Anxiety and Safety Behaviours

Hello everyone, here is this months post. I thought long and hard about what to write and again used what I have read on here and what I feel holds people back from stepping from improvement to the next level.

Many people get stuck at a certain level, where they feel they have come so far, but can’t quite break through to where they want to be. This happened to me, I felt able to do things a lot easier and my anxiety and come down to a manageable level, but I seemed unable to move any further forward. Being me I was never happy with this, I wanted to move towards feeling totally free, to move to another level.

What I did understand is that I was trying to manage my anxiety and was using a lot of safety behaviours to do so. A list of these would include, avoiding certain social situations ‘I may feel bad, overwhelmed’ I won’t go there’. ‘What if so and so is there and I have to speak with them’. I would play pool with friends and afterwards we would all sit around drinking and I would sit there feeling a bit odd/anxious and hardly involving myself in the conversations, more nodding and smiling when I thought I should. I may walk around town and if I saw someone I knew, it would be ‘Oh, no I will feel uncomfortable, odd if he sees me and wants to talk, I will turn my head’. In fact avoiding eye contact and conversation was probably the main one for me.

I once went to a theme park and wondered if I would feel o.k going on a ride, something I had done a 1000 times before, but I feel vulnerable and overwhelmed now, what when the bar comes down I may feel trapped, overwhelmed, maybe I should play it safe and stay here’. A lot of places I was going to or invited to, involved conversations like this and I used safety behaviours almost on a daily basis, play it safe Paul, stick to what you know, if you don’t have to talk you wont feel bad, if you avoid that social situation, you wont feel uncomfortable or be in a situation you don’t want to be.

Well of course to move forward I would not do so while I thought and acted like this, I had to drop these behaviours and learn new ones. So let’s take the first one.

What I did understand is that I was trying to manage my anxiety and was using a lot of safety behaviours to do so. A list of these would include avoiding certain social situations ‘I may feel bad, overwhelmed’ I wont go there. ‘What if so and so is there and I have to speak with them’.

I decided that I wanted to feel uncomfortable, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I knew to feel normal I may have to feel uncomfortable and from now on if I saw someone I would no longer run away. I will go against my instinct and actually approach them. The very action of not pulling away and instead moving towards, tells your body and mind, it’s o.k, there is nothing to be bothered about and I found it went far better than I thought it would. What happened is before as soon as I had no choice but to talk, I automatically went into ‘Oh no, lets get this over with’ what chance did I have with this attitude? I also noticed instead of listening to what the person was saying, I would be straight ‘on me’ I was only bothered about how I was doing, hoping they would scurry off soon, keep smiling, acting your way through, they may go soon, was my attitude. So I did the opposite and actively went towards conversations, not pulling away or avoiding eye contact, how I felt no longer mattered was the key. I am not saying it went great every time, but it got so much easier and I had finally broken a behaviour, one that had built up through instinct.

O.k on to the next

I once went to a theme park and wondered if I would feel o.k on a ride, something I had done a 1000 times before, but I feel vulnerable and overwhelmed now, what when the bar comes down I may feel trapped, overwhelmed, maybe I should play it safe and stay here’. There were other occasions when I may have said this also.

Again I decided this was a road I was not going down. I knew felt a bit on edge and vulnerable because I feel anxiety in normal everyday life, its not harmful and never will be and I am not getting into avoidance behaviour and creating false problems. Lets be honest here, it is always a fear about feeling overwhelmed and never a situation, we could do all these things easily before. So I had to strip away the fact that it was a situation and deal with me.

I did nothing earth shattering, I just went towards what I had been avoiding before, I understood that fear may rise, but what I found out is that it always cut out, it always had a peak, as if to say ‘Paul would you like to run or stay (fight or flight). I found this point was always the key point and I wanted to ride my fears out, it was only adrenalin, so come if you wish, I no longer care. When adrenalin comes, you may feel butterflies, a little shaking, your heart may beat a little, its just your body’s way of asking if you would like to fight or flight, then it would be ‘well you have stayed, so I will now cut off and let you get on’. Your body can only produce so much adrenalin at one time, that is a medical fact, its not harmful and will always calm.

I am not saying its easy to go against your instinct to run, but I trusted in how my body worked and responded. Many a time I would feel overwhelmed, but still go towards it and mostly say ‘Is that it?’ as nothing would really happen, fear would rise a little and then drop to nothing. The feeling of achievement was wonderful and it gave me so much confidence for the next time, things just became so much easier, until it came to the point where I felt no apprehension and I had my life back, I no longer relied on safety behaviours to get through my day.

These were just my main safety behaviours, I had other smaller ones that I would pick on and say ‘Paul your using that as a safety behaviour, do this no longer’. Others may have their own safety behaviours and not really realise they do until they read this, some maybe obvious, others not so. I am not saying go out tomorrow and banish them all, just work towards doing so, one at once or small steps is fine, just acknowledge and try to change these behaviours that hold you back in the long run.

I will try and come back and advise further on this and apologise for not being around as much recently. I just always seem to have something to keep me busy. The main site is having a massive overhaul and a big tidy up and this is taking up all my time at the moment.

I hope there is something in there that helps many people.

For more help and advice on anxiety, visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

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

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

326 Responses to “Anxiety and Safety Behaviours”

  1. louise Says:

    Hey Paul found this post very enlighting,as ive said before safety behaviours play a big part of my anxiety.Ive been avoiding social encounters for 10 yrs.I never felt right around people,was always dead quite and inward thinking around people,if i did have to talk my voice would quiver and shake,id feel awful.Social anxiety has been very delibitating for me.Im getting better,6 months ago i felt i was living in hell,now im really looking forward to the future,ive been moving towards my fears with a freash attitude and i know facing my fears head on is the ONLY way to recovery.Ive had some really good experiances some not so good,im taking things a day at a time and the “come what may attitude” you talk of has helped loads.Up and down for me but i know im getting there,im losing the fear words cant describe how this feels,im starting to feel alive and im finfing a confidence i never knew i had THANKYOU XX

  2. Debbie Says:

    Good Post Paul.

    I understand what you are saying but it is hard as you know. When you come so far in recovery then you add the fear of going backwards. When you have the clear days it makes the setbacks so much harder to just accept. It’s a daily journey that will happen over time. Each day for me is getting better, I still have setbacks but I tell myself that it’s part of the process and just get on with my day.

  3. Sarah R Says:

    Paul you wrote the following;

    ‘ The feeling of achievement was wonderful and it gave me so much confidence for the next time’

    Did you not ever beat yourself up either way? I mean, when I feel the fear and just get on with it (which I always do) I never pat myself on the back, is that something we should aim to do? For example; It has been 20+ years since I have ridden a horse. A friend of mine recently asked me to ride hers, he is 18 hands, which is huge by anyone standards. As I clambered up, all I could think of was Christover Reeves! In the end, I did it, and rode without hitch, feeling scared to death. I am guessing I shouldv’e been proud, and say’ well done’ to myself. Buy I normally always find myself saying to myself; ‘you silly cow, you could do it then, why not now?’ I can appreciate that it’s not terribly kind to myself, but I have been so psychologically dehabilated by anxiety, That I am often furious with myself. I have never let my anxiety show to anyone outside of my family. Are we sometimes too judgemental on ourselves? Should we always aim to be the person we once were? Or should we try to accept the new modified version?

  4. samantha Says:

    hi

    i never adopted safety behaviours i was lucky that my family were behind me always encouraging me to do things i know from previous experiences of anxiety that safety behaviours was counterproductive and with this last episode i did not adopt any

    sarah _ i am the same i never gave myself a pat on the back neither did i feel any achievement because in my mind i thought you should be able to do this i suppose i am too self critical something i am working on now

    however i have finally after 2 years accepted that i am not the person i once was nor would i want to be because the person i was set me up for 2 years of terrifying anxiety .

    samantha x

  5. Sarah R Says:

    Hi, That is a smart way of putting it Samantha, the people we were, did lead us down a nasty path.

    I guess, what I am really driving at, is a certain amount anxiety is normal – I can see that, but when you have suffered with extreme anxiety, how do you sort the wheat from the chaf? As I kid, I would say I would step back for a moment or two, when others were embarking on a potentially risky escapade, to assess the situation, and having weighed up the likelyhood of trouble or not, would then join in, if I felt it safe to do so. But as an adult, I seem to do this often, like the example Paul gave, a rollercoaster etc. So the question seems to be; Is this normal anxiety? (or the rotten type) or is it a merely getting older thing? Perhaps it is a mixture of all 3! It is just difficult to decide, whether or not it is justifiable.

    take care, one and all. Sarah R

  6. sasha Says:

    Hi

    I agree to Samantha as you think its better not to be the same person as its the same person that made you get into this situation .being over critical self conscious self sabotaging and scrutanising a lot to be a perfectionist it wont give you much happiness as you would think.

    instead its good to be a carefree person who wouldnt sit and analyse things too much… For instance if someone has been rude to u or had been sarcastic its better to just leave it at that its their problem shouldnt let that ruin our day…so i would like to learn a lot of things from this ..would like to look at it as a learning experience..never be too concerned about tommorow live at present these are simple thinge which makes you feel lighter.so a stronger ‘us’ will be emerged once to get over it as you will start going to any difficult situation not analysing how it will end up whether you will feel overwhelmed..so i guess it will help us get over all difficult situations with ease in the long run if we start practising it in smal steps ..

    Thanks Paul for the post

  7. Paul David Says:

    O.k my reply to the above. Before I reply, some posts on here will be more relevant to people than other posts, some people maybe able to really relate to the above and others not so much, it all depends on where we are at and how we have coped with how feel and the reason I try and cover everything.

    Louise as you say you have good and bad days. It’s hard to put into a post everything that I would like to say or I went through. Some days were testing, other days I found things far easier and it was all a process, my confidence came back bit by bit, my ability to handle social situations and retrain my self to move towards came bit by bit, it just became more normal in time, I always talk of a process and that’s what it was for me.

    Debbie, yes its not always easy, I totally agree. I always try and be positive in my posts, but I don’t forget that going against my instincts was always a piece of cake, sometimes I would just not have the energy. But I knew deep down I could stay with my safety behaviours and plod on or understand I was running away from nothing but myself and actively try and change the way I behaved. If I continued to constantly shy away from people because I thought I may feel odd and a little overwhelmed, then I would never break this cycle, it was not always easy but it brought great rewards.

    Sarah you wrote: Paul you wrote the following;

    ‘ The feeling of achievement was wonderful and it gave me so much confidence for the next time’

    Did you not ever beat yourself up either way? I mean, when I feel the fear and just get on with it (which I always do) I never pat myself on the back, is that something we should aim to do?

    We all feel things differently and we all suffer in different ways, you maybe just used to going with it, that it has just become second nature to you. The real elataion comes from people who have not done this, who have previously hid away, avoided, from this to being able to do things brings so much to that person.

    One lady emailed me a few years back and said she used to love going running and felt she could no longer do this, she had become almost house bound. She said ‘If I tie my shoelaces to go I begin to shake and then I give in and take them off, I am left feeling so dissapointed with myself, full of self pity’ I said simply, ‘The next time, let your hands shake, see it as apprehension and nothing more and just open that door and go for your run, don’t let negative suggestion bluff you into not doing it’ She went for that run and came back crying, she could not believe she had done it and that nothing had happened, she was so excited and realsied she had been bluffed into not doing something by a feeling. This lady is now just about fully recovered.

    I also had gone from avoidance, to going towards and my life began to open up so much more, this brought me a feeling of acheivement that for once I had not let anxiety or a feeling win. My confidence grew because I had dealt with me and if my apprehensions followed the same pattern, it mattered not where I found myself. I have said it before but I suffered as bad if not worse than anyone I have ever come across, I really was in a deep hole and all my mini victorys meant so much to me, that little bit of the old me coming back was indescribable.

    Going to what you say here and it’s a good point:

    I have ridden a horse. A friend of mine recently asked me to ride hers, he is 18 hands, which is huge by anyone standards. As I clambered up, all I could think of was Christover Reeves! In the end, I did it, and rode without hitch, feeling scared to death. I am guessing I shouldv’e been proud, and say’ well done’ to myself. Buy I normally always find myself saying to myself; ‘you silly cow, you could do it then, why not now?’ I can appreciate that it’s not terribly kind to myself, but I have been so psychologically dehabilated by anxiety, That I am often furious with myself. I have never let my anxiety show to anyone outside of my family. Are we sometimes too judgemental on ourselves? Should we always aim to be the person we once were? Or should we try to accept the new modified version?

    Damn right you should have been proud of doing that, of not giving in to your fear. I do think you are punishing yourself in saying you shouyld be able to do it anyway. I know for a fact I never moved forward until I accepted this was me for the time being. I fought so much to pretend it was not me, acting my way through the day’This damn thing wont get the better of me’ I fought and fought to be the person I once was, until one day I had to accept that this was not the case. Yes it was still me underneath and when I got better then that person would re-surface, we never truly lose who we are, we just get buried under stress unduced symptoms. We need to be very kind to ourselves, I don’t think there is anyone braver than someone who lives with feeling anxious, it is something when I look back that I am very proud that I never let how I felt win and I came through to be me again. It would have been easy for me to hide away, give in, feel sorry for myself, butalthough sometimes I felt like it, I always brushed myself down and got back up. So Sarah, be proud of everything you acheive from now on and be kinder to yourself. And on your last question, truly accept who you are now and the old you will come back in time , don’t try to scrable or think your way back to who you were before, that will come naturally.

  8. Nikki Says:

    HI paul. I have had to post as I am so outraged with my doctors.I have had an unknown (still unknown) illness coinciding with the start of my anxiety back in Decmber last year.I have serious bouts of pain in my stomach followed by intense night sweats and fever and general feelings of infection.My doctor does not know what causes these pains but thinks (?) despite numerous xray and other tests its IBS (which i have had for many years and does not cause infection like symptoms) and if i get the IBS under control then not only will these infections stop i will also not suffer anxiety(?) anymore and in his own words “It will be quite exciting to se how this pans out”I am enraged they cant fix me medically and say ALL my symptoms are anxiety and they cant fix anxiety obviously ,so are saying its IBS.How does anyone stand a chance with people like this in practise. Sorry for moaning but i am really annoyed that because I have anxiety it is being used to palm off symptoms when i know that anxiety does not cause the symptoms I am suffering like acute physical pain.It makes me feel like denying i have this anymore so that i can be treated like a normal member of the public,its so patronising “oh she has an anxious nature so she doesnt really understand” When actually i understand perfectly well what i have!!OOOOH has anyone come up against this its so unfair!!
    Again sorry for moaning X
    Have a good day all X

  9. Fiona Says:

    Nikki, i have absolutely no faith in GPs. I think hospital docs are often very good but GPs are just pen pushers who are there for the money and kooshty hours. i know that is a bit harsh but i really dont think doctors degrees are worth the paper they are written on. I went to the doc once and although he was lovely he was looking up my symptoms on netdoctor.co.uk!!!!!!! Worrying????
    Fi

  10. Nikki Says:

    Net doctor LOL
    Its just so infuriating! I wish my doctor would go on netdoctor he might then notice that all my symptoms point to severe kidney infections.I keep telling them that that is what is wrong i have pain/burning in that area alot and they still tell me its refferred ibs.It makes me so mad because if they would listen and not think im some neurotic anxiety case that knows nothing and that i actually really do have delirious episodes with high fever and night sweats and that is not “anxiety” I might not suffer the pain every 6 weeks and it takes me at least three to recover before i have this again.This is also made worse by my anxiety and so I really do drag myself through days because of shear exhaustion.Iv also been told i have M.E but thats another story.
    Onward and upward x x x

  11. Hayley H Says:

    Hello all, I am new to this site after finding Pauls book on the internet. I have been suffering from feelings of unreality (as though I am in a dream) for over 2 months now. I can tryely say its the most worrying disturbing feeling I have ever experienced! I am a worrier but not to a huge scale so it really scared me when one day this feeling came on with the click of a finger and hasnt gone since! Can anyone tell me if this is normal or not?? After reading Paul’s amazing book I started to feel less scared of this symptom and began to be able to get on with my day. (before finding this book I almost couldn’t function, I had no emotion, no enthusiasm and was terrfied I would never be back to my old happy self!) Acouple of weeks ago I had about half an hour where i felt ‘normal’ again however my feelings so unreality came straight back. They sometimes intensify but im not really sure what causes this. I have read somewhere this will never go but i really dont want that as I want to enjoy life again. There is so much to write about this symptom and how it makes me feel Im finding it hard to put into words. Sorry this post is negative :( I just need reasurance I think. I am 21 years old. Thank you xxxxx

  12. Fiona Says:

    I really feel for you, thankfuly apart from anxiety i’m in good health. A kidney infection can easily be cleared up with antibiotics. Why not suggest to him trying some antibotiotics jsut incase. Dont let any doctor diagnosis get you down as well we all know here that not very reliable. Maybe make an appointment with a different doc within the practise as you may find they are very different. xxx

  13. Candie Says:

    Nikki, beleive it or not anxiety can cause night sweats and symptoms of IBS… im no doctor but i would say to get a second opinion for your own peace of mind.

  14. sasha Says:

    hi Paul

    Let me ask u something sometimes when i dont have much symptoms when i am normal i still feel i cant be carefree…i dont have the urge to speak i dont feel like talking to anyone i feel good being on my own i like going for walks or shopping it will boost my mood i m enjoying my own company unlike before

    but when i am back home with people i get depressed as talking is a lot of hard work and half the time i am not interested as u said i went ahead and sit with family members to talk but each time its an effort and i am bugged i get so tired after a while i know thats anxiety as well but how do i get out of it and enjoy the conversation..because of that i get so annoyed and irritated..pls let me know how do i go about it?i look like as if i am depressed but i dont have a reason to be depressed but if i go out and come bak home i feel good but i cant do that always rite so how to indulge in the conversation at home effortlessly ..this last hurdle is very difficult to get over..i just cudnt get that total freedom how much i have tried to go
    ahead and talk freely … i used to get tru but that effort isnt ending

  15. Leslie Says:

    I have a question. I’m having trouble understanding the difference between “accepting” and fighting to accept. I’ve only been dealing with anxiety for about 2 and a half months and I keep getting the thought that I should be understanding all this better than I am. I see where many people have suffered much longer than I have and I feel like it shouldn’t be that hard for me to grasp the concept of accepting and this is bothering me. I don’t know if I’m just analysing things too much again. None of my anxiety is physical anymore. I have anxious thoughts about my anxiety and some occasional pangs of fear. On some days, I’m more able to let thoughts go, but on other days everything sticks and replays in my head all day……I guess this is just a day when I’m feeling anxious??? I feel like I’m still trying to figure this whole anxiety thing out. I get confused because I don’t have physical symptoms…..so on the days where every thought is sticking and bothering me….are those the days where I’m not accepting or am I just more anxious that the day before??? I’m sorry to sound confused….bu thats just how I feel at the moment. And I constantly have the chatter in my head where I’m saying things like “I’m still thinking about myself, but that’s ok”. I guess I’m just saying that I feel like I can never just “be” no matter what I’m doing or who I’m with. Can someone explain this whole process to me?? And also, about the attention always being on myself….I don’t totally get this concept either. Again, so sorry for all the questions. I guess I’m just beating myself up today because i dont feel like I’m getting the whole concept.

  16. Tracey Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I was wondering, I have your book already I bought it months ago and it has helped me so much(the e-book version) I saw on your website and on the blog that you have updated the book and I wanted to know to get the updated version do I just pay for it again? or do you have it available for those who have already purchased it? Thank you so much for all you have done!

    -tracy

  17. lorryt Says:

    hi there

    i have really started to oopen the door on all this, i have always been so hard on myself and instead of accepting i was always fighting. i have now realised how this has stopped me lots of things laely have dropped into place for me – about time !!. just by taking a step back awy from it all has helped too. stopped questioning and trying to reason with my silly thought i now understand SO WHAT. GOTTA GO PADDLING POOL DISASTER XX

  18. Kashawn Says:

    Top notch post again Paul thank you:)

    “Live with the world Anxiety gives you, keep a positive attitude, learn to see the symptoms as part of the process, smile at the symptoms, never put up resistance, keep focused on your task and never try to fix how you feel, you will then notice fleeting moments of normality that add up to recovery”

    All the best
    Kashawn.

  19. sasha Says:

    hi Kashawn

    I need help on this…i have been trying to go ahead and talk even when i feel uncomfortable i go ahead against all odds but most of the time i just cant talk in a flow or like anyone who is normal and natural i look like as though i am scrutanising the person i speak to which is not and the person to whom im speaking is getting uncomfortable too
    and i get so bugged when they think that im watching them .. im just going against all odds to make it happen and i struggle in fact to talk in the flow but each time im reminded of this nasty feeling which puts an abrupt end to what i talk then i just cant move forward and no one who hasnt gone tru this can never understand me i feel so frustrated especially since i was a person who was so talkative and loved socialising..how can i let them know that i am struggling inside to be as calm as anyone else and on top of that when someone misunderstands you u think all the more its all such a pain!!! pls help…im tired!!!!

  20. Stephen Says:

    Hi Paul

    A very good post, ‘i always get the whole, but what if i feel bad when i get there’ so have been forcing myself to go when i have that thought.

    I know what i was about to ask was in the last post but im having alot of trouble getting the attention off me. i know i should just let the attention be on me but im always checking in to see if i feel bad or down or weird. i had a really good few days last week where i felt good and positive, but kinda went back to grey days. I know i should be not doing anything and just living. Sometimes i jsut cant grasp the concept and question it to be another illness.

    Once again a good post though,

    Stephen

  21. lorryt Says:

    i cant seem to get over the fact that when im busy im fine, my brain tends to go into panic mode when im either doing nothing, or not with someone?. like now kids are out with their friends playing and i was panicking about my thoughts?, whats it gonna be like when they move out ehat am i going to do with myself if im on my own?. things keep resurfacing that i thought i had floated past and let go. silly as my thoughts are i know i should be living for today and enjoying the moment. i had reached that stage and was starting to get back into my life, but i guess we all have hiccups along the way. its like my brain goes into overdrive and the adrenelin rushes through my life as to what is gonna happen?????. i know what it is , just remembering to get into the good habits i just had forgotten ? sorry fro rabbling but needed to get off my chest.

  22. sasha Says:

    Just to know how many have been recovered completely other than Paul and Scarlet?

    because i am having just up and downs in my life and cannot seem to feel free my attention just goes on to me ooops i hate it so much!!!!

  23. lorryt Says:

    hi sasha

    well i am certainly on my way there, cant say i havent shaken the ups and downs yet, but am definately over 50% of the way there, .even small improvements i didnt notice at first just built up into bigger ones, and here i am . this is the only way i have managed to find that i have recovered, i am not a big fan of medication although i initially had to go on some, for a while but the change in attitude has been an immense step forward for me anyway.i hated things too i was always so tough on myself which really intensified stuff for me, this just made things worse. surely by having ups and downs and not just all downs its a step forward. at one time for me it was just all continuous downs and to go from that to ups and downs as tricky as it was is progress. it will level out sooner or later believe me it will.just stick with itxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx have a good dayxxxxxxx

  24. Kashawn Says:

    Hey Sasha,

    You have to adopt the attitude that if you come off as strange while speaking then “so be it”-you see, you are questioning why you come off as strange when you speak, questions=fighting….let go, who cares what others think of you, they dont know whats going on in your world, let go ( I keep saying it because its the key). Once you lose yourself in conversation or while engaging in another activity (form of distraction), you will notice that you start to enjoy what you are doing…keep positive :)

    All the best
    Kashawn

  25. Johnny P Says:

    Hi everyone its been a while,
    Im graduating nursing school on the 2nd and been feelin like myself more and more. I just howvwe sometimes feel empty or just plain sad. it s been hard because sometime i feel complete recovery is near but i dont know what normal is so how can i judge recovery. The thougts are hard at times to take because its about hurting someone or hurtung myself. I love every person in this world. i really do. I never want to hurt anyone. I want to love and feel loved. I cant stage myself because i never knew myself and what does it mean to truly know ones self. it like the unattainble. I want to be strong but feel so weak at times. I miss the excitement. I remeber one of my hypnotherapist said to me that fear is the same as excitement and im guessing im ctuck there because if i get excited then what. I mean all of gthe things i was scared of when i was a kid keep coming back up. Like religion and is there really a god. Is there somethinf else wrong with my head another mental illness and do i have both. But how can it be categorized in the same way as othere. I mean everyone has adrenaline we just have too much right? I ben doing ok for the past few months but seem to be stepping back and i think its because i had to review psych for my boards. It all came back all the memries all the repetative thoughts. Its been hard. Please any advice?

  26. brian Says:

    Hey guys I have a question. Is it true that all we have to do to recover is do all normal things no matter how we feel? If we do that long enough will we automatically start to accept it? I have spent so many months trying to “figure out” how to accept, always thinking that I was doing something wrong. But now I think I am just going to go about my day like normal, whether I feel like I am accepting things or not. Is this the right way to look at it? Is that all acceptance really is, just getting up every day and doing normal things no matter what happens or how you feel?

  27. sasha Says:

    Hi Brian

    Thats what it is all about..just carry on with your day however u feel because its when u start analysing it becomes worse it becomes an endless cycle..in your process of recovery u have to accept both ups and downs with the same attittude but i know its pretty difficult to have the same ”come if u want i have things to do in my life rather than brooding on you be there i dont care” slowly u start giving more attention to the world outside slowly the attention goes outside its a gradual process but once u understand how to take it easy it wont seem big..
    yesterday i had a fantastic day like a very normal person inbetween i got reminded of it but i gave no attention so i could just move ahead with the conversation and i was fine but today i dont know it doesnt seem that great i seem to stumble at words and started to get irritated especially because i was totally fine yesterday…but u see i m not going to give any attention and carry on my day as normal as ican …i know i may not feel great but i believe its all part and parcel of the process..hope it makes some sense…and keep your positivity ..u will reach there…!!!

  28. Kashawn Says:

    Yes Brian,

    Thats exactly it, try your best to do normal things and if you feel anxiety and its whole range of symptoms, if you have the attention on you, if you feel strange, odd etc allow it and try your best to focus outwardly on your tasks. This is the key, time will show you how everything comes together:)

    Kashawn

  29. Rachel Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Just wanted to say have just found this blog and your website and it is a Godsend. I have been suffering from severe anxiety and panic attacks for three years now.

    I used to be mega confident and never felt particularly bothered by stressful events such as exams or public speaking – however I do know looking back that I did often feel on edge – just in the actual ‘scary’ situation I always did ok.

    After my dad died suddenly it all changed. Suddenly out of the blue – boom – massive panic attacks – including during a presentation where I had to actually leave the room.

    You have said so much that makes sense – walking towards the situation and not running away and especially about not chasing recovery. I have realised that this is what I have been doing for three years – just expecting to get better all the time and chasing it and setting myself more stress by worrying how I will manage financially if I cant get back to work.

    Just letting it come is so hard though but i am going to read through all your posts and the comments to try and get a sense of it.

    One thing that complicates things for me is that I have a respiratory illness so a panic attack can set up hyperventilation that can happen for days or hours and that then re inforces the anxiety. I have an inhaler but it doesnt always work and I do breathing exercises under a physio but that doesnt always work either. I would love if anyone else has experience of dealing with panic and asthma and chronic hyperventilation?

  30. sasha Says:

    Hi Paul kashawn & Scarlet

    my day was ok..tried my best to go through the odd moments throughout the day not giving much attention. i had been to a party i dint have much symptoms i was ok.but i cudnt come up with a topic to speak i felt like sitting there quietly.felt empty i wanted to enjoy but then i cudnt feel it…i tried my level best to go through the entire process…felt mechanical but i guess thats the way it is..it made me sad for a while when i thought how i enjoyed the parties before being the person who would love to be around people talking and having a great time…Give me some reassurances..

  31. Kashawn Says:

    Sasha,

    I know that feeling, feeling empty, and thinking about your old self. Let me tell you, that having these thoughts is very destructive and depression-promoting. Acceptance is an attitude of knowing that this is you for the time being (temporary I assure you), acceptance is also staying positive and living aside these feelings that are harmless. I used to go out and think about my old self and drown myself in self pity; it gets you nowhere and pays anxiety respect and fear. Stay positive, keep busy and outward, and let recovery come to you, you have the knowledge and tools, your on the right road, keep living on, soon enough youl feel more and more normal, its a wonderful thing:)

    Stay positive, always be positive and live with the world anxiety is providing you for the time being

    All the best
    Kashawn

  32. sasha Says:

    thanks kashawn…

  33. fathun Says:

    hi Candie,

    I was having anxiety for 3 years but the information that i got from this site i feel great and I am on the way to recovery. Now me and my husband are trying for a baby, so i just need some help from u. Does pregnancy(hormonal changes) lead to high anxiety. How does u feel during pregnancy?
    Thanx for helping others.
    GOD BLESS U AND UR CHILD

  34. Paul David Says:

    Sorry I have just come back from being away and only just moderated posts by some new people. Rachael I am really glad you have found the book and site veru helpful, this is the reason it was set up. Fathun great news on the baby and great that you are fiiurmly now on the road to recovery.

    Tracey I have only just seen your post, yes if you bought the old ebook there is no need to buy the new updated one, I do know you have purchased it, so just contact me through my contact page and I will send you the new one.

    The post I would like to pull up to answer is Leslie’s.

    Leslie you say: I have a question. I’m having trouble understanding the difference between “accepting” and fighting to accept. I’ve only been dealing with anxiety for about 2 and a half months and I keep getting the thought that I should be understanding all this better than I am. I see where many people have suffered much longer than I have and I feel like it shouldn’t be that hard for me to grasp the concept of accepting and this is bothering me. I don’t know if I’m just analysing things too much again. None of my anxiety is physical anymore. I have anxious thoughts about my anxiety and some occasional pangs of fear. On some days, I’m more able to let thoughts go, but on other days everything sticks and replays in my head all day……I guess this is just a day when I’m feeling anxious??? I feel like I’m still trying to figure this whole anxiety thing out. I get confused because I don’t have physical symptoms…..so on the days where every thought is sticking and bothering me….are those the days where I’m not accepting or am I just more anxious that the day before??? I’m sorry to sound confused….bu thats just how I feel at the moment. And I constantly have the chatter in my head where I’m saying things like “I’m still thinking about myself, but that’s ok”. I guess I’m just saying that I feel like I can never just “be” no matter what I’m doing or who I’m with. Can someone explain this whole process to me?? And also, about the attention always being on myself….I don’t totally get this concept either. Again, so sorry for all the questions. I guess I’m just beating myself up today because i dont feel like I’m getting the whole concept.

    Leslie you are fer over complicating things. Very early on I had notes that I referred to, I used to go around with sayings all day like you ‘Accept and I will be fine’ then these sayings lose their initial edge and seem to be empty words. What we are doing is relying on a saying to feel better and if they don’t we feel we are doing something wrong.

    My advice to you would be to drop all the sayings, throw away any sayings written down and just begin to live, forget the acceptance concept if you have trouble fully understanding it, sounds silly but you don’t have to fully get it for now, that will come naturally.

    So wake up and just get on with your day, neither focus or try to forget how you feel, let yourself be on you as much or as little as it wants, let your mind chatter as much or as little as it wants, don’t have a mental battle with how you feel for the day, just allow. Don’t search or scramble for sayings to make you feel better, rather just have an attitude of whatever, if you don’t care then you will not feel the need for something to make you feel better, its not important how you feel, this should be your attitude.

    A mistake people make is take the information from this blog and use it as a transcript to make them feel better through the day. For some it works to have the odd saying to get through a particular situation and that’s fine, but its the constant searching and battling with yourself through the day that is counter productive as you are back on ‘you’ fighting to make things right.

    Hope that helps

    Paul

  35. Leslie Says:

    Thanks so much for the reply, Paul. It does help. It’s a constant process of understanding with me. One day I feel like I get it and can just “be”, the next I’m back in my head overanalyzing and trying to figure out how I feel. It’s almost as if I feel like I have to be worrying. It’s become such a habit, that I don’t know how to be without it at times.

  36. lorryt Says:

    hi leslie

    i can totally relate to that, i have recently had a very relaxed stress free worry free couple of weeks, then wham it has all come flooding back again. i had the accepting thing so i thought, then after a brief spell in hopsital it was like i had jumped back six months!?. i guess its just a case of practising the accepting and not letting things be dwelled on. i was always worried about something (still am at times), we just have to relearn to let it all go. if we cant change it dont worry about it, its been a hard one for me to put into practice as i have been in bad habits for a long time, maybe thats y its taken me longer. but to know that thos two weeks were so freeing gives me hope. i would like to ask scarlett as she has the same worries as me, how did she eventually overcome it, the thoughts thing is haunting me a bit at the mo. im trying not to payany attention but its tricky?

    leslie its tricky sometimes but you can get there, advice on here is great and suggestions on what to read or what not to do!

    not great with words but will always try and help

    have a great dayxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  37. Scarlet Says:

    Lorry,

    “i would like to ask scarlett as she has the same worries as me, how did she eventually overcome it, the thoughts thing is haunting me a bit at the mo. im trying not to payany attention but its tricky?”

    You are doing great, no worries about feeling crappy again, it’s understandable… I had many, many periods like this before I recovered. You have to look at these ‘difficult’ times as learning curves, ones which you will come out stronger than you went in.

    As for the thoughts (and I had some terrible ones), I learnt to dismiss them as rubbish when they entered my mind. The thoughts I had weren’t reality and I reminded myself of this with a ‘what a load of shyte’ everytime I thought one, and I used to say this with a contemptful emotion to myself, and not take the thought any further (took practice but I mastered it very well over a period of time),..

    After a while the thoughts started to be less frequent and I gained more confidence. Also I started to do other things which took my mind off my own problems, like surfing the net looking for ways to make money LOL, getting out and about with friends, helping others with anxiety. This really helped me take the focus off myself, and when you do that, you build up self-esteem. I have always been a helpful Annie so it was right down my street being helpful to others in the same predicament as myself, and really brought me back to reality again, and I educated myself in the process.

    So Lorry I’d say it was a combination of things, learning to dismiss my thoughts, doing more ‘outward ‘ things, and finding something that interested me… basically my anxiety hobby/obsession with daft thoughts was overtaken with something more productive.

    Kashawn, loved your reply to Sasha..

  38. Kashawn Says:

    Lorryt,

    The key when having those thoughts is to allow them; let them put on their show, let them flow in just keep focused on your task, try your best to focus on your task and eventually those thoughts die out, they always do, as Paul said, the body can produce a limited amount of adrenaline so the thoughts die out as you pay them zero respect.

    The key is staying busy, your mind focuses on other things and the thoughts decrease because your not feeding them fear and bewildered thinking.

    all the best
    Kashawn

  39. brian Says:

    Thanks Kashawn and Sasha for your responses, it’s always good to be encouraged!

  40. brian Says:

    Hey guys I have a couple other questions. Does anyone ever start to feel worse the longer they stay on this website or when they post something? It’s like part of me wants to come on here to just read over information to make sure I’m doing everything right, but then also part of me starts to feel worse, like I am dwelling on the subject. I don’t know I’ve posted this before but it still bothers me sometimes.

    I guess I am just feeling really strange right now and have felt this way for a few months now. This has been the weirdest I have ever felt and I just wonder a lot if I’m doing everything right. All I’m really trying to do now is go about my day – I just started a summer job so hopefully that will give me feelings of normality. I guess I just want to be reassured that just going about your day will ALWAYS eventually work no matter what your feeling if you just give it time. I’ve known about this site for over a year now, and I feel like I haven’t made any real progress since the first 5 months. Accepting just felt different to me during those first 5 months than it does now, and I wonder if I’m doing everything right. It’s hard to really express it, I know none of this makes sense, but I just wanted to say something.

  41. Leslie Says:

    Thanks a bunch for the reply, Lorryt. It’s always so reassuring knowing there’s someone else out there going through the same thing. It’s definitely a process of understanding and accepting. I feel like I’m learning more and more with each day.

  42. lorryt Says:

    hi scarlett, kashawn

    i am busy most of the time and try and keep busy generally, but its the times im not busy and alone that things creep in, i know the thoughts are all shite, and i know its totally unreal and all mine are future based, which i know i have no control over none of us do, its all speculation. its the what ifs i guess.i have the kids i work 2 or 3 days , and i see my dad and sister quite a lot, so im always busy. i think if i look at in its entireity i have come al ong way and things have died down alot. its the not investigating it im having trouble with again, . I guess by trying to do something i am achieving the opposite ??. just got to get on and say no more stupid stuff really?!.

    i am recommending this website a very good friend of mine,as i have had such positive results and such help i think it will help her immensely. i get satisfaction out of helping others , and i ithnk this sensitive side of me is the one that has led me down the road of so much suffering. i take too much onboard emotionally and get too wound up in my own thoughts that i can almost make them real !!.now i sound potty?!!

  43. lorryt Says:

    leslie

    its comforting to know we have suffered but we are all here to help , its understanding and accepting you are so right. now you have found this place things will improve im sure over time.

    all the bestxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  44. Kashawn Says:

    lorryt

    you dont sound potty lool and its all good. I understand how you feel, Anxiety taught me to reshape my behaviours and my values as well. Anxiety happens because our body cant take any more stress/thoughts/worries anymore, the load is too heavy on the nerves and they flat out need a break. I used to be a people pleaser, I used to get emotional over anything, and I used to worry constantly about my own problems and things that are coming in the future. Worrying is destructive as Paul said. When I started feeling symptoms back in April of 08 i knew I had to make changes in my life along with using the acceptance behaviours Paul has taught me. Now im almost 100%; I now see my anxiety experience as something educational; it taught me how to live and what I was doing wrong.
    Lorryt your doing everything right, Anxiety recovery is not linear, its all over the place but as long as you just have faith, patience, and understanding you come out recovered and a much Stronger person.

    Kashawn.

  45. Alex Says:

    I have put myself out there and faced the fear. The problem is I always have big anxiety conversationally. I find when I have to walk with people or something like a date or 1 on 1 absolutely nerve wracking. My memory has got worse and I cannot tell stories in detail. Are there ways of improving my memory conversationally because I find it really hard to talk to people for extended amounts of time.
    can anyone suggest anything.

  46. lorryt Says:

    hi kashawn

    patience i have had to learn, understanding is very much there and faith in my own body , well i just let it get on with it really. looking at that i have all the right tools justa bit more patience is needed and not be too hard on myself and expect too much, i can see great improvements and would say im probably about 65% there, but the day i can say im 100% i probably wont even realise!.

    thanks guys i am goingto enjoy the day , i am taking my oldest daughter into town for the day as school is closed for the voting(for what its worth!)
    so i shall get onwith today and ENJOY !.

    HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONEXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  47. Diana Says:

    Ok, I just found this blog and am in need of help. I am experiencing extreme anxiety for the second time in my life. The first time was when my husband and I gave up our normal life and bought a farm in Italy to restore into a B&B. We did that, but not a great personal cost to me — I was so fearful that we would starve, end up under a bridge with a shopping cart, that for six months I could not leave the house. I got on antidepressants and benzo’s at night, with therapy three times a week. I got thru that. That was 2003.

    We started a new renovation project, which is costing more than we thought. The B&B is doing ok but 2009 is not a good year at all . I am having huge anxiety now to the point where I am not able to function…started 10 days ago. I think I did not work on the right issues back in 2003. From reading all of this, I am thinking I need to change my complete way of thinking. I am back on zoloft as of 1 week and benzos at night just to get any sleep at all. Since I am in Italy, behavorial cog. therapy is out of the question. My language skills are not there yet.

    I am going to try the TEA form, and I am going to read everything I find here. Thank you for this blog, thank you thank you thank you.

    I am going to start exercising every day. I have lost over 10 pounds in a week — might as well try to keep it off.

  48. Nikki Says:

    Hi all hope you all had a good day today.I have had some really normal days lately :-).I still had a feeling that i had a way to go with a few odd thoughts but i could see the anxiety issues /symptoms for what they really are-nothing to do with my personality.I know what you mean now paul about layers being removed another layer has gone, i couldnt say what but is missing but there is more freedom and eventually it will be complete.What i mean is the physical symptoms are just that physical symptoms of stress(very distressing though they are) and the thoughts i had were just overactive imagination.On these ‘normal’ days they seem so far removed from how i am i cant even remember how i felt when i had anxiety.Today though the thoughts and feelings have returned -not much-perfectly copable and reasonable, in fact if i hadnt had such a bad time with anxiety i wouldnt know now that i was feeling the effects of anxiety now i would be beleiving these feelings were mine and they wouldnt matter because they are not so big anymore or confusing.I know i am nearly recovered but it will take a while yet its memories of the thoughts i have had that are going to take longest to subside for instance my view of the future became odd just a feeling of strangeness about it that i find hard to describe and also i hated being alone and now i still expect this to bother me ,it doesnt but i am waiting for a reaction to the thought,i am on my own tommorow what shall i do?I do normal things knowing it is me that is feeling not the thought causing it this understanding was the greatest step for me . There are still feelings and thoughts that linger an apprehension that hangs around but thats fine i have come so far theres only a little bit left. Ijust wanted to post this because it seems there are lot of people on here who are still struggling and i wanted to let you know when i was really bad in january and february this year i couldnt function very well at all.I used lots of safetey behaviours to get me through the day.From the moment i opened my eyes till my head hit the pillow i had no rest from physical and mental symptoms overactive mind and body that sporadically went into d.p my home wasnt the same my kids didnt look the same i felt as if i was living someone elses life and nothing was familiar not even memories.It was the scariest thing i have ever been through but i have followed advice and struggled with understanding it now i have a deep sense of peace because i trully understand and have complete faith in the advice given by paul.I know it works because i have been nearly recovered ,today is a bump and to be expected.It is going to take time long after the nerves have settled and thoughts have calmed for the memories of this to fade and that is what is meant by time.I understand i may be at this place for a while it could be months or years but everyday needs to be enjoyed as much as if anxiety was not around because i really feel that it no longer matters how we feel there is nothing that can hurt us only feelings to be felt (even if they are unpleasant)When you wake up dont think’How do i feel? change it to what am i going to do today? think one day at a time get through each day doing what needs to be done and do what you used to enjoy.When my nerves are calm and my mind is calm i dont have any of the apprehension or weirdness that comes on high anxiety days this is how i know it will go in time .Hope this helps those who are having a bad time at he moment ,persevere it really does get better and is really up and down x x x

  49. brian Says:

    Hey Nikki, thanks for your story it really helps and inspires me.

    I have one question for anyone who has recovered. When I made a lot of progress many months ago, I got to the point where I almost considered myself recovered. Up to that point I had not held myself responsible for any feelings I felt and was able to do basically everything I wanted to. That was the reason I made so much progress. But after I felt really good for a few days, I started to consider myself recovered, and by doing that I think I also started holding myself responsible for my feelings again. I think that is why right when I felt recovered, I entered into a downward spiral for months that I am still struggling with.

    So my question to anyone recovered is how do you continue to not hold yourself responsible for your feelings after you have been feeling better for awhile and feel recovered?

    I dont think I am close to recovery now but it is just something I was wondering since I think it is the reason that I have been struggling for so long.

  50. Nikki Says:

    Hi brian, It seems to me that you need to really understand the condition of anxiety.I think you had a good few days and then thought you wrer recovered,when really your nerves had just started to settle.What you have had is a setback which is what i am also having at the moment.I have had a week of feeling completely normal waking up and not thinknig about the anxiety or feeling the symptoms which is what happened to you when you thought you had recovered but i have been on this site enough times to have read that old feelings will continue to return and these setbacks are inevitable.When i felt great last week i never expected it to last without old feelings returning i have felt rubbish for too long to just return to normal overnight .I enjoyed the freedom for a few days and never preassured myself to feel good.I shall carry on now as i did before doing normal stuff feeling a bit rubbish until my next few days without symptoms i expect this pattern to continue and layers to lift away as time goes on and each time i have a setback it wont be as bad as the last one.Basically i know these horrible feeling are not real and should be ignored i now make decisions with my head not accordingly to how i feel about them if that makes sense.Your nerves had started to settle and then because you felt the old feelings again you worried about them and perhaps started to analyse again when you really should just continue to ignore the feelings accept they will come and go and you will be back on track again. It is true what they say that the setbacks are what help you recover because it is how you deal with the setbacks when they come that helps you move forward .Hope this helps .

  51. lorryt Says:

    nikki

    that is so true, it seems that set back after set back helps me cope a bit better each time, still upsets mea bit though , so i guess im fearing things a bit in a way. i know i say it alot but i seem to be able to cope with the physical side with no worries, but the thought side of it. past few days my head is going” what is the point of it all, we all end up dead”, it is really disheartening i try and et them flow through and say thats shyte, but its just more reason to practice it, like you i have suffered fro along time without realising and i should accept that it will take a while ( been2 years so far)!. just get frustrated by it all sometimes.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  52. Nikki Says:

    lorryt I now how you feel with the thoughts i get the same ones Why bother in the great scheme of things does it matter well thats the thought but i know yes it does matter it all matters the cleaning paying the bills it matters i dont feel it though sometimes but i ignore the feeling of doom that comes with the thought and answer myself with what i know to be true not what the anxiety wants me to believe i feel i am stronger than what the thoughts tell me now i dont feel they have as much weight anymore they dont have the same force anymore my own answers are more forcefull purely because they are the truth and i just put it down to anxiety tell myself this thought and feeling will not be around when my nerves are settled and i know its true so it doesnt bother me to the extreme that it used to and like you i am so bored with the thoughts im like yeh whatever and change my thought pattern.Its got easier with practice and also i have had many normal moments when i think about the thoughts that have bothered when my nerves are rattled and the feelings just arent there so this is why i know it will all fade in time.I am having quite a rubbish day today but time of the month an all that may have something to do with it and if not i still have loads of stuff to be getting on with.I find keeping busy and doing things helps not like avoidance because i also find sitting and chilling watching the telly helps but just focusing on something else and becoming involved in things decorating also helps.I also get very impatient but i am learning to cope with this as well.I dont really know when it happened but i just thought i dont know how long this thing is going to last and i am not waiting around for it to go a year or longer is too long to sit around, Im bored with analysing that doesnt help just keeps it on your mind so no matter what i am faced with i will get on with life and be me.The real me before this happened even if it feels weird i dont care any more, even when i know im going to feel bad doing something the more i do it the less it will bother me.I can know see the anxiety for what it is i seem to bundle all the thoughts and feelings together and they are all just anxiety masking how i really feel so instead of trying to feel how i used to (which i know you cant force feeling)I think how did i used to feel about it i umake a decision with my head not my heart.I used to love getting dressed up and going out but now i dont feel like i want to but i know i would have jumped at the chance before so i go.I dont suffer from anxiety anymore the key word being suffer,it is something i have at the moment bad nerves and they will settle and all this stupidness thoughts existentialism that never used to occur to me it will all go with time so while time passes i will carry on as normal.I never used to get up and think how do ifeel today so istopped doing it iam aware of course if my nerves are bad but i dont need to think about it anymore.This is my way and what i believe is the same as the advice given here,its working for me im not recovered and dont think im near it but i have come along long way in three months and in another three following this path i will be that much better again.This all sounds very strong and brave but i feel very shaky today the difference is im not scared of it anymore if a thought tries to analyse ‘would you have done that before ‘or something along those lines it doesnt bother me anymore im not scared of my head questioning i know im not going mad or going to do anything stupid i know whats wrong.Im not scared of how i feel because it isnt making a difference to how i live i still do whatever i want regardless of how i am feeling at the time, its just a case of my nerves chilling out and calming down then normal feeling will resume ,its just a case of time now.xx

  53. Leslie Says:

    Hi everyone, I have a couple questions. Nikki, you say you wake up each morning and don’t think about how you feel anymore. How do you do that?! I find that each morning when I wake up, I’m trying to figure out how I feel. Then my mind starts going….I get really freaked out because I can’t figure out how I feel. And this really gets to me. It’s like I’m not sure how I feel……does anyone else ever experience this?? I feel like I’m getting better with getting on with my day and trying not to worry about how I feel. For whatever reason, morning is by far the worst time for me. I also have thoughts/feelings that I find hard to put into words. I start to think about this whole anxiety thing and wonder how I got here. Then I get this overwhelming feeling/thought that this happened to me, but it’s something I can’t figure out. I feel like I have something to figure out or think about with this whole thing. It’s just so annoying. I’m probably not making any sense! Also, what does everyone consider a setback?? I would just like to know because half the time I feel like I don’t even know how I’m coping with this whole thing. Sometimes I feel like I get it……sometimes I feel completely lost and confused about the whole thing and trying to figure out how I feel.

  54. Lynda Says:

    Leslie – you make perfect sense to me as this is how I am feeling at the moment. One day getting the whole thing and the next feeling completely lost in the middle of it all and believing that this is me forever even though i’ve been assured it’s not and deep down I know its not. Sometimes I’m also not sure how I feel and my head spins with it all. However, I am trying to be patient and carrying on with my life even though Mr. Anxiety is my companion at the moment!
    You are not alone.
    Have a good weekend all
    Lynda

  55. Leslie Says:

    Lynda, thanks for the reassurance! Like you said, sometimes my head just spins out of control and I get flustered. Oh well I guess…back to work!

  56. lorryt Says:

    nikki

    its the consuming thought that i suppose because its a thought i believe it. its also the distinguishing between when will my though patterns return to normal etcc. analysing again i guess.i have been out all day with my dad at garden centres . lunch, various other things cant say i really enjoyed any of it but i went, and i will always carry on as normal, and feelings again as they did before return in time. i really appreciated your reply, it does make sense when someone else puts it into words. like linda says above my head just gets the reins and runs with the horse, and i beleive all my head tells me. calm down slow down and rational thinking. thanks guys you are a great help xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    have a good day allxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  57. Lynda Says:

    lorryt – ‘my head just gets the reins and runs with the horse’ – you made me smile with that description of it, how true. We must tell the horse to slow down please!
    Take care
    Lynda x

  58. Nikki Says:

    Hi leslie. My mornings are by far the worse for me i used to have this really bad feeling of ‘i dont want to get up’not because i didnt want to or couldnt face anything just a feeling of extreme tiredness,it was just leave me alone today.Really awfull and this morning it was back a bit but instead of trying to analyse how i felt or why,i just felt it accepted it was back and made a list of what i was going to do today.It was not a case of what do i want to do because i dont really want to do anything much i was to tired, i just thought about things that needed doing ,my daughter is off for in- service so i thought about what she would like to do and i had to go shopping,the bloke had asked me to do some grouting!! so feeling really nervous like i was about to go for an operation or something equally bad i got on with it.If you look back through the posts i was constantly analysing and questioning i thought if i could figure out why certain thoughts bothered me then they would stop bothering me.If i could figure out exactly what was happening to my body then it wouldnt bother me anymore.It didnt help all this questioning it just kept me thimking about anxiety all day with the its this its that talks i was giving myself.What really helped was to understand that all of these things will stop bothering me when my nerves settle and my nerves will only settle when i stop questioning and analysing and that has happened i still have all the rubbish symptoms and thoughts but i ignore it.I have practiced switching off to to it and concentrating on what im doing and planning how im going to decorate or thinking on monday ill go and fetch tiles and then my train of thought continues in another direction.I dont worry about anything i wait and see what happens at the time i know whatever comes i will cope so why do i need to add preassure to an already shattered body .What i know has happened is i beleive what paul scarlett and candie are saying ‘leave it alone and it will go’I have faith this is not going to continue forever.I dont care about it anymore idont need my nerves to protect me i dont want to be like this so i am refusing to live like i have something wrong with me no matter how crap that makes me feel, if i feel bad so be it its not forever.No i dont like it.Yes if there was a get well now pill i would take it but there isnt this is how to get well its hard the hardest thing i have or will ever go through but my god how much more confident and how much more understanding of the human condition and what a better person i will be for having experienced this.This anxiety episode is what is going to help shape me as a person without it i would still be the people pleaser i have come to dislike so much.I like the new me that is emerging and so will you.I cant tell you how bad i felt sitting watching hannah montana wanting to run out the pictures and having what felt like every sort of chemical buzzing through my veins heart racing mind racing tired,but i sat there and watched the film and i got through it.I will not run away this is too important getting me right is nothing to be scared of the super imposed feelings and thoughts that we feel are not ours they belong to anxiety so dont care about them it is not you making these feelings its anxiety when anxiety goes so will all the rubbish you feel.Feel the fear and do it anyway-these feelings wont drive you mad they wont make you ill they wont in fact do anything to you they are just there and when you stop worrying how or why they will go.Its like paul says your body just needs a rest you need to give yourself a break your not like you used to be -stop beating yourself up about it -it doesnt make you a lesser person, in my mind i believe everyone of us on here are some of the most strongest people,we have all in one way or another carried too much stress and in most cases mine definately carried alot of other peoples.Its now our time to take back the time out we need to reboot and reset thats all it is.Im sorry this is yet another long post but i hope that desribing my way of thinking may help if you are struggling to understand.Dont think i am near recovery im not i just feel better than i used to and have come to some conclusions i am looking for progress i dont think overnight recovery would be a good thing with so much baggage to have been carrying around since january this year i would feel weird without it all at once ,little by little is by far the best way to get there .Good luckxxx

    P.S next time you wake up feeling really rubbish you can rest assured that i will also be feeling just as bad.Its the attitude thats different not the feeling!!!

  59. lorryt Says:

    lynda

    my horse has long bucked me off and got loose !!!!, i shall try and get back on and keep him in check! sorry about my horsey analgies unfortunately they were my life for along time and my daughter has taken to it too!!!!.

  60. lorryt Says:

    SORRY IF THAT WAS SPELT WRONG IT LOOKS COMPLETELY WRONG !!!ANALERGIES??????

  61. Lynda Says:

    lorryt
    please don’t worry about the spelling of that word – think your 2nd choice might be the right one! I know what you mean even if its spelt wrong. All I know is it made me laugh which can’t be a bad thing! My daughter also used to be horse mad, bought a horse and spent all her time & money on him. Then she had to make a decision – horse or mortgage and the mortgage won! She sold her horse but still misses him. She now has a baby daughter and is looking forward to introducing her to riding in a couple of years. Its a lovely, healthy but very expensive hobby.
    Hope you have a good weekend
    Lynda

  62. Leslie Says:

    Thanks Nikki! I really appreciate your taking the time to reply. I can relate to everything you say! Just have to keep my chin up and move on with the day. I’m learning….

  63. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Leslie/Lynda,

    “I find that each morning when I wake up, I’m trying to figure out how I feel. Then my mind starts going….I get really freaked out because I can’t figure out how I feel. And this really gets to me. It’s like I’m not sure how I feel……does anyone else ever experience this??”

    It’s a habit which needs to be reversed by not dwelling on, or analysing how you feel when you wake up. Tell yourself it doesn’t matter how you feel, you are gonna cope with the day just fine and leave it at that… and in time it will stick.

    ” I feel like I’m getting better with getting on with my day and trying not to worry about how I feel. For whatever reason, morning is by far the worst time for me. I also have thoughts/feelings that I find hard to put into words. I start to think about this whole anxiety thing and wonder how I got here.”

    You can’t think yourself out of anxiety, you just get yourself deeper in the quagmire. To find out what got you there in the first place you need a clear quiet mind without racing thoughts, so for the time being you need to stop analysing and adopt a ‘can’t be bothered to find out/whatever’ attitude to thoughts of this nature, and try and forget what got you here. All will become clear as you recover and have moments of clarity, this is the time when you will know.

    “Then I get this overwhelming feeling/thought that this happened to me, but it’s something I can’t figure out. I feel like I have something to figure out or think about with this whole thing. It’s just so annoying. I’m probably not making any sense!”

    You are making perfect sense, the problem is we don’t recover when we are trying to figure things out. What did Einstein say “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it” You will never find the answer to your question whilst thinking with an anxious mind, so you need to cut off thoughts of an analysing nature when they enter for now until your mind is quieter and able to reflect without getting anxious.

    “Also, what does everyone consider a setback?? I would just like to know because half the time I feel like I don’t even know how I’m coping with this whole thing. Sometimes I feel like I get it……sometimes I feel completely lost and confused about the whole thing and trying to figure out how I feel.”

    For me a setback was a step backwards, a time when my obsessive thoughts became more frequent after a period of relative calm, but to be honest now that I am recovered I realise they weren’t setbacks, but learning opportunities which are a necessary part of recovery. When you have times when you feel lost and confused, let it be, accept that it’s normal, and carry on with your day, don’t feel the need to analyse why you feel this way, as there’s absolutely no way you will think your way out of it. It passes when you are able to carry on as normal without analysing the whys and wherefores of how you feel.

  64. Kashawn Says:

    Awesome post scarlet makes me smile cuz its soo true. All we can do is live on focusing outward despite how good or bad we feel ,the body and mind takes care of themselves if we stop the analyzing and Live on:)

    God Bless and all the best 2 everyone keeping living on
    Kashawn.

  65. Nikki Says:

    Leslie and Linda I have just gone back to horse riding after a twenty year gap!!!! My daughter who is eight really wanted to go but was too shy to go on her own so i said i would go to.You are right though very expensive for both of us so i go every fortnight and meg goes weekly.I really am enjoying it although i didnt half ache the first week .!!

  66. Leslie Says:

    Thanks so much Scarlet! I try to realize that my mind is tired right now and that’s why I get these thoughts/feelings. They won’t be there when the anxiety leaves. Your explanation of everything makes so much sense. Some days I find it really easy to put everything I’ve learned into pratice, other days not so much. Over analyzing everything has been a big one for me to deal with….I’m sure everyone has the same problem! Some days I just feel like I really need to figure everything out…other days I don’t care in the least. Anyway, I really appreciate your reply!

  67. Leslie Says:

    PS….that’s awesome about the horseback riding, Nikki!

  68. Diana Says:

    I am trying to follow the advice here. I am having terrible trouble with the physical symtoms. I wake up at 2 with my heart beating out of my chest and just tray to let it beat and breath and relax the rest of my muscles. But the mind racing kicks in and I lose my focus and the heart gets worse. This continues until I take something to calm myself down. I can’t seem to distance myself from these racing thoughts of worry and panic. The physical symptoms are there 24/7 and are exhausting my adrenals. I stopped eating for ten days completely, now I am forcing myself to eat three small things a day. In my right mind I know that the worries are not grounded — I just cannot seem to allow them to be there and then move on — I am too exhausted. The thoughts bring on the physical symptoms, and then I can’t move forward because I am so tired. I am 50 years old and starting with hormonal changes. I know that the adrenaline is just that. Adreneline. But the way it pumps thru me, drying my mouth, stopping me from eating,.. it is just the worst. I am reading everything here and I see that no one talks really about the nature of the thoughts they have — i suppose the thoughts themselves are insignificant — i mean even if the house is falling down around us we need to be able to remain calm and collected. I see now that i have suffered from this since I was very small and what I have now is the culmination of an extremely stressed out life, all landing on my shoulders at once. I have suffered from extreme anxiety and stress almost 30 years, with this outbreak threatening to take my life away from me. I would appreciate any comments that might help me.

  69. Paul David Says:

    Just picking up on Scarlets post.

    You can’t think yourself out of anxiety, you just get yourself deeper in the quagmire. To find out what got you there in the first place you need a clear quiet mind without racing thoughts, so for the time being you need to stop analysing and adopt a ‘can’t be bothered to find out/whatever’ attitude to thoughts of this nature, and try and forget what got you here. All will become clear as you recover and have moments of clarity, this is the time when you will know.

    This is something I really try and get across. Some people do try and think their way out and end up just going round in circles. They may go around each day with sayings ‘I have to let this go’ , ‘This is only adrenalin’ , ‘I need to accept this’ now this is fine if it helps you in a particular situation, as long as they are not used to try and make you feel better. I also used to go home and go through a situation and how it went, what did I do wrong, etc, etc….Did I really need to do this?

    I used to use these tired old sayings to make me feel better and if one did not work I would try another, I was back on me, trying to do something about it, when I really wanted to escape all this ruminating. So I just dropped all the sayings, stopped analysing, basically as Scarlet said’ Stopped trying to think my way better’ I always had one idea and that was if something made me feel worse then I would do the opposite and I began to adapt a new found freedom by no longer caring.

  70. lorryt Says:

    HI ALL

  71. lorryt Says:

    HI ALL

    i have just been to the local nurse to see her about my usual dressing and we got talking and now i am in a right state again, ive got myself all worked up about stupid stuff about my kids. we were having a conversation about kids leaving home , and i could feel the adrenelin runnign thru my veins and off i am again. sat here typing with tears in my eyes when i really shouldnt worry, im just adding to the mix and its not helping at all. its these future scenarios that i know is rubbish stuff in my head that totally sets me off, thoughts etc.i know its a case ofme telling them they are naff and accept but lately they have been quite strong and intense.physically i can cope mentally BRICK WALLING TIME. it feels like it takes over my whole mind and thats all i can focus on, why cant i see it for what it really is just tsupid irrational stuff that wont harm me, but i guess being hormonal too doesnt help.i feeellll soooo frustrated by it all. i know its not what im doing wrong, but feel more that i have lost all the positivety that i had for so long. i felt like my life was coming back into me and i was enjoying stuff again, only for it to go away as quick as it came. sorry if im rabblig but finding it hard today. i reckon because it has taken me so long to get on my feet i am worried that i will miss out on the enjoyment that i have for my beautiful daughters growing up. sorryyxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  72. H Says:

    Hello all, discovered this site a few months ago, I view it regularly but have not posted before. The site and book was a revelation to me. I suffered a breakdown about 5 years ago and have suffered with anxiety ever since, to a greater or lesser degree. During this period I read a lot of good & bad stuff, but had slowly started to draw some conclusions. To my astonishment this website and book pretty much confirmed all that I had suspected. Basically the anxiety condition starts after a period of stress, but for some of us we don’t recognise the cause & effect of stress, and off we got at a tangent now consumed with concern about these strange physical symptoms we feel. If we focus on anything relentlessly for a long period the mind will tire (remember revising for exams, learning a new job, worrying about a situation), we then worry about the mental tiredness, not seeing it for what it really is. Paul, I thank you for the gift of this website and book, it is without doubt the finest explanation, & resource available – I no longer refer elsewhere.
    Anyway, onto the subject of safety behaviours. Early in my condition (before I had even known it was anxiety) I remember driving back from a day out with my family, I guess I had been pretty anxious all day. When near home I had the worst panic attack ever, I will never forget it, I thought I was gonna go mad, or die (no one ever does!). Now the stretch of road where it started, was on my usual route to and from work. I remember when next going to work feeling extremely anxious and scared when approaching this partcular spot. For a while I considered changing my route, but something deep down inside thought (a) this is not rational that a stretch of road can cause such a reaction, and (b) avoiding is not the answer. So I continued my usual route, and yes for quite a while each time I approached I felt anxious and panicy, then one day I noticed I had driven through without even realising!! This was an important lesson for me, and I now realise that had I opted to take an alternative route (a safety behaviour) I would have been ‘papering’ over the problem, and teaching myself that avoidance was the answer. I believe the lesson I learnt is crucial to recovery, to get on with things as best as possible, don’t withdraw, give anxiety as little respect as possible and gradually things will improve.
    Believe me, I have been through hell, six months ago I had a major setback, I was crying, scared to go anywhere, totally consumed by my anxiety 24/7, dp all the time. Six months on I am much improved.
    Am I now 100% fixed – no! I am still having good and bad days, the difference is I now have UNDERSTANDING, and although this understanding still deserts me at times, it’s getting better bit by bit. It is a process, it’s replacing our erroneous beliefs about anxiety (which we formed prior to educating ourselves) with correct beliefs – I believe this is why it takes time, beliefs take time to solidify. This is why setbacks are positive, as each time we come through tired but unscathed, we add a bit of reinforcement to the correct ‘beliefs’ that Paul promotes. Eventually these beliefs will be second nature.
    I am starting to think of anxiety as being good for me. It’s made me realise the truly important things in life, it’s made me more spontaneous and less analytical, it’s taught me to value friends & family more, and material stuff less.
    No matter how bad you feel now, things do improve – keep the faith.

  73. Candie Says:

    Hi Lorry

    You really do get yourself wound up about your kids leaving home when there older dont you, the thing is though- its going to happen one day… but not anytime soon! Infact not even in the next ten years, so you can decide to accept they will leave home in many years time and get on with enjoying these years you do have with them- or you can spend all them years freaking out over something that cant be avoided and lose all the precious moments during them years as your too busy threating. I know anxiety has initially made you over react to the idea of them leaving, but you need to have a firm change in reaction and be dismissive. When these thoughts come you need to acknowledge yes they will leave home one day, get married, have kids… whatever- but you have the forseable future and there yours for now. Its like worrying of one day becoming old and dying, its gonna happen anyway and a natural part of life- but we dont need to deal with it till the time comes (infact you cant deal with anything till your at that moment in time, so its useless pondering)… otherwise we lose all them years inbetween when we should of just been living for the day and enjoying the present moment.

  74. Shirley D Says:

    H.
    I had exactly the same happen to me at a particular part of a journey and just heading anywhere near it. Today I can drive past that particular spot without a thought. Keep up the good work! and best wishes for a speedy 100% recovery.

  75. Shirley D Says:

    Diana,
    Just read your post and it hit me real hard that that is the way I used to be, now i can look back laugh and think ‘ yes i needed to lose weight’. I have now put on weight because my appetite has returned and I am so much better. Please beleive me that you can get better however long you have had to deal with this blessed thing. The longer you give it the attention, the longer it takes to go away. Release it and you will be free.
    I am 49. Never thought at my age that I would have anything like Anxiety, but sadly did and am now cured. Take heart!

  76. Diana Says:

    Thank you Shirley. so kind of you to write. I have ordered the book from Paul and am waiting for it to arrive now. I am trying to just let it go — yesterday for the first time I ate in 12 days — with a bit of appetite — and read a normal (non axiety related) book for an hour. I slept alot — my body is exhausted from the adrenaline which has been pumping through me. My muscles are sore from no nutrition and too much stress. I take the pain as good sign maybe, my body trying to relax.

  77. Kashawn Says:

    H awesome post :)

    Diana, you are right, your nervous system is tired; all the nerves stretching to your muscles are tired and sensitized thats why you feel so tired. And yes the pain/fatigue you feel is a sign of healing, your nerves are healing themselves now that you understand your condition and have not bombarded them with worrying thoughts and more stress :)

    On the topic of aching muscles, for those who are heavy weight lifters as I am, try to lean away from the weights as you recover. I learned this the hard way, when we lift weights are bodies produce lactic acid and anxiety sufferers are sensitive to lactate as increased amounts of lactate (in the blood) triggers panic attacks, so I learned to stick to cardio exercise as my nerves healed. As Paul said, we must give our body and mind a rest, cardio exercise such as brisk walking, jogging/running, and any cardio machine at the gym are soothing to the nerves and doesn’t exhaust the nervous system as heavy weight lifting does.
    -Hope that helps some people because it was a missing piece to my recovery puzzle.

    All the best
    Kashawn.

  78. Diana Says:

    Candie you are so right, worrying about things that will or won’t happen anyway is such a waste of precious life years. We can’t control any of that, and we lose so much when we try. I have so many things to look forward to instead of fearing, but in order for the future unfold, I need to be healthy, and be able to walk towards it step for step.

    My husband and I have worked on this project for over five years, and the last year has been a year of immense stress from every possible corner of life. My first reaction is to sell this project and sit in a chair or start something else — in other words flight. Instead of making a decision of that magnitude while I am pumping adrenaline 24/7 and thinking I am going to die, I would rather wait until am calm and well.

    Ultimately, my main goal is to know, somewhere deep inside, that there will always be enough to eat and a roof over my head, that we have friends and family who love us, that material things come and go.

    This is my second full breakdown in 6 years. I see the roots of “existence angst” (fear for my existence) have been there for many many years. Financial insecurity causes my fears to fold over each other like an accordian until there is nothing left of the real me. My greatest regret during these periods are 1. how much I suffer and lose from life 2. how much my husband suffers and loses from life and 3. I lose feelings of attachment to my dog, who I adore.

    The economic turndown means I have to do a lot of marketing to cover us for the 2010 season. I really need to be doing that now. The last two weeks I have wanted to close the gates on this place and flee — never coming back — to my life’s biggest work.

    I cannot begin to say how much finding this website has helped me. When I had my initial breakdown in 2003 — after buying this place — I was hospitalized and put into 3x a week therapy. I never felt I recovered. At that time behavior therapy was not offered for anxiety. I see now, just from ONE WEEK with this website that the answers definitely lie elsewhere –inside of me, on day, one minute, one second at a time. Not paying respect to the anxiety — 6 years ago I spent my days WORSHIPING the anxiety, staying in bed, scared to go into the kitchen, not dressing, asking my husband every day if I was going to die. This time, in the last week, it started the same way, but yesterday I ate, read a book and relaxed. I have come to accept to a certain extent that this is going to be an off season, that we will not be as booked as we normally are, that that is a worldwide problem and not because I have done something wrong, that 2010 might just be much better.

    I would like to just list three things that happened this week that I am very grateful for: we had guests from Georgia who loved it here despite the fact that we are still under construction, loved it so much in fact that they are writing stellar internet reviews on Trip Advisor and Slow Travel, two of our biggest marketing tools;

    One of my friends who is a top travel agent in Texas informed me that there is a 90% chance that my B&B will get a mention in Travel and Leisure Magazine in the USA in September;

    and finally (this is my big trigger) we found out that our construction guy who has done 4 projects for us has been systematically overcharging us for work. We went around to material suppliers yesterday (I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAD THE ENERGY TO DO THIS BUT IT IS ONLY BECAUSE OF THIS WEBSITE) and got a bunch of prices of things which our construction guy had billed us double and triple and quadruple for. The good thing is, we have not paid him for the last phase of construction so now it is payback time.

    That last one made me feel like I have some control over things again and I still have some fight in me. After finding that out yesterday, I went home and slept — no adrenaline attacks all afternoon!!!! They did start again last night but I took that as natural since I had had an active day facing my triggers. I am still using a sleep aid because I am in peri-menopause and if I don’t sleep, I cannot handle anything.

    My goal is to take the days we don’t have guests — most of July — as a time to regain my balance. August, September, and October have bookings, we will be pretty busy — and somehow we will survive until next season.

    It is 8 in the morning. My body is still exhausted from 12 days of no food and all adrenaline. But my heart is not racing this morning. I want to offer some kind, warm thoughts for each and every one of you, try the best you can to enjoy your day.

    Paul, I seriously wish I could hug you. Here is a virtual one ***. You have opened a door in my way of thinking which did not exist before.

    Hope is an important component to life… that things can get better. Stupid Anxiety takes hope away. It is a thief. It deserves to be thrown in prison!!

  79. Diana Says:

    Kashawn, thank you for that. i am going to be kind to myself the next days and let myself heal and try to walk with the dog every day. Maybe a bit of yoga too, which I enjoy when I am not pumping adrenaline. I understand what you are saying about lactose.

  80. fathun Says:

    HI CANDIE

    I was having anxiety for 3 years but the information that i got from this site i feel great and I am on the way to recovery. Now me and my husband are trying for a baby, so i just need some help from u. Does pregnancy(hormonal changes) lead to high anxiety. How does u feel during pregnancy?
    Thanx for helping others.
    BLESS U ALL

  81. fathun Says:

    HI ALL
    Feels like this blog is helping one another so much. I thank paul and other sufferes who help us. This website and the book helps me a lot.
    As I Have said earlier I was having anxiety for 3 years. But now I m feeling much better so i have decided to have a baby soon. So just wanted some help or tips from u guys or is there anybody who is pregnant after suffering from anxiety.
    need help

    fathun

  82. lorryt Says:

    hi caNDIE, HOPE YOU ARE WELL.

    i know i do stress about stupid things and at the moment i find it hard. i know i need to do one day at a time. its like i have gone back to teh stage of needing reassurance and whats the point of it all. but i shall carry on as normal and just put on my facade and try and live.but have currently lost my appetite and am feeling pants. i will get pauls book back and reread it, and maybe that wil help , i havent needed it for so long!
    fathun i had a lot of my anxiety problems whilst pregnant, other things in the mix helped too!, but just keep calm and know that your body will heal itself if things like that do happen.

  83. Shirley D Says:

    Diana, i have just read your last post, how eloquently it was put over. As I haven’t been on here for a while, I presume that you are in America?
    It’s really not surprising that you have anxiety due to the fact that there is so much going on around you, I was told by my Counsellor that I was suffering from the overflowing beaker syndrome. Too much liquid and not enough beaker to put it in.
    I was unemployed for six months due to my inability to cope with this horrid thing. We were also due to go on holiday to Malta (immediate family) and then all of a sudden i had the opportunity placed in front of me for two jobs, suddenly i had money again and the holiday happened without too much angst. Flying was a problem for me and I did that – no problem. My confidnce was newly restored. It is having confidence that makes it all possible. You found the confidence and had the determination to go and check up on your rogue builder, what a horrid person, you could have sat and worried about that particular situation with your head in your hands, but no, off you went and it will give you even more of a boost to see the man’s face when you let him know he is found out, to get the upper hand in any situation is rewarding, it will be the same with the anxiety, once you have got that upper hand with it all it will pale into insignificance.
    The deprivation of sleep is one of the worst symptoms, now i sleep like a log (most of the time). And you have summed it up very well, Anxiety is a thief, a thief of confidence, straight thinking, reality.
    Paul’s site and book were my saviour and i would have often liked to hug him too.

  84. Shirley D Says:

    Diana. Ok have just caught up – you are in Italy. Nice!
    What part are you in? I went to Sorrento once and the Amalfi coast – lovely but no beaches.

  85. Candie Says:

    Hi Fathun

    Thats a difficult question, as before pregnancy recovery was very slow and i was going round in circles, was really bad. I got pregnant and new i had to let go and retrain myself to react differantly to the anxiety. To cut a long story short, despite all the extra hormones which do make your anxiety more intense at times- i managed to recover an awful lot during the 9 months of pregnancy! You can still recover during pregnancy… just expect the hormones to make u feel a bit worse, especially due to the tiredness! Its like time of the month, u feel simlar to that a lot of the time if your tired.

  86. fathun Says:

    Thanx Candie & Lorryt for taking time for me to reply.
    It’s a process of understanding and accepting. I’ll try to be positive.
    thanks again for ur reply.

  87. Diana Says:

    shirley thank you for your words — I completely understand your point about confidence and how we all have these things which trigger us into an anxiety state. What I feel is that in the presence of our triggers the point is to let the anxiety come and then get past it. This is going to be my biggest challenge, because my triggers will not be going away for awhile. We are in Northern Italy, in Piedmont, the wine country.

  88. Shirley D Says:

    Diana, Yes I fully understand about the triggers, my heart beats like billio sometimes, as it is now actually, my life is a little up and down at the moment and you can’t expect the symptoms to go away overnight, but as time goes on, you tend to be able to handle it all better and eventually it is almost non existant and when one looks back you realise the severity of what it once was but now it’s not so severe, hardly noticeable in fact.
    As Candie once told me – we all have adrenilin pumps to a certain degree in all situations, just sadly it seems for accentuated in times of anxiety and is not a nice thing to experience.

  89. lorryt Says:

    candie
    i know i need to be dismissive in my thoughts about it all, i had developed an attitude of live for today and it was going well for a while, but i dont know what happened, and im not going to try and analyze why either coz that just makes it worse. it just snowballed me today and has gone over the top. but by saying “no stop it” to my head isnt that not accepting or letting flow?.i think i have just lost my way for a bit, and need to get back on the right track. but it has helped by others putting me right, really big thinhgs in my head can be put into perspective by one small word from someone who understands.it has really mentally drained me today. i need to reverse the worry habit again!….thats all.. i think !…cheers guys

  90. Diana Says:

    lorryt I am sorry that you are suffering. Get a good night’s sleep tonight if you can and remember tomorrow is another day. Close your eyes and be kind to yourself.

  91. lisa Says:

    lorry, youv got to learn to try and let the thoughts in but then let them pass by without worrying, analising etc.. i no its hard, but your changing a habit remember. let them in. let them pass eventually they will stop coming. when you do it you feel great, when your struggling you get wound up, worried, anxious, youv just got to think there thoughts thats all they are, they pass. the same thing candie is telling you :-)

  92. lorryt Says:

    hi

    i know its all true what you are telling me just finding it hard to put it into practice. thoughts are so essential to everyday life, i just want things to all return to normal( if i can remember what that is like)i thought i had it all cracked early on last month, guess im reminded that its a habit and it will come back from time to time. really appreciate your help guys, i too would love to give paul a big hug!xxxxxx

  93. Candie Says:

    Lorry

    Telling your thoughts to stop it isnt been dismissive, its fighting with them as your mind will recognise them as a problem. Being dismissive is to let them flow in and out, whiles recognising they cant harm you and the content isnt real life its just make beleif mind banter. You dont have to try be rational, that will come when you stop battling with yourself, so for now when you catch yourself analysing and about to work yourself up… recognise that exact moment and cut of from the analysing- the thought is fine, its the analysing of content we need to cut of from and then the thoughts can fade from memory eventually. Just because you imagine or think something doesnt make it real life, its like dreaming- your imagination. Unfortunately with anxiety your imagination will throw a lot of scary pretend scenarios at you as the adrenalin makes your mind scan for the worst outcome of every thought. When you understand this you can move on. As for doing well last month, that was real- you just lost the attitude again… but the good thing is it builds up over time, none of us ever got it in one and it stayed… for me it came and went and gradually stuck with me more and more.

  94. Hayley H Says:

    Hello all, I have been keeping up to date with the posts but this is the second time iv posted on here. I wonder if anyone could help answer my questions? I am 21 years old and have been suffering from this feeling of unreality for over two months now. recently the numbness has started to lift and I feel like I can see my old self coming back but then as quick as it comes on it goes back to me feeling dreamy again. I am so scared this will never go or if it does it will come back? since iv had this feeling i also feel more aware of how i think people think of me and sometimes feel paranoid… is this normal. This feeling of unreality came on with the click of a finger and although I sometimes worry I didnt realise I worried enough to bring this feeling on. Please can someone help reasure me this feeling will eventually go as Im so scared. Is this purely just a safety mechanism for your brain? thank you, Hayley x

  95. Mike DS Says:

    The key so far in my recovery has been not trying to be perfect (normal).
    Not trying to be perfect in recovering from anxiety, not trying to be perfect in recovering from anxiety thoughts, not trying to be perfect with recovering from anxiety symptoms and not trying to be perfect with life in general. Just letting anxiety be, just letting life be. Not trying to be perfect helps you LET GO and let be. Eventually, recovery comes as you try not being perfect. Not trying to be perfect creates windows of recovery that will gradually span out to fill your entire day as you practice it. You almost feel as if you are floating to recovery as you stop trying to be perfect.

  96. Patrick Says:

    Hi all, read the new post after a break from this blog. I think I have made progress but still have mild anxiety 24 / 7 with the occasional “attack”. My concentration levels have improved and I am enjoying activities again. Still I find my thoughts are always anxiety based though – I’m not necesarily always thinking about how I feel, or even thinking “worrying” thoughts but maybe thinking about past things I have read, etc. Just a constant chatter going on what seems like automatically. Occasionally I find myself thinking about something else with 100% focus, but not very often and thoughts always return to anxiety. I find it easier now to dismiss irrational thoughts and when I have an attack, just carry on with what I am doing, knowing it will pass. I also do what I want when I want, even if it makes me feel more anxious which happens occasionally but I don’t worry so much anymore. Just wondered if anyone can offer anything on the thoughts – I know I can’t stop them as such, but haven’t quite grasped the “just let them be there” advice yet. Also, what exactly does “focus on something else ” mean? I get on with things but I haven’t been able to focus 100% on anything else, when I am gardening I am focusing on the gardening but am aware I still feel anxious – quite confused over this aspect – if I can’t focus 100% on something else does that mean I will never be free of anxiety !!??

    Read a lot of people and this whole “acceptance” issue and people trying to use words. I think I am right in saying that it’s more about feeling – imagine waking up to a beautiful day and you don’t have to tell yourself it’s a beautiful day – you just “feel” it. I’m not quite there yet with acceptance but getting there slowly I think.

    Also, I went to see Take That in Sunderland on Saturday night and yesterday was feeling pretty exhausted and I felt a bit spaced out and just assumed it was anxiety related but actually my wife felt the same!! Just shows, this was due to exhaustion from the concert but I automatically assumed it was just another symptom!!!

  97. Patrick Says:

    Bit of an aside but something that occured to me recently is that how similar this anxiety is to what I thought was “Repetetive Strain Injury”. I work with computers and about 7 years ago after speaking to a friend who had given up work due to pains in his arm (RSI). A few months later I started getting similar pains and went through the same process as I have done with anxiety. Spent months researching, looking for a miracle cure, visiting the doctor, going for x-rays, trying every treatment ( shiatsu / osteopathy / chiropractors / masage therapists amongst others) right up to seeing a consultant rheumatologist and having every related medical test possible. Nobody could find anmything wrong or explain it, and no “treatment” worked. I tried finding different ways of using a computer and was constantly taking paracetamol and ibuprofen (to no effect) but it just kept getting worse and worse to the point where I really thought I would have to give up working with computers.

    To cut a long story short I am fully “recovered” now – for well over two years I have not had a single RSI symptom and I don’t even think about it anymore whereas it dominated my life for years to the point of obsession.

    So how did I do it ?

    I stopped trying.

    Paul Sarno’s book “The Mind Body Syndrome” explained it as sub conscious behaviour – I didn’t fully subscribe to some of the theries but I because convinced there was nothing physically wrong with me as I had litereally exhausted every avenue of medical testing. The key to recovery was “resume normal activity”. And this is what I did – I worked through the pain – and I have to stress the pain was at times unbearable. I threw away all my specialist devices and software and just started using a computer as I had done previously. I fully “accepted” that there was nothing wrong with me and within a few months I was fully recovered.

    I know this is not strictly relevant but the parallels with my anxiety struggle are so striking that I thought it worth mentioning. It certainly gives me hope that one day I will be anxiety free!!

  98. H Says:

    Patrick, interesting post, think I am at a similar point to you i.e. doing everything I want to do, but still concious of the phantom of anxiety in the background, still having the odd wobble and bad day.
    The analogy you describes seems logical to me, you probably just lost interest in your RSI condition, take away the focus and the complaint lessened & faded. I believe the same is true of anxiety, the attention we give it, fuels it. For me personally I realised I was immersed in the whole anxiety/stress subject, audio books whilst driving, numerous websites, Googling, reading all manner of self help books etc… It was becoming a bit of an obsession, no wonder it was all I could think about! I now dip into this website every now & then, and only refer to Pauls book when having a bad day – and thats it. I found it left space for other things to creep in to my time, things which gradually interested me, and sometimes excited me. I now have times when I don’t think about anxiety at all.
    We have to gradually shift the focus from anxiety and how we are feeling, and let other things in. Yes at first doing other things may feel ‘hollow’ or strange, but it lays the foundation for gradual re-integration with life. We wouldn’t forgo a packet of crisps and expect to lose a stone! Yet with anxiety we expect instant results for every small step we take.
    As hard as it seems, please bear in mind there is nothing wrong with us, nothing to worry about – our bodies and minds are doing EXACTLY what they should UNDER THE CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES.

  99. Leslie Says:

    Hello all….after having a good weekend with few anxious thoughts/feelings (even when I did have them, I dealt with them well), I feel like I’m slightly back in my head again. It’s not the typical stuff that I’ve been dealing with though…..i.e. the thinking about anxiety in general or the constant monitoring how I feel or the occasional thought that I’ll “be like this forever”. My cause of worry right now is this…..I will be finished with work for the summer this Friday and will be off for about 6 weeks. Under normal circumstances I would be more than thrilled about this! However, given my current “situation”, I feel incredibly nervous about having all this time to myself with nothing to do. My husband will be at work all day. My parents live about an hour away. Sure I have friends that I can get together with, but I’ll still have plently of time to sit around and think and this terrifies me. At least when I’m at work, I have things to do and occasionally my mind will get engrossed in them. I definitely feel like I am making progress, but am almost disappointed in myself that I’m feeling nervous/worried again. Any advice on how to handle this would be so appreciated!

  100. Paul David Says:

    H this is very good advice below and something I do try and get across and realised myself, we want to know everything, we sometimes feel the need to keep searching, asking ourselves if we have missed anything, but we need the time outs to re-integrate. It is also the reason I also have time outs, otherwise the subject would just become me as so many people want your time and as the site has grown into some what of a monstor it is impossible to give at times.

    This is the particular part I like and encourage.

    For me personally I realised I was immersed in the whole anxiety/stress subject, audio books whilst driving, numerous websites, Googling, reading all manner of self help books etc… It was becoming a bit of an obsession, no wonder it was all I could think about! I now dip into this website every now & then, and only refer to Pauls book when having a bad day – and thats it. I found it left space for other things to creep in to my time, things which gradually interested me, and sometimes excited me. I now have times when I don’t think about anxiety at all.

    We have to gradually shift the focus from anxiety and how we are feeling, and let other things in. Yes at first doing other things may feel ‘hollow’ or strange, but it lays the foundation for gradual re-integration with life. We wouldn’t forgo a packet of crisps and expect to lose a stone! Yet with anxiety we expect instant results for every small step we take.
    As hard as it seems, please bear in mind there is nothing wrong with us, nothing to worry about – our bodies and minds are doing EXACTLY what they should UNDER THE CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES.

    Paul

  101. lorryt Says:

    hi h

    that seems quite true, and i think the more i post on here the more involved i get and the worse things get for me?. i post on here for help and advice and everyone is great, but i think i may need to step back again and let be, i am trying too ghard and not letting life take over. im sort of willing myself better, and when things dont go as well i panic, back on here. im fuelling it aren’t i really?. i need to step back and be strong .

  102. H Says:

    Hi Leslie, when I was suffering really bad a little while ago, my doctor signed me off work for a few weeks. I didn’t know how to feel about it, being at work was difficult, but I was scared of being at home on my own – I couldn’t identify why this scared me, but it did. On my first day off I rang an Anxiety helpline manned by volunteers. I spoke to a wonderful lady who listened to my story, and she gave me some simple advice – “your body is just reacting to stress, you have tired your mind trying to work out why your body is just doing it’s job. Take the time out, don’t feel guilty, be kind to yourself, use the time to recharge. Indulge yourself, take time to do things you enjoy, rest when you feel like it & try to eat well”. For me this was a defining moment, a penny dropped, there wasn’t anything actually wrong with me, it all made sense.
    It didn’t fix everything overnight, but I felt the hold on ‘myself’ loosen a little, the process wasn’t so complicated after all, but it does take time to reverse.
    Leslie, I am sure this is the same for you, keep occupied in a leisurely way, don’t frantically rush around, don’t plan things in advance – you may not feel like it on the day, and this will add more pressure. Do things that you usually enjoy, even if your heart is not in it.
    Remember your mind is worn out – thats all, remember how tired you got revising for an exam, well the subject has been ‘you’ continuously (imagine revising maths 24/7!).
    Leslie, things do get better, try to use the time as constructively as you can. Anxiety makes us anticipate things in an exagerrated way, that is what is happening here – it won’t be as bad as you expect. Being on your own is another wall to smash through.

  103. Patrick Davey Says:

    Hi H, yes good advice, I’ve kept away from the blog for a few weeks and just got on with things. Had some OK days and a few wobbles but overall not too bad. I no longer try to “stop” thinking about anxiety (that never worked), just let the thoughts be there, but still think about it all the time bar a few moments of peace! What I’ve noticed is that periods of High anxiety are much less frequent, it was every day a month ago, now it’s two a week and I no longer worry about it as much – just let them come if they want. Now I realise why – I’m teaching myself that these high anxiety thoughts are just rubbish and exaggerated so pay them much less heed. Still struggle and have a moment where I get bogged down with it all and the fear of being stuck is still there but I think it is fading gradually. The best advice so far for me is to do what I want when I want – I was trying to find activities that made me forget about being anxious – this just made me more anxious as I got frustrated. Now I think, so what if I feel anxious. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough and a struggle and there are times when I feel despair, but it passes.

    Still seem to be stuck in a patern though – feel anxious on way to work which builds, subsides after about an hour to a dull anxiety feeling which lasts most of the day – subsides a bit more by evening and I sleep fine, then the whole thing starts again !!

  104. Fiona Says:

    Hey Leslie, with holidays like that i’m thinking your a school teacher. I am also and yeah they can be a bit of a struggle when your anxious. Last year i was quite bad but still done everything as normal and tried to enjoy my holidays as i best i could. I’m looking forward to my holidays this year as i’ve made much more progress. The fact is you can enjoy your time off again but you must not feel self ptiy or annoyed if feel anxious just get on with your day and keep busy but dont dread being alone as this is an envitable part of life and my thinking and worrying about it your making something that is normal into an anxiuos situation xxx

  105. H Says:

    Patrick, right with you regarding the work pattern, my pattern is very very similar. I think work can be a very difficult place to be when suffering with anxiety. Early in my condition I felt very anxious at work, with frequent panic attacks, as such I built up an association, workplace = anxiety. At first I thought my work was to blame, but looking back I don’t think my work is particularly stressful, I just think work is an environment where I have to interact, require concentration, and ultimately cannot walk away from. If we feel anxious in a shop or pub for example, we do ultimately have the option to leave, unfortunately walking out of work is not an option! So it is hardly surprising that the time spent there is difficult to say the least. But I like everything else it will ease with time.

    Lorryt, it’s totally understandable that we sometimes gorge ourselves on the anxiety subject, at the end of the day it is probably one of the biggest things to affect our lives. Just stick to sensible info like this site and Pauls book, you really don’t need anything else. Over time you will have moments of clarity, and another penny will drop, trust me you don’t have to search for these pearls of understanding, they will find you (funnily enough often after a bad patch). You will find as you understand more & de-mystify the whole anxiety process, you will lose interest in anxiety and won’t feel the need to post as much. In the meantime you are amongst people who understand.

  106. Zoya Says:

    hey all
    i am also suffering from many symptoms as u all have mentioned , and the advises rae very good. But can anybody tell me that after things just started nearly 10 months ago and i really lost so much weight, and u know all my muscles from hands and thighs are also very very weak and does not feel any strechness. will this happen in anxiety, and its really hard to live this life. pls help me.

  107. lorryt Says:

    hi h

    luckily i have stuck to the site, and it has truly saved my skin . my trouble is i have a very inquisitive mind, and feel that the more i know the better, and sometimes i cant accept things as they are.Feel now its time to slow my mind down and just let things be, feel its been a bad habit for so long i just continue with it, which probably doesnt help me in the long run. understanding AND THIS SITE is a truly great thing

    have a great day allxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  108. Paul David Says:

    Patrick you say- I was trying to find activities that made me forget about being anxious – this just made me more anxious as I got frustrated. Now I think, so what if I feel anxious. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough and a struggle and there are times when I feel despair, but it passes.

    This is the wrong thing to do, while we do anything to ‘try’ to forget, we focus on it more, we hide away from how we are feeling, trying to force forgetfullness and get frustrated when it does not work. The main thing is to do all your normal living and not care if you think of anxiety or not, I don’t mean personally look for it, but it may hang around for a while through memory and that’s fine.

    It is like someone coming out of prison and trying to forget about their time there straight away, this would be impossible, it takes time for them to integrate back into normal living and its fine that thier time in prison pops up a lot at first, it has been them for so long, but in time their outside life will become them and they will only have fleeting moments when they remember their time inside. Well its exactly the same with anxiety. I can talk freely about it now and help as it’s not me anymore, I have so much else going on in my life.

    Paul

  109. H Says:

    Zoya, has your doctor diagnosed that you are suffering stress/anxiety? If so losing weight and general aches & pains is very common. I lost a lot of weight and can remember my scalp, legs, back, neck, arms & shoulders all aching – like they were bruised and tender. It’s nothing to worry about you are burning a lot of nervous energy – hence the weight loss. The aches & pains are from muscle tension – you may not be aware but chances are you are tense a lot of the time. Imagine walking around with your fist continually clenched, you would expect your hand and wrist muscles to ache. These things also have a drain on our energy levels, making us feel tired and lethargic. Things will ease gradually as you recover. Don’t try to research and tackle each and every symptom, just file them all under the heading ANXIETY, it eases the mental burden not focusing on several things at once, doing all the ‘what if’ thinking. Personally I found gentle excercise helped with the tension, yoga, walking, gardening, warm bath – even talking. As Paul says, do it for you and not with one eye on hoping to rid the anxiety.

  110. Leslie Says:

    Hi everyone…..and thanks for the replies H and Fiona! After being completey engrossed with the subject of anxiety for the past couple months, I’ve come to the conclusion that I definitely need a break. I agree with you Lorryt….even though this website and Paul’s book have been real lifesavers for me, I think at times I feel worse when I post and keep reading everything over and over. I have all the tools and knowledge I need….I just need to put everything to use and not come running back here when my mind starts taking off without me again! So I’m going to just start living and see how that goes! Thanks all!

  111. H Hancock Says:

    Hi everyone I have written on here a couple of times but have had no replies…. I am terrified of my feelings of unreality, I have read Pauls book and it helped a lot I just need to talk to someone who is experiencing the same feelings. I really need somebodies help just for a bit of reassurance. thank you so much x

  112. Paul David Says:

    Leslie that is the way, refer back to the book or this blog when you feel you need to, just don’t make it your crutch. We can far over do the subject when we immerse ourselves in it and as you say it starts bringing us down, it can become the first thing we think of when we wake and the last thing we think of at night. The infomation and knowledge you have gathered here and the book will never leave you, that will always be with you and will be priceless, but a break will help you to invite new things into your day, it will refresh the mind and give it a well needed break. This is something I also did, I just began to live and just dip into my knowledge when I needed it. You will find once you do take a break you may want to pop back here from time to time it wont feel like a chore and the information make take on a new meaning, sometimes we just feel so clogged up with it, we can’t act or see the information for what it is. This is also the reason I drip information through and take my time until posting again, I don’t want to bombard people with information, more just expand their knowledge gradually.

    It’s not about not educating yourself or running away from the subject, just moderating your intake, this also helps you take the information in and let other things into your life. Moderate to educate is the message.

    Teresa Candie is doing fine, she has just moved house and is very busy with decorating at the moment and not far off giving birth, so she wont be around as much for a while.

    Paul

  113. mike Says:

    h hancock sorry to hear youre not feeling too good at the minute but just remeber all you have is anxiety. the feelings of unreality are terrible at worst but have faith that you will come out of this. how long have you been feeling like this? i can reassure you that you will overcome this if you just take little steps and not rush feeling better.
    plus everybody on the blog all at different stages in recovery will help.
    just dont beat yourself up. take care

  114. Patrick Says:

    Hi Paul, thx for the reply – as you say this was the wrong thing to do and I realised this was getting me nowhere, in fact making things worse. I do feel liberated now that I am no longer looking for the quick fix / magic cure!

    Lesley / H – seems like you are in a similar place to me – the physical side of things are no longer as much of a problem – I just carry on regardless but it’s the mental side of things that linger on. I’m not fully there with acceptance and I still have the fear of never being free although I’m finding it easier to dismiss that notion, realising now that being anxious makes you think a load of crap basically!! I understand that living a normal life with normal activities is the key – we have just moved house and now have a 200ft garden which is great – I genuinely really look forward to getting out there, there’s so much to do and I am enjoying every aspect of it for me purely. I still find myself thinking about anxiety all the time though – if I wake in the night it’s there, while I’m gardening it’s there – I feel physically fine but the thoughts are there regardless just a constant rabble of chatter, not necessarily worrying thoughts or focusing on how I physically feel. I’ve read the posts on the focus being on me all the time but not sure I get this ? As I said, I tried previously to stop the thoughts by forcing myself to think about other things but this did not work ? Now I just accept that I can’t control it as such (is that right ?) Can anyone offer advice on this ?

  115. Teresa Says:

    Hi all
    I’ve been giving the blog a rest for a while for all the above reasons – those who remeber me will know I had a weddingi n Greece to go to and it was a worry as I had been bouncing from one set of symptoms to the next for a long time. I won’t go back into the history of it all, it so mirrors everyone else’s.
    The trip to Greece went far better than expected and even after night flights home I was still feeling ‘well’ – at present it’s really hard to believe that I felt so good. I’m really hitting the wall this week with symptoms I have not had for a while. My understanding is growing – and logically a lot of back chat is happening, but not enough to quieten the ‘you will never get out of this’ voice.

    Coming back to the blog has reassured me, I still feel awful but Mike DS’s ‘not being perfect’ post has really hit home. I know at the moment I can’t see clearly , infact I’m worse than I have been for so long and although I’m in despair, I’m not – because I feel it’s ok to feel like this, I hate it but – it’s still ok because it will move. The present is not a nice place to be – but the moment will move. I also feel reassured by Paul’s use the blog/book if need be just don’t use it as a crutch – I think I’ve been almost forcing non use.
    Thank you all, for putting me back on the path to recovery – we don’t need perfect – just a road to recovery and it takes people who have been there or are on it to drag us back on it when we lose our vision. cheers

  116. Teresa Says:

    By the way, anyone know how Candie is doing?

  117. lisa Says:

    teresa candie is fine, no baby yet, shes got her house and is busy stripping wall paper bless her..lol. will let you all no when she has him 😉

  118. Teresa Says:

    Thanks lisa, take it by that reply she’s expecting a boy! Sounds like she’s busy building a nest now. Happy days XXXXX

  119. trez Says:

    Hi everyone,havent been on in a wile as ive been doing pretty well most of the time.I was kind of curious does anyone get the feeling or fear that something is going to happen to them when ther in a setback,if that makes sense,its hard to explain,i back to analizing everything im doing and around me,sorry to bother people but when i get like this i dont no how to change it.x

  120. Hayley H Says:

    Hi Mike, thank you so much for replying it really helped. I have felt like this for nearly 3 months now and its so scary, sometimes I feel ok but then its like i get dragged back into this feeling of unreality, I am trying so hard not to fight it but sometimes its so frustrating in my head I cant help but feel like it will never go! I am having CBT therapy but at the moment I dont really feel it’s working, have you or anyone else on here found anything else to help this terrifying feeling? once again thank you so much for the reply any other help would be truly appreciated.
    Hayley xx

  121. mike Says:

    first of all patrick youre garden sounds like an ideal place to have our first anxiety no more blog barbecue my friend. patrick, just stop trying to do and this is the way to go my mate you are doing good.
    teresa, well done on youre recent trip i know you were dreading at one stage but see this victory as just the start of many victories with anxiety my love.
    hi trez, glad to hear youve been doing better. nothing is going to happen to you its just the anxiety trying its last ditch attempt to take you back down playing tricks on you as paul says BRUSH YOURSELF DOWN AND GET BACK UP!! or i think it goes something like that.
    hayley, one thing you need with anxiety is patience. this time last year i was signed off work and probably were you are now thinking this was me for ever. Face this thing head on and if you feel crap just say SO WHAT! i have anxiety but this isnt me for good. keep your chin up kid believe that this is only temporary.

  122. April Says:

    Hi All,

    I have a quick question about exercise. I am about 50% with my recovery, very slow progress, but progress nonetheless. Anyway, I am at the point now where I would like to exercise to lose weight, not just for my anxiety symptoms. It seems if I overdo it I feel horrible the next day. Is my body telling me to take it easy or is this something I should work through, exercise even if I feel terrible

    Thanks so much for any advice,
    April

  123. April Says:

    Hayley,

    You are not alone by any stretch. I just wanted to tell you that while applying what Paul says in his book and doing the CBT, it doesn’t ever feel like it is working in the moment, it takes time and lots of patience. I have been really applying my CBT and acceptance for a good solid month and it does work, you will see the progress as time goes by. When your mind tries to fool you with unreality talk, you have to ignore it all and do not feed into it by trying to figure it out. I got caught in that trap because I felt like if I didn’t I would lose all reality. But all it did was keep me in a bad circle which got me way deeper in unreality than I ever thought was possible. One day I decided to ignore all thoughts, feelings, sensations, ect, and it was very very hard to do, but I kept at it and am now it is like second nature and I am finally on the uphill. I’m not recovered yet, but I am on a much better path now. You will get there too, just remember acceptance and patience.

    April

  124. Kristy Says:

    I have been reading this site for the past month or so–this is my first post. I’m a relatively new sufferer–after a string of stressful incidents that happened rather quickly–I found myself suffering from anxiety about 3 months ago. I went through–what now sounds typical–3 doctors telling me I had “allergies” and that “everything was fine”–before finally one mentioned anxiety.

    I remember, before being diagnosed with anxiety, I forced myself to go get a carwash…just to get myself off the couch. And I was almost in tears because I just didn’t feel like a normal person. I went through the motions but did not feel like myself. And in those moments early on, that’s when I felt truly hopeless. Even worse, I felt so out of it that i was afraid to tell other people how i was feeling.

    After learning more about anxiety, many of my symptoms went away within a week–my appetite slowly came back, I was able to hang out with friends, etc…and instead of not telling anyone about anxiety, which was my first instinct, I told several close friends & it really felt like a weight had been lifted. We were even able to joke about it, which helped so much–not to take myself too seriously all the time.

    I suffered a setback about a month into this recovery, and that’s when I discovered this website–talking about the normality of a setback. I love the message of the website–go out and live your life! don’t avoid things…

    It has really hit home. For me, this is a culmination of years of stress, control issues, avoidance, fear–and recovering is actually leading me to a place that’s much healthier and happier than before. I’m not there yet, but I feel like I’m making choices in my life now that I never would’ve made without the anxiety feelings. I have made a point to try not to avoid or procrastinate activities like I once would. I put socializing at the top of my list (rather than at the bottom). I’ve truly discovered how spending time with others really can take you out of ruminating about yourself. I asked for a lighter work load–spoke up for myself…stopped pretending to be the worker that was perfect and could do anything/everything.

    I got out of a negative relationship–and am now in a much healthier place on my own.

    The symptoms of anxiety (besides a tightness in my throat, which occasionally returns, especially after a day of teaching!) have been gone for a month. I don’t worry much about if they will ever come back again, and that is mostly due to this website’s advice. If they do, so what?

    I’ve now realized that even BEFORE anxiety, it’s not like I woke up every morning jumping for joy out of bed at 6am! I now expect some days to be better than others, and just to get on with my day & make the choice to get on with it.

    I have always been a perfectionist, an over-achiever–and that’s how I wanted other people to see me…such a perfectionist, that I acted laid-back–so people would think it came easy to me. But I always knew on the inside I was often running on empty and consumed by “what ifs”.

    Anxiety forced me to slow down. It made each positive step forward (eating a meal!, laughing!, paying attention to someone else’s story!, exercising!) seem like a HUGE deal. I stopped caring about moving so quickly through everything, doing everything on the to-do list, finding ways of avoiding uncomfortable situations…in the last few months, I have become more “free” than I have felt in a long time.

    It does not mean that there is not sadness that comes along with some of these changes–or some worry. Leaving a relationship, not being a work-a-holic, being more social–not exactly the easiest moves to make. But I recognize that in the long run, they are HEALTHY moves to make–and for the first time, my own well-being has become a priority.

    I want to thank you for this website, which was very motivational for me to move through the uncomfortable moments–and in doing so, discovered they weren’t as horrible as I had thought. So I’m not “back to normal”–I’m learning I wasn’t very happy as my “normal” anyway–I’m going to be better than that. My priorities make more sense now. I hope I can come back in a month, six months, a year–and report back that anxiety was the stepping stone to a much more fulfilling life.

    Thanks for the posts!

  125. lorryt Says:

    hi all

    something occurred to me yesterday! as silly as it sounds, i have realised that i am the one making the thoughts real, i am listening to them and thinking if they are in my head they must be true. i have invested in the book by eckhart tolle , the power of now, . i wont go on as i said to myself i wouldnt post and would step back. just to be able to loose myself in what im doing would be a life for me at last !.

    have a good day allxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  126. Carol R Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I have not been on this wonderful site for a few months now as I have been coping well with my anxiety and have tried to stay away from anything to do with anxiety. I always have Pauls book to hand though, which I call my bible. I have been suffering with anxiety for 18 months now and gradually I am recovering. I still see a CBT therapist and am nearly off my meds. I still have horrible obsessive thoughts which most of the time I deal with and think they just come out of habit. Over the last few months, I really thought I had cracked it then out of the blue last week, I got the thought “why are we all here, what is the point?” Since then, I feel that the anxiety has returned. Not as bad, I might add, but i feel strange , with a bit of dp, nervous stomach etc. I know from Paul’s book that this can happen and I know it always feels worse when it comes on the back of a good spell, but I am so disappointed.
    Just wondered if anyone else has experienced this and how do I deal with the disappointment of thinking I had cracked it.?
    Any advice would be gratefully received.thanks. take care everyone.

    Carol R

  127. trez Says:

    Hi all,Trez here again,was wondering can anyone help me out here.As i was saying yesterday Ive had a few good weeks were i wasnt focused as much on anxiety,now this week i have seem to have went backwards,cant seem to figure out how its happened.My mood has dropped because of the way im feeling,Ive started to feel strange around my family and friends again.was wondering is this d.p.sorry for the mistakes as im not great on the PC.Thanks Trez please answer if anyone can.

  128. lorryt Says:

    hi carol

    at the same point as you, i keep getting the whats the point of it all thoughts. let em in and let em go, dont try and answer em or try nd figure it out, coz you will be here forever. dont be dissappointed, it shows you have made progress by having a good spell then having a bad one you will be bale to handle it better im sure, im with you on the thoughts side of it though, but im positive it will go .

    all teh best xxxxxxxxxx

  129. Carol R Says:

    Thanks Lorryt. It helps to know I am not alone.

    Trez. Try not to figure it out. I have had a few great weeks, but mine has returned this week. My mood has dropped too but I am just carrying on as normal with my life and not letting it beat me. I am positive it will subside once I give it no time or space. I know it is hard, really hard at times, but I just see this as a setback and look forward to the day I feel like I did last week as I know that day will come. Take care. x

  130. Teresa Says:

    Thanks Mike, yes I was dreading it – ( I have been loads of times and ‘coped’ but because this was my son’s wedding I wanted to more than cope) it all went very well and I know how important confidence and self belief are in this ‘condition’/habit. Thanks for the words of encouragement – it helps build the courage. I am now training myself to accept ‘not perfect’ – cheers.

  131. H Says:

    Great post Kristy, I too feel that the pain may be worth the gain in the long run, but it is a rocky road! Having a bad couple of days at moment, but sure they will pass.

  132. trez Says:

    Thanks Mike and Carol R,its great to have people to chat to when were going through these bad patches.This time last year i was in pieces,i never thought i would be were i am to day in recovery,now that i relalize do happen i will just let them.i still carry a fear on the d.p,thats why i think it keeps happening.is this possible?

  133. Diana Says:

    I had my first lesson in recovery of sorts. I am still waiting for Paul’s book to arrive in the mail. I am in the third week of this particular anxiety episode. But from the information I got here, I have had a few good days. Today was a challenge. I had to go shopping for some fixtures which for me is very high anxiety right now because it is related to finances. But it had to be done and so I went, had dreadful thoughts and anxiety and just kept letting the thoughts pass through me. I actually enjoyed a few minutes of the ride and forgot the anxiety. While shopping I kept focused on the task at hand, had a few moments of panic but kept breathing. I got home feeling, well, exhausted but that I had managed to do something that one week ago was unfathomable to me. I did get a massive headache afterwards and had a little dp but I laid down for about ten minutes, took a couple of asprin and I am feeling like myself now. Tired, but myself. I am starting to get the knack of letting the thoughts be there, I think.

  134. Diana Says:

    Kristy, such a wonderful post, so much good in there. This place is a God-send, I wish everyone here who is suffering and everyone here who is recovering a peaceful night’s sleep tonight!

  135. louise Says:

    Hi everyone,well i havent posted in a while,i was getting fed up with constantly thinking/reading/writing about anxiety,i found this blog of massive help but i reached a point a couple of weeks back where i felt i had all the tools for recovery and had to get on with living,Ive been doing really well,looking back at myself 6/7 months ago i honestly cant believe how far ive come,i dont want to tempt fate but im starting to believe that i coulndnt go back to where i was at xmas lastyear,i remember sitting with my cbt therapist on th 23rd december,trying to explain how id been feeling for years,i described myself as a weirdo and burst into tears,i was crying out for help,felt like i was living in hell,my relationship with my husband,children,friends and family was suffering terribly and at one point i even thought maybe i would be better off dead,i felt i had no future,fear was ruling my life and i felt trapped.Not anymore,yes i still suffer from anxiety,yes fear takes hold at times too,but nowere near how it used to.I found this site shortly after my first cbt session and felt like my prayers had been answererd,i was diagnosed with anxiety {social phobia}and paul could explain away ALL my symptoms,i knew after reading pauls book that i was going “mad”and for the first time in 10 yrs i had HOPE.It has took a few months for all pauls advice to sink in,but now that the penny has dropped im moving towards recovery,acceptance comes easily now and i no longer question every thought/feeling,i no longer have questions or feel the need to work things out,i take the good days with the bad and even see the bad days as a a chance to practise accepting,seeing fear through and desensitizing my nerves.Fear in social situations was one of biggest problems,its still there but not as strong,i move towards this fear now as i know 100% that this is the only way to full recovery.Im becoming more comfortable in my own skin,suffering anxiety has taught me that life is too short and i no longer want to watse a minute of it living in fear.My relationship is stronger than ever and i hide nothing from my partner,who has been a great help.I didnt believe id ever recover from anxiety i thought that was me,deal with it,but ive seem myself anxiety free,ive seem myself rattling with nerves and i know that i Can cope no matter what,anxiety is no longer the big monster i thought it was,its unpleasant but with knowledge,facing and accepting we can all recover,im going on holiday in 2wks time and i cant wait,i couldnt have said that this time lastyear,anxiety has LOST its power over me and im well om my road to being free….Thanx again paul for your book and all your advice,speak soon xxxx

  136. louise Says:

    LOL meant to write knew i WASNT going mad-huge gulf!!!!!!!!!!Oh god maybe thats a sign!!!!!xxxxx

  137. Hayley H Says:

    Thank you so much Mike and April for replying to my posts, I will truely try to except this feeling and try and ignore it. I find it so scary that anxiety can do this to you! I have always been a slight worrier but I never thought I would be doing myself this much damage!
    It is such a relief to hear you both say that this feeling will go as I find this hard to believe from anyone else that doesnt no exactly what were going through. I can not thank you enough for replying even a simple bit of reassurance makes me feel so much better.
    I have enjoyed reading through this site and feeling more confident that im not alone and we will get over this xxxxxx

  138. brian Says:

    Hey everyone, I am still having a lot of trouble. I don’t know if anyone remembers any of my posts, but every time I talk about how I used to understand this website so well for about 5 months, really to the point where I almost felt recovered. Then, I don’t really know what happened. I thought I knew how to deal with setbacks but I felt really bad one night and completely lost faith. It has almost been a year since then, and I don’t think I have been accepting the right way for 1 second during this past year. As you can imagine, I have tried every single thing imaginable – taking breaks from this website, re reading everything over again, I read Will Beswick’s book and Eckhart Tolle’s, but none of it makes any difference. It’s like I have lost the ability to accept. Now I spend every day just thinking about ways to look at this website and acceptance, trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. I really feel more like I did before I ever found this website, when I just spent all day in my head trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I have been doing normal things too, working and going out pretty regularly with friends, but I don’t think it’s making any difference. I mean I did normal stuff for years while suffering anxiety and it only got worse, so there’s more to accepting than just going about your day, right?
    I have posted stuff like this before and everyone has been very nice and given me great advice, but I just have no clue how to follow it. I don’t know what’s happened to me – all I know is that I had the 5 greatest months of my life when I first found this website, but have completely lost touch with that during the past year.
    I have a lot of moments where I suddenly think I have it figured out, but it never lasts. This website used to give me so much confidence, peace, and faith during times when I felt bad, but I have lost all that. It’s hard to not get frustrated now when I read over this website or Paul’s book, and I’m just not sure what to do. I would love anyone’s thoughts on this. Thanks everyone.

  139. sally Says:

    Hi there guys,

    To CANDIE,
    wondering since you have so much good advice for everyone on here, if you could maybe make me understand or relate to a feeling that i really hate.
    my main symptom is Dp, and its strangeness it causes me, to the point that i feel i can’t think stright, be me etc etc…. Now, onto my question
    . I feel so disconected and out of touch with my self and family and friends, but what disturbs me, is sometimes, when i feel worse, if someone calls me, or visits, whether it be my mum or dad or anyone, its like i just don’t want to talk, and i feel VERY strange and detached, like i don’t want anything to do with them, and i try to get off the phone asap…if they ask about my children, i feel so emotionless, i feel weird, like i don’t want to talk about them, (well i know because of the lack of emotion). This really really bothers me, did you experience this, and why is it i do that? Its like i turn into this cold person, irritable person…….i hope i have explained it right…. However, when i am feeling a bit more connected, its easier to talk(only a few occasions). the other night, i felt more in touch with me, and was able to fee say 70% here! but the last few days have been down. i notice i start ruminating and my mind is stuck on me trying to figure things out….should i let that just happen??? In the last month i have had fleeting moments of it lifting a little, which is better than before, which hopefully indicates i am slowly getting there. Its just when i start trying ti figure things out, i find i can’t stop and i noticing i try and make things right in my mind, if you know what i mean….hard not to do.
    Thanks so much
    Sally..

  140. Leslie Says:

    Hi all….I’ve tried taking a few days away from the blog and things haven’t been going so great! I also stopped taking my Lexapro on Wednesday. I had been on it for about a month and a half or so and decided it wasn’t doing anything for me…..if anything it was a constant reminder of the anxiety. So I gradually weened myself off over the past 2 weeks. I was/am actually really excited to be off it, but then on Wednesday I got this sudden thought that I felt depressed and my mood instantly sank! I think I was doing really well over the past couple weeks….some ups and downs but generally ok. Then it seems this week has been a little rougher. I just get so confused. And question after question after question pops into my head…..such as how do I know if I’m doing well? How do I know if I’m in a setback? Am I really even anxious? And then of course I manage to get myself flustered. The thing that gets to me the most is the feeling/thought that keeps popping up…..it’s been there off and on over the past 3 months since my anxiety began. I find it really hard to even put into words….but it’s almost a feeling/thought that I have to be anxious. When I start to almost feel normal it will come back and shout “no you’re in an anxiety pit and you HAVE to feel this way!!” It’s like I’m not supposed to be getting on with my day….I’m supposed to be sitting around paying attention to that feeling/thought. It’s just such an awful scary feeling that grabs me and won’t let go. And it bothers me more because I find the feeling/thought hard to even explain. So then I start trying to understand it and figure out what it is that’s causing me to feel like that. I probably sound so confused right now….but that’s how I feel! So I need some advice…..when my mind starts with the endless questions throughout the day and the awful feelings come…..I’m just supposed to ignore them even if they’re demanding my attention and I feel like I can’t get on with my day??? It’s just so hard sometimes. I know I make everything worse because I often feel so confused and feel like I don’t know how I feel or I don’t know if I’m anxious. I guess the very thought that I’m questioning whether I’m anxious or not means I’m anxious right? This site and Paul’s book have really been such a huge help to me. Sometimes the advice is just so hard to put into practice. I feel like I question everything. For instance, when I read someones post and they talk about how much progress they’ve made and they feel like they’re 50% better, I get so confused because I feel like I’m unable to assess my own progress. I feel like I’m not sure if I’ve made progress and couldn’t begin to put a percentage on how far I am into recovery. Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. I just feel kind of lost at the moment.

  141. Leslie Says:

    One thing I forgot to add…..as I read people’s posts about what they feel remains with their anxiety….whether it’s just that they think about anxiety 24/7 or they have a feeling of apprehension that lingers over their head…..then I start trying to figure out what remains with me. So one day it will be like “ok….all thats left is that I’m thinking about me a lot”…..or the next day it will be “ok….I’m thinking about my anxiety and thats all thats left”…..it’s just so weird. I guess I need to not worry about what’s there and what’s not but it just feels near impossible at times.

  142. trez Says:

    Hi Sally i can totally relate were your coming from.Im at that stage again around family,friends and also my kids.its not a nice feeling!I just start questioning everything again,is it d.p,its hard to take in when you get a setback like this,i also get fear that im a stranger in my own body at times,does anyone now if this is down to d.p?I have been like this 24/7 these last few days.

  143. Stephen Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Been doing quiet good laterly. the good periods are getting bigger and more frequent. feeling a little grey the last two days but it doesnt really bother me, just kinda like ‘what ever, do what you want’ I get no physical symptoms and have more moments when i feel at peace with myself and by looking back can see how much i have learnt so far.

    However i do have a question and although i am accepting this symptom of anxiety just thought id clarify it. during a grey period is it normal to not know whether u feel down or anxious, like its a mixture of both or u just feel weird/off? Scarlet i remember you saying something like this ages ago me thinks, but not too sure. its funny how a single thought can alter the way you feel.

    Ive also learnt how benifical cutting the thought off is, Like if i had a scary thought like “what if i hurt myself, or others” and you feel that shock/dispair/sinking feeling that knocks you for six i just allow it to be there with out adding on the secondary thought and my mind goes onto something new, and the anxiety is almost gone. Sure i feel the instant anxiety and feel terrible for a moment but i look at it as im at a split road – let it go and move on or question it until we feel worse.

    Kashawn you advice is also really good, i myself began to suffer shortly after you in May 08. oh and Hi shirley D, how are you? good to see you poping in!

    Stephen

  144. trez Says:

    Hi Leslie,dont worry about the thought/feeling thing i myself cant seem to work it out,i think that is most of my problem now,trying to work it out.The feeling has been with me for a while now,it annoys me so much. I can tell you from experience that it does subside.I have had some great days were ive had none of these symptoms,but when i get a setback i get really frustrated with myself and start wondering how did i get back into all this thinking/feeling 24/7 and think all my symptoms are 100 times worse.x excuse the spellings.

  145. Diana Says:

    About safety behaviors (the american spelling :) I am wondering how far one should go. I had my experience last week with shopping and getting thru it. I noticed the next day I felt like I had a bit of a setback in the am, still exhausted from doing the shopping. Today I had to shop again, again letting the thoughts come and go, focusing on the task at hand, and came home and meditated. I felt awful till I got done with the meditation, then I felt better. Both shopping experiences were pushing my limits for now and were definitely against my internal anxiety safety meter. I lived thru both, but is it always wise to push?

    I have just started meditating a few days ago, 2 -10 minute segments a day with the help of a course available for free online. I am amazed what has come out in these short segments. At the end, there is a meditative song for enabling gratitude. I have been getting the strongest visualizations at this part, things and events and people I have rarely or ever thought about from my life. Each time I am left in a shudder of tears and each time, and full of endorphins which relax me. I am going to continue this, of course, and see where it takes me. I have a feeling that anxiety has a lot to do with repressed feelings and emotions, and meditations clears the mind so that these things can start to surface.

  146. Candie Says:

    Hi Sally

    I’v not had a big experience with depersonalisation, i had a few days here and there but nothing lasting… just what a normal tired person would get when anxious too. However i did spend months trapped in my own mind,always thinking about me and my anxiety. There is nothing you can do to make this go away, any effort to concentrate on any remedy to rid any symptom of anxiety will only leave you focused on it more… and we all know what the mind can do if we focus and fear something, it tends to cause feelings of that particular fear and symptom. The best thing you can do is allow the attention to be on you and get comfortable with it been that way.. when you can submit to anxiety and the ofshoots of it, thats when it will go away as you learn not to fear it. To be honest the best advice on DP will be in Pauls book, he suffered really bad with it and his advice is the same concept throughout the book.. but the DP chapter may put your mind at rest to learn not to fear it.

  147. JR Says:

    Hi all hope recovery is going well for everyone…i’m struggling and lost at the moment. I had been feeling pretty well for a few weeks to month, up and down days as usual but overall feeling more like myself and attached to the world…it felt like I just had one or two things that needed to be worked out before I almost 100%. Then in a matter of about a week, I have gone straight downward. Today, I feel like nothing has changed over the past year or so that I’ve gotten the hang of accepting. I know not to panic about this setback or to think to much of it, but my mind keeps telling me that something is wrong, that this won’t work, and that all the hard work I’ve put into recovery was all for nothing.

    Now I’m left doubting myself, questioning everything, I truely feel like my heart has been ripped out and I don’t know where to start putting the pieces back together. What should I do? I was cruising along knowing what I really loved in life, knowing and feeling what life is truely about, sort of putting my life together so to speak. I do still know I have moved forward, the DP has gotten so much weaker, and I feel like I don’t fear it anymore. I do “feel” things now. I always say that my recovery has followed the same road that I feel into the condition. By that I mean I as I have gotten better I can remember feeling the same way years ago as my anxiety was getting worse, almost like walking back up a stairway where each stair represents a feeling or phase of my anxiety. Before I was walking down and now I’m walking up.

    But now, I’m lost, not hopeless because deep down I trust Paul’s book 100%. I know it will get me better. I just need to know what to do now. My mind tells me that I know what to do and there is no need to re-read the book or go back. Then it seems that when I hit a hard place in recovery I really have to let go and re-read and I learn that I had been doing the wrong things again.

    Hope some of this makes sense. This setback is the worst yet. I feel like I truely back at square one when I bought the book or even before that. I think I maybe analyzing things to much or maybe I being to hard on myself.

  148. Kashawn Says:

    JR,

    I feel your pain and understand you fully. Your in a setback and the Anxiety show has gotten your full attention. You have the knowledge, you have the tools, its a matter of time and patience to reach full recovery.

    Im at a stage in my recovery where I have many moments of normality and then have sudden anxiety storms that get pretty bad making me feel strange, disorientated, out of it etc…..You see im near full recovery and still have these anxiety setback; but I changed my attitude, and stay focused on whatever im doing

    -THAT FOCUS, that task, that environment I lose myself in by focusing the best I can is the reason why I am near full recovery.

    You see, a setback as you described throws off the anxiety suffer, then we end up paying the Anxiety show alot of respect by questioning and fighting and thus it lingers around all day.

    Just know you have the knowlege and be confident that this knowledge provided by Paul will pull you through to recovery. Anxiety goes away by continued living and focusing on outward things with the attitude of “if I feel great or awful that is ok, I will continue to keep my attention and focus on outward things and live normal”

    -This “attention on outward things” is a very intrinsic concept; you understand it as you do it more and more, your mind teaches you to adopt as you move towards your anxiety symptoms and live on doing normal tasks.

    Hope that helps and keep your head up

    Kashawn

  149. Helz Belz Says:

    wonderful post Paul, this is a problem that’s been mulling in the back of my head for a while, but in a way i’ve been ignoring it, and saying it was ok. mine are mostly surrounding social situations, and wanting to avoid people and be on my own a lot. The other aspects of anxiety are now starting to slip away and bother me much less, and the other week i did some art that actually gave me a very small feeling of satisfaction (for the first time in about a year!) and that felt great. but at work (and a lesser extent at home) i’ve been starting to fall into these safety behaviours, and hadn’t really realised it (or at least not admitted it to myself). Mostly i seem to just try and avoid people (my work involves a lot of being in my office on my own).

    i have done some of the ‘going towards’ things, and can now go for tea break in my department without too much fear-feeling and can talk to some people much easier than a few weeks ago.

    I can see now that i still have that feeling when i am talking to someone that my feelings are telling me ‘this feels bad, they’re looking at you, run away’ (and that slight sense of relief when the situation is over) even though deep down i really just want to be easy around people and chat to all the people at work! I’ll be honest, the thought of going to tea break when the room is full of people, or having long chats with people fills me with fear and dread, but i realise now that i have to face the feelings of ‘fear and running and avoiding’ to get back on track.

    thank you very much Paul for your post!

    Pink days all! H -x-

  150. Diana Says:

    helz belz just want to congratulate you on doing art again. That is a stupendous achievement!

  151. Paul David Says:

    Helz that’s great, just the fact that you acknowledge that you do have a few safety behaviours and that you want to try to change, is the first step. I can honestly say your story was pretty similar to mine and two points I want to make is 1. At first it does feel odd and weird when first doing something we may have avoided in the past, but that’s totally fine, don’t shrink from these feelings, feel everything. Secondly things are never as bad as our sub concious has us believe. I found the more I did, the easier things got and my confidence began to grow and grow. We begin to teach our body a new lesson and new behaviours and that is that there is nothing to fear in these places, to feel peace we have to feel a bit of fear at times, which is just a little adrenalin, it really is nothing to fear or run away from. You begin to deal with yourself and not a situation, this broadens your horizans so much, as it does not matter where we find ourselves, we always know we will be fine. Just don’t expect or demand things to go perfect, however you feel is totally fine.

    Paul

  152. Hayley H Says:

    Hi Sally,
    I have exactly the same feelings with the DP and I cant completely realte to how depressing and terrifying it is. As I have read in Paul’s book the best thing to do is allow it to be there just get on with your day with it there, this is you for now but not forever…. that quote really helped me as sometimes I have fleeting moments where I feel ok but then it comes back and I can feel myself fighting it in my head! I know exactly what you mean by the speaking to people thing, I feel it intensifies when I speak to people but I think thats because my focus is all on me when I talk and because it feels so weird I panic. does that make sense?? doe you have other anxeity symptoms or just this?? I only have DP xx

  153. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Sally/Hayley,

    I had terrible DP for a long time. I think I wrote something a while back about my experience. Anyway I became so frightened of it that it appeared as soon as I awoke and lasted the whole day until I went to bed. I used to wake up and ‘will it ‘to be there, and hey presto! it was. For the best part of a year I walked around with DP, and felt I was living in a dream like state, functioning on auto-pilot. I remember the feeling so well, my body was there but I felt like I was a ghost walking amongst the living… absolutely emotionless.

    It’s only when I started to live a more ‘outward’ existance that it started to disappear gradually. As I mentioned before, i hadn’t come across Paul or this site, so I muddled my way through in the first year or so, but deep down I knew that I had to continue with normal daily activities regardless of how I felt, something inside me told me that… and this is what I did.

    Please re-read all Pauls info on DP, as he is the DP guru ;-), he explains everything better than me. But above all do not be afraid of it, as it is the result of a tired mind due to all the constant analysing, nothing more… it is not something that will damage you, on the contrary DP is protecting you, giving your brain a rest… so let it be there, and carry on living alongside it until it fades away, which it will, it’s a passing phase.

    Hi Helz Belz,

    Great to hear that you’ve gotten back to your artwork again. You are well on the way to full recovery, just a few niggly things to iron out 😉 . Like Paul says, do not avoid social situations/other situations where you feel anxious, let yourself be uncomfortable, and put yourself in as many uncomfortable situations as you can, sooner you do, sooner you’ll feel less anxious.. Gret to hear you are doing so well, and would love to see one of your pictures.

  154. Leslie Says:

    Hi all, I posted this question a few days ago but it’s still bothering me soooo much. i just feel so confused. I’ve felt down the past few days. Again I weened myself off Lexapro and have been off since Wednesday. Have others experienced feeling a lot worse when first coming off meds?? Anyway, on with my current question. I have this constant feeling/thought in my mind that I’m supposed to feel down/anxious and that it’s impossible to feel any other way. It’s like I’m not supposed to do anything to get my mind off it…..it’s supposed to be there. I just dont understand how to dimiss this one as nonsense when it’s almost like I’m teeling myself I can’t be better?? Do you see what I mean. Can anyone possibly relate?? I swear I feel crazy then my mind just goes into overdrive. I would relaly really appreciate anyones advice.

  155. Scarlet Says:

    Leslie it doesn’t metter what the thought is (and yes I’ve had thoughts like this), it’s an intrusive thought and should be tackled the same way as all intrusive thoughts (ie cut off the thought as it enters, and do not feel the need to analyse it any further). Tell yourself so what if you are supposed to feel like this, and there’s no other way, you’ll carry on regardless anyway.. Don’t give thoughts like this an anxious emotion, brush them off and carry on with your normal everyday activities.

  156. Nikki Says:

    HI all.I have a question for scarlett or anyone recovered.I have been feeling much better of late and more normal although i still have anxious thoughts, i dont have cosistent anxious thoughts just random irrational thoughts will pop in and i am aware they stem from my anxious condition so i just ignore them and they dont develop into anything.The thoughts i did have, the ones that bothered me early on seem to still linger for example early on i didnt like being in the house on my own and i used to dread monday coming when everyone was back at work and school and i would be on my own.This doesnt bother me now but my thoughts still seem to be saying its monday tomorrow how do you feel about that? i dont care actually and take no notice.I am having a bit of a set back today they come around about every seven days or so and then the nerves will kick for a couple of days then il be normal again.My question is when you have recovered does all this stop the irrational thoughts and odd ideas or is it a case of learning how to live with it.This is something that confuses me i would hope that i return to pre anxiety me with more of a chilled attitude is this right?

  157. Nikki Says:

    Just to say some days i am ‘completely’normal i dont think about anxiety or even feel as if i can relate to the feelings that i am feeling very strongly today.Its almost as if some days I have never suffered and cant remember how it felt and it seems such an unreal situation to have been in almost as if i dreamed the whole anxiety episode ever happened,so i know at some point in the future i wont feel the nerves i am feeling now its just the thoughts that linger.Life still doesnt feel completely the same as it was i am more aware of things sometimes just sitting watching telly or walking from one room to another il see my furniture in the room normally you just walk past and not notice it its almost as if you are in someone elses house and you see things you wouldnt normally see.I really look at the room and can notice the small details that normally are passed by.Does this make sense? Does this also fade in time? it doesnt bother me i know its a symptom of anxiety and ignore it.I would just like to know if these sort of things pass along with the feelings because i know my feelings will change as the adrenalin dies down but as the rest is memory and habitual does that also fade when the adrenalin goes away or is that something that can linger?Sorry for so many questions im not concerned about these things they dont worry me i just accept they are there I think really all i want to know is when we recover is it completely back to how we were before anxiety set in as i have never suffered with anxiety before this episode i had just basically taken too much and had a breakdown it isnt anything to do with social anxiety or phobias because even during my worst days i didnt have any phobias its always been about how i feel not what i do I would just like to know if the felling fade the nerves settle and the old me is back albeit a bit pennywise to living with too much stress.

  158. Scarlet Says:

    My question is when you have recovered does all this stop the irrational thoughts and odd ideas or is it a case of learning how to live with it.This is something that confuses me i would hope that i return to pre anxiety me with more of a chilled attitude is this right?

    Hi Nikki,

    The irrational thoughts become infrequent then stop altogther, and yes the life you had before anxiety returns. I don’t really have any intrusive thoughts to be honest nowadays. Might get the odd one ‘very, very’ occasionally but I have no fear of thoughts at all, so they generally don’t enter my mind. I also used to worry about being alone at one time as well, but I am alone all the time now, so don’t need to remind myself.

  159. Scarlet Says:

    “Life still doesnt feel completely the same as it was i am more aware of things sometimes just sitting watching telly or walking from one room to another il see my furniture in the room normally you just walk past and not notice it its almost as if you are in someone elses house and you see things you wouldnt normally see.I really look at the room and can notice the small details that normally are passed by.Does this make sense? Does this also fade in time?”

    Yes Nikki, all this analysing of detail disappears as well. It’s a habit that dies down as you recover…

  160. Nikki Says:

    Thanks scarlett I just needed someone who kows to confirm what i had already told myself a thousand times and i know you were plagued by the irrational thoughts more than anyone, i suppose as you work your way along until completely recovered there will always be something that stands out as an anxiety symptom that will be questioned as long as i know ALL of these odd blipps will disappear at some point then i am able to get on with things.Although i cant believe how much progress i have made since detatching myself from the subject.I would also like to say that although i have said i am having a bad nerves day about 8weeks ago this would have been a good day so i know i am getting better .Thanks again scarlett :-)

  161. Stephen Says:

    Hi Scarlet,

    Struggling with my thoughts and feeling down the last two days. Although i know its a set back and is expected. Now that im on uni holidays and have 1.5 months off it has left me to start to question things like “what am i going to do” “what is my purpose now im not at uni” etc And it has left me feeling really down and anxious for the last two days. I know its just the process but never the less has left me feeling abit useless and get thoes silly thoughts about how whats the point when you feel like this. I just still fear being depressed abit so when i get these thoughts they still have an impact. Did you feel this way? and does these feelings go when we are recovered? I know i feel helpless and down at the moment but it will pass like all the other setbacks have. Its funny how we worry about all these things but always end up that 90% of them never become problems and if they do, they are so minor we manage them anyway.

    Just a little worried and confused atm, however i think its normal to have bad setbacks until the end? It still baffles me how one positive thought can make you feel good and that you will fully recover only to be followed by another one that makes you feel hopeless. This is normal to i hope…?
    Hope everyone is having a good week.

    Nikki – like scarlet said having the odd irrational thought is human nature, everyone gets them. i have often talked to my friends about them who get them too about really stupid and bizzare things and they just laughed at them when they told me, where as i would of questioned them and gotten myself into a tizz. lol, Everyone has them, and i remember having the odd one well before my anxiety and just thinking “haha that was random” and that was it, it never bothered me at all.

    Stephen

  162. trez Says:

    Hi everyone,just wondering can anyone help me to understand this feeling that im having.Im really struggling with it this last week.Its as if im a stranger in my own body which is leaving me struggling with things,it seems ti be there 24/7,can this lead to analizing everything and everyone,for example if im with friends,family or whatever im doing im questioning it all,ive been through every symptom of anxiety in the last 17 months which has been really tough but this part i cant seem to grasp.Thanks Trez.xx

  163. JR Says:

    Kashawn thanks for putting things into perspective. Being more outward is the way forward. Recently I just haven’t been really pushing to hard towards recovery. I kind of slid back into old safety habits and old ways of thinking over the past few months. I was feeling somewhat better and just thought that I would cruise into being fully recovered. With this setback brings all types of thoughts and feelings – sometimes I feel like I did before anxiety, not fully but just a glimpse, and 30 seconds later I feel like I at the pits of anxiety again, I had this sense of self as I call it and now it’s gone again, but if I try to feel it I can, but it just doesn’t come natural. I can’t help but think I did something wrong that I didn’t re-read enough or that I got overconfident, and this is my punishment.

    I guess I could sum things up by saying that I know I’ve moved forward, but I don’t feel it. I’m just scared right now and need some support. I just don’t know where I’m at on the anxiety recovery road and it’s a little frighting cause I don’t know what’s ahead. I want to move forward, but right now I’m kind of scared to be fully better.

    Also, I think I may be putting too much pressure on myself as I start to feel better. I think “I’m feeling great, now I want to do this, or I should be making more money I need to change jobs because now I’m feeling better, not sure my career choice is what I want to do with my life so I need to go back to school, or work harder, etc.” This seems to overwhelm me; maybe I’m just wanting too much to soon. But I think that if I didn’t have anxiety for all these years I would be living my dreams and so I want to start as soon as possible.

  164. Hayley H Says:

    Thank you Scarlet for replying to my post, I will re-read Pauls book as I feel it started my road to recovery in the first place. Just a quick question to you or anyone that can answer… I feel like my DP has got better over the last 3 months but im scared im just getting used to it and not actually getting rid of it if you know what I mean? Also I feel like im getting close to feeling better but I just cant seem to get there like I cant get over the last couple of hurdles. Also although im no longer as frightened anymore I still find myself thinking about my DP and also thinking about how I feel when im speaking to people, does anyone have any good tips to try and completly ignore this feelng? Thank you so much everyone for your help so far xxx

  165. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Hayley,

    “I feel like my DP has got better over the last 3 months but im scared im just getting used to it and not actually getting rid of it if you know what I mean?”

    Getting used to it is just fine, it’s part of the process of getting rid. When you can learn to live with it and not worry about it being there, it will gradually dissipate. Just don’t feel the need to analyse it any further.

    ___________

    Stephen,

    Felling as you do is to be expected, you will get used things when you have had a few weeks of your hol. Take this opportunity to catch up on all the things you weren’t able to do whilst you were studying, join a gym, meet up with friends, book a holiday, travel around Oz. Don’t worry about being depressed. I was diagnosed with clinical depression as well as anxiety, and as my anxiety disappeared so did my depression, by doing more ‘outward’ things, getting out and about with other folks, outdoor activities… you’ll soon have no need to worry about these things. When you are suffering (even near the end), life changes always have more of an impact, and a break from uni is one of those changes… don’t give it any thought, just get on with living. It wil pass

    ____________

    Hi Trez

    “just wondering can anyone help me to understand this feeling that im having.Im really struggling with it this last week.Its as if im a stranger in my own body which is leaving me struggling with things,it seems ti be there 24/7,can this lead to analizing everything and everyone,for example if im with friends,family or whatever im doing im questioning it all,ive been through every symptom of anxiety in the last 17 months which has been really tough but this part i cant seem to grasp”

    Sounds like a bit of DP to me, which can be on and off (albeit in a milder form near the end). It’s perfectly normal when suffering anxiety and leaves you feeling the need to analyse more, but try not to it you can and it will disappear. As mentioned to Stephen/Hayley above, get out and about and involve yourself in day to day living and live alongside it for the time being. I felt a strangeness right up until the end, so it’s very normal to feel this way.

  166. sally Says:

    Hi guys,
    thanks so much for all the replies…….
    I am feeling a bit lost at the moment. I just need to be redirected a bit. Does Dp cause you to feel as though nothing matters and you are just walking around almost a feeling of depression. Its like i have to will myself to keep going….And as if at any moment, you will lose control or snap and become a looney, that is isolated from the world and doesn’t care. Accompanied by a feeling that you just don’t want to be with anyone, but deep down i feel like i am trying to hold on to myself…..I can’t even explain it. I know it will pass, its just when its stronger, its horrid.
    Thanks all
    Sally

  167. sally Says:

    Also, does anyone get times that if they are with someone, example yesterday i had to drive my sister and my brother somewhere, and because the strangeness was strong i was already uncomfortable, but hen i get these feelings or urges almost like i am gonna snap or go crazy or do something mad at them. We were joking around and my brother was teasing me about a random topic, and i felt sooo strange and almost like i was gonna snap or something, very very weird and uncomfortable. Of course i never have, but the feelings get so strong. Can someone explain where these reactions and feeligns come from. Is it anxiety?
    thanks

  168. Candie Says:

    Yes sally that is just anxiety, its you fight or flight playing up which causes your mind to be in a state of do nothing or fight how you feel- the fight or flight is to protect us but tends to scare us more at times as it can make us feel like we are going to lose control… Scarlet can probably tell you she had the same sensation, i know i have lots of times too- its fear and imagination coming up with the worst scenario and your mind tricking your body and preparing for the worst to happen…. daft thing is it never does! You need to dismiss the feeling as rubbish and not dwell, its not nice but not forever and when the anxiety goes the feeling to fight or flight will too.

    As Scalet has said she still has the odd strange thought, but that is perfectly acceptable and normal… the only thing not normal is our over reaction at times not the content of our thinking as when it comes to the imagination anything goes!

  169. trez Says:

    Thanks Scarlet for the reply,its hard to believe all these odd feelings with anxiety,i guess im well on my way to recovery,it is just when im doing so well and then all of a sudden i get a setback that i feel that everything gets a 100 times worse.I will just accept them as setbacks and as a few people have said the imagination leaves you feeling that the worst is going to happen.yesterday was a better day so everyone we will get there.thanks trez.xxxx

  170. Paul David Says:

    Hayley you say: Thank you Scarlet for replying to my post, I will re-read Pauls book as I feel it started my road to recovery in the first place. Just a quick question to you or anyone that can answer… I feel like my DP has got better over the last 3 months but im scared im just getting used to it and not actually getting rid of it if you know what I mean?

    Hayley it does not matter if your are getting used to your D.P, that is a great way to lose it in the long run as you are no longer scared of it or paying it loads of respect and attention. Again never try and rid yourself of something, as you will end up fighting with yourself once again, which never works, just pay it no mind and live your life, this is far more productive. The D.P will leave in its own time, mainly when it feels it is no longer needed, it is your body’s way of protecting you from all the worry and deep thinking, so it shuts your emotions down and you feel like a walking shell. The trouble is we may then worry about this new feeling, hence we fall deeper, so do the opposite, let it be there, pay it no mind and just live each day and with no worry or deep thinking there is no need for your body to protect you anymore and the symptoms lessen and you also become more outward. All this can all creep up on you, so again don’t demand anything or try and rid yourself of it. I went swimming with the feeling there, cycling and walking with the feeling there, never once bothering, it was part of me for the time being and that was fine, I stopped trying to do something about it and month by month I would notice a change, some very clear moments, sometimes I would feel back to square one but it would soon lift again, I never once tried to rush anything or question it and that’s the main reason my D.P left me, I spent years doing the opposite and just fell deeper and deeper into the condition.

    Paul

  171. miranda Says:

    hi david, a just bought and downloaded your book and found it very comforting and useful.
    im sort of stuck at the moment and keep crying , having feelings off doom and wats the point.
    ive had anxiety fo 9 years on and off but it was manageable but since i had my first son 18 month ago my life has turned upside down.
    for the first 6 days i constantly was crying and people was telling me it was the baby blues but then on the 7 day my husband went out to wet the babys head and i had to phone him to come home as a felt this horrid feeling off dread and that something bad was going to happen.i couldnt understand wat was happening as im happily married and we planned to have a baby which took over a year and a half to have him. it started to spirral out off control a was having intrusive thoughts about harming my baby and i am acctually crying at the moment as a type this. i was also having feelings off not been able to cope, constantly thinkin about the future and feeling phisically sick to my stomouch and couldnt eat or sleep , my mind was racing everyday from the moment a woke up untill i went to bed. everyday a would wake and it would start all over again, it was that bad i wanted to end my life but at the same time a was thinkin my son needed me but then again the responsibilitie off it all was gettin too much and the overwhelming feelings off dread was takin over. things was slowlly gettin better then a found out a was pregnant again and it wasnt excatly planned. we discused havin an aborsion which is very upsettin to type and talk about but a couldnt go through with it , it made me phsically sick. so a had to come off my tablets which a was put on after havin my first son, a had a lot off ups and downs thoughts of suacide and dread but was tryin to keep going. now a have my other son and the first couple off days were fine but then it all has started again, i havent had the intrusive thoughts sometimes maybe sumthing will pop up but touch wood im able to ignore it and get on with things but the feelings off dread and cant cope are very overwhelimg, having thoughts off wanting to end my life which is very upsetting. all i want is to enjoy my sons and be a good mum and get on with my day. am always questioning why a feel like this and wats the point . its like a have nothing to look forward too. ive always been a worrier but its spirriling out off control.. a start thinkin about the boys growing up and going to school etc and feel sik to my stomouch thinkin a cant do this, this is too much and its making me not well. a try to accept theses thoughts and feelings and get on with my day but my mind is tired. its like its going up and down . i just want to get on with my day not thinking through my day just be relaxed and take things as they come and not worry and get anxious over next year or tomorow, can you please , please give me some advise and will theses feeling ever go away?
    i no in your book you say dont do anything and dont fight as it doesnt work but its been going on for that long a missed alot off things when my first son was borin as there was so much going on in my head and its hard not tho fight and try and relax when all a want to do is enjoy my life and my sons.
    see before when i had these feelings off dread just say like if i was going to go on holiday and had to get on the plain a would feel anxious and dread but i knew in a couple off hours a would be off and everything would be better. but this is differnet as a have my sons for life i dont want to worry and get anxious everyday and feel this phsically sick way and in 16 years time wonder were the time went and miss all the good things as i have this mental battle in my head.
    a hope i am makin sence, any advice would be most aprrecaited thankyou.xxx

  172. Stephen Says:

    Thanks for the reply Scarlet : )

    I think feeling down just scared me into panic mode lol, but its all in the process and to be expected. When you randomly felt down during your recovery did you just accepted it like being anxious, and continued doing outward things? I find that if i take this approach its not that much of an issue. I’ll be fine, then get the thought of how im feeling/do i feel down and then i usually get a rush of anxiety and feel down. So i think that sounds like very typical anxiety about how i feel, i hope lol.

    ahh it will pass like everything else does, i know it will. Thanks again though, people like you, paul and shirely who have recovered give us all hope that it will be us oneday soon.

    Stephen

  173. Chris Says:

    @ Paul David

    I would like to thank you for your book, as it has helped me and made things more clear about anxiety, because nobody, including doctors have given me a proper explanation for the symptoms.

    I’m trying to understand to not fight it and let it be there regardless of what you doing, yet there is one symptom that still bothers me even though I try to tell myself its not harmfull and just bad nerves that will heal over time like you mentioned.

    It is the constant tingling like, creepy crawly burning sensations in both legs that is most noticible when I’m sitting down or lying down. I have had this for over 2 years now every day since the anxiety started. I guess I have not accepted it, as some days I forget its there but other days I notice it more or that the feeling is stronger.

    Did you have this feeling Paul?

    Regards

    Chris

  174. Leslie Says:

    Thanks for the reply Scarlet. I have one more question. Does anyone else feel like they have a difficlt time assessing their own progress? Others around me always tell me what a difference they see, but sometimes I’m not so sure. I always see people posting on here that they’re about 50% or 60% with their recovery. I couldn’t begin to tell anyone how far along I am. Then I actually start gettng nervous and anxious and being overanalzing because I feel like I don’t know how much progress I’ve made. Therefore, how will I even know I’m getting better?? Honestly it’s like one thing after another with me. One day I’ll have a really positive attitude and not really care whats going on much with the anxiety but then the next day I’ll wake up telling myself I feel down. It’s almost as if I don’t want to feel normal or something…it’s so weird. This has been part of me for the past 3 months and I almost have it in my head that I can’t feel normal or something. I feel like I’m in a slight setback now (but then of course I’ll just start questioning everything…..like what is a setback??!). Looking back over the past month, I can see now that I had many many hours where I felt normal, but at the time I didn’t recognize them as such….it was like no no I have anxiety….I’m not having a great day. It just confuses me why I have trouble recognzing when I’m feeling great at the time. Can anyone relate to that whatsoever??

  175. Candie Says:

    Leslie you dont really need to assess your progress, with recovery its so slow and hardly noticable as the new habits form over time so its hard to really appreciate and recognise any big differance- unless setback comes then u think god i used to be like this everyday!

    Stephen, you fear feelings down dont you? so what does the anxious mind do when we fear something… look for the feelings, analyse and then create them! Its deffo an anxiety issue and not a depression one you have, your anxiety over not been comfortable with feeling low and thinking its not acceptable is what brings the feelings to the surface. If i was to sit for half an hour and worry about been depressed i could quite easily make myself feel crap and low, but you need to see that its acceptable to feel flat mood and even depressed at times, that is not depression… depression is a clinical state and what you describe is self enflicted anxiety thinking causing your change in mood. You need to accept its ok to feel states of low mood and depression at times and acknowledge they arn’t permanant and are part of been human- anxiety can often lead to us thinking the worst in everything and that includes assuming the low mood is forever which prolongs it and makes us distressed!

  176. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Miranda,

    Welcome to the blog. What you described in your post was exactly how | felt 3 years ago, and I am fully recovered now (have been for over a year).

    ” since i had my first son 18 month ago my life has turned upside down.
    for the first 6 days i constantly was crying and people was telling me it was the baby blues but then on the 7 day my husband went out to wet the babys head and i had to phone him to come home as a felt this horrid feeling off dread and that something bad was going to happen.i couldnt understand wat was happening as im happily married and we planned to have a baby which took over a year and a half to have him. ”

    This is exactly how my anxiety started, only for me it was when I was 6 months pregnant, due to pregnancy complications. I had an absolute feeling of dread, but instead of letting the feeling pass, I started to analyse why I felt this way and got myself into a loop of over-analysing which led to obsessive thinking and the start of my anxiety.

    “it started to spirral out off control a was having intrusive thoughts about harming my baby and i am acctually crying at the moment as a type this. i was also having feelings off not been able to cope, constantly thinkin about the future and feeling phisically sick to my stomouch and couldnt eat or sleep , my mind was racing everyday from the moment a woke up untill i went to bed. everyday a would wake and it would start all over again, it was that bad i wanted to end my life but at the same time a was thinkin my son needed me but then again the responsibilitie off it all was gettin too much and the overwhelming feelings off dread was takin over. ”

    Again exactly how I felt, thoughts about harming my baby, not eating or sleeping, constant intrusive thoughts about not being able to cope, about going crazy, wishing I was dead. Basically everything you wrote was how I felt with the birth of my second son.

    “please give me some advise and will theses feeling ever go away?”

    Yes the feelings will go away Miranda. What you must do is carry on regardless of how you feel. You will NOT harm your children, these are thoughts NOT actions. Do not avoid doing normal everyday activities with your children, do not avoid anything that an average mum would do with her kids, just do everything alongside your thoughts for the time being. Do not pass any motherly duties to your husband/mother/sister because you are afraid something might happen in an irrational moment, this will prolong your anxiety. So even if you get the thoughts of wanting to die (you don’t actually, you want to live so very much, just not feeling the way you do), or that you may harm your children, brush these thoughts off, try not to analyse them and carry on with your normal day to day living. If you feel uncomfortable doing something, do more of it, you must face your fears to recover… and recover you will. If you need to ask any more questions please do, you are not alone.
    x

  177. Leslie Says:

    Can someone please give me a good understanding of what acceptance is. I just feel so confused.

  178. Leslie Says:

    I guess my problem is….I feel like I do carry on. I do pretty much everything a normal person does.

  179. miranda Says:

    thanks scarlet for your reply:D
    all i want in life is to be happy and enjoy my sons growing up. when i am anxiety free for a moment i love my life but it seems to keep comin and going evryday then it makes me confussed and over shadows evrything. i used to goggle away and think i was going crazy and that i had all sorts wrong with me but since comin over this site and buying pauls book i just keep refering back to that and trying to stay positive but sometimes my head is in overdrive and i end up breakin down in tears.
    sometimes a think a will have to move in with my parents like its a safe gaurd untill it passes but at the sametime that makes me anxiuos too as its like a cant cope, hate feeling trapped in my mind.
    And another thing i hate how am always thinkin too far ahead in the future as it makes me ill with dread and sick too my stomouch.
    xxx

  180. Brent Says:

    Just wanted to say that this website probably saved my life. A year ago, out of the blue I began suffering from DP. I didn’t even realize until much later that I was even stressed. I basically went from feeling a bit anxious at times to a full blown dream like state in a day. I panicked and called my wife from work, and had her make me a doctors appointment for that afternoon. Long story short I had an M.R.I. and an E.E.G. and was told everything was fine, and I just needed to take it easy. This was not the advice I was looking for. As those who have suffered from DP can attest I was completely bewildered, and thought that I must be going crazy. This terrifying feeling consumed me for almost every waking moment until I stumbled upon this site two months later. I bought Paul’s book and almost cried with joy when I read that the DP was a symptom and not some incurable mental disorder. This began my road to recovery.
    Now just a bit more than a year after my breakdown I can honestly say that I am 100% recovered. During the first several months of following Paul’s blog I found it difficult to be satisfied with my progress. I felt instantly better after reading Paul’s book, but then kind of got stuck. I followed all of Paul’s advice, but as we all are different, the one thing that stuck with me was to “fake it”. Even if I didn’t believe I was accepting properly, not fighting properly, or just not letting things go properly. I just faked it. I told myself that even if I didn’t really always believe in what I was telling myself (these feelings won’t last, etc.) that if I just kept going along with how I felt I would eventually believe what I was saying.
    I think i kept getting hung up on trying to match up my symptoms with what everyone else was saying. I eventually later realized I had a couple other symptoms of anxiety, but the overwhelming feelings associated with DP was basically my only concern. Soon the DP was less intense, although it remained for quite some time. While the DP wasn’t strong it really made me feel quite depressed because in the back of my mind it was hard to shake the feeling that this may last forever. I CAN ASSURE YOU IT WILL NOT.
    Anyway it has been about two months since I checked in on the site, and just really felt the urge today to finally get back on and share my story. Thanks so much to Scarlett and Paul, for giving me the knowledge to fully recover.

  181. Bob W. Says:

    G’day everyone,
    Just a few words.
    I came across Paul’s blogsite yesterday. It’s terrific!!!
    I live in Sydney, Australia and have had DP 24/7 for 35 years.
    Nothing helped until I typed in ‘depersonalization’ 2 years ago and thankfully clicked on the ‘Anxiety No More’ website.
    Finally I had some knowledge and understanding of why I was feeling this way and why the DP had continued for so long.
    Though the DP is still there, there have been some very noticeable improvements in a number of areas of my life since I obtained a copy of Paul’s book. I know that I’m on the right track and am seeking to put his advice into practice every day.
    I’m trying not to put any time limit on my recovery. Having had DP for so long it’s likely to take some time to remove or replace the countless detrimental, negative and fearful thoughts stored up in my subconscious.
    I just take one day at a time and am grateful for every improvement I see.

    Wishing everyone with this ‘affliction’ all the very best.
    If we keep on keeping on doing what P.D. says regarding our DP I’m sure we’ll all eventually recover.
    Bob W.

    P.S. I have a 3 page email Paul that I sent to a 20 year old man in northern Australia early this year. He has had a number of anxiety symptoms (including some DP) since the age of 12. His parents purchased a copy of your book late last year for him but he had read very little of it when I spoke to his father and mother 3 months later.
    I sent my email in the hope that it might motivate him to read the book and follow your suggestions. He still hasn’t read my email and says that he’s had enough of reading books, taking pills and seeing doctors.
    I could send you a copy of that email if you wish. At the end there is a list of the improvements I’ve seen along the way that have encouraged me to keep going and not to give up.

  182. Scarlet Says:

    Miranda,

    “sometimes a think a will have to move in with my parents like its a safe gaurd untill it passes but at the sametime that makes me anxiuos too as its like a cant cope, hate feeling trapped in my mind”.

    It’s always nice to have a bit of extra help, but if you were an independent person before your anxiety, my advice would be don’t go and live with your parents if at all possible… work through it yourself with a little bit of help from them as and when you need it. I made the mistake of having my SIL stay with me and help me out for the first 3 months when my baby was born, and she literally took over, which gave me no purpose, and made me more insecure and depressed, and I became afraid that I would never be able to cope on my own if she left. I literally became dependent on her. The best thing I did, although I was extremely afraid and doubting my own ability, was tell her to go home, and I took control back, but it was extremely difficult as I had constant intrusive thoughts and could barely function at times. I realise now I should have just muddled through from the start and built up my confidence and not involved SIL, but then hindsight is 20/20 ;-). So do get help from your parents by all means, but don’t let them take over,and don’t get too dependent on them, as this will prolong your anxiety, as you really need to face your fears to recover and not look to others as a crutch.

    Your confience is at an all time ebb and you feel like you are not in control Miranda, but you are. You must carry on as best you can and know that these thoughts will not be with you forever. You mentioned you are having periods where you feel back to normal. Even if they are short-lived this shows that you are on the road to recovery, and as you continue to live your life, you will have more of these moments. I thought I would never recover, that I would always be walking around like a zombie living inside my own head, that I would never be able to take care of my kids, and would always need support, but here I am 3 years to the day absolutely fully recovered, and basically living on my own as my husband works all hours, 7 days a week and I have no family where I am. You can be in this position as well. My advice to you would be to scout through this blog for some excellent advice and information , that will help you along the way(especially the obsessive thoughts entries), and know that it is within you to recover as well, and yes you will lead a normal life enjoying your kids, it’s just gonna take a bit of time to get there.

  183. Teresa Says:

    Hi Everyone
    I’ve been having a read and re read of the posts here as I’ve been hitting a few blips/rough patches – I wouldn’t call them set back as I haven’t gone into despair.
    The symptom which is my least acceptable is that I seem to get bouts of sleep problems when I wake having snatched or bitten the edge of my tongue – as Candie knows I’ve been told it’s anxiety. I have just gone back into this phase – I’m better than i have been and not hitting the floor emotionally when I do it. And what I wanted to ask was – as I am not reacting hugely to it, although I am disappointed and a little back to thinking ‘what if this never goes away’ – I am not being ‘over the top’ – is this something to be pleased about, does it mean that I am starting to accept it. On reading Candie’s post saying that recovery is slow moving and happens very gradually, I am hoping that I am indeed recovering – even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

    I feel a bit of a cheat coming back, as if i have failed to kepp the momnetum going – but just needed some response to keep my spirit in the right direction.

  184. lisa Says:

    miranda welcome to the blog, please read n believe scarlets replys to you everything she writes to you is so true, shes a wonderful person and has helped others just like yourself. bob w, what a lovely post it shows others you can get through it well done 😉 stephen, candie is right about the low mood, i was really low yest i truly was, but i allowed myself to feel low, no fighting is going to change it , it only puts your mood further low so i allowed my self to feel it, allowed it to pass in its own time and it did, i feel great this morning so thank you paul and candie, it did help me reading over posts when i felt stuck thanks guys ;-). teresa you are recovering but your watching yourself, analysing to see if your recovering, just notice each positive and dont look to be recovered. your not a cheat, you havent failed, its habit thats all from your thinking, let the negative pass and put the positive in. wheres the sun gone???its so damp n miserable and we had big thunder storms on tuesday, come on summer i say!!!..lol

  185. Patrick Says:

    Hi all,

    Leslie, I too struggle with acceptance and monitoring my “progress”. My wife tells me I am a lot better than I was but I still feel anxious to some extent 24 / 7. OK, it’s pretty mild / moderate, doesn’t stop me doing anything but it’s there none the less, it wears off “almost” by the end of the day, but the next day is exactly the same!! I “think” I have made progress but not 100% sure. I’m not having as many irrational “anxiety” thoughts as such – but my mind is constantly engaged in it’s own anxiety related conversation – thinking about things I’ve read / posts I’ve made, conversations I’ve had etc. I am also finding I can physically relax a lot better – up until a month ago I used to dread lunchtime at work as I would sit anxiously for an hour! Now I do what I used to do which is drive down the road into the countryside and either read my book or relax for an hour. I can let go for an hour and although the anxiety is still there, I feel good because I have not let it stop me doing what I want to do. And since finding this blog, I do feel relieved and liberated that I am no longer searching for the magic cure / quick fix.

    People say to let other things in – ie, resume normal activity and eventually thoughts will creep in other than anxiety based, and eventually anxiety thoughts will stop altogether. I can understand this if your anxiety has made you give up activities, but I haven’t ever done this. I think there are a few other people on the blog (Lesley and H maybe) that maybe this puzzles them too ? I know I can’t stop the thoughts as such – trying is futile but I kind of feel this is holding me back now. I know I shouldn’t analyse as such, but I do feel this is key for me personally, but I don’t understand in my situation how this is going to happen! It is almost like I am holding onto this habit of constantly thinking / focusing – on the odd occasion I catch myself thinking of something else 100% – it’s like as soon as I realise, I scramble back to focusing on anxiety! Must think about it all the time!! Must Must!

    I am coping much better on a day to day basis, no longer trying to feel better, and have even been doing some self CBT to identify and correct the thought patterns that got me here – I know exactly what got me here so I actually don’t want to get back to the person I was! I am aiming for a better / stronger person that I know I can be. I appreciate it will take time and it’s going to be up and down and I am fine with that – there’s no rush for me.

  186. Patrick Says:

    In reply to Chris, I too have creepy burning sensations in both legs. I think the best advice is to not identify each symptom – I have a few symptoms that come and go – what I found is that as you learn to accept the symptoms do go – I barely have any physical sensations (mainly dull anxiety 24/ 7 ) now but the creepy burning sensations has been there this week. To be honest it was not until I saw your post that I thought – oh yes, I’ve that too this week but that’s about the only attention I gave it! Also, personally I have recently realised that not every symptom is anxiety related – a while ago everytime I felt odd, I assumed it was anxiety related, but nobody feels 100% all the time – my wife sometimes has the same symptoms as I do, in fact quite often – she puts it down to the fact we’ve been gardening for 12 hours solid, whereas I assumed it was anxiety.

  187. Paul David Says:

    Brent and Bob thank you for your post. One of the problems is that there is so little info on D.P out there and as it was by far my biggest problem at the time I wanted to cover it as much as I could. There is no quick fix and it can linger for a while, but there is a way to come through and I am glad you found the info in the book and on here helpful. It has been an good day for good news, as I had two emails this morning very similar to yours saying that they are now fully recovered, which is great news. The site and book was set up to truly help people and we have a great bunch on this blog that add so much.

    Bob, Its hard to make anyone read something when they feel so, so low and it really is his choice. I remember after my own 20th visit to the doctor and getting nowhere, how I nearly gave up, but I refused to, this was not going to be me for the rest of my life. I hope he finds that strength, but it has to really come from him.

    Paul

  188. miranda Says:

    thanks scarlet …
    i have been indapendent since i was 17 thats when a got my first flat and now im 27 never looked back, it all started with panick attacks then turned in2 a mental thing in my head…
    a used to love watchin horrers but cant watch them anymore get overly anxious. but this kind off anxiety was managable and would come and go.
    a do beleave everything you have said and tryin to keep positive, just want that gut sick feeling in the pit off my stomouch to go away and the feeling off dread and cant cope to dissapear and stop worrying.
    today is acctually been an ok day but still have the dread feeling lingering, its like a will think off the kids going to school and nusery then a will think off xmas and birthdays and it goes on and on and its like dread, the responsiblitie want to run away it shouldnt be like that.
    i will keep comin on here and refering to pauls book. thanks very much for your advice:D
    xx

  189. Candie Says:

    Hi Patrick

    Its good you realise that a lot of what we feel and think is normal and just because where not feelin at our best it doesnt mean its part of anxiety. A lot of anxiety is caused by people over reacting to very normal thoughts and feelings, been spaced out from tiredness… we panic and think its an anxiety thing, we think something silly and assume it has meaning and cant let it go. Thats why acceptance works, as no matter what the symptom at some level of everyday life it is normal- so when you allow you shift focus and can accept and move on without over reacting and distressing yourself.

  190. katie Says:

    Hi miranda,welcome to blog! alot of wot you have said i can relate to.my daughter is now 2,and i have had the intrusive thoughts, about harming her.came from one thought that spiralled out of control into lots of different harming thoughts when my anxiety started in october.however advise from here,pauls book,speaking to members on here, i am now nearly recovered!i still have the harming thoughts occasionally, but i aint afraid of them anymore,as they can be so daft and ridiculous i just have the ‘whatever’attitude and then not dwell on the thought and you become no longer afraid of them.i just see them coming as habit now that will fade eventually-when,i have no idea, but hey, so what i say!i too,am now pregnant with my 2nd child,and i am so excited.i was a little anxious to begin with,but i now realise that iv coped all along with this anxiety and the thoughts with my daughter so if i still have it by the time my 2nd baby is born, i will know how to handle it. and miranda, you will too if you follow the advise from her.it really is so true and helpful as it makes you realise you aint on your own out there,there are others who have suffered the same as you and are recovered/almost recovered and you will too!!! i even relate to watching the horror movies,i used to avoid them at first with the anxiety, i avoided listening to the news-anything basically that was bad,that could create a negative and then turn the negative around on myself, but it has all gone now.news,horrors etc-even knives! no longer bother me and i promise you too will be like this if you dont dwell on the thoughts, let them pass and see them for the rubbish they are!even if they create the horrible feeling in your stomach,dont dwell on that either,just let it be and it too will pass.xxxx

  191. Scarlet Says:

    HI Miranda,

    “i have been indapendent since i was 17 thats when a got my first flat and now im 27 never looked back, it all started with panick attacks then turned in2 a mental thing in my head”

    In this case you really don’t need to move in with your parents, you can overcome this. By all means have a bit of help here and there, but do the bulk of the work with your kids alone. You need to spend as much time as you can with them (especially your baby) alone to build up your confidence as a mother. The thoughts diminish as you establish a routine and continue to live normally. At the moment you are fearful of the thoughts which is generating more of the same, as soon as you can learn to brush them off as rubbish and not feel the need to analyse them, they diminish. It take practice, but you will eventually grasp the concept.

    “a used to love watchin horrers but cant watch them anymore get overly anxious. ”

    I was the same, loved horror/thrillers and when I was suffering was very afraid to watch them, I did watch them on occasions but gave myself nightmares and more thoughts. I remember watching Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis a couple of times before my anxiety and was never afraid, but was afraid to watch it whilst suffering. Of course now I am recovered I’m back to watching everything again and ‘alone’ most of the time as well… I have watched Sixth Sense a few times since without being anxious in the least, and A beautiful Mind (OK not horror, but I was still afraid of it since it was about a guy with schizophrenia). I have recorded the Blair Witch Project which I may watch by myself tonight, I hear it is real scary… So there’s nothing I’m afraid of now, except perhaps Bungee Jumping. I even got rid of my fear of spiders whilst recovering from anxiety, so the principles on Pauls site can also apply to phobias as well. When you are rfecovered you will be able to wtch anything without relating it to your anxiety.

    “just want that gut sick feeling in the pit off my stomouch to go away and the feeling off dread and cant cope to dissapear and stop worrying.”

    It will disappear, the way that you are reacting emotionally to situations/thoughts that you fear have become a habit that’s all. It will pass.

    “today is acctually been an ok day but still have the dread feeling lingering, its like a will think off the kids going to school and nusery then a will think off xmas and birthdays and it goes on and on and its like dread, the responsiblitie want to run away it shouldnt be like that.”

    I know it’s hard but try not to dwell on thoughts like this that you know are going to make you anxious. When a thought of this nature enters your mind, chose to not to analyse it any further, brush it off as irrational and don’t give it any emotion… then carry on with what you are doing. I can vouch 100% that this method works with practice.

  192. Diana Says:

    Such touching, poignant posts here. Miranda, Scarlet is giving you such heart felt advice and I hope that it helps you to keep moving and putting one foot in front of the other and living your life.

    I am pushing every day to stay away from my safety behaviors and it is helping. Something interesting happened today. I went into my pottery for the first time since this thing hit me. I have dreaded even walking in the door until a few days ago, when I forced myself to do it. Today I took clay in the hand for the first time in what seems like a lifetime, but is only maybe three months. It did not make me anxious to do so.

    I felt tired afterwards. I feel tired now. But my heart rate is normal and although I have some of that crawling burning sensation on my arms and neck, I am ok.

    I do have a question. My stomach acid level has increased dramatically in the last two weeks, an after effect of what has happened. Is this another sign of anxiety or is it something i should have checked out? It is a reflux problem, and burns when I lay down. Thank you.

  193. miranda Says:

    thanks scarlet..
    a never let anyone take over with my kids i always get on with wat i have to do like bathing and takin them to toddlers and stuff. i remember after my first son when the intrusive thoughts were really bad my husband would go to work and i would go to my parentsas i didnt feel safe in my house but a i never let them take over as a was afraid that i wouldnt want my son and that terrified me ,so even though this was going on a still did everything a mother should do. i must say it is nothing like the first time as a couldnt eat or sleep as my mind was in overdrive. its reasuring to come on here and read other peoples storys so you no your not alone.
    xxxx

  194. Patrick Says:

    Thanks Candie, I’ve learned a lot but still feel “stuck” at the moment. Paul’s comment about his “symptoms had subsided massively but the focus was still on me” resonates with me at the moment as I feel this is the stage I am at and have been for a while. I get on with my daily tasks etc but I am still aware 24/7 of this cloud of anxiety. Certain things have improved massivley like the ability to relax and irrational thoughts have all but gone completely but I don’t really follow how this 24/7 anxiety focus is going to lift ?? Does this resonate with anyone else ?? How do I let go completely ??

  195. Diana Says:

    you are so not alone miranda. today i am having a setback, tons of anxiety from the minute I woke. Had guests here at the B&B, so I just kept moving thru breakfast and now they have parted so it is time for me to do something else — If I stop I will crawl into bed — no safety behaviors allowed today. Anything — cleaning the rooms sweeping, hanging laundry. Time to keep busy and let the anxiety flow thru me and float away. I am taking Katie’s advice and giving the anxiety the so-what treatment. The intrusive thoughts and accompanying phsical symptoms are tiring. I need to “think again”. Peace to all of you.

  196. Paul David Says:

    Sorry Chris I have just seen this post, I don’t always have the time to read through with how busy it gets on here these days.

    @ Paul David

    I would like to thank you for your book, as it has helped me and made things more clear about anxiety, because nobody, including doctors have given me a proper explanation for the symptoms.

    I’m trying to understand to not fight it and let it be there regardless of what you doing, yet there is one symptom that still bothers me even though I try to tell myself its not harmfull and just bad nerves that will heal over time like you mentioned.

    It is the constant tingling like, creepy crawly burning sensations in both legs that is most noticible when I’m sitting down or lying down. I have had this for over 2 years now every day since the anxiety started. I guess I have not accepted it, as some days I forget its there but other days I notice it more or that the feeling is stronger.

    Did you have this feeling Paul?

    Regards

    Chris

    Chris I did have this sensation yes and it is adrenalin on sensitised nerves that causes it, it is again nothing to worry about. I had many symptoms, this tingling, ringing ears, blurred vision, anxious thoughts, the list went on really and I found if I seperated and focused on them they seem to heighten. So I put them all under the umbrella of anxiety and lived with them there, I did not have to like how I felt and I certainly did not, but it was time to leave them alone and live with them there, this made a massive difference in the long run, without the fuel of fear and worry they weakened in time. Don’t watch or demand progress, this is very important, just say ‘O.k from now on I am not going to let how I feel take up my day’. You can’t force anything away with anxiety, your great power though is to allow.

    Also I do see quite a few post that I would like to address, but I have decided to make this my next post as a lot of people do seem to be impatient and are working on each symptom like an individual problem and not a collective one. This I will cover in my next post.

    Paul

  197. David A Says:

    Hi there.

    Many thanks for your book Paul. I finished reading it just yesterday, but I have been reading small bits over time, so lot’s of things have sunk in some time ago.

    I’m not going to go into any major details, as I could write a book of my experiences, and also like you say, it’s very busy on here… The big difference I’ve found now is the knowledge. Understanding has had a big impact on how I perceive things. I was able to relate to so much in your book, but there’s something which is still bothering me, bothering me a lot. In my opinion, to make the final move and feel free, I believe I have to be able to put all my symptons under the one hat: anxiety. However, my biggest problem is one that doesn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere. Or, it might be, but I just don’t realise it.

    The problem I’ve got is that I feel as if i’ve lost myself. I think it all started when I felt so anxious one time, I actually felt like I separated from my body. The experience was so intense, it scared me a lot. I’ve since had a couple more of these “episodes”? but they only lasted a matter of seconds. Anyway… Is it anxiety that gives me this feeling of not knowing who I am? I’ll be cleaning my teeth in the morning, looking in the mirror and sometimes thinking stupid stuff like: Who’s this person then? I’ll just watch him clean his teeth… In my heart of hearts, I know none of it is true, but it’s like something which is constantly trying to convince me otherwise.

    The other thing that bothers me is feeling or sensations I often get when I’m outside. I sometimes get visual sensations which remind me of when i was a lot younger. It’s like a feeling of weirdness, and sometimes it can be very overwhelming. When I’m feeling good, everything seems normal, but if I’m feeling low, and it can swing very quickly, these feelings come forward. They never last long though…

    I think if I can just shake all this stuff off as anxiety and not me losing the plot, I’ll find it much easier to let go. I just want to be able to stop, think, look into myslef and not feel totally lost.

  198. Brent Says:

    Patrick

    What you are describing is exactly how I felt in the last few months before I recovered. I felt as though I had made tons of progress, but then I just seemed to remain in a holding pattern. It seemed as if everything was kind of grey. I didn’t really have any more acute symptoms of anxiety I just felt like as you say, “In a cloud.” At times it was hard not to question if I was doing everything right, but you just have to keep telling yourself that this inward thinking will pass. This stage of my anxiety seemed to last the longest, but the good thing was it was the last stage for me. I began to see that my thoughts didn’t change, only my reactions to them changed. Over time you will see that your mind and body just seem to react less and less to your thoughts all on their own. I can promise you that if you just trust in the fact that your constant dwelling on anxiety and how you feel will pass with time, (even if you don’t truly believe that right now) your reaction to this cloudy feeling will change on its own. I was terrified for almost a year that even though I did everything I always did before I had anxiety I would still suffer from some form of this grey/hazy feeling for the rest of my life. Well a bit more than a year later I can tell you that I am finally recovered.

  199. Paul David Says:

    David your fine you are just feeling mild depersonalisation/Derealisation which is covered in a full chapter in the book, this is just a stressed induced symptom and the reason you may feel it when you are not feeling great, it is just your bodys way of protecting you from anxious thinking or worry and is nothing to worry about, the less respect you give it the easier things will become. Try to avoid fighting or worrying about the sensation, don’t feel the need to figure it all out, just let it be there if it wishes and it will pass in time.

    People who don’t suffer with anxiety can also feel this mildly, when they are run down or through lack of sleep.

    Paul

  200. Diana Says:

    Paul’s book arrived today and I made time to get thru a part of it. Everything keeps coming home again and again to the same basic points. Today I have had a royal setback day and am just trying to ride it out but found myself doing what I should not — that is hanging inside as much as I could between working. I feel exhausted by so many small things. I have received a lot of bad news in the past could of weeks and have still maintained my recovery. But today it was like a brick hit me in the head and dispair set in. I know from everything I read in the book and here that this is completely normal and to just let those feelings come through, to feel them and basta. Tomorrow will be another day.

    Paul, thank you for writing the book on this and for making it available to us sufferers.

  201. Leslie Says:

    I promise this is going to be my last post for awhile. I know I truly need to get on with my life and constantly looking at all things anxiety related isn’t helping. I feel like I’ve been in a setback the last week or so. Prior to that that, I don’t think I realized how good I had been feeling. I was finally enjoying things and many of the scary feelings/thoughts had subsided greatly. However, much of my focus and attention was still on me and anxiety. So I guess hadn’t realized how much progres I had made until this setback. Now, however, I have been feeling low/depressed….lost interest in most things and my mind is constantly questioning everything. I feel like its just question after question. For example, I might think something like “how do you know you still have anxiety, you could be better and not even know it” or “how will you ever recover if you can’t even recognize the progress you’ve made”. Then one minute I feel like I’m really starting to figure things out, then the next minute I feel lost. This morning, I started thinking about the feeling/thought that started this whole anxiety episode for me. It’s not even a thought I can really describe well…just kind of like I have something to worry about, something’s wrong, I have to feel like this…..almost that I cant’ feeel good again. So of course as soon as I started thinking about that feeling/thought, it all came flooding back and anxiety levels shot through the roof. Immediately I started thining about how bad I was….and starting thinking I won’t have an appetite anymore….I won’t sleep…..I’m back to where I was before and I’ll never get better. My question is….as soon as I started remembering that thought…should I have just cut it off right there……even though my mind is shouting at me that I MUST thing that thoguht. And when you cut off a thought….its pretty much jsut ignoring it and moving onto another thought?? Is that right? But isn’t that telling yourself not to think that thought>> I feel confused about this. So for the past hour or so, I’ve been pretty much trying to ignore most of what comes into my head for fear that I’m just going to react anxiously. Is this what I should be doing? And when doing so, is it normal to almost feel empty? I’ve been just trying my best to focus on what I’m doing and ignoring whats coming into my head. It’s llike I almost think I’m hiding from the thought/feeling by ignorin…..somehow I feel like I need to think that though and feel the feeling inorder to desensitize. Is this completely wrong? Also can someone please give me advice on how to not attach an anxious/scared emotion to a thought once I’ve had it. It’s really difficult for me. I guess I just need reassurance that ignoring thse thoguhts will make them go. I still really do not like when I think them.

  202. Tracey Says:

    Hey Leslie,

    I was just reading your post and thought I’d give a little bit of my advice. I can tell you from experience dismissing your thoughts really does work…it may not feel like it right away (like your explaining that empty weird feeling–I’ve gotten that too) what they’re saying on here is don’t expect the minute you start to dismiss the thoughts that they go away, the whole thing is habit based and you as well as me and everyone else on here have created a habit of over analysing EVERYTHING which we do not need to do, but because of the sensitized state we’re in we feel the need to do so. So what you do is this: when you have a thought, let it in but don’t add to it, as hard as it is try not to dwell (as i know that was where I went wrong many times before)…if you get a pang of fear or that weird empty feeling etc. don’t look into it, don’t react to it just let it all be there and go about your business. if you continue to have that attitude and cut the analysing out before it starts you will find that your intrusive thoughts will slow and with time will fade. I know how hard it is but I have gotten soooooo much better by following everyone’s advice on here, you just have to remember anxiety is what makes us overreact, just don’t think because you overreact means something because it definitely doesn’t. Good luck to you Leslie! :)

  203. andrew Says:

    Hi all,

    I haven’t posted on here for a while because I was doing so much better. Most of my anxiety symptoms had gone away and things looked a lot brighter. I was able to go through days without thinking about my anxiety and sleep soundly.

    But a week ago I started getting new symptoms (always relating to sleep). For some reason my anxiety always goes back to things that happen during sleep or in the middle of the night.

    I don’t know if anyone on here has experienced this but it has caused a lot of the anxiety to come back especially when I don’t understand why I am getting these symptoms.

    For one, I am getting these flashes of childhood nightmares when I close my eyes. I used to get this sensation when I close my eyes at night when I was a kid, and now they seem to come back – it feels like a phobia. What happens is when I close my eyes I see something that causes me to sense things around me to getting bigger (like my pillow or bed) and I feel a repelling sensation about it that causes me to panic and get scared. I tried to face it a couple times, but the phobia or fear seems really strong. The image or sensation doesn’t happen that often, but I become anxious over it when I go to bed. Does anyone know what this is? or has experienced this strange phenomenon?

    I try to treat it as anxiety and hope that it will just diminish or one day won’t frighten me as much. Any help is is appreciated. Thanks.

  204. miranda Says:

    hey scarlet.
    i was thinkin this morning when a got up, see when everyone talks about the watever attitude does this mean when i get that sick feeling in the morning like dread and cant do this anymore just to get up and shrug it off and get on with my day. if doing this will it eventually go away.
    when a was lying in my bed a was sort off gettin that dread feeling but im up now and got the kids ready, a think when im lying there its making me think to much and now im up it seems to have calmed.
    sometimes when i feel like this its like im looking for things to grab onto to take my mind off things, see if you keep saying to urself just think off today and dont worry about tomorow will that become a habit as am really bad for looking to far ahead in the future.xx

  205. Lotty Says:

    Andrew,
    Please don’t worry. I occasionally get really weird sensations similar to the ones you are talking about. I have one where when I lie down and close my eyes my head feels really huge and heavy, like it’s swelled up like a balloon and is completely disproportionate to the size of the rest of my body. And like David A., I also am struck by feelings and memories of childhood sensations that I haven’t recalled for many, many years. And they feel very strange. And not at all pleasant for some reason. These things are hard to explain. But they pass. I think it’s best to try not to place too much importance on them. As Paul said, the symptoms all fall under the same anxiety umbrella, and boy, some of them are really weird, and you think that no one else on earth could possibly feel anything so strange and surreal. But they do!!!!!!!
    By the way, this is the first time I’ve ever written on this blog but I’ve been coming here for months during my “recovery” (and I put “recovery” in inverted commas because, like many of you, I still fear setbacks to some degree). I felt compelled to write because of the things that Andrew and David A wrote because they struck such a chord with me. Many a time I’ve felt things that I can’t quite explain and then I’ve come onto this blog and someone has written almost exactly what I’ve been feeling and put it into words much better than I ever could. I’ve been getting reassurance from all you bloggers for such a long time that I thought it was time to give something back. Hang in there everyone. Anxiety and depression and dp (and I’ve had them all) can do the weirdest things to you. But YOU are not these feelings. The real you is underneath, giving you the courage to go on. Hang in there. xxx

  206. Kate Says:

    Hi

    I am quite near recovery and don’t get half the symptoms of anxiety I used to. The obsessive, irrational thoughts were the worst symptom for me but I am left with one which seems to interfere with my life and make me avoid places eg travelling on buses. I fear I will just lose control of myself and wet myself (I never have in the many years I had suffered anxiety) but can really start thinking deeply about it to the point where it really upsets me and I just think ‘I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it’. Eventually this fades and I can carry on with me work but it really affects me. I keep thinking this isn’t anxiety – so when I can accept all other symptoms I can’t accept this one. Start thinking, is this a phobia and scaring myself further.
    I would really appreciate anyones advise on this x

  207. Candie Says:

    Kate that is just an anxiety response to a thought, if you was going to lose control then it would of happened by now trust me. Your just over reacting and trying to keep hold of the control too much because of a silly thought. The trick to getting over fears like this is to not react to the feeling of when it feels like the bad thing is really going to happen and refuse to analyse it. When you have this response the thought disapears on its own and doesnt keep coming back at you. So next time you think you may wet yourself just decide not to read into the thought, if the fear or feeling of it going to happen comes then you must ALLOW the feeling as when you do you can see it for what it is, not real and eventually you stop fearing it and it goes away.

  208. Kate Says:

    Thank you so much Candie
    You don’t know how long I have wanted to talk to someone about this and find some reassurance that it was anxiety but have just felt so embarrassed and of course people who have never suffered with anxiety don’t understand. I went to see my doctor about it and told him I was scared it might eventually stop me working etc but he was really quite impatient with me and put me in touch with someone to talk to. I went to see them and asked if they knew anything about anxiety and he said ‘No, i’m actually a social worker’ – so then I felt really helpless…….this site has helped me so much. Don’t know what I would have done without it x

  209. Leslie Says:

    Thanks so much for the reply Tracey. Dismissing all these anxiety related symptoms is really a skill! I’m going to keep practicing. I’ll get there one day!

  210. Nikki Says:

    HI all.I noticed some people posting about accepting and dismissing thoughts and I thought i would post what has been helping me progress.I am at the moment feeling really good i have the odd moment when i can feel my anxiety or the odd thought but it is getting less and less and i know I am not far from full recovery.I used to analize every thought and feeling and compare it to how i would have felt pre anxiety, the problem with this is before anxiety i didnt analize every thought or feeling so really cant remember what I thought about or how I felt.I got so sick of constantly talking myself through every minute of the day that one day i just thought I am so bored of this and really tried to focus on another subject , for me it was my house decorating and stuff.I wasnt really bothered whether it got done or not but i gave myself tasks to do every day and eventually the enthusiasm for getting the jobs done came back(im still waiting for the hubby to finish it all lol).I came to realise that I was no different from before, i just felt different.If you are told you have an illness for example a throat infection, you know your throat will be sore but also there are other symptoms such as temperature headaches aching etc. When we have this we expect to feel bad,tired a bit grumpy maybe we know we wont be as alert and our concentration wont be as good we realise under the circumstances this a normal reaction.We give ourselves time to heal,we rest ,we dont mentally beat ourselves up about not being on top form,we dont analize how we feel or try to think our way out of feeling ill.We know we will get better and we get on with our day knowing at some point it will all be gone and we will be back to our old selves again we ‘accept’ how we feel and carry on regardless.This is the same with anxiety the accepting feeling is the same.Not none of us like it but their is precious little we can do so we get on with it.As to the thoughts I believed what I was told it was the anxiety making me overreact to rather distressing thoughts which were also symptom of the anxiety condition and again under the circumstances how we think and feel is a normal reaction.We are reacting normally although it feels strange and weird and at times very frightening this is what is supposed to happen just like the aches and pains of an infection is the body mending itself so are the feelings we feel when we have anxiety,it is just the body reseting.I now accept every thought and feeling as normal I dont class it as an anxiety thought or a normal thought i just am!Sometimes irrational thoughts happen and i ignore it because i know why it is there ,i take no notice ,it is normal to feel like this with anxiety,I do NOT worry about why it has happened or if i reacted to it,it is just there! I hope this has helped x x x

  211. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Miranda,

    “hey scarlet.
    i was thinkin this morning when a got up, see when everyone talks about the watever attitude does this mean when i get that sick feeling in the morning like dread and cant do this anymore just to get up and shrug it off and get on with my day. if doing this will it eventually go away.

    Yes it does, you must carry on with your normal daily activities alongside the feelings of dread/thoughts.

    “when a was lying in my bed a was sort off gettin that dread feeling but im up now and got the kids ready, a think when im lying there its making me think to much and now im up it seems to have calmed.”

    Try not to lie in bed ruminating, you can get yourself into an anxiety loop if you lay in bed analysing, believe me I have done this many times and felt worse for it… so get yourself up when you catch yourself examining your thoughts.

    “sometimes when i feel like this its like im looking for things to grab onto to take my mind off things, see if you keep saying to urself just think off today and dont worry about tomorow will that become a habit as am really bad for looking to far ahead in the future.xx”

    A habit is a pattern of behaviour that is repeated so often that it becomes the norm. This is the case with obsessive thinking, it is a bad thinking habit, and yes it can be reversed. For a while it did help me to say to myself ‘yeah whatever’, ‘as if’ when I had a thought, but as you become more confident you will be able to dismiss the thought and carry on without saying anything to yourself. So if it works for you at the moment then do it. The idea is to let the thought enter your mind, do not try and surpress it in any way by being afraid… just try not to give it that fearful response (you know the one I mean in the pit of your stomach..the dread response), act emotionless as if you don’t give a hoot. It takes practice but if done often enough (and you’ll have plentry of chance to practice believe me), the thoughts will diminish. At the moment your fearful response is attracting more of the same. It might seem for a while that you are trying this method and it isn’t really working, because the rewards aren’t immediatly noticeable, but it is working and when you are in a position to look back at your progress you will see results.

  212. Scarlet Says:

    Lotty/Andrew,

    ” I occasionally get really weird sensations similar to the ones you are talking about. I have one where when I lie down and close my eyes my head feels really huge and heavy, like it’s swelled up like a balloon and is completely disproportionate to the size of the rest of my body”

    I had a similar sensation. In the early days I was absolutely afraid of going to bed because I couldn’t sleep. I would lay in bed and close my eyes and the whole room would be spinning, as if I was on a very fast roller-coaster. I felt very dizzy and nauseous… like I was drunk, and I remember a few nights I was afraid to close my eyes in case the feeling came back. Sometimes I also had out of body experiences where I felt myself floating from by body. Needless to say these sensations petrified the life out of me and I did take herbal sleeping tablets for a while, but they diminished as I recovered.

  213. Shirley D Says:

    Teresa,
    Don’t ever feel a ‘cheat’ coming back. Some people can go away from this site and never come back because that is what they choose. I am here again just reading through a few posts, doesn’t mean that I am a cheat, I am just interested in what’s going on etc.
    The thing about biting you tongue – that sounds really painful, think i’d be feeling a bit down about that too.
    We are all prone to little set backs but we can still say that we are 100% recovered, especially if you look back on what you went through at the height of the anxiety.
    All i know is that given time the symptoms do diminish if you treat them with the correct attitude. i just pop on here now and again to let others know that I am recovered and this site was my crutch for several times a day over a matter of months, the support from others and the bogs on the symptoms were invaluable to me when i needed it most.

  214. Shirley D Says:

    Oh! flippin heck! should have been ‘blogs’ on the symptoms – sorry!

  215. Scarlet Says:

    “bogs” ha! ha! Shirley

  216. Diana Says:

    i am back to being riddled with anxiety, woke up at four inthe morning with hands
    shaking and a pit of dread in my stomach. Tried for hours to just let it happen but felt terrified. a little better this morning, managed to get up but have absolutely no appetite, drat, it had started to come back. I see this morning that all the things I dreaded in the night most likely will never come to be but could not put those thoughts away during the night. Any advice for nighttime dread?

  217. Stephen Says:

    Hey everyone

    just a quick question, when i go to bed with alot on my mind, like for instance if i was somewhere new that day or did something out of the oridnary i sorta half sleep like thinking about whats on my mind but kinda sleeping and waking all the time. so it feels like im thinking all night long but sorta still dreaming and waking up if that makes any sense at all. I think that everyone experiences this when they have lots on their mind or they are thinking too much into something during bet time? i dunno it just worried me as it was like my mind would not switch off. Has anyone had this and is this normal???

    i think ive had it before anxiety but ofcourse i never second guessed it or judged it lol.

    Stephen

  218. Shirley D Says:

    Diana, for months I dreaded going to bed, and it’s because you have that dread in your mind that it happens. I saw so many hours come and go where there was no sleep, you condition your body to wake up at a particular time, when you do you get upset and so the cycle continues. My main sleep problem was being pulled backward through a tunnel to being concious again, that was horrid. the adrenilin does it to you. When i look back on that time I know how it was one of the worst parts and whilst you are having difficulty try to think that there are probably a lot of other people on this blog who are all awake at the same time as you. I found putting the radio on quietly in the bedroom helped me but don’t make going to bed a battlefield.

  219. Diana Says:

    Shirley thank you once again for your help and insight, you are most kind. I almost cried when I read about your being pulled backward thru a tunnel to being conscious — that describes exactly what i am doing to myself, or rather what my adrenaline is doing to me. Your advice on not making going to bed a battlefield is well taken. I am going to meditate on this.

  220. Shirley D Says:

    Diana,
    You are most welcome. Just remember you are not alone.

  221. Shirley D Says:

    Weird isn’t it that sleep is supposed to me the most relaxing part of our working day and so often it turns out to be the busiest, I’ve had to get out of bed this morning – not being able to be there any more because of a nightmare, well when sleep isn’t fulfilling you wonder why you do it! But, to me this is just a little blip and i know that my night will be better tonight. sleep does return to nomal – just be patient.
    when i was in the midst of anxiety my eyes had a life of their own, they just wouldn’t close, i thought at times they were glued open and yes Stephen often hovvering between sleep and non sleep states. It’s ll a part and parcel of the anxiety but won’t go on forever. Beleive me.

  222. Chris Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your time and your reply. I will definitley take this advice on board and what you mention in the book too. I guess in time my mind will adjust once I accept it and bring new activities into my day, as its a learnt behaviour and the brain is powerful thing one might add, which tricks you into thinking its something else all the time.

    Many thanks again!!

    Chris

    Chris I did have this sensation yes and it is adrenalin on sensitised nerves that causes it, it is again nothing to worry about. I had many symptoms, this tingling, ringing ears, blurred vision, anxious thoughts, the list went on really and I found if I seperated and focused on them they seem to heighten. So I put them all under the umbrella of anxiety and lived with them there, I did not have to like how I felt and I certainly did not, but it was time to leave them alone and live with them there, this made a massive difference in the long run, without the fuel of fear and worry they weakened in time. Don’t watch or demand progress, this is very important, just say ‘O.k from now on I am not going to let how I feel take up my day’. You can’t force anything away with anxiety, your great power though is to allow.

    Also I do see quite a few post that I would like to address, but I have decided to make this my next post as a lot of people do seem to be impatient and are working on each symptom like an individual problem and not a collective one. This I will cover in my next post.

    Paul

  223. Hayley H Says:

    Thank you so much Paul and Scarlett for replying to me, it really really helps. Just being reassured by you both brings so much hope. I also find comfort from reading these posts and knowing were not alone!
    I am truely so grateful for your replies!
    I will continue to go out and be sociable etc and give my DP no thoughts, sometimes however I find this really hard as I feel I cant get away from it, is that normal too?
    Also I am very stressed in my job at the moment does anyone know if that could be keeping the DP more intenese? (thats what my CBT therapist says)
    thank you so much again xxxxxxxx

  224. Hayley H Says:

    Also I sometimes worry that when i recover I will get it back again, like if i think of DP when im recovered it will come back! does this happen? also do you know when your recoved… like is it obvious i find it all very confusing! sorry for all the questions.
    thank you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  225. Diana Says:

    Thank you again Shirley for your reassurance. I hope you have a much better calmer sleep tonight. I am focusing on meditating each day for between 10 and 20 minutes. This seems to be helping me figure out how to separate out my anxiety thoughts and let them float away like clouds on the horizon while still staying within myself, if that makes any sense. It also relaxes me intensely and gets rid of the rapid heart beat for a couple of hours, which is really welcome. This morning was pretty rough, but today was a much better day, I focused all of my energy on relaxing and writing. We have no guests the next week so I will continue to try to do this — not focus on the fact that no money comes in this week but rather see it as a gift of time to give myself, to try to sleep ( if possible) and achieve some inner calm. I am still taking a half of a xanax to get myself to drift off and would like to stop it.

    Hayley, I am early on in this process but I think that I can see that knowledge is power and while setbacks clearly occur, each time your skill set to deal with the setback grows. And that is a good thing because you can rest assured that your anxiety and dp are a result of adrenaline and keep things more in perspective even though it is not easy.

  226. Shirley D Says:

    Diana, Knowledge is definitely power, you have so many people rooting for you on here in this anxiety world. I can’t tell you how i recovered, it just happened, but the symptoms I felt were very very real, my mind just concentrated on using the phrase, come, see if I care, especially with the sleep and then as I said before I went from the what if’s to saying oh well’s. If i didn’t have a good nights sleep one night i would just tell myself that the next night was another night and eventually it came together. now, I have no problem sleeping, look forward to clambering in in fact. It didn’t all happen over night but one week i was still suffering bits and pieces and then the next it was completely gone.

  227. Scarlet Says:

    Hayley,

    “Also I sometimes worry that when i recover I will get it back again, like if i think of DP when im recovered it will come back! does this happen? ”

    No it won’t come back because you will have no fear of it at all… at the moment it’s fear that’s keeping it coming.

    “also do you know when your recoved… like is it obvious i find it all very confusing! sorry for all the questions”

    When you have recovered, your fear will disappear and your mind will be at peace… so yes, you will know.

  228. LORRYT Says:

    hI ALL

    well after being away from here due to lack of internet connection, i feel i have progressed. i have just got on with things and am really starting to integrate back into my life, i tend to get my mind involved in whatever i am doing at that moment. havent felt like that for years. just want to be involved in everyday life again and its starting to happen. wow sounds silly but what a wonderful feeling. the attitude has changed my whole outlook on life now. i know i am hopefully reaching the end of things although i am aware that i may still have the occasional hiccup. its great to have got this far. thnaks guysxxxxxx have a great dayallxx

  229. Shirley D Says:

    LorryT,
    How nice to hear and feel the positivitey in your words. Keep up the good work.

  230. Victor Says:

    Nikki, great post!

    I am going to vent and ramble a little bit, just a heads up for those who do not like reading to much lol. I do feel it will be informative though!

    I love when you said

    “came to realise that I was no different from before, i just felt different.”

    This is very true!! WE ARE NO DIFFERENT than before and for that matter other people around us!! It is our reaction that sets us apart!! I know this because I am very open about my feelings and thoughts with my girlfriend. She has been a huge help, and has admitted to me odd thoughts that she gets, but guess what, she DOES NOT suffer from “anxiety”. Actually, she is one of the strongest people I know.

    I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about “Anxiety” (maybe to much to be honest), but I have realized a lot.

    I used to get odd feelings of feeling disconnected and nervousness during my teenage years ( I am only 23 now). This usually happened (but not all the time) when I would get lost (which I used to dread), or if it was night time and I was in a unfamiliar location. I never used to think much about these feelings, and felt they were normal for the circumstances. The word anxiety was unfamiliar to me.

    Last November I am sitting in my Psychology class (how ironic), and I get one of these feelings of disconnection and feel like I am going crazy (adrenaline), I wanted to leave class badly, I felt so weird, but I did not which I am very proud that i worked through these feelings. Now at this point after I calmed down I had two choices A) just give it no reaction which I have done before or B) think “what the hell just happened to me!?!?”. I think we all know which one I unfortunately chose.

    I bring this up because there is nothing different about me, what was different is that day in November I gave it reaction. I have now been suffering for 7 months. I do know it is possible to get back to “normal”, I would be fine now if I would of never had the reaction i chose. I also know it will be difficult, as even today I have been having a difficult time. And by difficult I mean my reaction and over thinking, as my thoughts are NORMAL, not just for people like me who over worry. but people like my girlfriend.

    I also have a couple of questions.

    My biggest problem the past few days is thinking about anxiety, not all bad stuff, but just thinking about it all the time. Like why I shouldnt let it get to me, why the thoughts I get don’t mean anything, what I need to do to recover, just constant thinking!! I know it is consuming to much of my thinking, I can not seem to get my mind to just flow with out thinking about it. Can anyone give me tips on how to get lost with thinking in the present? I had a great day a few weeks ago where I must of went 8 hours without thinking about my anxiety, but I have no clue how it happened it just did. Lately I feel like I am lucky if I go 8 seconds without thinking about it.

    Hope I did not put anybody to sleep with my writing.

  231. Shirley D Says:

    Victor,
    I know this sounds stupid but why don’t you go out in to the local park or grass area and see if you can find yourself a four leafed clover? I only say this because it would give you another project to think about rather than the anxiety. Do you have a table big enough to do a puzzle on? Why not get yourself a puzzle and concentrate on that instead? I’m sure that a task would help you to take your attention away from the anxiety. Go to the library and choose some books, anything other than sitting and concentrating on the thoughts going on in your head, you have proved you can do it once for eight hours and that is a great starting point but the old elastic has snapped back and brought you back to the thinking point.

  232. Victor Says:

    Shirley,

    Thank you for the advice. I will try to do something, you are totally right.

    I have another question/concern. Anxiety seems to be the first thing I think about when I get up and the last thing on my mind at night. Is there anyway to stop this from happening? or will that just come with recovery? I am not so bothered by the fact that it happens, I do not let it get me down in the morning and it hardly ever keeps me up at night. but i am currently thinking “how can i ever recover” with this kind of habit that I have had for much of the past 7 months.

    My next question has to do with the million dollar word ACCEPTANCE. On a day like today where I have been thinking about my anxiety all day, where does acceptance come in?

  233. Shirley D Says:

    Victor,
    Anxiety takes over our lives, we think it, we breathe it and we talk it, it is such an overwhelming feeling that nothing else is going on around us., the only way that we can move on from this is by acceptance. Acceptance is just letting the anxiety be there and as you said above,you are not bothered that it happens, that is the acceptance path. You and you alone are in control, you either sit there and let it overwhelm you and i fully remember being in that giant sea, once you start to concentrate on other things like a hobby, you will rise above the anxiety and it will go down on the scales of life. I suffered for six months and many times i got to the stage of banging my head against the wall because i wanted to make this thing go away, I paced the floor anything to stop the feelings which caused a high tension and the adrenilin to escalate. Drop it down a gear or two and relax into more distracting things like crosswords even, take another ‘habit’ something far more fulfilling and interesting. you are letting the feelings wash over you, it doesn’t disturb you sleep, these are the steps to recovery, so you are doing the right thing. Clench your fists hard,take in the feeling, slowly release that clench, which feels better, the clench or the relaxation? The relaxation, this is how you have to treat the anxiety. the word anxiety conjures up the meaning ‘ a high state of tension’.

  234. Shirley D Says:

    Oh, you asked yourself ‘ How can i recover’ ? asking yourself that adds fuel to the fire because you are allowing the anxiety to take over. Beleive me you can recover and will, it’s just mind over matter.

  235. louise Says:

    Hey everyone,im off on holiday for 2wks this friday,tenerife,cant wait,still coping wellish,holiday lastyear was difficult,this year im going with knowledge coping skills and loads more confidence,speak soon xxx

  236. Scarlet Says:

    Have a great holiday Louise..

  237. Lotty Says:

    Hi Victor,
    I read somewhere once that someone with anxiety will think, even if every other person in the world with anxiety had recovered, that they somehow wouldn’t. And I felt that way too. It’s a common feeling, and it’s totally “normal” under the circumstances. Anxiety is STILL the first thing I think of every morning, and I would say I have recovered substantially. You say you try not to let it bother you in the morning – that’s good, that’s what I used to do, I used to try not to let it get in the way of my day. The thoughts still come, but over time they (slowly) begin to lose their weight. Sometimes, things change so slowly that you don’t even notice it. You might think of something you need to do that used to fill you with dread, and suddenly you realise “gosh, I’m coping with this much more easily than I was 2 months ago”. It just takes time.

  238. lisa Says:

    hi everyone, just letting you all know that this afternoon candie give birth to a healthy beautiful 7lb 2oz baby boy, both are well and doing great . congratulations hun 😉 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  239. Shirley D Says:

    Ally oop! Congrats to Candie.

  240. Kate Says:

    Fantastic news!! Congratulations Candie x

  241. Lynda Says:

    Great news Candie – congratulations and very best wishes to you x

  242. Victor Says:

    Congrats Candie

    And much thanks to you shirley. “mind over matter” that is definitely the truth!

  243. Scarlet Says:

    Congratulations Candie……

    xxxxxxx

  244. lorryt Says:

    WELL DONE CANDIE XXXXXX all the best wishes to you and your new family member !xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  245. Paul David Says:

    Well done Candie on your new bouncy boy 😉 Glad your both healthy and fine. I will put some pics up on here as soon as they are passed on to me.

  246. Nicole Says:

    Congratulations Candie!!!!

  247. John S Says:

    Congratulations Candie. Great news !

  248. Nikki Says:

    Congratulations x x x x

  249. Diana Says:

    congrats!! Lovely, positive news!!

  250. Nicole Says:

    Hi Scarlet, I have a question because it seems like my anxiety issues are somewhat similar to what you have experienced.
    I don’t avoid places, things or experiences but I have noticed that my anxiety develops when I become too aware of my thinking and too caught up in the subject of anxiety then I get frustrated and a little distraught at running through these hoops again. This is turn has seemed to reinforced a fear of thinking which is soooo frustrating.
    The answer is to be a witness, allow, let the thoughts flow, but I tend to get caught up in these concepts as well and then anxiety rises and the wheel starts spinning!
    I love reading about how Paul and others conquered their fear of anxiety by demanding its presence then realizing that nothing happens. There are so many things that I have learned and to just ride out my thoughts makes sense, but there seems to be a tremendous pull at times to engage in them and when I make an effort not to – this is fighting, and not the right path. So my question is how do I apply Paul’s approach to a fear of thought? If I employed more faith than doubt during these times, it would help me implement the while witnessing thing I know!
    I think that deep down I have lingering doubts about all of this working for me. But lately my clearer moments have been wonderful. I am being too hard on myself and know that even though I have come close to recovery, there are obviously issues that remain that I have to deal with. I know that they say that the “way out is through” but I am experiencing a little confusion here as to how to apply this to a fear of thinking. Any wise words to offer? Many thanks, Nicole

  251. Johnny p Says:

    Hi alls
    Congrats candy on the baby! Its been a while graduated schoool taking my state board for nursing in jult. I been decreasing my meds slowly and been feeling alil down. Its been ups and doowndls but so far so good

  252. miranda Says:

    does this make sence. ive been gettin alot off clear moments but then all off a sudding its like my head feels like its going to explode its like my anxiety is trying to break through. example… i was feeding my son earlier and this build up off tension started but i wasnt gettin the emotional feelings that normally happens just tingling and rushes over my head like a build up almost like my head was going to explode, accepting it was there but given it no emotion and just gettin on with given my son his bottle then all off a sudden its gone then give it an hour or 5 mins then it starts again. a thought a would type this whilst it was happening as when my heads clear its like it was happening to someone else like its not real.xxx

  253. miranda Says:

    congrats candie:D
    xxxx

  254. lorryt Says:

    hi all

    having a few probs today, had a particularly diffuclt weekend hubby ina bad mood totally, my nan passed away and i am on anitbiotics which i hate as i know they make me feel really low. so altogether today woke up with the old electric current going and heart on full pound, want to sit and cry but fear i wont get back up , totally exhausted but am still gonna go to work and try and carry on as normal as it distracts the mind somewhat.silly after a good spell things throw me back into an anxious shaky state
    try and have a cool day all depsite the soaring temperaturesxxxxx

  255. teresa Says:

    Just to say big congratulations to Candie – a baby son ,what a blessing – much love to you both X

  256. teresa Says:

    I have been improving with my attitude towards ‘anxiety’ and trying not to see it as the ‘monster’ and more as an over reaction to everything. Perhaps wanting everything to be ‘ok’ all the time and then over reacting to everything that is not ‘ok’ or to be honest perfect. It has helped a lot – I haven’t been feeling brilliant but I haven’t been reacting to it – and this is a big plus. Although I do wonder if that means that this is how it will be , just accepting not feeling ok – as I type this I know that someone will tell me that this is questioning, suppose I’m falling off the track again. I do over react and I am learning – like us all, I get frightened by some of the sypmtoms and believe I’m the only person to get or suffer from some ‘individual’ problems – I’m scared to read to much incase I bring on fresh ones – i KNOW I am improving, although I have trouble acknowleding this sometimes and other times I feel I can handle it all. I think from what I’m gathering that it doesn’t matter what the symptom – it is ok to accept it’s there, even deal with it as best you can for the time being – as that is accepting it and just get on with life and eventually it diminishes. Just getting a bit frightened I’ll be stuck with a particualar problem for life and starting to feel sorry for myself, the worst emotion of all, need to find some courage- sorry folks, tripping up again. I’ve understood so much and I feel annoyed with myself that I won’t let the fear of this particular problem go. I’ve been here before – need someone to tell me to wise up really, no symps.

  257. Nikki Says:

    Hi teresa, I know how you feel I have had a long period of feeling normal no anxiety and then today for no good reason feeling a bit nervey and having odd thoughts again.Im not questioning I expect this to happen its a set back of the true variety.I know it will all fade again as it has before.I have noticed though that i put alot of what i feel down to anxiety when actually all i feel is normal reaction to a situation.It seems i say to myself alot that ‘its just anxiety’when people who dont suffer would feel the same,if that makes sense.I seem to have learned more about how i feel than i needed .Try not to worry about the thoughts/problems they really do go when your nerves calm and your body no longer responds.Dont beat yourself up about letting a fear go or being able to stop the thoughts as this gives them more strength.Say to yourself its o.k to be scared or bothered by it most people would be it will go in time.Then think about something else.As soon as you allow yourself to be scared this problem will fade away.I know i am having a bad day today but its nowhere near to how bad i have felt the truth is i dont care that its back today or tomorow come to that, i know it isnt anything i have or havent done it is just here again but so what it isnt stopping me doing anything so it isnt important.But then you already know this ………dont you lol.
    Have a good day .

  258. Candie Says:

    Hi Everyone, thankyou for the lovely messages :) Sorry i havnt been on much lately, just getting used to the demands of motherhood and the hormonal changes it brings… once im in a routine with the little one il be around much more. We decided to name him Jayden-James, hes so cute and tiny!

    Hope everyone is doing well and having a nice week x

  259. teresa Says:

    Lovely to hear from you Candie and what a lovely name. Yeh motherhood very demanding, but it has massive paybacks!!! Keep smiling and enjoying your lovely baby.

  260. teresa Says:

    Nikki
    Thanks for grounding me and making me feel normal – I have been pretty ‘controlled’ about it – not as good as I could be but I’m learning. After posting this morning I went out with the family and the dogs, it’s not usually my routine but feel it’s a good thing to get fresh air and company – no requirements of it – doing it anyway. It did help. And, yes I do know what you’re telling me but it really helps to hear it from someone who knows what you’re talking about. so thank you for taking the time – hope your day went well too.

  261. lorryt Says:

    hi candie

    great to hear things are going really well, and what a lovely name.

    sorry to put a downer on things but i am in a bit of a stew, situation is really hurting me and i cant seem to get out of the anxious mindset. i am trying to help my hubby but he doesnt want to help himself and iits making me very upset. i know most people would struggle iwth it but it seems tenfold today , got upset when i talked to him last night as i needed to get my feelings out , but its still leaving me in a state. my head is going round in circles and my apetite has gone, i want to cry my eyes out , but hwat good would that do. i need to hear him say he needs help and get it not just carry on as normal. others things in the mix too.sorry if im going on but its hard fro me today and had a panic atack this morning when iwas trying to drop off to sleep. i know its my nerves and im not panicking about that but am worried that i cant sort this situation out. i guess i want things to be perfect, but i dont want my kids growing up seeing dad get angry and very acid about things. am i worrying about nothing and being oversensitive and just accept this . my head is running around creating future situations and making me fear the worst.getting too upset. gotta go xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  262. Diana Says:

    Lorry, maybe the first thing is to calm yourself if possible. You can do very little to change him, especially when you are in a state. Please try to remember, you are not your reactions and feelings. Acknowledge your feelings of frustration, anger and let the panic in — and then back out again. Forget perfect if you can. It is one small step at a time. The future will bring what the future will bring. When the attack hits, let it come, get up and walk, do something to let the adrenaline out — clean windows, do things which in themselves don’t cause you any fear. Just keep moving, one baby step at a time.

    Calm your stomach. Get some yogurt, bananas, lots of water, things that go down easily. Eat even a couple of bites as you can. The adrenaline removes your appetite but this will stop and you will get your appetite back. Make something that you normally love – for me it is steamed spinach with butter — even with no appetite, I can get it down.

    Try to get your center back. You know you are a strong person, you have been through a lot and will get through this too. Remember who you are — there is freedom in that and no one can take that away from you no matter how much noise they create in your life.

    Trying to make somebody change when you yourself are in a panic spiral is not possible, Trying to make somebody change when you are feeling well is not possible. They have to want the change themselves. The only thing you can do is find your calm center again and express your needs for this place. In order to do this, go back to all of Paul’s and Scarlet’s and everyone else’s advice and remember — let the feelings be there, look at them and move on.

    Take today only. This moment. You are SO not alone.

  263. teresa Says:

    Hi Loryt

    Today is a different day and most probably you are already seeing things a bit differently. No one can be in your life to know exactly how you feel – all I can say is looking back on times when things have upset me – we lose the ability to view things with a rational perspective, not just us – anyone who has an argument or is irratated by someone else’s behaviour. Easy for me to say, but take your storm, have a cry, feel angry – all those things are very normal – they maybe heightened by your anxiety but they are not there because of it. As Diana said it’s very hard to make someone change unless they want to themselves – but don’t live in your storm realise that the moment moves on. It may not be perfect where you are now (the moment) but negatives are replaced by positives if you let them be. I should take my own advice – this habit/condition is greatly affected by over reaction. Hope today is a better day – and believe me things will settle down.

  264. lorryt Says:

    sorry diana

    its really hard at the mo, what i can normally handle and let go seems impossibe today. hubby says its like im holding a grudge against him when he lets off steam, hes so nasty, its all; just verbal, but it cuts like aknife. i knmow i have to let it go or it will destroy me like its slowly destroying him but as you say when you feel panicky its tougher, i am going to work to try and calm down and get my centre back as you say.just got a lot on my plate at the mo. understand your advice, sorry to let off but you guys really help love ot alllxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  265. Candie Says:

    Thanks Teresa & Lorry,

    Hes so precious bless him, wouldnt be in a rush to go through childbirth again but he was deffo worth it!

    Lorry, your getting yourself all worked up over something that wont last. Trust me, it never does. 2 days ago my hormones where a bit all over (always the case after having a baby) and i got a bit worked up and anxious again, but i soon brushed myself down and said nope not gonna fall back into that pattern. My appetite went too, but now im fine again.. as soon as i realised i had been fighting my anxiety i was able to change things. A lot of your anxiety is caused by your negative thinking about how your feeling.. you resist a lot of this and when you do that your bringing more of it to yourself! When we dont resist and let go we give our nerves time to settle and can then dismiss our anxious thoughts and feelings. No matter how you feel today go eat (even if you have no desire to), go do the chores no matter how exhausted the anxiety has made you, when the dread comes say that is fine and allow and MEAN IT! You can do this :)

  266. LORRYT Says:

    so am i fighting the feelings by not letting them go, as i seem to get quite drawn in by it all very upset and very hurt. i dwell on things and i guess that intensifies it alot. i get so confused. i can accept the anxiety more so now , but the feelings that come along with the anger surely if i push them away they just go deeper? and get worse. i think i have lost my way ??!!…….. sorry guysxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    candie definately worth having kids, did it twice and didnt even get a medal !! it is such a huge bonus in your lifexxxxx

  267. LORRYT Says:

    i feel like i have stepped back a few months again and stopped enjoying things as i did. another hill to climb again ! sorry positivity has gone xx

  268. Lotty Says:

    Hi LorryT,
    I know exactly how you feel, I’m having a minor setback at the moment too. You are truly not alone. But I remember vividly my last major one too, which wasn’t too long ago. The feelings you are having at the moment; by trying not to indulge them you are not necessarily pushing them away, you are just reminding yourself that they are not in the right perspective at the moment – they’re exaggerated by your anxiety/dread, etc. I know it’s hard, but try to keep in mind that you’ve improved before, you can improve again, and not only that, you can keep getting better and better. That’s what I’m trying to do at the moment too. It gets me really bad in the mornings. I don’t think I ever really knew what the word “patience” meant until now! x

  269. lorryt Says:

    hi lotty

    Feels like a major one at the moment getting upset as im trying not to worry about things and put the feeling behind me. i started reading eckhart tolles book last week and it all started making sense, and i had a good couple of weeks, then one situation sets me up in turmoil. and i cant seem to move on , and beat myself up over things. I know i have to stop doing it but i ve lost the control button !. thanks for all your support, just me being daft i think. need to keep calm and not stress very hard but i must try !xxxxx

  270. Lotty Says:

    LorryT,
    It seems to be a common theme among people who suffer from anxiety and related problems – we are way too hard on ourselves. Anyone (well, almost anyone I suppose) would be put out if they and their partner weren’t getting along, and it’s just that we are so vulnerable while we’re recovering, these things throw us completely out of whack instead of just bothering us. Even a change of routine sometimes makes me feel “out of sorts”. In fact, that’s a good word for how I feel a lot of the time – vulnerable. So don’t be too hard on yourself; it must take a bit of time to build up your emotional strength again after feeling like this…that’s what I think anyway. And don’t worry if you can’t follow Eckhart Tolle all the time – the first time I tried reading his work a few months back (I was in a really bad way then), I had a panic attack!! It was just too much for me. Sometimes when I’m really anxious and confused, the simpler things work better, just words of encouragement and support from people who know what you’re going through….I guess that’s why you’re here!! (and me) xxx

  271. Kashawn Says:

    Hi Everyone!!!

    I hope everyone is doing well and feeling better. Its been a while since iv written on this blog, I have been busy living (working, hanging with friends etc). Just want to firstly say: CONGRATULATIONS TO CANDIE’S NEW ANGEL, I wish you and your family the best :)

    I have been way to distracted with life and I now have more and more moments of clarity and zero anxiety. Here and there the feelings would return, the attention would once again be on me, but my attitude has evolved to : “so what, its all part of the process”. I have no more fear of Anxiety and it feels sooo good. Also, I no longer think about anxiety as much, I got bored of it because I think I know it soo well and the fear has diminished drastically.

    So keep living on, stay busy, lose yourself in your daily tasks, look at nature, embrace yourself with the things you love to do, take breaks from the blog, and you will have moments where you forget about anxiety because it no longer interests you-keep your heads up, the anxiety experience is going to open up a whole new wonderful life and make you a Stronger person.

    All the best to everyone, stay positive
    Kashawn.

  272. Hayley H Says:

    thanks again Scarlett for replying to me. Im having some good times recently only 10 minutes or so here and there. then my mind reverts back but i guess its coming out of the habits. Sometimes i feel a bit depressed is that just the DP or could it be depression?? sorry its all still so confusing! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  273. lorryt Says:

    hi lotty

    think you are so right, its a case of being emotionally vulnerable, and after being like it for so long( a lot of it due to medication), i am slowly getting back on my feet. we all go through so much on a daily basis and try and take things on the chin, it has to get to us somewhen.eyt again i find myself in a situation losing a family member, in and out of hospital myself, trying to hold a job down and a family and house to run. not complaining as latter is all my choice. but sometimes you just do doubt if the vulnerability will fade?, or is it just part of being human.dont doubt we can get better , but is full recvoery really possible????. sorry guys feeling a bit crappy again , cant wait to get off these antibiotics, make me feel reeally low

    have a good day all and stay out of the heat !xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  274. Lotty Says:

    Hi Lorryt,
    Of course full recovery is possible!! It’s just the nature of anxiety to make you feel like you won’t recover completely, it’s a thought that hits me EVERY time I suffer a setback, major or slight. As others have said, Paul was worse than most and he recovered fully, as have many, many others who write on this site. I was so bad back in January that I thought I was actually going to lose my mind on several occasions. And I didn’t have all the extra knock-backs that you have had, so it makes sense that your recovery might take a little longer than you expect. But once we are fully recovered, I don’t think we’ll care how long it took – because we will appreciate all the things we have learned to make us stronger. And you know, I think people that suffer from anxiety tend to be particularly sensitive people, and that will make us feel really vulnerable at the moment, but when we are completely recovered, it will be a GOOD thing. Because it’s a beautiful quality. (Hope I’m not rambling on like a hippie!! )xxxxxxxx

  275. lorryt Says:

    lotty

    no you arent rambling. deep down i know you are right, but to quote a saying i hate, life keeps throwing curve balls at me, i keep getting back up and getting on, but it feels everytime i get back on my feet something is there to knock me down again. am not feeling sorry for myself just anticipating the next thing that may hit me!. i understand where you come from totALLY, I ONCE THOUGHT I WAS GOING MAD TOO!. but with th ehelp of here and all the advice i am much better, taken a while but im this far. i tend to cope with whatever situation is thrown at me, but am quite a deep person so think far too much about things that i really shouldnt, guess thats where the habit has come from worrying about needless stuff. where would i be without you lot eh !!! thanks Lotty means a lotty xxx sorry couldnt resist !.

  276. Victor Says:

    Nicole,

    Although I do not have advice, I do want you to know that is exactly how i feel!! and you are not the only one. I am on here right now because it is 12:30 in the morning and I can not stop thinking while trying to get some sleep.

    I am not even getting anxious thoughts or feelings, i am just so caught up in my thinking, it is frustrating me. I think good things about my anxiety and bad things, its just a cycle back and forth. One second its “wow I have come so far” the next second its “am i ever going to get back to my normal self again?” I believe its more habit than anything, but im not even sure. And you also said deep down you have lingering doubts about this working for you, this i can tell you is definitely anxiety trying to mess with you. Just like when I get the thoughts about “Am i ever going to get back to normal” ultimately the thought does not scare me, because then i tell myself “10 yrs from now this experience will be distant memory”. It just gets frustrating because I am thinking so much about it, I KNOW if I did not think about it so much I would be very close to recovery, but until i stop thinking about it so much (good or bad), i will not get past this plateau I have reached.

    So my question is how do i stop thinking about it so much??? Especially when I am not preoccupied. For the most part, if I am at work or doing some shopping for example, these seem to be the times where the thinking about it disappears for short periods of time. But as soon as i step foot outside the store or into my car it hits me “oh you have not thought about anxiety”. Does anyone have any tips on how to overcome this? or is it something I have to accept for the time being? Is this anxiety or habit? any answers would be greatly appreciated. As with most things, understanding helps a lot, and I do know understand this aspect.

    Well I am off, going to try getting some rest!

  277. Lotty Says:

    Hi Victor,
    I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that this constant thinking is not going to hurt you. OF COURSE you’re thinking about your anxiety what seems like 24/7 – your recovery is the most important thing in your life at the moment. It is a bit like a habit, but habits can be changed. Yes it is something you have to accept for the time being, but with the knowledge that it won’t do you any harm. So don’t try and stop it – (if someone asks you NOT to think of a pink elephant, what do you immediately do?!!), try to see it for what it is – a habit borne from a tired mind. Hope that helps, even just a little bit.

  278. Victor Says:

    Lotty,

    Thanks. Last night was just so frustrating because I was tired and could not fall asleep because all I could think about was anxiety, so I think I over reacted. But this morning I woke up telling myself what you just told me “so what if I am thinking about it to much?”, so that is the mentality I am taking into the day, i hope it works. I definitely think I am getting closer and closer to that “so what” mentality, I just hit road blocks sometimes. Thanks again

  279. Nikki Says:

    Hi all! Sorry to hear youv’e not been feeling great lorryt i know how it is.Still in setback but I am plodding on.I understand now after feeling normal with no symptoms for a few weeks how this thing can make you question yourself again.The thing for me was when I was feeling normal I expected a setback.I didnt worry about when or if it would come I just knew that it would.It was’nt possible to recover so soon after feeling bad for so long and i never at any point told myself I was over it but just good at the moment and now its back I am still doing the same normal things just with nerves.I am aware of it but as before I am 100% positive this will go because it did! All the thoughts and feelings and weirdness it all went the analisisng all of it went.So to all of you still doubting if it goes completely back to normal living again,it does,it goes away on its own little by little but dont be thrown if it returns as it has because these times show you how far you have come and gives you chance to practise shrugging your shoulders and saying so what!I wont say its pleasant,obviously I would be much happier feeling normal and noticing how I feel but next week it may be all over again for this setback and I will have a bit of time till the next one.Happy days all x

  280. Lotty Says:

    Yes! That’s so true Nikki. That’s what’s happening to me. You go through the rollercoaster again and again and each time when you feel better you think “oh, I think I’ll be ok from now on” and then a setback hits you like a brick in the face because you didn’t expect or want it to happen again. Then after a while you stop HOPING it won’t happen again, you EXPECT it, you almost wait for it. And that’s when I found it start to get easier. Does anyone relate to that? xxx

  281. Nikki Says:

    Hi lotty. Yes me! I relate honestly!I really have felt normal recently its only the very sensible part of me that said ‘o.k you feel back to normal again but it will come back because you have recovered to quick for it to have gone completely never to return’.Its almost like in may i was having the worst symptoms then june i was completely ok,you sort of know its not going to happen like that.I really was bad in february a complete wreck so to be feeling as good as I do today in setback feeling apprehensive and shaky is progress,I think i am a bit disappointed I feel this again.In all honesty although i know i’m back here having a moan i’m really not that bothered by it anymore it does’nt change anything, I do what i normally do only with these feelings.I will say as well i’m always abit wobbly at this time anyway (one for the girls).I will do as you do lotty wait for it to go and hopefully the next one will be easier – it is true what you say though they do get easier!

  282. teresa Says:

    Hi Nikki and Lotty – I’ve had some time without it, not a long run but most of when I was away (in Greece) and even when I came home for about a week. The it sort of slipped in again, I’m in that not brilliant (lots of recurring symptoms) but not as bad as they have been stage too and I seem to be not reacting to them as ‘over the top’ as I would have done – the understanding is coming, although I do find it hard to try and stop myself looking for a way out of the symptoms sometimes. It really helps when i read that your blogs and see how you are ‘letting it be not perfect, just there’ – it does always fade in time. I also understand the girls thing too, hormones do have an affect on it – but if Candie can recover whilst expecting a baby the rest of should feel heartened by that. I think I’ve been this way for o long it’s going to be a slow journey out – but hopefully a steady one, which I really look forward to. Think I still ‘fear’ it a little and I need to be braver? But there we go – reading all your comments gives me strength so I will find my courage! LOL. Perhaps it needs to keep coming in diminishing forms in order to retrain the thinking towards it. Anyway, hope it melts way soon for you. As Kashwan would say, keep keeping the faith.

  283. Candie Says:

    Hey Teresa, if you went for a week and then more time without it or mild symptoms that dont bother you then your deffo not far from recovering now! The last hurdle for you is been comfortable to let it come back and forth for a bit whiles the good habits settle in stone for you. Dont worry about hormones either, as u get better they dont effect you- the only real problem i had with mine was for a few days after the birth i felt worse for wear again… but that goes for half of all women who have babies anyway due to the big decline in hormones. If you have the right reaction to the anxietynothing can persist, trust me i had none stop anxiety all day every day and on an average day now i dont give it much thought never mind feeling it. It really is mind over matter so to speak! Dont be one of those people who plateaus at this stage of recovery as they only accept the good days and then resist the bad- take everything it throws at you as each time you do you will recover more and more. All anxiety is caused by a reaction to not wanting to think or feel a certain way so we resist and fear it.

  284. Paul David Says:

    Just to let everyone know there will be a new post on Monday, I was going to do it this week but got behind on a couple of things.

    Hope everyone is well.

    Paul

  285. Nikki Says:

    Hi candie.Glad to hear you are doing well!Your words were very supportive and if you can handle the anxiety whilst being pregnant i’m sure i can cope with a few dodgy days every month.lol.I would like to say I had a few weeks with hardly any symptoms which eventually faded into about three weeks of none at all,to the point where i forgot how it felt and couldnt really remember how long it had been when i last felt rubbish and now for the last week I am having feelings of slight strangeness/nervousness which can often just feel like I could do with a really good nights sleep.It is strange because I sort of feel as if i have a foot both sides one side being complete normality and the other being a bit of anxiety which gives me a heady feeling.In a weird way its like the anxiety is more a deeper state of mind a sort of over analisisng state of mind and normality is more superficial and not deep thinking at all.Does that make sense to anyone? Anyway what i’m really pleased about and what i want to tell people is that I have come so far and i am so proud of myself for getting out of this anxiety circle and being brave ,having the nerve to feel the fear and do it anyway with a so what attitude.I still get (only when anxiety is hanging around) strange thoughts but i know what they are and sometimes they are so silly they make me smile.I am not scared of myself anymore I am not scared of my thoughts anymore i am not scared of my feelings.I know I am nearly recovered I may have a few more setbacks but they dont matter because when they get the hint they cant make me analize again and be scared again they will also stop coming.When my anxiety returns as is now i notice i feel more vulnerable and get upset easier but i accept this how anxiety makes you feel.I hope you and baby are doing well in this heatwave although it has rained all day here in the midlands and also to point out that i read in clare weeks that hot days can make you feel like you have anxiety so it may make those hot sweats feel a bit hotter.lol Happy days x x

  286. kevin Says:

    hi all been quite a while since i have posted 6 or 7 months i think. been still reading though up until about 8 weeks ago and then decided to take a break, been doing really well latley back out with friends and enjoying it ! moved house which was a rough time hi anxiety and stress but this was i think due to leaving my home of 10 years. but still got through it and most impotant learnt from it.

    i would like to just give some advise if i may mainly to the new comers and that is I know how you feel ive been there and i know that this site is the key because it unlocked all the unknowns for m e and the support is fantastic and for me most important i just needed someone that understood so may i say thank you all for that. you may be sat there reading post aftefr post trying to relate it to yourself and thinking why do they seem to be getting better and not me? well the truth is you are and everyday you get that bit closer i promise you, this is what i struggled with please dont get me wrong i am not better i am not FULLY recovered but i fell im getting there im able to go to work and go have a drink with friends ect which there was no chance of me doing just 3 or 4 months ago but belive me ive been suffering for a long long time. so to sum up i would like to say thank you 1 and all for your support even though it may have not been direct your posts have helped and i will keep looking in from time to time but as paul said in a post of his you also need a break from anxiety and this will hopefully take me into full recovery!

    keep following that light at the end of the tunnel everyone and if you cant see a light then let this site be your guide until you can!

    1

  287. kevin Says:

    hi paul just a quickie my friend i have a ebook copy of your book but would it be possible to have a copy of you new one? also just a quick question im fully back at work now ande have even started another business as you know i work for myself, sometimes im getting feelings of being overwhelmed? when you seem to have so much on your plate and people keep asking this and that of you it c auses me to get stressed and then i begin to feel the anxiety come back over me and the thought of i cant cope with all this. any advise?

    regards kevin

  288. Lorryt Says:

    Hi nikki

    i guess thats what it is supersensitivity and nervousness. physically i an take all that it throws at me, i really dontc are about that any more, so why cant i adopt the same attitude with the mental side of it, it does seem strange. my head just goes into overdrive and i have to learn not ot be scared of myself. i dont get why i cant get it ? maybe thats it im trying again and i shouldnt be, im chasing something that i should be waiting to come to me. i dont know. im keeping busy and my friend(anxiety) comes with me everywhere thoughtswise.i am not living in the present, the anxiety is forwarding my thoughts to the future and i know i have to smile and wave and smile and wave attitude but i guess thats work in progress.sorry for sounding off again. need to toughen up and be more positive!

    have a lovely night all, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  289. Nikki Says:

    Hi lorryt.You sound like you are being really hard on yourself and thats going to make you feel stressed.I think for me I know I am the person I was before all this started which was only really january/february this year so only a short time in the grand scale of things.I stpped worrying about how I thought and really beleived all those thoughts are natural normal thoughts given the circumstances.I had thoughts about the future its hard to explain but i didnt feel the same about it as before and was left wondering what it was all about what happens when its just me and the bloke and I dont have the kids to do things with etc but then i realised i didnt worry about that before and it was just anxiety and not a problem to be pondered once i had recognised it for what it was or labelled it as anxiety,I found I could switch off and thought about today the here and now usual stuff whats on telly whats for tea.In fact i have had a return of new random thoughts since my setback started but i dont care much for them they pop in every now and then and because I am comfortable with them they dont cause concern so inevitably dont hang around.If you can a find a place yourself where your not scared of having the thoughts they will leave you and if they come back on occasion you wont care because they dont bother you anymore.Be kind to yourself you have anxiety you are supposed to feel manky allow it, this is what is supposed to happen,what is happening is normal for you to feel and for me and for all of us.Its us that makes ourselves beleive that what we are feeling is somehow wrong and we crave normality but when nerves are sensitised in the way ours are the horrible feelings and thoughts are meant to happen and a requirement to getting better the same as aches and pains when we have a cold are what helps the body to fight the virus.Not pleasant but neccessary.It is a case of finding yourself and knowing who you are and letting everything else just happen do what you do without question.Beleive in yourself! You can do this xx Hope you Have a good night too.

  290. clara Says:

    Hi everyone
    Candie- I loved your last post what you said about all anxiety is a reaction to not wanting to think or feel a certain way thats so true!
    I am on my way to recovering ive had weeks of feeling fantastic!
    my husband and I have even been discussing having another baby and i am so excited however this evening i have had a massive setback whilst walking outside with my daughter i had a sudden feeling that i was going to hurt her and i then had the vizulization of doing it and of course i freaked out that i was going to do it and then could hardly walk back into the house! so now im sat here telling myself i musnt have another baby but thats not what i want :(
    I know i need to just see this as a setback and carry on with my plans to have another baby i really want another its just the anxiety making me tell myself i shouldnt

  291. Natalie Says:

    Hi there everyone!

    I haven’t visited here for a couple months which i guess means that i haven’t been thinking about anxiety – horray!!

    Lately, i really have gone against the grain and have been doing things that make me feel so uncomfortable. Most notably i went to Glastonbury festival last weekend (something which i would not of dreamt of this time last year, for fear of being anxiety hell!!)
    The weekend started with high anxiety but by the end of the weekend i was as cool as a cucumber! I’m thrilled i forced myself to go.

    I have however, been slipping into silly habits again. I have a bad back which i know is mostly stress related. I stress about it aching which makes it worse and i end up in a spiral.Most of my anxiety past and present mostly revolves around health. I’m just wondering if anyone has any advice on this?

    As well as health, an aspect which is very dominant in my anxiety is sleep. I worry about getting enough sleep. Particularly if i have something important on the next day. I obsess about it to the point where i’m led in bed at 4am, still having not been to sleep, with a racing heart. I know this is a very common problem, however it’s not really a subject which i have read about on this blog. Could anyone shed some wise words on the subject perhaps?

    I hope you’re all having a good day!

    Natalie

  292. teresa Says:

    Hiya All
    Thanks Candie for the sound advice, a bit neggy at the moment, doing ok but sometimes the symptoms are so strong as if they’re trying to gain my attention by wearing me down – I know they will pass but I have ‘plataeued’ (wrong spelling, loll) a lot over the time I’ve had this and now I’m worried that this is my stumbling block – that I don’t have enough courage to face the thing out. I seemed to have symptoms which are cyclical, – its EXACTLY as you said – anxiety being a reaction to a way we don’t want to think or feel, never thought of it like that before, I know it’s an over reaction to thoughts or feelings. I first remember feeling frightened of my thoughts about 10 years ago, I’d been suffering really badly for a long time and there were no answers coming from anywhere – eventually I found someone who hit the nail on the head, as they were suffering almost identically but had improved a lot. I had a fortnight free of any symptom – then back it came, I remember realising that my thoughts were creating these ‘illnesses’ – that frightened me and I then ‘fought’ my way back to a half normal life managing the symptoms by reading or thinking things. I managed to take up new jobs, socialise (to a point), go on holidays – but always in this controlled way and trying to live with one set of symptoms or the other. Last year I started to feel bleak about this ‘having to in control’ of my thoughts all the time, I’d have breaks but it would always be not far away. I lived my life with a Claire Weekes book not far away.
    This year since finding Paul’s book/site/blog I’ve learnt so much and let go of so much controlling behaviour – but I am scared of this plateau you mention because I feel I always end up back there. I’m not moaning I’m just so pleased to be able to speak to someone about it – I KNOW there is a way out and that I’m gradually thinking differently in small but good ways – however I am still frightened of thinking about any of the symptoms because when I get them I’m such a coward – I just want to get rid of them. I used to be so brave (probably still am but not seeing it). This is a bit of a ramble – but I so identify with what you said about about not wanting to think or feel a certain way, the strange thing is once I have reason for a ‘symptom’ (if it’s a ‘real’ pain)I can then accept it and although it’s ‘real’ I’m not as bothered by it . but all the time I believe it’s pain from anxiety it’s like subconsciously ‘I’m responsible’ therefore I need to get rid of it – thank you Candy think you’ve unleashed what I should have said all along. Don’t know if this made any sense – please accept my apoligies for being so self indulgent – but this isn’t a distraught email just confused.
    On to sweeter things – How is baby Jayden doing? Hope he’s giving you plenty of sleep. My daughter is 5 months now and looking forward to the autumn!!! Take care X

    Nikki and Lorryt
    Hope things are improving with you. Nikki, think your attitude is on the right track – it’s not easy but you sound like your grounded with it.
    Lorryt – Im sure you are moving forward too – pehaps we try too hard. It would be nice if our brains would just give up and say ‘whatever’. LOL – hope things improve.

  293. Candie Says:

    Hi Teresa, apologies for scaring you with plateau… but think of it like a diet plateau- things do progress again! We all reach them stumblin blocks where we think we cant come further yet always do. People may presume i have no symptoms of anxiety because i dont often speak about it, but i do still get it… i just dont over react to the extent i used to and slowly have learnt not to react to what is left and thats how it tapered of. Baby Jayden is doing really well thanks 😀 Hes a cutie, its amazing how you bond with them instantly… hes going to break a few hearts when hes older bless him! Does your daughter know if shes having a boy or girl? bet your really excited to be a ‘nana/grandma’.

    Clara… feeling bad isnt even a set back, i have moments like that still and dont class them as setbacks- a setback is where you feel at your worst for a good few days. So dont be disheartned by every time you feel bad thinking something has gone wrong, embrace it and learn from it. Right, this feeling you talk of like your going to lose control and harm your Daughter- its very common and most of us who have anxiety thoughts have experienced it. You are probably terrified of the feeling, when its not around you feel great- but when it comes everything is blown up in the air again and you feel bewildered. This is the stage where you finally get over your thoughts, by embracing the feeling. When it feels like something bad is going to happen, you must not flight from the situation- you must face it and let the adrenalin rise and then lower again… dont remove yourself from the fear as if you do it will always have a hold of you. So next time let the feeling come and ‘spectate’- give yourself chance to see nothing bad ever happens it just feels like it does as uv over reacted. When you learn to do this you will move on from the anxious thinking. You can have another baby, dont be put of doing anything- but your in a good position to cram in a bit of recovery first so you can enjoy your pregnancy and new baby. Practice allowing yourself to feel the fear and then dismiss it, when your confident with that id say you wont have any doubts about been a mum again.

    Nikki, really pleased you have grasped things.. keep at it and dont be bluffed by the anxiety and you will sail through recovery with that attitude :)

  294. teresa Says:

    Hi Candie
    Yes, really looking forward to being a ‘nana’ – and she’s having a little girl – so lots of pink, but not tooo much!!! LOL.
    Thanks for coming back to me on that – don’t apologise, I understand what you mean, I also know I over react to anything slightly negative in the ‘anxiety’ department – I suppose my awarenes of my over reaction is a good step forward all I need to do now is find some back bone or courage to face it straight on, feel a bit like the lion in the wizard of oz when I get bluffed by it. I’m sure I will keep improving – sometimes I think that even if I have the courage to say – yeh ok whatever(even if I don’t feel it 100%) it can help, back to the old thing of ‘what is acceptance’. Probably asking too much of myself and should just say as Nikki said – yeh ok it’s here now but it wil go again just as it’s gone before and nothing I did brought it back and nothing I do will make it go away , it will go – but on it’s own when my mind is satisfied it does not have to concern itself with it. I am on the road to recovery folks and I ain’t coming off it, so lets all keep moving onwards -I am so grateful for the help you give me . And so pleased I have been able to start looking at this subject with a more logical and less isolated viewpoint thanks to Paul and this site.
    Babies are GORGEOUS and I bet Jayden is bringing you sooo much love. How’s he been coping in the heat? Have you taken him out and about yet?
    Take care All X

  295. teresa Says:

    Kevin – just wanted to add a quick note. Thank you for taking the time to add that to the blog I am sure it will act as huge encouragement to new people and others. It helps to know differing peoples recovery and the more we hear about the more real recovery becomes, I take heart from the fact that your recovery is happening even though you have had anxiety for a long time – it will help me remember when the doubting Thomas voice starts. It’s nice to hear you’re out and about and ‘living’ – I think the important point that keeps coming up here too is that Candie, you, Kashwan and many others say that you do still get anxiety but that it keeps getting less and the les it gets the less you react, an ever decreasing cirlcle I think? I echoe your sentiments about the site. Thanks

  296. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Vicktor,

    “I am not even getting anxious thoughts or feelings, i am just so caught up in my thinking, it is frustrating me. I think good things about my anxiety and bad things, its just a cycle back and forth. One second its “wow I have come so far” the next second its “am i ever going to get back to my normal self again?”

    I remember feeling like this, it seems like a continuous cycle of acceptence and then doubting, this is perfectly normal, the periods of doubting become less and less, although sometimes it’s so subtle you won’t even notice it. Only when you look back you can see the progress you’ve made.

    “So my question is how do i stop thinking about it so much??? Especially when I am not preoccupied. For the most part, if I am at work or doing some shopping for example, these seem to be the times where the thinking about it disappears for short periods of time. But as soon as i step foot outside the store or into my car it hits me “oh you have not thought about anxiety”. Does anyone have any tips on how to overcome this? or is it something I have to accept for the time being? Is this anxiety or habit? any answers would be greatly appreciated. As with most things, understanding helps a lot, and I do know understand this aspect.”

    Vicktor, this is something you have to accept for the time being. There comes a time in recovery where you aren’t afraid as much anymore, but you are still reminding yourself periodically that you still have anxiety. It may seem like it drags on for a long time, but believe me it’s temporary and you will pass this hurdle in time. Go along with it, say so what if I’m reminded of my anxiety, I’ll accept it. I found it helpful to welcome the reminder, as if I was welcoming a friend I had not seen for an hour, half-day, day, week.

  297. Diana Says:

    Hi Everyone. I have been doing much better, and have been focusing on confronting my fearful situations and working through them. I have slowly reduced my meds — zoloft and xanax– Till now I did not feel any negative effects, but today, my second day with no zoloft after reducing to half a 25 mg tablet a day, I am feeling shakier and finding myself dwelling on negative thoughts. The zoloft (or the xanax, or both) had caused me huge digestive issues and I physically could not stay in that state of being so weakened. I really do feel that getting away from the meds is the only way to get truly healthy, I felt so fuzzy with 50mg of zoloft and could not focus at all. And I certainly do need to focus.

    I am trying to remember to be gentle with myself and get rest as I can. My insomnia is terrible. Last night I did not sleep even for five minutes, and am trying to take that with a grain of salt. I am suffering from irregular heartbeats in the night — the telltale sign of anxiety –plus I found myself last night having raging conversations in my head. How to stop these? I tried soothing myself, made some warm milk with honey.

    Any tips for what to do with the insomnia? I know I might not be sleeping well for awhile coming off of these meds. Is it better to stay in bed? I seem to dwell if I do that and have a devil of a time turning my attention away from the anxiety (which I seem to be able to do pretty well when I am rested). Is it better to get up and do something? What do you all do? Do you have secrets to make you tired enough to go into a slumber?

    I am 50 years old, in peri-menopause which brings its own set of hormonal issues — insomnia and anxiety being on the top of the list. Should I just be allowing myself to have a half of a Xanax to nod off? Or is it better to tough it out? I am interested in hearing opinions.

    I don’t know what I would have done the last six weeks of my life with out this site, Paul’s book, and the knowledge that there is a future and that I am not alone.

    Thank you.

  298. Patrick Says:

    Hi all, been a good 3 weeks since I last posted as I haven’t felt the need. I was doing OK until Friday. Not 100% but close, and although anxiety was still there, it was not bothering me much at all. I’ve been really busy at work and really busy at home with the new house/garden. Now though I think I have hit the inevitable “one step back” after my two steps forward. I expected this to happen of course, but now it has it does kinda feel like back to square one! I have come to work today feeling really anxious and on edge, and feels like my attention is back 100% on anxiety. I’ve been so positive recently, I feel down now, and dissapointed as well that I am now worried slightly that I am letting this bother me. I know to not be impressed by this and to just carry on, and ‘so what’ if my attention is back 100% on anxiety etc. Just at the moment feel a bit wobby and delicate. Part of me is excited though that this is part of the road to recovery and that the next “two steps forward” will take me even further ahead, but it’s hard to see that now!

  299. Lotty Says:

    Hi Diana,
    I relate to you, as a lot of people have been fortunate enough to be given good advice or have found this wonderful website before being put on drugs and left to fend for themselves. I was not so lucky, I was put on Seroxat and Xanax 15 years ago before I knew any better and that has brought its own host of problems. Fortunately I am of a stubborn nature and have only used Xanax periodically. When you say “half a tablet”, what strength are you talking about?

  300. Nikki Says:

    Hi patrick I know what your saying i have done exactly the same thing.Its really strange though because when i dont have any nerves i dont even remember to think about anxiety its as if i have never had it.It is a return to complete normality and the same as you i am a bit disapointed that its back although i knew to expect it.I think we just carry on as normal despite the nerves.Im still positive but would really like this phase to be over now as it really doesnt stop me doing anything and i have a strong sense of self so I know all this anxiey stuff is not real its an overactive imagination,what i mean is i dont see having anxiety as a problem to be overcome,Its just waiting for the body to reset and this will take time so when i am anxious I am living a normal life but waiting for time to pass in order to feel normal again.When i feel normal i dont think about time passing or waiting at all.It is hard to see how far you have come when a setback happens but the fact that we recognise we are feeling worse means that we must have got better at some point and the next time we have setback it wont be as bad as this(although this isnt bad at all just nerves) so bring it on!
    Thanks candie for your comment although i know i am dealing with this the right way it always help when you have things confirmed and i hope i do sail through it.Have a good day all x

  301. Patrick Says:

    Thx Nikki, I haven’t quite got to the stage where I would say I was normal again but certainly the last 3 weeks were the best I have been since this started at the end of January. I felt really positive, and had faith that I was on the right track. A few minor wobbles here and there but nothing major.

    I too am living a normal life, ie. I go out with friends, go to work, do all the things I used to, but just with the cloud of anxiety hanging around most of the time (it’s more of an annoyance than a real problem). To be honest life is great, I have just moved house, have a great wife and family, a good job etc. I too have a strong sense of self and never really had that de-personalisation that I read about, occasionally I felt a bit “fuzzy” but I used to have this before when stressed at work etc. Like u said I think in a previous post, it is easy to put down everything to anxiety when really, a lot of the physical stuff is just normal for most people anyway, tiredness / fatigue / stress.

    I wouldn’t call this a setback anyway, it’s just a blip I think, I haven’t felt really bad for months; I just noticed I felt far more nervous on Friday. Saturday was OK, then yesterday I felt down again and really nervous again this morning!! With the advice from this website / blog though, I can see it for what it is, and the doubts / fears that have surfaced again are just anxious thoughts, they haven’t been around much in the past three weeks.

    It is tough though when you start doubting!

  302. JR Says:

    Candie…Congrats on your new baby boy! I was just catching up on the posts and heard the great news!!!! That’s really awesome.

  303. Diana Says:

    Hi Lotty, thx for your reply. Stubborn nature is a wonderful thing :)

    I meant to say a half of a .50 mg Xanax, or a .25 mg dosage. Just a little, it does seem to take the edge of and allow me to nod off, which is a good thing. I don’t like the idea of being dependent upon something to sleep, so I fight myself on it.

  304. trez Says:

    Hi Patrick
    i to have had some great days,then had a few great weeks and of course i thought great this is my old self again.Then about 3weeks ago i seem to have went backwards,ive started analizing everything i do and everyone around me,i’ve even started feeling strange in myself again if that makes any sense to anyone,think its because my mind is so tired of trying to work things out.
    When i was having good days i done none of this.Does anyone feel that things are 100 times worse when they get a setback and is it possible to be in a set back for a few weeks,sorry for all the questions but im struggling at the moment.
    Would like to say congrats to Candie on the birth of your baby boy.x

  305. Victor Says:

    Scarlet,

    Thank you very much. There are still certain things that I do not understand how to handle. And as you know, the more you understand, the easier it is. I will take your advice and run with it. You have been great help these past 8 months!!

    I feel as recovery is right there staring me in the face, I just hit road blocks sometimes and get lost on what to do. And this begins that cycle of thinking about it all the time. But now that I have an answer, I feel I will be THAT much closer to recovery. Thanks Scarlet!

  306. brian Says:

    Hey everyone, I am still having a lot of trouble. I don’t know if anyone remembers any of my posts, but every time I talk about how I used to understand this website so well for about 5 months, really to the point where I almost felt recovered. Then, I don’t really know what happened. I thought I knew how to deal with setbacks but I felt really bad one night and completely lost faith. It has almost been a year since then, and I don’t think I have been accepting the right way for 1 second during this past year. As you can imagine, I have tried every single thing imaginable – taking breaks from this website, re reading everything over again, I read Will Beswick’s book and Eckhart Tolle’s, but none of it makes any difference. It’s like I have lost the ability to accept. Now I spend every day just thinking about ways to look at this website and acceptance, trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. I really feel more like I did before I ever found this website, when I just spent all day in my head trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I have been doing normal things too, working and going out pretty regularly with friends, but I don’t think it’s making any difference. I mean I did normal stuff for years while suffering anxiety and it only got worse, so there’s more to accepting than just going about your day, right?
    I have posted stuff like this before and everyone has been very nice and given me great advice, but I just have no clue how to follow it. I don’t know what’s happened to me – all I know is that I had the 5 greatest months of my life when I first found this website, but have completely lost touch with that during the past year.
    I have a lot of moments where I suddenly think I have it figured out, but it never lasts. This website used to give me so much confidence, peace, and faith during times when I felt bad, but I have lost all that. It’s hard to not get frustrated now when I read over this website or Paul’s book, and I’m just not sure what to do. I would love anyone’s thoughts on this. Thanks everyone.

  307. Lotty Says:

    Hi Diana,
    My opinion is that it’s ok to use xanax to take the edge off things as long as you have the right attitude; you sound like you have the sort of attitude that I have which is a good thing. I used xanax earlier in the year when I was really, really bad, but I only used it to get some sleep (and on the odd occasion during the day when I was suffering very badly). I used 0.5 mg for about 2 months, then weaned it down to 0.25 mg for another few weeks, then only from time to time for a few weeks, but during that time if I ever felt I could manage without it I went without. Now I don’t even consider taking it in the evening. It really helps to have some rest, even if it’s not a sleep of great quality, it really wears you down otherwise. So my advice is take it if you feel you need it (it’s not that high a dose anyway) but keep in mind all the time that you are only helping yourself to do what you will be able to do by yourself in time with Paul’s good advice and your body’s natural healing. Don’t beat yourself up about it Diana, we are all human and need a bit of help from time to time. I had absolutely no trouble doing without when I felt stronger. xxxx

  308. Nicola Says:

    Hi there everybody!

    I’m not sure how to join this community so I am briefly commenting here to test that this will indeed add me to the group.

    Without going into all the details I am in the middle of a high anxiety episode that started in January this year and has steadily progressed until now, where I am at my low point of constant anxiety nad, scary, weird thoughts (dp?) . Before this happened I was a happy, strong mum to two small boys who was feeling a bit stressed out (but other than that pretty good – especially in comparison to how I am now). I started taking Lexapro for stress and had a severe anxiety reaction which started all this off. I am now medication free and having a rough time.

    Paul I found your website while searching for an anti anxiety diet and resisted reading (was following the linden method which forbids anxiety research!) the rest of your site but I am so glad I did. What a compassionate and giving person you are to share all the nitty gritty of your experience and thus help so many people!!

    Everything you say rings true to me and I have ordered your book. I like the approach (similar to Claire Weekes) of accepting what is happening and carrying on. I understande but I am also scared of it.

    I have a scary feeling that this may not work for me because I don’t have the same depth of belief that you have Paul that my body can fix me. Perhaps I do really believe it but it is just another adrenaline induced irrational thought. I also feel scared that I cannot be a normal human again and as I write this I get a surge of icy fearfulness through my body.

    Sorry about the negative post but I plan to be posting much more postive thoughts as time goes by. I am inspired by what I read here.

    Love to you all

    Nicki
    xx

  309. Patrick Says:

    Hi Nicola, welcome to the group, I found the website about 7 weeks ago and it has helped a lot. (I too had been following the Linden Method since January which I believe made me worse.) Overall I have been a lot better although like you I still have doubts and fears about not being “human” again! It is good you suspect that your thoughts are adrenaline induced irrational thoughts because this is certainly one thing that was holding me back. Now I understand these thoughts they haven’t been around as much.

    Patrick

  310. lorryt Says:

    hi nicola

    always nice to see a new face seeking to help themselves. this place is a godsend and i for one feel it has helped me immensely. you will have negative days and very postivie days , overtime the good overtake the bad.its not always easy along the way but thats why we are all here advice and support is unrivalled. to have the belief it will work, and your body will heal; itself all comes in time. we are all in the same boat here and understand that we loose the padddles and go backwards sometimes but just get on with youir day and pay things no mind, easy for me to say, i wish i could take my own advice sometimes!! but welcome and hope things get better soon !

    have a good day xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  311. Patrick Says:

    Well today was a test! Recently I have had so much enthusiasm for life and anxiety has just been there in the background, but today all my enthusiasm seems to have gone and I feel like I did earlier this year when I felt like this most of the time. I have tried not to let it bother me and even found myself laughing at myself a few times but I have certainly not enjoyed today. I have been doing what I want when I want but today I didn’t really want to do anything!!

    I just thought so what if I feel like this today, I have felt pretty good for 3 weeks or so with just background anxiety, I’m not questioning why I feel bad again, but I do feel really flat and the doubt and apprehension are more obvious today and my faith has wavered somewhat . . . I suppose times like these are when you need support.

  312. Diana Says:

    lotty

    ***thanks hug**** lovely person you are.

    Nicola, this place is the right place. This is the way to get past your anxiety, as horrendous as it is right now, and I know it is horrendous. You will be yourself again. What will change is your habit of focusing your energy internally on the anxiety. Instead, focusing the attention on the outside and on other people, activities and things (which feels like trying to separate two magnets — it is really hard in the beginning) will eventually lead you to a new habit. The anxiety, the fear, it is there and you cannot deny it or fight it. But you can change your focus because you are determined to get well. And that means you have the ability to change your habit. I still have a little voice wanting to bring me down and crash and burn, but the voice is getting smaller and smaller as my goals, activities, and desires for a better life get bigger and bigger. I still have my problems but I am on my way. I have had two major episodes – the first in 2003, which took a year and this last one which started on May 20th and is taking much less time. The first time I did therapy 3x a week and was hospitalized initially for 2 weeks because of suicide danger. THis slide this past May threatened to shove me down that far again. It is largely because of this website and blog that that did not happen. It was a rope to grab on to. My first big accomplishment was to go shopping when I thought shopping would kill me. I mean kill me. Like, I would not survive the trip to a big store (the trigger for me was financial worry). But I survived. I dp’d the entire time, I was literally saying to myself the whole time, ok it is just adrenaline, keep going through the aisles. I made it home and fell apart, exhausted. But I did it and it clearly did not kill me. I never, never would have attempted that trip without having had the support from this website. I might still be in bed, fearful — and I own a B&B. If I am not functioning, there is no business and there is no money. So changing the habit — separating those two magnet — the magnet of your anxiety and the other magnet of your attention to the anxiety — is critical. It will work. Your body will start to feel better. You will get better. Slowly does it.

  313. Lotty Says:

    Brian,
    What sort of irrational thoughts are you having that are keeping you down? Is it that you are scared that you are different in some way and that you won’t recover? Because if it is, I and many other people on this site I’m sure can assure you that it’s absolute rubbish. You had 5 months of being anxiety-free; that’s great, and it’s evidence that you certainly CAN feel well. But don’t recover to anyone’s yardstick but your own. We all take different times to recover and our rollercoasters rides are all different too; don’t despair because you are not where you want to be yet. Despair and fear, that’s what used to keep me down. Fear that I wouldn’t recover and despair that I wasn’t well enough yet. At the moment I think it’s maybe better for you to look at this blog for a bit of reassurance and to express yourself rather than to demand comfort and progress, although I’m sure that will come slowly in time too. Trust me, if you are following this web-site, you are following the right path. xx

  314. Victor Says:

    Brian,

    You said “I spend every day just thinking about ways to look at this website and acceptance, trying to figure out what I am doing wrong.”

    I find myself doing this at times too, even within the past week. Read Scarlet’s reply to me from July 4th, it has helped me a lot.

    What I want to tell you is that thinking about it, trying to figure it all out will not help. You have to just BE. I know it is very difficult, trust me. I am the master of creating habits and have always been a worrier, even before I began “suffering”. I have found that trying to focus on the present is the best thing to do, Paul said in his book something along the lines of “If I was going to cook, then I would focus on cooking, not think about anxiety” I have applied this and what scarlet says the past week and it has helped tremendously. Out of habit anxiety will cross your mind, but you have to just let it go and do not fear it. It takes time to break the habit.

    Paul said something, I am not sure if it was in the book or a blog, but he said that he did not even know recovery was possible. I think a lot of us get so caught up in recovering, we forget to just live which is how you recover. You say you go out with your friends, that is great! I do too. But I have wasted several activities with my friends thinking about anxiety the whole time, while not even getting one anxious thought!! What a waste of thinking that was! Hope that helps, and if I could help more please just ask.

  315. Lotty Says:

    Victor, I like what you said: “I think a lot of us get so caught up in recovering, we forget to just live which is how you recover.” Nicely put, and so true!

  316. Jay Says:

    Guys

    Please help me, Ive been having these weird and disturbing sensations as of late. I am unable concentrate and my mind feels dull. At one point I was so muzzy that I was not able to follow a simple conversation over the phone and it took me a couple of seconds before I was able to understand and respond. Seems that my mind lacks air as I feel so lightheaded, not really dizzy but having the feeling of unsteadiness especially when I walk. I also feel light all over my body and also weak.

    Yes I had anxiety for almost 3 years and I constantly worry about many things. But these past days has got to be the worse. I cant stop thinking and I fear my mind and brain has totally lost it. To top of it all, I was not able to get any minute of sleep last Friday and I think im feeling the affects of it.

    How do I really stop thinking? I had my blood test and they are all ok. Already visited the neurologist and he said im fine. Already had a counseling session with a psychologist and I always seem to feel better after but after a few days, im all back to being stressed. So why am I feeling this way? I believe its all mental since I don’t really get physically tired as my work isn’t that stressful. Its been a while since I last exercised.

    What will I do? I know acceptance is the solution but it is so hard especially when I comes in situations when you feel like you have no where to run like in a meeting or perhaps driving alone.

    I admire all those that have recovered here in this site and I would very much appreciate anything that would help me regain my strength and be the person I was once.

  317. Nikki Says:

    Hi all! I have been in a bit of a setback of late but today the nerves have really kicked in and my heads feeling fuzzy.The old irrational thoughts that used to bother me have returned and when they pop in there my body reacts almost like going over a bridge in a car!This hasnt happened for at least two months and over the last week or so has got steadily worse i am continueing to do things as normal and I am keeping the same attitude towards the anxiety that I have always had I knew that setbacks happened and this is part of getting better but i didnt think it happened with such force.I am not working anymore so one of my thoughts related to not working has returned and i feel like i am going backwards and i dont want to go back there again.I feel like some of the progress I made has been lost.I am still absolutely positive this will go but just feeling rubbish today as i had quite a few weeks feeling ‘normal’ and its very unnerving being back here.Any words of support gratefully received today, Hope you all are having a good day x x x

  318. Lotty Says:

    Hi Nikki,
    Just a few words of support; it’s difficult when you think you are getting somewhere but the old feelings come back with such force; as Teresa said a while ago and I agree: “Perhaps it needs to keep coming in diminishing forms in order to retrain the thinking towards it.” So I think it helps to think of it as another challenge to get you a bit further up the ladder toward recovery, and an excellent opportunity to learn a bit more and to solidify everything you have learnt so far. I knew it feels rubbish but if you can keep that mental attitude in the background it will make a difficult situation a little easier. I hope that helps, and I’m thinking of you. xx
    Brian, how are you feeling?

  319. Nikki Says:

    Hi lotty.Thanks xIt helps to know someone understands.I do have a positive mental attitude I think though because I do have such an understanding of what anxiety is its more an annoyance than anything.Having anxiety now makes no difference to anything I want to do Inever think I wont do this because I will feel bad I never avoid any situation because i may feel bad.There arent any situations that make me nervous.I just get up sometimes feeling rubbish.What i do find annoying is the reaction response to certain thoughts for example the idea i will have to be at home alone tomorrow with hardly anything to do but housework gets a reaction.I dont care if i’m alone or not im not bothered but it seems my anxiety is bothered.There are other thoughts that can evoke the same reaction although personaly i dont mind the thought.It seems now i observe these reactions as an outsider its more chemical reaction than a feeling or emotion.Is this making any sense? After a period of time when these thoughts didnt get a reactionit now feels strange that they are bothering the body again(they dont bother the mind i dont analize anymore)I guess i feel recovered and over this mentally and im waiting for the body to catch up! Hey ho Thanks again lotty hope you are having a good day x x

  320. Lotty Says:

    Yes you’re right Nikki, I can relate to that totally. It feels sometimes that the body is lagging behind the mind. I get that feeling sometimes when the weekend draws near. In the early days it used to really bother me, as the weekdays, hard to get through as they were, at least had some structure due to having to be at work. The weekends were harder as I had to motivate myself on my own. Even though I feel I have come a long way, sometimes on a Friday night all of a sudden I feel a bit lost and anxious even though I know that I should be looking forward to the weekend and freedom like I used to. Habit drags me back now and again. It could be anything: entering a room where I had a really bad experience, getting into the shower where I had the panic attack that started it all off, seeing something on tv that I remember seeing when I was really depressed…the list goes on. When you think about it that way, it’s no wonder we are dragged back from time to time – there’s a whole host of bad memories everywhere we look!! Takes time to replace them with good ones. xxxx

  321. Paul David Says:

    Victor that’s a tremendous piece of advice and EXACATLY what I have tried to get through. In fact I will use the piece as part of this months post.

  322. Patrick Says:

    Nikki, totally with you, I find it strangely reassuring to find other people seem to be at more or less the same place I am, kinda shows that despite our differences we all basically have the same condition so there is no reason why any of us should ever not recover fully.

    I am in Setback mode, thought it was a small blip, but all my doubts about recovery have kicked back in and I’m back to feeling flat and depressed and have “lost interest” in things again, which was a real problem for me earlier this year and not somewhere I expected to be again. I thought I was “nearly” there and it is as you say unnerving to be “here” again. I know this is a setback but yes, the force of it has surprised me too. I haven’t been perfect recently but been so positive and enthusiastic about things that the anxiety has been just a background annoyance which I could cope with.

    I know I don’t have to “do” anything, just get on with my day etc, this setback has just put my focus 100% back on anxiety when it was starting to fade. I think for me the difficulty is knowing how to face the fear – I can understand how if going on a bus makes you anxious, but my anxiety started when a family member was ill and it went very quickly; but some time after, out of the blue I panicked when I thought is this going to happen everytime someone is ill! And here we are six months later!!

  323. Patrick Says:

    Nikki you said-
    “Having anxiety now makes no difference to anything I want to do Inever think I wont do this because I will feel bad I never avoid any situation because i may feel bad.There arent any situations that make me nervous.I just get up sometimes feeling rubbish.What i do find annoying is the reaction response to certain thoughts”

    That is EXACTLY how I am.

    what you are saying about the body lagging behind the mind – I can totally resonate with that – I consciously don’t feel that anxious anymore – I don’t really feel like I am consciously worrying anymore. I get random thoughts that cause a bit of a panic; for example I am really busy at work at the moment which is great, but the project I am working on ends in September and I had a sudden panic about that!

    I think what is happening is that anxiety starts as the sub conscious reacting to conscious thought patterns – it seems like it starts quick, but it has probably been building up for months or years; and I think the same is true of recovery – consciously we recover, but the sub conscious takes longer. That is how a counsellor explained it to me a while ago and what Paul said about a fire is the same thing – anxiety is the fire which we fuel with our conscious thoughts – when we consciously recover the fire is put out, but the sub conscious smoulders on for a bit and occasionally flares up (ie. setbacks). One thing to remember is that the sub conscious has no right or wrong or reasoning – it just “does”. We just have to convince it that there is nothing to be anxious about!!

    And Lotty, I know what you mean about memories – I was talking to somebody at work the other day outside, and I suddenly remembered one day months ago at my worst when I was on the phone to an anxiety support helpline stood in the same place; unfortunately that memory has fuelled this setback.

  324. Paul David Says:

    Just to let everyone know I will place a new post up tomorrow. I have had computer problems and have had to purchase a new one, so I have not been online for a while. I was going to do a post about social anxiety, which I developed and was able to come throough. Another idea was to pull some comments out from the last thread and answer concerns and put my own thoughts on certain things that I feel are important. Which ever I decide on I will post within 24 hours. Thanks to Candie/Shirley and others for answering concerns and adding some great advice, as I can’t be around as much as I wish I could, it really helps to keep the blog active and helpful.

    Paul

  325. Paolina Says:

    Hello All,

    I posted a reply to Paul in regards to thanking him for helping me to move on with my life after having experienced some anxiety symptoms-brought on by the stress of having to make a presentation at work.

    I will reiterate from my post in saying that I have had almost every anxiety symptom possible: tingling sensations, DP, muscle aches, racing thoughts etc.

    Every once in a while I return to Paul’s book to refresh myself with being on track- I am not 100% recovered but pretty close to it. So today I am home sick with a sinus infection. Today is a little tougher for me. I am fatigued by being sick and being home alone leaves me time to think too much and i know you all know what I am talking about.
    SO- I have a choice. Either I sit here watching TV and worry to death about “what if I get worse?” What if I go backwards cause I am feeling anxious?” what if, what if what if. . … OR I can say- “it’s OK- I am not feeling well- I am taking cough medicine that could be making me more anxious (and it does btw) I am tired today- so just let it all be. . .today is a day that I will accept- I will accept my anxious thoughts and feelings and tomorrow is a new day. I have been through this before- and I know that this feeling is not permanent. . . it will pass ….

    This is the attitude that Paul refers too. It’s not a phrase- it’s a complete and utter acceptance of how you are feeling. Memory has a tendency to draw you back in to the gloom and doom of it all- but how about following up that “doom and gloom” thought with a happier one- a time when you felt more outward and more successful at your accomplishments towards recovery no matter how little the progress was- you where able to do it once right?

    You can do it. . change your attitude towards it- see it as a challenge instead of a monster. . . .GO FOR IT! believe me- the reward of recovery is sweet.. . . mark my words..

    I just felt like I had to add some positivity and help to those of you who seem stuck (I went through this many times- and still persevered)

    -Cheers

  326. Paul David Says:

    Very positive words Paolina, glad you have come so far and your right its a new attitude that builds within you.

Leave a Reply

*