My journey with Anxiety and Depersonalisation

Well here is the post I promised. I do read almost every post on here as I have to moderate the blog by myself. But I do take on board what people are saying and then adjust my next post accordingly. I can’t post every week, otherwise it would dilute the quality and I would mostly end up repeating myself. The best way to know what to post, is by what people are saying as a collective bunch. I know some ask for specific posts, but I have to do it for everyone and I felt todays post would help the majority.

Todays post is more on my recovery and the journey towards my goal of living anxiety free. Firstly maybe I should not say goal, it was more a dream as at the height of my suffering as I saw no way out, I truly did not. I thought this was me forever, nothing was working, in fact I was getting worse. The first stage for me was not a visit to the doctor, he was only concerned with giving me pills. My first rung on the ladder was to find out why I felt like I did, a pill would never do this, I wanted answers. Eventually through research and reading and eventually finding someone who understood the subject, I found a lot of these answers. Just to have an explanation and to realise that I was not alone, was enough for me to change a cycle. A cycle of self pity, complete bewilderment and constant worry and fear of what was wrong with me. This is the very reason I was so bad, so lost and felt so terrible. My mind and body was about as tired and emotionally spent as it could be and all I did was worry, fight and pound it with questions daily, no wonder I was getting worse, but what choice did I have, when I had no answers? I felt I had to work it out for myself, to fight it and hope it went away. I look back at the hole I was in and get angry that I did not find the answers sooner, that no one could tell me anything. This would have saved so much suffering. I lost my job and many friends, more than that I lost who I was.

So the first stage was understanding, once I had the knowledge I could slow down on the worry, not be so bewildered, realise that I needed to step back and give my mind and body a rest and not fight through each day. Yes I still felt awful, my body was so sensitised and tired, but for once I felt some relief and hope. Understanding is always the first step, this is why in my book I don’t just say do this or do that, I explain why you feel like you do, what keeps you in this cycle. Many people email me after reading the pages on my site or reading the book and burst into tears with relief that they have finally been given some answers and also a realisation that they are not alone. They have finally been given an explanation to why they feel like they do, they have the first stage to recovery.

So I now had plenty of knowledge to what was wrong with me. I then believed I could get better, I never lost this belief once I had some answers. The next stage for me was working out what was right for me and what was not, a lot through trial and error and once one thing made sense then other things would also. I realised very early on that I had fallen into a lot of bad habits. Avoidence being one of them and that hiding away was not the way forward and that I would no longer be bluffed by how I was feeling. I knew that normal living would eventually bring back normal feelings. I remember the first thing I did was join a thai class. I must have put off going 10 times in the week before I went. The thought of going into a room of strangers, feeling dreadful, anxious, panicky, strange, all the symptoms I felt at the time. But I could either hide away or take the first step to a new start. So I went and yes I felt awful at times, but something happened, I got into the class and for a minute or two forgot about how I felt and just got on. I finished the class and went home elated. I had floated past all the negative suggestions not to go. This is what happens, in a healthy body anxiety means fight or flight, it is telling you that you are in danger, take your choice. It could be a snarling dog that you meet and the option to avoid is a good one. This is where all the feelings of avoidence come from. Well going to a thai class there is nothing to fear, no need to run, apart from your instinct brought on by anxiety, that is not needed in that situation. This was why I knew I had to ignore the instinct to avoid, I had to just go and take what comes, what was the worst thing that could happen anyway? So I then began to go everywhere at will. I went socialising with friends, feeling awful and strange. I remember going swimming and feeling as though I was not there, thinking, that’s fine the more I do it the more normal I will feel. Once you do things time and time again then feelings dampen, your body does not react to certain situations anymore, once you go through certain situations many times you build up a strength, an insulation if you like, places just don’t hold any fear anymore.

So this was my second stage of recovery. Begining to live my life again, without anxiety ruling what I did and the decisions I made. This was very important to me and in time I felt so much more comfortable wherever I went. I always dealt with me and not the situation I was in, if I felt awful then so be it, if I felt great even better. I sometimes felt overwhelmed in the early stages and wanted to run or go home and take the easy route out, but I never did and this is where the real victorys came. I did it, I felt really awful, overwhelmed and I stayed, I know now I can handle anything now, it was just a feeling, this is what these times brought to me.

To sum up I would have bad weeks, good weeks, great days out, days when I felt awful, but I did everything at will and never let anxiety rule what I did and did not do, this made so much difference to my life. I am not saying it is easy at times, but I knew how important it was. To feel more normal I had to pack as much normal living in as possible.

The next stage for me was to then to do positive things in my life. I was at this point where a lot are on the blog with how I felt. I felt o.k, but had bad days and still did not feel great. I was though no longer fighting or worrying, questioning everything, tiring my body out. I was just left with a tired and sensitised body, so yes I would still feel crap sometimes, but I felt 1000% better than I once had. I had gone from having no good days to plenty. From feeling so odd I questioned if I lived on this planet, to feeling more normal than I had felt in ages. Depersonalisation has been covered on here many times, but I had stopped concerning and worring daily about how I felt, which in turn dampen these feelings of strangeness and I once again felt part of the world again and not just 24/7 anxiety. I had also began to get out an socialise, I went back to work and was again able to live my life. I may not have felt great all the time, but at least I could go wherever I wanted, I had reversed the avoidence cycle. You can see now that this has been a journey and that takes me onto this stage of doing more positive things.

I then joined a friend running each night, just a 50 minute run. When I first went I felt awful, so tired and spent, but no pain no gain, I wanted to get fit and bring something to be proud of into my life, again another focus but me. I cannot express how much better I felt when I came back from these runs. I felt great, excercise is by far the best way of burning off excess adrenalin and not only that it really helped me think straight, I could think so clearly when I got back that I had another realisation, it was anxiety and excess adrenalin that made my thoughts race and come out odd. As I have explained before it is the excess adrenalin needing an escape and this manifests itself sometimes in odd, racing thoughts.

I was now so into this that I took up cycling. I used to go with a group of friends and cycle all over my local county, sometimes for miles. I now had something else in my day, instead of thinking about how I felt, I was planning my next bike ride or run. I was aiming to do a half marathon also and had so much going on that my whole life and focus was changing. I hardly cared about the few twinges of anxiety, the very slight feeling of strangeness, they became just a feeling in the background that really did not bother me. The exercise and looking after myself brought them to such a level that I hardly bothered or noticed, my days had another meaning to them now.

I did eventually give up the running and cycling and have recently just got back into it. But I was just about recovered then, recovery was never my goal, it just came to me. I think people reach out too much for it and end feeling dissapointed. I first ran because I thought, hey I will feel great when I get back and I would almost tune in to see how I felt, feeling dissapointed if I did not. I then realised I was again trying to do something about my anxiety, putting pressure on myself to feel a certain way. So I changed my attitude and ran for me, to get fit and if it helped me feel better then great. This attitude helped me so much as I ran and forgot myself, not running and then thinking about how much it would help me, again reverting back to trying to recover from anxiety, I had to let that come to me and stop focusing everything I did on this goal. I hope that makes sense and I would say that realisation was my final stage to recovery and the person I am now. You don’t have to go running and I understand it is impossible for certain people, but it was as much a new focus, as the excercise that helped me so much. So doing anything new, even if it is painting at home. My own attention was on myself for a while, but this was just habit and would fade in time, when I first went running and cycling this was the case, but it was fine I did not let it bother me just carried on with what I was doing and in time my new focus was my new hobbys I had brought into my day. This has been asked many times ‘How do I stop thinking of me and how I feel’ the answer is you don’t, brooding at home does not help and the reason I say find a new hobby and focus to your day. But thinking about yourself has just become a habit that’s all. Don’t try not to think about yourself, if the attention is on you let it be, but don’t get frustrated with it. I had it for a while but in time it dampened when I gave it no respect. As I say I had other things to bother with and not myself, to be honest I got bored with the subject in the end. I had really developed a ‘whatever’ attitude, it had become in built in me, I no longer cared.

To finish I will say some people will relate to all of the above, some to parts of it, we are all different and I had a few stages to go through as I suffered so long and fell so deep. It is a lot easier to recover the shorter time you have suffered, memory and habits are not so raw and people may not be as sensitised. I have had many people email and after reading the book they are back to normal within a few weeks, but in almost all cases they have suffered a very short time, they unlike me were given answers very early on. If you have suffered longer, then it may take longer, but just go for progress, don’t put loads of pressure on yourself to recover, this holds so many people back. You also have a lot more information than I ever had, you have the support from others, that I so craved, but never received. As you see I went through a lot of bad times, to become the person I am now, did things I did not feel like doing at times. I used to lie in bed wanting and wishing it all away, but I knew deep down this would not happen, certain things were up to me.

I hope there is something above for everyone. It is not a full account by any means, just a brief account highlighting the most important stages of my recovery and how I came through them. I am not saying everyone will go through the stages I did, but I felt I needed to go through the stages, so people don’t feel they are missing something and that it was easy for me, it was a very up and down affair, but so worth it to be the person I now am. My life is so different now and everyday is a gift and that gift is there for everyone who keeps the faith. Anxiety and the symptoms that go with it are just feelings, never see it as anything else, it will only hold you back if you let it.


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66 Responses to “My journey with Anxiety and Depersonalisation”

  1. Kim Says:

    just reading this gives so much hope :) im starting to fill my days up and go out more…and it really does help….although the odd thoughts (and those dreaded pangs of fright) come and go…its getting easier to not get frightened. i really think this blog is a godsend to any anxiety sufferer x

  2. No More Anxiety Says:

    Kim it is the way forward, filling your days with normal living, while you feel awful is the key, feelings and fears dampen, normal feelings begin to over ride old feelings and habits. While we do anything else, anxiety bluffs us and keeps its power over us, we need to begin to take back control. Understanding why we feel like we do is so important as it takes so much fear out of how we feel, we begin to see them in a different light, our attitude changes towards them and a feeling that once held so much fear, can begin to just feel like a nuisence, not pleasant at times, but just a feeling, nothing more.


  3. lisa Says:

    i totally agree the feeling is more like a nuisance now :-) but accepting it becomes easier and times is the healer.

  4. lorryt Says:

    yes completely agree with you, still getting the silly irrational thougths, and the rushes of adrenelin that accompany them but they are getting less and less. still not nice but time, patience and acceptance does the trick , although we all forget sometimes and lose our way. still not feeling like im enjoying life though!
    hope you are well Lisa, my kids are now off for 6 weeks, i shall make the most of having them around as they are good company and give me another focus off me !. aprt from when they start arguing !!!

    have a good day all lorry

  5. lisa Says:

    im fine thank you lorry,iv 6 weeks with my kids too,and they to argue.there like a married couple,they cant live with or without each other haha.hopefuuly going bowling and the seaside next week bit cool and cloudy today.also looking for our holiday at christmas,i bought christmas presents yesterday..sorry guys you might think “what already”!! but i always start early and like to be finished october. hope everyone well xx

  6. Debbie Says:

    hey guys, really nice post paul. i’m like you lorry, still get the irrational thoughts and pangs of adrenalin!! I’m nearly enjoying life again…… πŸ˜€ But some days are black black black, but thats ok. i just float past them…

    CHRISTMAS!!! I can’t believe we’re mentionain that already!!!! shame on you lisa!!!!

    so glad to have you guys


  7. lorryt Says:

    i thnk lisa its just en excuse to go shopping !!!!!!!, mind you its a good one !.exactly debbie, but i still let it get to me though, but we are getting better thats the main thing.

    this is truly a great place to be

    have fun

  8. Candie Says:

    Hi everyone

    Great post Paul πŸ˜€

    Lol, ooooh christmas… my most favourite time of the year!! I am a really festive person, love the festive season… i get excited from october!!!

    Anxiety wise im in a set back atm, nothing that wont pass… if there is one thing im wise on now its the fact they always fade and the next one never seems as bad… so i am onto these pesky things now!

    I totally agree with the normality thing… the more i pack in the more i take the attention of myself.. so it sort of gives my mind and body a break. Saying that i dont do these things to give my body a break, if that was the case id be looking for changes in my anxiety levels. It is important to do normal things because you want to, not using anxiety as your motive as you end up watching yourself like a hawk during them!

    Have a nice weekend everyone! Mine involves way too much alcohol, but your only young once!

  9. No More Anxiety Says:

    It is important to do normal things because you want to, not using anxiety as your motive as you end up watching yourself like a hawk during them!

    Very wise words Candie and just the message I was trying to get across, really like the way you put that.

    And Lisa Christmas shopping already! I don’t know, I actually hate christmas, old bah humbug, I really can’t wait for it to be over every year. But Lisa I will take my present of you, I am just running out of aftershave and no I don’t want old spice or brut : )

  10. JR Says:

    Thanks for the post Paul. Awesome as always.

    I wanted to let you guys know that I resigned from my old job with the rude boss because another job with a better company in a neighboring town opened up. Anyways, it was a very complicated issue because my new boss used to work for my old boss and still had a business relationship and I didn’t want to piss my new boss off by anything that I said to my old boss.

    To make a long, drawn-out process short, I got the job with the new company and although my anxiety is pulling out every negative possible it is was an absolutely great move!!! New boss is great and the office works more like a marketing group which is something that was majorly appealing. Ohh and did I mention more money!?!! Longer hours though, but that’s just because I’m pushing myself a little hard at the moment.

    I’m moving forward with anxiety and dp and at times they can make me feel awful, but I’ve truely realized that the times I stand my ground and continue doing what I was doing when the feelings come on strong is the time when I grow and take the next step, as tiny as it might be, in the recovery process. And as silly as this my sound, I’m actually looking forward to the recovery process because I know the journey is going to make a change in my life and going to make me well again.

    Lisa you sound like my wife with buying christmas presents so early. Actually whenever she gets to buy a present for someone you can just see the joy in her face knowing that the present wrapping and decorating comes next!!!!

    Wishing everyone the best.

  11. lisa Says:

    no brut or old spice eh!!mmmm leave it with not one of these that panic buy at christmas,like gordon ramsey says christmas shopping dun!! i hate wrapping up you need four hands sometimes. im well on the road now but no like candie if a setback comes they dont last long now. get back up and on with life :-) hope everyone ok and enjoying the sun xx

  12. katie x Says:

    hi all great post paul i myself am experiencing a setback at the moment im so tired and my shoulders ache like hell and i get dizzy spells but hey the setbacks are getting easier because im not afraid nomore i know it wont and cant hurt me i still have mld panic at times but i think whatever do what you want…..

    ive never really thought of it like that sometimes i do things because the anxiety is holding me back even if me as a person does not really want to that makes so much sense….

    what a lovely day ……x

  13. Candie Says:

    :O PAUL!!!

    How can you not like christmas, shame on you!! I love everything about it, wrapping presents, baking, decorating the tree… i even have an advent calender!!! I am like a big kid on xmas morning too, the only thing i hate is washing the turkey n getting the jiblets out.. ewwwww… last year mine came with the turkeys neck :O .. i was mortified and not impressed!

    Yea my set backs dont last too long either now lisa, instead of sheer panic, its more … ‘oh you again’…. then i find myself mocking the anxiety and telling it to do its worst. My god, i am reffering to anxiety like it is a person… i think i have worse issues to worry about eh hahaha

  14. No More Anxiety Says:

    Candie seriously I hate christmas, too commercial, we have it rammed down our throats for months, awful christmas records repeated on the radio, spending loads of money on things people probably don’t want, saying hi to uncle Jim who you have not seen since last christams, no just put me in a box and let me know when its all over.

    On a serious note Candie you are looking at anxiety now with interest and not as something to fear, its a change in attitude which is great. I have an idea for my next post that I am sure will help people, it is on a simialr subject to this.

    Take care all

    Mr Humbug

  15. lisa Says:

    hi bart humbug, lol.. i cant say i like christmas either,but like to get the presents early before they bring something new out the week before christmas,that really bugs me. i would like to take the decorations down boxing day they do get on my nerves,so sorry candie. i now look at anxiety like oh hello you ,which is great, i know the sun is lovely but would love some breeze too it makes you feel so drained the heat. i missed big brother last night but heard that bex went hooray!!!come on luke chin up and win now cookie power! :-)

  16. lorryt Says:

    hi all, well had a bit too much to drink froday night and didnt get much sleep, consequently i am suffering and the anxiety has started getting heavy again. i know it self inflicted, but i had a really great day on thursday, i started to feel emotions again and felt like i was thawing out as it were. Was good and i never tried to question it, but here we are on a bad day having to have yet another go at practising accepting, its pants. i guess my attitude is changing slowly as before i would have fed the fear and panicked about it all, but as my hubby says just let it all go, carry on as normal and nothing will happen. i wish my brain would find the shut down switch its going ten to the dozen!!!!.
    yes lisa we do need some breeze, its stiffling hot down here in the south, thats not helping either!!!
    have a good day all and dont stay out in the sun too longxx

  17. Candie Says:

    Lisa, Paul….. Scroodges!! Lisa, anymore cookie love and it will be christmas carols from now on right through to september from me πŸ˜€

    Yea it is all in your attitude isnt it Paul, i dont particually like my anxiety.. but i dont hate or fear it.

  18. Candie Says:

    OOPs…. i ment December!!!

  19. Candie Says:

    God damn the heat!! Its awful here, feel like im in teneriffe or somet!!

    Has anyone ever had sleep paralysis… i get it often when my mind is racing when im falling asleep. I wake up contiously aware, but my body is fully paralysed for a minute or so! At first it was awful, but i know what it is and its quite common so i arnt worried. Just wondered if it can be an ofshoot of anxiety…

  20. katie x Says:

    i totally agree this weather is driving me nuts you cant breathe properly….. and it makes the kids miserable plus i got a bit of a hangover cant wait for bedtime…

  21. lisa Says:

    cant really help you on the body paralyses,its maybe your tense then relaxing but dont forget your coming off your meds too candie. the heat gives you no motivation,no energy,we”l be moaning when its cold and raining soon so we will never win with the weather. im not a scrooge lol.. i just agree with some of pauls comments about it being pushed down your throat.thats why i get done early then i chill while everyone else is rushing round .

  22. Kim Says:

    hey candie, ive experienced sleep paralysis a few times..such a strange feeling?! apparently about 1/3 of the population experience it at some point! but i know stress can trigger it off

  23. Katy Says:

    Hi Paul
    Firstly I agree with u about christmas, way too commercial, the supermarkets will probably be selling tinsel in August!
    I have taken on board the part about recovering may take a while as i have suffered quite a few years now and only recently discovered your book and a book by Claire weekes, and finally understand more, but i so desperatley want to get better and really struggle with the setbacks.
    I have to do normal things and go to work as i have brought my children up on my own and they depend only on me. My family dont really understand so I have to be really strong and feel like most days i am pretending to everyone to be normal.

  24. No More Anxiety Says:

    Katy I know this sounds a bit silly, but once I gave up the desperation to be better, things happened a lot easier. While you are desperate, you try and hurry things, get down when you don’t have good days, get frustrated with how you feel, try and rush things, start to demand progress, it again becomes a battle. All these things I did when I first stepped on the road to having some understanding. Once I stopped making it my daily aim to get better, it was a lot easier, as I put a lot less pressure on myself and this helped so much. I hope that makes sense.


  25. LORRYT Says:

    hi Katy

    i think being patient with yourself is one of the hardest things.When we have a physical problem, the doc can say , yes ok rest and that will take 6 weeks to mend, but anxiety well, as im learning, may take some time.I struggle with it day to day but it has got easier, cant say how long git will take me to say i have fully recovered, but i look back on a year ago and see how i was then and how i handle things now and there is a huge difference.Its all still hanging around and the thoughts thing is my worst bug bear, completely ridiculous things hand around and worry me. i get them and they prey on my mind. i am accepting more, not easy some days.
    we are all here to help you through, good luck and know you are doing the right thing.

    all th best lorryt

  26. LORRYT Says:


    can anyone help me on the subject of being so tired all the time?, is it the meds, the anxiety ?. im not mega active but have 2 kids and work part time, but im so worried that im gonna overdo things that i try not to do tooo much if you get my drift.


  27. No More Anxiety Says:

    Lorry anxiety is very draining, I used to feel very tired nearly everyday. Mentally it can be tiring as we can’t seem to switch off at times and also adrenalin can deplete the energy from your muscles, its like your body is working faster than normal and the reason you feel so tired and emotionally spent at times.

    Try and take regular exercise and eat well, take a walk or a swim, maybe a massage once in a while if you can afford it. Burn of the excess adrenalin in a productive way, look after yourself and you may feel less tired.


  28. Beth Says:

    HELP! I have to take my son to a doctor’s appt tomorrow and I am feeling very anxious about it. Afraid I won’t be able to do it. Lots of thoughts going through my mind and can’t think of anything else. I need some advice or words of encouragement. The people on this blog are the only people who know what it is like. I’ve made progress in lots of areas, but when it comes to things like this I feel like I am back to square one.

  29. lisa Says:

    you dont need to think of anything else beth, taking your son will help you make progress,let the thoughts come stick your fingers up at them,invite them,you no you can , write tmrow how you get on :-)

  30. katy Says:

    Thanks Paul,
    I am trying not to be so impatient and to accept, but i still find that although i understand more, the symptoms still scare me, although nothing happens there is always that doubt there that this time it may be different.
    How do you lose the fear of fear?!
    Hi lorry, the weird thoughts are also my biggest problem and thanks for your support. Also when my children were younger and i worked part time i was always shattered and that was before I had anxiety. its just the stresses of being a working mum plus you are dealing with your anxiety on top. I think when you have had anxiety for a while you lose track of what are normal feelings and what is caused by anxiety.
    Also Paul, I went for a run tonite and felt great afterwards but i dont think i will be able to walk tomorrow!!
    Beth the apprehension before going somewhere is usually worse than actually going, so once you get ready and go it wont seem so bad as sitting and thinking about it. Good luck xx

  31. Frank Says:

    I can relate a lot to this sentence:

    I am trying not to be so impatient and to accept, but i still find that although i understand more, the symptoms still scare me

    I have felt this way countless number of times during my lowest points. You are given the knowledge from here that it is an offset of excess adrenalin, but when you are overwhelmed by a physical sensation, sometimes the actions shout much louder than what your body can explain.

    For me, the key to stopping this was related to what you said after:

    although nothing happens there is always that doubt there that this time it may be different.

    Nothing happens. Although many people say anxiety is the “fear of fear” I see it more as a “fear of not knowing what happens next.” Usually when you have an anxiety attack, most of the time we ask ourselves tons of questions – the most common being ones that start with “what if…” or “what’s going on” These questions when accompanied by physical sensations tend to carry much more value than when we don’t have symptoms. But these questions arise specifically for the reason is that we do not know what will happen to us in the next few moments. We develop a fear of it.

    For me the solution came through experience. After going though what seems like a very large number of anxiety attacks, I came to the realization that nothing ever happens when it finally passes. When we are aware of this, then the lack of knowledge is not there anymore and finally the magnitude of this fear starts to diminish.

    Sometimes the best way to get rid of this fear of lack of knowledge is by obtaining the knowledge that we are fearing. In other words, we should challenge our fear and take a giant step towards it. An account that many of us have experienced at least once in our life is our first dose of vaccination or shot. When we first hear that the shot will hurt a bit, we immediately develop a fear of the pain that we will experience. We question the intensity of the pain, its duration, will we be able to bear it etc…. Most, if not all the time, we tend to make out the pain being much larger than what it really is. This is our bodies’ natural way of protecting us from what the pain can possibly be so that we will not be surprised about the pain and we can prepare ourselves to mentally endure it. Generally our fear of the shot is grows in intensity when the time of the shot draws nearer. However when we actually get the shot, all we feel is a quick prick on the arm and simultaneously all of the fear diminishes. We have obtained the knowledge of the pain and we no longer fear it. While this normally never happens, if the doctor decides to give us a follow up shot, generally we wouldn’t fear it because we already know what to expect. Similarly, if we continue to realize that our anxiety attacks have done nothing, then the lack of knowledge is not there and we do not fear what we are feeling.

    Another metaphor I like to use is comparing anxiety with the height of a diving board at a swimming pool. The higher up we go, the scarier the jump. The moment right before the jump, we are most fearful because we have the opportunity to back away, however this will not get rid of the fear, but instead temporarily put it off. However when we actually jump for the first time, we realize how much fun it was, how it did not hurt us in any way so we are much less, if not at all, fearful to do it again.

    I think the key to recovering from waves of anxiety is to challenge the situation that we are anxious about and obtain the knowledge that we need so that we are not fearful of the situation. A common cliche goes “Knowledge is power”. Relating it to anxiety “Knowledge is supreme power” And quoting Mortal Kombat here “There is no knowledge that is not power”

  32. lorryt Says:


    once you have done it, you can look back and say i did that , no matter what feelings i had , i still did it. and that is the main thing, the more oyu do the easier it becomes.

    i have a book by will beswick which i cant really get to grips with, if anyone wants to make me an offer on it they are more than welcome.i am trying to get hold of a copy of claire weekes book too !!. bit cheeeky i know but i am trying to gain knowledge to help myself get better. as we all are i guess.
    Katy i think you are so right, i havent felt normal for so long unnormal is normal for me and the anxiety is just in the mix somewhere. i cant not work that would make things worse, as i tend to think too much.but hey i am a lot wiser now than i was so i thats progress

    have a good one all, especially beth we are all with you

  33. katie x Says:

    frank what you say is so true and that feeling of what if this time something awful happens but ive learnt that it never does i wont lose control or collapse….no need to run away just relax and let the feeling and crazy thoughts be…
    beth hope everything goes ok you will be fine at the docs i used to be like you when i had to take my children or myself the thought of waiting sat there surrounded by people would make me so anxious but i went threw it at the beginning i used to take my mum or a friend for support but now i go alone….the thoughts are still there 4 example three weeks ago my 4 year old had chicken pox and my mind tells me the worst always ive never had it myself so my thoughts were oh my god your going to get shingles end up in hospital your going to die but ive learnt threw practice tho let them be and nothing bad happens….its like facing your fears all the time for me everyday sometimes other times not at all but i know im recovering i still feel like im not on this planet at times ive even questioned my new baby bein real or is he in my imagination strange i know i went threw 12 hours of labour to get him out so he must be real…..

    take care all x

  34. No More Anxiety Says:

    Katie, what Frank says was true for me. The fear of the fear, I understand this feeling, again this leaves you, just keep going towards this fear. Forget the word accept for a while. Feel everything at will, this includes the hovering fear of fear. This is like I explained in the book, like a tuning fork that has been hit on a table, it continues to vibrate for a while after hitting it. I had this hovering fear and did what I always did and accept the feeling, went towards it even and in time it left me. If I had questioned it, worried about it, backed away from it etc, then it would have been a problem. The more we go through things the easier they become. What holds people back is they think, well I have the knowledge now so why do I still feel like this? It is never about not feeling symptoms, its about not caring about them a change in attitude and the more you welcome feelings, go towards them, the more you de-sensitize and feelings dampen. Let me explain and use this as an example.

    Someone I know had a bad relationship with their partner, it was not physcial but he put her down a lot, shouted at the kids and made it a terrible atmosphere. She left and had to go back for some clothes a few weeks later. When she went in all the old memorys came flooding back and she felt uneasy and did not want to stay long. Now in time they became friends for the sake of the children and she visited him quite often and she stated that for the first few visits memory brought back bad memorys and she felt uncomfortable, but in time it no longer bothered her. You see she did not try and not feel uncomfortable, memory just brought these feelings , she just went with it and in time, she de-sensitized to these feelings. So to answeer your question, how do I lose the fear of the fear. Don’t try just go through it and in time it will dampen, the same as it did with me.

    Hope that helps


  35. Jenny Says:

    Hi all. It’s great to hear all your support and positivity, and of course it reminds me that I’m not alone. I have, I think, DP or perhaps derealisation. My story is quite different in that it came on quite suddenly in February and although I have feelings of numbness in myself (which I know is a symptom of it) the major symptoms for me seem to be an altering in things visually, and a sense of not being able to think straight. A fogginess. I’ve heard people talk about the fogginess but not really the visual thing. Does anyone else have this? Like things are a bit shimmery and not quite there. I know people talk about feeling like they are not quite there. But with this it almost feels more like things around me aren’t. Bizarre! Like others, I’m looking forward to a good storm to clear the air. The sunny days are great but could do with a breeze!

  36. LORRYT Says:


    you put it as i feel it. today my mind has been racing more or less all morning, but i am sat at work and carrying on with my usual daily stuff. its not a case of if something awful happens to me, its a case now of these thoughts just keep coming and coming, sometimes all day every day other times not at all then wham something hits me and my mind is off again. i am trying not to listen to them, but by trying i am doing so its not gonna work is it ??. its official i feel like im going mad!. i know i cant stop these thoughts, but accepting today is becoming extremely tricky.i feel im back on the emotional rollercoaster again.

  37. katie x Says:

    hey lorry it takes practice letting these thoughts ago especially if you believe alot of them….

    today ive cried and cried im so tired my back is killing i woke up thinking its morning already two small children and shopping to do and lately my partner hasnt been home alot he says its boring im always tired i suppose and dont have the effort but i dont bother trying to explain my anxiety because he dont understand and dont want too i basically just got to get on with it. Its a very lonely place and somedays every little thing gets to me i take everything to heart cant laugh at a joke….an i thought i wasnt but i am still worrying about things like my relationship…..

    sometimes my mind goes blank like i cant think things you know…weird…

    hey paul i have total faith in your method im not scared at all now

    today i want to scream im so stressed out and crying i feel like running away from it all and i feel so guilty on my children for thinking it

  38. katie x Says:

    that last message was messed up im just letting things off my chest sorry guys if i come across as weird but i dnt know what else to do my thoughts need a release from all this stress i just dont c the light at the end for my life im confused x

  39. Candie Says:

    Katie, it doesnt matter if you dont see the light… it is there anyway,- thats all you need to know. A lot of recovery involves a leap of faith.. moving towards fears, beleiving things wont be this way forever…. beleiving you will get better one day is just as important as accepting your anxiety.. as it makes it easier to accept thoughts and feelings if u know they arnt forever.

  40. katy Says:

    Hi all
    Thanks Frank, been thinking about what you have said and you are right, its not so much the fear of fear, its the fear of whats going to happen next. Although its also the fear of the physical symptoms of fear. Hope that makes sense, alot of “fear” in there! its so easy to understand when youre feeling fine but all rationality goes out the window when i’m in the peak of it. But guess i will have to experience the things i have been avoiding to eventually get there and get past my frustration to be well again. When im feeling fine i feel like i can do this and take on the world , but when the panic starts im reminded how terrible it is and start avoiding again and making excuses.
    Paul i will forget the word accept for a while. on the way to work this morning (mornings are the worst) i kept thinking “accept it,accept” forcing myself to accept, so wont do that tomorrow, will just let it be, but I cant imagine welcoming the feelings. I will try.
    katie, you dont come across as wierd at all,if anything youre normal, youre having a bad day and its good to let it out and have a good rant and cry. just remember it will pass and soon you will have a good day to look forward to.
    lorry, im the same and have to work, if i have a few days off i think too much and start avoiding going out. You are not going mad, you are just worried about your thoughts which are making them stay there, keep reminding yourself they are just thoughts, like any other thoughts you have that dont bother you.

  41. Beth Says:

    Thanks to all for the encouragement. I went, I did it, even though there was a point in time that I thought I was going to have to leave the examining room…I stuck it out. I know that there is an end to this tunnel, but sometimes it seems like it keeps moving! I guess all forward steps are positive and I wish everyone here peace of mind. Who would have ever thought that we would find comfort from people and ocean away.

  42. lisa Says:

    well done beth,just do them all like you did today,its testing your strength and faith,but youv proved you can do it .the comfort on here is fantastic near and far but you can only help truly if youv been through it i think, thats why this blog is fantastic.big cheer to kidding paul :-)

  43. lorryt Says:

    well done beth !!!.we all know how hard it can be, but you did it.thats what counts.

    Katie and Katy thanks guys its tough , but i have listened to these thought for so long they seem real for a while, its mainly in the mornings and when i am on my own its the worst. cant avoid any of those situations but just try and go with it i guess.i know they r just thoughts but they still hold power over me to a certain extent.
    It is weird that if we all walked past each other in the street, we wouldnt even notice each other and what we were going through, but on here by removing the fact that we cant see each other it brings us closer together !? strange the way things go really ?
    but we all appreciate the support.
    havr a good day all

  44. SJ Says:

    Hi Katy and Lorryt
    Reading what you say about feeling awful in the mornings and when left on your own is a mirror image of myself. I can sleep well at night but then as soon as i wake that is it. The thoughts, adrenaline and nausea. I try not to cry but sometimes the feelings overwhelm me and it is the only thing i know to do. I feel at my weakest then. Once i get motivated and start to get on with the day i can start to feel better and stronger and by the end of the day i feel i can conquer anything. We go to bed to rest but all the good work from the day before seems to disappear once we awake in the morning. It really does start to get you down. I am not on medication and have only been suffering since May this year but to me it seems like an eternity. It helps to know we are all going through the same process but nobody can help the way they feel and we all want that day to come when we feel better morning, noon and night. I am fortunate to have support from my husband, kids, family and friends. My Dad has sufferd in the past and can relate more than others but it is that feeling of loneliness and frustration at not being able to get past it until it decides it is ready to leave. I know crying takes up energy etc but maybe women suffer more emotionally than men and also have the added pressures of monthly hormones. I wish everyone suffering a speedy recovery and i am glad i am not alone.

  45. lorryt Says:

    i think woemn are definately more emotional and hormonal than men, i think its just the way we are. Yes the morning bit is very frustrating , when i wake up it feels like someone has switched on an eleectric current through my body and off I go,. as you sy throughout the day it becomes easier and at night i feel the same too i could conquer the world as it were. but when these feelings are ready to leave us they will. it cant be forced or dwelled upon which is what i do too much of. which is why we have to get on and live our lives as normal, as hard as that can be. normal feelings will return …always believe that. we are all on here to help each other as we all believe this is the right way to go. and the more i read and understand and go through these feelings on a daily basis as we all do , the more i think Paul has done a fantastic thing.
    Never feel you are alone, i post on here and the support is fantastic
    thnaks all and have a great day

  46. Beth Says:

    Add me to the list of people who feel awful in the morning and great by evening. Sometimes when I am going through a really rough spell I hate to go to bed because I know what is waiting for me the next day. But take heart, I have had good mornings, so I know it can happen.

  47. SJ Says:

    Hi Lorryt&Beth
    I do believe they will return but i guess like everybody we have to be patient through the good days and the bad. When we feel good during the day we are strong people and i know if i have had a really good day i don’t want it to end as you want to hang on to that feeling as that is the real you but then like Beth says you get to a point of almost dreding going to bed knowing you will wake in the morning not feeling so great although this is the wrong attitude to have i am fully aware. I woke this morning feeling not as bad but all too soon i was overwhelmed and soon found myself upset once again. The day goes on and i start to feel ok and so the cycle goes. Paul says it is easier the shorter time you have had it but these last few months have been a nightmare so i expect they have been for everyone else suffering and those that have had it even longer. I definately think it helps knowing it is the normal pattern to recovery and we can all get there in time.
    Keep up the good work.

  48. katie x Says:

    hey guys hope your all ok…
    ive had a funny day today i feel slowed down that i could go run a mile but at the same time im aching…..this whole anxiety makes me hyperactive at times like im full of energy and excited i cant get my own words out quick enuf and i giggle strange i know…. i did something positive today and joined the gym i feel its all this extra adrenalin making me feel like this and it needs to go so a good workout at the gym i think….

    i believe theres more to life than this only 6 weeks ago i would ov said no im dying im going to pass out die but now i just live along side it let it be so what it hasnt got no hold over me yes its hard sometimes but its so true what paul says its all about your attitude towards it just say so what and carry on even if you feel like dying inside and running home just smile and carry on it really works……

  49. Claire Says:

    Hi everyone
    Glad we are all in the same boat, i feel at my worst in the morning also, and by evening feel a lot better.

    Got a lot on my plate at the moment so feeling very stressed out. Im getting married in less than two weeks, got loads to do and its getting on top of me a bit. Also worrying that i will not feel well on the big day as all eyes will be on me and my new husband! how weird saying my husband after he has been my boyfriend for over 10years!

    Also we are moving abroad to Dubai the week after the wedding to start our new life together, i am very excited about our move and about living in 24 hour sun! but im a little bit scared as well, and have so much to do before we go its all a bit much. Working full time in a stressful job with its doing my head in. I have been doing so well over the last few months, been feeling fine most days but this last week the old churning stomach feeling and not wanting to eat anything and feeling sick has kicked in, i think its just that im stressed and i know i shouldnt be looking into it to much but its hard! Anyway only one more week left of work and i have a bit of time off before i start my new job in Dubai and get married.

    Have my hen night tonight as well and a bit scared about it! only going to a local chinease then into town for a few drinks so im sure it will be great fun but just feeling a little nervous.

    Anyway better get on with some work, i hope everyone has a great weekend.

  50. Beth Says:

    Claire your feelings arae completely normal with all that you have going on in your life.Wow! Everything is very exciting and those are the feelings you’re having. Don’t get them mixed up with anxiety. I think once you have suffered with anxiety it is easy to lump anxious feelings into one category, but your anxious feelings are happy ones so just go with it. Maybe try to grab a nap somewhere along the way to keep from getting too tired out and remember that every bride has jitters, not just the ones with anxiety.Best Wishes.

  51. lisa Says:

    i cant believe luke went last nite im gutted..rick if your reading hope you didnt put to much money on.i wont mention big brother now as i wont watch it now lukes gone :-(

  52. Candie Says:

    Lisa… i said to David that you would be Livid lmao.. was it just me or did luke become a lot more attractive as time progressed too :/

    I cant beleive they have put Rex’s girlfriend in, may i add…. i also agree that the other girl in the line up was prettier.

  53. lisa Says:

    i was that gutted candie i didnt even watch his interview..even the news on windows said it was all a fix and thats why rex was given the shopping task!! i wont be watching it now :-(

  54. Candie Says:

    Its stupid, if anyone should of been evicted it should of been someone boring like MO or flipping cookie love katraya lol

  55. Claire Says:

    Thanks Beth, you are totally right. Whenever i get stressed i automatically feel anxious and start all the questioning again and feeling sorry for myself! I always think im going to end up back at square one as i am a weak person, but im not really as i wouldnt have been able to cope with all this crap for all these years!
    Thanks again

  56. LORRYT Says:


    i think it hits us stronger people the hardest as we are so used to coping and getting on with things, when something does happen to us that we dont understand or have never felt before we have a longer way to drop if you understand me. but when we do recover it will be worth it.


  57. Fergal Says:

    Guys, I really, really need some assurance here as I am suffering so badly. The last few days have been absolutely horrendous, I am having the most distressing thoughts, a lot of it is around existential stuff such as: why are we here? why is life so short? I have this thing around ‘time’ and I wonder why no else is worried about how much time they have left, I feel more and more detached from my family, they seem more like people I barely know then family members, my doctor is starting to think I am having some existential crisis that is causing me this anxiety rather than the other way around, these thoughts are pushing me to the brink guys, I feel like I cannot be happy whilst I have these thoughts, this is like living the exact opposite of ‘the power of now’. Can anyone else relate and reassure me this is just my anxiety playing tricks on me? It feels so intense and real, I am aware that my thinking is wrong, and I mostly do not fight these thoughts, but it is very very distressing, thanks a lot guys!


  58. candie Says:

    Fergal… i used to think it was my thoughts that caused my anxiety..but it wasnt, i would fuel the anxiety worrying about them but i realised something a bit back that made me see that it really is just anxiety.

    Sometimes i can force myself to think these thoughts and not give a damn about them, no ruminating, worrying panicking etc… then sometimes i can have what i call an over reaction to them. The reason i have this over reaction is due to the anxiety… otherwise they would bother me all the time.

    The mistake you are making is laying the blame at the door of the thoughts, when its the anxiety and your reaction to how you channel the anxiety that is your problem. BEst way to let them go is let them be, and eventually u start mocking em… for example.. you may have a thought ‘what if i dont have much time left’ … well my reaction to that would be to think of the worst possible outcome.. mock it then realise how unrealistic it is… as you cant control time.. or death etc.

    Do dont mistake the thoughts for your distress, you have simply began fighting internally for clarification… linking thoughts to how u feel. Its a bit like people that fear leaving there house, all because they had an anxiety attack when they left. Some people can accept it is just anixety, whiles others like to fight for clarity and lay the blame elsewhere.. hence OCD, agrophobia etc.

    I still have thoughts now and again, but the more times a set back passes ya begin to find it easier to dismiss them. Thats how you get better.. and thats why it really is a case of coming through so many times without fuelling the illness= acceptance.

  59. Fergal Says:

    Cathy, that made perfect sense, thanks so much for your reply, at this stage I have more or less learnt not to fight my thoughts, so I dont have the serious anxiety attacks anymore, but they still come and distress me a lot, I was also going through serious seroxat withdrawal when I wrote that post, I am going back on and tapering slower, thanks again.

  60. Tom McGurk Says:

    Fergal, i know exactly what you mean about seroxat withdrawal. i have suffered with anxiety for 8 years now and during that time i tried and tried to come off seroxat again and again. everytime i found i couldnt. this year after christmas i managed to come off them but with the stress of a marriage breakup i ended up going back on them. i have more or less reconciled myself that im going to be on them for the rest of my days but now i think so what – its only 1 30mg tablet every day – if it means my anxiety is a bit easier to manage and deal with then its a small price to pay. so if you feel you would prefer to come off, then by all means do so, but do it very very slowly. on the other hand if you feel the seroxat helps even in a small way, dont put additional pressure on yourself to come off.
    best wishes and keep us posted on how you get on.

  61. Manuella Says:


    Just passing by to say hello and read some posts.

    I have to say that Candie’s, Paul’s and Frank’s posts are always amazing.

    Miss you all! :)

    Lots of lurrrve, sweet luuurve!


  62. alex Says:

    the first time anxiety hit me was just over a year ago. I was smoking way too much weed which triggered it. i was completely on my own and on a gap year! i then decided to get back into a normal lifestyle and put an end to my gap year in January and joined part time couses at a university with friends around. little by little i got over analyzing it, and worrying. i still felt the feeling but i was just so used to it that i would go out all the time and basically stopped being obsessed with it. i had ups and downs but did not care anymore. and then summer came along an i went back to my city and was so happy to be back, that i felt full recovery coming closer and closer. barely 2 weeks into summer ooooooh my god did i enjoy life! i was more confident than ever! and so so so happy!!! All this i did without even knowing it was anxiety!!!!

    For all of summer i felt like the king of the world! i felt like i was the man! hehe.

    I went back to university end of august and had stupidly started smoking again. 2 months ago the feelings of anxiety came back and i started worrying and now i feel so disapointed! i feel like there is no way i can go through another 8 months like this and am more obssessed than ever! i am happy to have found this site and read paul’s book but no matter what i read i feel like i cant accept this AGAIN!!

  63. Eva Says:

    Hi Guys

    I have a quick question for you. I’ve suffered with anxiety for about 10weeks and I now feel that I can get no joy from things. I wake up in the morning and automoatically think that what’s the point because I feel so far gone in this pit of sadness that I cant get out of it. I make myself go places and talk to a therapist, but I am really worried as I have suicidal thoughts on a dily basis – which my doctor and therapist tell me are an offshoot of anxiety (and I’ve read and posted a comment or 2 on that topic). Can anyone tell me if the joy comes back?? I dont really have panic attacks as such anymore, just get really really worried about these thoughts and feelings and the fact that I might never be normal again.

    I think these pages are gret as theya re obviously helping so many people…I pray that they can help me too x

  64. andrew Says:

    I started having the anxiety disorder about a month ago. It started with a full panic attack upon waking up in the middle of the night. I remember thinking about something awful and the attack came out of no where. Since then I had 2 or 3 more attacks, but mostly generalized anxiety. Like many of you, I started searching desparately for a cure. I went online, I talked to friends and counselors etc… I felt better, but it didn’t last. I continued to fall back into my irrational thinking. My irrational thoughts were feeling of guilt and feeling that God will punish me. These thoughts always send me into an anxious state.

    After reading Paul’s posts I am encouraged. I am encouraged to dare to go on living my life again. I feel like now I have a clearer understanding of why I am feeling the way I feel and that there is hope for a full recovery, though it will take some time to get there and not without bumps and mountains. But I understand completely the idea that my body is stressed out and tired and needs to recharge.

    Thanks for taking the time out to post and far caring enough to do so.

    Love you guys.

  65. Natalie Says:

    i am so glad that Paul posted this, and reading that their are other anxiety sufferers helps, because one of the bad things is feeling like you are the only one who is going through this in the world. for me it started with feeling like i couldnt swallow my food anymore. i felt as if everything i ate was getting stuck. i figured this must be physical so i went to the doctor and had an esophogram of my throat to see if their was a blockage, alas nothing was wrong. i figured it was a mental thing so i would over come it, that night i had a severe panic attack and have been living in fear of them ever since. i know it sounds crazy but b/c of the attack and feeling as if i coulndt breath i became constantly aware of my breathing which is so unpleasant. id slow it down, speed it up keep checking to see that i was breathing instead of knowing it happens naturally like you heartbeat. i got on anti anxiety pills and started seeing a therapist. one night after seeing the therapist i got this real surreal feeling as if i was detached from my own body. it was absoulutely frightening. thank god i read about the symptoms and its called depersonalization which led me here. its awful it effects my social skills and ability to concentrate. some days are better than others but i have hope that i will get through it and i know someday i will look back and be thankful that i overcame. please keep sharing your stories and and progress recovery. we’re all in this together! we are not alone

  66. natalie Says:

    hello everyone xxx

    my first time on here, and have to say this website has helped me a lot but sometimes have to watch myself cos go on it to often which is looking for answers which only feeds the anxiety. have been dealing with this for year and a half now in the beginning went weeks feeling ok but i would say since may this year not had so many good days, its put a strain on my relationship with my husband as he doesn;t understand and is not compassionate at all just keeps saying i not the person he fell in love with. part of me wants to walk away as i wonder if he not helping me, but then i cannot make the decision cos i so anxious. just wondered if anyone else had this problem making decisions and how they dealt with it. i have two children and have been with my partner 15 years.. the reason it all started was because he kept walking out after arguements and this is still a problem for me. I think the bit i find hardest is how much this knocks your self esteem and wondered how i could get past this its like i do not trust my own point of view. Sorry for being so heavy just a difficult time at the mo. also does anyone else get like a clampness on your head when you are out and about like your brains hurting and you want to lye down???

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