Recovery from anxiety can take time

Todays post is two emails that I received last week from two people who are doing so much better, the latter one says he is 100% back to normal. You will see from both emails that they were in a real hole and I do remember how hopeless both felt at the time. The reason for me posting these emails is to show that going for progression and not demanding instant success, then you can make giant strides. A lot of people when they feel at their worst feel this may be them forever or that other people recover and they wont. Although I am posting these two, I do get many, many emails like this through a year and in all cases it took a little time. Just reading a lot of posts on here people have improved a hell of a lot. Everything I say and do on my site and in my book is all about changing your attitude to the way you feel, not treating like a monster ready to engulf you, not letting it rule what you do and don’t do. So you don’t go around worrying and obsessing about every little thought or feeling. Also to change habits you may have fallen into and as we have been doing the exact opposite for so long it can take time, I hope these emails give people so much more hope and belief and show how many people do come through.

Also sorry for the small font, this is created by having to paste the emails into the blog, hopefully they are still easily readable.

Hi Paul

I was just surfing the net and thought I’d swing by your website! Don’t know if you remember me but I’m the actress who was writing to you about a year ago? Things look like they are going well with the site and book, great stuff. I have been reading over a few of our e mails last year-what a difference a year makes!!!

Gradually got to the bottom of the bottom in May last year-found out boyfriend had been cheating on me- not that surprising given the state I was in and the little time I was giving him! It was awful and I had nowhere to live and some other personal complications which meant I had to get an emotional operation. Basically everything was rubbish!

But thinking about and obsessing over my break up meant I wasn’t thinking about DP as much, so surprise, surprise it seemed to get better event though my life seemed crap. Then I got a new play which took my mind off it more and being with new people was great because they didn’t know about my d.p so I had to ignore it more! I had a great summer- sometimes I felt a little odd. but I was getting much better at dealing with it.
Basically I’m so MUCH better!! I would almost say cured but there is still that black d.p cloud threatening to come back and showing its head the odd morning I’m hung-over and that! It’s almost like if I could erase the memory of having it from my head I would be ok because I wouldn’t remember to feel it if you know what I mean?!
But I just wanted to say thanks for being a true life saver when I was stuck in a period of blackness I thought I’d never get through! Your doing a great thing, so keep it up and good luck with everything. I’m hoping to forget my d.p nightmare completely one day and feel truly relaxed and happy and I can feel very positive that that will happen soon! But for now I’m just glad I can have periods of hours and sometimes days of not worrying about anything! And I have stopped feeling guilty about messing my life up by taking drugs, which is also what I needed to do-although I wont be taking them again!!

Thanks Paul

Rebecca Scott

Hi Paul,

I am not sure if you remember me, but I was a client of yours
this summer. Here it is, almost April, and I am 100% back to normal!
I do not feel anxiety constantly everyday all the time, and I feel like
a million bucks. I am not tired as I once was, I can go out and have
fun and enjoy myself and life. It is really odd, it really IS all of
your attitudes towards it. If you don’t treat it as a monster, it won’t
treat you like a victim! It will just go away after a while. And yes,
I still think about how I used to feel from time to time, in hopes that
I will never feel that way again. But now I have the tools not to
worry, but just to have a good, healthy, and exciting life. Thank you
for everything you have done for me. Without your book and e-mails, I
still might be struggling, trying to figure it all out. I am in my
senior year of college, and only three months away from graduation. I
found out last week that I got a full time job as a business development
representative from a company here in Pittsburgh! My girlfriend and I
have been together almost a year and a half, and I promised an eventual
engagement to her this past Christmas.

Thank you so much for all of your help.

Brent Castillo For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit






54 Responses to “Recovery from anxiety can take time”

  1. Debbie Says:

    thanks Paul. Really lovely to read those. Interesteing that rebecca says that when she got her acting job and was around people who didnt know about her DP, she had to completely ignore it and it got better!! Thats what i’m hoping goin back to work will do. Give me something to concentrate on so i’m not thinkin about how i’m feeling!
    I’ll let you know how work goes…

  2. No More Anxiety Says:

    Yes Debbie, I agree the other focus helped her with her D.P. I actually remember a story about me once. I had D.P very bad and everyday without no breaks, as I had little knowledge I did obsess, worry, try to figure it all out daily and yes this is the reason it hung around. One day I went to the bank and drew out a lot of money and on my way back to work I lost it, now for once in my life this seemed more im portant than how I was feeling and it lifted for a few hours. I learnt a little lesson there that day that maybe all the deep thinking and trying to do something about it made it worse.

    One thing I would say though so people don’t mis-understand is don’t try and think of something else as this would be fighting, let this come naturally by doing other things and just learning to live along side the D.P for the time being and pay it no mind. This is the true way home.

    I am sure work will be a great diversion for you but again don’t expect too much or demand anything.


  3. JR Says:

    Just an update about my myself. These are get emails that you posted Paul. Since reading you book and using this web blog as a source of information about anxiety and all the dreadful symptoms I have really improved so much. I know that one day I will be 100% better but have learned the importance of letting recovery come to me. I feel I have just a few hurdles before I am well on my way.

    Today I was home alone all day which I have found that while alone my mind just runs with constant mind chatter. (Back when I just started college I feel my anxiety started…I was having really negative thoughts about my girlfriend at the time and I think I just kind of felt guilty or confused about why I was having those thoughts because I felt I loved her and wanted to be with her forever. I tried to work those thoughts out nonstop and my mind just keep running. Finally my mind kept telling me all the negatives about our relationship even nitpicky little things about her. I just felt like I could just let it go and move forward. Soon afterward I fell into DP and later deep into DP. At the time I never understood what was going on). During all these years I guess I was hiding from all the thoughts about if I love her and why, if there is another women out there that I would be happier with, or if she cause all these anxiety feelings, etc…

    Today I just let all my thoughts go, not holding back, free flow and tried not to really take them rationally. Lots of the relationship thoughts or even the thoughts I was having years ago about life and my relationship all came back, but this time I just let them come and go and if my mind wanted to analyze the thought I just let it and keep doing what I was doing. (For years I just thought these thoughts were really me and how I felt) The thoughts came and I didn’t try to force myself to do something else to stop thinking. I think I took a big step and hope I can keep this up. Actually for a long time I don’t think I ever gave my partner full attention because if I looked at her for a period of time my mind would throw out all the negative thoughts about her and I could never just be myself around her or fully give my whole self to her and I never knew why! Today I just let the thoughts come while I gave her full attention. The thoughts still hurt to think them but I not going to listen to them, just let them come, stick around if they want, and let them leave when they want. No fighting. It’s really hard to let the thoughts go because for years I didn’t know whether to listen to them or not.

    Hopefully this is the correct way to freedom for anxiety, DP and obsessive thoughts. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Hopefully this will help others that have had this overload of awful thoughts about their relationship.

  4. JoeyLowtown Says:

    Yes, I suffer this quite badly. When my anxiety is quite bad, in the past I’ve concentrated more on how I was feeling rather than what i was doing. This applies to a lot of areas in my life, but particuarly my relationship with m girlfriend. Then I feel guilt about it, which makes it worse. Yesterday was the first day ever that I said to myself, these thoughts will still be here tomorrow, and you know what, bring them on! Up until this point, I’ve always hoped tomorrow will be the day Im cured!

  5. Frederic Floyd Says:

    Dear Paul

    Your book goes into great deal about certain symptoms (eg: DP), but not so much into others like eye floaters, and tinitus. Some symptoms need little explanation to me, like tension around the face. But things like floaters still seem very mysterious and scary to me, as I dont fully grasp the reason they would appear so visible. Im finding it hard to believe they will go, even when i have calmed down. I still fear they are permanent now, as few people complain about them except me.

  6. Claire Says:

    Hi ,

    After reading your blog a wave of relief passed over me. It could have been me writing that very same message!
    Its the worst part of the anxiety for me and the hardest thing to let go. My negative obsessive thoughts are centred around my boyfriend too and its scary and horrible almost all of the time. I mostly worry that when the anxiety leaves I’ll still have this negative thought and lack of emotion left and so that prolongs the anxiety…its almost as if I want it there just so that I know the thoughts aren’t true!
    Last week I was really struggling with the lack of emotion part, which brought on more anxiety. But a turning point was when my boyfriend and my mum sat me down and said that they want to understand what I’m going through so they can help me through it. Now I feel that I need to recover in my own time but its nice to have that kind of support there. It doesn’t feel like I’m going through it on my own anymore.

    Paul, I know you’re really busy but I was wondering, there is a section in your book that talks about genetic causes of anxiety and depression. I’m just asking because it seems to be rife in my family and I wondered if you believe there is a genetic factor? Its worth noting though that a lot of my family have been through CBT and have not had a repeated episode of anxiety since.

    Thanks Paul. also what are your thoughts on CBT?

  7. No More Anxiety Says:

    J.R You really have grasped what I am saying now and yes this is the total way forward, the way I recovered. Here is your statement.

    Today I just let all my thoughts go, not holding back, free flow and tried not to really take them rationally. Lots of the relationship thoughts or even the thoughts I was having years ago about life and my relationship all came back, but this time I just let them come and go and if my mind wanted to analyze the thought I just let it and keep doing what I was doing.

    Firstly you realize through habit they will be there for a while and that’s fine but as important if through habit you begin to analyze analyze them, you are saying fine carry on, that’s a really important point. Sometimes when I say let them have their space, people think, well I should not analyze them then and if they do they think they are going wrong. You may analyze them through habit, that’s the difference and the whole point is, just let it go where it wants and don’t step in to stop it or try to control it, I really could not have put it better myself.

    Frederic, I have explained many, many times why you have eye floaters, so I will again just be repeating myself here. I also explained why they were a problem to you as you are making such an issue out of them and not just accepting them for the time being. Please read old posts and emails on them as I really have explained many times before.

    Claire I spoke about genetic causes in the sense that I don’t really believe that this is the case and even if it is then all that matters is recovery and the way forward for everyone is the same. My thoughts on C.B.T is it helps some and not others, I personally never tried it so I can’t comment on it too much, it seems to have some success. I always say if something feels right and helps stick with it, if not then move on. I saw a lot of people and went through many so called treatments that just did not help at all, so I moved on.

    More than anything I think its great your family want to help understand. I know a lot of people let family members read my book so they understand more what is going on, that support is so very helpful, far more than someone telling you to pull yourself together and making you feel guilty.

  8. Debbie Says:

    Frederic! I too have lots of funny eye problems. Floaters, blurry vision, tension around my eyes. i’m long sighted so need glasses to drive etc but when i wear them i feel it makes things worse. This has been for ages now, and i know its a symptom of my breakdown. Have you read Claire Weekes book that paul talked about?? She mentions “tricks of vision” and talks about it in there. Another perspective might help you.
    My eye problems have been around for the whole time i’ve been ill and i’m expecting them to hang aroung for a while. sometimes it really bothers me and i worry about it, but i know deep down that it is stress/anxiety. so i just let my worrys ramble on and try to pay them no attention.
    You need to try not to worry.
    It will go.
    Debs xx

  9. No More Anxiety Says:

    Debs Frederic has brought this up many times and I have given him the same advice, I also stated I had it for a long time and when I stopped worrying and obsessing about it in time it went, but you really have to say to yourself, should I really let it bother me so much, is it really that bad, it was a little irritant to me, but that’s all. Frederic is making the mistake of trying to RID himself of it, this will never work, you just have to change your attitude toward it and not bother if its there or not, as I did.

  10. Rick Says:

    I totally agree with Paul, the more you give symptoms ”respect” the more they haunt you. I pearsonally suffered really bad with eye problems, blury vision, eye floaters and bright lights in my field of vision. the more i obsessed the more visious the attacks were. they even made me physically sick. Once id gaind knowlege through Paul’s site and the book guess what????? the symptoms subsided. This wasn’t fate or by chance, its your mind control. ”Mind over matter” no one can get better over night but its well worth sticking it out, you might even supprise yourself.

  11. Manuella Says:

    Ooops…here I am again!

    Hope one of the seniors (not older, seniors because you guys are wiser) could give me a little help:
    I know that all the symptoms will go away with time, but the one that troubles me the most is insomnia. I see people that sleep to forget and think: wow! I would love to sleep off my problems…I fear the lack of sleep :(…anyone could drop a line? Or two?

    Now, another question (such a bore, this girl!). I read Frank’s post (under depersonalization, where I wanted to reply, but decided to do it here..) and Paul’s answer and got a bit confused:

    That’s what Frank wrote:

    “Stomach-ache, NO i have notes to copy. Shift your FULL attention to something different and give absolutely no respect to the way you are feeling.”

    Paul said he was absolutely right.

    I want to know if I’m on the good path. I feel shaky and the odd thoughts come now and then and I think: “hey, here you are, again! I will not stop what I am doing…so do your thing and leave me alone.” Or. “hey, here we go again!” The symptoms follow and I get calmer. I don’t ignore them…I see them come, I feel it, but I do not try to stop…I just, embrace it! (odd)

    Am I fighting? Or am I doing the right thing?

    (Poor Paul)

    Hope you all are doing fine.


  12. Frederic Floyd Says:

    hey guys.

    Thanks for the support, i really appreciate the info and input.

    Sorry paul about bringing the same thing up again, it wont happen anymore. Knowing that Debbie, rick, and some others had the same thing brings me some comfort.

    I guess we each have a symptom which bugs us more than another…

    Thanks Debb, I feel readier to go on with them there. Especially as I need good eyes to fly planes :)

  13. Frederic Floyd Says:

    Claire. I tried CBT as my first ‘way out’, and it didnt help me like I hoped it would. Here’s what I think of CBT:

    Pros: . good for managing thoughts in the short term
    . good for depression and mild anxiety
    . lots of books and support from clinics and doctors

    Cons: . doesnt give you the right info about severe anxiety
    . too taxing on the mind, and can make you obsessive
    . I found it non comforting and didnt help calm me

    I think CBT is useful as a preventative means, or to be used when you are feeling better already and just want to work on trivial thought patterns.

    I saw a friend with Bipolar get totally well using CBT along with her Meds, and she keeps trying to push that approach on me. But we are in a different boat, sailing different stormy weather…

  14. No More Anxiety Says:

    Sometimes Frederic you have to hear of other people going through it to have comfort, trust me I went through it to and it is mentioned in the book under blurred vision. I don’t want or mean to come across as sharp, its just my way of getting a point home as we have been through it a lot and I just want to really get it home to you what I am trying to say.


  15. al1 Says:

    Hi guys,
    i have found these emails to be the source of great reassurance. My anxiety started nearly 2 months ago in the form of a panic attack following a night out on a new drug (which i will never be doing again!!!) this has inturn triggered 2 months of anxious thoughts on and off and two other more minor panic attacks. Last night i think i turned a corner, i had what i think was the start of another panic attack (i had been obsessing over my thoughts for about 2 hours before) but managed to sit still and calmly and think these feelings will go and within an hour or two they did.

    I can lead a ‘normal’ life with my anxiety in that it doesn’t stop me from doing anything (university, going out, holidays etc.) but i find i am really susceptable to negative thought patterns. for example all i need to do is read about someone who has suffered from this for a long time and it leads me to a day of worrying or someone who suffers from depersonaliation (which i don’t have) and i start obsessing i’m going to develop it. i have been able to go for up to 2 weeks, during these last 2 months, of complete normality (i.e. no racing thoughts no panic attacks.) what i will say though is both times i have had weeks of ‘normality’ or ‘clarity’ they have both been products of reassurance from others (councellor and friend who suffered similarly) and not worrying about worring (ie my mind being elsewhere.)

  16. Debbie Says:

    I returned to work today!! After 11 months, back to the busy busy hospital. And guess what! it was really nice being back! I still didn’t feel quite with it but i just got on with things. although when i got hom i slept for 2 hours!!! but phew, its a relief to be heading inthe right direction.. x

  17. No More Anxiety Says:

    That’s great Debbie, well done you!


  18. steph Says:

    hi all im new to this site but have suffered anxiety on n off for several years now. i had worse out after my daughter was born, i suffered postnatal depression.i havent really had anything up untill begininig of year and ifeel awful!! i suffer with dp bad, which leads to me being irratable, brain dead and guilty that im not my usual self for my daughter. Shes 3 and im a single mum, i find it really hard to act ‘normal’ and still try do fn things, im always snapping then beat myself up for it afterwards! does anyone else on site have children? Im trying to accept and let it be but i must be doing something wrong?!i felt much better last week and some days feel symptom free and laugh with freinds about me ‘stressing out’! I have always had the fear that i am going mad every time iv had these bouts i think im going to get taken to the mad house and the more i think the more anxious the more dp the more stress! help

  19. Manuella Says:

    Debbie! Congrats!!!

    Lovely to read posts like that!


  20. Manuella Says:

    And Paul, come on…turn the light on in this tiny little brain (mine) 😀

  21. Amy Says:

    Manuella – I suffered from insomnia for years and years and years. In the end I ended up with anxiety about not sleeping, which just compounded the problem. Thankfully I don’t get insomnia to any great degree anymore. The medication I’m on seems to have sorted that, but I would imagine the same advice, as always, applies, i.e. let it be, don’t try to fight it, try not to analyse/obsess over it, etc.

    Claire Week’s has some good advice with regards to not sleeping, so it’s worth trying to get hold of her book (I think it’s still in print?).


    P.S. I’m not Paul – obviously (!) – but it sounds to me like you’re on the right track. :)

  22. Manuella Says:

    Hi Amy! Good Morning.

    Another night spent rolling from one side to another…and I swear, I’m doing my best not to get too stressed or disappointed. The problem is: I have to come to work and translate a lot of texts all day long…ugh! Ugly!
    I’m not anxious right now, just tired and sleepy. But during the night I can’t help thinking: what if I can’t sleep again tomorrow? Bla bla bla…what if this, what if that.
    But, hey! Here I am, working and going to the gym later. Lol…yesterday I worked out for 2 hours, was reaaaally tired but then at night, anxiety played it’s tricks on me.
    About the book, well, I live in Portugal and will check on the book stores…not sure though, maybe Fnac? Sucks not to be in England, hehehe. I have almost every single book on anxiety available here (surprise, eh? lol), but the last one I purchased one day before finding Paul’s website…it’s called The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (Anxiety & Phobia Workbook)
    By: Edmund J. Bourne. Did I opened it yet? Nope…

    Thank you for the support and for answering so quickly, this blog is very special, just like the persons behind the posts and advices (like you).

  23. No More Anxiety Says:

    I’m not anxious right now, just tired and sleepy. But during the night I can’t help thinking: what if I can’t sleep again tomorrow? Bla bla bla…what if this, what if that.

    Manuella, I can’t make sombody sleep only advise with what helped me, but your problems do start with the above, you are worrying that you may not get to sleep and this is causing you not to sleep, the harder you try, the harder it seems to get.

    I had this problem and I have advised many people with what helped me. You need to go to bed and just let all feelings and thoughts wash over you, don’t be tempted to tune in. More than that you need the attitude of, if I sleep I sleep and if I don’t I don’t, DON’T make an issue out of it, this is the trick. I had this attitude and some nights were the same, but others I slept all the way through and in time my sleep went back to normal. The less I cared the easier things got, the more I cared and hoped I would sleep then the harder it got.


  24. Manuella Says:

    Oh come on, Paul! You should be able to make me sleep! lloll (just kidding)

    I know, I have the tools now, and I will not get angry with another sleepless night (can help to feel a bit sad, though, but give me time). I’m seeing a therapist once a week and she keeps telling me to FIGHT the fear, breathe in and breathe out, make the effort, do the muscle tensing and relaxing thing…funny thing is: last week I started talking about your method (without mentioning the website, I just talked like it was my new way of seeing things, otherwise she would say: stop checking those pages) and how I would love to try a different approach, work with the “whatever” attitude. At first she was a bit surprised, but by the end of the session she totally agreed with the perception. Ok, not TOTALLY, but she understood and said that from now on we would focus on progress, not the bad thoughts. Let’s see how it works.

    Please do not sue me…:)

    I already questioned myself if keeping seeing her was a good idea, but she’s very kind and listens to me…

    Thank’s, merci, gracias, danka!

  25. Shirley D. Says:

    Claire on the blog:
    I too was wondering if there is a generic/gentic connection.
    My sister suffers from OCD, my brother, I have seen at some very dark moments mainly over failed relationships. I was discussing only recently with my Mother about my anxiety and she described this wave that used to come over her, she would have the same thought come into her head each time she had ‘an attack’, she mentioned it to her mother and Gran said – “oh I used to have those”. Gran lived to be a good age and my Mum is still going, so just goes to show that what we have can’t kill you. Luckily, there has been far more research done into how WE can manage it – which is great, probably anyone my Gran’s age would have been carted off to the asylum if she had admitted to what she suffered.
    My cousin has a type of agrophobia and a couple of uncles have had ‘problems’ (all on my mothers side) but HEY, let’s not be negative, I am feeling so much like my old self again and it’s only been through this website and the written information and help from others on here that has brought about a wonderful change for me. My confidence is returning and my life is rosier now. I have even managed to ignore the clock when I wake up in the early hours, it used to be a compulsion to look – that was one of the biggest hurdles for me. Yet another one overcome.

  26. Paul McGowan Says:

    HI STEPH !!

  27. Tom McGurk Says:

    guys. i just want to encourage you all to keep accepting. and keep encouraging eachother. even knowing there is someone else out there, feeling the same way and having the same battles, is an encouragement. and knowing there are others who have followed pauls advice and come through the other side in recovery. this IS the way to move forward. keep going, just accept. luv and regards

  28. Edward Says:

    Hi all – The title to this blog is spot on! I was coming on leaps and bounds over the last couple of days. Well at least compared to how I was!
    Still, after finishing work yesterday and this morning I have felt bad again a few intrusive thoughts and the “what if’s” came back. But what the hell im sure im on the road to recovery and even though I know im struggling now im prepared to “just be” for as long as it takes.
    Im currently taking Citromapol and these seem to be helping no end, plus I start some therapy soon so this should all help.

    Paul – when you were on the road to recovery how did you deal with your off days ?


  29. No More Anxiety Says:

    Edward trust me I know how hard these days are, I just tried to stay positive and learnt pretty early on that I would have bad days and they were all part of recovery. The real belief comes through coming through setbcaks, once I did many times I did not seem to mind them as much. The mistake a lot make is they think they are back to square one again and go into self pity, beliving they will never get better and start with all the ‘Why did i feel so good last week’ , ‘I hate this’ etc…etc…I used to have the attitude of ‘My anxiety is high today, it will calmthough, it always does’ I suppose I never added any fuel to the fire and did not go down the road of self pity, I saw the bad days as part of the journey. Like I have to go through the crap to reach peace, my body will catch up in time. I always advice people to enjoy the good days and don’t get too down about the bad. That is what I always tried to do, sometimes a setback is only as bad as you let it be. I once had a woman that would go down the road of self pity and all the ‘ I hate this, I will never get better’getting frustrated etc….I had a few words to change this attitude and she emailed me and said Paul I felt very anxious on Tuesday and for once did not get frustrated and go down the road of self pity and the setbcak passed far quicker, I feel anxious today but hey its fine, that is the attitude I created.


  30. steph Says:

    hey paul mcgowan, thanks for blog its nice to hear from someone! Especially another parent, when im in a state of anxiety im constantly doubting myself as a parent! then i start to worry what if my daughter will develop anxiety and end up just like me,daft i know. But my mum and dad have both experienced depression and anxiety, all though it can run in familys i dont think i helped myself as i used to be part of the club scene and have previously taken rec drugs on off since my teens i think that has triggered it anyway. I know exactly what sets it off its myconstant mind chatter and negative thoughts, i have been pretty bad this week yet iv just been getting on with it, hope your doing good? Just wondered if you ever suffer with churning stomach and cramps? take care

  31. steph Says:

    hi paul, just reading your reply to edward and i have been sort of telling myself the same thing, even when im awake all nite!! Its true what you say aswll about worrying when a new symptom appears. since xmas i have had anxiety all though iv suffered on off fro five years, yet iv not really felt that down just as an off shoot of feeling anxious all the time n the lack of sleep! But these last few days i have felt so detached with dp its left me feeling really low, where i cant be bothered! All though i have been forcing myself to go out and do stuff its been pretty awful, i know im complaining which is not accepting! I do talk to myself all the time (out loud lol which feels quite unreal at times!) n tell me to stop worrying that ive been here before and recovered, that its just adrenalin and a tired mind and sometimes it does subside all though when im under the influence of dp its like im trying to believe but not, if you know what i mean ? iv also wrote a blog above and would relly appreiate some advice please. thanks steph.

  32. Manuella Says:

    Good Morning!

    Paul, yesterday I re-read the chapter on your book that talks about symptoms, and letting in go. I’m pretty sure I’m doing most of the things right, since I’m feeling much better, even on the hard/dark days….all the understanding and accepting make a big difference. My main problem, unfortunately, still the sleepless nights. I went to bed yesterday and let the thoughts come and go, sometimes I could feel a rush of adrenalin pass my whole body but I didn’t react, I kept telling myself to go with the flow, but, again….couldn’t rest. It feels like when I’m nearly falling asleep, something wakes me, like someone poking me, or a noise wakes me…it’s just my mind getting active again :(
    I’m considering meds, I know you’re not a big fan, but if I’m on the right path, wouldn’t it be helpful?

    Anyway, thank you all for being here and being so supportive.


  33. steph Says:

    hi manuella,im new to this site yet i have experienced anxiety for some time on n off, last was nearly 4 yrs ago after my daughter was born i did have meds and i eventually got better, i never thought id ever experience it that intense again untill xmas time this year! this time im trying without meds and its hard, im also experiencing no sleep which is horrid!! at first i was falling asleep no problem,then waking at 2am and mind wouldnt switch off,these last few days iv felt more down which is new symptom like just wana give in, which has freaked me out and disrupted my sleep even more. I slept bout half hour last night so i know how your feeling,lack of sleep doesnt help your mood or anxiety at all! i know why its happening also its because i think about the awful night id had previously and it would make me tense. I do say if i dont sleep so what, but i must be doing something wrong with the letting go and accepting part, thought i was as i was feeling much better then its started with avengance! i have been taking herbal meds to sleep which sort of took edge off at first but now they do nothing, and like you am also considering something little stronger. If were not getting enough slep its affecting our mood, our minds are much more tired and our anxiety more severe, am i talking sense or rmbling sleep derived rubbish!! Hope you can relate to this manuella, take care.


  34. Manuella Says:

    Hi Steph! Morning…:)

    The thing is: I’m ok now, like most of my days with the sleep privation…feel tired and a bit confused, but not really anxious. Of course it does affect me sometimes during the day, and doesn’t help with the concentration.
    I understand why it all happens, and really wanted to recover without the meds, but don’t want to add this pressure.
    My therapist recommended Bach Florals, and I drink some herbal teas before bedtime too…but this symptom has affected me for so long that is quite hard not to consider another alternative.

    Last year, when I had my first contact with anxiety, the insomnia made me freak out completely…this time, it’s not the same, after learning this new approach. I’m not feeding the monster like I did last time.

    And yes, you’re talking sense 😀 I completely understand the way you feel, but try to compliment yourself for the good things.

    Wish you a good day :), take care!

  35. steph Says:

    Hi paul, im new to this site iv wrote to you a few times on this blog and appreciate how mad busy you must be! Im really understanding your site and as iv wrote above to manuella i have experienced anxiety on off for a while yet this is probably worst up to now! I have also been experiencing really low mood which is pretty new to this bout of anxiety, and it scares me as i have a three yr old daughter. Im a single mum and live on my own with her, i feel with this low mood i will develop severe depression or lose it and end up having a complete mental breakdown, daft i know but with this new symptom it makes my mind think so deeply i relly see no way out! Im really angry with myself as i was accepting before and now im just complaining its all i think of talk of, its like taking over my life!! and this is only recently, i was feeling rubbish other times but id always say you been here before, its only adrenalin and a tired mind ill be fine, and it was working most times. Iv not been sleeping which i think has a lot to do with it, i forced myself to meet with freinds in pub yday(not drinking) and i dreaded it stayed for couple hours and felt completley panicked then went home. This saddens me the most as im avoiding things which i know were not supposed to, and i dont feel a part of anything! so ill just dwell then on how soft i am and what my mates must think! I just really didnt think id get to this point where id feel i couldnt face people or hold converstaion! I know i sound like im feeling sorry for myself but i know youve had similar experiences when at your worst, id just really appreciate some tips on how to lat go and TRULY accept, id like my life back! And i know i will do, yet when you feel that low you can feel theres no way out, sorry for selfish ramble! Anyone else felt this way and have any tips of acceptance please feel free to write back. Hope to hear from you soon thanks. take care all x

  36. steph Says:

    Hey manuella, glad to hear you feel good about things. I need to follow your foot steps and stop feeding this irritating monster!! thank you for replying, good luck and take care. x

  37. Shirley D. Says:

    I think it’s great that we sufferers are able to help each other through this blog.I think it’s great too that the fella’s are just as much (if not more so)involved with discussion. My anxiety started in September 2007. The night times being the worst, how did I manage almost six months with the sleep deprivation? Each morning getting out of bed telling myself that the next night was another night. But the next was always the same.I hated the sight of my bed – any bed because of what it meant – sleep which was sporradic, nightmarish and certainly not fulfilling or relaxing. But six months on I have finally got some control over it (by telling it I just don’t care) and in the past week have managed a more fulfilling sleep on several nights. It is all a matter of steps, not running before you can walk. Being a six monther, i’m not sure whether this has helped me get better quicker than others?
    Steph (above) talks about her selfish ramble, I found the anxiety was all so consuming that that was all i could talk about,it does make you selfish, it was always the first thing on the end of my tongue whenever I met anyone I hadn’t seen for a while or even strangers, when I look back at myself even 6 weeks ago I see a huge difference. I am on Beta blockers and have been since December I was at desperations door!!! and have found them a great help. When I filled in application forms for jobs, that was the first thing I looked for – illnesses suffered – ah yes – anxiety, to me it was an illness. I am so, so much more better. I have even allowed myself to find the beta blockers a nuisance now, especially today when I failed a simple aptitude test, my eyes blurred and I couldn’t think straight – literacy was fine but numeracy was abysmal, trouble was I came away from that thinking that my whole world had fallen apart because something I prided myself on had failed me, get it into perspective girl!!!!
    My parents have very nicely (not) reminded me that I need a job NOW to get some money together for spending on holiday in June. Nice bit of pressure again – sure I know I need a job, but this was yet another part of my self beating (what my parents think, say and expect) They have seen a smile come back on my face and they think the transformation is complete!!!! Nooooo! My confidence is returning, I have conquered the nasty racing feelings, my sleep is getting better, my anxiety levels are at an all time low, I try to look at everything positively, I am going on the upward path and am really pleased with myself, but there are still a few dark corners yet to banish. So, Steph and Manuella from one fellow sufferer to another, the end can well and truly be in sight, don’t rush it, I also found that this website was my constant companion – I have shed tears over it – especially the first time I found it and realised that all these people on here were like me and I wasn’t alone, so keep on viewing the pages and Manuella – keep reading the book!!! I followed all of your blogs and they made me smile – then reading through your blogs I realised I was on the road to recovery because your amusing anecdotes made me truly smile and (laugh) for the first time in a long time because I enjoyed your humour!!!!! They will have to rename this page the Steph, Manuella and Shirley page. HA HA.

  38. Manuella Says:

    Hey, that’s cute! loool

    Shirley, glad to have made you laugh…it’s usually what I do best (now even in English, wooow!) and one of my struggles, since it’s hard to most people to understand what I’m going through. When I try to explain what’s going on with me I usually see the person smiling and saying: yeah, right! That’s a good one!

    I agree with you, I’m doing my best not to rush things (didn’t start any treatment, er..ops…yes, I’m drinking loads of herbal teas :D, hope that’s not too desperate)

    Anyway, going to lunch now and feel the urge to say something nice to you, Shirley, so: awwwn! (blushing), you’re too nice!!!


  39. steph Says:

    Haha! i know shirley, i must have written nough posts for a week on this blog!! Its nice to hear from you anyway, how are you today? I was wondering also how this blog works does paul still read these posts or stick to the most recent ones, as i havent heard a reply yet? I know he must be mad busy! I received his book this morning,so ill get stuck into it later. tke care.x

  40. Shirley D. Says:

    I think Paul has replied to you on another blog. I’m new to this too so don’t fully understand but I suppose it’s mainly for if you want to share with others and hopefully reading others experiences will help you along your way. When I first found this site I read every single thing on it. And it helped me so much. I just couldn’t figure out what was happening to me.
    Don’t forget the friendship page as well, which enables you to talk via e mail to other sufferers. I am pleased to say that it has been a good day for me today, though I did have a wobbly moment in a shop today but it soon passed.
    Shirley D

  41. Lee Says:

    hey guys,
    my reply is for steph. steph i am going out on saturday night with my girlfriend and a few other friends for a birthday and im totally looking forward to it. but 3 weeks ago i would have been filled with dread about going out and being with loads of other people incase something happened then while io was accepting my anxiety and getting better i thought ” what is going to happen?” really? the answer is nothing, panic and anxiety cannot hurt you it makes you feel like it can but it cannot, please just go out enjoy your friends company and have a good time and i know you can do it because i can do it and instantly you will feel better, dont obsess that yeah that felt good or not just let it happen, whatever will be will be. just let your hair down and have a good time and i promise you will be stronger for it.

    good luck

  42. Lee Says:

    p.s my monster must be starving right now, coz he hasnt eaten for 3 weeks!!! and he wont be getting fed anytime soon.

    take care

  43. Lee Says:

    this post is to paul david especially.
    paul as you probably have read somewhere i have suffered on and off for 4 years with anxiety and panic attacks but since discovering this site and your book 4-5 weeks ago i never truly knew why i felt like this. i just have to say a massive thank you to yourself for giving me my life back. you have been such a help and inspiration to me and im sure so many others on this blog and through your website and book, my feelings are thawing and i know this wont get me again and i too will be dedicating part of my life to helping others through an anxiety help group where i hope to help people through what you have taught me.
    if i am ever to meet you i will buy you a pint of cider lol!
    so on behalf of me and i think i speak for eveybody here


  44. steph Says:

    hi lee, thanks for your post. Im glad to say i feel a little better these last few days and have had four nights in a row of good sleep!!which is more than iv had in the last couple of months! I also had a free night last night as my daughter stayed at familys, normaly i would feel on edge and not know what to do with myself and hate the ideaof being alone in the house, instead i met with a freind for dinner and then calmly with no anxiety at all went home and enjoyed my time alone. I normally wake with really churning stomach and dreaded feeling but didnt! Everyone n the site makes sense in what they say, dont you think? Im glad your feeling better and im hoping to keep this positive cycle up! Take care, speak soon.

  45. No More Anxiety Says:

    A pint of cider Lee, now your talking, that’s one way to get around me…lol

    I get as much out of people moving forward as they do, it gives me immense joy to see people not only move forward but also truly understand what I try and get across and you really have picked up my message. Your right, anxiety can only hinder your life if you let it and create a monster out of it, If you treat it as a monster then it will treat you like a victim, were the wise words of someone on here. Even when I advise it still takes courage to believe in what I say and go places you may not have gone before, so pat yourself on the back.


  46. jo Says:

    Hi all,
    I have been visiting pauls site now for a couple of months. When I first found this site, I cant tell you how relieved I was to know I wasnt alone! I immediatly, downloaded Pauls book, It has helped me so much, just having an explaination of what im feeling and why Im feeling. since summer last year, my life has been a real roller coaster ride, with so many bad things happening, the worst one being my dad passing away, at only 60 years old.
    So i can understand why my nerves are so tired.
    I am now finally doing better, but I get the odd day, when I feel bad, today being one of them, this has been the worst day ive had for a while.
    I started a new job yesterday, so im wondering if that might have been the trigger, I know im my own worst enemy at times, Im worrying about getting ill again, and loosing the new job, which I know is the worst thing to do, Ive been doing really well, until now, was just wondering if anyone had any advice on how they cope with the really bad days, this one seems to be getting the better of me.
    Its good to read so many of you are feeling better, and I hope to get back on track soon.
    Thanks guys, Jo xxx

  47. steph Says:

    Hi jo, Iv only been on this site for around a month now but have suffered anxiety on off for around 5 years. Not constant infact apart from feelin dodgy after a few heavy nights out i havent experienced it like this since i had my daughter 4 years ago! However iv had a lot of stress build up over last few years with babys dad and added pressure of uni work, must have come to a point where you can only take so much!! So it could be the added pressure of your new job, i always find when i feel like this any change no matter how small affects my anxiety levels! I have felt good for last few days with hardly any symptoms, then today i felt really odd, light headed anxious and dp which was really disheartening as i thought id got he hang of accepting, however iv got to remember that i am going to have bad days still for a while, i understand what you mean though it is hard to not be upset when you have a setback but we have to keep telling ourselfs thats all it is and if it is a day of feelin crap or a week we have got better before and its only added stress at the min why you feel this way. I wish i could be more help jo, i am to my own worst enemy also and if we have managed to worry and stress our way into a life of anxiety surley we can think positivley into a life of peace! Do you ever suffer with light headedness and blurry vision, this is kind of new to me! spk soon. x

  48. Lee Says:

    hey guys, weird thing happened to me last night, went out with a few mates had a bit of “isnt this strange anxiety” but just let it go and got on with it had a fair bit to drink but when i got home its a bit blurry but i remember sitting and letting my anxiety take over and started panicking bout really strange stuff dunno if it was alcohol or what but never had that before while still sort of drunk, left me feeling a bit weird today but in cold light of day i know its just the anxiety and havent felt anxious all day which i had sort of expected to with my hangover so happy bout that just bit down that i started while i was drunk, never had that before! also it was really strange stuff like i read this article bout a lady who started to hear voices a few weeks back and as you do i applied it to myself and started “what if” know my anxiety is getting so much better and this is just a set back but anybody else done this after a few drinks??

    cheers lee

  49. steph Says:

    hey lee, i do def feel worse after drink and the article you read i do the same thing! especially anything to do with hearing/seeing stuff i always think oh my god iv took drugs in the past this is going to happen to me!! I even avoid reading stuff or hearing about it when i feel like crap, which i know we shouldnt! I went out sunday for few drinks ive been avoiding going out drinking as it makes me feel worse, however i only had few, whilst i was out i got talking to a lad i know from school and havent seen since then, i mentioned to my friend i thought he has grown into a handsome lad, (like ya do!) and she thought itd would be hillarious to embaress me in mid conversation in front of him and everyone else at the table, i went bright red and felt so embaressed!! I left soon after this but felt really stupid id reacted like that and became really anxious, para and angr that my mates were out to make me look stupid, and were probably laughing at me and my pathetic ways!! I spent most of night worrying about it and didnt sleep properly(how daft!!). And iv been sleeping good and feeling good this last week to, i dont htink i would have worried and quetioned everything if i wouldnt have been tipsy. so yeah i do know what you mean where the alcohols concerned! Does that sound really daft and make you feel better,lol!!

  50. jo Says:

    hey steph, thanks for your advice, im on my third day in the new job, this morning i felt terrible, I had my first experience of feeling light headed to day, it was wierd, I got so anxious, I actually threw up! but I still made myself go to work, (Im a domestic assistant at center parcs).
    I had my first day cleaning a villa on my own, it was really physical work basically cleaning the villa from top to bottom, and I cant believe how much I enjoyed it! I gone from being a jibbering wreck im the morning, to feeling really pleased with myself, in the afternoon, it was a beautiful sunny day, I had all the windows open, and worked away while listening to the birds singing, (although I did have to chase a duck out of the living room at one point!) I was shattered by the end of the day but I felt like I had worked all the anxiety out.
    Ive had a good end to a day that started really badly, im just a bit apprehensive about what tomorrow will bring, (thats me being my worst enemy again! lol)
    before I go ,I have blurry vision, which is a side effect of my anti depressant so Im kind of used to it.
    I think you should be proud of yourself, it sounds like you’ve had a real tuff time, and so much pressure to deal with, yet you still make time to chat to people on here its good to know there is always a friend out there who understands. xxxxx

  51. Manuella Says:

    Hey Lee!

    About the what ifs…I will not try to explain here what I think it’s our most common symptom but, rest assured, sometimes I can’t even hear someone talking about a illness, death or whatever without feeling reeeally sick…some other days I can help out a friend in distress. Understanding and going through those shitty (ops) days make us stronger, isn’t it?

  52. Manuella Says:

    Oh yeah…I think everybody here agrees that the morning after a few (or lots) of drinks can be stressful!

    Yesterday I spent the day feeling awkward….guess why? hehehe

    As Paul said somewhere here: having a drink, fine…getting hammered? Well, maybe not a very goood idea.

  53. Patrick Says:

    Hi all,

    what a relief to read the site and this blog. I have had so many “false dawns” over the last weeks that left me feeling great for some hours to a few days. I had expected to have “snapped out” of it instantly. I can relate so well to all the posts above, but I do find it a bit worrying to read about all the other problems people have. …. Will I have those too lol ? That’s just another “what if” to get over, I suppose.

    But to break out of the “relief it’s over” / “it’s all back” cycle is great. I can now work on it just happening. I also now realise that I had anxiety 10 years ago that hung around for some months. I did no research on the symptoms at the time – which was good – and kept it to my own little world. Over time I realised that symptoms came and went and lost their power. Because I told nobody, I never cancelled an appointment or missed work. Even though I did not understand what was up, just going along with life seemed to have done the trick.

    Cheers – Patrick

  54. Clover Says:

    Hi, I have been suffering with anxiety almost a month now and i feel horrible. It is ruining my relationship with my friends and family. All i want is to get back to how things was, normal, without having to carry my anxiety pills with me all the time. I want to be able to just be me. I wish there was something that can cure this.

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