Fighting our anxiety does us no good

Firstly I am back from the Isle of Wight, certain promises on accommadation and hours were not kept and it was not what I expected, so I thought it best to return and thanks to Candie for holding fort while I have been away. So as I have not posted in a while I decided to jump straight in.

One thing I think a lot of people are guilty of is trying to change or suppress how they feel. This I feel needs expanding on as in many cases it can come almost automatically. To find out if you fall into this category ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you spend any of your day trying to change how you feel?

2. Do you ever avoid something that may bring these feelings on?

3. Is your whole day consumed with getting better?

4. Do you only see a life without anxiety as something you must achieve?

5. Do you have a mental battle with yourself during the week, going round in circles trying to figure it all out?

If the answer is yes to any of the above then you are still trying to change or supress how you feel. Let’s start with each question and expand on it.

1. Do you spend your day trying to change how you feel?

This is a very common habit to get into, one I certainly fell for. We have tired and worn nerves that make our skin feel tingly, tense and we can become irritable. We also have a tired worn out mind that makes thinking slow and we feel odd and spaced out. None of these you can change by fighting against them, just allow and give them space. I was once walking into town and doing the usual, trying to control and suppress how I felt, I must control this, keep it under wraps, make it better.

I then went into a shop to pay for something and realised I had lost my wallet that had quite a sum of money in it. I was frantic trying to find it, I checked all my pockets, traced my last steps and went back to work devastated. I realised for the half hour when I was looking for this money that it became more important than how I felt and that I felt quite normal for this period, like my attention had switched from me and I was no longer concerned with how I felt, but more with the money I had lost.

That episode taught me that I needed to learn to switch from me and stop trying to control or suppress how I felt, it was not important and was only leading me to feel more detached than ever. I needed outward things to take up my attention and not waste so much time on me

Question 2: Do you ever avoid things that bring these feelings on?

Another classic and we can become masters at this. I always felt it was better to not feel these symptoms and would avoid situations that would bring them on. I used to make excuse after excuse to fit in with not feeling this way. Of course in time I realised this could not bring me home, it was o.k to feel anxious, this is where my progress will come from. So I no longer hid away. In the past I felt detached and anxious in social situations so avoided them, well no more, if I felt odd/anxious then so be it. 

I would avoid going into crowded places in case I felt overwhelmed. This changed and I went towards them with a ‘so what’ attitude. I would feel a little overwhelmed as expected and feel the need to escape, but I never did, I would not be bluffed into running away from a feeling. My life that was becoming narrower and narrower was now beginning to broaden and I realised more was less, the more anxiety I felt, the less it came in the future, to lose my fear I had to feel it and see it through and really see it for what it was, unmask the bogey man that was holding me back. Everytime I felt anxious or overwhlemed it had a peak and would always die down, if I had not gone towards and through these feelings I would have never found this out. This realisation broadened my life and I began to build up my confidence to do more and more.

Question 3: Is your whole day consumed with getting better?

Another trap I fell into, I would almost watch my progress daily, getting excited at the good days, thinking ‘that’s it I am fine’, then getting really down about the bad. I would always be tuning in to how I felt, it was a daily ritual. Again I lost this habit by moving away from the subject. I stopped reading up on the subject, stopped trying to find the next elusive eureka moment. I realised I needed to get back to living again and I almost dropped the subject and trusted that the knowledge I had built up was enough, that I would never lose what I had learnt and I no longer had to spend my day trying to find new answers. This really did help me. 

I have said it before but I hate forums for this very reason. I have seen people post 15 times a day for years on end, their anxiety consumes them, they think of nothing else. They can never really hope to move away and start living again, the subject almost becomes them and they think and talk of little else. This is why it is important to take time outs, to build up hobbies and interests. The subject is in my life, but at a normal manageable level and the reason I cannot answer personal emails on my main site. I truly would be answering people 24 hours a day, it would become impossible and again the subject would become my day/week, I would never get a break. Through the blog I can help people at a level I am comfortable with and have a life outside of the subject.

Question 4: Do you see a life without anxiety as something you must achieve?

This is a very important point. People who chase the dream of being anxiety free can tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves to do so and their days can be full of ups and downs and disappointments. Again they can begin to over search for that magic cure or sentence, always believing they have missed something. My real progress came when I stopped trying to get better, I came to the conclusion that it was o.k to feel this way. My attitude towards how I felt changed and that is very important. Don’t see anxiety as the big green monster trying to consume you. Learn to be o.k with how you feel, don’t see it as something you must be rid of before you can be happy again, don’t give it that respect and learn to live alongside it.

Question 5: Do you have a mental battle with yourself each week going around in circles trying to figure it all out?

Well I was certainly guilty of this one. My mind became so tired and led to feelings of detachment, feeling spaced out and not with it. I always thought I had to fix it. My battle was twofold, one trying to make myself feel better and the other trying to find the long term solution. Looking back I can’t believe I ever thought I could do this, as all I was doing was tiring my fragile mind further. In time it almost became automatic, like I could not think of anything else, the subject really had become me and rather than being able to try and think of a solution, I just thought about it, my mind no longer had the resilience to try and figure how to help myself.

I ended up with a deeply fatigued mind and to reverse this process I  just had to step back and allow it to over think, to process obsessive thoughts and thinking, without being alarmed by it, I just really had to go with it until it found it’s resilience and clear thinking again. I certainly was not going to try and fix it, as this had brought this over fatigued mind on in the first place.

In time my thinking did become clear and flexible once again and I did not make the same mistake again and did not go down the ‘think my way better route’ I felt how I felt and that was it, trying to think my way better and figure it all out were just going to tire my mind further and this was something I would not do. I would not try to ‘not’ think about the subject, through habit I would and sometimes I needed to remind myself of something, but the 24 hour battle with myself was over.

Hopefully there is a strong message in there and it helps people in some way


For more help and information on anxiety visit

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

489 Responses to “Fighting our anxiety does us no good”

  1. Kate Says:

    Hi Paul

    Sorry it didn’t work out how you planned. At least you’ve come back to some lovely weather.
    That is defo one of your best posts. Thank you :)
    Big thanks to Candie for her fantastic responses while you’ve been away.

  2. lindsey Says:

    Hi Paul

    Welcome back!!


  3. lindsey Says:


    todays post is great and really helpful to me right now thanks. lots of things in there have helped me clear some issues up thanks again


  4. selma Says:

    i loe this post, paul. thank you. i am really working on not trying think about escaping from anxiety 24/7, but it is SO hard when my symptoms are really bad. last night i had one of the scariest panic attacks i’ve ever had in all my years. my mind was racing with so many thoughts and i was analzying each one and i felt like i was trapped in a whirlwind of my mind. i was thinking “how can i possibly be so aware of every thought for the rest of my life…” and then that seemed like an eternity and i got super overwhelmed with that feeling. it is really hard to describe the state i was in, but i felt such a sense of desperation and felt like if i really described how i felt inside to anyone, they would want to just commit me. i thought for sure it was going to tip me right over the edge. but then today has been a pretty decent day, as long as i am not reflecting on that episode. it was so torturous. i couldn’t even get out of bed to get my husband for help. i just laid there sort of spinning in my own head….

  5. Carrie Says:


    i’m sorry you had a panic attack last night. i sympathize with you as i have had many of them. i wanted to ask you: at the first sensation of panic, did you think:

    1.) oh my god, here it comes… what am i going to do, this is awful!


    2.) i feel adrenaline, and i know that it feels worse than it should because my nerves are sensitized

    or maybe you thought something different. my panic attacks usually start with #1 and then it gets worse from there with the same things you described. last night, however, i was in a bible study when i felt that wave of panic flood over me. i sat straight up (getting ready to jump out of my seat and run out of the room). my heart was pounding, my mind was racing, i was sweating and i envisioned myself running out. and then i remembered… do nothing.

    it was so difficult and so scary to make myself stay put. but i told myself that the wave i felt was just adrenaline, and the exaggerated response was because of my sensitized nerves. i even pulled out my notebook and wrote,
    “adrenaline + sensitized nerves = panic, this is not harmful or dangerous”

    within 60 seconds, the panic had passed!!! it was wonderful!!!

    i share this with you because i want to help you. i was thrilled when i realized that i had been able to cope by staying in the situation and allowing the panic to be there. have you ever tried to do that?

    what would have turned into a full blown panic attack was stifled so quickly because i allowed the panic to just pass through me. i’m going to try this again the next time it happens, and i hope that you will, too. good luck!

  6. Lindsey Says:


    Selma thats sounds awful glad that you are feeling better today, i know what you mean about describing to people how you feel. i just think there is no point because they wont understand or be able to imagine being like that and i always think they will just think i am being dramtic!!! glad you feel better today and i hope you have a better night tonight!!

    Lindsey XX

  7. christina Says:

    As you say, Spot On! This is definitely a top 10 post. To allow ourselves to get to a place where we stop trying to rid ourselves of any of this, and not be so completely impressed by all the mental and physical symptoms, is recovery’s road.

    I find I’m in and out of that place. Sometimes accepting and getting on with things, but at other times giving the feelings more notice than they deserve. I guess that’s only human, and accepting that we won’t always “do it right”, (which is doing nothing at all) is part of recovering.

    It’s a funny thing, and been said before, when you are in the midst of it you can feel like you might never come out, but when you are experiencing freedom from it, you can’t really imagine going back. This shows the flightiness of feelings. So much easier to accept good days/weeks/months than challenging periods. We need to see that as unpleasant as they can be, they are just feelings and feelings always change.

  8. amy Says:

    Reading this post all makes sense, but I’m in a setback at the moment(actually going into my 3rd week of it) and It is so hard to feel the anxiety…it really frightens me. I go thru it, and it reaches the peak, but the next day when I have to do it all over again I I still dread going out even though the days before I went thru it and survived. Felt the fear and did it any way. I just don’t get it I go towards my feelings of fear and panic, but I don’t have more confidence for the next’s still a struggle to go thru it. Today I hate my anxiety it steals so much from my life.

  9. dyeri Says:

    This post is very helpful.

  10. Lindsey Says:

    Hi All

    I am in the middle of a setback. It started monday night and is still lingering around i thought i had coped really well with it all but am confussed by it still hanging around. I gave it no attention let it be there (though i was still scared so does that not count)? i continued with whatever i had planned didnt let it stop me doing anything i had planned even managed to achieve things i hadnt done before when i was like this eg go swimming, out for lunch etc. Its started in bed and i remained there didnt get up start pacing etc just lay and continued with my night knowing it will pass i can get through it i have been through worse etc. have continued to go to work though felt awful and have even been given the oppurtunity to go early but choose to stay as i didnt want to give in to it! so why am i still paying for it five days on am i not accepting right or am i just exshausted and paying my thoughts a little bit too much attention still so there fore engouraging it to still be around eg if i am niggling at it, its niggling back at me? any advice or help would be really useful thanks

    Lindsey XX

  11. Paul David Says:

    Thanks Kate, good to be back, I have something else planned in Scotland working with a friend so hopefully that will work out better.

    Christina says: As you say, Spot On! This is definitely a top 10 post. To allow ourselves to get to a place where we stop trying to rid ourselves of any of this, and not be so completely impressed by all the mental and physical symptoms, is recovery’s road.

    I find I’m in and out of that place. Sometimes accepting and getting on with things, but at other times giving the feelings more notice than they deserve. I guess that’s only human, and accepting that we won’t always “do it right”, (which is doing nothing at all) is part of recovering.

    You are so correct in what you say above Christina and being in and out of that place is totally normal and shows real progress. You have taught yourself to be away from the constant ‘going over’ it, but habit and memory keeps pulling you back.

    It is the same as when you split with a partner, you have spent so long with them you are bound to think about them often when you are on your own, again habit and memory will do this. The person who carrys on thinking and obsessing about them will never really break away, the person who throws all the photos out and decides to just get on with their life will eventually move on. That person will of course still think about them in the months after the split at times, but eventually other things will take their attention and it will just be fleeting moments. It really is the same thing with anxiety. I was never a fan of writing little notes down but I had one on my bedside table for when I woke and it simply said ‘Just live your life Paul’ That set me up for the day and nothing was going to stop me. Before I would wallow in bed tuning in to how I felt when I woke, wondering why after a sleep I felt so confused, planning my day wondering if I could or wanted to do this or that.

    My new approached just allowed me to wake and get on with my day.

  12. Lindsey Says:

    Hi Candie

    Please can you advise me?

    I am in the middle of a setback. it started monday night and i laid there and let it be ( even though i was scared so does this not count?)knowing i had got through worse, it will pass etc. I continue to do whatever i had planned and more and not let it get in the way of any plans i have made. i even managed to do more like go swimming on my own and go out for lunch big things i was terrified but i did them. i continue to go to work and was even given the choice of going home but i choose to stay as i didnt want to give in to my feelings. So why five days on do i still feel in the midst of it all and still in my setback. Is it because i am exshausted and paying my thoughts to much attention eg i am niggling at it , so its niggling back at me? i thought i was doing well continuing etc but am i not doing something right, is this not acceptance and living alongside anxiety? i have learnt though that i have thought i have been having mini setbacks when now i just realize they are just syptoms hanging around and not setbacks at all monday now i know was a setback and i know the diffrence so have learnt that much this time around i am seven months in? any help or words of advice would be really useful


    lindsey XX

    Hi D X

  13. Paul David Says:

    Amy you say: Reading this post all makes sense, but I’m in a setback at the moment(actually going into my 3rd week of it) and It is so hard to feel the anxiety…it really frightens me. I go thru it, and it reaches the peak, but the next day when I have to do it all over again I I still dread going out even though the days before I went thru it and survived. Felt the fear and did it any way. I just don’t get it I go towards my feelings of fear and panic, but I don’t have more confidence for the next’s still a struggle to go thru it. Today I hate my anxiety it steals so much from my life.

    Your attitude towards how you feel is very important. Exactly what frightens you about how you feel? Whilst you fear something you create more tension and stress, more adrenalin and the reason you feel no better, you are in a cycle. I onced feared how I felt and it led to me being stuck in a cycle of worry, self pity, fear. Everything my anxiety needed to continue, fear is anxiety, so if you fear it you stay in a cycle and that is what you need to change. You can dislike it as much as you want, that is fine, but there is no need to fear a feeling as that is all it is.

    Amy it really is a patience thing. Don’t think ‘Well I went towards it and look I feel no better, I don’t want to do that again’. You are expecting too much too soon. The golden rule is no matter how it goes or how you feel, be happy with this, put no pressure on it to go well or feel instant elation. Time will bring the rewards, the repeated doing no matter how it goes is the way forward, it is all building up in the background trust me.

    Don’t think I did somethiing once or stayed in a situation that it was perfect the next time, it was not, my nerves were still sensitized. Sometimes it went better than others, but I regarded that as unimportant and I just kept on the right track and in time normallity creeped up on me, layer by layer, bit by bit, my nerves calmed and my confidence grew. Going back to when I said more was less with anxiety, the more we avoid situations that may bring it on, the moire we are teaching our body it is something to be afraid of, so it will always see it as this, we need to do the opposite and teach it that it is not something to be afraid of, hence you can dislike it, but don’t let it stop you doing things.

    Also remember you are feeling a little raw at the minute, feelings will be exagaratted, just take a little time out and go for a walk, have some you time and practice when you feel a little stronger.

  14. Lindsey Says:

    Hi Paul

    if your there could you advise me on my last post addressed to candie please


  15. Lindsey Says:

    Hi paul

    me again!!!

    Just read your above post to amy and i thing it pretty much stands the same for me do you agree?



  16. candie Says:

    Lindsey to me its pretty obvious where ya going wrong slightly here, your doing all these things to make yourself better- doing them and waiting for results. True acceptance, which comes after a while of living how you have said is when you are no longer bothered to be anxious as you have come through so many times you sort of dismiss it as harmless. It can still feel real, but deep down you know its harmless so let it do its thing

  17. Lindsey Says:

    Thanks Candie.x

    Its the syptoms that seem to bother me more now funny enough, like bothers me that feel so dizzy, odd and a feeling of dread and fear?

  18. lisa Says:

    lindsey that cannot hurt you, unpleasant yes but thats it.its a bit like a hangover feeling,they linger if you lay in bed,or sit in your pj”s all day,but once you get motivated and get busy they go in their own time. welcome back paul and i agree a fab post :-)

  19. Lindsey Says:

    thanks lisa for your input. i am just so self aware of myself sometimes.


  20. C Says:

    Great post, it makes a lot of sense. Sorry the trip didnt work out for you Paul. Its funny but realising I had anxiety has changed my life, its slowed me down and made me focus on one thing at a time instead of ten. Its given me yoga one of my favourite things, its encouraged me to eat healthy and change my worrying ways that ive had since I was a child. Dont get me wrong its not a good thing to go through and my life is so far from perfect right now, but it was a good warning to me to slow down and realise what is important. As Will said this is not a perfect existance, but it does get better.

    This is a great blog and without it Im not sure where I would be right now, checked myself into a ward maybe? Its great to have an understanding and people like JO and Candie who have helped me no end. However im taking Pauls advice and getting on with life, not coming on here all the time as I feel I have the information I need and now its time to live my life, even if anxiety is there for the ride, however im not going to take any notice of it!!

  21. MLK Says:

    Hi Paul, I just have a question. I am pretty much all done with battling anxiety. I really only deal with the thoughts that trigger uncomfortable feelings and stuff now. Just the other week I was scared that my boyfriend was going to break up with me. I would constantly worry about it..analyzing everything I have done and what I am going to do. Now that I know he will not be ending it anytime soon, I developed this fear that I dont love him anymore and it brings knots to my stomach. I literally find things for myself to worry about. I do love him, he is great, but with these thoughts and overanalyzing, I am driving myself crazy. I will envision how sad he would be if i ended it, and then I will tell myself that it is only anxiety, but I feel so different about this thought because I would be the source of hurt. This is a hard one to shake off. I really dont want to be without him, so should I just ignore the thought just as i have done with others? Thanks!!

  22. Candie Says:

    MLK yes you should just allow it to be there, its not true but can feel like a possiblity if you analyse it and get anxious.

  23. T Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I have not posted on here before. But I just wanted to thank you for all the blogs you have done. You have given me some really good tips in the last six months, that have really helped with my anxiety. I am now starting to notice and enjoy all the beautiful things in life,which I had not for so long -Thank you so much

  24. Jo Says:

    Hey C!

    It’s brilliant to read what you’ve just written! You’ve progressed even from your first posts, your starting to accept and not needing so much outside re-assurance. It is an ebb and flow ride but expect it to be this way and accept it. I have come through my setback with even greater understanding and acceptance!

    Hope your out enjoying the sun, i absolutely love it, you can’t beat the smell of a sunny spring day!:-)

  25. Jo Says:

    Hi MLK,

    I can totally relate on this one, i have been there and as Candie says above juat allow it to be there, don’t make it more important than it is. You wont win against your thinking and you don’t need to prove to yourself it’s not true.

    Just wanted to let you know your not alone with that one, because it’s not a nice one!:-)


  26. selma Says:

    thank you all for your help. have been experiencing some new, strange and scary symptoms lately and it really rattles me. last night i had another terrible episode, but then right when i got to the restaurant with my family, i got engaged in conversation and next thing i knew, it had been a few hours where i was fine. this tells me i must have the power to distract myself and move on. the rational part of my brain knows this is true, but the irrational, always-questioning part of my brain battles with that a lot…..i wouldn’t say it’s getting easier in any way but i have breaks where i feel hopeful.

  27. selma Says:

    one other question- i really suspect my anxiety/depression is hormonal. what if some kind of hormonal therapy really helped me? or is this considered looking for a way out? i’m just not sure if i shoudl ignore this or pursue it, because i do think it’s legitimate cause for anxiety/depression but i know the general view here is not to look for magic bullets…

  28. simon Says:

    hi everyone,i was wondering if any of u guys suffering from this awful symptoms of anxiety 24.7 like lightheadness,shortness of breathe and palpitations,i had so many blood test,cardiac test but all came back normal,so they have no diagnosis but probably anxieties.The thing is felt so horrible every day,like lightheadness,palpitations,shortness of breathe 24.7 even when i dont feel anxious at all,i know i need to accept the doctor result that i am fine but its so hard to accept that its nothing but anxiety when i am feeling so horrible everyday and i was wondering if this could be something else that doctors couldnt diagnosed and just brush it off as anxiety.I am quite tired and sick of going back to ER most of the time when i feel so bad,had so many cardiology appointment with same test and same normal result.
    Many thanks.

  29. T Says:

    this is how I feel. It’s like this, you lived normal all your life and suddenly anxiety hits you ( depersonalization, derealization etc.) and you feel scared and confused by this new state your in. And now after months of having anxiety, feeling weird, drowsy, sleepy, checking, you suddenly feel normal again and its confusing and scary. Like you just woke up from a dream. Like these anxiety months never happened but they did and thats why you suddenly feel so strange feeling normal. Then I start thinking ” but what if I never felt normal” “what is normal”? and then what is this? this, Life? me? How can life exist and then how can death exist? How am I here at this moment writing this on my computer?etc…thats how it goes and thats how I feel, can’t explain better.
    One day I had 3 hours where I didnt think about anything, I was at my spanish course and then I realzed “wow I “, felt normal I let myslef just be” and didn’t think about anything weird and it felt soo strange to me. You know, going through life without analyzing, checking and deep thinking feels soo odd to me now, because I guess I got used to doing all that and forgot how it is to live normal. And that feeling causes all those questions. Hope you understand what I am describing. Hugs

  30. T Says:

    just saw someone else posted as “T” . thats not me,I am the old T, regular

  31. Candie Says:

    Hi T, people did respond to what you just wrote on the last post, you need to accept how you feel and not look for so much reassurance as ultimately even if this symptom goes your mind will latch onto something else as presently you are not willing to experience most of the anxiety. You have to be willing to go with it, not question why you feel like this.

    Same for you Selma, the hormonal question is a what if for most women, even if it was that your hormones can be rebalanced the same way. Many of us women on here with anxiety find our hormones became out of sync, recovery rebalanced mine gradually.

  32. Rachael Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Hope you’re all having good days!
    First off Simon, everything you’re describing there is classic anxiety. These symptoms are temporary and harmless – if you have more of a read around the site you’ll see alot of what you’re worried about explained. We’ve all been there!

    Paul, I was wondering if you’d consider doing a post on worrying about physical symptoms/health. Hypochondria is what triggered my anxiety (I got a random allergic rash on my face and began worrying all the time that I’d get an awful disfiguring skin disorder).
    I’ve recovered hugely since coming on here but one habit I can’t kick is letting how I feel/look dictate my recovery. So say I wake up and my skin’s clear and my stomach isn’t churning I think ‘I’m better!’ and my day is so much easier. However if I get so much as a dry patch of skin I panic and think ‘anxiety! I thought I was better but I’m not! It’s caused this patch of dry skin!’ and I’m hugely set back for the day. Like Candie mentioned above, it’s like I feel now if I do the right thing and ignore anxiety I EXPECT results i.e. never getting a spot again. Weird I know.

    My skin/general health always fluctuated like anyone elses, but now I attribute EVERY change to anxiety which I don’t think can be right? I’ve lost normal perspective on this one, and would appreciate your/anyone’s thoughts.

  33. Davidina Says:

    Hi Candie – Question please. – I find I am checking in a lot to how i’m feeling. It’s as if my mind is on my body a lot of the time . I am following Paul’s book relentlessly, putting myself in situations I wouldn’t dreamt of doing before. I do have spells now when I don’t think of myself so I think I am progressing. It’s just when I (check in) I feel bad. Is this common and will it go in time. Would be grateful for some reassurance. X

  34. simon Says:

    Hi Rachael

    yes,i know all those symptoms that i have been having are anxiety related but the only thing is they are quite constant,probably the only time i dont feel those symptoms are while i am sleeping,so once awake in the morning back to square one,symptoms start all over again.I think probably i worried about the symptoms all day long and probably thats y those symptoms just wont calm down,even if it does calm down but only to a certain level then back again and that is so frustrating and makes you think something is wrong.I have been told my numerous doctors that all these symptoms are not heart related probably just anxiety / adrenaline effect on the heart which cause those horrible palpitations,and as a human of course who wont be worried if one heart start racing and thumping for no reason accompanying with those dizziness sensation.
    Anyway thanks for ur info,will try to read more around the site here :)

  35. Rachel Says:

    Hi Simon,

    Another Rachel here. I too have suffered from ongoing light headedness for a very long time now. I smashed my head over a year ago and I keep worrying I have done something to my brain but i have had two mri scans which came back negative and every blood test under the sun (these also came back fine). Have had some good months recently where I didnt feel quite so light headed but unfortunately am in the middle of a big setback which has so far lasted five weeks. On top of my usual symptoms which are almost identical to yours I now cannot sleep and am literally surviving on two hours a night and am struggling to eat. I know I have bought this back on myself and that if I follow Paul’s advice I will eventually pull out of this. Proud of myself today as have been wallowing a bit in self pity which has made me tons worse so dragged myself up to London with some friends to watch the marathon and whilst it was hard I proved to myself I could do it. I know how horrible it is to feel ill all the time and sometimes look at other people and wish they could be transported into my body to experience how awful I feel. Hang in there. All I know is at the beginning of the year when I truly accepted how I felt it did start to get easier and thats what I have to start doing now. Take care. x

  36. richard Says:

    have to say having only recently twigged being generally scared of everything is regarded as “normal” practice, i find some of the blogs on here brilliantly written.

    not like other things ive read where people seem to list the failings of their lives like some top trumps game for depression symtoms. however, i do understand the need for some to spill their life to someone as like me they cannot find an oulet to express their feelings.

    one question i pose to anyone. does anyone have any experience with manic drepessive type cycles of anxiety. sometimes i feel an almost triggerless change in the way i feel. i can feel generally in a depressive mood and then few days its weird. im not sure what my mind is doing really as i dont have a very heavy reactions to some situations. i mean i have an inwardly deformed rib cage yet did competitive swimming for a club untill i was 17 but never did i feel self conscious.

    just to add to anyone here its all objective. when your spiraling on a thought, asking yourself the wrong questions, diving you into anxious cloud.

    just try stop and look around you. look what else you have in your life. not worry about what you miss from not being “normal” but what you too take for granted.

  37. dyeri Says:

    Hi, for me its the weird thoughts and worrying that still remains, most of the physical symptoms i felt, like the palpitations, shivers, the hot flashes have all gone about a month ago, Its just the disturbing thoughts, ideas, worrying that is really bothers me some days. Its like when you get over a thought, your mind tries to find other thoughts to scare you or make you aware. Although it has improved a lot since ive been reading the site and comments here, but sometimes it just feel uncontrollable .

  38. selma Says:

    has anyone dealt with awful nightmares and if so, how did you deal?

    candie- do you think i could send you a personal email? have a few things i would love your help with off line….am going through a super rough time….

  39. Kat Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m going on ten years with this annoying problem and am hopeful that I will be able to learn how to live with it/deal with it soon. I do not check this site everyday because I don’t believe ‘haunting’ these sorts of forums is very helpful, but I do visit in times of extreme stress in the hope that I read something that helps me re-focus. Just last week, I was offered a great job and I accepted, but as I get closer to my start date, I can feel the adrenaline tingling and am already feeling a little depressed about the likely possibility of anxiety and panic interfering. This entry has been very helpful to me and I thank you for continuing your good work in giving a hand to those of us who don’t quite know yet how to handle things. While I am worried about a setback, I now believe that this problem can be bested because you seem to address every thought I’ve had over the past ten years, which is astounding since I really believed that I was the only person who ever had them.

    In the event that a setback occurs, is there a script I can use to move past the negative feelings and thoughts? I know that I should just accept it and live alongside it, but I have trouble with harnessing my thoughts and calming them enough to allow the feelings. Instead, I go into fight mode, and though I know it won’t work for me, my mind seems to move on its own and I lose my connection with what I know I should be doing. Anyone have any tips? They’d be appreciated.

    Thank you again, Paul. Your site has become my first and only resource when I need to find a way to settle my thoughts. You have no idea how valuable this is to me.

    Take care.

  40. Jenny in America Says:

    My anxiety has subsided so much. Paul’s book was a great source of help, in addition to my relationship with God, and great friends who have offered support and understanding (and drug me out for walks, talks, coffee, etc…). I no longer have feelings of depersonalization, which is WONDERFUL!!
    Originally, my amxiety started over a health related worry. I had a panic attack, did not realize what it was. I had all the classic symptoms. The scariest symptom was tingling up and down my legs. I then googled, tingly legs, and up comes multiple sclerosis. I put myself in a tail-spin of constant anxiety and panic, thinking I had MS. Months went by, I finally went to the DR after having 3-4 panic attacks a day. The Dr told me it was anxiety and put me on Zoloft. Eventually, after counseling, lots of prayer and support, I weaned off the Zoloft, and am doing sooooo much better, for the past 6-8 months.

    Here’s my question: To this day, if I get the least bit stressed, my legs tingle, mainly my tops of my thighs. I am in good physical health, early 30’s. I know if my head, my legs tingle because I am tensing without even realizing it, but when it happens, I tend to still in the back of my mind think, “is there something more wrong? Can tension cause my legs to tingle even when there seems to be no obvious trigger, other than everday life stresses?? Sometimes, I will go for weeks with no tingling, but when they do, it lasts for several days, on and off and then subsides again. If I’ve gone for months without “feeling” panicky, would my nerves still be in a heightened sensitivity so that my legs tingle??

    Thanks again for all the help!!!

  41. Stevie Says:

    Hi MLK,

    I can 100% relate to your post. I believe my anxiety is all triggered towards my relationships. My first panic attack came after I got engaged and what I now know as anxiety finished off the relationship. I am now with a girl that I love very much, but had another panic attack at the thought of getting engaged/married/having kids. I struggle daily with anxious thoughts, am seeing a therapist, but have avoided medication. It is very hard to cope, particularly as your mind tricks you into thinking that your partner is the cause of your anxiety, and I find I have a ‘tired mind’ constantly. Exercise and Meditation help, but if anyone out there has any other advice, I would glady try it! I like this blog a lot, and thanks to Paul for all his hard work!

  42. Lisa H Says:

    Hi all, just checking in to let you know i’m doing fab-feel 99% there!!!! I say 99% because i feel like i just need to build up a little bit of insulation to make complete recovery happen,probably a bit of time is all thats needed.
    For those who are new to this site please just believe 1000% what Paul,Scarlet,Candie and the many fantastic others who take their time to provide much needed reassurance to you all. What they say is all sooo true.

    I have started with full on anxiety 12 months ago and its taken me until now to get my head round it. I was vomiting everyday,didnt leave the house for a few weeks,didn’t sleep for more than 2 hours a night,panic attacks,depressionetc.
    It most certainly has been in layers that recovery has come and the scary thoughts were definitely the worst for me but the last few weeks i haven’t had any and no physical symptoms for months now.
    I appreciate so much more now in my life and have definitely become a much nicer person for it-never thought i’d ever say that!!!
    Take the fear out of ALL your symptoms which takes lots of time and patience and slowly you will see little changes-its not easy by all means but it really works completely.

    THANK YOU PAUL,Candie,Scarlet you have saved my

  43. Kate Says:

    That is so good to hear Lisa – congratulations! It’s always good to read a positive post like yours. x

  44. selma1906 Says:

    congratulations, lisa h. that sounds amazing. i too have had times where i feel like i am there but am in a major setback right now. how did you deal with the scary thoughts? right now i feel like i can’t get a break from all of the thoughts swirling in my head 24/7. makes sleeping really a struggle…

  45. C Says:

    hey Jo, yeh definatly seeing things different, the anxiety and thoughts are there kinda on the wayside! I think its memories and habits now for my thoughts, they dont scare me as much but like we all say its such a rollercoaster. The gym used to be worst place in the world but that one is ok now im making newer memories for there, but the car i cant seem to stop ruminating there!! hows things with you? I wrote this to you on the last posting … xx


    Ive had a pretty normal week really, ups and downs as usual but yano what that happens anyways!! I hope things are well for you!

    Ive been finding that I am ok in work now can concentrate on tasks, talk to people and getting on with things great. When Im with people I feel great and it seems the only time I am inwardly thinkin and then the dreaded feeling returns is when im in certain places, for example the Car is the worst im on my own and its just think think think. The toilet in work and when I first wake up in the morning. I cant wait for the day when I can wake up and not assess myself, i dont mean to do it, it just happens. I used to love lying there but now i just get up cause otherwise im worse. The day after having a few wines is the same im not sure if its dehydration or just the fear, i just dont know but im not going to stop cause thats what I do anyways.

    I cant believe how much my mind chatters, it doesnt stop i feel like saying shut up sometimes lol. When someone mentions a subject that has been one of my worries/scary thoughts my belly does still jump and the thought is there for a while but i just let it there, even tho its still a scary thought and i think oh no is this here for the night now, it does pass!!!

    I hope I am getting better and Im trying my best to spend more time in the car and on my own cause these are now the problem areas and the more i do it and accept what happens there hopefuly the less of a fear it becomes.

    I wanted to ask you something (paul and candie and JO) rumination is part of anxiety right? Can I stop myself ruminating? like i get the scary thought and then i start thinking oh no its here forever i know it la la la, cant i think no, ya doing it again or do i just them chatter away?

    also will mentioned ‘ignoring’ was one of the secondary reactions we ‘do’ how is this differnt to getting on with my task and letting it be there?

    great weather guys hope it lasts. this vitamin D can only be good for our happiness levels,

    C x

  46. simon Says:

    Hi rachel

    Hope ur doing well today,yes i too had a lot of test under the sun for the cardiac but everything came out okay,i think the problem is when we began to think if all test came out okay then why are we still having those lightheaded,palpitation etc..the more we worry the more we got drag into the anxiety vicious cycle.I tend to stay positive most of the time,accept everything for anxiety,but its hard to when u have those anxiety symptoms daily,i mean of course we will began to think something esle is causing the symptoms again.

  47. Jo Says:

    Hey C,

    About the ruminating, just let your mind chit chatter away, you can’t help it and shouldn’t try just let it do what it wants it’s sometimes confusing but it becomes clearer! You know when your actively ruminating over something and when your mind is just babbling.

    I’m feelin real good thanks, really understanding how you can get to the point where you can talk about anxiety and involve yourself with it but not be affected with symptoms. The better understanding for me comes after each setback whenever they occur.

    Just be patient with your self and live your life C! Its the perfect weather to do so!:-)

    xx xx

  48. Scarlet Says:


    I am so pleased to hear you are close to the finishing line 😉 . You’ll get there no worries, keep on doing what you are doing :-) .



    “In the event that a setback occurs, is there a script I can use to move past the negative feelings and thoughts? I know that I should just accept it and live alongside it, but I have trouble with harnessing my thoughts and calming them enough to allow the feelings.”

    Now I am going a wee bit against what Paul advocates on here, to tell you what might help during the interim stage when you can’t ‘accept’ so easily. I am a great fan of Richard Carlson, and was listening to one of his tapes the other night and he was saying it’s so very normal for folks to have brain chatter (even when not depressed and anxious), and he said when you feel yourself going into a downward tailspin, you should say to yourself “There I go again” and bring yourself back to the present moment, and do this as often as it takes until it becomes second nature, where you no longer have to say anything to yourself to gain control of your thoughts. I have to say this worked for me whilst recovering, and when I was able to do it I felt I had gained control of my own thoughts which alleviated my fear and this eventually led to full acceptance.

  49. Lisa H Says:

    Scarlet,that is exactly what i have been doing too and also initially saying ‘whatever’ and getting on with things. At first it feels false,but the more and more you practice it the less and less the thoughts seem to come.
    I think it was Candie that said if you didn’t have the thoughts before anxiety then they are anxiety related-this helped me too.
    The less the thoughts start coming,the clearer your mind becomes and you begin to see how irrational the thoughts have been-already its all becoming a bit hazy what i went through and i’m early into recovery.
    If i could advise anyone i would say please keep practising-you need to almost re-wire your brain to not believe the scary thoughts until it becomes second nature to dismiss them. Even when you don’t really believe it will work just do it and in time when you see it working true belief will come.

    Selma-have you got Richard Carlsons book…Stop thinking start living??
    I have read and re-read this book which really accelerated my recovery with the scary

  50. scarlet Says:


    Actually I’ve changed from a ‘whatever’ person to a ‘oops there I go again’ person, I think this a much better response to negative/scary thoughts and more light hearted, helps change the emotional response from one of fear to one of calm. Yes definitely if I was still suffering, “oops there I go again” would help me more now that I think about it 😉

    Am onto the’ Don’t Worry Make Money’ Book now by RC, want to pass it onto hubby :-)

  51. C Says:

    Thanks Jo! Not a great morning but taking the bad with the good. I think its so important to make (not try) new memories and habits and it will fall into place. The fear is eventually fading and lets face it just cause my mind thinks wild things doesnt mean im going to do them. When i wasnt anxious I would think crazy things and dismiss them its just now i cant cause im still tired and have stressful habits. But slowly im adapting my life concentrating on one thing at a time. Will pop in next week sometime so im constantly evaluating how I feel. Thanks a million again, ur like nanny mcphee to anxious people!! Take care xx

  52. Stephen Says:

    Hi Scarlet!

    Just poped back in for a little bit of advice. I dont know what im doing wrong, i am so close but still so far. i have weeks of normal, content living where i am normal/good (apart from my usual stress and worry i have over my studies/relationships..all that kinda stuff which is fine as i know im a person who is a stresser and always have been 😛 ) but aftet these big periods of calm im still getting these setbacks, which arent like crippling but none the less they are still there. Its the thoughts that are getting to me as they come so randomly out of know where and with such force…then i’ve found myself questioning “would i do that” “why would i think such a thing” etc etc. Just the emotion i feel at that point is quite intense. i guess im just getting back into old habits again. So at the moment i have a light general anxiety that is just seeming alot harder to shift. Does this sound normal?

    Oh and i know this sounds really weird but sometimes i still can get abit fearful/worked up by random situations/things and i know when i get these thoughts i almost deliberately try and see if they do worry me, like test it by thinking about them, even if they dont worry me at the begining but then as i think about it long enough it does worry me, then i get worked up im that im paranoid – as this is a mental illness im fearful of at the moment. is it normal for anxious people to be paranoid?

    I know i’ve gone on abit, so sorry for that. just been meaning to ask this for awhile. but i do think i have come so far. thanks in advance.

    Stephen. :)

  53. Davidina Says:

    Hi Lindsey – How are you doing. Haven’t heard from you for a while. Been thinking about you. Posted to Candie but I think she has missed it somehow. Feel I can’t stop this checking in business. It drives me crazy. Going to my son’s again up north hopefully 1 week Thursday. Having to go on the train this time – three and a half hour journey. Oh heck. I’m sure I’ll be fine. Trying to take one day at a time. It’s hard at the beginning, trying to take it all in. I keep reading Paul’s book. He explains things so well. Hope to hear from you. – think we are both at the same stage. Love D – X

  54. Scarlet Says:

    “i guess im just getting back into old habits again. So at the moment i have a light general anxiety that is just seeming alot harder to shift. Does this sound normal?”

    Stephen this sounds perfectly normal to me.

    “Oh and i know this sounds really weird but sometimes i still can get abit fearful/worked up by random situations/things and i know when i get these thoughts i almost deliberately try and see if they do worry me, like test it by thinking about them, even if they dont worry me at the begining but then as i think about it long enough it does worry me, then i get worked up im that im paranoid – as this is a mental illness im fearful of at the moment. is it normal for anxious people to be paranoid?”

    I remember doing this but it’s futile, don’t feel the need to go down this route with irrational thoughts, as they can’t be rationalised. I think anyone can make themselves half scared to death if they analyse too much. I know I’ve said this before to you, but I’ll say it again to reinforce it. You are NOT mentally ill and do not have anything else other than anxiety, and yes indeed anxiety can make you paranoid.

    You have come a long way and honestly if you adopt the approach I said above when you get thoughts of this nature or feel yourself over-analysing try the “Oops there I go again” and bring yourself to the present moment without any more analysing, I think you can crack this Stephen.


  55. charlie Says:

    Hi Candie could you if at all possible help a little. I have not been here for a long while as i have just been enjoying things and going with the flow , i just would like some reassurance, i have on/off always had a fear myself of mental illness, and whenever there is a news story of someone doing something like hurting or worse to someone else it sometimes, not always but sometimes creates a fear in me. Which as today reading the paper with the story of the school teacher who went bonkers and …well i didnt carry on reading but assume it was a nasty story…reading he was stressed and lost control, just sends my thinking on a whirlwind, maybe he was anxiuos/depressed , perhaps i could lose control/go mad? all those type of worries again. I have of late been dealing i guess with alot of stress myself, as my partner has moved out , and we are now living seperatley and both independantly looking after our gourgeus little girl. To whom i want to be strong for as she needs me to help give her confidence in life and skills to move forward positivley. Which on the whole i give 110%. Its just when i get on the Newspaper stories it starts the rollercoaster again…. i guess i am sometimes not ACCEPTING that it is as i have always been told from everyone who has helped that all it is…is .Anxiety and to not fear it and let the thoughts feelings come ????is this right?

  56. T Says:

    hey guys, are older comments from previous posts lost forever? from november, december? is there no chance they will “come back”.lol.

  57. Jo Says:

    Hey C!

    Haha nanny mcphee minus the HUGE wart i hope!

    Just remember you don’t have to prove to yourself that you wouldn’t do the wild things your mind thinks, you already know they are anxious thoughts you do not need to spend time justifying to yourself they are nonsense.

    xx xx

  58. Paul David Says:

    That’s great Lisa H, I am so glad the site has helped you, but give yourself a pat on the back for not being a victim of anxiety, it is very tempting to wake up and not take action, just hide away feeling sorry for yourself. Anyone who recovers has to put a little work in themselves and not just read the advice, but take on board what is said and apply it.

    Kat you say: I was offered a great job and I accepted, but as I get closer to my start date, I can feel the adrenaline tingling and am already feeling a little depressed about the likely possibility of anxiety and panic interfering. This entry has been very helpful to me and I thank you for continuing your good work in giving a hand to those of us who don’t quite know yet how to handle things. While I am worried about a setback, I now believe that this problem can be bested because you seem to address every thought I’ve had over the past ten years, which is astounding since I really believed that I was the only person who ever had them.

    In the event that a setback occurs, is there a script I can use to move past the negative feelings and thoughts? I know that I should just accept it and live alongside it, but I have trouble with harnessing my thoughts and calming them enough to allow the feelings. Instead, I go into fight mode, and though I know it won’t work for me, my mind seems to move on its own and I lose my connection with what I know I should be doing. Anyone have any tips? They’d be appreciated

    First forgive me for a late reply, there is a lot going on at the moment and I don’t get back to the blog as much as I was able to.

    There is a very important point to your post. You talk as though getting nervy about a new job is something you should not do, Kat we would all feel apprehensive at this, someone who suffers anxiety or not it is totally normal. We feel it a bit more exaggarated because we are a little more sensitised than others. I felt it when I started a new job, but it did not bother me, I expected to, it soon passed once I got on with the first day, so expect to feel apprehensive, but don’t care that you do, it is not a bad thing to feel anxious about a new job, it’s a totally normal bodily reaction for anyone.

    Secondly sometimes people are better not reading about setbacks, they think a setback is having a couple of bad days, it is not, it is going through a long period where you feel like you are back at square one. I actually learnt to like mine as I could test my attitude to how I felt and I always came out stronger. The one thing that is very important is NEVER fear a setback, this is likely to have you watching yourself, worrying, all that anxiety needs to feed it. You certainly cannot control how you feel so have the attitude : ‘I can’t control how I feel, so if I have a setback I do, so what’ no need to say this to yourself, just have that as an attitude, trust me on this I wasted many weeks worrying how I was going to feel next. One day I stopped caring, the relief was amazing and I gave my body and mind that little bit of space it needed to start fixing itself.

    You are better without scripts in a setback or negative thought mode, Scarlet has a good one when she says when she went into fight mode she would smile and say ‘Here I go again’ and come back to the now. The negative thought advice has been mentioned many times on this thread and it really is the way forward. You have to keep practicing ‘allowing’, memory and habit will keep trying to pull you back into ‘We must fix this’ but just go with all the craziness. You say you have trouble calming them, again this is wrong, you are trying to ‘do’ something about them, allow them to come in there most scary form, make them dafter/scarier if you wish, but smile at them, they are only thoughts anyway, there not real, it is just anxiety finding an escape, excess adrenalin on a tired mind, they truly mean nothing. I used to be this way and when I was practicing for a half marathon I used to go on 6 mile runs, when I came back I never ever thought this way for hours, my mind was so clear and flexible. and the reason was that I had burnt up all my excess adrenalin. I then could not believe that I had took these exagartted thoughts serious, they seemed as daft as they were. it was then I could see they were just anxiety based and meant nothing, from that day I honestly took them with a pinch of salt. In time they come less often and with less force.

    I would say at the moment what is holding you back is fearing feeling this way and then trying to calm the thoughts. Please take on board the above and don’t expect too much too soon, just keep practicing, this will change the habit you have found yourself in.

  59. Lisa H Says:

    Hey Scarlet, i was thinking of getting RC’s book on money making too and the relationships one!!!
    It’s funny i’d have never thought of getting such books before but his work on thoughts was fab so maybe i can be the perfect wife and be rich too-lol!!!!!!!

  60. Yolande Says:

    Hi Scarlet,

    You write “Actually I’ve changed from a ‘whatever’ person to a ‘oops there I go again’ person” – which is so true because i can see the progression as i go along.

    From ‘OH NO, what is wrong with me’ (Lots of fear and panic) to now feeling ‘ok i know why i feel like this now’ to ‘Heck, here it is again’. Sometimes these symptoms (had a mild churning of stomach yesterday) / thoughts hit me, i would flounder for a while but hten I always remember what I have learnt here and it does help.

    I am not so frightened of my thoughts/ symptoms anymore. I still have a BIT more to go towards full recovery. I know I shall get there one day and that’s good enough for me for now. altho i do confess i am hoping i wont get too many setbacks LOL

  61. Sandeep Says:

    I’m in the middle of a setback driven by some obssessive thoughts. I know they mean nothing but they set off a lot of adrenaline. I was doing a good job of accepting and find myself back to not being able to. In the background, I keep fearing that if I release a lot of adrenaline, they will affect my nerves and I’ll be back to square one feeling overly sensitized. Any help would be appreciated.

  62. Paul David Says:

    Sandeep we have to learn to get the words fearing and worrying out of the vocalubary, this is exactly what creates fear and anxiety, it has been said many times and we have to start to learn to take it on board.

    I worry that I may…………Adrenalin/anxiety

    I fear that I will……………Adrenalin/anxiety


    I no longer worry or care if this or that happens, I have learnt to stop starting a sentence with ‘I worry’ it serves no purpose whatsoever and is only counter productive…………….Less adrenalin/less anxiety, a cycle is reversed.

    I no longer fear what may or may not happen or how I will end up, I realise it is a waste of time and keeps me in the cycle of fear/worry, it never helps………..Less adrenalin/less anxiety.

    We have to not just listen to words when people write them down, we have to believe what they say and act on them. So you should have written……..

    ‘I have this silly irrational fear that if I release a lot of adrenalin then my nerves will be affected and I will be back to square one. I can never be back to square one as I have learnt so much and that can never be taken away from me. These silly thoughts have me in a tizzy and throw me, but that’s fine I know they will pass, the last thing I will do is try and control them, they are not real or important, many months ago I thought they were’.

    That is far more productive than ‘Oh no what if these thoughts release loads of adrenalin and I am back to square one? Then I will never be free, I must do something about this!

    How much fear and worry is there in the statement above? Anxiety feeds on fear and worry, so try changing your attitude and approach and you will see a massive difference.

    We are far better to live with a little fear than to live in fear.

  63. Sandeep Says:

    Thank you Paul.

  64. lorryt Says:

    Hi Paul

    Certainly so very true your post. I know i certainly got so caught up in the whole how i am feeling thing, and all your thought process revolved around how you felt, i have learned to let that go, so what if i feel crappy, im still gonna get on and live my day. It has not only benefited me , i am also now trying to get my hubby into the habit of not worrying and stressing about stuff. He is experiencing a bad time at the moment and i am being a big support for him where as before i would have crumbled into a quivvering mess, i feel i can be strong both in thought and word. This whole experience has truly made me a better person, cant at all say it is easy , by far its the hardset thing i have endured bit i am still here. i am a long way down the recovery road, still a bit to go but i can see it all now for what it was, and i think it hs changed me. Not to say there wont be times when things will still paly on my mind but through here, i have learnt to let it all go.
    have a great day all as the weather down south is wonderful.xxxxx

  65. selma Says:

    lisa h.- thank you, i just ordered this book. i am looking forward to it. it’s so weird. i’m having a major setback where i am super tuned into my mind chatter. but at the same time, somehow i am coming out of that at times and really enjoying my life. the truth is that i LOVE where i am in my life right now. if i could just let go of the fight with anxiety, my happiness would be off the charts. i am a mom, i have a wonderful husband and we are building a business together. but at times the chatter gets so loud and so disturbing, i feel like a crazy person that needs to run into a corner and hide or soemthing. it’s esp. bad right before i doze off at night, like out of control! but i am looking for SOME silver lining – and all i can say is that the bad feelings are just as bad as ever before but they don’t seem to linger on quite as long and i am able to feel the happiness that is very real in my life right now, at times. that’s something, right??

  66. candie Says:

    Hi Charlie

    I read that story too, the truth is he was very stressed and did have depression. But the reason he lost control was nothing to do with fear of losing control or anxious thinking, he simply had enough and lost his temper. Think of it this way, millions of people with no form of mental, emotional or nervous illness commit awful crimes every day and many of them are in the news, now did you ever think ‘oh look someone normal like me went and did something bad, maybe i will’. I can bet you never. You cant associate yourself with every nut case just because you have a disorder they may of had, his act of anger was not out of fear- but rage. When a person chooses to do something bad, its there personality and choice that leads to this.. not anxiety or depression. Many of times iv been really angry at someone, yet wouldnt dream of bludgering them with a dungbell! Your having an anxiety thought, he was having a moment of rage.. impossible to harm someone out of fear :)

  67. charlie Says:

    Candie, your a star!, thank you for your explanation. It really does help and thank you to Paul for the book and the work you guys do hear. It is very good to know that if we are in need of a little guidance it is there…cheers

  68. amy Says:

    I have a question…I need some reassuring words of wisdom. My panic attacks come when I am driving at the point where I cannot pull over easily, I feel trapped. When ever I feel the panic rise while driving I I react very foolishly. I either brake (on the highway!) change lanes without really looking, pull over etc. The thing I can’t get out of my head is this…It is dangerous to have a panic attack while driving say on a bridge or a highway with out a shoulder to pull over on,,,what would happen to me if I keep driving with a full blown panic attack going on … it is so unsafe. This is holding me back,,,i have come so far with my scarey thoughts not bothering me , my physical symptoms not bothering me(when Im not driving), but this is my biggie,,,i have been like this for 11 years…Im much better than I was 6months ago I do drive much further and go many more places than before, but this belief that Im putting myself and my beautiful children in danger having a full blown panic attack while driving and not being able to pull over is holding me back! Any suggestions?

  69. angela Says:

    Hi paul!

    I’m just checking in randomly, didn’t read all the posts, but I have to say, I absolutely LOVE this one:

    ‘I have this silly irrational fear that if I release a lot of adrenalin then my nerves will be affected and I will be back to square one. I can never be back to square one as I have learnt so much and that can never be taken away from me. These silly thoughts have me in a tizzy and throw me, but that’s fine I know they will pass, the last thing I will do is try and control them, they are not real or important, many months ago I thought they were’

    it’s actually brilliant!!thanks paul!

    also, I wanted to share this quote with everyone, it’s by a famous philosopher I believe:

    ‘You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation…and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.’

    I love it! and it’s quite fitting for anxiety…I know we’re not going to suddenly start loving it!ha ha!but you know where I’m going with this!

    good luck and good evening to all xxx

  70. Candie Says:

    Thats a good quote Angela, living in harmony beside anxiety is the way forward- worked for me :)

    Amy, you fear this feeling so it comes- i have never herd of anyone having an accident from a panic attack. I have bathed my son in the middle of one, given birth having one, and no one new! A panic attack cant really make you lose control, i can have a panic attack and no one will be any of the wiser as i let it flow through me and move on from it. Now if i was to fight it, id lose concentration, and focus. I am starting my driving lessons next week, personally i barely have anxiety now- but know if i feel anxious in the car just to allow it.. i dont fear panic attacks so dont have them anymore. When i did fear them i was constantly awaiting one in fear, all day thinking ‘hope i dont have one today, sabotaging my days by summoning those feelings out of fear of them’. As scarlet says with the anxiety thoughts, if you dig deeply enough (rumernate) anyone can find something scary. If this is a really big fear of yours, why dont you try confronting it with driving lessons specifically for the motorway. I know you have your license but you can still do lessons in areas you lack confidence in. Give it a go, maybe once every 3 weeks or so have a lesson on the motorway and if your panic impairs your driving you have the instructor to take over for you. Eventually you will stop panicking and see there is no need to ‘fear the fear’.

  71. Candie Says:

    Just to add to my post to Amy, if you decide to have the driving lessons- dont go in expecting to feel no anxiety each week then get disheartened if you do.. hoping a week will come you wont feel it. Go into the lesson and expect to feel the panic, but see it through and eventually learn it wont harm you or anyone else in your car. When you can do this you will stop looking for the panic and warding it of, then it will go :)

  72. yolande Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Just read your post. I want to share that I also have this same apprehension eg will I do well in my new job, which i am starting in June. Paul, your reply to Kat was timely indeed!

    I even started wondering if the current problems that i am experiencing my my current job will surface in my new job. NOW, that’s def a negative thought. A very good advice from Dr Claire Weekes helped me – she said ‘whatever feelings that you are currently experiecing and am wondering if these are normal (i.e. you had these too before the anxiety came along or are these purely caused by anxiety) – just ACCEPT ALL these feelings. Dont go into secondary thinking ( i know it’s easier said than done).

    hope this helps someone

  73. Fiona Says:

    Hi folks, i hope everyone is well! I haven’t been on for quite a while so it is good to see so many people keeping the blog as busy as always. The reason i find myself back is (big sigh) a setback. Definately a setback and not just a bad couple of days. I know i shouldn’t get frustrated but its only natural when you are doing so well and feeling normal to feel a bit annoyed when it returns….. and yes i know i should expect and accept :-)
    Annyhoo, i was delighted to come on and see Pauls recent post as it couldn’t be more apt. I thought i’d copy and paste a bit because it is so true for me at the moment.

    Another trap I fell into, I would almost watch my progress daily, getting excited at the good days, thinking ‘that’s it I am fine’, then getting really down about the bad. I would always be tuning in to how I felt, it was a daily ritual. Again I lost this habit by moving away from the subject. I stopped reading up on the subject, stopped trying to find the next elusive eureka moment. I realised I needed to get back to living again and I almost dropped the subject and trusted that the knowledge I had built up was enough, that I would never lose what I had learnt and I no longer had to spend my day trying to find new answers. This really did help me.

    Monitoring the good progress makes the bad even worse, and thats exactly what i’ve being doing.
    Paul makes perfect sense as always.
    Fi xxx

  74. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Fiona,

    No worries about the setback, like Paul has said in the past, give it it’s space and twill be gone in no time. There will come a time when you don’t monitor your progress at all, and like you said, this achieved by ‘living”. You are almost there hun 😉

  75. Wayne Says:

    Good day!

    I have been feeling good the last while. Toady though I was at work getting something to eat and all of a sudden I felt the colour go out of my face and my stomach felt queesy. Then a co-worker asked if I was ok because I looked really pale. This happended a few hours ago and I am still feeling a little off. Is this just another symptom of anxiety or a setback? Like I said I have been doing really well lately, to the point when I don’t feel odd or off balance I start thinking “how come I feel so good lately”.

  76. Chris Says:


    I have posted a couple of times on this site and I also keep up with reading many of the posts. I have your book Paul and have been reading it. I am very happy to know that I am not alone with this stuff and I have found I an relate to must everything people have shared. I have been dealing with anxiety for about 12 years starting around highschool graduation I would say that I go through periods of time when I feel inbothered by it but I also go through allot of down and anxiuos times and I find them very dificult to say the least. One concern or fear that seems to bother me the most is dp due to worries of going crazy and thoughts of suicide. I know this is not what I want but I think the fear is so great that it ha been ingrained in my thinking or comes up during moments of self checking, I mean times when I start thinking how do I feel or do you want to be here are you happy or depressed. I start te cycle from there I know I should stop the googleing and comparing but I am always looking for the thought or sentence that will help me get going through the day and back thinking of work or what I is I want to focous on. Paul can you or others relate and can yoh give me some insite. I would really apreciate it.

  77. Chris Says:

    I woud like to clarify that they are fears o sucide or what if types of thinking and I seem to make desicions in anxious times based on these fears, and feeling that I am not allowed to look coward to the future because those thoughts or fears are present.

  78. Chris Says:

    Put another way is it some why normal with anxiety to have those types of obsessions? I have been talking with a thearpist who says I have an anxiety disorder. Not so sure a label helps or hurts.

  79. christina Says:

    Yes, Chris, it’s completely normal to have those thoughts while anxious! It’s all anxiety related, though the temptation is to start dissecting thoughts and feelings and blow them up. I know because I have done that many a time. Today, for instance, I did everything I know NOT to do; listening in and reacting to obsessive thoughts, deep thinking, and even feeling a little sorry for myself.

    Even when you are pretty far along, you can still get caught up in the same stupid stuff. The more you analyze everything, the more you feel knotted up or as Paul says, clogged up. It’s a process and there is so much back and forth. I look forward to the day when I can honestly say it doesn’t bother me anymore. I hope that for all of you on here:)

  80. yolande Says:

    Arggg. HI all,
    yesterday night was pretty bad, aching everywhere but today i woke up feeling normal and then suddenly i felt a bit down/ flat. just hate feeling thus but know that it’s normal for this to happen when on the road to recovery.

    going for massage later on as it does help to relieve the tension knots in my body.

    Christina, what you say above strikes a cord. it’s a pity we wont actually know when we will fully recover – i guess it’s when you just go on with your day, doing the same old stuff and then maybe weeks or months down the road, you suddenly realise ‘hey, i havent been thinkg abt anxiety for quite a long while now’. THAT i suppose is when you are fully recovered.

    Have faith all!!

  81. christina Says:

    I think you are right Yolande. In recovery, we get some nice breaks from anxiety, but even when you think you are just about there, you can feel you’re in the thick of it again. The habits are still fresh and memory of doing things the “wrong way” can stir up the embers.

    I think what we need to remember is that we will come through no matter how long or how many times we have suffered. To eventually lose the fear and not pick it up again is the aim. That may sound a little too much like work, but it’s the result of not striving and simply being no matter how strange and unpleasant the feelings. This is something I have not fully grasped or applied across the board. I am still bothered when I don’t feel like I want to. I must say there are times when I truly accept, and that’s a great experience.

    Good night and God bless

  82. Ross Says:

    Great post Paul really helped .

    Hope everyone is doing well

    Just a wee update on my recovery .

    made a giant leap yesterday when i really face my symptoms head on and thought 2 myself ‘come on anxiety show me what you’ve got’ . I really understand what Paul means when he says you have to face up 2 the bogeyman .

    Your not going to die or lose control these things will never happen . Even when i get severe de-personalisation and feelings that i shouldnt be in my own body!! I have fun with it now cos i know its harmless and my body and brain will recover .

    I always have a fear of passing out or falling over when i get extreme dizziness but when I went with this attitude it really helped the dizziness was there but i no longer cared if i passed out ….so wat !?!

    After that though , which is typical with anxiety , i find somethin else to worry about or obsess about . And right now i keep gettin negative thoughts about myself , as if im slagging myself off?? any1 else had this ??

    I find it really annoying as i get a sinking feeling as if i believe these negative thoughts . I also have a bit of paranoia that people are being a bit ‘funny’ with me . I suppose this is just another offshoot of anxiety and part of the recovery .

    If anyone has any thoughts on these matters please let me know.

    Also if anyone has any question feel free to ask , I really want to help others who are not feeling great as i have been there .

    Just trust your body 2 recover :) its the worlds most advance machine !!!

  83. Scarlet Says:

    “After that though , which is typical with anxiety , i find somethin else to worry about or obsess about . And right now i keep gettin negative thoughts about myself , as if im slagging myself off?? any1 else had this ??”

    Hi Ross, yes I had this as well, was always telling myself I wasn’t good enough, this is normal. This type of self dialog subsides as you gain more confidence.

    “I also have a bit of paranoia that people are being a bit ‘funny’ with me . I suppose this is just another offshoot of anxiety and part of the recovery .”

    Sure is, again due to a loss of self-esteem. Adopt a don’t give a sh** what other folks think approach, this worked with me 😉

  84. Mirel Says:

    I`m 18 and I`m from Slovakia. last week I realized that I have anxiety, I suffer from depersonalization.. it is something new for me but it is salvation to know it, because I didn`t know what is with me for many years. now, I understand. thak you Paul. I think my english is not so good, but I want you to know that I am so thankful :) I hope I will be strong and finally recover..

    P.S.: I didn`t guess that so many people suffer from anxiety!!! good luck all

  85. Rachael Says:


    Ever since I started truly recovering from anxiety my skin seems to be getting worse – nothing major, but just irritated, a bit bumpy etc. My anxiety was originally triggered by a rash on my face so this kills me.

    Since seeing the light in overcoming what I thought was my worst symptom (office noises, I posted about it here) this issue has really flared up for me.

    Can somebody PLEASE snap me out of this and remind me that my anxious mind is over analysing my skin, anything that’s there will probably go away and is probably not even caused by anxiety!? I attribute EVERY change in my body to anxiety and it keeps me trapped and worrying.

    Would appreciate a stern word! I don’t appear to be listening to myself!

  86. Wayne Says:

    Is it possbile to occur after the fact? I had a few situations last week where I would have normally had some anxiety but before, during and after on that day I had no anxiety. Then for the next two days DP and feelings of being odd were terrible.

  87. Wayne Says:

    Sorry missed a word above. Is it possible for anxiety to occur after the fact?

  88. amy Says:

    I just wanted to thank you Paul for taking the time to run this blog, and help us all! I have had anxiety for a long time, but I know I am on the road to recovery because of you…really thank you so much. I hope you know how much you have already helped me and I still have a ways to go. God Bless You,

  89. christina Says:

    This setback is a real stinker. I could use some encouragement, as I feel at square one even though I think maybe I’m wrong. The thoughts are what keep inflaming the anxiety. For some reason I’m real susceptible to them, the thoughts that is, even though I have had big chunks of time where they carry no wait.

    If anyone has had a real live setback and can share how they dealt with it, I sure would appreciate it.

  90. Paul David Says:

    That’s a really nice thing to sat Amy and I am glad the blog has helped you so much. There are loads of people who make it what it is and I and others try and keep it as positive and helpful as possible.

  91. Ben Says:

    After probably 6 months of feeling great and feeling that I was well on teh road to recovery, I feel that I am back at square one pretty randomly from nowhere. I guess this is just a setback, but I am just thinking – can there be such a big time between them ? Maybe this is a good thing and suggests that I have come so far ?

    Just wondering really… I’m not going to let this consume me etc as that’s where I went wrong last time (in fact I haven’t been on this blog for probably 5 months which is a good sign in my mind).


  92. christina Says:

    Ben, I know what you mean. I thought I had had a setback several weeks back, but think it was more the up and down of recovery. But this is stronger. We know so much more now, and having months of no or low anxiety has given us a break. I guess we need to adjust our response and know it will pass.

  93. Albert Says:

    Hi Paul and folks here,
    thanks for your help, I really appreciated. Altough (or maybe because of) I am MD I have suffered big attack of anxiety after somatic disease (temporary hearing loss after massage and manipulation with my neck). Now I am almost fully recovered, but unfortunately depersonalization persists (with lack of positive emotions, lack of spontaneity, not recognizing myself in mirror, …) and disturbing thoughts. I red your book, but do you have any good advice how to cope with it? It is really difficult to heal people when I am ill myself. And have you ever had feelings that you are not connected with your memories (I remember them, but without any emotions, like I never enjoyed it)? Thanks for any reply and for your great help to us. Al.

  94. Scarlet Says:


    “I guess this is just a setback, but I am just thinking – can there be such a big time between them ?”

    You are not back to square one, it’s a learning curve, means you need a bit more reinforcing that’s all. It’s normal even after 5 months of feeling OK to have a setback. Carry on with your normal daily living and don’t feel the need to analyse any negative thoughts… I had a big setback right near the end of my recovery, lasted ages and was very intense, felt just like you do now…

  95. yolande Says:

    Hi Scarlet,

    I have to confess i am really a little scared of getting setbacks. :(
    Right now, i am feeling the apprehension and feeling a little flat which everyone says is what they get when they are almost recovered. I know i shdnt fear setbacks but i reeally dont want to go back to feeling shite again. sigh

    does it mean that everyone WILL have setbacks before they fully recover? Setbacks are the feelings/ symptoms of what you feel at the beginning of your anxiety disorder – is this right?

    any advice on how to go about this? thanks so much

  96. Teresa J Says:

    Firstly let me say that is a great post Paul and one we all can relate to as we get better and better. I too have had a moment like your wallet, many years ago now, but it did prove to me that once the attention was taken elsewhere the physical and mental problems disappear – I was confronted with a motorbike accident as we drove around a bend – from someone who had wrapped herself in cotton wool and thought I should not over exert myself i found myself the first to leap out of the car and run to help?? However, once it was all sorted things returned to as they were – but never quite the same – many lesser drammatic shifts of consciousness proved to me that this was all to do with ‘anxiety’ and the internal fight. What I did do wrong for years was then try to control the way I thought in order to get out of here – It sort of made me think i was ‘responsible’ for the way i was thinking and therefore i should control it.
    Since finding Paul and this site my life has improved greatly and I am recovering, it can be slow and sometimes you feel you have made little progress(that’s not actually true but what the anxiety makes you think) and anxiety does make you doubt yourself sooooooo much.
    Anyone who is staring on this journey – please have faith that the answers are all here – but it does take time and an acceptance that life is not perfect.

    I wonder if anyone can give me some advice – i have come so far, I can acknowledge that the thoughts are the thoughts of anxiety and most of the time can live side by side with feelings. I still get the urge to control when I wake up and start to think I’m going into this stage or that stage (head/stomach pain etc) and I continue getting on with life and sort of accepting quite well – then new problems start. Last week I worried about a mole, ended up having it checked, which is a sensible thing to do but it seems there is always something else. i have a holiday coming up in about 6 weeks – and i know somewhere in the back of my head that possibly i am concerned for everything to be ok before we book it – my latest concern is do i go to the dentist as I have a minor/very minor pain in my tooth, lol – and not lol. I seem to blow these worries up out of all propotion and spend time letting them roll around in my head – no sooner than one is sorted another rolls in. It’s not stopping me doing anything but yet feels like it is kidnapping my thought system and making me feel upset inside. sounds stupid but I suppose I know what it is –

    It’s really refreshing to come back on here and see all the improvements that are happening with people – I have been off it for a while as I don’t like to concentrate too much on the subject – but the security and strength that Paul and the regulars here have given can be a lifeline to some – especially those who are just starting to understand what it is all about.

    Rachael – it’s a minor rash, it would have been there anyway – the anxiety was a separate thing but because anxiety focuses on what gets to you most it’s doing it over the skin. I really understand where you are coming from tho – your focus will shift and you won’t care if it’s there or not – it will pass, believe me.

  97. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Yolande,

    “I have to confess i am really a little scared of getting setbacks.
    Right now, i am feeling the apprehension and feeling a little flat which everyone says is what they get when they are almost recovered. I know i shdnt fear setbacks but i reeally dont want to go back to feeling shite again. sigh”

    See, this is what is keeping more of the same coming, a setback will only go as far as you let it. If you learn not to fear it and are able to dismiss intrusive/irrational thoughts, the intensity and duration of the setback will be less. Try the “oops there I go again” response to negative thoughts/feelings and bring yourself back into the present moment. Honestly this works, I even do it myself now when I start worrying about something.

    “does it mean that everyone WILL have setbacks before they fully recover? Setbacks are the feelings/ symptoms of what you feel at the beginning of your anxiety disorder – is this right?”

    Not necessarily, but recovery is a learning process and each setback is to reinforce what you have already learned until your fear has totally disappeared. If you are still fearful of having a setback then you aren’t quite there yet. A setback can feel intense with more intrusive thoughts, and yes it may feel like you did in the beginning for a short while (but it’s not as you have already learned so much, and nothing will take you back to, those days), or it may be less intense and short lived. I know it’s hard but it really is necessary to go through these setbacks to push you onto a further level of recovery.

  98. Fiona Says:

    Hi Albert, in good way its lovely to have a doc on here, obviously you can appreciate anxiety as a real condition and have seen this information as a real solution for overcoming the condition in away that pills and jargon from mental health people could never provide.
    Just being nosy…. how common is anxiety among your patients? Would you recommend the website/book rather than meds?
    Anyway, back your questions. DP is a tricky thing and although it is brought on by anxiety can be independent of the other symptoms and many people who have recovered have stated this feeling is th last to go…. BUT IT DOES GO, eventually. Unfortunately, it is not like a bubble bursting and it just dissapears. It takes time patience and understanding. Firstly you must realise that it does not effect your normal functioning so is not something to be worried about in a professional capacity. I’m a school teacher and have regularly taught with DP feeling, it does not really bother me. DP loves attention, if you fight and get frustrated by the feeling it will remain a focus and never improve. If you realise it is annoying but harmless it will allow you to get on with your life at peace, with dp in the background as a slight irratation. When you do this it will lift for periods of time and then return back at random times (or there may be a pattern of when you do and dont feel it) but what matters is that you dont care if its there and just move on and accept. DP worrying and thinking about DP will never get rid of it. Accepting and forgetting about it will.
    Fiona xxx

  99. Jo Says:

    Hey C,

    How are you?

    Hope you and everyone else is enjoying the bank holiday! Weathers a bit random though!


  100. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Albert,

    Nice to have you here.

    ” have you ever had feelings that you are not connected with your memories (I remember them, but without any emotions, like I never enjoyed it)? Thanks for any reply and for your great help to us. Al.”

    I felt like this for a long time, had dp on and off right until the end, although it subsided somewhat nearer the end and was numbness that I learned to cope with whilst carrying on with ‘normal’ living. At one time I was worried that my life had been one big disappointment because I never had emotions attached to my memories, that perhaps I never had any good memories and my life was a lie, and the more I dwelled on this, the more agitated I made myself and the more my anxiety/dp increased. The best way to go is to say to yourself that this is a phase in recovery, that all appropriate emotions will return in due course, “and they will”, I can vouch for this. Carry on with you work regardless of the dp and like Fiona said it will subside, this is the way to go.

  101. christina Says:

    Wow, reading my earlier post I can see how I was thinking without anxiety dominating. I’m sure I will get back there, it’s just setbacks have a way of mixing you up. I think the memory of this starting about this anxiety starting this time last year is also adding to it.

  102. yolande Says:

    Thanks so much Scarlet!

    I managed to ‘self talk’ myself out of thinking thus as I realised I am setting myself up for setbacks just by thinking thus. How silly can i be. I have come so far with help from this site, my family and my own preserverance that i dont want to jeopardise it by thinking wrongly.

    Your advice and encouragemenet helped a lot. Thanks again.

  103. yolande Says:


    just one more thing – i am currently at this stage (nearing the final frontier) so to speak. so i get what Candie calls the no man’s land feelings (flatness, a bit fed up, a little bit of doubting still)

    is it normal to still feel some restlessness/ agitagion thrown in to the other feelings of flatness?

    can you pls advise if this was how you felt when you were at the 95-99% recovery stage pls?

  104. Sandeep Says:

    Scarlet, I found accepting hard to do consistently so I adopted your approach as well of stopping myself from ruminating and bringing myself to the present. It helps to keep the anxiety at bay and makes your mind less tired. I have 2 questions: 1. Sometimes I’m just not able to – the focus is too much on it. In times like that I just let it be and experience the adrenaline trying to teach myself to not fear it. Did you have lots of moments like that? 2. I’ve had quite a few setbacks and good days but I’m just not making the connection to lose the fear. I still instinctively keep feeling v uncomf when adrenaline comes on. How did you land up losing the fear? I just feel I’m not making progress – I’m still as fearful as before. Thanks.

  105. dyeri Says:

    Similar to yolande, I have this feelings too where you feel flat , then some thoughts, more obsessive than scary comes in, sometimes its easy to dismiss but when youre tire its seems your not aware taht your are already analyzing the thoughts.

  106. Scarlet Says:


    “is it normal to still feel some restlessness/ agitagion thrown in to the other feelings of flatness?

    can you pls advise if this was how you felt when you were at the 95-99% recovery stage pls?”

    Yes this is how I was right up to the end…



    You won’t be able to get it right all the time, but as your confidence grows, and you see this method working, your fear will disappear gradually. I know this is a cliche, but time will cure you, you can’t rush recovery unfortunately… just keep following what is said on here whenever you are able.

    “I just feel I’m not making progress – I’m still as fearful as before”

    You are making progress but can’t see it at the moment because your mind is too preoccupied with anxiety to see clearly… but in a bit of time you will see how far you have come. I am fully recovered now and I know this method works.

  107. Teresa J Says:

    Candie /Scarlet can you help me with something I have picked up from your posts – anxiety makes you try to eliminate ,symptoms/thoughts – that’s what causes the search, that’s what keeps the spin going. so if your body produces a new/old pain/feeling/thought anxiety will tell you you need to address this issue, YOU BELIEVE that once you have sorted this issue your mind will be at peace and then you can get on with your life but what actually happens is that you give it credibility and therefore it becomes obsession. I would really like someone to give me a hand here -i have lost my focus – I know I should be looking to myself for the reassurance but it’s not happening, especially when I’ve been on this site for long enough to know better but for some reason or other… Re reading this post and thinking about things I realise that all through my ‘anxiety’ which has controlled my life for the last …. years I have tried to elimainate symptoms, then I realised the ‘stress’ symptoms and ‘accepted’ them – but new symptoms would still have to be addressed and although i have improved a lot there’s something stopping me I could do with a bit of a pep talk from someone (praps that’s what’s wrong, looking fro reassurance again but I’ve tried all the other ways and I am not leaving go)Sorry.

  108. Sandeep Says:

    Thanks Scarlet. I hope you dont mind me bothering you w/ updates on my progress.

  109. Paul David Says:

    Albert on your question on D.P, I have written so much on the subject and there is no quick fix, it takes time and you have to be patient. Many people say it is the last thing to leave them and that was true of me although I made huge strides. Fiona sums it up in what she said above, it’s simple but true advice…

    As a school teacher and have regularly taught with DP feeling, it does not really bother me. DP loves attention, if you fight and get frustrated by the feeling it will remain a focus and never improve. If you realise it is annoying but harmless it will allow you to get on with your life at peace, with dp in the background as a slight irratation. When you do this it will lift for periods of time and then return back at random times (or there may be a pattern of when you do and dont feel it) but what matters is that you dont care if its there and just move on and accept.

    I once fought to understand what was happening to me, fought to make it go away, I just fell deeper and deeper into the condition, which makes total sense to me now. But how could I ever live alongside these horrible empty feelings when I had no clue as to why I felt this way? If something is wrong it is your natural instinct to fix it. But this is the very thing that keeps this condition alive, the worry of it, the concern, the desperate fight to make it go away.

    The D.P is your bodies safety system to blocking all the worry and bewilderment, the constant monitoring of oneself, it is total mind overload and to take a break it just switches off. This is why you can function, but struggle to feel emotion, why the world looks so grey and one dimensional, why you struggle to hold conversations and not feel part of your surroundings. Your mind is crying out for a break and the only way to give it this and trust that it will find its flexiblity back is to live alongside these feelings, try not to let the feelings bother you, understand why you feel this way. Trust me I suffered D.P worse than anyone I have ever helped and the reason I left no stone unturned in trying to fully understand the condition. The reason I no longer feel this way is I gave my mind the time and space it needed, it was a slow process full of good and bad days, but although it was a pain in the bum at times, I allowed myself to feel this way, to feel lost and disconnected at times, to feel little emotion, but not get stressed or concerned about it or try to FIX it.

    There is a post on here dedicated to D.P if you do a search

    There is also this page on my site below

    Just never expect to read anything that will make it go away within a week, I never give people false hope, but if you stick with it you will see a difference in time. I never thought I would see another clear day in my darkest times, so trust in what I say.

  110. Albert Says:

    Dear Scarlet and Paul,
    thank you for your reply and answers to my question. Actually I had this problem in my 18s when I used LSD (for the first and last time in my life). It induced my first panic attack followed with D.P. I remember that it lasted about 4 months to get back, to find myself again. But I was young, school student, I had little responsibility, I was alone (and I need it to be alone for some time), so I changed some things in my life (for example stopped smoking, became part of Christian community) and I believed that it’s remnant of LSD in my body. Since this until now I hadn’t any symptoms of anxiety. Today, the panic attack, anxiety and D.P. starts in different way – after longterm stress, little sleep and rest. Today I am not alone, I have wife, I have difficult and very responsible job – I am surgeon, there is no chance to take rest. And I am afraid, that D.P. and lack of emotions and motivation (I was highly motivated and also very successful in my job) will negatively influence my professional and personal decisions. So that is why I try to fix it quickly.
    Well, I can confirm your words, that it will resolve if we give it its own time (my personal experience since my 18s). Only this time I am a little bit inpatient (want to be ok immediately) and losing my faith in recovery so often.
    Again, Scarlet and Paul, thank you for your reassurance and help.
    Sincerly Yours Albert

  111. louise Says:

    Hi everyone,hope some people remember me,havent been on here in a wee while, although Paul,the book and this website has never been far from my mind Thought id start off with telling you all how im doing now and hopefully be of some help Im 29 and up until roughly 1yr ago suffered from, in my opinion serious anxiety,i didnt know this at the time though ,just thought i was totally crazy My life was hell for so long,i lived my life in fear,constant fear of myself my thoughts people around me,i was paranoid,, insecure ,on edge,everyone noticed and this only made me worse I felt utterley worthless,thought noone liked me,frequently reffered to myself as a weirdo HONEST I hated being around people,i felt i was like an open book and everyone could see me for what i was, the final staw came when after my partners family had left one evening i totally cried myself to sleep,me and my partner had been together for 11 yrs and i still couldnt hold a civil conversation with his family,just asking me how i was sent panic waves cursing through me,my nerves where shot to hell,feelings of unreality crept in everytime my doorbell rang or the phone went,i could not take this anymore I went to the doctors and demanded proper help and this time did not leave until i was taken seriously Then i began to bowse the net and thank the lords came across pauls site,ill never be able to put into words the relief i felt reading Pauls page,my symptoms had a name i han anxiety and i wasnt the only one ,i was not alone I ordered the book and read it twice but low and behold this was only the very beginning of a long road to recovery I remember putting the book down and thinking i was cued i went around on a high only to crashing down with a bang and a much needed reality check I had to work at this this was gonna take courage,faith and time,how much time noone knew I quickly learned to stop Blaming others,drop the chips and take responsability for myself,cbt helped me massively too,really helped erradicate some very destructive thinking patterns,i educated myself on anxiety,and made some changes to my lifestyle i gave up smoking,took up exercise,found that i love running,i got strict with myself made sure i done my run first thing in the morning,people noticed how well i was looking and commented,i started to feel proud of my efforts,felt like i was acheiving something and it was sure better than siiting at home all day thinking about anxiety The hardest part for me was facing my fears stopping avoiding people and places,this was not easy and can still b challenging to this day but i know its got to be done if i want to live a normal life Through time my head started to clear i could think easier and was able to get things into perspective , i didnt allow intrusive thoughts to scare me,i challenged them simply by ignoring them and getting on with my day they could only hurt me if i let them,ive grown confidence by putting myself into anxiety inducing situations and being ok,or not being ok just not seeing this as the end of the world,like i said i got things into perspective and anxiety stopped being so scary, Im getting better all the time now and i believe this is because i continously face my fears with a healthy attitude and take full responsability for my life,for me,i push myself to get out and about and although the experiance isnt always the best i donot allow mysely to analize i see it all as a learning curve,and the fact im even doing it means more anyway Ive got to say this whole experiance has helped me find myself,i feel ive grown as a person and my spirit is unbreakable ,i love life and know i wont ever live in fear like that again Still doing my running,can run for miles now and hoping to start a college course this aug in health and fitness whod have thought LOL We can all recover from this,i have every faith,be brave,face your fears head on everyday,get out and about,stop analizing evey thought and feeling and dont be scared cause there really is NO bogey man louise xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  112. Davidina Says:

    Hi Louise. – What a wonderful post. – So happy that your life has turned around. You sound so brave and so strong. I am working on all the things you talk about and you have given me great inspiration. XX

  113. Davidina Says:

    Hi Lindsey How are you. Haven’t heard from you for a wee while. Let me know how you are if you have a little time. Lots of love – D – XX

  114. yolande Says:

    Hi all

    For those who are working fulltime/partime – how do you all cope in your work when you are still recovering from anxiety? sometimes i wud feel this sense of dread or restlessness while at work and what i do is i take deep breaths and walk around the office a bit, get a drink etc. sometimes i get so confused – like is this accepting the symptoms or not?

    how be great to learn how you all go abt it.

    =====> Scarlet (since you are the only one who has fully recovered and come on here regularly), yu mentioned that you wud know when you are fully recovered.

    My question is ‘does this knowledge differ from person to person” ie. HOW you know you have recovered differs from one another? i wud appreciate it if you cud advise how you personally know that you are recovered. is it in the form of your thoughts or feelings? you suddenly FEEL better or yr mind suddenly becomes clear? Paul mentioned that he knew he was recovered when he cud speak freely without thinking abt himself. so i am thinking that it differs from person to person – there is no set rule like you know you are recovered when you do xxxx or feel xxxx.

    Anyone who wish to comment/ share? thanks

  115. Candie Says:

    Yolande your recovered when your not scared anymore basically, when a thought it just a ‘thought’, when you can cut of from stress too and not plow yourself back into anxiety by over reacting to yourself. I’d say when you can say you no longer fear feeling the fear and are willing to experience it- that is when you just know recovery is imminent.

    Hi Louise, thats a great story of recovery :) I know what you mean about finding yourself throughout recovery… i read a person finds enlightenment when they go through the worst suffering.. i know i did. I feel happiness over the slightest things now, i love my life and that is why i dont regret experiencing anxiety. I never gave up on recovery, even if it did take me couple of years to get the ball rolling! My qaulity of life is fantastic, it was ok before anxiety but now iv seen the darker side of life i will always value the little things in life.

    Teresa, i think what you have just had is a realisation… one i had a bit back which really braught me on in recovery. Now you know that anxiety will try get you to eliminate the fear through rumination, but its fruitless effort as your mind will produce something else till you stop trying to figure it out- you will recover. It doesnt matter if you feel like your lacking something in recovery, you will automatically have moments where you learn things which will lead you right to the end of full recovery.

  116. Claire SB Says:

    Hi Everyone

    I hope you are all doing well.

    I haven’t posted that much lately but basically my story is i have suffered with anxiety for about 10 years or so on and off. Starting off with Panic attacks then general anxiety, I had a difficult upbringing with an alcoholic father and have always been a worrier which i put down to the start up of all this.

    I discovered this blog a couple of years ago and have Pauls book, which i find very motivating and relates to me so well, i have made a lot of progress in this time accepting and changing my attitude in understanding that all i have is an overactive mind and a nervous body, i have had months and even a good year of feeling great and not paying attention to the symptoms .

    Well i now live in Dubai, with my amazing husband, who i am so happy with :-) I love it here, the weather is great (although starting to heat up a bit now to be honest)! I have always been a nervous person, a worrier/ deep thinker, and I have a very stressful job, its a different world here and every day at work is a challenge, I honestly cant explain what its like just a very multi-cultural environment and lack of logic in every way!

    Anyway over time i have let this job get to me, i work very hard and long hours, recently i have just got to a point where i cant do it anymore, i have this week hit a brick wall, i told them i need a break and they still insist that i have to be in work, so i kept going, not a good move as yesterday i couldn’t take it I just couldnt do another thing, I have to take some time out!

    I guess i just want a bit of reassurance that i am doing the right thing in taking time out? Am i avoiding or am i giving myself a bit of space to breathe and relax, I am already worrying about going back to work and what if it happens again etc. etc.. but i just have to accept that at times i will get stressed and anxious but just not to pay it to much attention as i’m sure you all understand this – as soon as i have an actual problem at work i let it get to me and it affects how i feel and it turns into a ‘me’ problem rather than focusing on how to sort out the initial work problem – hope this makes sense!

    let me know if you have any thoughts on this. thanks all xx

  117. scarlet Says:

    Candies right Yolande, I have no fear of any of my thoughts. I do not associate normal everyday problems to anxiety and once an issue is resolved I no longer dwell on it. For me anxiety is nothing more than a word now, I don’t get a feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think of anxiety, nor when I read something in the news (or on here), nor when I think of other mental conditions. My life no longer revolves around anxiety. I think it’s the same for everyone who recovers fully, you feel free in the sense that you eventually realised (and accepted) that anxiety wasn’t a big monster, it was ‘you’ all the time actually doing it to yourself, making yourself feel this way with your own thoughts and reactions to those thoughts. When I realised this (and accepted it fully/had full belief that this is all it was), my anxiety dissolved because it had no hold over me any more

  118. Teresa J Says:

    Thank you so much Candie – the realisation has helped and it was from a couple of yours and Scarlets post from the past, suddenly another chink opens up in your mind set – I think although we are not supposed to seek reassurance that sometimes if you are spinning you can do with a helpful word. It’s almost as if you know you are involved in a destructive process but because the ‘anxiety’ mode is pushing you so strongly to go down the wrong road you need someone independant to say STOP. Your posts about anxiety always trying to get you to ‘sort’ it out, and then coming up with the next ‘sort it out’ for you to feel anxious and freaked about has helped a lot. I have improved and I am recovering well since I came on this site a year ago, the help from you and other bloggers here has been completely to do with that. I too have a grattitude for life that I did not have before – I still have a path to travel and i am really grateful for the help I get here, in time I hope to give more help than taking it – Paul’s book should be available in every surgery it would save a lot of suffering.

  119. yolande Says:

    i really dont know what i will do without you, Scarlet and Candie. You both have helped me so so much.

    learning NOT to FEAR the feelings and/or thoughts (urggg) is abt the hardest thing i have had to learn but i am getting there…………. even if i do go backwards sometimes.

    thank you both once again.

  120. Scarlet Says:

    Yolande, Teresa,

    Just to also add that when you are around 95-99% recovered you can agree in principal to what I’ve said in my last post, but then it still takes some time for you to believe it wholeheartedly, as realisation and full acceptance don’t come together straight away. Basically you still need reinforcement of these ‘realisation’ moments, and because this is the case, a wee bit of doubt hangs around for a while, this is why the last 5% or so can drag on a bit…

  121. Paul David Says:

    That is a great story Louise and mirrors my own recovery pretty much, not only that but my total struggle when you talk about how you once were, I dreaded everything also, on edge, insecure about what people thought of me, it drained all the confidence from me life was such a hell hole each waking day when I had no clue what was wrong with me or how I had turned into the person I was.

    And take a massive pat on the back for moving forward and not hiding away, making those positive changes. I know how hard that can be when the mountain feels so high to climb, you just want to hide away feeling sorry for yourself, looking for someone or something to make it all go away overnight. You never lose that confidence you have built up from doing it yourself and putting yourself out there, doing things you don’t always feel like doing.

  122. Ben Says:

    Cheers Scarlet for the heads up on the setback. I understand now that I am not back at square one and to just be strong and keep the technique that has served me so well over the past year. It has been that long since I have had one I had almost forgot how to deal with it.

    This has also taken me a bit by surprise as the symptoms have been different. I have felt really teary and emotional when talking to people for some reason. Never felt like this before – I guess it is just another manifestation of tired nerves etc ???

  123. candie Says:

    Yes that is true Scarlet, i have been stuck in the last 5% for few months now.. mostly i can dismiss any symptom or thought as not a threat and just flow through it, although you do get the odd pang of what if feelings occasionaly. However although you get the pang of fear, its instantanious and not dwelled on. Other then setbacks, which are rare for me but when i have them biggys.. then my anxiety doesnt effect my qaulity of life. I think the stage im at now (95%), is pretty comfortable- im doing nothing wrong regarding acceptance, but it will take a bit of time to let my new habits sink in to the point nothing rattles me. I must admit though it is very rare i wonder ‘oh my god what if that happens’ and i start catastrophising, but there are still rare moments which is why im not quite there yet.

  124. lisa Says:

    i can say i have been stuck on the last 5% now for about 3 months, never in my wildest drams did i think id ever get to the end. you just get to the stage where you think “oh whatever” and not bat an eyelid to anxiety anymore. 😉

  125. lorryt Says:

    a proving point today that I am recovring, my hubby has jacked his job in and came home with a really bad anxiety attack, shaking and crying. At one time i would have burst in to tears and panicked myself what gone into what if this mode and what if that mode, catastrophising as i am prone to do. Lets say I am a ittle concerned about what hes gonna do now but I am quite chilled about it,. So i guess for me its a very big step in the right direction. I am not having a great day and i find that when i come back on here i seem to dwell on stuff more , which is why i dont come back so much, i dont feel the need. I know i need to get on with my life and live it rather than sit and try and think my way out of the anxiety – which i know i can never do!.Sounds a bit garbled but am struggling with the concept of it all today and thoughts wander in, but i am learning to let them wander out too ! rather than grabbing at them and making them into a whole big scene in my head that to me i make real . Thats all it is, and Im trying to get my hubby to see that too. Life is too precious and short, lets enjoy it xxxxxxxxx thanks guys xxxxxxxxxxxx

  126. Teresa J Says:

    Thanks Scarlet. It seems many of us have a few sticking points and yet we have so much more positivity now too. It is a slow process and I think that’s why sometimes we wonder if we’re actually moving or staying still – however it seems that it takes less and less to make us realise that we are ‘catastrophising’ and then we don’t believe the stories the anxiety tells us. I found it so much help this week to realise from old posts that anxiety forces you to look for an answer, I think that phrase said it all for me – as I know now that it’s looking for a reaction so I am choosing to realise I don’t have to give one.

    Lorryt, hope it all goes well for you and your hubby. You are so right about life being too short and enjoying it. you seem to be on the right road, well done and good luck.
    Lisa – nice to know we’re all getting there.
    Candie – i find your posts so helpful, you handle things so well and give such sound advice, thank you.

  127. Tracey Says:

    I haven’t visited in a while but I thought I would see how everyone was. I’m definitely at that last 5% I feel. Like Candie said there are rare moments here and there but its not at all like it used to be…I can think of the old thoughts that used to bother me and it wont effect me anymore–although there will be those occasions where I get that rush of fear but it only lasts a moment because I have now come to the realization that thinking too much into that rush of fear moment is what got me where I was before. if you just let that one little moment be there, it goes away just as quickly as it came.

  128. yolande Says:

    Teresa J,
    ‘”It is a slow process and I think that’s why sometimes we wonder if we’re actually moving or staying still – however it seems that it takes less and less to make us realise that we are ‘catastrophising’ and then we don’t believe the stories the anxiety tells us.”

    You put it down so aptly.

    I am now feeling the occasional flatness, the pang of fear, some restlessness etc.
    sometimes i feel totally 100% and sometimes down back to 90%. it’s frustrating when this happens but i remind myself that it’s all adding up in the background (as Paul says). I try also not to think abt whether i am doing things rightly or not cos it just makes me think and worry more.

    Alas, nothing but patience is needed, that and the right attitude that we will finally see me reach full recovery.

  129. yolande Says:

    Hi Candie,

    I am relieved to read that having the ‘pang of fear’ is normal at the 5% stage! i have been feeling this for the past 2 days and altho i keep reassuring myself that it’s PART of anxiety, nothing beats reading it online that others have experienced it. i get fearful when this happens and can to think abt the future and doing secondary thinking. I have so far been able to pull myself up and stop doing this when fear hits. it’s like you said Candie, it’s instantanious and shd not be dwelled on.

    there are times too when i am hit by waves of doubt too but i tell myself ‘hey, i must be practising rightly otherwise i couldnt have got to this stage’ and this helped.

    thanks to all who shared their experiences – it gives me added hope and strength that full recovery is almost here.

  130. ross Says:

    Hey every1,

    Just wanted to ask if anyone has advice on empty feelings?? I get it quite often where i feel NOTHING its very strange , it does pass but while i get it its very unsettling i do try and ignore it ans show no respect to it but it i feel lost when it happens .

    Also how do u know if ur depressed or not as i know anxiety can lead 2 depression ? is depression somethin that comes with anxiety ?

  131. selma Says:

    hi all,
    wondering if someone could help me sort through some confusion i am having regarding doctors/treatment/advice. i finally saw a professional and she was very good at easing my concerns that i do not have bipolar or any other type of disorder besides anxiety/depression BUT on the other hand she was very very pro-medication and said point-blank: this is a chemical condition and medication will fix it. she said if i have another pregnancy i am at risk of a nervous breakdown! i can’t believe she said that!! i told her that kind of thing will send my anxiety into a tailspin. she tried to backpedal out of it but her point was that i need to treat it with medication before it gets worse. my whole approach i believe in is this blog and acceptance and the will beswick book. of all the things i’ve tried, it’s the ONLY thing that makes sense, but how do you weed through all of the different types of advice? and what do i make of her suggestion that i might have breakdown? that is the worst thing anyone could ever tell me!!

  132. selma Says:

    plus, i don’t even know- what is a nervous breakdown?? sort of laughing on that one, because i’m pretty sure i’ve already been there!!

  133. Richard Says:

    with much talk of recovery percentage and serious sense of something being wrong with ones self. It seems to me many here have developed their anxiety in a change to their normal self.

    for me ive only really know this way of thinking, being only 21. i guess i would put more focus on an incident or subject making my anxious than the general anxiety itself, thus never identifying a problem in my thoughts.

    Somehow i was gifted with view of perspective on my life scaling my problems down to size. with this i developed a patience with my anxiety and progressed through education as the common nice guy of school. i became very good at lying. not in a bad way but just to fit in almost. like many i had to find the middle ground. i didnt take chances and followed the tracks of education. going to University is what seemed acceptable to my parents so i then worked hard to go to university…seemingly regardless of where i actually wanted to go or not..

    landmark fear for me in lead up to university the questions in my head started to realy fly….yet when it came to it i did okay. i was independant and didnt have worry about impressing my parents…and as for making friends… i could lie to myself so well i practically brought a different person to the table whenever in public. i could be who ever i wanted and i doubt many know who i really am, but i went out. i joined clubs i pushed myself and much like Paul describes his recovery i took on a decision after decision each to galvanize my confidence and give me actual ambition in life.

    all was going brilliant until the life started going a pit down the toilet. work got full on and stress levels skyrocketed i started to fall down the traps of avoidance. regardless of if ur anxiety sufferer…running away is always easier to do than facing it. i failed my troublesome module in 1st year. pulled through in the exam retake period. course that same module failed my 2nd year and here i am redoing that 2nd year.

    now in that original 2nd year my family fell apart in spetacular style. simply put my mother was having an affair and my dad found out. to cut a long eastenders style story out. they decided to “stay together and work it out” problem is she wont talk to anyone about it and truthfully isnt happy with my dad. my dad is basically constantly putting barriers up like financial issues and such to keep her as it would destroy him if she left.

    my sister meanwhile has taken the full brunt….she got told first and my dad laid his very angry mind on her. she had to deal with his anger only really talked to her.

    i was reluctant to step in despite the fact i was unfazed by this massive revelation. i played the normality card in this bull$hit production of a happy family for a while but it started getting ugly with drunked incidents from my dad. i then stepped in to talk to my parents. problem is this emotional unload aint great for me….my isolated year filled with less university work has led to greater thinking time. maybe added adolesent hormones but i fell into a cycle of depression and confusion and i began to slip into a heavy alcohol dependency. i enjoy beer but looking back i was pushing at least 4-5 cans a day and it destroyed my mental control i worked so hard to form. while stable but rarley happy and able to enjoy life its only stumbling on here looking else where for answers i found a renewed confidence to start getting on again. i was still me and theres many in more need than myself…a simple reminder i had sadly forgotten

    but the fact remains my family is at breaking point and i am at a crossroad. how do i tell my parents i cannot handle this now. should i tell them about my anxious tendencies or will they just worry more about me. im afraid of my own home. avoidance is kicking in but this is something i honestly feel i need to avoid right now.

    not sure this is the place for those kinda questions but stuff here has done so much for me in a short amount of time i though i might add my story to the roster. paul has really hit the nail on the head with this and beautifully reminded me what i didnt realise i knew all along.

  134. Teresa J Says:

    there are people on here who are better qualified than myself to answer you – but just until someone comes on here in an effort to diffuse the anxiety that visitin the gp has built up – over a period of 10 years I saw several gp’s and many advocating medication – basically antidepressants, although I was not actually depressed but disfunctional and frightened through anxiety. I saw a highly qualified person who told me that medication was not the route – although he did not ‘cure’ me, i believe he knew what I had but was unable to ‘understand’ fully unlike Paul who has actually suffered and knows. It is hard to dismiss medically qualified people especially when you are so desparate and suggestionable. Please have faith with Paul’s advice – if you have felt relief from reading the books you will know that it works , it takes a long time to establish this new way of thinking, your thoughts are making you anxious but try and have faith. I am sure Candie/Paul or Scarlet will pick this thread up and give you the support you need – but please from someone who tried EVERYTHING and in the end felt that there was no way out – believe in this site 100%, it is a slow recovery, but it is recovery – things get better, they really do. Take care.

  135. Teresa J Says:

    Richard – From your blog i would think you need to open up to someone in your family. They need to know the pressure you are under. Hope everythig improves for you.

  136. garrett Says:

    i have been suffering for about 2 years, and i didnt read pauls book til about a year ago. i have felt the relief and have done the things said in the book, and for that reason i have total belief in what it says and that full recovery is possible. but i always have a lot of trouble with putting up with instead of accepting. i always say, “ok, accept and let the feelings be there,” but then right afterwards i follow it up with something like, “ok is the anxiety gone yet?”…and it obviously wont be gone if i do that…any specific advice on how to TRULY ACCEPT and GO WITH THE FEELINGS rather than just put up with them?

  137. selma Says:

    Teresa- thank you. i would love to hear more of your recovery as the positivity really helps me. you say you were “dysfunctional”- how so? it helps me to know that others were as low as i have been and come come out. i mean, i have been through times where i barely thought that i could make it through. is that how you felt?

  138. yolande Says:


    PDocs and docs will always precribed meds – because that’s the way they have been taught. that’s not to say that it’s wrong – for me i took meds which helped to alleviate the symptoms somewhat. i believe if you do go down the meds route, you must know that while they can alleviate one’s symptoms they cannot CURE them. Acceptance is the ONLY way – from all who have recovered here and from the book by Dr Claire Weekes, it’s the right way to go.

    Dont worry over that remark made by the doc – dismiss it.

    ppl suffering from anxiety sometimes get depressed that’s why docs tend to prescribed anti-Ds. works for some and not for others.

    according to Claire Weekes, nervous illnesss just means that your nerves have started to interfere with your daily life. a lot of ppl have bad nerves – but some handle them better.

    hope this helps

  139. lorryt Says:

    hi ross

    to try and help you answer your question , they are one in the same thing, treat them both the same way, i know it can be really tough, and i too went through the feelings of no feelings at all and still do sometimes.habit and all that but just go with the flow i know from experience that it will all drop into place over time. for me it has been a while and life still throws curve balls at us. let these feelings come and go and bear them no mind, they are transient. stick with this place, it is really helpful and saved my lifexxxxx

  140. lisa Says:

    garrett, i had that annoying HABIT aswell,thats all it is a habit.i used to wake up and think “has it gone yet”? so obviously i brought it to the front of my mind every morning,so the my daily battle would get out of my habit i had to allow it but not bother with it, all it was is an annoying HABIT that wanted my attention. treat it as a big spot on your chin, the more you pick it n squeeze it, it wont heal, leave the spot alone, itl go on its own. time n patience is the key,living and getting on with your life before you suffered.took me along time to think”how can i”?? but well worth back to work now,doing everything before ever suffering,letting my nerves heal on their own and enjoying life now. 😉

  141. Scarlet Says:

    “Also how do u know if ur depressed or not as i know anxiety can lead 2 depression ? is depression somethin that comes with anxiety ?”

    Ross, when I was suffering and went to see a psychiatrist in the hospital (he was an expert in depressive illnesses) he told me that anxiety and depression are one and the same. At the time I thought what utter rubbish, how can anxiety and depression be the same, I feel totally different in an anxious mood to a depressed one (I had clinical depression as well as anxiety). Now that I am recovered I can see exactly what he meant. It’s the emotion that you give your thoughts, i.e one of fear as opposed to one of despondency. With anxiety there are times when you feel flat and you may feel depressed (low mood) or you may feel anxious and scared, but the principles for recovery with depressed mood is exactly the same for anxious mood, i.e accept how you feel for the time being, know it will pass and carry on with normal living. Never be afraid of depression, if you have some depression with your anxiety, you can be sure it will subside along with your anxiety.

  142. Scarlet Says:

    Selma the only way is to be totally honest with your psychiatrist and tell her the road ‘YOU’ want to go down. My psychiatrist was pro medication as well (aren’t they all) and I told him point blank (after 4 months of taking ADs) that I wasn’t happy and wanted to try another route, i.e a herbal remedy for sleeping. I told him I was anti-meds. When I told him what I wanted, he could see that I had become more confident (which is a sure sign of recovery) and he went along with what I wanted, told me that for me I was strong enough to go without meds. I think if you go into the docs appointment timid and pleading for them to make you well again (I have done this btw) then they will prescribe pills (just my experience). Remember they are not God, they are book-read (even the good ones). Never worry about what might happen with your next pregnancy, I had a nervous breakdown with mine and fully recovered. You know more about anxiety now and can make some positive changes before trying for another baby. You have come a long way.

  143. Teresa J Says:

    Yes Selma – I have been that far down too – it is awful but it does move , the biggest move forward is when you start to believe what the more experienced members on this site are saying – and then you start to doubt your own negative thoughts, then you grt moments of relief and then you realise this is a bogey man and is not the monster you thought it was. You will get better, don’t try and rush it, just feel content in knowing that hthis is going to get better – and best of all you don’t have to do anything, you just get on with as much ‘normal’ life as possible. Take care, you’re in safe hands on this site – you’ll get better.

  144. selma Says:

    teresa and scarlet- thank you so much for your kind words. they really help. you have no idea. scarlet, what do you mean you had a nervous breakdown with you pregnancy? like you sort of went mad? i still am not sure what that means- just that you cant’ function because of the anxiety? it sounds awful! that being said, i have felt so awful before that i thought i couldn’t possibly feel normal again and now i have tons of times where i feel great and normal. if this is recovery i’m on it’s a strange road because i still have terrible bouts of anxiety/depression that feel as bad as ever….but at the same time i will have these breakthrough periods of time where i feel so centered and happy and positive, free of the anxiety for a while. it sort of makes me question things more, like what did i do to flip it on again,e tc? and the psych yesterday just messed with me because she made it sound like it is 100% chemical and i have NO control over it at all…

  145. louise Says:

    Hi everyone,thanx for commenting on my post,it was a little mumble jumble,underestimated how hard putting into words everything ive been through would be,reckon you all got the jist though LOL Paul your so right about the confidence you gain through facing your fears,i do believe its a confidence that will never leave me,i reckon im pretty brave these days,Candie i know too what your saying about now loving life,i cant believe that i now WANT to put myself in the company of others,im learning to love socialising ,even when im feeling anxious,i try to tell myself its a challenge another chance to practise everything ive learned Never give up on yourselves, anxiety is not that important HONEST keep going,be brave, life is for living,face your fears and you will come out the other side stronger xxx

  146. ross Says:

    Thanks so much Lorryt and Scarlet :) I was starting to think I should go to a doctor about these ’empty’ and feelin ‘nothin’ feelings , but you’ve really helped me on that part .

    Im really getting there with my recovery but every now and then it really helps to get advice on here really gives me a boost thanks :)

  147. ross Says:

    Another question …..Once we recover how do we stay anxiety free?? should everything that we learn stop us from developing bad habits??

  148. lisa Says:

    ross, like paul said in his post, dont try to become anxiety free,you just become less afraid of your thoughts n feelings. if thoughts arise and there important deal with them, if there of no importance let them pass. once you become less afarid and see a “thought” as just a “thought “and a “feeling” as just a “feeling”,youv already recovered, just your left with time to heal .i didnt see i was until it one day it just clicked and thought iv done it and you will too 😉

  149. Teresa J Says:

    Selma – I can’t give you the same advice as Scarlet as she has had it whilst pregnant. I developed it when I was 38 and had it for a very long time because i did not know what it was and was like a puppy chasing my own tail all the time – my whole life became anxiety. I had a desparate time for a couple of years and then sort of lived a ‘managed’ life which was so controlled it was hard. I believe I had a breakdown but more of a protracted one – but I’m not really sure. It’s not important, for you or me – what’s important is that you have discovered the chinks of light by believing you will get better by doing nothing and not feeding the anxiety. It will not always work and there will be many ups and downs – many of us who are ‘in recovery’ get them. You didn’t do anything to ‘flip’ again it’s just the way it is – it sort of keeps throwing it at you to see if you react – one phrase that Paul said recently that helped me a lot was ‘It is not important not to feel like this’ – the importance we put on it increases our fear, our fear throws all the chemicals into play and away we go. You need to put the brakes on, find something to do and get on with it regardless of how you feel. i know its not easy – sometimes you will do it and other times you won’t but the more your brain recognises you have nothing to be in a spin about the more it will stop over reacting – and that is the start of recovery. So try to be brave (we all of us have times when we’re not so don’t beat yourself up over that either) and remember how many people have come through it on here. You will come out of this and be a stronger person, look at loiuse’s post. Keep at it we’re all with you.

  150. Teresa J Says:

    Diana – hope you are ok.

  151. lorryt Says:

    i beleive once we truly recover we can approach life differently without the fear of ever panicking again, i believe we learn all we need from here and once we recover we do all these things without realising , its a good habit rather than the bad one we are in at the moment. i had 3 weeks of just feeling normal and you cant imagine how wonderful that felt. i am not having such a good time at the mo , ,but without putting pressure on myself i know it will return, i have all the tools , i just need patience adn to live as normal and the feelings will return. believe me you can recover , you really can i always thought i ws gonna suffer forever , but now i feel differently!! xxxx

  152. Scarlet Says:

    “what do you mean you had a nervous breakdown with you pregnancy?”

    Hi Selma, Yes I was 5 months pregnant when it happened to me.

    Basically I stopped functioning totally and couldn’t get out of bed for almost 10 weeks. I never actually went mad LOL just thought I was.

    “now i have tons of times where i feel great and normal. if this is recovery i’m on it’s a strange road because i still have terrible bouts of anxiety/depression that feel as bad as ever…”

    Yes this is recovery 😉

    “and the psych yesterday just messed with me because she made it sound like it is 100% chemical and i have NO control over it at all…”

    You have the control, I remember Candie once wrote something about brain chemistry and depression/anxiety, that by following the advice on here you can change your low/anxious mood thus changing your brain chemistry…. something like that, one of Candies many great posts, can’t remember if it was on the thread that went into a black hole… Will have a look for it.


    Hi Ross

    “Another question …..Once we recover how do we stay anxiety free?? should everything that we learn stop us from developing bad habits??”

    When you recover fully you will have learned and reinforced everything so that you will never suffer again, so as soon as you feel a wee bit anxious/depressed about something (which is normal throughout life), you will never spiral down again to the same level cos you have the inner voice that tells you how to nip it in the bud 😉 i.e everything you’ve learned on here. Even now when I feel myself over-analysing something which I don’t want to I will tell my self ” there I go again” and bring myself back to the present moment. With practice you can do this in all situations. What you learn on here you will NEVER forget once it’s reinforced in your mind.

  153. lisa Says:

    i think you word things better than me but i was on the right track lol :-) have a lovely weekend .

  154. Scarlet Says:

    You too Lisa, am off to watch the telly and the news about the election now.


  155. selma Says:

    i just wanted to say i am so thankful for the people on this site, especially scarlet and candie(and of course paul), who can share their positive stories of recovery. this site really keeps me going. i can’t believe i hadn’t checked this blog for almost a year and the same people are still on here spreading the word of recovery. at my deepest, darkest points this website still gives me hope.

  156. Candie Says:

    I think i remember writing that Scarlet yes, gone unfortunately! Basically Selma, Chemical imbalance doesnt cause anxiety- but anxiety can cause a chemical imbalance. Doctors try to treat the chemical imbalance with meds, but this just slightly masks the problem as the true problem is caused by us reacting to our sensitized selfs causing us great discomfort and in my case bit of depression too. Put it this way, if anxiety was all chemical imbalance, then why on earth are the tablets doctors prescribe for this not working for any of us then? Alls they do is numb people or take the edge of the low mood. Stress hormones such as adrenalin throw all our other hormones out of sync, that is just a symptom.. not the cause! The main cause for anxiety, beleive it or not is yourself- your reaction to your physical symptoms and thinking. We basically learn to be anxious, so we can unlearn it too :)

  157. mike pickavance Says:

    hello everybody.
    i last posted about 6 months ago and just thought id pop in and see how everyone is doin. can see there are lots of new people on the site and id just like to say you couldnt find a better place to begin recovery (even a doctors surgery).
    well my story is i suffered pretty bad with anxiety and panic attacks and learned to be patient and take on all the advice from the site.
    i did a run in yorkshire with paul last april 09 (10 k) for anxiety charity and since then have kind of taken to running by completing great north run (september 09) and just done london marathon 2 weeks ago.
    i remember going on a stag do in barcelona in feb 09 and having a bad experience over there came back and had a huge setback. the likes of paul, scarlet, candie, lisa and shirley just gave me advice and got me through it.
    ive done north run for charity(mind), london marathon for a disabled kids charity for sports equipment. My point is you can all beat this terrible undervalued condition and there is definately light at the end of the tunnell (pardon the expression) keep believing x.

  158. Candie Says:

    Hi Mike good to see your doing well

  159. selma Says:

    i was just wondering about how/why you can have a great few weeks and then feel the blanket of anxiety/depression come over you….it’s like a shift that you can feel. is this normal? my thoughts turn so depressive and i catch myself thinking all the time “i can’t go on like this”- it’s not a suicidal thought. i want to be clear. i woudll never take my life. i love life. i would get myself to a hospital before i would ever go in that direction, but it’s like my thoughts suddenly turn very dark and i feel exasperated, exhausted of this thinking and looking for a way out of myself and my thoughts. sometimes it’s like “i can’t go on with this if this is my life”….

  160. ross Says:

    Thanks Scarlet, I feel so good to think once this passes i’ll have the tools to never suffer again :) :)

  161. lorryt Says:

    nice to see another person who has got through it all. having doubts today!!! silly after giving advice adn being so positive how your thoughts run from good to bad, i know they are only thoughts but can be quite overpowering at times. i will go now for fear of repeating myeself and going on.!!!! we can get there im sure. flagging today !!!XXXXXXXXXXXX

  162. mike Says:

    helll lorryt.
    you will be okay. im not sayin it was easy, i was on medication on and off and if i have another setback in the future and feel i need another trip to the docs with anxiety coming back and i feel i need medication so be it.
    thoughts my dear just let them be there with you and have a right good laugh at them when they bring their ugly head on a bad anxiety/panic day.

  163. Teresa J Says:

    I know what you mean about being strong and thinking the whole world has opened up to you and then whoosh you can’t believe you ever felt like that or will ever feel better. You will – there’s enough of us on here having an up and down affair with this recovery, but we’re ALL improving and there are lots of people who are totally unafraid of it anymore -and that is RECOVERY. We’ll get there too, patience and time and as mike said, thoughts, just let them be there – realise that’s what they are and although you think they are telling you what the future holds they are lying, all they are trying to do is grab your attention. Hope things improve.

    Nice to see you doing so well Mike.

    Selma – you say you’re worried it’s your life, it’s not , easy for me to say but try and stop looking for an answer. Don’t try an ‘do things right’ – just say to hell with it all, it’s going to pass (it will). You will come through this – believe me things will improve.

  164. Sarah S Says:

    Hi All

    I’ve not been on here too much as I wanted to get so far then try to do the rest for myself. Candie and Diana helped me a couple of times and gave me some great advice and I’ve become much much better, bit by bit and it’s taken time but the results are there now and it’s a good feeling.

    I’m now stuck on something and wondered if you could help please? It’s basically about how anxiety affects my family. Basically I have alot of guilt about my son and what he’s had to go through over the years with the effects of me being anxious, I’ve not been too happy obviously, been snappy, not much patience, not taken him on fab holidays etc and now I’m much better I’m trying to make it up to him and my biggest thing is not to shout at him too much. The thing is, for one he’s a really really good boy anyway so doesn’t very often need to be told off but I’m so conscious of it and that when my husband does I get so stressed out and want instant reassurance that everything’s going to be okay so I keep asking him why he’s grumpy etc and that winds my husband up even more. This is a common pattern where I want everything to be okay and when it’s not we end up not speaking and in turmoil again. It’s having the opposite effect of what I want for my family which is to bring more fun and laughter into our household now that I’m so much better. I don’t often here of many people saying much about this sort of thing and often wonder if I’m the only one. It’s simple, anxiety drained me of every ounce of energy I had and now I’m so much better I want to make it up to my son and family but can’t do that if my husband’s grumpy or things aren’t quite right.

    Hope I make sense.


    Sarah x

  165. louise Says:

    Hi Sarah,i can sort of relate to what your saying,when i was at my worst i didnt want to go anywhere or do anything that i thought i couldnt handle,i dreaded things like parents night and chidrens parties,i felt like i was really letting my kids down,now i feel better i do try and make things up to them,same with my partner ,i spent years avoiding his family and actually caused a fair amount of trouble between us,im trying to make this up also,the thing for me is that i feel good now and i feel like im ready spread my wings i want to get out and about and i want to spend time with all the people i used to avoid, i want to get to know them and i want to show people who i really am,but because im no longer looking so deeply at myself and so caught up on all my own issues i feel im starting to see others in a new light noone is perfect and everyone i used to be so nervous around and thought they had it all well i guess im seeing were all just human,everyone has bad days ,moody days ,cant b bothered and all that,im even seeing other people get anxious too,yes evenn the super confident ones ,what im tying to say is maybe you getting excited about living and getting out there ,i know iam,but at the same time i feel ive learnt a lesson too,that being that eveyone around me gets the same feelings as i do,they just dont call it anxiety, recovery from the worst of your anxiety can make you feel jubilent like you could take on the world,thats cool,but i just try to remember that follk around me dont feel the same,as ive said b4 having come through anxiety makes you a stronger person, we will never take life for granted again and thats got to be rejoiced xxxxxx

  166. simon Says:

    Hi,i hope everyone had a great weekend,free from anxieties,i would just like to asked that did anyone suffered from dizziness,lightheaded,palpitations for most of the time,i had this dizziness for about 5 months + and i have seen cardiologist and had all those test and all came back normal,i have been refer to an ENT next month but i dont think its an ear problem as i dont feel any vertigo the spinning sensation.So far i had many bloodwork and most came out fine,the only thing i havent had is CT scan on head and most of the doctors dont think its necessary for me as they believe my dizziness are due to anxieties,the thing is i know anxiety sufferer tend to feel dizzy once we had a panic attack but for me i tend to feel dizzy even when i am calm and only when on bed i felt a lot better.Quesiton wat could be causing it? is the body still sensitized and reacting to the stress that i had from anxieties for the past months ?

  167. mike Says:

    hello simon,
    mate its 99.9% anxiety. all the stress and dizzy moments come along and 1st thing that anxiety does is tell us ther is something wrong with us. when the results come back try to believe 100% that you are totally well and all that is wrong is negative adrenaline.
    sarah and louise you have not let anybody down especially your children.
    if not happy with the way the current past has been kust look forward to a brighter calmer future and dont worry about if you have been snappy etc.
    my oldest is 11 and at the moment feels like im dealing with a proper teenager im snappy at times but just try to keep cool. everybody gets moody so dont stress. mike x.

  168. yolande Says:

    Scarlet, Candie

    I have actualy printed out all those v useful and helpful advice given by you both and Paul and others. Sometimes when i feel a bit nervy or having doubts, i take them out to re-read them and it gives me the strength and assurance to go on. sort of like to reinforce what has been said before.

    Claire Weekes did mention that when she wrote journals to her patients, some the advice are repeated – but that it has to be so as sufferers need to have the advice repeated until it is reinforced.

    i just want to know if this is ok? this way of d0ing things?? sometimes i think we shd not worry so much whether we are ACCEPTING the right way or not and just carry on. wud appreciate any advice on this.

  169. yolande Says:

    Hi Scarlet,

    sorry for having so many questions but something has been bugging me and i need your advice. i have lately, been feeling that my attention keeps focussing onto me.

    sometimes i feel fine almost normal……. then my mind will latch on and say ‘hey how come you dont feel anxious….’ so something to this effect and then i actually start to think abt it! it is v frustrating when this happens.

    Also while feeling strange and/or odd, i also have the feeling that i am like missing something in my life and sometimes i feel EMPTY. i dont know how to put it into words.

    i find tht when i am interacting with ppl i am fine, but the moment i sit at my desk to do my work then all these thoughts come in.

    geez, its so strange……….. are all these feelings normal??

  170. dyeri Says:

    I also feel this way most of the time. I also have a question, what is causing the low mood, depression etc… is it the adrenaline?

  171. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Yolande,

    “Claire Weekes did mention that when she wrote journals to her patients, some the advice are repeated – but that it has to be so as sufferers need to have the advice repeated until it is reinforced.
    i just want to know if this is ok? this way of d0ing things?? sometimes i think we shd not worry so much whether we are ACCEPTING the right way or not and just carry on. wud appreciate any advice on this.”

    There will be a time at the beginning of your suffering when you need a lot of reinforcing. In my opinion, there’s no harm in asking when you need help/clarification. As you are nearer the end you won’t need to ask, and when this happens you will make a big stride in your recovery due to having more confidence and faith in yourself… Your need to ask questions at the moment is because there’s still an element of doubt, but this will diminish as you recover more.

    “sometimes i feel fine almost normal……. then my mind will latch on and say ‘hey how come you dont feel anxious….’ so something to this effect and then i actually start to think abt it! it is v frustrating when this happens.
    Also while feeling strange and/or odd, i also have the feeling that i am like missing something in my life and sometimes i feel EMPTY. i dont know how to put it into words.
    i find tht when i am interacting with ppl i am fine, but the moment i sit at my desk to do my work then all these thoughts come in.

    geez, its so strange……….. are all these feelings normal??”

    Yolande, this is perfectly normal stage to be at, you will find that many on here are at this same stage as you. It’s the final hurdle hun. ALL PERFECTLY NORMAL 😉

  172. Rachael Says:

    Guys I’m having the worst set-back I’ve ever felt and I really need some help. I actually feel like I can’t go on any more – not that I’d ever actually harm myself but I need to go to hosptial, or leave my job or something. I’m sitting at my desk shaking and trying not to cry and I actually feel like I’m going to die. I have never felt this bad before, not even at the very beginning before I found this site.

    I thought I was at 90-95% and now all of a sudden I’m back at 0 – lower even if that’s possible and I don’t have another climb out of here in me. My colleagues are typing around me and every time they hit a key it feels like I’m having a tooth pulled out – I’m having crazy thoughts about picking up their monitors and beating them with them like some sort of psycho. I can’t sit through a day of this, let alone a week so I feel like I’m going to lose everything, my job, my life…Jesus I have never felt anything like this.

  173. candie Says:

    Rachel- i promise you this happened to me right towards the end of recovery too. You have the biggest, most extreme setback ever. This is needed to push us forward in recovery, we have to be able to come through the worst to see full recovery. If you was to potter on at 95% forever nothing would ever push you past that last hurdle. If the typing annoys you allow it too, go to work and have the attitude of if i get aggitated and anxious by it so be it. My sister drove me insane typing, was like she was tappin the keys with a hammer. Same when people used to talk on and on, after a bit i would get anxious as i wanted peace and quiet and they where annoying me. Its just tired nerves wanting some relaxation, the little niggles in life become massive and unbearable when your nerves are bad. So go face this, go to work and think ‘im going to be irritated and anxious, im going to allow myself to be and embrace this”. Learn to see its not that bad and it will go :)

  174. Claire SB Says:

    Hey Rachel

    Please dont stress, i am in exactly the same boat as you right now, was fine for ages and ages and all of sudden it hit me at work last week, I have been under a lot of pressure stress at work and all of a sudden i cant do it anymore, I spoke to my boss and told him i needed to take some leave, i am having this week off but already stressing about going back next week, the good old worry cycle is kicking in! as soon as one thing is sorted move on to the next! Now i have given myself time to chill out my mind is going into overdrive and i keep thinking rubbish like, i cant do this anymore, i need proffesional help, i cant cope with work, i feel like crap, when will it all be over and i will feel normal again, blah blah blah!! but its all just our tired minds playing its nasty tricks and we cant let it bother us, yes this rubbish is going through my head and i cant sleep to well or eat to much because of it and feel like crying at the silliest thing but it just sensatised nerves. I am really ‘trying’ to accept all this but when i cant think straight or hold a conversation where im not thinking of myself its very hard to believe, however as we know that we have applied this method in the past and it has worked we need to continue to have the faith that we will recover, all it is is a set back, ok a bad one but thats all it is. its like your mind is testing you pushing to the limit to see what reaction it gets, thats how i see it, mine is really testing me at the moment and i am with you its not a nice feeling at all, but with acceptance and understanding we will come out the other side stronger people. take care

  175. Claire SB Says:

    Hey Rachel

    Please dont stress, i am in exactly the same boat as you right now, was fine for ages and ages and all of sudden it hit me at work last week, I have been under a lot of pressure/5 stress at work and all of a sudden i cant do it anymore, I spoke to my boss and told him i needed to take some leave, i am having this week off but already stressing about going back next week, the good old worry cycle is kicking in! as soon as one thing is sorted move on to the next! Now i have given myself time to chill out my mind is going into overdrive and i keep thinking rubbish like, i cant do this anymore, i need proffesional help, i cant cope with work, i feel like crap, when will it all be over and i will feel normal again, blah blah blah!! but its all just our tired minds playing its nasty tricks and we cant let it bother us, yes this rubbish is going through my head and i cant sleep to well or eat to much because of it and feel like crying at the silliest thing but it just sensatised nerves. I am really ‘trying’ to accept all this but when i cant think straight or hold a conversation where im not thinking of myself its very hard to believe, however as we know that we have applied this method in the past and it has worked we need to continue to have the faith that we will recover, all it is is a set back, ok a bad one but thats all it is. its like your mind is testing you pushing to the limit to see what reaction it gets, thats how i see it, mine is really testing me at the moment and i am with you its not a nice feeling at all, but with acceptance and understanding we will come out the other side stronger people. take care

  176. James Says:

    Paul says: “My battle was twofold, one trying to make myself feel better and the other trying to find the long term solution. Looking back I can’t believe I ever thought I could do this, as all I was doing was tiring my fragile mind further. In time it almost became automatic, like I could not think of anything else, the subject really had become me and rather than being able to try and think of a solution, I just thought about it, my mind no longer had the resilience to try and figure how to help myself.”

    I think this is where I am. Fighting my anxiety *is* automatic for me, but my thoughts are so cloudy now I feel as though I can’t cling on to reality at all. I guess I need to take the advice then and just step back and give my mind the rest. Acceptance doesn’t seem to come very often, although I have been having a bit of success. For me, it seems that realising that I can’t do anything to make it go away puts me in to a state of acceptance sometimes.

  177. James Says:

    Also, I found that issues with guilt were holding me back a lot. I have got past these to some degree, which is definitely allowing to move more towards acceptance.

    I think my biggest issue now though, is that I am still scared of the anxiety. I don’t know why, as I understand what it is, but particularly with the derealisation, I feel as though I may lose control or “fall into it” and never come back.

  178. Fiona Says:

    Rachel, try not to stress so much!! You are on edge and this is something that your anxiety is using to torment you with. Realistically is the noise that loud? would you be so bothered if you didnt have anxiety symptoms? Is anyone else is your office distraught with the noise of typing? It is just anxiety manifesting its self in any way it can. If something bothers or annoys you, you anxious state will magnify it and blow it out of proportion. You have to realise that this is just an over wrought emotional feeling and not something to worry about. I do think anxiety can make you more sensitive to moise but only if you let it! If you brush of the thought of being annoyed at the tapping sound your thoughts will move onto something else and you wont be annoyed. It all harks back to negative, repetitive thought processes that ahve been spoken about often on the blog.
    Hope this helps.
    Fi xxx

  179. Teresa J Says:

    James – the reason acceptance sometimes comes when you have realised you can’t do anything to make it go away is that you, in the end give up the fight. So it’s almost as if you’ve been running from a monster that is gaining on you and then all of a sudden your body realises it cannot get away and says – ok get me I can’t run any more. I remeber a few of these moments going back last year – although you have to reach the end of your tether to get there, it’s a relief. If you can just remember this feeling and know inside yourself that – you didn’t do anything, it just happens, it was a not do. I’m not too good at explaining this but to me it shows the fact that your recovery is working. This will build, it’s a slow road but it does become less automatic. Well done.

  180. Hayley H Says:

    Hello everyone, I havent been on here for a very long time as I have been doing so well with coping and recovering from my DP, however the last week i feel like my dp has just snapped back on all of a sudden….. nothing has changed or caused this to happen so now im questioning why it has happened?! im also worrying my life will always be like this…..ok for a few months then battling again for the next few! please someone help me as im getting very upset and stressed about this! x x x

  181. Teresa J Says:

    Rachel, going back a long time ago I remember not being able to cope with noise, even noise of my family when they got together – this will pass. Anxiety has a good way of dragging your attention in – I’m in recovery but it’s having a good pop at me at the moment too. I find that if you don’t give it the attention it comes up with another thing, waitng for a reaction – try not to be too hard on yourself, your nerves are sensitised and playing for your attention. Like Claire said, it’s not pleasant but we’re getting stronger all the time. Take care

  182. selma Says:

    teresa- did you ever get this symptom: sometimes i will be going along with my day feeling fine and then all of a sudden i get this terrible, scary thought accompanied with a terrible feeling that i just can’t go on like this. then, i sort of try to see it only as a thought and let it pass but i get super caught up in that whole medley of thoughts like “i can’t keep letting thoughts go”- it’s like i feel so fed up with even the acceptance technique…everything gets frustrating. i don’t even know if i can explain this properly but i’ve never seen anyone post anything like this. it’s all very scary to me and makes me wonder if i’m just different from everyone else!! it’s not a suicidal thought, but it’s like an exasperated, fed up, can’t cope anymore kind of thought.

  183. Sandeep Says:

    Selma – I too feel like this a lot. Sometimes I get negative thoughts all day long .It gets tiring to keep reminding yourself to let them go. Also, acceptance doesnt come easily. Sometimes you can do it, other times you cant. In my opinion, you are making progress if you can even do a little bit of it at a time. There are days when its all so frustrating to have to feel like you have to live like this but you have to keep moving on, trying not to beat up on yourself.

  184. Scarlet Says:


    “makes me wonder if i’m just different from everyone else!!”

    You are no different from anyone else with anxiety. Acceptance can be difficult at times, especially when you are in a negative thought loop, it’s blooming exhausting and probably unachievable for a while until your mind is able to rest. I remember this phase well. At the moment you are forcing acceptance and it’s proving difficult, but with practice it becomes much easier, and there comes a time when you will accept automatically.

    “all of a sudden i get this terrible, scary thought accompanied with a terrible feeling that i just can’t go on like this”

    When you get thoughts of the nature you mentioned above, try saying,” there I go again” and focus on something that is happening right here and now, i.e your baby, the sunshine, the daily mundane chores, the telly, radio. If you start going down the analysing/trying to make sense of thoughts root again it takes time to get your head back to the surface.

    Sandeep is right, if you can accept even for a short while then you are progressing, some days it will be easier than others.

  185. Rachael Says:

    Hi all,
    I’m back from the brink and thank you all so much for responding – as always, unbelievably helpful.
    Candie thinking of it as ‘anxiety’s last stand’ so to speak really helped me cope, like a challenge – and a sign that anxiety is getting worried! Thinking of it as a final phase is way more positive than a ‘back to square one’ which is where my mind was. It was a terrifying setback though, fears that had originally triggered my anxiety 3 years ago that I’d long overcome came flooding back, along with every other one I’ve picked up along the way. It was so overwhelming, but as always I’m starting to move through it and none the worse – if anything I feel a tiny bit triumphant today..thanks so much for the reassurance.

    Fiona you’re completely right about the typing noises – it bothers nobody else but my anxiety just loves it. I keep letting it tell me the typing noises bothering me will cause something bad to happen which keeps them relevant and annoying, which I need to stop.

    Claire SB – I feel your pain. Driving my attack yesterday was the fact I’m in the middle of a really stressful period at work. I find it hard to judge whether I’m legitimately reacting to too big a workload, or just reacting to anxiety. Yesterday I ended up taking a time out and going for a walk for an hour which really helped calm me down – I was under way too much pressure. An employer that won’t allow you a break when you go to them and say you need one doesn’t sound great, anxiety aside you can be overworked. Is your workload similar to your colleagues? Are they stressed out?

  186. sasha Says:


    Can anyone help me on this? has anyone experienced a kind of feeling..wherein u r not having any anxious thoughts about anxiety as such but negative thoughts in just seems to be popping up every now n i have to use the same method..just cut it off and concentrate on the ‘present ‘ moment..because i find this hard as i feel after all this i have become a habitual negative thought naturallyy my mood is always very flat and dont have the energy to do anything..but i can tell u as of now it isnt thoughts regarding anxiety…
    I feel i am at the end of the road to recovery as i could connect to the outside world mostly..although not entirely.
    when i dont have anxiety related thoughts it soon picks on something negative andit is even worse as it seems to be a real life scenario and hard to brush them off from my mind…
    Pls give me some suggestions on how to train my mind to a positive frame of mind..and not getting into the grasp of negativity..
    i guess now that i am coming out of is beginning to start the worrying habit which i had before..its so hard to stop them from happening to me again…

    Pls help…!

  187. lorryt Says:

    hi sasha

    seem to be at the same point today too. its gone from worrying to being anxious, and its just snowballing. i am worried about my hubbys work which has snowballed into us losing the house and having to move and getting onto that negative train again. i was doing so well up until he had a major anxiety attack and resined from his job now its set me off onto ohh god what if this etcc…… ive totally lost concentration and my head is sooo muzzy . i know they are just thoughts but y cant i accept that and stop stressing where the next pound is coming from. seems i have lost the art of positivety and am going thru the feelings all over again. man this road is getting harder again !! i wish i could offer some advice today but am at a loss myself !!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  188. Fiona Says:

    Hi Hayley H,
    yeah DP is my last symptom and like yourself its sort of ‘switched back on’.
    Im really not a googler about anything anxiety related as you usually find things to hinder rather than help, but i did recently google ‘curing depersonalisation’ with an open mind to what i might find. I only looked at one web page and found it pretty reassuring. Basically it just reiterates what Paul and everyone else who as got through DP has said about it and what we already know. It was by Dr Ronnie Freedman (female) and she seems to have pretty good understanding of it. Here is what she wrote. You wont learn anything new but it will confirm what you aleady know.

    Although depersonalization may feel “strange” and upsetting, it is important to understand that this anxiety related symptom does NOT indicate illness. Although you might feel spacey or “unreal” there is a logical explanation for this sensation. Do not be fooled into believing you are ill or suffer from an emotional illness. This is just not the case. Medication often exacerbates this sensation and that is why it is best to opt for the natural approach toward its eradication. It helps to realize your mind is simply tired, often from continued stress, worry or even a minor emotional shock.

    It is often the culmination of extended tension or stress and although it may temporarily feel strange, does not indicate physical or mental illness. Nothing serious is occurring and you are not “losing it.” Worry and fear only prolong this anxiety reaction. It further exhausts an already tired mind. Learning how to counter this behavior will relieve the depersonalization as the mind refreshes and rejuvenate. Extended worry equals lingering symptoms.

    Therefore, in order to eliminate these sensations completely one must:

    – Give up the attitude of worry. Accept the fact that you are not ill.

    – Learn behavioral modifications to turn off anxious thinking. – Use a nutritional neutralizing diet to deflect these feelings and prevent their return.

    – Begin boosting lowered serotonin levels

    It Will Help To:

    · Learn to shut down anxiety as this will also aid in relieving depersonalization.

    · Avoid excess sweets (both sugars and especially sugar substitutes).

    · Exercise in sunlight 20 minutes daily as this also boosts Serotonin.

    · Lose yourself in an interest, a cause or something bigger than you. It helps tremendously.

    · Stop checking in. The sensation will eventually go as it came. Let go of the worry.

    · Try a natural approach before rushing into medications.

    Adverse reactions, withdrawal symptoms and general side effects of many medications often hinder recovery

    Fiona xxx

  189. selma Says:

    thank you all. having a really tough time today. was doing ok, then on way home from grocery store started having racing, terrible thoughts. it’s rainy here and sort of a slow day. then sometimes i look at my beautiful baby and feel even worse, like i’m a bad mom and i’m never going to feel like myself again. it just seems like such a long road for a human to have to endure and it is so tricky to feel good, then bad again, the good, then bad again. such a roller coaster ride. sometimes i do not even feel like thinking or philosophizing about it. it is all just too much. just a bad day i guess.

  190. selma Says:

    can anyone give me examples of how bad some of their bad days were/are? i am just stuck on thinking that anxiety can’t possibly feel this bad. it’s like my mind is just haywire and i feel like i’m losing it. any stories you can share will help me to realize that maybe this is just anxiety…..

  191. selma Says:

    rachel- just wondering how you are doing today? i am right with you on the massive setbacks right after a great bout of recovery. it’s back to 0 after climbing steadily to a 10….

  192. Teresa J Says:

    Anxiety can make you feel awful and yes it is anxiety, doubt is the biggest thing that’s keeping it there. I really know where you are coming from but things do get better – sometimes we need reassurance. Try and find someting which really engages you and get on with it, even when the anxiety comes calling tell it you know it’s there but you are not going to engage with it. It will improve – sometimes when you’ve exhausted yourself of fighting it – but it does go.

  193. selma Says:

    when i am doing ok i really do believe it’s anxiety but on days like today i question everything and go back in my head to depressive episodes and wonder if it could be something worse. the doubt is really holding me back. it’s like, if i could do a test and find out for sure that all i have is anxiety i think i coudl get past the last hurdle of recovery. but sometimes i am so convinced i am bipolar that i think i can never recover on my own and i must need mood stabilizers or something. i tell myself that this method doesn’t work for me because i don’t just have anxiety and it’s totally all chemical. does that make sense?

  194. Teresa J Says:

    Can you give me a bit of help/advice. My problem seems to be centred around fear of having to react/sort something out – health wise.
    I dither about wehter I need to ignore or react to a problem, last week it was my tooth – i needed a filling so I was right – but since i’ve come back my teeth have become sensitive, especially the one which was filled – i am almost certain this is nerves or an over reaction to the area which was worked on. The stupid thing is i tackled the filling etc ok – but now i’m stressing and getting really anxious because doubt has kicked in and I am worried about it all – it all goes back to a time when i was first ill and this is part of how it started. Could really do with some sense being talked to me – if anyone there.

  195. Teresa J Says:

    Selma you will see from my post that DOUBT is the evil. I may not understand myself but I can understand you – and believe you me you are NOT bipolar, you are not being held back

  196. Teresa J Says:

    sorry pressed send too early

  197. Teresa J Says:

    Selma – you are doubting and that is anxiety – it is so convincing and so much the same for all of us. you are getting better or you would not be doubting the bad thigs your anxiety is telling you – the more you distrust your thoughts the better you get. We do get times when the anxiety gets the better of us in the argument and it is so easy to then believe we have not improved and that we are the only ones not getting better – but we are and that’s all that is happening is that anxiety is telling you nasty stories and you are believing them again – however what it does not mean is that you have nay other thing wrong with you – try to accept that it knows your hot button and it is pressing it, let it – and it will pass, it will trun down, slowly but it will. Take care

  198. selma Says:

    thank you,’s so funny that you say you understand me, but not you. sometimes i feel the same way. i just start thinking….during my last year when i had no anxiety or depression, was i a little manic? i just remember having such optimism about life and energy that i put into things. i enjoyed cooking and even housework! i didn’t mind all the mundane activities…and i remember lying in bed at night before drifting off to sleep having such happy thoughts. now, the worst part of my day is right before i drift to sleep. i have such horrible, nightmarish thoughts and then my sleep is so restless. also, sometimes i have so much agitation i could just jump out of my skin. i just analyze every mood, every emotion and i think that i just must have bipolar II.

  199. Teresa J Says:

    Selma – you do not have bi polar – believe me. the reason you felt so happy before is because of the contrast of when you did not feel good. Anxiety is like that – when we are are not experiencing it we are so grateful for ‘life’ that even ordinary things seem fab. I find that sometimes it’s as if I can’t believe my luck that i feel so ‘well’ and that my mind has not found something for me to frett about – it’s not manic but it is exaggerated – just in the same way that when we have a percieved problem that is exagerrated too. It is part of recovery – you have lost your nerve for the time being – it will come back, you do not have bi polar, so don’t worry. i know what you’re going through with the agitation and the sleep, you’re not alone – it will get better again. Believe me, if i had a smiley I would put one here – but don’t worry Selma – when you get the thoughts remember what I have said and tell yourself that you know they are mere thoughts that cannot harm you – you know they are but sometimes it helps to hear it from someone you will believe – and people on this site can do that because they have been there too. take care

  200. amy Says:

    It’s been a while since I posted here! Looks like so many are doing great…so awesome! Paul def is on the right track.

    I have been doing great and then had a little setback on Sunday :( I lost my wallet Saturday night and realized it Sunday…not sure if this was the cause of my panic attack or not. I went out to lunch for Mother’s Day with the family and I was FINE when I got there, FINE before we ate and then when I got my meal and started eating it hit me! YUCK! Just had the racing heart, dizzy, hot. I felt horribly guilty because it was Mother’s Day and I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s day…so I sat there frozen and uncomfortable. Told my husband that I was feeling panicky and then my MIL asked me if I was ok and I burst into tears :( Feeling even more guilty for ruining her day!

    I had my first and only TRUE panic attack almost a year and a half ago and then my second one Sunday. It makes me sooo frustrated because I was doing so good…now I’m in TOTAL fear of going out to a restaurant now which is NO good, b/c my family loves to be social like that. I feel like a big loser who will never be the old me again. Now, I just have to start over I suppose.

    I did a lot of reading today about the power of positivity…and it is so directly related to anxiety and panic. Because of my negative thought pattern for the past few days, it’s helped me a lot. The thing we need to remember (in my opinion) is that we are stronger than this stupid stuff! This doesn’t take away from Paul’s perspective…it should add to it. I just haven’t heard a lot about positivity. But, a girl I work with was homebound for NINE months and doing the methods that Paul described and generally being more POSITIVE helped her tremendously. She is an inspiration…such a bubbly, positive fun girl….amazing!

    Anyways, so I’m going to force myself to go out to eat (exposure) and keep a positive attitude and let it roll :)

    Selma-I’ve been reading your posts and I just want to hug you!! I feel your pain, sweetie, especially right now. But, it will get better, I’m sure you are a strong woman and a wonderful mother! And, you are NOT bi-polar…not that it’s a horrible thing, but it sounds like most everyone else on here! Hugs to you! How many children do you have and how old??

    Blessings :)

  201. selma Says:

    thank you, amy. it’s just a really bad setback, i guess. i was doing so well for so long. really thought it was all behind me. i have one boy- he’s 1. he’s the light of my life. and even when i have all the chaos and terrible thoughts swirling around, he always brings me joy and reminds me why i am here and why i have to keep believing in myself.

  202. selma Says:

    i am just realizing that i give my thoughts so much power and explore each one. when i am in this mode, i have such a hard time dismissing thoughts because the emotion that goes with them is so intense. do how do you dismiss the emotion that goes with the thoughts?

  203. selma Says:

    one other question. sorry for all the posts. one thing that really bothers me is a sense of desperation that goes with my anxiety/depression, like a wanting to flee, get out, run, hide, etc. it’s probably my most uncomfortable symptom. can anyone please speak about this?

  204. amy Says:

    Selma-Honestly I think you’re an inspiration for just being a mom of a toddler and dealing with this. I’m currently trying to have a baby…I’ve actually been trying for a year now, kinda heightens my anxiety trying for a while without getting pregnant. However, even though I’m trying like the devil, I’m totally freaked out about being a mom and having this “issue” to deal with. I come on here all the time searching for posts regarding parenting. I believe it’s Scarlet that has kids and she gives me much hope! I just think, if I can barely handle myself at times, how in the world will I be able to take care of a child!! That gets my anticipatory anxiety rolling about the future that hasn’t even taken place. A part of me hopes and prays that having a baby would actually be a wonderful change to the way I am…something else to focus on :) I’ve always wanted children, but not like this :( Oh well, I’m moving on and forging ahead.

    Selma I have the feeling of wanting to run and hide too…it’s awful. It’s hard to let it roll, I haven’t mastered it yet, but I’m sure trying to work on it!! I’m still learning to accept it, as my friend clearly pointed out that I haven’t yet. I’m way too focused on the old me, which isn’t good!

    We’ll get better :)

  205. selma Says:

    amy– having a child presents its own challenges but as far as anxiety, i feel that it has helped me be a better person and i spend much more time outside of myself and thinking of someone else. have confidence in yourself that you can do it and just take it each day at a time. although i am having a tough time right now, i had many tough times before having my son and it’s really no different. i always feared that having a child would just break me, but that hasn’t happened yet!! if anything, i have more of a reason to be happy and every time i see him play, smile or laugh, my heart just bursts with joy right through the anxiety. he has more of an ability to bring me out of it than anything else. sometimes i get down on myself becausei think, how can i be battling this with such a beautiful life and son…..but he just keeps me going. i also think that if I can go through pregnancy and birth and be a mom (and a pretty darn good one), ANYONE can do it because i had every doubt in myself you can imagine. but of all the doubts i have about my thoughts and feelings, i have never once doubted that i am an amazing mom and that this is my calling in life. my husband jokes all the time that i might give him too much- too many hugs, kisses, attention. he tells me all the time what a good mom i am. it’s funny, because my husband doesn’t even really see my anxiety at all and he is with me 24/7. it’s ALL internal. now if i could just get over this anxiety thing, i think my cup would be just bubbling over….

  206. selma Says:

    i guess my point is…i had the same fears and doubts as you before i got pregnant and had bouts of anxiety then too. i even had it during pregnancy for some of it (pretty bad at points)…so i know it is possible to get through it, have a child, and be a good mom, all with anxiety.

  207. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Amy,

    “I believe it’s Scarlet that has kids and she gives me much hope! I just think”

    Yes I have 2 kids, had terrible anxiety and depression with my last son, was hospitalised because I was so bad I couldn’t function at all, just stayed in bed with the covers over my head for weeks. After my baby was born his name wouldn’t come out of my mouth for 3 months and I had to get a relative to help me look after him (whereas with my eldest I coped totally alone with no anxiety/depression, 9 years earlier).

    When he was 3 months old, something clicked within me and I knew that I had to cope on my own to get through this (I hadn’t come across this site yet and I was in a bad way, yet I had a spark), and I did cope despite the terrible thoughts and fears which dominated my day and night. Took me two years in all to recover, my baby was about 18 months when I fully recovered…. but here I am, from a person who didn’t bond with her baby until he was around 1 year old, felt I didn’t love him or want him (which wasn’t true at all, my thoughts were irrational), had terrible thoughts all day long, was afraid to bath him, cross the road, go outside, to a fully recovered mum of an almost 4 year old who I can’t bear to be without… and living an absolutely normal life anxiety and depression free.

    If there’s anything else you wanna ask about motherhood whilst suffering debilitating anxiety, ask away :-)

  208. amy Says:

    Thanks guys! Selma…you sound like a wonderful mom, so glad you have him :) Thank you for the words of encouragement! Selma are you in the US? Nobody can really tell my anxiety either, as I’m really a bubbly person. However, this recently went from just your constant anxiety to panic since this past weekend. It’s funny because now I’d love to just have the anxiety, at least the fear and panic weren’t really there, ugggh! I’m being really hard on myself and can’t stop crying…so now people can see it and that bothers me, oh well I guess! I can’t eat or sleep now, which were FINE before too…this just sucks!

    Scarlet…thank you for your support and encouragement as well. Your recovery is inspirational. And I will probably throw some more motherhood questions out there, so thank you!

  209. selma Says:

    scarlet, you are such an inspiration. were you given medication during that time or did you do it all on your own? and can you elaborate more on what clicked in you and how you made the recovery? words can’t describe how much your story inspires me!!

  210. Scarlet Says:


    I was given medication for 4-5 months but put it down the toilet, as I didn’t feel any better. My SIL was helping me, but she literally took over and I felt useless and my confidence ebbed to an all time low. One night I just felt that I needed to cope on my own, and despite how I felt (which was extreme anxiety or bouts of severe depression), I just had to tell SIL to go home, else I could see myself never being a mum to my little boy, and I did.

    It was a hard decision and I was full of doubts, was up and down all the time after she left. My husband worked long hours and I was all alone in Europe without family nearby. I had some horrendous thoughts and became afraid of everything (even my baby), but I forced myself to do things I was afraid of. I bathed my baby twice a day, hung a set of knives on the kitchen wall as I was petrified of them, went out and crossed dual carriageways with my baby which I was petrified of in case I pushed him in the road. I had panic attacks in shops, but made myself go back there the next day. I took my baby to the park with dp, I hugged him (despite feeling nothing) and I talked to him about all my problems whilst walking around the town, and slowly but surely I started to have more lucid moments without terrible thoughts, and then I came across a similar site to this (for mums with PNI) which helped me a lot, since I realised I was not alone, and what I was suffering was very very common, then I came across Paul and this very informative site of his, and the rest is history really.

  211. selma Says:

    thank you, scarlet, for sharing. that is a great story. just today i emailed a doc online that specializes in bipolar or “soft” bipolar disgnoses and gave him a list of my symptoms and he said”The combination of roller coaster moods, episodic anxious depressions admixed with inner irritability, episodic intense obsessive ruminations and a family history of episodic depression suggests to me that you may well suffer from soft bipolar disorder. ” this is of course rocking my world right now and making me really really freak out. i’m going to talk to my doc about it for sure. part of me thinks that anyone with anxiety and depression could be diagnosed with this but this is what is not allowing me the last hurdle of my recovery. i feel that if i do in fact have this then i need a mood stabilizer and this is why i am not getting better with the acceptance.

  212. Scarlet Says:


    It’s impossible for a doc to diagnose you online really with just a few statements, expert or not. Perhaps he said you were likely to be because you mentioned ‘roller coaster moods’. However
    all which you have you mentioned above, I suffered from as well, and I can categorically say I am not bipolar (although like you thought I was at one time, that or schizophrenic). See your doc again to put your mind at rest if you must. I think the difference between bipolar and we sufferers of anxiety/depression is that when we are feeling ‘Okayish’ we are NOT manic, we are up and down mood wise,l but when we are in a high mood, we feel normal or may feel a wee bit higher, after a period of intense fear/depression. Mania is totally different, where you feel indestructable and do activities that you wouldn’t normally do. A family friend of mine is bipolar and she has run around the house naked when in a manic mood, hs had many sexual relationships during this time with strangers, changed religion around 5 times, driven extremely fast down the motorway wayyyyy outside of the speed limit, and shopped like there was no tomorrow, bought everything in site with no thought. She also used to dress provocatively during manic episodes and she lived a life of excess and fearlessness during this time. This to me is bipolar, and generally folks who suffer anxiety/depression do not have these mania episodes.

    I think Candie wrote somethng nice about bipolar to you a while back, not sure if it went into that black hole where all the other nice posts disappeared, but I will check.

  213. Scarlet Says:

    Selma, here’s Candies fab post to you again. Please re-read it………

    Selma, sorry but im going to have to remove the posts about bipolar.. they will frighten overs. However yes you describe your symptoms as anxiety perfectly, at my worst i would put of everything, then the normal me would be full of energy and life wanting to do everyday things like the washing, painting etc. I know someone who is bipolar and you dont fit the spectrum at all from what you have said. Mania is more then a feeling of general happiness and optimism… its baking cakes at 4 in the morning and waking the family to have a slice, its going out and spending all your money on anything really, feeling invinsible and ontop of the world. Think back to how you was before anxiety, thats the happiness your swinging back and forth to until you stay there completely like i did eventually. Must say though what your having is an obsessive thought, the worst thing you can do is try and reason with it and prove your not bipolar as the part of your mind thats rational is supressed due to anxiety so you wont find the right answer. Anything you find in google will frighten you more! Your swingin in and out of anxiety symptoms, not mania.. think about it- before you thought about bipolar you was fine wasnt you? now a bipolars mood wouldnt be effected by thought, its all chemical induced with them and if there manic there manic- no negative thought or anxiety can bring them down. Thats how i new deep down really, as id feel content and full of beans to feel normal, then id worry about bipolar and then suddenly feel anxious and depressed and doomed- if i was bipolar and that moment where i was full of beans was mania… then nothing could of braught me down to a low as mania makes a person feel invinsible. hope it helps, dont try reason with this though, take what you can then leave the thought alone and it will go away.

  214. nikki Says:

    Hi i havent been on here for soooo long just thought i would pop by to say hi!!
    I am doing really well.A massive change to this time last year ,the difference is amazing.Im not sure if i have reached recovered???Im not bothered if iv reached recovered ….im better,i am able to go for days without thinking about what anxiety or feelings etc. means.At this stage i sometimes have some thoughts that occasionally resurface old feelings and thats fine.I’ll be honest i dont know what recovered is???i just am, if that makes sense.I have a better understanding of this condition and i now know what to much stress can do to you.I also have an awareness of how my body reacts to stress so i know when to step back and chill out a bit.I have also learned acceptance.Not just of anxiety but everything.I hadnt realised before but i have NEVER been able to accept things that i dont like i have either turned away or struggerd to take control and change things .Anxiety taught me acceptance and patience.

    Anyway enough about me!!Brill to see you are all still here helping people,i’ll call in again soon x x x x

  215. christina Says:

    Hi I just wanted a little positive reinforcement with something I have been struggling with. I seem to be hitting a brick wall with intrusive thoughts. I’m having a hard time dismissing them, and am allowing them to keep some anxiety hanging around. I’ll have several good days, where either I’m not having them or they are not affecting me, and then I’ll step back into reacting. It is tiring. I know Scarlett mentioned saying to yourself “oops there I go again”. If anyone can share their story along these lines I would appreciate it!

  216. Rachael Says:

    Hi Christina – I’ve struggled with intrusive thoughts in the past and still do sometimes. I was diagnosed with OCD because of them at one stage but really it was misdiagnosed anxiety. I have a great therapist and he does an exercise with me where I sit and close my eyes and let the thoughts come (not easy to do all the time I know, but whenever you can – it’ll stand to you whenever you do it) but as they come create an internal rule that they can come but they have to leave again. It’s amazing how quickly your mind gets tired of them! It’s just a kind of intensified version of allowing, accepting – sometimes you need it if they’re getting out of hand. Give it a try it’s always worked for me!

    Selma I’m a good bit better now thanks for asking. You asked earlier how bad people have felt before with anxiety/question whether that’s all it can be – I know everybody thinks they’re the worst but believe me, I’ve had bad times. Like Monday when I posted, honestly I thought I was about to die. Again and again, it’s just panic and anxiety. And I feel that desperation thing too! So familiar! ‘I have to get out, someone help me…’ but it leads to nowhere because it’s false triggers from your anxious mind telling you to escape, when there’s nothing to escape from! Believe me, as someone who’s mind tells them the sound of a typewriter is going to kill them, I’ve been there!

    Couple of people – Jenny from America, Teresa J and a couple of others have posted about getting anxious re physical illness. Jenny you mentioned tingly legs…Teresa your tooth. It’s so strange because when I read your accounts I’m like ‘how can they not see, it’s anxiety and totally harmless!’ – but I do the exact same thing myself. It’s a real sticker for me, physical worries, and to be honest always has been even as a kid. Right now I’m struggling (well, trying to accept I should say) what I hope is my final, super intense setback, and anxiety is really out to get me with this physical worries thing. I stopped reacting to the typing noise thing after Monday (and thanks to some great advice on here!) and now the old chestnut of my skin has arisen again. I told my boyfriend today I wanted to see a dermatologist and he actually had to sit me down and say ‘they will tell you you are mad’. He’s normally not that blunt! Basically I’ve always had really clear skin and in the past 6 months (bearing in mind I’ve been suffering from anxiety for 3 years) it’s gotten a bit bumpy and tired looking. That’s the rational me talking, earlier today in work I looked in the mirror in the sunlight and saw giant pimples and a ravaged, scarred complexion and broke down crying. I’m sure I’m seeing normal skin fluctuations I’ve never paid attention to before and the general bits of aging (I’ve just hit 30!) but I lose all perspective and think that anxiety is somehow permanently scarring me which scares the wits out of me (sorry if I’m coming across vain…I do tend to criticize my appearance more and more since anxiety though and HATE what I see in the mirror) and I can’t believe it’ll just return to normal like everything else.

    Anyway just that physical worries seem to be a theme, so thought I’d open it up. I’m dying for any insights…and if I can help anyone else I’d love to!

  217. Candie Says:

    Selma i agree with Scarlet- dont listen to this Doctor as he is only going by your description. Sure we can be up and down, but as Scarlet says a Bipolar is extreme- out of character totally. Now i had many episodes after a setback where i worried i had mania, but soon realised it was a period of relief and joy to of come through the other side. I was euphoric for a reason, i was happy to be well again. Any anxiety sufferfer will tell you on there best days they feel a bit euphoric, but this is for a REASON- there is no reason behind bipolar. They are manic regardless, and do some really out there things. I know of one girl whos bipolar, she was having a manic episode.. met someone in a nightclub and packed up and moved across the country with her on a whim! As soon as the mania was gone she came back home. Can you see your mood is determined by your reaction to anxiety, a bipolars is a whole differant ball game.

  218. selma Says:

    that is a good point. i think all of us could fit into some categories of the spectrum with our ups and downs in the recovery. i knew i was walking into the lion’s den by emailing an expert on “soft” bipolar disorder for a diagnosis. i think a lot of times a specialist will see his area of expertise in most people. ahhh, trying to let go of this. right now, i just feel sort of damaged. but when i left this conversation earlier i went to a business meeting with my husband and was very productive, ran some errands and now i’m back home. most of the time i was out i was doing quite fine. so i guess even on my horrible days i have moments that i can escape it. has anyone had any success with the power of now? it’s something that really makes sense to me if i could master it.

    and yes, i am in the US. :)

  219. Jess H Says:

    Hi all I have not wrote on here for a while….. I hope u are all doing fine. I like most of you are i suppose what I feel in the last stages of anxiety. I just need some reassurance i keep having these scary thoughts, they pop up in my head every so often, i keep telling myself its just the anxiety finding a release but them like a light i automatically thin k, oh god what happens if i carry out these bad thoughts!!! strange I know as I know myslef I would never do this or hurt myself, its just scaring me. I was doing so well but just feel i cant shake these feelings again. Also I am reading posts and completely understanding what u all say but not beleiving i will feel like this…… or how to add it to my daily life to stop me having these scary thoughts.

    I am also totally obsessing about going on holidays…. worrying how I am going to feel when I go, I try not to think about it and just let it go but thats bothering me, does anyone else do this???? I am also questioning alot recently about what is life about/for??? questions I cant answer but they keep going around in my head, sounds strange I know. I have read earlier posts and no im not bi polar or depressed just hate this feeling of scary wierd thoughts I cant control. My sis suffers with anxiety and we really help each other.

    Please can someone make some sense of these and offer advice for me to start beleiving I can live a life without anxiety!!!!

    hope ur all ok, lots of cuddles, Jess xxxxx

  220. Jess H Says:

    Also while I think I keep questioning whether my feelings will defenalty go. I think I know deep down they will i just cant find the best way to help myself. Do you just have to let it be there. My feelings of anxiety are not panic but more strange feelings I cant explain, like I no there is something different and a little fuzzy, I am just getting frustrated as I am reading all these wonderful comments but not taking any of them in to help me. Sasha I think i am experiencing the exact same thing its just hard to explain huh??? Any help will do guys as I find when i help my sister out I completly believe what I am sayin but when I tell myself I just dont beleive it. I also had this when I think I first got anxiety questioning whether I actually have it and its defenatly not something else!!!!

    Help please!!! xxx

  221. Hayley H Says:

    Fiona thank you so much for your reply! I have copied and pasted it so i can keep reading over it! like yourself i dont like to google these things either as they always scare me but that was a great post and made perfect sense!!! thank you so much for your help and taking time to reply to me i am so grateful! i hope you are all well x x x x

  222. amy Says:

    Scarlet–WOW, you rock! Great strength and great story!

    Jess-I hear you on the worrying about going places (holidays). I have a vacay coming up and I worry how I will feel…it’s going to take the joy out of it if I let it keep going. But, I’m not…I’m going to be with my loving family and I will be just fine.

    Speaking of family. As I said earlier, in the past couple days my anxiety turned into panic (which is subsiding actually) which has totally freaked me out and has me in crying bouts. I’m living with my MIL and SIL while we wait to start building our home. Well, my husband, who does NOT know how to “deal” with me says “Please stop crying and carrying on because Ashley and Mom are going to think you’re crazy”! WHAT!!!??? Well, of course, that fuels my anxiety. In the back of my mind I do wonder if they might think I’m crazy for feeling the way I do…because my husband and his family are VERY mellow, laid back people. Does anyone else get little support or understanding from a spouse? I was told once by a therapist that when I cry and get upset, it just scares him and he doesn’t know what to do. But, geeze, he didn’t need to say that! I told him it would be best that when I get upset that he hugs me and tells me that it’s going to be ok and that I’m a strong woman and that he loves me….that would be better 😉

    Selma-GIRLFRIEND you are NOT bipolar :) I agree with what everyone else is saying…the degree of bi-polar is quite different from what we are experiencing! In the beginning of my anxiety I wondered too, but that curiousity came to a screeching halt once I realized that it truly is two different things! Are you severly moody or manic…sooo doesn’t sound like it!! I would just focus on Pauls tips :) Are you on Facebook?

  223. Candie Says:

    Amy, you need to welcome a panic attack- living in fear of one is telling your mind they are important and should be avoided at all costs. I could have one now and not give two hoots. Its just racing heart, spaceyness, difficulty breathing, bursts of adrenalin etc. You feel bad as your body under normal circumstances will only experience this under real threat, yours is false threat so you feel bad for nothing which can freak people out. Its a natural response caused by stress hormones over flowing thats all. Think of it like this, ever watched a scary film and been frightened to go upstairs on your own or sleep with the light off? Well that is because the film has raised your adrenalin levels and your been slightly irrational about what could possibly be upstairs.. assuming the worst. Now imagine that feeling for no real reason at all, just there building and building.. that is why you feel like you do. Dont avoid it, embrace it. Keep confronting it as much as you can and it will diminish.

    Selma you told a bipolar doc you have mood swings, this is why he thought you was a bit bipolar. You dont have mood swings really though, you have a reason for mood changes- anxiety. At the moment it is determining your mood. Bipolar is not this, there is no external reason behind a bipolars mood. No reaction to scary thought determining there mood or feeling happy not to be anxious.

    Amy i know exactly how you feel, i lived with my partners parents for a couple years at my worst. I would be hysterical at times, god knows how they never noticed! I can see what your partner means though, they would be alarmed to see you hysterically crying, wondering if your having a bit of a breakdown thats all. Crazy isnt the best way of describing it, but your right he will be scared. When you feel like your going to melt down, just let your anxiety flow over you.

  224. selma Says:

    thank you amy and candie!! am i severely moody? no, not that anyone else would ever notice BUT i feel like internally i can be a roller coaster of emotion/anxiety/moods so that is sort of the problem at times. also, the way my anxiety/depression is episodic, like how it comes and goes in waves. i guess that sounds like a lot of people here??

  225. Amy Says:

    Candie-Ahhhh (that is a breath of fresh air)…I needed to hear that. It’s like when your panicky you tend to forget the very simpleness of the lesson here! I went from about a 7 to a 2 on a scale of 1-10 just reading that! Now, it just takes practice :)

    My biggest thing now is the fact that the only two true panic attacks I’ve had, were while I was out eating dinner and I am fearful of going back out. BUT, I will, and I will be OK! I don’t have a choice, going on vacay this weekend with family…there will be lots of eating out!

    My other thing is just the CONSTANT thoughts of “what ifs” with EVERYTHING…from my marriage, to parenthood, to eating out, to working out…it’s wearing me out. But, I know it will get better, because it always does. My sister texted me a while ago and asked if I was still anxious/panicky…I said “Girl, I’m panicking about what color pants I should wear tomorrow” haha. When you’re in this state everything seems to become a worry, that should NEVER be a concern! I don’t have and really haven’t had “dark” thoughts or really any depression which is good…it’s just the constant worry thoughts :(

    Anyways, Candie, I just want to reach through this screen and give you and Scarlet (and all the other brave people) a big ol’ hug :) You guys and Paul are doing a huge service to people that are struggling. My friend that has recovered has made it her mission to help others along the way, it brings her such joy. You guys are great :)

  226. christina Says:

    Anxiety is really superficial in so many ways, but the physical and emotional byproducts feel as serious as can be. What is this compulsion to live anxiously inside of our minds. Maybe at first it wasn’t a conscious choice at all but at some point we starting keeping it alive through negative rumination.

    It must be one of the world’s worst habits. I think I would take a lot of addictions over this. I’m not trying to minimize drug and alcohol problems, I’m sure it’s very painful. It’s just that anxiety is us kind of working against ourselves. We don’t need any external stimulus.

    Recovery certainly takes time. I wish it was just forward all the way home. It’s hard sometimes to practice what you preach. It’s easier to point the way for someone else. Doubt tends to creep in. I know we will all get there!

  227. Nicole Says:

    Your post to Selma that Scarlet re-posted on May 12th has helped me through a little obsessive thought blip. I of course was feeling a new level of freedom when I started to worry a little about how exactly have I come so far? Basically I started to doubt all of the progress I have made and then an old bogey popped into my head (developing OCD) which I started to ruminate on. I am admittedly a neat person which as a Mother in a small house helps the clutter, but because people often comment on it I started to worry that maybe I was compulsive about it and then I could not convince myself otherwise! Just picking up around the house the other day was bothering me as I was worried that I was being compulsive. It sounds so silly to put this into words now that I am starting to come out of this self induced state of fear and confusion. It is hard to not address these fears when they feel big, real and practically scream to be addressed. I did my best to allow them and see them for what they were – only thoughts brought on by stressful times.

    All that to say thanks to you, Scarlet and Paul, again and again for your help.

  228. christina Says:

    Nicole, I can definitely relate, as quite a few people have commented on how fastidious or compulsive I am. I was just a neatnik from early on. And I have thought many times that I have ocd. Anxiety creates so much obsessive thinking!
    Your posts have helped me out a time or two. I appreciate your insight and openness. I too, thought I was pretty much out of anxieties woods, but setbacks come and can trick you into thinking you haven’t made progress. I’m glad you are moving forward.

    Amy, it’s true how anxiety creates worry where there never is without its presence. I know we will all find our calm mind and bodies as we learn to let go. :)

  229. stephen Says:

    Hi scarlet,

    So turns out my off days were the begining of a setback :( i could feel it building up for a few weeks and now i feel abit like i did at the start in terms of feeling down/dull, and questioning how i feel etc. I was doing so great for AGES, but i guess a setback was going to happen. I know paul mentioned that a setback is when u have several weeks of suffering again, not just a day or a moment of anxiety. But i was overdue for one and i guess this is my time to really nip it in the butt. im just finding it hard to externalise myself this time around when im feeling down/questioning/scary thoughts. I know what i have to do, its just a matter of implying it again. I was getting concerned recently becuase i was getting music stuck in my head alot recently, like when i would get out of the car that last song i heard would be somewhat stuck in my head for ages until i heard another song, and also sometimes when im just about to sleep like at the point of falling into sleep my mind comes up with really random thoughts and images that seem to make no sense, and then i sorta fully come awake and get anxious. Does anyone else get these sort of things? sorry if this sounds so rediculous, i just read over it and feel kinda stupid haha. anyway i guess i gotta keep with it. are the setbacks close to the end as bad as the ones at the start?

    Thanks in advance 😀

  230. Scarlet Says:


    “I was getting concerned recently becuase i was getting music stuck in my head alot recently, like when i would get out of the car that last song i heard would be somewhat stuck in my head for ages until i heard another song,”

    it’s not the music… , it’s because you are afraid of the feeling of having the same old tune in your head, and you are analysing it too deeply. Basically the tune thing is what folks without anxiety have on a regular basis as well, only it’s an annoyance rather than something fearful. Me I am singing ‘Postman Pat’ all day and I don’t worry about it in the slightest. Let it be there and sing the song it all day if you have to (at the top of your voice 😉 )….

    This period of analysing thoughts will subside in time, as all the other episodes have. You are doing great Stephen…..

  231. scarlet Says:

    Stephen I replied to you but think it’s gone into the spam folder as it hasn’t shown……



    “i feel that if i do in fact have this then i need a mood stabilizer and this is why i am not getting better with the acceptance.”

    I think you are obsessing about bipolar to the extreme and if you think about something long enough you can make yourself believe you have it. Your doc has told you recently that you are not bipolar, so accept this and try and put it to the back of your mind (I know it’s hard).

    Do not write to anyone online with your symptoms because your symptoms will vary depending what mood you are in, ie. , your symptoms will appear more extreme to you in a lower mood.

    When I was on medication at the beginning of my anxiety the doc gave me mood stabilizers, as well as a cocktail of other stuff (ADs, anxiety meds), didn’t make an ‘apeth’ of difference, felt no different…..

  232. selma Says:

    yes, it is def. an obsession. today i woke up feeling pretty crappy but i’m getting on with my day! oh well. it’s raining here, day #3. but so far these terrible feelings haven’t put me over the edge yet so i am just plugging onward, as hard as it may be :)

  233. selma Says:

    it’s strange because i believe in everyone on here and this theory SO much. i really do. but it’s the implementation when you are at your WORST that is so hard to do.

  234. selma Says:

    stephen, i have that exact same symptoms when falling asleep. actually, i would say my anxiety/depressive feelings are the worst either right when falling asleep or sort of in between sleep cycles. it can be horrid. i have a new technique that has really helped. i set the timer on the tv and just let myself drift off with the tv on, that way i lessen that amount of time sort of trying to turn off my mind. i remember you from before and that we had a lot of the same symptoms! i too was doing amazingly well for about a year, and am in the midst of a pretty bad setback. best wishes to you.

  235. Scarlet Says:


    ” i too was doing amazingly well for about a year, and am in the midst of a pretty bad setback. .”

    This is a clear indication that you are not bipolar, re-read it whenever you start obsessing.

  236. selma Says:

    thank you, scarlet :) just had a appt. with my doc. feeling very depressed today but she reassured me about some things. it’s one of those days i just have to get through.

  237. Teresa J Says:

    Rachael, glad someone out there knows what i mean – it’s driving me crazy at the moment and I am totally obsessing about it, even pressing the tooth where i had a filling and frightening myself because I have a feeling there. I would have to write a chapter to explain why it has frightened me so much – but is seems more to do with feeling I have to do something about it than anything else – I feel quite hopless about it all and i know i need to stop but keep thinking they have not done the job propely and i need to go back – and then they’ll just keep looking for where the ‘pain’ is and end up doing more work which is unnecessary which really frightens me.
    I understand your totally caught up with your skin, your boyfriend can see things how they are but you are looking at things whilst filled with fear – it seems it finds our weakest point and homes in. It can be so ‘all consuming’ – it will move but we have to be patient. I wish I could help more than that – I know i will be sorry for admitting how frightened and strung up with all this I am – i feel a bit of a failure for not being able to ‘move on’.

  238. selma Says:

    anyone ever had this symptom…i will great a random break from my anxiety and think, i’m going to take the dogs on a walk….then i get the leashes and as i’m leaving the house, it hits me again like a ton of bricks and i totally lose the motivation to go. it’s like a yo-yo game. i still go on the walk but feel completely miserable. it’s like every second is dragged on and on…..i just don’t understand the ups and downs :(

  239. selma Says:

    fyi, i just downloaded an e-book called the depression free method and it’s a total load of crap. totally stuff i’ve read a thousand times. i’m really bummed.

  240. lisa Says:

    selma you need to stop googling and reading and down loading things, you have all the information you need on this site to recover.allow yourself to feel rubbish,down,miserable, by the sounds of it your back to fighting it all and thats something only YOU can stop doing. did anything before you suffered make you feel good,happy?? have you stopped doing things?? you need to start living again letting the feelings you feel be there and stop trying to change and battle with how you feel. get your dogs back on their leads and get yourself back out no matter how you feel,or your letting your anxiety win, stick your fingers up 2 it, your in control and not your anxiety,its changing your bad habits to good ones,stick with it, and youl see the rewards 😉

  241. Ruth Says:

    T if you are out there I have sent an e mailed you. Hope you are OK.

    This Blog has been very useful to me over the last few months and a lot of my recovery is due to all the people who take the courage to send out their messages.

    Many thanks to you all

  242. selma Says:

    thx, hope you guys aren’t getting sick of me. i know i’m having a really hard time not searching, googling, trying to fix. i appreciate everyone’s constant support 😉

  243. lisa Says:

    selma, were just trying to help, wev all done it but realised it did us no good, when you see others falling in the same traps we did ,you dont want to see others doing it. you soon realise as scarlet said its us doing it to ourselves, no outside forces are to blame,something just clicks,when you look back you can smile and think “god was i really like that”, and you will get to that stage in time.when you want to google just think nope!find another interest,whether its games,swimming,jogging,ironing, hoovering, shopping anything that takes your focus away from yourself,these are all healthy,googling and downloading on anxiety is unhealthy. took me time to click but its right.find things that you enjoy,time with friends,nights out, a new hobby, the good takes over the obsession, habits, never thought in a million years i ever would, but we have to make them choices. everything you avoid do more of, anything you cant be bothered to do, motivate yourself to do.allow everything you feel and dont battle with it, have a lovely weekend everone,at last the sun is out :-)

  244. lorryt Says:


    i can safely say i look back and i was like you too! constantly trying to sort every little symptom out, analyzing it all. it is just a process we all have to learn to give up, and it can be tricky. You dont have to understand the ups and downs , just let them be. do what you had palnned to do, the feelings will come and go.they are just feelings. i know its easy for me to say but im still recovering and i have the odd day like it. if you are hving ups and downs it means its not all downs!, so there is a lot of hope there. Th ething with the tv is great i do it loads,as my mind doesnt swicth off when i go to bed, so i set the timer, it just helps relax your mind. i did well today and achieved a day out alone, which i very rarely do as i normally have no incentive or want to do it. but i did it and i feel great !, i have started going horseriding again after a long time and i walk loads and have bought a crappy old bike to ride around. i think just being out and about helps too. admittedly i didnt enjoy any of it when i started doing it all again it was “whats the point of it all ?”. but i am learning to let all the thoughts go. that has always been my biggest problem but in time i am educating and understanding that a positive attitude can overcome it all and we can live our lives properly and enjoy and fell normal again !. just keep with it Selma, we all understand and believe me just let things go and dont analyze stuff. you will get there. lots of love Lorry

  245. chicago jenny Says:

    I’ve been suffering through anxiety since early 2007. I keep getting better (with setbacks), but it’s still interfering with my life. This blog has a lot of great tips on it, and I’m really glad I found it. It’s nice to know I’m not alone with these bizarre feelings, and that other people have gotten better. It’s easy to despair and hard to be brave, but I want to get well. I hope everybody here is on the road to recovery!

  246. Claire SB Says:

    Hi Rachel

    Glad your feeling a bit better now, I am also feeling a lot brighter the last few days, I did however venture to the doctors this week, i always feel like i have let myself down when i do this but i shouldn’t think like that i know, he gave me the old ‘take these tablets for a few weeks and you will be fine’ i took the prescription, but wondering whether its worth going down that route again, in the past i have taken this same medication and they did help me a lot, but i have this thing stopping me as well, if i do then i am not truly accepting as i am relying on them to help me not on myself accepting this thing. Also I dont want them to give me any side affects that i will worry about, and then have to go through getting off the pills again, but on the other hand i think i cant cope without them – argghh. In terms of work, yes my job is stressful and all my colleagues are also under pressure, like you i wonder if its me or the job, i dont know a bit of both for me probably. The problem is I dont have anyone where i work that does exactly what i do which is hard, but when back at work next week i have to do a list of everything im doing and they are going to get me some help. How does everyone else manage a stressfull job when going through a bad set back, when the pressure is on there as well as in your own mind! How do you get through it?

    If anyone has any advice on the medication as well that would be good? shall I or shant I? :-)

  247. James Says:

    Sounds like some people here are making good progress, which is great to hear!

    I feel as though I am still too scared of my anxiety, even after having lived with it for 8 years. I think that I still believe there is something seriously wrong with my brain – that is probably where my fear come from.

    I guess I need to educate myself more about the symptoms?

  248. Teresa J Says:

    James – I had ‘anxiety’ for more than 10 years before I started to work it out – have you read Paul’s book? It does answer it all – and that is the start of recovery, it does not end there and it is a long road for a lot of us. It is the thought that there is something seriously wrong with your brain that is actually keeping the fear alive. There is nothing seriously wrong with your brain – you only have to read the fears people have on here and how they overcome them to know that this is a common fear in people who have anxiety.
    You talk about educating yourself with the symptoms – you don’t need to work a way out of it – our need to control is our greatest enemy. If you need to read anything read what’s on this website, old posts – Paul’s bits where he tells people differing things he’s been through and how he got over them – that is all you need. Don’t expect too much too soon – but just accept some improvement day by day – you will get better.

  249. James Says:

    Teresa – thanks for your reply. Yes, I have read Paul’s book inside out – I even have two copies, an old and a new version!

    I know it is the key to recovery, really I do, I just don’t seem to be able to let go and accept :( For many years I was terrified that I have brain damage from drugs, and I think it is only recently I have really moved on from that fear. I think that finally, I am beginning to believe that this is nothing more than tired nerves, but I am certain part of me is still holding on.

    In his book, Paul talks about a broken leg, and how we leave the healing to our body. I am working with the concept of allowing my body to deal with my tired nerves now.

    I dunno, I just feel like my brain is programmed to fight. Part of me is constantly screaming “This is not normal!!!”.

  250. Teresa J Says:

    James, I know where you are coming from and you will see from previous posts although I am well into recovery I too get times when I am a lost sheep to the attention anxiety requires. Howevr, I do understand how important it is for someone outside of your ‘inner voice’ to make you see the tales you are being told are anxiety. I do know too that it is like a catch 22 situation as although we accept that it is anxiety we are then trying to mend the anxiety which in a way makes us ‘in control’ and that is the problem – we are trying to control. Try recognising the thoughts as a separate part of you – realise that ‘anxiety’ has it’s own voice but you do not have to connect with it. It may be there for a while – but for now go with that, accept you don’t have to do anything – give yourself a break from having to do anything to help yourself. It will improve – it takes time and some times it’s harder than others but be prepared for improvement to start with rather than complete recovery, that will come in time – but improvement for now – small steps. Take care.

  251. James Says:

    Thanks Teresa for a wonderful post :)
    I think that has helped me find some new motivation, and I am going to put that advice into practice. I will do exactly what you suggest, and just aim to improve a bit to start with.

    Sometimes I get so down, thinking that I am just too “out of it” to accept, as how can I accept what I cannot even feel? However, I do know what you mean about not connecting with my inner voice , and I think I can perhaps do that.

    Thanks again, and I’m so glad to hear you are going in the right direction.

  252. Teresa J Says:

    It’s quite a hard concept to catch but you only need a glimmer to begin with – just go easy on yourself, try not to give access to self pity and despair they are very alluring and can catch you out – but also don’t beat yourself up when you know you have. You will notice how many of us who are well on the road to recovery have to come back here for support and reassurance. There will be times when we are all strong enough to assure ourselves – and thats is part of the cure – but it’s like training the brain – if you remeber learning to ride a bike – some people do it almost instinctively, but not many, others need stabilisers for support whilst the brain gets used to handling this new thing. Eventually the stabilsiers are off and we wobble and may need a hand on our shoulder to steady us – and then we ride off down the lane with out looking behind us, and eventually teach others to ride, lol. It’s not quite that simple and it does take longer but it will work – look for support from friends on here , go easy on yourself and hope the day goes well for you.

  253. Teresa J Says:

    ps James – don’t go looking for the feeling of acceptance – just say I’ll feel how I feel for today – I know because there are so many others on Paul’s site, that this is going to get better – it’s helped them and it’s going to help me too.

  254. James Says:

    Teresa, what about when I get really scary thoughts about whether I am different, and can’t recover, because maybe I have brain damage? I have taken accutane, and other prescription drugs, that I read on the internet can cause brain damage. And also I have taken lots of illegal drugs when I was younger, and I read about these causing terrible permanent damage to synapses in the brain responsible for emotions.

    Do I just let these thoughts come too, and not bite into them? They are so scary as they undermine my confidence that I can recover.

  255. Teresa J Says:

    You do not have permanat brain damage – believe me. I know these thoughts are so overwhelming and believable,it is so easy to be convinced by them and when you believe them they are frightening. but they are not true, just have a browse on this site and read the amount of people convinced they have one form of mental illness or another – they haven’t they are listening to their anxiety. Perhaps if you can view scary thoughts as separate to you, a voice that can be heard but not attended to. you DO NOT need to browse the internet for what the side effects of any drug, legal or illegal – it’s done, gone and you have not damaged yourself. Paul maybe able to help here as he may have had experiences with people who have taken things who were simarlaly concerned – their problem was anxiety.
    All you need to do is leave other websites and googling alone.
    Believe or at least trust that all the information you have is here.
    Say from today I am going to not look for reasons.
    Get on with how you feel for now, for this hour, this day and bit by bit it will become less intense.
    I am not belittling how you feel – I have never taken drugs but have felt as bad as you – that’s not a judgemental statement, it means that the drugs are not creating your anxiety now. you have learnt to be anxious you have to learn not to be anxious – it’s a matter of time. you want to recover so badly that you are annoyed and frustrated by your body’s response and that is causing more anxiety. Try not to beat yourself up so much and leave google alone. Find something to do that you like – even if you feel hopeless continue with the task (even better if it’s outdoors) and it will lift. Take care, you will come through this.

  256. Teresa J Says:

    ps – James – Scary thoughts – what is a thought, NOT REAL!

  257. Teresa J Says:

    James – scary thoughts – what is a thought, not real!

  258. James Says:

    Thanks so much Teresa :)

    I am going to do what you say, and stop researching. Actually the weather is quite nice today too, so it is a perfect time to take your advice and do something fun outside, however I feel!

  259. lorryt Says:

    Teresa yes i totally agree ,but cant accept the thoughts thing. i am undera lot of resuure atthe moment and am copingmuch better than i would have ever done had i not found paul and this place, BUT…currently thoughts are scaring me that things are goona go wrong and we are gonna fall apart.! why do i beleive them , why cant i just accept and laugh at them. others seem to and have mastered the art, just more time i guess!. havea good day alllxxxxxxxxxx

  260. Candie Says:

    Lorry your making the mistake of trying to laugh them of, impossible when highly anxious. When i dismissed mine i mean i acknowledged they seemed so real as i was highly anxious, so i decided to allow them to seem real without paying them respect trying to find them funny, push them away or figure them out. After a while your mind returns to rational functioning then you can laugh them of!

  261. amy Says:

    I’m on my way to vacay and on my blackberry, so forgive any errors I might write :). I just wanted to pop on and say a few words about recovery. I’m not there yet, but I was just reading a little bit of Claire Weekes book (and I only say her name b/c I know Paul is a supporter of her book and methods). Well I stumbled on a page that made so much sense and a peace just washed over me! Its what Pail says too, but the way she put it was awesome! I do think we put a TON of pressure on ourselves! In regards to wanting a quick recovery or an overnight cure she says…”When you go to bed at night, do not pray to wake feeling well. Pray to wake with the courage to accept yourself as you find yourself in the morning!” I hope that brings peace to you all as it did me :) It does take patience and time! Take care :)

  262. Teresa J Says:

    Lorry – I know how hard it is and you have a lot of ‘real’ pressures to concern yourself with at the moment and then it’s like turning the volume up on life and a feeling of not being in control. I expect what we need to realise is even though we feel we are losing control on a situation, we are not – we just feel that way. Other people without anxiety would be reacting to these situations too – and they would be upset, anxious, stressed – suffering – so we are not that unusual. We maybe more tuned to it than some – but now we are recovering at least we do know the separtion point between our imagination and fears and the ‘actual’. it is not an easy time for you at the moment so don’t feel you have to feel ‘well’ try and ride it. I’m ‘riding’ an issue at the moment – i’m not happy but I’m trying not to lose perspective by accepting this is now and not trying to guess the future outcome of the situation. I’m not in anyway making small of your problems – but try and be kind to yourself – as Candy said you can’t laugh at them – not yet just accept that at this moment they seem huge – but that’s not going to be forever – this too will pass.

  263. Sarah S Says:


    Wanted to say thank you very much to Louise and Mike who replied to me on 9th May and for such encouraging words which helped me. I’ve done so well today with a bit event in all my family’s lives which won’t go into if you don’t mind but previously i would have been an absolute wreck and wouldn’t have coped with it but today I did. I was even strong not just coped and I think this is a huge stride in my recovery. One of my big things was that I had never coped with anything major in my life before without crumbling with anxiety and nerves, well today I coped and so well.

    Thank you to you all on this site you are fantastic.

    Sarah xxx

  264. lorryt Says:

    hi guys

    thanks Candie, Teresa. I have a bad habit of catastrophising things which i am trying not to at the moment. Trouble is the anxiety takes me back to lack of feeling again. it is so frustrating, i guess im being hard on myself and need to take the pressure off. you get caught up in these negative circles and dont even realise it !. Teresa I think you hit the nail on the head, i feel like i am always trying to guess the future outcome of a situation, and not living for now , i know i am missing out on enjoying the moment, which i reached the point of doing a while back.didnt even know i had got there just felt so free!. i need to relax my attitude and not be so intense , and just be , am i trying too hard ?!! guess so . thanks guys you can always put me back on the right track, and WELL DOne Sarah, its a good feeling knowing we can get through things.xxxx

  265. candie Says:

    Lorry, if you have done it before for tiny moments you can fully recover. What will happen is surely and gradually you will see more of the ‘free’ you. Just dont get disheartened if you slip back into worry and numbness. My attitude eventually was ‘ok so im back here, its not forever so il just go with the flow’. This learnt me to not fear this, and i stopped looking for it which inturn went away. Nobody got this from the off, i was like you took years.. i was never any good at fully accepting for a long time- but i saw moments of clarity which became days, weeks and then months with the odd pang of anxiety here and there. You can do this, just dont try rationalise your thoughts, take your foot of the pedal and refuse to do so- have the attitude of ‘i cant be rational at the moment as my anxiety is blocking the rationa part of my brain functioning so i cant dismiss this- however i dont have to pay it attention by trying to get my head round it and figure it out’.

  266. Teresa J Says:

    I wonder if someone can give me some advice? I have a dental problem at the moment, as is the will with anxiety was not sure if the pain in my mouth was anxiety or problem – ended up in dentist. although it was not an obvious problem he took the filling out and found the problem was real- however i had to go back as the tooth was still bothering me. i explained about my anxiety to him and he was really understanding, assured me he would not do unnecessary work but explained I may have to have further work if the tooth was still bothering me. I accepted this – came away and yesterday was a ok day, today I have had pain there – I have now gone into over drive and do not trust my own judgement, I am catatrophising over having the treatment/ not having the treatment – having the treatment and the pain still being there – and to be honest I have totally lost any faith in my ability to judge the situation and feel i have gone back to where this started years ago with a bad dentist and my anxiety. Please if anyone can give advice on how to use judgement I would be very grateful.

  267. selma Says:

    hi everyone! i just got back from a trip to chicago. i was so beyond nervous about it and to be honest a lot of it was hell. i took my anxiety right with me, of course. i had some good moments, and actually slept well which is crazy for me when traveling. although it was sort of torture, part of me is happy that i went because i was at one of my lowest points ever and actually went on the trip. i dealt with crowds, bars, shopping all day, noisy, crazy restaurants- things that rattle my nerves to death. i thought at one point- well, if i’m ever going to have a nervous breakdown, it will be right now (as i was walking along a super crowded street). i’m not saying it was easy, actually it was super tough. but now that i am home i feel myself releasing somewhat and realize how much i have grown to love the comforts of my home. i’m back with my family and back to my routine and it sort of gave me a renewed again how much i love the life i have now, even though i spend so much time suffering. anyway, just wanted to share that even at your absolute lowest- anxiety/depression/racing thoughts/etc- it’s amazing what you can still do.

  268. Mark R Says:


    Ive not posted on here, just skimmed it mainly but I’m having a few problems at the moment so thought I’d reply.

    Basically I’ve suffered anxiety twice in the past from 2001 to 2003 and 2005 to 2007. Before those years and in between them Ive had a normal life and a particular good one after recovery from the 2007 one.

    My problems started this Feb when I got hit with the Norovirus. This seem to aggrevate my anxiety symptoms and bought a lot of the past back, which was pretty painful. Its May now and I’m about 75% better, which is a lot quicker than in the past. I still struggle at times, mainly as an accountant its difficult to work with a mind chattering and poking me. The hardest time is in the mornings.

    I have bought Pauls book which i found immensely helpful.

    My reason for posting is this really… I suffering from a setback? Blip? Glitch?

    In the past my depression/anxiety was coupled with environmental factors, bad relationships, crap jobs etc but up to before I had the virus I was happy with my life. I still am as a matter of fact, just not happy with the way I am feeling.

    Just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience after a physical illness?

  269. Claire SB Says:

    Hi everyone
    going through such a tough time right now, i dont know what to do, i had some time off work as work load was getting v stressful, now i just cant get myself motivated to go back, the doctor has signed me off for this week but i know everyone is going to be getting frustrated with me as no one understands whats wrong at work. I feel trapped im scared to go out, yesterday i was not feeling my best but managed to go to the gym, then meet hubby for lunch and hit the supermarket, i came home and just cried as it was so hard to do all that, where as a few months ago i would do that without a second thought, i want my life back i have got so lost along the way i cant stop crying, i just feel up tight and nervous all the time, today started getting like a numb feeling in my head, I have recovered from this before then why on earth am i back to this point! sorry for the rant and i know im not doing myself any favours by sitting indoors feeling sorry for myself, i just feel so drained :(

  270. Stefanie Says:

    I purchased Paul’s book and I loved it. I have dealt with anxiety for quite sometime and have followed his recommendations but I have one last symptom and I think I may have figured out why this one is so difficult for me. It’s because I am thinking this could be more than anxiety. I think confirmation that it is only anxiety will help. I always doubt whether this symptom actually falls into the category of DP. My thoughts tell me it could be some other type of condition but if I can just hear from others that it is simply a DP thought then it will be easier for me to move on. The feeling I get is that “I don’t know who I am.” Of course, I can easily tell you my name address, phone etc… It’s not as though I have amnesia or anything. I am just not sure who I am. It’s though I am a stranger to myself and in some sense I get a mourning feeling for the person I think I lost. This is not constant. Once distracted I have fun, laugh, do all the things a normal person does. But, when these thoughts come I become frightened and I think it is because I really do love life. Love my family. And if I don’t know me then who really is this person I am calling me. That brings me to all those unanswerable questions as to how and why I am here and what shall become of me when I die. So are these thoughts really dp or something else. If they are not, then I know why I feel as though I have not reached full recovery. If they are then I realize what is holding me back is that I keep thinking they are something else and therefore halting my recovery. Another thing is, when things are normal and then suddenly switch into anxiety mode I sometimes question “who was that person being normal.” Some of you know I have been struggling with anxiety for years and I have conquered almost all of my symtoms but this one just keeps me in the loop. I don’t feel like this all the time. I just had two great months but I know I am doing something wrong if this symptom really is just anxiety. Because if I believe it is something else it’s hard for me to face it. I think I just need confirmation that it is. Many people talk about dp but describe it as feeling unreality. I don’t really doubt reality. In fact, it’s the reality that I don’t really know me is what is most scary.

  271. yolande Says:

    Scarlet/ Diana,

    Just a quick question. I understand abt not worrying excessive over anxiety as it will lead to feelings of unreality/ tired mind. However, what if we have real life problems to worry about eg work issues, family issues ie. nothing to do with the anxiety condition, would these somehow make anxiety worse or are they totally unrelated? As in, it wont affect my current recovery?

    Just had a think about this today and couldnt work out an answer so thought I would post this here. Thanks so much!

  272. Rachael Says:

    Hi Mark,
    A physical illness is what set me off too, and the fear of getting unwell again is what tends to keep me trapped. I got a random rash all over my face 3 years ago and a GP misdiagnosed it and told me it would never go away. After a couple of days it disappeared but the damage was done and I started to obsess about my health/worry I’d get another awful permanent rash. Then I started to believe that stress had caused the rash…and well you can imagine how things went from there.
    I think from talking to people and reading on here it’s a pretty common trigger, getting sick is scary and sometimes it’s hard to believe it won’t happen again – I’m not sure if that’s what’s driving your worry? That you’ll get sick again? Either way it certainly sounds like you’re just having a setback, sometimes it’s harder to take when life is particularly good because you’ve nothing to blame it on – I’m in the same boat, if I hear one more person say ‘what have you got to be worried about…?’ I’ll scream. Either way the fact that you’re recovering quicker than before shows that your brain knows how to get out of this now and it will, try not to worry about the fact that you were sick it means nothing and won’t in any way inhibit your recovery.

    Claire SB – I’ve been down the stress leave and sick days route many times with work but generally it’s not the answer. You’re just creating a stronger association between being at work and feeling anxious. Challenge yourself, go in tomorrow and face how it makes you feel but manage your workload. You can REFUSE to do more than is reasonable. Have that chat with your managers re getting you some help. Be clear about your expectations and explain that you can only do so much alone. Employers will get you to do as much as you won’t complain about I’ve found!! Don’t worry, when things get stressful at work we tend to feel it a little bit more and go into a panic, but there’s nothing to worry about really it’ll pass.

  273. selma Says:

    it seems that a number of things can trigger us- drugs, illness, pregnancy, etc. it is any stressful event really. for some reason some of us are just wired for anxiety and i think it’s important not to ruminate over what that trigger was. just know the symptoms for all of us seem relatively similar, no matter what that initial event was. trust me, i am a master of ruminating but in my good moments i am certain that it is not important what triggered it but just accepting that it is anxiety and we can accept it, feel the bad days, and try to achieve a flow again, as hard as it may be.

  274. selma Says:


    I would try to go in. I’m saying this because I was recently at my ABSOLUTE worst, like a breaking point. And I managed to do a girl’s weekend trip to Chicago- totally out of my comfort zone. It was incredibly uncomfortable but after going, I feel so empowered. When I used to work full time, i went in many days feeling like I could barely get myself there, barely talk to people, and barely make it through the day. But the alternative of staying home, ruminating, and exploring the anxiety further will only make it worse. The trick is to really ride out your absolute worst days, push on hour by hour. Come to the site for comfort and support. Know that this bad wave will pass and you will reflect back and think “if I can go to work on my worst days, I will be OK….”

  275. selma Says:

    Claire, also know that most people don’t notice or care what is going on with you, it’s YOUR overreaction to what other’s think….

  276. Mark R Says:

    Hi Selma,

    Many thanks for the reply. I am doing loads of positive things, well basically I am living a normal life alongside anxiety……..going for meals, pubs, exercising, back at work full time. I have made sure it hasn’t stopped me doing anything. I have even started up a limited company repairing laptops to give my mind a break from the ruminations.

    I suppose its a matter of time really before it subsides.

    There is a still a little niggle though I am going to suffer for another 2 years though as I have in the past, although rationally I know this can’t be true as my life is so much different. I suppose this is a common worry with people who have suffered in the past?

    Is that what is referred to as a setback then?

  277. selma Says:

    hi mark, absolutely. a setback feels like you are starting at square one (or even worse) and causes loads of doubt and frustration. suffering really is a good term when talking about anxiety- you feel like you are truly suffering. sounds like you are doing great- keep doing loads of positive things. don’t worry about how long you suffered in the past. i used to have months on end of suffering and went a whole year feeling great. right now, i’m having a setback but i still get breaks for several weeks where i feel great. the trend is staying positive. don’t set yourself up to think that it will be for another 2 years. all it takes is a few good days to realize that you have broken the cycle, and can do it again….

  278. Mark R Says:

    Hi Selma,

    In between the the times I suffered I had 2/3 years of feeling normal with no anxiety at all, no panic attacks, dp or worry, just everyday stress. Up until Feb this year I had at least 2 years of nothing – just being happy.

    Even though I haven’t cried in the last 2 weeks and have started to do positive things again and rejoin life as it were, I still find intensely difficult to not be self aware – of thoughts, actions, feelings etc. The only time really is when I am playing football. This is annoying as it feels like I am not breaking the cycle.

  279. selma Says:

    being self-aware is the main problem with anxiety. we are so tuned in to our inner chatter. just know that it’s ok to live alongside this hyperawareness. stop trying to examine it and just go on with your day and let it fade away. you can’t think yourself out of it. thinking is the problem!

    maybe i need to listen to my own advice right now as i am having a TERRIBLE afternoon. started off feeling good, glad to be home. but i had lunch with my mom which is a trigger for me and now i am rattled with a desperate feeling of anxiety….i did the thing i should never do and started looking up bipolar and read the story of a woman who has been struggling with it for her whole life with no end in sight. this is basically my worst nightmare. now i am just rattled with this story, thinking….why couldn’t this be me? maybe i will always suffer and never be OK. maybe i will be hospitalized and not able to raise my son. maybe there is just something permanently wrong with my brain. these are my thoughts right now. i called my husband for support and i think he is getting so sick of me callign with anxiety. he said he was in a meeting and sounded annoyed. i am just running out of someone to talk to…..

  280. Mark R Says:

    ….now come on. uve given me some good advice today, no need to go down that route. Theres nothing wrong with ur brain, your even sounding rational while your typing……thats not the actions of someone who needs to be hospitalised is it?

  281. selma Says:

    rationally, i agree with you. it’s crazy that i can see other people’s anxiety and help with where they are but when i am in the thick of it i have trouble pulling myself out. i’m sorry, i don’t mean to bum you out. just sort of battling with it all today after having a pleasant morning.

  282. Mark R Says:

    no its okay. u can rationalise other peoples daft existential thoughts as youve got the benefit of a different perspective.

  283. selma Says:

    right. i try :)

  284. Candie Says:

    Yolande Life circumstances only affect you how you let them, if you react and get yourself stressed about something that cant be changed, or if u worry about something that hasnt happened yet.. you will feel anxious about them (more then the average person too as you have anxiety). This was me for a long time, now when i feel the stress rising i can spot the signs and not do this to myself anymore. Just relax through these things if you can, my biggest problem was family members arguing and me been in the middle. In the end i decided il leave them to it, they didnt care about making me anxious so i spent no time worrying over them anymore. I dismissed the worry like i did my scary thoughts, whenever i felt the needs to analyse my problems and try figure them out (this blows them up huge) i took a step back and decided id resolve what i could calmly, anything else i cant change i just accepted and let it be.

  285. yolande Says:

    Thanks Candie 😉

  286. Teresa J Says:

    Thanks Candie – guess that’s where I’m at. Still not accepting what are real problems – for everyone not just anxiety sufferes. Predicting what will happen negatively, because something has happened wrong/bad once it does not mean that is how it will always be. Need to stop frightening myself and just get on with what’s happening a bit at a time .

  287. Sandeep Says:

    Scarlet – getting yourself repeatedly to the now sometimes gets tiring. Find myself doing it several times in a few minutes sometimes. You have to keep reminding yourself to snap out of it. Did you experience similar frustrations? Thanks.

  288. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Sandeep,

    Yes everyone with anxiety feels this way. It’s an up and down affair all the way to the end… Even without anxiety it’s difficult to always bring yourself into the present moment. I have times now when my mind wanders and I get to over thinking about a situation ;-). Try and do it when you can, but don’t worry if you cant, just remember to carry on with normal activities alongside your thoughts, i.e allow them to be there but pay them no heed. When you have learned to dismiss thoughts in this way you will be able to bring yourself into the present moment easier, but it takes time to be able to accept the way you feel without analysing thoughts, and you have to allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling without undue concern and know this is normal. With time everything falls into place..

  289. Sandeep Says:

    Thanks. I think the coming to the now when I’m overthinking something is easier to control with time. But what I find myself often doing is having a knee jerk reaction to an adrenaline jolt and almost forcing myself to come to the now to make sure I dont make it any worse. Am I not training my brain to say that this is something I want to avoid by doing so?

    The catch 22 is that if I dont do this, I find myself self-analyzing adrenaline jolts a lot and prob making them worse. The uncomf feeling of having an adrenaline jolt is the hardest part of accepting anxiety. Sorry – but I know we tend to get lost in overanalysis in our heads. Some clarity will help.

  290. Scarlet Says:


    “But what I find myself often doing is having a knee jerk reaction to an adrenaline jolt and almost forcing myself to come to the now to make sure I dont make it any worse. Am I not training my brain to say that this is something I want to avoid by doing so?”

    I know what you mean here. When I was suffering, there were times I used to blank my mind rather than go down the route of over thinking and making myself anxious. This was a temporary solution but for a while it worked for me and my confidence in my own recovery grew during this time because I felt like I was able to control my own reactions to my thoughts. This is no doubt classed as avoidance, and not a route to go down long-term, but personally I think there is an interim stage that some of us go through i.e we force acceptance for a while in an effort to change a habit …. later on when you are less afraid of thoughts, you are able to stop this ‘avoiding’ technique and master acceptance…

    Hope I made myself clear here, now I read it again sounds like gibberish 😉

  291. Sandeep Says:

    Scarlet – that makes perfect sense. Thats exactly what I’ve thought as well – to use it as a temporary solution to heal my nerves to the point where rational thinking can help me accept. Its hard to accept when the nerves are tired. One final question (I’m sure there’ll be many more along the way even though I say final) – what precipitated your transition from this to full acceptance? Did you use sayings – what drove being able to accept adrenaline jolts? Thanks.

  292. Rachael Says:

    I made a massive mistake yesterday and went to see a doctor about my skin. I didn’t mention anything to her about my anxiety, and just insisted there was something wrong with my skin and that she give me an answer. Of course she had to tell me something so said it was extremely mild but she could see something and it could be a bit of XYZ…
    I have no idea why I did this or what I was expecting, but now I am terrified. Listening to my colleagues type is making my face burn now, and I just punched a wall in the toilet and I’m pretty sure I’ve damaged my hand. I can’t stop crying, I feel like I’m in hell. I honestly think I need to get away from every day life to recover from this – people typing makes my skin go nuts makes me terrified. I have no escape!!!
    Has anyone ever experienced anything similar, where you’ve been forced to endure for 8 hours a day the thing that makes you more anxious than anything!?

    Sorry for the drama I am really at my wits end.

  293. Mark R Says:


    Sorry to single you out Scarlet but as you’ve recovered just wanted to ask you a question.

    I posted yesterday that I was having a ‘setback’, a ‘blip’, ‘glitch’…or whatever. I have suffered in the past, for 2 years at a time, so whats the difference between a setback and an episode/bout?

    How can I be sure this is a setback?

    In between the bouts in the past I have had 2 or 3 years of peace, no anxiety at all.

  294. James Says:

    Teresa, I just wanted to say thanks for the help you gave me here. I am having some luck letting go of scary thoughts, however compelling they are! I want to keep on staying busy, although it is hard as I really don’t feel like doing stuff.

    I wanted to check that it is normal to feel completely numb? My mind is *extremely* fuzzy, which I now know is due to it being so tired. I mean it is basically impossible for me to think clearly or to hold on to the “moment”. My mind whizzes off instantly to a new blurry place. I never feel any emotion, other than anxiety and numbness – is this the same for most people here?

  295. richard Says:

    james i know exactly what you mean. i mean while i regard myself to be doing okay through life and my anxiety i recently had a very similer state of mind. a good friend died from a brain tumour and i felt little, other than the worry of feeling little. ive had plenty sad news but this was seemed different i wasnt sad i was confused. and almost angry at those that so expressively grieved in almost jealousy. i wanted a release to show how i should feel yet i could evoke nothing.

    like you say, i looked deeply to the moment i found out this news to analyse my reaction. i tried to repeat it over and over in my head to focus my mind but it was useless.

    you just have to give your mind its space. relax your mind from working on a problem but writting difficult moments out. i scribbled down tonnes of stuff which was facinating to read only days or weeks later. i realsied i did feel and how my emotions had being shifting.

    also open spaces worked well for me. i dont know im a visual person and making myself seem more insignificant helped put perspective on my mind allowing my to move on with things.

  296. Hawk Says:

    Hi all! This is my first post. I just want to say what a huge help this site has been for me. I have read Paul’s book and absolutely loved it. I also read some of Dr. Claire Weekes books and finally have started to find some answers. I have been suffering for the past 7-years that was brought on by a stressful job. I have been putting these tools to work but have found it very difficult to stay focused on these new tools. I know it will take time. I am currently experiecing one of my worst setbacks but am not trying to run from it as I have in the past. In my anxious state I just get concerned how many days can I live alongside all this. My skin feels like needles, my chest and head are tight. I just want relief. I do know once fear is taken out of the equation it will happen. I have had some success which builds my confidence. Just would like a little more advice from the people on here. Thanks so much


  297. yolande Says:

    Hi Scarlet,

    Need some help and/or advice pls. These past few days i have been feeling pretty down -but i dont think i am severely depressed though. been worrying about some issues with my company’s insurers. what i want to ask is, is it normal while on the recoverly phase to sometimes feel really really down?? then i got to thinking too much again and worrying if i am going backwards. sigh.

    I even feel the urge to cry (altho abt what i dont know) but didnt or couldnt. pls is this normal? I am getting a little worried – have been coping well for the past few weeks but this stupid issue with the insurers threw a spoke in my wheel. just need some help here……………

    thanks so much

  298. yolande Says:

    …………. Scarlet, sorry hit return too soon.

    i am really scared cos i feel i am doing all the wrong things and it will make all my past efforts do down the drain! I cant believe i let something like the issue with the insurers to mess up my thinking. what am i gonna do when i hit problem in my work???!! Gosh – really need some help here. is this a setback? or just a temporary step backwards???


  299. Sandeep Says:

    Candie / Scarlet: did you go through periods when even though you knew what needs to be done i.e .nothing, it just seems hard to do? I keep thinking I’m going to go into secondary thinking and I do sometimes even though I know I’m not supposed to. I guess one has to accept not accepting?

  300. James Says:

    Sandeep – I know you addressed this to Candie and Scarlet, but if you don’t mind I will offer my opinion.

    Accepting that you cannot accept *is* the right thing to at times. Otherwise all you are doing is adding another layer of resistance on. It is natural that you will not shift from fighting to acceptance seamlessly. It is a powerful habit you are trying to break, and like all habits it is more or less guaranteed that from time-to-time you will cave in.

    I believe that if you really try and force yourself to accept when it simply isn’t happening, all you are doing is adding more stress than letting yourself fight for a little while.

  301. Sandeep Says:

    Agree James and thanks for offering your opinion. I keep wondering what in the world will make me ever not bother about the feeling of getting an adrenaline jolt when its bothered me for so long?

  302. selma Says:

    hi all
    i am not sure of my progress. yesterday i felt better since and was trying to not investigate my anxious thoughts/feelings but what do you do when for instance i will feel like “ok, let’s get breakfast and play with the baby and push through this, etc” in a joyous way and then not 10 minutes later i will feel a doom and gloom depressive feeling and get irritated by each and every thing i’m doing. it’s like there is a magnifying glass on my emotions and my thoughts and despite what i’m doing or not doing, it’s still there.

  303. selma Says:

    has anyone had symptoms of just extreme agitation/irritability? for instance, i woke up in the middle of the night last night just tossing and turning and feeling super agitated. it often happens in the middle of the night, but also sometimes randomly during the day….like i will be doing something stupid like getting a glass of water and the whole process will just totally irritate me. i am really worried as i don’t see people on here really talk about these kinds of symptoms. it’s not like anythign in particular will bother me, but just everything, every noise, movement, etc. will be super super irritating.

  304. candie Says:

    Sandeep i was on and of with periods like that for a long time, everyone gets them until they recover.

    Selma iv had periods of extreme agitation yes, its very common with anxiety. Its a weird feeling, and not very nice but harmless.

  305. selma Says:

    candie, can you describe a little more about what that felt like for you?? it just helps me to calm my mind about the symptoms….i wouldn’t describe this for me as just “not very nice”- it feels like torture, and i just want to jump out of my skin!!!!

  306. Mark R Says:

    Hi Selma,

    Just to reply to your post – I get this, with everything being irritating. I used to get it all the time but only now in certain places where there is too much going on – restaurants, supermarkets, town centres.

    I looked into this years ago when I first had it, its to do with the defence mechinism of anxiety – your pupils dilate and your hearing becomes more sensitive to pick up more information.

    It becomes less as the anxiety subsides, it is very annoying I know.

  307. selma Says:

    thanks, mark. but even when just laying in bed….there is nothing very loud or irritating going on- it’s like i’ll just be in that mode and all of a sudden i can’t tolerate anything….it’s so hard to describe it!

  308. Mark R Says:

    Selma, have u tried any breathing exercises or anything?

    We all need a release from time to time from the anxiety.

    I use a free hypnotherapy download….

    try that.

  309. selma Says:

    thanks, mark. i will try it. usually though, any type of relaxation exercise just makes me worse. having a really tough bout lately….

  310. selma Says:

    it’s like the more i try to relax, the worse i feel and i get so consumed in my head with all the methods i’ve tried, all the techniques, etc etc. i just feel like i’ve tried everything to no avail.

  311. yolande Says:

    I too have experienced agitation/irritation and yes it’s not a nice feeling. WHat i do is i start to skip – to release some of the adrenalin. we have to ride it out really, as there’s nothing else we can do except maybe exercising or trying to get your mind off things.

    Yes, i understand what you are going thur but you must try to RELAX. these feelings are tough – when i was at work, i get really pissed off by ppl talking and laughing and there are times when i just want to scream in frustration. for moments like these, i will escape to the toilet to calm myself down. you will get used to it, trust me. Claire Weekes used to say that if you cannot get rid of it, try listening to it ie dont fight it.

    i still feel like this but in a much lesser way. it does get easier and it helps too if you dont get too worked up over it.

  312. Rachael Says:

    Thanks Yolande,
    I actually get embarrassed when I read back over posts I’ve put up when I’m listening to people type – it’s like I lose all reason. I’m at home working on something today and completely relaxed. The frustrating thing is I had a week of it not bothering me a while back, and thought I’d broken through but now it’s back with a vengeance! Like all symptoms I guess… It’s just it’s bothered me for years now and bar that one week never really lessened, it’s hard to see the light with it.

    Selma irritability and agitation – yep! Mainly through the sound of typing but when my anxiety’s high anything will get me. Last night walking home from work someone was smoking in front of me and blowing it back and I got SO annoyed! I’m sure loads of others experience it too don’t worry.

    Would love opinions on something – I see a really good therapist (similar approach to ours here, accept, don’t pay attention etc.) except there’s one thing he tells me that I think is making me worse. He says anything that goes on with my skin/general health is stress related, which I think originally got me obsessing about stress and my skin. Recently he was a bit frustrated with me and told me it was my own fault if my skin was bad or I got rashes and I was doing it to myself (can I just note now that I’m in a rational state of mind my skin isn’t really bad at all). This thought kinda kills me, because then if I ‘let’ typing annoy me I obviously think this will make my skin bad which is what I’m really scared of. It puts huge pressure on me to stop letting myself be stressed because it’s harming me in a way I’m most afraid of.

    I’m guessing putting that kind of pressure on me isn’t a good thing – can anyone let me know what they think?

    Thanks as always,

  313. candie Says:

    Selma, mine was like akathisia.. total inner restlessness. I was annoyed about been restless basically- its an awful feeling. If i sat still, laid down nothing felt comfortable. Its harmless, the mind is so active the body cant relax so we feel like this.

  314. Sandeep Says:

    I have a dull pain on the top of my head everytime I breathe deeply. Could this be scalp tension? Anyone else have anything similar? Thanks.

  315. yolande Says:

    Hi Scarlet/ Candie

    I am a bit stuck here and need some advice. I understand that recovery means you are no longer scared of a feeling/ thought. that it can come on suddenly and you can pull yourself out of it before you go into secondary thinking.

    so for the past 3 months, i have been at the last frontier and i am still getting the lump in the throat feeling. does this mean then that i am NOT fully recovered? Does recovery mean that you can be recovered and still feel some symptoms??

    or does recovery mean that you would not feel anymore symptoms be they thoughts or feelings?

    thanks so much

  316. yolande Says:

    Also does anyone experience a lot of weird dreams while having anxiet? I never used to dream but now with anxiety – i am dreaming a lot. not nightmares or anything like that just a lot of dreams in a night.

    just wondering if anyone has experienced this also

  317. candie Says:

    Hi Yolande. Weird dreams are common with anxiety yes, i had nightmares now and again but mostly just dreams that was weird and stuck with me.

    Yolande, acceptance is understanding why we feel scared (adrenalin producing false fear) and allowing that nagging feeling that something isnt right, but not taking the bait and rumernating over it (going into secondary thinking). Recovered generally means you can feel any symptom without been scared of it, this will allow the symptom to fade away. You can be 98% recovered and still have the odd pang of symptoms, i know i do.

    One last thing, i know a few people come on here and ask if every symptom they experience is anxiety, its ok to do this but there has to come a point where you hold your own so to speak and let go. You have to stop trying to rule out all the possible what ifs, even if someone answers you and you realise its anxiety your body will experience a new symptom. It can be like this right till the end, a variety of thoughts and feelings which you have to just disregard as anxiety and not try unravel them looking for secret meanings behind them. If you solve a problem that anxiety has created, it will create another- then you end up in the rut of constantly trying to solve these symtoms under the illusion if you just get past this last one you will be fine again. That is telling your mind the symptoms are important, and there not- sure they can feel it sometimes and that is fine. Just dont try provide any reassurance to your anxiety and it will stop asking stupid question. I know when i learnt to do this it really helped me a lot.

  318. Teresa J Says:

    Candie/Scarlet/Paul I really need some sound advice, I know what you have said from above and I get that. I have been down a really bad road over the last couple of weeks – not totally anxiety related but anxiety has made it into a massive thing for me. Everyone from time to time has ‘real’ health problems , lots of these I handle with the right ‘head’ on. However I had an old problem with dentists that I had almost addressed – recently tootache became a ‘is it real’ scenario. After taking the plunge visiting the dentist, nothing origianlly visible but underneath there was a crack, it was filled – came home differing problem extreme sensitivity, stuck with it for a week but went back – told me it may go away , see how it goes. It did not and as it was reacting to food and drink I believed it was ‘real’ – went back had several options i decided to have it out. Commonsense will now tell anyone that that should be that – accept the pain till it goes after the extraction and move on. I have nearly gone to the doctor for valium or anything to shut my mind up, I am taking painkillers but sometimes the pain is not going – i know it must be anxiety exaggerating things . I have become so scared of my own mind i have lost all my faith in my own judgement and don’t know how i will get through this or any further dental problems, I have even frightened myself theat I will end up having all sorts of thigs doen to my teeth unnecessarily – I really am at my wits end and I know what you say about the fact that if one problem is solved another pops up – but how on earth do I let go and what way do you think is the best way . I’m sorry to be back here I have tried so hard to handle this sensibly.

  319. yolande Says:

    Thanks Candie – I do understand what you are trying to say. sometimes i can live with it and ignore it and sometimes i cant. i guess this is also part of recovery – accepting that you cant always do it right sometimes. altho i really do wish full recovery will come soon (if you know what i mean). :)

  320. ross Says:

    hi every1 needing some advice….

    I feel my anxiety symptoms are fading away but the empty feeling I have when i feel NOTHING is getting stronger.

    I keep having thoughts that Im in a deep depression and i should see a doctor. I also have a strong inner restlessness especially at work where i Get thoughts that i cant speak and quickly have to get conversations over with .

    I feel I have accepted these symptoms but this empty feeling feels really strange like im not really here .

    Any1 else get consumed by thoughts of death and dyin?? the thought of dyin fills me with panic . I know this woudlnt happen if i was in a Happier state .

    At what point should you see a doctor??

  321. selma Says:


    i am almost afraid to google that work- akathisia- what does that mean? it sounds like something horrible like a psychotic person gets?@??

  322. candie Says:

    Selma its nothing to do with mental illness lol, its just basically been anxious where you cant sit still or relax, your body feels an overwhelming feeling of restlessness. Its very common with anxiety and nothing to worry about.

  323. christina Says:

    Hi everyone, I just wanted to put down some thoughts. I have found as I have been recovering from anxiety, I can fall into the trap of raising the bar too high on how I “should” feel. I’ve had a lot of good days and weeks since late Fall. Plenty of setbacks or ups and downs, but times where the anxiety is pretty much gone. So when I hit bumps, I think I should have already passed over, I get impatient. Maybe it’s common to feel this way. If anyone has insights from personal experience I would love to hear about it. I’m hoping a lot of the people I haven’t seen on the blog for a while, are getting along well. Hugs to you all.

  324. Jo Says:

    Hi Christina,

    I totally agree with you, it’s easy to be to hard on ourselves if we’ve been feeling good and suddenly a few symptoms pop back. I guess this is all part of the recovery, ebbs and flows. It’s just another chance for us to practice what we know and accept how we feel.

    Hope you are getting on good!


  325. Paul David Says:

    Very common Christina and something that was me also in the early days. The only rule is to never really care how we feel at any given time, at the start of our journey, in the middle or when we really feel like ourselves again, have no expectations. I have said it before, but looking back that attitude helped me so much, I never thought about recovery, at first it was to be able to cope with my day, then to improve enough to be able to feel comfortable in social situations, then to feel real again. I took small steps up the mountain and did not look at it and walk away thinking it was too big to climb.

    Having a bad day for you now is probably like you having a fantastic day in the early days, that is how far your expectations have rose, so celebrate that fact, smile and be proud of yourself for how far you have come, never see the glass as half empty. You may have a few more bumps along the way, but so what, celebrate the good and don’t bother about the bad. When I considered myself recovered my head would feel so tired and lost out of the blue and for no reason, I just went with it, did not get down or confused and look for explanations, it was o.k, the good days would be back soon and they always did come back and with that little bit more knowledge under my belt.

  326. Wayne Says:


    Ross I feel the same way right now. I have been feeling nothing for about 2 weeks now, no other symptoms. Is this part of recovery? I no longer have dizziness, feelings of being odd etc.

  327. Mark R Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Not spoke to you before, congratulations on the book becoming an obvious success by the way.

    I just have one question for you…….

    I have suffered badly in the past with anxiety for 2 years at a time, but recovered and enjoyed life for 2 years at a time in between. Unfortunately I am suffering at the moment, it has been about 3 months now.

    People keep telling me its a blip/glitch/setback, but how can I differentiate between a setback or an episode?

  328. christina Says:

    Thank you for your responses, Paul, and Jo!

    It seems it always does come back to not caring, or at least developing an attitude of caring less about how you feel at any point. This is challenging! I think so many of us have created mental habits that have served to enlarge our fears which immediately reduces confidence, courage, and optimism. Some of us have lifetime habits of fearing things, even apart from the “anxious state”, that definitely sets the stage for it. I think truly overcoming the fear of anxiety and not returning to it time and again, involves changing some of our mental reflexes and taking steps of faith that rebuild our trust in handling unpleasant experiences and emotions.

  329. Paul David Says:

    Christina you say: I think so many of us have created mental habits that have served to enlarge our fears which immediately reduces confidence, courage, and optimism. Some of us have lifetime habits of fearing things, even apart from the “anxious state”, that definitely sets the stage for it. I think truly overcoming the fear of anxiety and not returning to it time and again, involves changing some of our mental reflexes and taking steps of faith that rebuild our trust in handling unpleasant experiences and emotions.

    I agree that we develop habits Christina and the reason we practice to reverse habits. The best way for me was to allow myself to feel apprehension, the uncertainty and not try to change this, rather for my body to get used to normality, by me carrying on with my life whilst feeling this way, whilst understanding the feelings and no longer been thrown by them, it was a natural path. One thing I used to do when feeling pretty bad one day would be to say ‘Well I feel bloody anxious today, but it’s o.k I will pass through it soon’ it really was my attitude and not forced in anyway, I had built up that attitude.

    Mark this has been covered many times on the blog. I suffered for 10 years without help or explanation and I went through some great times once I educated myself, but could feel back to square one for a couple of months, but I refused to let these times throow me, stress about them, question them, I just waited until these episodes passed. Some stressful event could set them off, other times they seemed to come from nowhere, but once I had passed through them, I felt stronger than ever and learnt so much more. Whatever got you to feeling so much better, will do so again.

  330. MLK Says:

    Hi everyone! I have ben doing very well these past weeks, fairly busy with my new job. Just graduated college and moving into an apartment in a really fun part of town! Things are definitely going my way..but I still feel a tish of that anxiety. It has not gotten to me like it would have 7 months ago, but nonetheless it can still be troubling. I feel as though life is so weird…hard to explain, but it is just this strange feeling that I pretty much consistently have. Does anyone maybe understand what I mean?? Also, I work in a mental health facility, and I find myself wondering if I could go crazy or if I am going crazy…I think i associate my weird feeling to me convincing myself I am going crazy. I ultimately know I am not crazy, but it can be a hard thought to get rid of. I do recognize how far I have come though!! I am generally happier :) I am working out more, just finished college and got a job!! But I would appreciate some words of wisdom when it comes to this wierd feeling and annoying thoughts! Thank you! Hope all is well with everyone!!

  331. Teresa J Says:

    I am recovering from a tooth extraction but I believe my anxiety has hung onto pain – can anyone tell me what tos do regarding pain killers. I am trying hard to manage without them, am I expecting too much and testing myself unnecessarily or should i ride the pain and wait for the pain to leave incase I am too anxious about it and turning up the volume on normal pain or none.

  332. Fiona Says:

    the weird feeling is DP and your questioning by letting in silly thoughts about going mad. The DP feeling will hang about for a while but you must ignore it and any silly thoughts that pop in to your head regarding it. It can take a while to fade away but it will eventually but if you are focusing on it and entertaining thoughts like i’m going crazy ….. when your obviously not it will give DP all the attentio it needs to continue.

    Teresa J,
    Your tooth is causing you pain not anxiety! Anxiety cant give you tooth ache. you either sore or it is not. Take a pain killer and get rid of it. :-)

    Fi xxxx

  333. ClaireSB Says:

    Hi everyone
    Just wanted to say am doing a lot lot better now, have been back at work this week and its actually been totally fine, i have had a few anxious moments but have just got on with it and told myself, i know i feel weird at the moment but i know it wont be forever so just get on with it, and i have! Its amazing, the more i just accept how i feel the quicker i forget about it and feel normal without even realizing, i have pushed myself to do everything i avoided doing at work the last few months, like going to lunch with the girls and walking to the shops, i always thought i would pass out or collapse and have a panic attack, but I have been out every day this week, ok have felt a bit dizzy and shaky but i kept going and have been fine! I know i will have bad days again and i might even have days where i avoid but if i do i do, i’ll accept that to. I now feel stronger for putting myself in the firing line so to speak, and gradually am feeling happier in myself too. Just wanted to post this as I have been having such a bad setback over the last few weeks and i know a few others have too, just wanted to say the quicker we accept the quicker we see the light at the end of the tunnel. take care everyone :)

  334. ross Says:

    hey wayne ,

    It must be part of recovery , I also had dizziness and thats seems to have gone now im just left with a numb feelings also feel like im not really here . These are all parts of de-personalisation and de-realisation . its not nice tho eh?????!!!!

    been readin through posts , best way is not to worry about it and keep going .

    good to know im not alone , good luck on ur recovery mate u will get there so will i :)

  335. Teresa J Says:

    Thanks fiona probably trying too hard to be pain free too soon and testing myself, the wound’s not healed yet. Think I have been so upset by it all that I am scared. Thank you

  336. dee Says:

    Hi all,

    Needing some reasurrence really felt i hvae been doing well then yesterday just out of no where it seemed i got anxiety and panic? Has anyone elsegot thid before just out of the blue. I became really scared as if i was going to lose control!!
    Tried the usual to calm myself which seemed to work but now am scared of it returning and woke with the nervous churning feeling in the pit of my tummy :( Hate this feeling. I know i have been working alot and feel tired, and also have a baby on the way but thought i had made enough progress andf feel this is a set back.

    Any advice would be greatful. Thanks

  337. Shaun Says:


    This is my first post and it was going to be a general observation and a few comments on this site but first of all I want to give Dee some reassurance that she is not alone with her sudden return of anxious feelings.

    My anxiety started several years ago and I have worked tierlessly to find that magic cure. Googled til I’m blue in the face, looked for all sorts of meds that would take the problem away, sought help from psychologists who really don’t have the time to devote to individual issues and at times, I’m not affraid to say I’ve considered more drastic actions. The fact is, as Paul will tell you himself, you are what you are and if you are predisposed to anxiety as many of us are, the best remedy by far is acceptance.

    Many of us fight because it seems like the right thing to do. We are often from the school of hard knocks and its what we know, don’t let anything beat you, always have the last say. Trouble is anxiety feeds on this, the more we fight, the more tired our minds become, the more suseptable we are to those nagging thoughts that we will never get better.

    For Dee I have this advice and observation. Sometimes looking for the reason, when no reason seems obvious is the energy the anxiety needs to feed on. Try to look at it this way, the reason doesn’t matter, it won’t change how you feel right now, knowing the reason, if indeed there is a reason you can put your finger on. Fact is, its happening, try to accept that, don’t fight it and be patient enough to see it through to the conclusion you know will happen, you’ll start to feel better, your mood will lift and you will feel proud of getting to the other side once again. I know that seems easy to say, especially when you’re in the middle of it, but trust me, you will feel better again, but not looking for answers, not berating yourself for how you feel now and accepting this is you right now will make that happen sooner.

    I hope this helps, I think one of the most important things any anxiety sufferer can do is be there for others who suffer when they can, I take my hat off to Paul, he is obviously doing this on a large scale. Congratualtions to you and more power to your elbow.

  338. dee Says:

    Hi Shaun,
    Thank you so much for your responce it’s always nice to get one makes you feel less alone in this world.
    What you have said makes perfect sense and it always helps to know that someone else knows what i am talking about as they have also experienced it for themselves.
    I cannot help but wish i was one of the lucky ones whom had never had to experience it, but when you get chatting to people it is surprising how many do suffer. I always revert back to Pauls book and think it’s amazing! :)

  339. Teresa J Says:

    Dee as shaun said you are not alone and that is a clever trick that anxiety plays by making us feel we are different to everyone else – Shaun has left a really good post . Try not to label every time you feel a rough patch as a setback – sometimes it’s just a blip and you come back quicker than you think. Fear is the feeder of all what we all go through. Something I read a few months ago in a book which had been recommended on here was think of it as trying to find your way out of a cave. no matter how many times you’ve been there it seems this one is the worst time ever – you feel this will last forever, but it won’t. If you know what’s happening while it’s happening you are protected from the effects of your mood. There’s nothing to fear, as long as you don’t panic and as long as you walk in the right direction, the light is round the corner – it’s your mood that is tricking you into believing thoughts, and they are thoughts not reality. I know what you mean about wishing you did not have anxiety – it’s easy to feel that but if you look at the likes of Paul ,Candie , Scarlet and the other son here that are so strong now there is a positive future – and yes I think lots of people suffer from it , good luck with the baby , how many months are you. Expecting a baby will make you tired too, try not to be too hard on yourself . Hope you feel soon.

  340. yolande Says:

    hi all,

    dee i know what you mean. sometimes i feel really down out of the blue and wonder if this is part of anxiety or normal life experiences. i feel that anxiety seems to have messed up my body so now i can no longer be certain if certain feelings are the norm ie for ppl who dont suffer from anxiety. i guess the best way forward would be to just live with the feelings and take each day as it comes.

    sometimes i feel so tired from all these yet at other times i feel almost normal.

    i know that full recovery will come by one day probably when i least expect it.

  341. Teresa J Says:

    I have just read an old post of yours regarding the ‘amygdala’ which i find quite a revelation into how we maybe extremley stressed and experience panic which is unrelated to the action we are doing but yet we associate the action as something to fear in the future becuase of the memory the amygdala holds. It is excess adrenalin that provides the problems – and by fretting about perceived or real stress situations we are continously flooding our system with the stuff. What I am not quite sure of is when we ‘accept’ why and how does this relieve the situation (because we have learnt it does) and with this conbtinued acceptance are we telling our ‘amygdala’ that we percieve no danger so therefore we do not react?

  342. dee Says:

    Hi Teresa J

    Thank you for your responce, it’s so nice to have some feedback and i really am taking on board what you have said. I am now 8 mths gone so nearly at the end, i think alot of my anxiety comes from the fear of the unknown with this pregancy as it is my first and it amazes me how many people want to tell you there horror stories with regards to child birth etc and having a baby and how much it is going to change my life. Instead of just letting things go over my head i think analise everything too much or the anxiety does and this is when the panic sets in? Have you ever experienced ringing in the ears, or known anyone that has?. I know i should’nt always look at things as a set back but maybe just as a mood, i think this just takes practice and hopefully in time will alter. How long have you suffered or would you class yourself as fully recovered?.
    Do you have children, sorry so many questions just thought it would be nice to get to know eachother. :)

  343. dee Says:

    H Yolanda,

    i know what you mean when you say the line between normal mood change and anxiety can get confusing. Living each day as it comes is prob the best outlook, and except the good days when they are here. I am sure there are many more like us but maybe just unheard of?

  344. candie Says:

    Hi Teresa

    Acceptance works because when you are no longer pushing a symptom away your mind and body will relearn to think that its not a threat. This in turn lowers adrenalin levels. However acceptance isnt about ridding yourself of the symptoms, its about living beside them long enough to see they are harmless. A person who isnt accepting with blow things up massively and increase adrenalin levels by reacting to theirself

  345. dee Says:

    Hi Candie,

    I read that you are fully recovered and wondered if you experienced ringing in the ears at all? Or known anyone that has and is this a common and easy to over come?

  346. Fiona Says:

    Hi Dee, ringing in th ears is a common symptom, it will pass eventually. Try not to let it get to you xx

  347. dee Says:

    Fiona thanks, appricated the responce was worried as per normal…….

  348. Teresa J Says:

    Thanks Candie – see where you are coming from. Very much appreciated – and I do know where I am. Lol.

  349. Teresa J Says:

    Dee – I have had all sorts of things with anxiety, and all sorts of things that are real like people who do not have anxiety – the thing about anxiety is it has the ability to make us think that everything is an emergency, unbearable and will last forever – it doesn’t, it lasts until the next ’emergency’ comes along and our anxiety turns its attention to that. It tends to blow things out of all proportion. What’s needed is the volume turning down on the anxiety.
    You ask about me, I have been on this site just over a year – before that I did have anxiety for a long time like Paul, but I am well into recovery now, I do lose my way and I do need to keep practicing until I get it right – or perhaps it would be better to say that I need to learn to ‘do nothing more’. However you will get better Dee – Candie and quite few others on here have recently had babies and are doing fine. I had my children a good while ago but went through a first and difficult pregnancy with my daughter last year and she does not suffer from anxiety,so people without anxiety suffer too. Being pregnant will exhaust you and make all sorts of temporary changes to your body. The final month can seem to last forever – and people can be very unhelpful with silly stories of birth and afterwards. You will be fine, it is a natural process and it has to happen, lol – you will have a lovely baby after it and within a week or so you will forget it all and be taking your baby out in the summer sun ( praps not sun but we can be hopeful). Take care of yourself – you are well on your way to recovery if you are on here.

  350. lisa Says:

    dee dont worry everyones birth is different. i have 2 kids and would give birth again n again i loved it, i only had gas n air,didnt want drugs (pethadine) etc..and you do forget the pain, mine are 16 and 11 now so trust me lol…;-)

  351. Candie Says:

    Hi Dee, yes i did have it- its one of the most common symptoms with anxiety- Paul had it too. Its called tinitus, ringing or buzzing noises in the ears.

  352. Mike G. Says:

    Hello everyone. First time posting but long time follower of Paul and his work. Although i have made significant strides i feel there is one new symptom that has me worried. It is really impeding my final stage of recovery and was wondering if any of you have experience it. The feeling ive been getting is feeling lightheaded upon standing which really has me worried now =(

    Thanks in advance

  353. Mark R Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Just thought Id give an update really.

    Been suffering from anxiety for the last 3 months, I’ve got the stage where it doesn’t stop me from doing anything at all really. I go to work, to the pub, to restaurants, to the cinema, play football. Ive even started my own business really as a part time thing. The only thing anxiety stops me doing is enjoying these things to the full and doing them comfortably. In terms of taking my mind off it/myself completely I have to do something really active, like play football. I went go-karting yesterday which really took my mind off it.

    The times of when my anxiety really gets to me is when I am trying to concentrate, relax or I am in a supermarket. All classic times really.

    I have been seeing my old therapist who helped me through depression years ago, but I have been discharged from her.

    Im really just gonna give it more time to ‘die’ down really, although I really struggle at times, especially in social occassions, supermarkets etc. I do feel more positive. I’m not crying everyday like 2 months ago.

    Anyway Im really posting this in the hope a ‘recovered’ being will spot it and hopefully see that I am making progress. Taking it one step at a time, hopefully I will be me again soon.

    Dee, I have had tinitus since I was 18, largely due to loud nightclubs, its a pain but I have noticed with anxiety that it is more noticable. Try not to let it worry you too much.


  354. Simon B Says:

    Hi guys,

    This is my first time on the blog and I’m sorry if I haven’t quite got the hang of how things work but heck, I’m gonna give it a go anyway.

    Ok about me, I’m 16 and have been suffering from Anxiety for a good year and a half now. It all began due to a build up stress and worry because of a situation I was put into at a very bad time of my life. Looking back on it now, the worry I put my body under was enormous. I sometimes ask myself ‘Is it any wonder you got Anxiety?’ The good news is that I’m no longer in that situation and I’m very happy nowadays.

    When I first started to suffer from Anxiety, it stopped me doing a lot of things. For one thing, I suddenly stopped being the person I once was. I was no longer confident and was constantly worried and depressed about what was happening to me. I needed answers and I needed them fast. When I was given them, I was just told ‘It’s only hormonal changes, you’re growing up’ but I didn’t want to believe this. I knew something was quite wrong with me.

    My Anxiety became much worse and resulted in me becoming a complete recluse. Then, I came across Paul’s website. To this day, I cannot describe to anyone how happy I felt to hear how other people had been through the same thing as I was experiencing. It was as if there was a massive weight lifted off my shoulders.

    I began to break habits until I felt comfortable to start slowly living my life again. Now, my anxiety has decreased a LOT and although I’m not quite there yet, I know someday I will be fully recovered. Sure, I get the odd bad day in which I get the obssessive thoughts and feelings, but I do not fight them and give them their space.

    If I ever feel down, I just remind myself that one day I will have conquered Anxiety and will have taken one step in becoming the man I was born to be.

    I just wanted to share my story with everyone as it’s something I hold quite close to my heart and I am a completely different person as to who I was before I got Anxiety. It has changed my life so much and I appreciate everything Paul and others have done for the website and the blog.

    I have one question that has been troubling me actually. My Anxiety is good and I manage it very well but it has recently occurred that at night, when lying in bed trying to fall asleep I get heart palpitations that keep me up.

    I know deep down this is a physical symptom of Anxiety itself, as I have no heart problems because I am very fit for my age and these heart palpitations do not occur at any stage of the day apart from night. I’m just worried and need some advice on how to cope with them. Thanks very much and I look forward to posting more often.


  355. Sandeep Says:

    Candie et al, did you experience several moments of self doubt. After you were doing things right, did you have periods where you just felt “this is all in my head, what if I cant do this right anymore”?

  356. Fiona Says:

    Hey Mark R, having suffered and overcome before are you not aware of your own progress? Im postive you will overcome it again and with the help of this website you WONT suffer again as you will have the proper tools this time to wipe it out completley. Have you suffered DP etc and overcome in the past? How did you do it then, as the same methods will work again but this time you will need to continue to implement them to stop you ever suffering again. I usually feel symptoms stronger in places like the supermarket or driving. Really dont have any anxiety symptoms as such left just DP.

  357. Sandeep Says:

    One more question for anyone who’s recovered and had trouble sleeping during anxiety. Even if I do very well for days on end, I’m v bad 1st thing when I wake in the morning or in the middle of the night. I cant seem to control anxiety at that time even if I can during the day. Did this go away after a while? Any advice?

  358. Fiona Says:

    Simon, you are just tuning into your body. Its a common aspect of it and if you dont tune into that you will tune into something else and worry about it. This pattern will continue until you realise that all symptoms are best acknowledged for what they are (harnless) and then left be until they dissapate of their own accord.
    Fiona x

  359. Simon B Says:

    Many thanks Fiona x

  360. Mark R Says:

    Hi Fiona,

    In answer to your question, I dont really feel that anxious anymore in general, more stressed and frustrated. I do feel more anxious in certain situations, but I do feel the DP a lot as you do. This is more to the fact that I am looking for it, not intentionally (as stated in your post to Simon I’m ‘tuned’ into it.

    In the past when I have recovered I accepted the DP and then either I forgot about it or it left on its own accord. I sometimes felt DP after recovery only in certain situations…….before dates, exams etc. All healthy anxiety.

  361. candie Says:

    Sandeep everyone who is in recovery will get self doubt, otherwise they would be recovered! Its normal

  362. Sandeep Says:

    Thanks Candie. Any advise on the sleep thing? Even if I’m not anxious in the day, memory brings back anxiety whenever I wake in the night and then the adrenaline jolts each time I try to sleep prevent me from sleeping. Was this ever a problem for you? Did it go away? Any advice?

  363. dee Says:

    Hi Teresa J,

    I really appricate your feedback, i know recoverary will come and sometimes i feel it is not to far away and then other days it feels a million miles away. I sometimes feel tha i am almost waiting for it or looking to see if today i will have anxiety as soon as i awake rather than just getting up and getting on with my day. If i dont have much to do or to much time to think about things i feel these can be my worst days… if this makes sense, keeping busy is always good but i also want to be able to relax and not worry that i may feel anxious!!
    Im sure with a new baby this will keep me busy.
    I am of course worried a little about the birth but this is normal i feel, it more afterwards, if the baby will be able to tell if im having an anxious day as i certainly do not want to pass it on to him/her. When i think about it it’s silly though as there are plenty before and after me whom have had children suffered with anxiety im sure.
    Again it is just my anxities palying tricks on me and the thought that time is passing so quickly.

    Thanks also Candie and Fiona so nice to have someone to talk to :)

  364. Davidina Says:

    Hi Candie, Scarlet, Fiona and all you guys who are on your way to recovery. I haven’t posted for some time as I have been taking in advice and tips from all you lovely people out there. Hope you don’t mind me talking about myself but I need some advice and reassurance. Paul says in his book – worry just brings stress and it was the first thing I stopped doing when I was on the road to recovery. This I find hard. I went on holiday and almost forgot I had anxiety. I walked beside it at times and coped well. Since I have come home, I seem to have lost my confidence again. When I go out I feel the anxiety building up, but it did not stop me going about my daily chores. I feel so self consciece as if people can see into my mind – stupid, isn’t it. I feel so much better when I am alone, but I have made a big effort to come out of that comfort zone and make plans to see my friends. I feel very anxious when I see them, and it eventually calms down. When I found Paul’s site a few months ago, I never had a comfort zone. It was anxiety non stop. Just a little reassurance and some tips of where I am going wrong. XX

  365. Davidina Says:

    Hi Lindsey – Hope you are doing well. Thinking about you and hope you are making some progress. XX

  366. Teresa J Says:

    Dee – anxiety has the knack of homing in on whatever is your latest insecurity and blowing it up high. It’s very unpleasant and it does try to take the upper hand on ALL occasions that are important to us. It doesn’t change the outcome it just makes us think that it will – as by the time the occasion comes we are normally caught up in it. You will gain confidence and get A LOT better. you may not be completely in recovery for a little while as it does take time with some people (others can be lucky and lose it easier) but it will not spoil your time with your baby. you will be as strong as you need to be, believe me – you will find all the strength you need, it’s there waiting to be tapped. At the moment you are tired, you are nearly full term and it is an exhausting time for anyone, my daughter was really worn out by the end. It will take a little bit of time afterwards to regain your strength but you have the summer ahead of you and you will get better and better. We are here to support you and you have nothing to worry about. Your anxiety is just telling you stories – and we all know what that is like, it just takes time to stop believing them, lol. Take care.

  367. Fiona Says:

    Hi Teresa J, that is lovely! I’m an expetant mother also with 4 months to go. Although i have no anxiety beyond the normal about impending motherhood i think you are so right in that you will find the strength, of course you will and it maybe the spur that pushes you on to recovery as the focus is taken from you and put onto your baby!

  368. Victor Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I just have a question, especially for those of you who have battled intrusive thoughts about loved ones, especially your children.

    I have been doing fairly well lately, not even really getting that many intrusive thoughts. But I realize that sometimes I still get an emotional reaction when I begin to talk to my anxiety, mainly because my biggest issue has been intrusive thoughts about my daughter. By emotional I mean that I feel like I should feel bad for the thoughts I have gotten, and that I worry the memory of certain thoughts will always be there even when they stop, therefore I will never really be able to move on.

    Has anyone ever felt like that? and do I only feel like this because I have not recovered yet, but once I recover I will be able to laugh at the experience, which deep down is what I think will happen but i am not sure.

    Thank you in advance.

  369. Victor Says:

    sorry, i realized theres an error in my post. I meant to say I still get an emotional reaction when i begin to talk ABOUT my anxiety.

  370. Fiona Says:

    Victor, you say

    and do I only feel like this because I have not recovered yet, but once I recover I will be able to laugh at the experience, which deep down is what I think will happen but i am not sure.

    You have answered your own question. This is 100% correct. You still have doubt in and some fear over your intrusive thoughts. When you are non-anxious you will have absolutely no concerns about these thoughts as you know they are only a symptom of anxiety.
    Fiona xx

  371. Victor Says:


    Thank you for your reply, and you are absolutely correct and its hard to admit, but I do still have some doubt and fear. I think what makes it more difficult is that I was doing so well last year with my anxiety and these intrusive thoughts for about 6-7 months. I remember hardly ever getting any thoughts during this time span, and laughing at the fact that I use to let it bother me so much whenever I actually did think about it (which was rare). But then my grandmother got sick earlier this year and passed away, and I started worrying about anxiety ‘what if my anxiety comes back” “what if I cant handle her death” and sure enough because of this worrying it came back.

    Ultimately I feel that this minor setback will make me stronger in the long run, but I occasionally have days like today where doubt and fear get the best of me and I wonder if I will ever really be able to put this all behind me.

  372. Fiona Says:

    Hi Victor, build on your success and strength and you can come through all the way. Its when the symptoms return that you can challenge yourself to see if they bother you. If you find the thoughts and feelings boring and silly and dont focus on them you will soon move on from them.
    Fi xx

  373. clara Says:

    Hi paul
    I havent posted on here for a fair few mths I have just given birth two weeks ago to another little girl :)
    I suffered awful anxiety when my last daughter was born feared everything and ran away constantly from anything that made me feel anxious and weird anyway now my second daughter is here and two weeks old my anxiety is comming back getting scared over silly things sometimes i can look at a photo of someone doing something crazy like throwing themselves off a bridge and i feel this wave of fear and panic run right through my body and i then wonder why i am scared of the photo and what the person was actually doing will i do it?
    ive been here before so i KNOW its never going to happen what i fear but i cant stop my mind constantly reminding me that im scared of things i worry i could do
    hope this makes sence to you ?

  374. selma Says:

    hi all i just had a MAJOR freak out moment where i thought i heard a voice screaming. i was walking in the door with my son and my dogs were barking, as usual, and i stopped dead in my tracks because i thought i heard a scream from inside the house, to the point where i was walking around looking for someone. it was loud and totally audible. i had a major panic attack that i actually heard a voice and am now going crazy. it’s like i am sitting here waiting for the next thing to happen or for the next voice to come. i am not sure, but when people hear voices, is this how it goes? i mean, it could have been something totally random but it sounded SO real and i am just sitting here shaking….gosh, i’ve been through so much this week. lost my grandpa. i just feel so fragile and like my mind is so rattled right now. please someone- would love some support.

  375. scarlet Says:

    Hi Victor,

    “I have been doing fairly well lately, not even really getting that many intrusive thoughts. But I realize that sometimes I still get an emotional reaction when I begin to talk to my anxiety, mainly because my biggest issue has been intrusive thoughts about my daughter. By emotional I mean that I feel like I should feel bad for the thoughts I have gotten, and that I worry the memory of certain thoughts will always be there even when they stop, therefore I will never really be able to move on.”

    It’s the emotional reaction you are giving your thoughts. As I mentioned to you a while back I had a baby and was consumed with terrible thoughts as well, and because I gave them an anxious emotion, I felt there must be an element of truth to them, but of course this is rubbish.. my baby is almost 4 now and those type of thoughts have no hold over me any more.
    You should NOT feel bad for your thoughts about your daughter, you can’t control them, you can only control your reaction to them, and as soon as you are able to react in a non-anxious way, they will stop coming.

    I promise you that the memory of these thoughts will not be there in your daily life when you are fully recovered, and even if you do remember a ‘thought’ occasionally you will see it for what it is and without feeling any anxiety, and you will most definitely be able to move on…. no worries about that.

    “Has anyone ever felt like that? and do I only feel like this because I have not recovered yet, but once I recover I will be able to laugh at the experience, which deep down is what I think will happen but i am not sure.”

    Most certainly have felt this way, and yes it’s because you are not quite there yet and still have a wee bit of self-doubt, but you are well on the way Victor, you just have to crack the last egg and stop reacting to your thoughts. You will be sniggering at these types of thoughts when you recovered, they will not bother you in the least…

    “Ultimately I feel that this minor setback will make me stronger in the long run, but I occasionally have days like today where doubt and fear get the best of me and I wonder if I will ever really be able to put this all behind me.”

    Yes you will become stronger when you have overcome this latest hurdle.

  376. Fiona Says:

    Selma, its a classic anxiety symptom…. thinking you may have heard something, what if you did, are you going mad, will you hear it agian!!! I’ve had those thoughts when i thought i was going schizo and losing the plot. Believe me i wasn’t, it was very much an over active imagination. With or without anxiety you would get a fright but the problem is anxiety takes it into a whole other ball park of fear. My advise is forget about it and move on.
    Fi xxx

  377. candie Says:

    Selma, you probably herd whistling noise in ya ear ya can get them with anxiety, can sound like whistling, screeching, wooshing noises. I had wooshing and whistling all the time. Also, ya not going mad- people that go mad dont hear noises they hear voices and they presume them as real, your aware you herd a noise and worrying about going mad- typical anxiety attack!

  378. selma Says:

    thank you- candie and fiona. i kind of realized it was a stupid anxiety thing later on….

  379. Andrew Says:

    Hello All! This is my first post. First of all, apologize for my bad english. I was an active follower, take what people said on forum and act as much as possible accordingly. I was suffering with anxiety roughly 2 and a half year, but made major strides in last year when i found this side. It helps me tremendously, and i have no word for all kind people out there. In the last couple of mounts i feel almost recovered, no major setbacks, just some sensitized feelings, and i really thought i’m almost near the finish line. Circa three weeks earlier i have a huge setback, the worst I ever have and it last even more, but my attitude was the same: no questioning, take the normal day activity, and live my life as much possible. I recognize sometimes it’s very hard, but even in my earlier days i refuse to not go out and make the daily normal activity. What is somehow bother me (this is not a battle but some kind of irritation) is the dp feeling, which are intensified in character accompanied by dizziness. But one thing i have observed is even if i’m psychically exhausted deep down i’m somehow relaxed, without no questioning. Is someone who can relate to this? Paul? Scarlet? Candie? Fiona?

    Many thanks for everyone on this great community!
    I really hope that some day i will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  380. Laura Says:

    Hi Guys

    I have gained so much comfort from this website and can now see an end to this – I just have to believe it and not Doubt myself all the time! I have only been suffering with this for about a month (I am 20 and just finished uni for summer) but I can honestly say it’s the worse thing ever! I was starting to feel a bit better but then started having disturbing thoughts that I could hurt people – which I now know is completly normal with anxiety – Again I just have to believe and not doubt myself and think I am that bad person!

    Anyway, just been to the doctors and I feel so Angry! The woman did nothing to reassure me, told me to just take pills (Beta Blockers- but I dont think I will) and told me that people like me will often have a nervous breakdown and become chronic sufferers – I mean what was she thinking?! She could see how distressed I was!! I feel like I know a lot more that her after reading this website and that I am not a horrible person (I wouldn’t hurt a fly) but it is just my anxiety trying to convince me otherwise! And it is doing a good job!

    It’s hard not to feel so totally alone with this, so many people don’t understand this and I feel mad telling people how I feel! But this website is a godsend and I can only hope I build my confidence to beat this! And I WILL!!!

    Thank you!

  381. scarlet Says:


    ” build on your success and strength and you can come through all the way. Its when the symptoms return that you can challenge yourself to see if they bother you. If you find the thoughts and feelings boring and silly and dont focus on them you will soon move on from them.”

    Fiona is spot on. Recovery for me was when I viewed anxiety and my past suffering with intrigue rather than with fear, guilt and regret.

  382. Mark R Says:

    I am going through a setback but I am starting to feel that my mind wants to focus on other things, positive things. I have started my own business part time so I have something to focus on. My head still feels a bit of a muddle and sometimes I can still get quite anxious but these horrible moments pass quite quickly.

    I’d definately recommend a new hobby or focus, although at first you may feel really unmotivated – just think past this and focus on how you will feel in a few months. If you can make money out of it as well then thats an added bonus. If something good can come out of a real crap time then you may not look back on this part of your life with such regret.

    To quote Claire Weekes ‘its as if the sufferer splits his mind in two, the part that suffers and the part that goes forward, with the part suffering gradually receding in time’.

  383. Mark R Says:

    Sorry reading back on my last post it seems quite out of context compared to the rest of the posts, but I just wanted to show people what has helped me over the last month or so.

  384. scarlet Says:

    “To quote Claire Weekes ‘its as if the sufferer splits his mind in two, the part that suffers and the part that goes forward, with the part suffering gradually receding in time’.”

    Mark, this is exactly what happens with time. Congrats on your business.

  385. Mark R Says:

    Thanks Scarlet, its early doors yet but hopefully I want to make it full time in the future.

    Ive woke up with a cold today, so feel a bit a bit extra crud. Im gonna try and not let it affect me though.

  386. selma Says:

    can anyone comment on this- i woke up this morning and the first thought tha tpopped into my head was “i want to die”- then my conscious mind turned on and i though, of course NOT! i want to live and be free of anxiety. but then i started thinking, was this a suicidal thought? amy i now suicidal??? should i tell my doctor about that thought?? i started to really analyze it b/c of the nature of the thought even though it is the LAST thing i want to do. it’s just like i get so tired of the anxiety that i guess i came up with this thought out of nowhere and it totally freaked me out. one of my fears is becoming suicidal so it really scares me a ton. the crazy thing is underneath all of this muck in my brain, i love my life, love being a mom and would never resort to that, even with all the suffering i’ve endured…..just afraid about what keeps us from doing that and waht puts people over that edge. sorry for the intense comment.

  387. scarlet Says:


    I had exactly the same thought whilst suffering. It’s because you took the ‘irrational’ thought further and started to analyse it and the thought got out of control, and you became afraid that your thought might be true if you couldn’t rationalise it in your own mind… Fact is, you don’t want to kill yourself you want to live so very much, but be free of anxiety, which will come in time.

    You must dismiss thoughts like this with a yeah as if” response and take them no further. Many on here will relate to this type of thinking, me included (and for a long time)… Next week it will be a different thought.

    Oh and just to clarify, this is not a suicidal thought, it’s an anxious thought..

  388. Wayne Says:

    Hi all,

    Going through a setback now for the last 4 days, waking up feeling odd and uneasy, unmotivated and worrying about everything. I am trying to live beside this and let it be but it seems harder than the first time it happened. I am now even thinking this could be something else other than anxiety.

  389. selma Says:

    scarlet- i admire you so much. thank you. i am so afraid of going over that “edge” and having the irrational thought become real. just had a long talk with my husband. he thinks me being alone so much is just not a good thing, and i agree. the loneliness/boredom combo. is just not good for my mental space. i try to busy myself with little things but the overall motivation is lacking. he thinks i should go back to work. i’m not sure. i feel sort of defeated as a mother. i was hoping staying home with my child would be enough fulfillment for me. he’s the light of my life, but i need to be well…

  390. candie Says:

    Selma i was just gonna say the same as Scarlet, its deffo not a suicidal thought- a person with these does not go through the doubt you would encounter with anxiety.

  391. Paul David Says:

    Sorry I was a bit late approving some comments from new members to the blog and they have ended up a few posts up, so don’t worry if you intially get a reply.

    I am going up to Scotland on Thursday to try my hand at some more voluntry work, hopefully this time it works out, just going through a split at the minute and it is not the easiest of times, so a little time away will help. The blog wont suffer as I have internet access and when things have all been sorted out I will be back posting more. I will also do a new post this Thursday.

    Thanks Paul

  392. Fiona Says:

    Aw sorry to hear that Paul :-(
    A trip up to scotland might be just the ticket for you. Any idea where about you are going? I was just up at Fort William at the weekend, although i’m a city girl at heart i love getting into the countryside and enjoy a bit of hill walking, didn’t do Ben Nevis this time but did it a few years ago. If you can get to any of the Isle’s you wont be disappointed. If you want any suggestions just let me know
    Fi xx

  393. Colin Says:

    I dont know if you can understand this but im not sure where i am with my anxiety.Ive not taken any tabs since a week before xmas and have been having good and bad days but lately ive been feeling really well and sleeping well. However,and this has been going on for weeks,im not really doing much so im not really going into situations were the anxiousness starts.But i went into town shopping last week and felt some symptoms and again went out last night(saturday) and felt them.But,im on my own most of the time apart from being at home with mum and dad and the real crux is that i dont really feel bothered about anything but im not depressed.I cant really tell if im happy not being bothered or lurking in the background a voice is saying ‘hang on,youre 40+,single and youre doing exactly the same things you were doing 20 yrs ago and people are noticing and talking behind your back’. Apart from this im doing everything i need to do business wise(im self employed) but i dont talk to anyone other than when im selling or buying stuff and although i see women when im out i never speak to anyone so im not taking any chances.On sundays ive noticed i can be happy just going for a walk and watching sport or sky+ but then i start ruminating again;saying to myself ‘i’ll do things differently next week or i’ll talk to that person or even get in touch with someone ive known for a while with the OU and who i chat to on facebook’.Then i start feeling really confident thinking things will change.But then next weekend comes around and i do everything all over again ,exactly the same.I cant seem to do some things for myself.I know if someone is confident they arnt really bothered what others think of them but im not sure that people are thinking that i cant think or do things for myself and then i start getting angry which i think brings on the tension.I hope this is understandable and you can suggest something i could do,maybe theres nothing much wrong i dont know?

  394. Jo Says:

    Sorry to hear your having a bit of a rough time Paul, you’ve given everyone here so much support, if only we could do the same for you!:-)

    Take care,


  395. Fiona Says:

    Hi Laura, you say

    Anyway, just been to the doctors and I feel so Angry! The woman did nothing to reassure me, told me to just take pills (Beta Blockers- but I dont think I will) and told me that people like me will often have a nervous breakdown and become chronic sufferers – I mean what was she thinking?! She could see how distressed I was!!

    I agree that is outrageous and demonstrates the lack of knowledge that your doctor has in the area, especially if she has given you beta-blockers which are next to useless. If you return she will try and give you Anti-d’s my advice is dont go near them, to be honest i woulddn’t go back to the doc at all as they are only comfortable diagonising sore throats, fungal infections etc. You will get all the help and support you need here but you must be prepared for a long and bumpy ride, no one recovers overnight but you can do it quickly if you take on board the information here. Also, thoughts of hurting others are part and parcel. I know they are not nice but they really are just silly anxious thoughts.
    Fi xx

  396. Teresa J Says:

    Hope your trip to Scotland gives you some fresh spirit. I know there is nothing we can do but I do echo other comments about hoping you are ok – you have given so much support to others , i really hope you are getting support too. Best of luck Paul – hope the voluntary work goes well in Scotland.

  397. Wayne Says:

    As I said a few days ago I am now what I feel deep into a setback. I am having the odd and strange feelings, heart palpitations, headaches, just going through the motions during the day, I feel nothing and I don’t feel like doing anything. I am also becoming very emotional again and crying for not apparent reason. I am back to being totally exhausted and thinking of going back to my meds to help me sleep again, I don’t want to but I feel I have no other choice. I know I am better off than 7 months ago but in my next thought I feel I am back to square one. I was making strides with my two little ones but they are now commenting again that “daddy does not look happy”:(

    I am really trying to be positive.

  398. lorryt Says:

    can anyone shed light on this one for me, i have recently felt so good that i have felt that my confidence has returned and i am really starting to look after myself. I have gone on a sensible diet only 3 meals a day and smaller portions than i used to have , but i feel really anxious and my stomach is lurching and i am getting those feelings again. I am wondering if it is really a change in my lifestyle that is prompting my anxiety or i have in the past when stressed used food as my comfort. and maybe the change is what is making feel anxious?….Or even when i was at my lowest i was noteating and maybe teh cut down in food is reminding of a time when food wouldnt pass my lips. i dont know whatit is and i guess i shouldnt care really as i am finally doing something for me after so long of not wanting or caring. just concerned i guess that memory will take me back again?……
    Wayne..dont ever think you are going backwards, it is sometimes so hard to move forwards, but as you said thin kof the positives, you say you know you are better of than 7 months ago, which is a huge step. I can remembersitting with my youngest daughter and crying my eyes out for no reason at all. i have a very close relationship with her and she understands me ( only 6 but old head on young shoulders !). recovery is never in a straight line, i was on here enough searching for answers and reassurance , beleive me i know!.the sleep bit is very hard i understand , whatabout herbal tablets?… i put telly on sleep timer and used to watch it till the early hours and drift off even only for an hour or so. stick with it here though the answers and understanding reassurance you get is unrivalled and really saved my life. it all helps, and no matter how bad things are in your head , they are not real, that is what i had trouble grasping. be positive and it will come eventually without you realising xxxx try and have a good dayxxxxxxxxx

  399. Jo Says:

    Hi Lorryt,

    You say ‘I am wondering if it is really a change in my lifestyle that is prompting my anxiety or i have in the past when stressed used food as my comfort. and maybe the change is what is making feel anxious?….Or even when i was at my lowest i was noteating and maybe teh cut down in food is reminding of a time when food wouldnt pass my lips. i dont know whatit is and i guess i shouldnt care really as i am finally doing something for me after so long of not wanting or caring. just concerned i guess that memory will take me back again?……’

    It sounds like memory is reminding you of how you’ve felt previously which makes you uncomfortable, this is totally understandable, i’ve had this too. But you are still scared of it making you feel this way, Scarlet once said something once about us having setbacks right until the end, and each time us coming through it with better understanding and acceptance. So if the feelings come back accept them, they are another chance to practice the things you know and become stronger.

    Hope that helps.


  400. Laura Says:


    Thanks Fiona! I am so glad I found this website before going to see the doctor, I may have actually believed her!

    Feeling a lot more positive today. I know I can do this. It just these thoughts. Pretty much every time I look at someone (esp my parents -which is the worst!) I get violent and sexual images in my head. It’s almost that I expect myself to think them, so I do! I know these thoughts are just my anxious imagination and I am trying my best to accept that! But I really do not want to carry on thinking these things when I am over this. I’m just scared that I’ve made a habit of thinking like this and now it’ll stay even when I’m not anxious?

    Thanks guys! Have a fab day! xx

  401. Jo Says:

    Hey Laura,

    Don’t worry, you will definately not think like this when you are recovered, and it comes from understanding what causes them and over time becoming de-sensitised. In the end strange/odd thoughts barely register. Your not alone in the type of thinking either, it’s almost like we think the worst possible thing we could imagine about who or whatever our brain latches onto. They’re not important, just give yourself a break!:-)


  402. Laura Says:

    Thanks Jo! I really appreciate your help!

    I haven’t even been suffering with anxiety for that long but I can safely say it’s been the worst period of my life. If we have to cope with thinking the most disgusting and disturbing things all day and carry on with life we must be a lot stronger than we gave ourselves credit for! It’s just so horrible, I didn’t know anxiety could make you feel like this – But I am going to be a better person for this!

    I really do believe I can start thinking positively now, It’s so hard to accept thoughts like this but it is possible! Everyone overcomes this! :)

  403. scarlet Says:


    “But I really do not want to carry on thinking these things when I am over this. I’m just scared that I’ve made a habit of thinking like this and now it’ll stay even when I’m not anxious?”

    Just to reiterate what Jo said, you will not think this way at all when recovered. I had some terrible thoughts about harming my baby, all day in fact, they drove me to despair, but they slowly diminished as I recovered, and now I have no such thoughts, even if a wee thought of this nature enters my head I can dismiss it without worrying at all. So doesn’t matter whether the thoughts are sexual, violent, about harming babies or partners, thoughts about killing yourself or about being mentally ill, or never recovering etc etc….. they are all anxious thoughts and will subside as you recover.

  404. Simon B Says:

    Hey guys,

    I have another question? Why is it that I get angry more easily than I ever did? The slightest thing can irritate me nowadays and make me want to jump and kill somebody. It’s really frustrating me because I can’t seem to relax because when I get angry people start laughing at me and I get even more angrier. Another thing, why is it that I’ve become absolutely obssessed with fighting people all the time? I feel like I have to analyse every little detail of everybody who walks past me and if I could beat them in a fight. Not only that but I’ve lost confidence in who I am. I don’t have that ‘can do’ attitude anymore. I feel like I’m completely inferior to everything and everybody because I’m a short guy. Can you please help me out?


  405. selma Says:

    hi all,
    why do i sometimes feel all mixed up??? like my emotions go hay-wire. i can feel up and down and sideways all at once. like….i think i feel better, wait no i don’t, i feel worse, etc etc. then sometimes i look at my son and i feel like i love him so much and i’m so happy and blessed, but at the same time i will feel so afraid and scared that my anxiety is ruining my experiences with him….any insight here.

  406. Josh Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I havent said anything on here for a while but I still read this site everyday. To see others progress really is encouraging. I’m feel like I am in the 95% category and as I still have problems here and there, they do subside and things do get better and when things are bad it feels more like I am annoyed by it than afraid. I have one strange physical symptom that has been bothering me though and I was wondering if anyone could relate. It seems when my anxiety is bad I see more floaters (the clear squiggly and spotty things that appear in fields of vision sometimes) than usual.And by more than usual, I mean alot. They don’t hurt or anything like that, of course, but sometimes it raises my anxiety. I could be talking to someone and notice something moving out of the corner of my eye and realize its another floater and it will frighten me until I realize its silly to be frightened of it. I was wondering if anyone else has had that before? Should I go to an eye doctor?

  407. selma Says:

    josh, i’ve totally had this. it’s one of those things that if you focus on it, you see it more. i went to an eye doc and he could see the floaters in my eye but they really never bother me anymore. i seem to be on to more things to worry about now! that’s my problem. lol.

  408. chicago jenny Says:

    Hey Josh, I notice that I have more floaters than usual when I’m nervous. My husband who doesn’t have a panic problem complains about floaters when he’s under stress too. Some of my anxiety books have mentioned that specific symptom, so you aren’t alone. Maybe it happens because when we are nervous our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode and we get very sensitive to outside stimuli. When I go to an eye doctor my eyes always appear to be healthy (other than needing glasses/contacts). I know, it is a weird symptom though, isn’t it? Some anxiety symptoms don’t make a lot of sense. I’m noticing the smaller, weirder symptoms of anxiety now that I’ve worked through the bigger ones. Maybe they were always there, but I had the bigger symptoms to deal with at the time.

  409. Josh Says:

    Thanks guys. That was one of the symptoms that seemed to be bothering me the most lately. Its good to know Im not the only one that experiences that. Its true the more you focus on it the worse it seems to get. I’ve noticed the small, strange symptoms the better I get too. I think youre absolutely right, Jenny, about being really sensitive to outside stimuli. I wouldn’t have noticed that when I was at my worse. I guess it would be something like a natural response to fear but having nothing to be afraid of, your brain needs to create a problem to elevate the fear to justify the mind’s reaction to it. I hope that made sense, lol. Thanks again Selma and Jenny. I really needed to hear that.

  410. selma Says:

    anyone have any of the all mixed up feelings?

  411. Josh Says:

    I know I have. There are somedays I’m not entirely sure what emotion I feel but I know I feel something. It actually kind of feels like I’m feeling more than one emotion at the same time. I just feel real confused sometimes. It doesn’t bother me so much when I feel this way now that I know where it comes from but it sure makes me feel exhaused. I think for me it is fighting what I feel with what I want to feel almost to the point of it being a subconscious reaction so of course I would then feel like I wasn’t in control of myself. Now I just say to myself, “this is how I feel now and thats okay”, and with practice it has made it easier to deal with.

  412. Laura Says:

    Thank you Scarlet

    It is so difficult to accept these thoughts. They are all day everyday! But I am getting a little better at dismissing them as anxiety and haven’t yet cried today so there’s an improvement! It’s the little things like that I need to give myself credit for!
    I know the thoughts are anxiety and I know they will go eventually! I just have to stop doubting it!
    Thank you so very much! xxx

  413. Mark R Says:


    In reply to the floaters and stuff with your eyes. I had this years ago when I first suffered and could find no explanation until recently….

    The most plausible explanation for this is that when your mind is anxious it takes more information in through the visual cortex part of the brain……….in simple terms it notices more things in your vision. I asked my optician about these and everyone gets them, you just notice them more because of the anxiety.

    I know exactly what you mean, to me it looks like loads of little flies on a microscope, I notice it more when looking at a white background or the sky.

    Its just another crappy symptom that will fade. Nothing to bother yourself too much really.

  414. Andrew Says:


    Forgive me if I go on a bit of a freestyle ramble, I have been reading this blog but never written any comments on it yet! Just looking at the Scarlets reply to Laura re unpleasant thoughts, I too have had the harm to other and there was a time where I couldnt even pick up a knife the fear that it brought. I must admit that this was before I found this site and Pauls book plus also Clare Weeks who’s advise I use along with Pauls. I have beaten that fear now but am left with others that i’m trying my best to move on from. I have become extremely consious of meat and fish as dead animals and now find it upsetting to eat. I know this sounds really bizarre which of course makes it all the more upsetting!! I try not to stop eating meat because I know that would be avoiding but while I am eating I’m very aware of it, does anbody have any advise on this one?
    It’s sympotoms like this that upset and confuse and i’m very sensitive to the mental illness subject itself, any stories in the paper about people with depression, people committing suicide and I work in a hospital and I get the same feelings when I go anywhere near the psyciatric blocks but it’s like a viscious circle the more /stronger bizarre thoughts are the more I think i’m going mad/will need to be sectioned ect and will never recover. I’m taking on Pauls advise and just get on with things and also Clare Weeks accepting and floating but it’s very slow progress as I find the subject of anxiety/mental health constantly on my mind and the introspection on myself and thought and feelings very difficult to deal with.


  415. Jess H Says:

    Hi Selma,

    I couldnt feel more of what you have described, you are not alone in these thoughts, I feel this most days, although i feel i am nearly there and can go weeks without feeling anything and thinking I have recovered. There are days where everything feels a blur, i have a large mix of emotions, sometimes not even knowing how I feel, i will say I am fine i;ll get through this, then straight away, ill think no i am not this is going to last forever, these usually subside in time as I try to give them no thought. I also feel strange sometimes as if I cannot pin point my emotions and explain how I feel, does anyone experience this??
    Selma my thoughts are with you as I now how u feel and how fustrating this can be!!!!

    I regards to i beleive it was Laura and others re the scary thoughts, i am so glad someone posted re the horrible thoughts of wanting to die, or kill yourself, these have been really strong for me recently and i have been extremely scared by them. I no i would never do this but I can sympathise with the people who state what if they are pushed over the edge, as soon as I say this i think dont be so silly. These though seem to grip me more than anything, I have had scary thoughts years ago about hurting family other etc but these seemed to have gone, its just these new random thoughts that spring up without me even thinking them.

    Any further advise on these, i have read the above responses to posts and am going to copy and paste them to re read if i feel strange.

    Hope everyone is well, lots of cuddles, Jess xx

  416. Laura Says:

    Hey Jess

    I am often feeling like things are a bit of a blur, Especially last night, I lay in bed confusing the hell out of myself! I’m not even sure what I was thinking but I did not feel myself at all, like it wasn’t even me thinking things. But I guess this is just another symptom of it all. I think we just have to stay positive that in time it will go! Our emotions are bound to be all over the place when we are feeling like this.

    Thanks for the reassurance about these horrible horrible thoughts! I can’t believe I even think them, it’s as if I am anticipating them, so naturally I would have them! But they will go! They will! New random thoughts will always spring up, they do for everyone, anxious or not, it’s just the way we deal with them. We must be some of the strongest people ever if we can think awful things like this and still cope with everyday life!

    Have a great day everyone!

  417. selma Says:

    jess & laura, i totally hear you on both posts! thank you for posting. jess, i have totally had those moments. i have a new trick- i fall asleep with the tv on a timer. then i don’t have to just lay there and think and think. it totally helps. jess, i totally have so many moments like this. i have no real advice on how to deal. just i guess know that you aren’t the only one. so much of the time i think I must be the ONLY one on the planet to feel what i feel or think what i think. i still think this actually!!!!

  418. Laura Says:

    Hey peeps

    Just wondered if I could have a few words of encouragement and reassurance?

    I literally haven’t slept for more than 2 hours each night because of these thoughts. I know the thoughts are my anxious imagination but it is really getting to me when I look at someone and all I can thinking is sexual things. It’s awful. Then in bed all I do it go over and over things in my head. I try to reassure myself it is just anxious thoughts but everything seems so much harder at night!

    I’m finding it so so hard to deal with these thoughts. I know you guys have already told me they will go, but they are so vivid in my mind I’m finding it hard to believe. It’s just so hard to cope with everything while thinking this. I think I just need a few good night sleep but my mind is on overdrive!
    Any advice?

    Thank you all! I really mean it!

  419. stephen Says:

    Hi scarlet,

    just have a question that still bothers me abit. I still concerned with my thoughts and how they can make me feel. for example i will feel completely fine and normal, the i will have a random thought about everying thing being too much, not being able to cope, or a little voice in my head saying ‘oh remember u have anxiety’ and then suddently i feel my mood change from a normal one to a hlepless, down/dispair sorta mood, then if i chose to just let it be there and keep on with other things it can sorta go just as quick as it came, or if i think about it, it sticks for awhile and makes me feel bad longer…..Oh and if im feeling bad i get times where i think “nup i will get through this, i can do it” then i feel good, and back to a normal positive mood again, only for another negative thought to pop into my head and drag me back to square one again.

    Did you at all experience anything like this, it just scares me abit. but i guess thoughts dictate how you feel…… thanks in advance, and hope your well :)


  420. candie Says:

    Hi Stephen, i know you asked Scarlet but what u described sounds so like i used to be i thought id answer too! What you are describing is YOU reacting to YOU! Your frightening yourself with your own thinking, just because you think something doesnt mean its concrete reality. I used to do this all the time, even before anxiety to an extent id be negative.

    Example, id be looking forward to christmas then all of a sudden think, well it costs loads of money, will be over in one day, my family dont appreciate it etc etc etc’. I think this is why i ended up with anxiety, that paired with stress. Now adays if i think like that il sort of allow it to be there but distance it from my reality. In other words i wont rumernate on it and then i dont feel the effects of the negative thought, it just floats by- and i stay in the moment. I used to feel elated and happy, only for a negative or scary thought to take me down within seconds.. it was madness but then i read richard carlsons book think its called ‘stop thinking start living’. It taught me to see that my mind can think anything, and in seconds i can make it feel real if i have such a high emotional response pushing it away. So i decided if a thought was to make me feel odd or awful, so be it.. but i was going to try not to rumernate about any thought that entered my mind (dismiss), aswell as if i couldnt dismiss the thought and it felt real i just accepted my anxiety would make everything seem like a big problem when really it wasnt. So i stopped rumernating (trying to figure out the scary/negative thoughts) and if the thought persisted to bug me repetitively i acknowledged anxiety does this- its like its trying to tempt me to take the bait and try figure things out, almost willing me to do so with the promise that if i only figure it out this will all go away. But its the opposite you must do, dismiss and leave it alone.

    By the sounds of it though your doing really well to even notice that you are doing this to yourself with your own thinking, some people dont notice and assume there doomed. You will get to the stage im at eventually, where a negative thought is just a thought and thinking ‘im depressed’ doesnt make you feel depressed. Dont be too harsh on yourself though, even the none anxious folk are at the mercy of there own thinking- thats why many people have issues of anger and resentment.. they rumernate in there mind arguments over and over for days,months sometimes years after the initial argument. So they go round in a bad mood and miserable! There is many examples of this, the mind is a powerful thing and the power of suggestion coupled with an emotional (anxiety in your case) response can make you feel anything if you mull it over long enough. Same goes with the scary thoughts, people think there is something wrong with them, but really anxiety has made them think the worst.. the feeling they get that it might happen and that they have urges is just the mind been sugestive again. I realised this one day when i was listening to music and imagining myself dancing, i got the same feeling like i was almost dancing and my limbs where about to move- although its just the imagination! That day took a lot of fear out of my scary thoughts- sounds mad i know lol

  421. Fiona Says:

    Hi Laura, as you get back to normal your sleeping pattern will return. My sleep is never effected now, if in the past it has been effected i would always get up and go lie on the couch to watch tv or read a book. Lying in bed in the dark is the worst thing you can do. Take your mind off it and let your self fall asleep that way for a while.
    Fi xxx

  422. dee Says:

    Hi all,

    So just been to the hospital and my baby is footling breech and i am booked in for a c section on Monday, have had nothing but anxious thoughts and feelings since am so scared!! I know this is all perfectly normal im sure but i have now got tense headache and churning stomach…. and not only this fear i worry myself that i am affecting the baby somehow by worrying!!!
    I have had lots of reasurrence by friends and family but just feel like this on top of my noraml anxiety i have increased it ten fold and feel like im trying to hold on tight to all my feelings with the fear of falling off the edge?? Does anyone relate?

    So dry mouthed and teary eyed i am trying to remain positive but wanted to post on hear to get feedback from you guys as sometimes not sure whats pregnancy hormonal feelings or anxiety feelings at the moment.

    Does anyone every feel really irritated as like blood pumping through your veins? Hope i dont sound stupid :(

  423. Laura Says:

    Hi Candie

    I realise that post wasn’t directed at me but it was incredibly helpful! Whatever the type of thought and however disturbing, it is just an anxious thought, and you put it really well! – Now to believe it! Thank you. xx

    Fiona, thanks for your advice. The night is always the worse time, and even when you cant sleep it seems impossible to even concentrate on a book or something else! I’ll get there eventually. xx

  424. Fiona Says:

    Hi Dee, how long have you had anxiety for? Im pregnant also but i dont really have much anxiety now (probably speaking to soon LOL). Your symptoms sound more like anxiety than pregnancy related. I’m sure anyone with anxiety has felt symptoms like you have described and are not exclusive to pregnant women. Of course you will be nervous and anxious about the birth of your baby and that is normal but this anxiety should be within a normal level and be mixed with excitment. Unfortunately the fact is you have anxiety at the moment and you just to accept what that throws at you including the way you feel just now. Eventually it will subside and you will wonder how you ever felt so bad but believe me it is a long process and requires patience and commitment to using the information you find on this blog. You will manage to get through as everyone with anxiety always does. Just try and take it easy, realise that this is process so do not expect it to dissapear, shrug your shoulders at how you feel, you’ve felt like it before, plenty of other people have felt like it also and it will improve with time and understanding.
    Keep us posted on how you are doing.
    Fi xxx

  425. dee Says:

    Hi Fiona,

    Thanks for the email, i had my first bout of anxiety about 6 years ago whicjh was brought on by a really bad relationship in was in, it took me about a year or maybe just over to get through it wth support of my family.
    Ten two yrs ago i got into another relationship where my partner told me he suffered with anxiety and was on medication for it. At the time i was unsure as to weather to get into a relationship with him as i was scared of his anxiety and it revisiting me. It has not always been an easy relationship sometimes fuled with stress like most situations but he came off the meds and has said he has had no reacurring anxiety issues where i have had these bouts or waves that come and go. He has often mentioned about me going on meds but i really dont want to as i feel i must try andd get through it without, and touch wood most of the time i can. My pregnancy is one that i am happy with and excited but it has jsut been this last month where i feel overwhelmed and i think this has increased my anxiety levels again??.
    I have had thoughts where i hope i do not pass this on to the baby and have had great comfort in this blog. I can talk to my partner about how im feeling but i think he to can be a little uncomfortable with the anxiety talks incase of a reacurrence on his behalf?

    How long had you suffered and how long did it take you to recover? xx

  426. selma Says:

    Dee, will be keeping you in my prayers. I had anxiety during pregnancy, but not terrible. I had a c-section too. Trust me, once you see that baby, you won’t feel anything but love! I was nervous on the operating table but if I can go through it, anyone can!! I was in bliss with my newborn, and SO SO happyt o just not be pregnant anymore. The end is near!

  427. dee Says:

    Thanks Selma, what encouraging words this site really helps. I am so greatful to have found you guys and all your helpful info.
    How are you getting on with your aniety now? x

  428. Laura Says:

    I am really sorry to jabber on but today I have this new thought that I could create a horrible voice in my head that says horrible things about people I love. I don’t want this to happen but feel as though I am believing it now. It’s stupid! Why do I believe the tiniest of thoughts I have!
    This is just another anxious thought right? I can’t make this happen?!

    Best of luck to the mothers to be! xx

  429. stephen Says:

    Thanks heaps Candie :)

    i might check out that book too, sounds very useful.


  430. candie Says:

    Laura its just an anxiety thought, when i was bad i worried about schitzophrenia and would often test myself with little thoughts and sayings in my head what a person suffering from schitzophrenia would think- i can do it now if i want too (anyone can think anything) but as i dont fear it its not stuck in my mind!

  431. Laura Says:

    Thank you Candie. You have been such a comfort and I hope all is well!
    All these thoughts are so overwhelming and sometimes you cannot stand back and understand them for what they really are. I could spend the next week convincing myself that I am hearing voices, but it’ll only be anxiety!

    I spoke to someone who deals with people who are schizophrenic and said that and what I am suffering is miles apart, complete opposites! So I guess I just have to believe him! I still find it amazing how powerful the mind is! I feel a lot better today and positive about everything so things can only get better!

  432. scarlet Says:


    Noticed your post and will be back in a few days to reply to you… busy with exams this week (not mine, helping my eldest son revise, he’s gotta pass else he’ll be kept back a year).. won’t forget, if I do and haven’t replied in a day or two give me a nod 😉

  433. candie Says:

    Yes Laura, miles apart! Nervous illness can NEVER turn into mental illnesses like that. You are taunting yourself and testing yourself with thoughts that you know a person with schitzophrenia might think. I can tell you though i know someone who has this and they dont suffer anxiety about thoughts, they hear voices and cant tell they are hallucinating. Your doing exactly as i did and id look at my partner, father etc and think something and scare myself. Now if i was to try do that id find it quite funny, as i dont have anxiety to make it seem scary. Can you see that your reaction is because of anxiety, so dont beat yourself up about it :)

  434. Laura Says:

    Thank you Candie! From the bottom of my heart. Your words will really help me through this! I can sometimes see the funny sides to my thoughts too so I guess sometimes I can see it for what it is!! Just thoughts! At 20, I have never felt like this before, and uni stuff must have really been getting on top of me to me to end up like this…But I am trying to look at the positives and believe it will make me a stronger person after all this! I need to stop testing myself and just let myself recover. But a huge thank you for your kinds words! You are a star. xxx

  435. selma Says:

    hi dee, i am doing OK! it’s up and down. i am taking a lot of steps now to help myself. part of that is def. the support from here. i have suffered a lot, but that’s OK. when i am clear, i can see that. i try to ask myself, what am i gaining from this? why am i holding on to this?? those of us with anxiety have very active minds. i know i can’t THINK my way out of it so i try to channel my energy into other things. the other day i washed my car, weeded my garden, washed/groomed my dogs, and cooked all while my baby was napping b/c i decided i was going to channel my nervous energy elsewhere, and it worked. i have to remind myself of that! sometimes my anxiety punches me in the gut, hard. but i have more moments of clarity and joy and peace too. i have also started to turn to my faith in God, although i know this site isn’t about that! i just think that those of us with anxiety are GIFTED. we are intuitive, active thinkers and we must find out our purpose in utilizing this gift. i haven’t figured it out yet, i still have bad days….but i am on my way. :)

  436. selma Says:

    and i know this because today is not the BEST day for me, but i still feel this way :)

  437. selma Says:

    btw, laura- i finally broke down and started seeing a psychiatrist. he is amazing, cutting edge, beyond a genius. the first thing he said to me is YOU”RE NOT CRAZY. he made me repeat it. it will never happen, it’s just not the same thing. it’s an absolute truth. plus, as we talked about it further, he said the crazy people don’t suffer as much as we do!!! and it’s true! some of them are in their own reality and it’s safe for them. for us, it’s torture to be SO overly tuned in. i love him because he thinks i’m me, i’m not a diagnosis. he won’t label me. he empathizes with my suffering and i feel i have a new support in him. he suffered from terrible depression his whole life and is now well. he understands suffering. i trust him beyond the shadow of a doubt that this is not because we’re crazy. i finally can accept that i’m just me, whatever it is.

  438. Laura Says:

    Hey Selma, Hope you are well!
    I was told the exact same thing by my psychologist, who also admitted to being a big big worrier! It is sooo reassuring to hear from you too! It’s amazing the sort of thing your mind can make you think when anxious! I even phoned him up the other night in a state, saying I was convinced I had OCD and so I was going to be anxious all my life – (even though I have no evidence for this or any real understanding of OCD). And he said ‘Well If you can convince yourself that, can you convince me I’m a millionaire too’ – Put it into perspective a little!

    I keep thinking I have OCD (despite never even thinking about it before my anxiety!) and keep making myself think all the things I think OCD sufferers think (ie If I dont do this something bad will happen), even though I don’t really believe it at all. It’s as though I am testing myself, and I need to stop it and just let the thoughts be there.

    Anyhoo, I hope everyone has a lovely evening! xxx

  439. sasha Says:

    can anyone help me on this??

    i dont have any anxiety related symptoms right now..
    But, I do have these unnecessary thoughts that keep repeating in my mind making me feel very negative about situations. realistic thoughts but which becomes negative only when i think about it..if i dont have those thoughts then my mind is free…
    few days when i did not have these thoughts i was free and happy..
    but if a thought manifests then it has no do i deal with it? Hence i am not able to enjoy or concentrate on the things i that also anxiety?…how to ‘convince’ that those are just ‘thoughts’ and does not have to add feelings towards it. it feels so real hence i percieve them to be real. is n’t that kind of anxiety as well?
    it becomes spiralling of thoughts and makes u feel low…
    so how to get hold of my mind not to go spiralling with thse negativities..instead focus on what i want..
    or does this happen to peopl who came out of those horrid anxiety periods…is it the last stage or has it t be treated the same way as any anxiety thots..

    Pls help…anyone who had been through the same…
    I need some valuable suggestions on this…

  440. Mike Says:

    I’ve been making huge progress in recent weeks and
    months. I’ve not been measuring myself, but I have noticed that i’ve had whole days and even weeks almost free from anxiety.

    I’m still getting some physical symptoms, but when I do I do my best to ignore them and they normally pass quickly.

    One thing I’ve noticed in the past few days is that I’ve been getting some palpitations, heart feels like it skips a beat once or twice a minute. At first I attributed it to the anxiety and ignored it, but I’ve noticed I’m still getting them when I’m not feeling anxious. Has anyone else had this, as I would have thought if it was anxiety I should only get them when the adrenaline is coursing! :-)

    I know I should probably go to the docs, but as it was anxiety over a health issue that started all this in the first place, and at 35 I’m too young to be having heart trouble anyway, I’m cautious about doing so.

  441. Laura Says:

    Hey Mike. Great news on your progress with anxiety!
    Just thought I’d mention that I know what you mean with the palpitations. I have had them for while now (or really only noticed them in the past year), which is way before I began to really suffer with anxiety. To be honest I’ve never really worried about them, and I know that a lot of people do have this so you are not alone! But I know what you mean, as though you have missed a breath or something! It’s very odd, but I think I notice it a lot more now I am aware of it, rather than it getting worse. But yeah, I had them before the anxiety and I never really worried about it! But don’t be worried about seeing your doctor if you want to, even just for reassurance, there’ll be nothing wrong with you!

  442. Laura Says:

    Also Sasha, I am going through the exact same at the moment. I have these thoughts that are really getting me down, but with the help of this website I am now beginning to see them for what they really are – your anxious imagination. I know it’s mega mega hard but really just try to stay positive and be confident that you will get over this and it wont last forever. These thoughts cant last forever. Every day when I wake up I give myself the choice – 1. Stay in bed, feel sorry for myself and allow these thoughts to scare me senseless – because that is the worse that can happen, they scare you. They wont come true! Or
    -2. Get up, allow myself to feel rubbish (its not easy) but get on with the day as best I can!
    It’ll get easier over time! Just try not to doubt yourself and be confident that they will go!
    I’ve had the same thoughts for about 2 weeks now. I know it’s not long but I am gradually becoming less and less scared of all of this! I have my rubbish moments during the day, and there is nothing wrong with that, but try to be positive. For me it is these thoughts that are the last to go. I’ve overcome my panic attack fears, overcome my health worries, now it’s just these buggers! But it can be done so hang in there!! xxx

  443. Kate Says:

    Hello Paul,

    I have just recently been shown your site,

    Your posts have been of great help!

    I was wondering if it is a possiblilty that you could write a bit more about how certain foods effects anxiety.

    The reaction the body has whilst a person is eating sugar, and other such stimulants that seem to effects anxiety so much.

    Thank you,


  444. Paul David Says:

    Kate my advice with that is seriously don’t get too hung up on the food aspect and start worrying and checking everything you eat, it’s just another thing to get obsessed about. Just try and eat well without becoming obsessed about it. I tend to eat what I want to a degree and excercise, excercise burns off all the excess adrenalin/stress and gives you another focus in your life.

    Sorry about there not being another post up thursday, I got side tracked with something else. i promise it will be up on Monday :)

  445. Fiona Says:

    Hi Kate, nothing causes or effects anxiety except anxiety….. believe me when you recover you will not give a second thought to the food you eat or possible implications that may have on anxiety. A healthy diet is important for everyone anxious or not but eating burger and chips wont make you anxious….. in fact it might even make you happy :-) I know big bar of choc puts a smile on my face!!!

  446. Patrick Says:

    Hi All, haven’t posted for ages, mainly because I’m recovered now, and have been for about 7 months now, bar the odd blip here and there! Just want to encourage people who may have just found this site, or may be struggling. Believe me, I was exactly the same, I really did not think I would ever recover – I had DP every single day for nearly a year, many days of depression, awful physical symptoms and for many many months, had little interest in anything, and my thoughts were utterly consuming.

    It is true that the day you recover is the day you can live with it – I still had DP, obsessive thoughts, depression but I managed to get to a point where I just carried on whatever, and no longer felt I had to find that elusive “cure”. It is also true that I didn’t suddenly wake up one day, feeling better – It was very very gradual, very up and down, back and forth, I would have weeks of feeling pretty good (still had symptoms but managing to just get on with things), then sink a bit for a day sometimes, weeks other times, then bounce back again.

    For me personally, the hardest thing to get to grips with was the constant thoughts of anxiety – I would wake up thinking about it, go to bed thinking about it, no matter what I was doing, no matter how consuming, I would also be thinking about anxiety. I sort of thought that if I could not stop thinking about it, then I would never recover. When people would say just “let it be”, don’t worry that you think about it all day long – I just could not accept this for months until eventually it did just “click” and I did finally accept that yes, it was OK to think about it 24 / 7! And yes, very very gradually I got to the point where I “enjoyed” thinking about it all the time and yes, once it stopped being a problem to me, it sort of faded, and here I am now, back to thinking how I used to before, in fact better, because I am much stronger now.

    I really hope that gives encouragement and finally just want to thank everyone who helped me – Scarlet, Candie, Nikki, Paul of course and many others

    Take Care

  447. Wayne Says:


    Great to see your post. I am in a setback for 3 weeks now and it has been really hard. Especially the last 3 days when I was away. Every year at this time we go away with two other couples. This is the first time since I realized I had anxiety. The whole 3 days I felt dizzy, odd, DP, off balance. I still did everything we normally do other that going to bed early the 2nd night, 10pm, because I did not want to deal with the feelings anymore. ( I know not the best thing to do) When I woke each morning I felt great untill I ate or starting thinking to much into things. Over the last 3 weeks I am being told I seem distant not focused, which is true. A lot of time I feel nothing. I am still doing the things I normally do but the last week I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to just give up. I was doing well before the setback and I understand this is part of the process but just seems harder.

    Scarlet, Candie, Paul- Have I regressed or is this just an example of 1 setback 2 steps forward?

  448. Wayne Says:

    I meant 1 step back two steps forward….

  449. candie Says:

    Wayne, you have recovered nicely, which is why this seems so awful! I remember at the begining of my worst period of anxiety, i was getting worse.. not better (before i found the blog and recovery), well if i have a setback now it seems worse then it did back then, mainly because its such a big contrast from feeling so well. I can go months feeling well, to have a setback that although isnt no where near the level of anxiety i first experience, it seems worse then ever as im so used to loving my life, been happy etc. My advice to you will be that dont be impressed by this at all, see it as something that is going to make u better- ultimately when you come through this setback you are going to be stronger and your level of acceptance will be stronger too.

    Great news patrick, really pleased for you!

  450. Andrew Says:

    Hi Scarlett

    Just giving you that nudge to reply re my post from a few days ago


  451. simon Says:

    Hi everyone,hope all are well,yesterday i have seen a psychiatry for anxiety and it was a useless appointment i must say,all he did was prescribe medications and even mentioned i will be cured in 6 months if i took the meds,but i couldnt believed him at all so i dint even went to the pharmacy and collect the meds.The only thing that worries me a lot is those physical symptoms such as lightheaded sensation,palpitations and shortness of breathe and as a result of this i saw a cardiologist which then carry out test which all came back normal,but i felt he dint took me seriously as i was only 25 not an 70 years old man.Everytime i went to the doctor they would just say ecg is fine,so ur heart is okay..that is just so frustrating because they are not the one who feel all these physical sensations all day long.I just felt i was misdiagnosed maybe ? should i seek a 2nd cardiologist opinion somewhere ? i just felt the whole hospital were not taking me seriously on my symptoms as they just believe its all anxiety ,and i know anxiety can cause physical sensations but do they last 24/7 ?
    as a result of this i felt i am a hypochondriac now :s…this is just awuful..

  452. Wayne Says:

    thank you so much Candie.

    I still have meds left that helped me sleep I was thinking of taking them so I could sleep, your thoughts? Will this hinder the recovery process? I have not taken them for 3 months now.

  453. candie Says:

    it wont hinder you no wayne, but it wont help you either.. i know its tough but u have to ride it out to see it for what it is and feel well again. Whiles you are trying to sleep to avoid, you are in the wrong mindset- its ok to be glad bedtime comes round if ya having a hard day, but dont run away from this

  454. candie Says:

    Simon, trust me anxiety will make u feel like ur fears are real, and that ur thinking is justified- its not. If you have had all them tests then beleive what they tell you, even if they didnt take u seriously the tests cant lie- if ya unsure have 1 more test but then let that be the last one. Think of it this way, how can u prove something isnt real, if it isnt real? You cant as what u search for is anything to back up your irrational thinking, trying to rule out any possibilities but the only way u can ever be sure is if your fears are true- and clearly they arnt as u never find any proof.. so meanwhile your chasing all these what ifs beleiving your anxious mind that something is wrong and the docs have missed something. What you describe i had plenty of times, i had an ECG and then i beleived what they told me that it was anxiety. However my thinking went on to trick me in other areas and frighten me- because i carried on chasing that elusive answer that didnt exist!

  455. simon Says:

    Thanks candie for the info :)

    Yes,i know i need to accept the test result but its very hard at times when days,weeks and months have pass and you still have those symptoms i think this is the part where i began to fall into the anxiety trick again thinking something else might be causing this symptoms,i also know that by going back to the doctors for more test will eventually cause more anxiety as i wonder if they might have missed out something or misdiagnosed,but so far result of test are still the same,but the what if is very powerful everytime when i had the symptoms such as palpitations and lightheaded then i would began to tell myself what if this time,this time it is not anxiety,…this what if is very powerful it just keep me from progressing forward at times.
    Just wondering during ur times with anxiety do you have those physical symptoms a lot through the day ?

  456. candie Says:

    Simon i did do yes, but there harmless, i was more consumed with intrusive thoughts then the physical- its gone now really but if it ever came back from stress id not be alarmed or worried as that makes it worse!

  457. MLK Says:

    Hey Everyone! I have been doing ok lately..been feeling more anxiety than usual though. I think it might be because my boyfriend has been gone for almost 10 days for a trip. I have been sinking into these thoughts where I think I might have schizophrenia..which is what I did when I was really in knee-deep with my anxiety. I havent thought like this for some time, but I now work at a mental health facility with adults who have schizophrenia..(I know, the irony) and I am starting to think like that again. I guess I am just looking for some reassuring words from someone! Thanks :)

  458. Sarah S Says:

    Hi all

    Only me! I only post sometimes, just for a little guidance as the rest of the time now I’m doing tons better! Why oh why do I get into such pickles sometimes? I tend to start off with something happening that effects me and it seems to snowball from there really and the issues that we all have in our lives that bubble away nicely under the surfact seem to erupt!

    My cycle begins where something/someone upsets me and my whole body reacts even though I think it’s okay, it’s annoying but carry on. Then I’m quiet and people notice along with feeling a little irritated and then the big one comes where I’m not happy and bubbly the way I want to be at home and my little boy and husband end up suffering and I end up feeling so guilty for being short, cross, irritable and basically rubbish. How do I allow my body to react to something/someone but not let it affect my family? I do struggle at this as I already have so much guilty for having anxiety for all those years and feel like I’ve let my son down. Therefore, once I get into this cycle of being snappy with him when he’s done nothing wrong, it’s me, I go from feeling worse and worse and even more snappy, grumpy.

    You wouldn’t know it from above but my progress really is good and I have such good days now. It seems to be some things are easier to improve than others.

    Would anyone have any advice please for me?

    Thank you.

    Sarah xxxx

  459. yolande Says:

    Hi all

    Havent been on here for a while and i have been doing great! i have a question for Candie and Scarlet –

    when you were off your meds, were you able to sleep? I am currently weaning off my meds half only half a tablet for 3 weeks and the pdoc said to stop once they are finished. just a little worried that i might not be able to sleep (altho i know if i keep thinking abt it, then v likely i wont sleep well). but just want to have your advice on this.

    thanks so much!

  460. yolande Says:

    Oops left out something.

    Candie/Scarlet, i am doing so much better now i think i still have the last bit before i reached the frontier. i jsut want to ask, sometimes, in the midst of working i would suddenly feel apprehensive/ restless. i suppose this is normal too? this aug would be 1 yr and i only started to get really better in march this year. still having the lump in the throat feeling sometimes altho i just live with it and the mood is sometimes not so good.

    does this mean i still need more time to reached full recovery when i dont have these symptoms anymore? i find when i think abt my condition, then i wud get some symptoms. i think stress wud sometimes bring on these symptoms, am i right? i think we sufferers become so tuned in to how we feel that we sometimes actually make the symptoms a little worse by focussing so much on it.

    just need some reassurances here. thanks so much

  461. simon Says:

    Thanks candie but for me its the other way round,its more physical but i guess its just due to the sensitised nerves right?

    Yolande: wat are ur anxiety symptoms ?

  462. Teresa J Says:

    Hi All
    Can someone help me out here – I seem to know all things I am supposed to do and have had periods of time where I have ‘accepted’ to a big degree. Over the last couple of months I had a dental problem – it ended up with the tooth extraction. I have completely lost my faith in my own judgement – i know I am trying to force my tooth to heal instead of just being patient. My anxiety keeps horrifying me with fresh problems in my gum and i am frightening myself. I have tried not to give in – I have even been on holidays and been upset a lot of the time. I know that someone without anxeity would not view this the same way –
    I am worried that I will not be able to cope with any health problem I get as I over react so much it makes every normal ‘health’ problem unbearable – completely over the top. I have accepted anxiety feelings and all the symptoms i had with it but now I just seem to have transferred it elsewhere, and even understanding that I am turning ordinary health problems into painful areas through fear is not breaking through . I am almost scared to come on here as I feel I should know better having been told what to do and having done it to a great extenct – I have improved and understood but now it’s like I feel I will be at the mercy of it in another guise. I apologise to those of you who have spelt it all out to me – it’s just that I feel I will never move on.

  463. simon Says:

    Teresa J – trust me i have been there like you before,infact it was last month when i had a really bad cough and flu,running nose,as everyone knows that if you got a runny nose for sure at times you will feel like its hard to breathe normally,guess wat i became more & more worried as days goes by my flu havent got better infact i actually went to the accident and emergency dept because i tought i was not breathing properly and all those dizziness thing which i experienced daily even before my flu started.
    Its very hard when we fear about our health,doctors cant understand us people who have anxiety,so if your tooth dosent heal in a few days time or it got worse i am sure it dosent hurt going back to the dental doctor.
    Trust me i know how it feels,but my case was alot worse,when u worried about your heart..because when you feel your heart racing and dizziness..i am sure a normal person without anxiety problems would have an anxiety or panic right away.

  464. Teresa J Says:

    Hi simon
    Thanks – it is a problem to know when you are feeding the fear by taking notice of it and over reacting. I actually know i am over reacting but I cannot convince myself I am – I have made a decision that I will let myself heal and not go down the crazy road again – but i also have to stop worrying and creating unnecessary problems.
    Re the heart racing – don’t know if this is of any help to you but it is a really common anxiety problem. I had a friend who was back and fore to the hospital with very simailar, he was in his early thirties – it was anxiety but it took a while for him to accept that. I know what you mean about a normal person reacting to such symptoms – they would, but someone without anxiety would then accept the test results and the symptoms and eventually it would fade. Somehow or other – you and me have to say – that’s it, finished – I’m leaving go, there’s nothing wrong and I give up trying to solve something that does not need solving. Hope that helps.

  465. Teresa J Says:

    Patrick – very interesting post, especially where you say you got to a point where you ‘enjoyed’ thinking about it. My thinking about it is driving me loopy at the moment because I know it is creating physical symptoms and then I beat myself up over the fact that if I stopped thinking about it it would go away and wishing it away.
    The funny thing is – I rememebr going back a few years ago I used to get a really strange feeling – i would be really remote and spaced out, and yes one day I was so fed up with it i thought – what’s there be to be scared about this, and I felt quite happy to feel this feeling (a feeling I’d hated) and guess what, it went within hours – I’ve had little reminders but because i felt confident it was not going to consume me and I did not care if it did they have never stayed. Lol.

  466. Simon Says:

    Teresa yes very true,Its ourself feeding the anxiety i know its hard to deal with but it can be done,regarding ur frend yes i also have been to the hospital several times till i lost count of it and yes they told me its anxiety and i went home and was still worried if they miss somthing
    as i was having the symptoms daily so i
    think that they might be wrong.wat u said is true i am
    sure if a normal person have those
    symptoms and test came
    out fine they would just carry on their lifes and
    anxiety wears off but for us we keep on the worries and feed the anxiety

  467. Ant Says:

    Hi Laura, and anyone in the same boat of ‘ i hate the horrible thoughts i have ‘ I havent been here for about 9 months now but i thought i would share my story with you guys… it started almost a year ago with a regular day walking to the gym, suddenly i had a thought of ‘ i cant imagine what i would do if someone where to hurt my little niece in any way’, id most like likely torture them! When bang strangely that thought turned upside down and then became ‘god what if i was to ever hurt her?’ The feelings i felt where awful, jesus why the hell am i thinking this??? After a while i had completely forgot about it but the memories came back of it, then again and then again. The thing i didnt realise was why they were occuring, they had gotten worse, images of really innapropriate things that you would never do and hate the thought of where entering my mind against my will and it literally took over me. I have a fantastic girlfriend and thought, i need to tell her or ask if shes ever had any experience like this.. but god shes going to hate me or wonder what im really like or something. I finally had to do it when id got so egshausted with all the wondering etc that i fell asleep at the wheel of my car with us both inside. So i did, i even cried while telling her as it really was killing me. She to my surprise was amazingly understanding and didnt judge or anything, but it still wasnt enough as these awful images were still coming back and ripping me apart. I had gone from the life and soul of the party, the guy who makes a joke from anything to someone who would hide away in a bathroom and cry. I couldnt believe what was happening. I then did a little googling… disturbing thoughts looking for an explanation and everywhere i looked the word anxiety cropped up.. or ocd also, my hours after work where then literally filled with googling and doing tests on ocd etc. I became terrified of having ocd, i would constantly try to find ways out of anything being wrong with me. Whast i havent mentioned is the fact that when all this began i was under a hell of alot of stress at the time.. stress that i didnt realise, until later of course. I was about to meet my girlfriends parents who where foreign and in a different country, i was in the process of moving, working extra hours to pay for all this and just hadnt realised the toll this was having on me. What i then noticed was that children had become a target for bad thoughts.. and by bad i mean BAD. Things just seemed to go from bad to worse, i was crying 99 percent of the time. I then got to a really dark place there was only one way out, the only thing i could thikn of was not being around anymore. Id gone everywhere in my head, the police telling my mum, girlfriend and everyone id been found, my funeral, the heartache my loved ones would feel that i was gone. Id even looked at my life insurance…. and im only 23. I told my girlfriend that dying now really didnt scare me. Where as before ive always been terrified of it. She became extremely worried for me and conacted my mum, she then arrived and told me and my girlfriend that we were going to stay with her, i knew i had to as god knows what id of done if i hadnt. I booked an appointment at the drs for the next morning and dreaded it, i was going to tell the dr what id been experiencing in my mind. Morning arrived and god was i nervous. Three of us went as i really couldnt face it alone, i was surprised when he just wrote everything down and didnt actually look or sound surprised. He said he would prescribe anti dep tablets due to my state but that he was also referring me to the mental health team as that was obviously the best thing to do. I was signed off work as work was worsening my problem and causing me to sink lower and i went back to my mums with a box of tablets and not much else to be honest. Mainly because i thought how the hell can someone take away these terrible thoughts? Yea you can fix a broken leg but what the hell am i going to do about something in the mind?? Anyway my referal came through a couple of weeks later and i went to talk to a counsellor/ mental health professional to talk about this hell. Again my nerves and dread where overwhelming, so i had the chat and she wasnt taken back by anything id said, i had told her that i had been having pretty constant bad sexual thoughts that mainly involved my neice but that it was also involving any child i would see or pass in the street. She basically told me that this didnt surprise her and that shed heard worse. She spoke with another lady and told me they were obsessional thoughts, which i already knew really due to my constant research! She then refered me to a department that would specialise in this particular area… which iam actually on a waiting list for. I havent had a diagnosis of ocd but its the only thing i can think of that matches up. Present day im better to be honest, the main thing i dont and wont do is avoid my neice or children, i feel that doing so would make things really bad. Im not the person i used to be but i do have hope that i can continue to improve and get my life back. I have had a year of absolute hell and some terribly dark scary times but do feel like im picking up and improving, accepting is massive with something like this. Accepting that its not me whos thinking these things and that i can overcome them, it can be hard but as i say iam improving, its not as dark as it was and i want my life back and will do in time

  468. candie Says:

    Ant what u pretty much describe was what happened to me, regarding my nephew! Now i have a beautiful son of my own, im happier then i was way before anxiety and iv had it over 3 years. I dont fear any harm thoughts, after 2 years of suffering i realised my thinking was normal, my reaction wasnt as anxiety made everything seem important and scary. I couldnt give two hoots if i thought anything perverse or scary now, ul be suprised what the none anxious folk think- they just dont have the anxiety part in the brain that scream at you DANGER- making u think the thought is worse then it is, so then u have more of them. Honestly your recovery sounds like mine, give it another year and ul be happy as larry again and baffled as to why you ever took your thinking seriously- i cant fathom why i was ever so scared before now, alls i know is because i had anxiety my response to an everyday normal thought exagerated and turned on me because i was anxious.

  469. Sandeep Says:

    I’ve gone through several weeks of good and bad in the past few months now. On reflection, I’ve come to the simple realization that everytime fear creeps back in, I have bad times and when I’m able to convince myself that there is no fear or that I dont care, the good times return. This may sound obvious but I express this b/c its interesting to observe and I guess is part of overall recovery. The fear can be of long term harmful effects or even of just feeling crap all the time. I have not been able to lose the feeling of fear consistently although I would venture to guess that I’m making progress by not fearing or not caring for some short periods of time. Would welcome perspectives on the above.

  470. Sandeep Says:

    Anyone know how to relieve constant lump in throat all day long? Thanks.

  471. Scarlet Says:

    Hi Andrew,

    “I have become extremely consious of meat and fish as dead animals and now find it upsetting to eat. I know this sounds really bizarre which of course makes it all the more upsetting!! I try not to stop eating meat because I know that would be avoiding but while I am eating I’m very aware of it, does anbody have any advise on this one?”

    Andrew, nothing sounds bizarre to me 😉 to get over this fear of meat, dead animals (or any other fear you may have) you have to continue doing what you fear (in your case continue to eat the meat), do NOT avoid eating anything if it’s fear stopping you. I have mentioned before that I read about an American guy that was an expert in phobias and he said that to get rid of a phobia (which is basically an irrational fear), you need to do the thing you fear about 15-20 times, for it to disappear. I had many fears whilst suffering anxiety, and looking back, I’d say 15 times is about right. My advise to you would be continue with your meat eating regardless of how you feel, and in time the analysing will stop. This is the case with any fear, whether it be crossing the road, being in social situations, using knives, bathing your baby, you must immerse yourself in the situations that are fearful to you to recover.

    “It’s sympotoms like this that upset and confuse and i’m very sensitive to the mental illness subject itself, any stories in the paper about people with depression, people committing suicide and I work in a hospital and I get the same feelings when I go anywhere near the psyciatric blocks but it’s like a viscious circle the more /stronger bizarre thoughts are the more I think i’m going mad/will need to be sectioned ect and will never recover.”

    I felt exactly the same, was hyper-aware of crimes committed by those who were depressed, convinced myself that in an irrational moment, I would be like them, but I never was. It was never within me, something inside me told me that these were irrational thoughts, and with the help of this site I began to see that thoughts are just mere thoughts, nothing more. You can do this as well Andrew. Now you have found this site you are well on the way to recovery, there’s a wealth of information in the pages which will help you recover.



    “I havent had a diagnosis of ocd but its the only thing i can think of that matches up. ”

    Just to say, I was the queen of obsessive thoughts, did I have OCD?, absolutely not!!! I had anxiety due to some adverse circumstances I found myself in , and obsessive thoughts are part of anxiety. Like Candie says, a year down the line when you start believing that thoughts are nothing more than ‘thoughts’, you will be in different place than you are right now. Thinking the way you do has become a bad habit that needs breaking that’s all, you are not mentally ill.

    Don’t know if you ever read, “Stop Thinking, Start Living” by Richard Carlson, on Ebay you can get it at a bargain price of a few quid. Best book I ever bought…..

  472. Andrew Says:


    Many thanks for the response, I will follow your advise and info on this site, I have to admit I am much better than I was a year ago, I have also been using clare weeks material as well, I suppose its the fueling of anxiety by being constantly aware (and all the negative things that go with it, the label, the stigma ect) that I have it that keeps me in the loop but hopefully now I can start to break it.


  473. Sandeep Says:

    Scarlet – I’ve found myself in a pattern over the past few months. I’m wondering whether you can shed any light into whether I’m making any progress based on your experience. The pattern is: I suffer a setback and find myself unable to accept, I then revert to focusing on the present to stop thinking so much about anxiety which I do all the time in setbacks, after a couple of weeks, my mind becomes a little more resilient to accept and then I’m able to until the next setback comes and hits hard and I’m unable to again. This has happened about 3 – 4 times over the past 3 months now. Thanks.

  474. Ant Says:

    Hi Candie and Scarlet, Just want to thank you both for your replies. I only diagnose myself as ocd because i read that its diagnosed when the thoughts last longer than an hour a day and cause you distress. Its strange too that i remember saying all the time to my girlfriend and mum, im a little different to an ocd sufferer as i dont fear anything.. i dont fear that i will do any of these terrible things ( sexually abuse a child etc ) I was just awfully upset that these images were occuring and wouldnt leave. However after saying this ‘ im not affraid im not affraid’ for so long i then started to get those questions such as ‘ ohhh, could i really do something like that’? Its like theres two parts of your brain speaking, a part that throws a horrible image at you or question, then the real you who becomes upset by it. It does hurt sometimes when im playing with my neice, shes 2 and a half and before all this crap she had kinda been an obsession to me, anywhere id go id find something to buy for her, love her to bits and could literally just watch her all day. So i do get heartbroken when i feel that its all been taken away from me. I say to myself and girlfriend at times that i cant imagine a life without these thoughts. Thankyou again and please do reply, nice to hear from you both and anyone else who can relate

  475. Ben Says:

    I seem to be right in the middle of another setback again and was after a few words of inspiration/advice. I’ve been following the advice on here now (or trying to) for the past year and a half and although I have had spells of being anxiety free I keep getting these setbacks. I am just wondering if it is nromal to still be experiencing these setbacks a year and a half on or maybe if it is down to the fact that I am putting pressure on myself to recover within a certain time frame. I have no doubt the lessons I have learnt from here have helped, I am just wondering if I am doing it right, or maybe if I am not still truely accepting ?

    Has anyone else found this or been through a similar situation ?


  476. candie Says:

    Ant iv feared i will do many things, yet i dont consider myself OCD, i think OCD is when a person gets anxious if they dont control a situation e’g hand washing etc.. i know someone who is OCD and she experiences anxiety from NOT doing compulsions, i experience anxiety from rumernating which is the total oposite really. It is part of the ocd spectrum, but iv never classed myself as it as i get anxious then obsessive, i feel better for not following my compulsion to rumernate, and ocd person will feel worse if they dont do there compulsion initially then eventually better. I think iv thought every intrusive thought in the world at one point, but im over it now and mine lasted over 3 years.

    Ben, these setbacks are coming back as you need to relearn something till you are practicing it all the time. We have setbacks to learn us to overcome our fears and accept our anxiety.

  477. Mark R Says:

    ……..Just an update really. Ive been feeling loads better lately with anxiety at the back of my mind and me….well, living basically. Ive started a business restoring laptops so ive had this to focus on and ive felt more positive.

    Felt a bit down today, got a bit of a crappy situation at work which has made me tense and uneasy – so i cant really concentrate. Ive found myself questioning things all over again today after feeling really self concious. I know if i had a better state of mind I could handle it better but i can feel the tension and the symptoms.

    Just trying to accept the situation and move forward towards recovery again.

  478. Ben Says:


    When you say I need to re-learn something. Do you just mean that I have forgot the art of acceptance and slipped back into my old ways a little ?

    It’s funny, when I had a good few months of feeling better. It wasn’t a case of it being a big relief, it just didn’t seem important anymore which I guess is acceptance. Maybe I’ve just lost my way a little and started to become afraid of it again ?


  479. candie Says:

    Yes ben, during recovery we slip back now and again, but each time we move forward from this we are relearning not to- and we seal our recovery by going through this as in time they become less scary and more ‘oh its u again’ rather then been a complete nervous wreck.

  480. Sandeep Says:

    Candie – may I ask you a question? Each time I hit a setback, I find myself applying a new tool to get out of it b/c the whole reason I hit the setback was b/c whatever I was telling myself stopped working. For instance, there are times when I tell myself there’s nothing I can do but accept, other times I tell myself I’m not scared and yet other times, I bring myself to the present when I feel anxiety. I know these are variations of the same theme of acceptance. Am I making progress by changing around what works? Did you find yourself doing this too? Thanks.

  481. candie Says:

    Sandeep i think you are arnt changing your method, more relearning it again and again till its ingrained. Everything you describe is dismissing your fear, so your just learning how to gradually do that more and more- that i did and still do yes :)

  482. Sandeep Says:

    Thanks Candie.

  483. Sydney Carton Says:


    I know how many people are grateful to the wise words which are contained in your book. I feel I must add my own personal thanks as it helped me so much during a recent mental crisis caused by a lengthy period of stress. I have suffered from anxiety on and off for many years with the odd bout of depression thrown in. The good times are good and the bad times unimaginable to most people. Just a tip, I would recommend that ‘sufferers’ keep your book by their bed ready to dip into should early morning anxiety/panic be a problem. I have found too that at other times re- reading certain passages which are applicable to my state of mind on a particular day has helped me enormously. I have had four good weeks since my crisis waned but from nowhere a sudden setback has occurred accompanied by my old friends DP and DR . Note to self – back to Paul,s book and the usual coping stategies and plod on as if nothing is amiss – Apparently, I am known (and loved) for my sense of humour which goes to show you can fool most of the people all of the time. Thanks again Paul PS Although I am over 60 I am determined, like all your bloggers, to one day attain complete recovery

  484. brenda Says:

    This is thefirst time i have come across this site. My problem is early mornings. I wake frightened every morning. I know i am frightening myself but I still do it and feel really bad as a result. By early evenings I relax and let go but next day I repeat the same mistake, it’s driving me mad as I know I am doing this to myself. I live by myself, I am over 60 I wonder if anyone has any tips on how to change this I have tried everything I can think of sometimes it works sometimes it does not going through a horrible patch at the moment after making good progress

  485. Jason Says:

    Just wanted to give a big thank you to Paul, the book has been very inspiring and extremely helpful, I am 21 years old, and since i was 14 i had constant worry and panic disorder, and worst of all i was repressing these feelings, and avoiding them! However since i came across your book. I feel like a new me has been born, i feel so rejuvenated and my anxiety is slowly but progressively dissolving.
    I’ve started going gym and i feel amazing, my brain feels relaxed. This journey has been hard for me, but i take every little step slowly, slowly, and i can see the difference and i feel like life is AMAZING again!
    Thank you again Paul!

  486. Jason Says:

    Thanks for all your help Paul, your book has been very inspiring for me!

  487. Jess Says:

    Hey ANT if you still check theses blogs, i wenth through the eact samething about my baby sister (shes three) sacred the life outa me. Im getting better now to learn to let these thoughts come and go, and im doing alright. I don’t get the pangs of adrenalin now every time i see her or any child. I just let the thoughts come in and sayto myself bring it on anxiety! Just thought i’d let you know you are not alone, just thought id let you know as that was what used to scare me most.



  488. Sophie Says:

    I have noticed all these posts are fairly old.. but a also very true.. I have only recently realised i am not the only one and there is help thats doesnt involve doctors and pills etc.. this post has helped me alot, as does all of pauls explainations.. etc.. but im terrified of returning to college after a panic attack i have had there leading me to flee from the classroom, because of thinking everyone is staring and talking at me. I am so worried of what they think of me im afraid i wont be able to overcome any anxiety feelings im going to get when i return, does anyone know of anything that could help me over come this ??
    Thanks, soph

  489. Paulina Says:

    Hi Candie, Scarlet and Paul, and everyone else! 😀

    I was just reading older Posts.. specially the one from Patrick from June 17th. and I do also find so hard to think about something else but my anxiety that started about two or three months ago after some panic attacks starting in June. I have starting to the grip of this funny “companion” that seems to be around 24/7.
    One last thing.. I have started to notice that if I sit in a classroom or in a conversation my head will just be in the anxiety conversation.. Sometimes is like repeating the advises i read from the book or the posts. or sometimes is like I am giving myselg advice …. weird i know..
    Anyways, when this happens i start to feel “funny” like not totally me, but with d.p. i guess yo can call it.
    Any thoughts? or what to “not to do” in these cases.

    thank you again for your great support.

Leave a Reply