are struggling and want to change is a step in itself. This truly is a process and is an opportunity for self awareness and growth. This in the end is only going to make you a better person. You have trained your brain to be anxious in situations, that the process of healing requires you to train your brain to be calm instead. This doesn’t require medication or a lot of effort. It requires acceptance and patience. I always tell myself, nothing leaves us until it has taught us what we need to know. We are not meant to worry about everything. It is the most useless emotion that exists. How satisfying would it be to be able to do anything and everything in life and not worry? How wonderful would it be to live in the moment and enjoy every second of it? How amazing would it be to remain calm in stressful situations?

    It is SO possible. And with time and understanding, this is the place we can all get to. Training your brain may take a while, but you will only become better in the end. Just keep telling yourself “I WILL BE FREE FOREVER!”
    Don’t put a time limit on healing. Don’t force yourself to heal. Your journey has molded you for the greater good. It was exactly what it needs to be. Don’t think you have lost time. It took each and every difficult situation to get you to where you are now. And now is RIGHT on time.

    Just because something is not happening for you right now doesn’t mean it will never happen. Just keep reminding yourself that it is ok to not be perfect. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. We are all human and it is normal to have disturbing thoughts. It is normal to think weird things. We just fixate on them because we are afraid we will act on them and we are afraid of what other people will think of us. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t try and fix anything, but let things happen the way they are supposed to and they will work out. Just remember you are beautifully made and you will be fine.

    Accept it, embrace it, and live. Just keep living. You are loved so deeply, for everything you are!

    Thanks for reading.

  749. Jeanine Says:

    Carly you are a God send!! Your post almost made me tear up!!! I feel as if you are telling my story with very little diffferences but almost the same,were even the same age and got this at the same time. Your post was amazing and just what I needed to hear because I was hopeless and lost at the moment because my mind keeps jumping from one thing to the next and everytimei hear or see things my mind starts convincing me that I’m that way just like you have experienced!!I was just thinking about this when I decided to come on this blog post and there you are,a God send!!

  750. Carly Says:

    Hi Jeanine!

    It’s a lot easier said than done getting through something like this. I am still jumping from thought to thought but learning to not pay much attention to them. The hardest thing for me is not analyzing things I have done in the past. I have thought inappropriate thoughts before and have done some strange things, and now looking back I get anxious thinking about them. I overanalyze these times (I can count the number of times I did something unacceptable on one hand) and make myself believe that they mean something deeper. For example, if I made out with a female in my past and than thought of her in a sexual way, then now I look back on that and convince myself that that means I am secretly gay.

    These things really hold onto you. It’s hard to accept yourself and your mistakes for what they are. None of us are perfect and we put way too much pressure on ourselves.
    Everybody does things that they know are wrong, but instead of dwelling on it, we try and fix it.
    It’s hard not to dwell though with and anxious mind.

    How are you doing? Do you ever experience feelings like this?
    What is the thought that you seem to be stuck on at the moment?

    It’s very comforting to know that someone my age is experiencing the same thing and in very similar ways!

  751. Jeanine Says:

    Hi Carly!!! Don’t worry I’m the same as you I overanalyze everything if I hear something I’ll think about it then analyze it and get images in my head that convince me I’m that way. Right noe at the moment my mind is jumping from one thing to the next it scares me because I don’t know were I’ll end up. First the thoughts started of me harming myself or others then recently since I’ve been Googling I found out about pure “o” ocd and I heard about being afraid being sexually attracted to animals, kids,Parents etc. For some reason after hearing. That I’ve been getting thoughts like that. Right now I’m scared I’m a sexual Sicko like if I like things like that,they keep popping in my head. It worry s me that maybe those are my secret desires? I’ve never been this way 20 years previously why now after I started down the road to anxiety. Don’t worry what your thinking is normal for people whither our condition. Do you happen to be a Virgo by chance? I know me being a Virgo have always been a worrier,analytical,and anxious but normal not like this!!also lately I’ve been overwhelmed near a lot of people because of the racing thoughts I get.

  752. Jeanine Says:

    Sorry for so many grammar errors, I’m on my phone

  753. Carly Says:

    I am a virgo! That’s so funny. And I didn’t include all the anxieties I have ever had in my post because some of them I was super embarassed about, but I did start having anxiety about being sexuall