Anxiety success stories

As promised here are some success stories gathered over the last year or so, I get many of these sent to me through emails or people post them on the blog and I think they are a great way to inspire others.

I recently added a few to the book and here are a small collection of them. I was going to try and paste them in here, but the blog does not take kindly to pasting and it messes all the fonts and layout.

I have also added an ex members story Tarmo who suffered with depersonalisation and came through. He offered to write a piece for the chapter on depersonalisation in my book which was very well written and may help others.

Also I have added a new page on the site Entitled advice for family/partners. This is just a section to help partners help and understand better what their loved one is going through.

Click the links below to go to the relative pages

Success stories

Anxiety success stories

Advice for family and friends

Support from family and friends with anxiety

Tarmos story of recovery from Depersonalisation

How I overcame depersonalisation

Hope that helps some people

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

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

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

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510 Responses to “Anxiety success stories”

  1. Sam Says:

    Thanks so much for this Paul (and all of your other work).

    The best advice you give is to stop being so concerned with one’s own symptoms, feelings, etc., and if I may, I would like to supplement this by saying that one wonderful way to do so is to try to volunteer or otherwise help others. This not only makes you feel good that you are being productive and helping others, but it also shifts the focus away from oneself, which actually helps with recover (as you so simply but brilliantly described in your book!).

    Good luck everybody.

  2. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sam that’s a great idea and something I did. I also looked after myself better which I found a great help. Just to add to your point we can seem to get dragged back into ‘caring how we feel’ , ‘monitoring’ ‘trying to fix’ ‘trying to work it out’ and sometimes doing nothing is the best tonic and gives that tired mind the break it needs.

    You don’t have to ignore the fact you have anxiety, just go with it, if you feel tired and laboured, don’t try to not feel tired and laboured, if you feel a little odd or detached, don’t try not to feel odd or detached, that is truly going with the flow and not resisting. It’s the endless days of trying to fix it that keeps people in the cycle. Sometimes it’s best just to let the subject go and move on with your day.

    Paul

  3. Ron Says:

    Hey Paul

    I know you are busy but just wondering if you could sometime take a look at my post at the end of the last blog “Changing your attitude”. I just need a little help and a kick in the butt to just trust and accept. Thanks.

  4. Paulina Says:

    Great stuff in here Paul!. Thank you so so much!.

  5. SI Says:

    Paul,

    Got to say I realy didn’t think you could put anything extra onto the site to give further encouragement…. but how wrong I was !

    Just read the new section on success stories and the one regards depersonalisation is so so true and interesting. I now am happy that I am at the stage of accepting (albeit wonders from hour to hour) but yes, this person basically found no fun, infact found fear in what he used to enjoy. This is so me, or should I say was so me a few months ago. Im holding back a few tears (of relief) nowing that I am actually on the right path (I THINK), I still feel I am trying to do things to make me feel better and I guess this is gonna be a hard habbit to break, because we all want that.

    But just to put this in perspective from my point of view, I went up my loft at the weekend with my 5 year old and sang on the karaokee, I didn’t have a care in the world (apart from worrying who could hear me :) ), and then today before I came out to work I went and had 30 mins at the gym, this was a scary place for me only because the symptoms of physical exersice is someone similar to anxiety. BUT I DID IT and I am going again tomorrow.

    Again thank you so so much for all this help!

    What I also want to get across to all the new people as they come on this site, is that this is not a £200 a session, listen to all these mind CD’s, get better in 28 days scam…. THIS IS A REAL PROGRAM, it’s about adjusting you attitude and liviing despite how you feel

    Cheers Mate!

  6. Graham Says:

    Hello All,

    It’s nice to see success stories in any area of life, especially in an area that has caused me and others in here rather a lot of grief over the past couple of years – and some a lot longer.
    In my mind, every day now is a success story for me – I live life. I take each day as it comes – no expectations, no disappointments. I don’t pander to what I assume is some form of anxiety syndrome. If I suspect my mind is trying to trick me into some new negative belief I just smile, tap on it and remember my subconcious doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination, so let’s feed it with at least a humerous thought. Got enough problems in the real world, thankyou:-)
    Now don’t run away with the idea that each day is a doddle. Some days life is lived through horrendous clamping headaches, jangly nerves, nausea, screetching head; some days are are almost ‘ordinary’. However, if I benchmark myself back 12 months, although most days are still horrible, both days and nights are not the pits like they once were – grounds for optimism, methinks. For instance, in recent weeks, after a loooong bout of interrupted sleep each night, I’ve been sleeping for England. Wow – I can literally feel my body and mind healing.
    I suppose ‘healing’ started when I eventually acknowledged the fact that what I have is emotionally based with physical symptoms and not physically based at all – which lets me banish all those tricks of the mind. And believe me, that took a lot of doing initially and still tests my mind almost daily as that clamp tightens itself around my head. No suprise, this was when my GP and his pills gave up on me and I took responsibility for my own condition. I won’t bore you here, but a series of events has occurred over the past 18 months that actually makes me wonder if I have been given this condition (by whomever) for a reason – or to put it another way, whether the Universe has provided it for a reason. Two years ago I’d think myself a nutter getting involved with things I’m interested in today:-) I’ve not done anything special to get this far – just followed Paul’s advice, read a bit of Claire Weekes – face, accept, float and time’s a-passing. Fairly recently, I have been applying regular EFT techniques which work wonders for me as they straighten out emotional blockages very, very quickly.
    Lastly, since being given this condition and chatting to friends about my ‘duff head’, I’ve discovered that two of them thought they were at death’s door when they were younger. One was wheelchair bound for a time and the other could hardly walk – neither was ever diagnosed with any physical problem at all. Both worked it out emotionally to total recovery. Both assure me that one day I will ‘pop out’ the other side. They are now spritely 65 ad 74 year olds. That is encouragement to us all!!!

    Cheers.

    Graham.

  7. Sera Says:

    Any stories from people who are in a more advanced stage of his/her recoverys?

    Thanks to all the contributors, these are very valuable stories, but it’d also be wonderful and much appreciated to hear from someone who’s past the learning process, who’s been through the entire journey from start to finish, is perhaps several years past this & can look back at the whole experience in a different light.

    Still, thank you everyone who contributed and shared your stories. :)

    Good luck to every body,
    Sera

  8. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Great story that Graham and a brilliant and correct attitude to how you feel with no expectations or demands, I always say those who can look back and say how far they have come have developed a totally different attitude.

  9. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Quick note, there were a couple of spelling/grammer issues on the advice to family page that are now sorted out. If anyone reads anything on any page on the main site and spots something then do let me know. I do put them through spellchecker but mistakes still happen.

    Paul

  10. evelyn Says:

    hi all:)
    just wanted to say that after a couple of weeks of feeling ok, i experienced super thick d.p.
    which felt really bad, even my own husband seemed weird to my eyes.. i started questioning things like is that really my husband? he even looked cartoonish? has anyone experienced this?? well anyway, anxiety started bluffing at me, and i was starting to fall, so i was suppose to go to the gym that day, and i didnt want to go anymore, but i once read that you have to go against anxiety, so i said come on evelyn lets do this.. so i went, i felt really odd and strange, everything looked dreamy like at the gym, but i said oh well, who cares, when i got home i felt much better:) i was really happy that i went and ignored my anxiety, because it has robbed me soooo much that i will not give it another second of my life, im not recovered, but im pleased to say that not fighting it makes it a bit better!!!

  11. James Says:

    Just read the success stories, they are really good! I’m looking forward to adding mine one day :)

    It was interesting to read in Maria’s story about that we must “feel” the anxiety to recover. I believe this, and it is something I struggle with. I seem to always be rushing, thinking, or doing anything to avoid just stopping and feeling how I feel. I resist my feelings no end. I just don’t seem to be able to slow down and *feel* how I feel.

    I am slowly getting back in to the real world though. Has anyone here started an easier, less responsible job compared to the one they were in when anxiety struck? I have been out of work for 2 years as a result of anxiety, and am not inclined to go back into the work I was doing before. I feel I need something less stressful, and “lower profile”.

  12. jessica Says:

    Excellant stories paul… and many things that i can relate to!
    Im doing fab at the minute and i want to again thank you for all your hard work. You truly are an inspiration.

    Take Care

    Jessica

  13. natalie Says:

    hi james
    its fantastic that you are looking to go back to work after a period of time off, i can vouch for the fact that you can and will do it, as i was off for eight months and finally bit the bullet and and went back .. but like you wanted to make sure that i did not take on too much to soon and asked for a less repsonsible role and less hours, this way i could manage the anxiety better and it worked obviously at first it was difficult as i had so many doubts but i just carried on and told myself it was ok, and now feel very comfortable at work and even enjoy it, its not something i dread and helped alot with my confidence. you might find that the closer it gets to startinng work the more you may doubt yourself .. dont let this bluff you, seek support from here or any close families and friends just remind yourself that there is no reason to feel scared nothing will happen to you, the only thing you are afraid of is not the place or the people but the sensations “you think” will happen that you “think” are being caused by your enviroment.. but its not the enviroment but you that is creating them, because you have sensitive nerves at the moment, but the more to feel the fear the less it will concern you not nice but not going to do you any harm, they will settle down in time you just have to remind yourself of this fact! and well done you for even thinking about returning it shows you have turned a corner and now want to start to live your life again !!!!

  14. Jo Says:

    Hi James and Natalie
    I just read ur posts about going ack to work, I’ve been signed off work for3 weeks now, and am gojn to go back to work next week, it was very reassuring to read ur posts, as Ive been worried about going back to work, as I have only been in the job for 3 months, and have been worried I’m gonna lose my job, if I don’t go back, and I’m worried what people are going to think of me as I’ve been off for a while. I know it’s just my anxiety causing these feelings but i seem to be having hard time convincing myself it is just that.
    I’m sure I’ll be ok once I get back Into the swing of things, but was also good to read ur posts.
    Thanku Jo xx

  15. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    James says: It was interesting to read in Maria’s story about that we must “feel” the anxiety to recover. I believe this, and it is something I struggle with. I seem to always be rushing, thinking, or doing anything to avoid just stopping and feeling how I feel. I resist my feelings no end. I just don’t seem to be able to slow down and *feel* how I feel.

    Maria’s point is a very important one, I also thought I had to not feel it to be free and wasted years going round in circles trying to get rid of anxiety, it’s only when I gave in and allowed myself to feel it that I began to feel free, without resistance we give up the battle.

    Why do we resist and try and fix when we are told to do the opposite? It’s a natural instinct that drags us back into these habits.

  16. Si Says:

    Paul,

    Got a question regards what you’ve writen above. Its really about habbits and not fighting and is something I am not grasping too well. I’ll try to explain it best I can, hope you can direct me to where I am going wrong.

    Firstly I don’t get the anxiety symptoms anywhere near as bad as they where, yes when I am stressed with day to day stressors I feel them, but I am ok with these, these don’t really scare me because I know what the cause of them are. However, getting anxious symptoms over something as simple as going out (which I loved to do) is scarey, but again I go with it and I am ok with it. But what about the low mood and depression?? If I just let it be surely it becomes a habbit and one I want to break. So regards to low moods (depression) how do you not fight it?

    Do I “ACT AS IF” I don’t have depression, do I put on a brave face and try to enjoy life and trick my mind into thinking I am ok with this feeling?

    Sorry if it’s all a bit confusing, Im sure (well I hope) you know what I mean.

    Thanks
    Si

  17. Rosemary Says:

    Si

    I understand you completley. I dont get the anxiety adrenaline body shocks or feelings of anxiety like Im climbing the walls. If I have to go out, I go out,infact I WANT to go out. It doesn’t fill me with fear or dread however I have this low mood I feel numb and empty some of the time,like I have nothing to look forward to and I ask myself whats the point in anything, everthing is such a rut and a chore it all feels like such a low horrible feeling and I feel it must be depression and then I get caught in my head thinking is it anxiety, is it depression, what if etc.. Dont get me wrong, I have loads of laughs and fun along the way but when I feel that low numb feeling it just wont stop and makes me feel really crap. What a challenge this thing is. Looking forward to reading some answers if you get some. SMILE

  18. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Si & Rosemary – Scarlet wrote the following on the previous post on 2/27/11:

    “For me the depression was the last to go, and to be honest it lingered a while, that and the numb nondescript feeling. I promise it goes if you continue what you have been doing. Low mood is just another learned habit that takes time to overcome, and you do this by living life as you did when you didn’t suffer anxiety/depression. Try and interact with other folks whenever you can for a bit of brain retraining back to regular thinking, even if you can’t concentrate 100% and revert back to inward thinking it doesn’t matter. Imagine you are chipping away at a brick, each time you socially interact you are chipping away a bit, each time you engage yourself in work, hobbies, watching a movie you are chipping away, reading the newspaper, listening to music, anything to stop the inward thinking you are chipping away. Eventually this new way of thinking (or old as the case may be) takes over. Accept that depression is part and parcel of it all and know that this too shall pass in time.”

    I found it very helpful. Once I stopped obsessing about the depression and just go back to living, focusing outward, it has been much better. Is it gone yet? No, but I’m okay with that. I had four better days in a row and then yesterday found myself feeling fearful, having scary thoughts, waves of depression & fear, etc. But kept on throughout the day and didn’t allow it to get me down. I’m just really trying to change my attitude and let it all be okay, no matter what I may think or feel. We can do this! Believe!

  19. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Scarlets advice as usual is very good, but I do have a different view to Scarlet on that depression is a learned behaviour.

    Anxiety depletes us physically and emotionally which can leave us feeling empty or drained, we feel so flat and emotionless. Also we lose a lot of confidence through suffering, be it not being able to once do what we could or we find social situations harder or just the fact that are mind is less clear and conversation can become a chore.

    One last point is that people who don’t normally suffer with anxiety or depression can find themselves depressed if their whole life comes tumbling down around them, which is what anxiety sufferers find, life just seems so hard and motivation is low with little to look forward to.

    I felt awful, I found it hard to socialise and function, I found just getting through the day a chore in my worst days. Anxiety crushed my spirit, it robbed me of so much, so is it any wonder I felt so depressed? I knew when I came through that the depression would lift, emotions came back bit by bit, i remember the first day I smiled without it being fake, I remember the first time I actually looked forward to something, bit by bit the old me came back, I did not force or fake it, I just took each day as it came.

  20. Michelle Z Says:

    Love it, Paul! That makes so much sense. I have lots of times when I actually smile – a real smile – but it is a slow process and there are times I slide back. And times when it is a chore to be nice or to smile. But I am finding that if I make my best attempt to do so, even when I don’t feel like it, that I start to feel better. And the thing that I am ever so slowly learning is to follow as you teach and just live my life each day with paying as little attention to the scary thoughts, or the depression, or the physical symptoms, or the waves of fear/low mood – and just go on. Do my best to not add fear and, little by littlem I am feeling better. Last week, I had the worst week ever and it was in large part to the fact that I first allowed the initial feelings of fear and fear of thoughts to excerbate and I was back big time into feeling petrified and like I was never going to get better. And then the depression came big time and then I was obsessing about the depression. So when I finally began to accept even the depression and to live alongside it, I began to feel better.

    What you teach is amazing! I went through this very expensive program last year that was supposed to help me overcome anxiety and depression. And, honestly, I just couldn’t get it and wasn’t feeling any better. However, your teaching, including the way you share the information, just hit home with me and for the first time in many months, I began to slowly see my way out. I know I’m not there yet, but I am beginning to believe that I will recover and am so grateful to you and those that come back to share their positive thoughts with us. God bless you!

  21. natalie Says:

    Hi Paul xx

    i love the new success stories esp marias as it makes so much sense. but i am wondering if you could give me a little bit of your advice as i am in a set back at the moment.. again it is an issue with my parther and all the hurt and thoughts of maybe hes making me worse maybe if we were not together i would get better what if i stay and his lack of support makes me loose confidence all the time causing me setbacks.. in my mind at the min he is the enermy so to speak and yet i also know i love him and that he is still here with me despite all the stress of this.. maybe his anger towards me sometimes is because he struggles wiith how i am as for the last few months when we have rowed he has been very understanding and calm and accepting of me.. this is going round in my head all day and causeing major fear and panic and deep down i know that all this thinking is doing me no good as i have such an emotional reaction to the thoughts.. i keep telling myself to jsut leave it as i cannot think straight when i am like this and it will sort itself out in time when i can think clearer ..any help would be much appreciated plse xx

  22. Interestedoz Says:

    Hi Paul – thanks for the stories.

    I really can identify with Tarmos. This is what I have experienced for the last 17 years. When you have constant fear, it takes away the ability to enjoy things you normally enjoy. You feel like a different person who only feels fear 24/7. I have lost my enjoyment of music as well.

    I have been practicing acceptance for the last 2+ months. Feeling the feelings and accepting. Have had a few moments of feeling ok here and there, but mostly just the same – constant feeling of fear and dp. Maybe you could do a blog post for people that feel constant fear even while they are accepting? It can be hard to keep going when you don’t see much initial progress – even after some months. Thanks man – great program and site!

  23. dee Says:

    Hi all can anyone tell me what there thoughts on CBT tharapy is and if anyone has had it?

    Thanks alot

  24. Si Says:

    Hi Dee,

    I’ll give you miy take on CBT.

    I had CBT just over a year ago, I had 16 sessions and fortunatly these were paid for by my employer (Thank goodness) however…..

    And yes there has to be an however!

    It made me more anxious, and until reading Paul’s book I didn’t understand why. But now I do, I was anxious to get better and so when I used to go to these sessions, one week feeling good the next feeling bad. So everytime I saw the therapist whilst I was in a good mood, she was delighted I was getting there!!, but when I was in a low mood, she made me question what was causing this. She got me to write 5 pages of my life in stages of say 5 year intervals, good things and bad things and then suggested that maybe I wasn’t loved enough by my mum and I was just a people pleaser.

    Now all well and good but you have to ask yourself… “SO WHAT” how the heck can i change all that? Unfortunaty it meant writing down my negative thoughths and putting a more positive answer to it…….. I could go on and on and on but in short my experience was I thruly belive this hindered my recovery based on what Paul says we should do and thats to stop questioning and analysing – so CBT in my opinion has a negative spin on it.

    I actually have recovered better not having therapy of any kind, now of meds for 2 weeks and reading and re-reading all the good stuff on here.

    OK I will have to drop this re- reading eventually and I know I will once it sticks in the grey matter of mine.

    Oh and i must say, my mum did love me!! and Im not knocking CBT as I am sure it helps some, I just feel it was holding me back more. My mind was already spinning around with all this crap with out adding to it and until I read Pauls book I did not even realise I had anxiety? as I am sure you did not. The simple explanations and how he and all these people on here feel from time to time was never explained to me as normal!! All the therapists said was “THERE MUST BE SOMETHING ELSE REALLY BOTHERING YOU – NOW LETS HAVE A LOOK TO SEE IF WE CAN WORK IT OUT”

    Save your money….. spend it on some new clothes and a coffee and watch the world go by with a smile and knowing you can do this yourself

    Best of luck
    Si

  25. Nick Says:

    Hi all,

    Hope everybody is getting on ok!

    This is my first post, and hopefully my last as I feel I’m very close to recovery! Ive been with anxiety for a year now, and luckily found this site last May, so I like to think I’ve been recovering since then. Slowly but surely! Trust me folks, it does get easier! I’ve never let the unreality get me down really at all! It’s always been the scary thoughts that are my problem; small things being huge problems, irrational thoughts etc. I just carry on with work and exercise around twice a week and just maintain as healthy and normal a lifestyle as i know from before all this!

    This past week however I came across a stumbling block, and so i would like a bit of reassurance, preferably from anyone who classes themselves as fully recovered! After suffering from 2 colds in as many weeks, i had a couple of weeks out of action from the gym, as you do. I went back there last week, got a sudden thundering headache, and had to stop. Annoying, but hey ho! After a few hours the thoughts started kicking in, “what’s wrong with me, have i damaged my brain, could it cause something worse”, the usual rubbish which got me here in the first place! Doctor said it was just sinuses, so i carried on, still a bit worried, a little bit quiet, and just thought of the repeating “twinges” as anxiety headaches, something of which i have never experienced. Which brings me to the main point of my post. The past couple of days have seen me having the classic shortness of breath, little twitches in my chest, again, things I have never had before. So to those who have recovered, is it normal to experience things I haven’t before, when I have been progressing so well? It seems to have thrown me a tiny bit off track!

    Hope you all have some good words of wisdom! keep up the good work!

    Nick

  26. dee Says:

    Great advice Si and thank you very much.

    Its funny because after i posted that email i instantly thought, there i go again trying to find the instant cure and it goes against everything Paul had written in his book so i have re read the book and feel more focus again, it’s just so hard sometimes when you can be doing so well then all of a sudden you have a setback and it can be quite un nerving when you think you are almost over it all.
    It makes me feel like i will never be fully recovered, but again i guess everyone goes through these feelings and its never a smooth road to travel.

    Thanks again for your kick up the bum :) i’ll have that coffee!!

  27. dee Says:

    Thanks for your reply Si and its funny as soon as i posted that last email i knew straight away that seeking therapy is totally against everything Paul has written in his book.

    Its just hard sometimes when you feel you are doing well then all of a sudden you have an unexplained set back and the thoughts start to run around your head thinking’ here it comes again’, still thanks for the kick up the bum…. I’ll enjoy that coffee!!!! :)

  28. Tracy Says:

    Hi Dee,

    I also did CBT over a year ago and I totally agree with Si, I was focused on my thoughts even more and analyzing if I needed to put a positive spin on it that I wrecked my tired mind even more. I was so confused as to what was really wrong with me and the Dr just kept telling me I was in denial!! I did learn a few things don’t get me wrong…I have really calmed down my anger..no more road rage..well just a little. I am still doing the weekly therapy, but I feel i am getting closer to dropping it. Like SI is saying I don’t really see the point in diving into all the “Stuff” that has happened to me over the years..so my mom wasn’t parent of the year, but she did the best she could. I think it just keeps you searching for the reason all this has happened and it really doesn’t matter in the big picture. I found it just kept me focused on the anxiety and trying to FIX myself…I am starting to realize I am okay with who I am right now and if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. Enjoy your coffee….Maybe I will have one also.

  29. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    On the subject of CBT, I like to stay in the background with this subject and let others speak of their experiences. I tried it many years ago and can almost write it word for word as Si did and fully endorse what he says.

    It did nothing for me and made me focus more on how I was feeling. I was told to do all the homework side, write a diary of how I felt on a scale of 1 to 10 everyday etc etc and I soon found it was not for me, it meant each day focusing on how I felt, digging up the past, blah, blah and I dropped it like a brick. Some may say it helped, but it was not for me.

    I never go away from what got me home and never will and the site and blog has become so popular because people have found something that not only helps, but they can relate to it and it makes sense.

    Paul

  30. dee Says:

    Hi Tracy and Paul,

    Thanks again for your take on CBT and i can totally see where your coming from and i can see that it would drag up the past and get you focusing to much on the problem and instead of that i just want to live along side my thoughts and feelings and just let it be.

    Paul your book is amazing and makes so much more sense than anything else i have tried i think its just because i am in a setback at the moment and i tend to panic thinking ‘oh no here it comes agian’ instead of just letting it be!!

    Thanks again every responce helps

  31. Teresa J Says:

    Just a really quick one here on CBT. I tried it too. I was there for about 6 months – it was with a pyschotherapist, not a counsellor so I feel I did have the better end of things as he did not dictate the terms and encourage me but just listened. Perhaps it left me get a few things of my chest initially and perhaps it gave me courage to do things – but it certainly did not cure me and when it came to an end after the 6 months I did not miss it. It could make you dependant – I did not have the knowledge that Paul has given me at that point. He did say things that were a little frightening for me and I won’t go into them as I do not want to spread silly assumptions by people who have not been through the experience. You have to do what you feel is right, but if you choose not to go you will probably speed your recovery. Good luck.

  32. dee Says:

    Teresa, sounds like you did not have a great experience, and i certainlydont want to become dependant on anything. And it always seems better to get help and advice from those who have been or are going through it.

    Are you fully recovered now? and how did you manage your setbacks?
    Thanks

  33. ian Says:

    On CBT. I did this about 10 years ago when I had anxiety really bad in a previous episode. The therapist was really good and it did help me somewhat, yet back here I am with severe anxiety – but I think it was possibly just talking to that person and not particularly the ‘therapy’ itself that helped. I repeat that the best thing about here is that people have actually experienced anxiety. I doubt anyone can give real advice without having this experience.

    Last week I went to a CBT appointment on the NHS after months of waiting for it. Nice enough lass, but depressing. Trying to explain to her what this feels like – impossible. Asked to keep a diary, rate things from 1 to 10 etc. etc. I came on here to ask the same question about CBT, but I know the answer. Nope.

    One thing I think that bothered/bothers me is the fact that I may be turning my back on the ‘official’ route to ‘recovery’ (and something my partner has hinted at, which sort of hurt). But in myself I know that this isn’t going to get me there. The fact that I think this suggests that I think I will be putting my faith in it, rather than myself.

    Saying all this it is of course entirely up to you.

  34. evelyn Says:

    hi paul, i have a question? during your intense episodes of d.p did people seem odd to you, sometimes people close to me seem strange, like my husband.. i start staring at him and digging deep in my thoughts and questioning wow ive been with u for 10 years and then suddenly he looks weird. ughh i try to be patient and amd know its anxiety but im not sure. i must say paul ive been living and accepting my d.p doing my normal life as if i dont have anxiety, but this feeling just scares me at times;( also songs replay over and over and over. if i listen to a certain song it replays the whole day until i distract myself.. thanks paul for listening and for all ur help;)

  35. patrick Says:

    hi all, havent visited the site for ages but i do pop in from time to time. i’m fully recoved, and have been for well over a year now, but in the early days i too was offered both anti depressants and cbt from my gp. my wife made me throw the drugs away and cbt was a huge waiting list so i never bothered. my experience is that no cbt therapist or anybody else could help unless they too have gone through what everybody here has.

    i thought at times that turning my back on ‘orthodox’ help was maybe the wrong thing to do, but i stuck at it, and after being recoverd for so long, i can certainly say that i did not need cbt or drugs in hindsight, but at the time we clutch for that quick fix.

    every body has different circumstances, so i couldnt say that cbt would not help, but i recovered fully without it by and i believe everybody can do this.

    take care

  36. Frank Says:

    Hello everyone,

    It’s great to hear everyone’s stories of recovery and how they made it through to the other side. I used to frequent this blog around 3 years ago when going through the stresses of transitioning to university life. I consider myself fully recovered and am finishing off my term in another year and half. I would like to share my journey of anxiety and recovery.

    It started one day where I would get this funny unpleasant feeling all over my body. I could not explain anything so I just put it off until that thought kept reoccurring in my mind. Suddenly my mind became attached to this thought and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get it off my mind. Later that day I had a spell of panic and I literally cried on my way home. Thinking that something was wrong with me, I saw the doctor next day who ordered some tests and whatnot. I was adamant in that I did not want to take any drugs because I knew it would not offer a longtime solution. When the doctor made his diagnosis I was shocked at what he said. You had a bout of anxiety and should just relax for a few days. Remembering how I felt, I did not believe him. All the tingling sensations and mild spells of acute dizziness had to mean something was wrong with me and that the doctor misdiagnosed me. At that point I was addicted to my panic. I would be at a point where I would become hyper aware of everything and would continuously look for “triggers” that would set off this atomic bomb inside me. I felt detached from everything .It became harder to concentrate in school, it became a hassle to do anything without a clear mind, and it was incredibly difficult to socialize. I was going to fewer restaurants with friends, I was staying at home more, I was feeling too aware of myself in general and the way I was feeling. Every thought, every action would be analyzed and taken as either a threat or non-threat. What bothered me most was not the sensations as I did recall times where I had experienced similar ones such as rapid heartbeat, hyperventilation and constipation after eating. This new attitude of being aware and feeling detached from everything made me believe that I was possessed by some strange force.

    Looking for answers I then stumbled upon Paul’s site. After reading through the content, I was filled with so much information that I almost thought that I had my situation fully explained. I could not believe it. However the advice that was given was a little hard to understand at first. The simple fact of accepting your anxiety and the way you feel and moving on with your day. I thought to myself that it couldn’t be that simple. So I put forth what Paul had said, trying to accept, to just live normally and move on. For a while it had worked. I had days where I felt as if I didn’t know how I got to that state. I would feel so great that I thought I would never feel that way ever again. Unfortunately this was not the case and another anxiety cycle was put into motion by some sensation that made my head spin. It would go on like this for a while where I would have days where I feel great, and days where I would feel down. This led me to another loop where I would wonder not “why do I feel this way” but “why do I feel this way only at certain times”. I like to consider this “phase two” of anxiety and I feel it is the longest lasting phase. To me I had the belief that true recovery means not ever feeling sensations such as constant fear, constant worry and rapid thoughts. Observing this for roughly two years, I would notice that it would occur around late November, and late March – times where I would naturally be stressed out because this is exam period. Looking at my friends – they didn’t seem as bad as me. They were stressed, but appeared normal carrying on with their studies. I wondered “why only me”. One thing that anxiety can take away from you is your ability to socialize, and to me this is one of the key traits of not only warding off anxiety but also experiencing happiness. While it was semi difficult to socialize with peers, it became relatively easy to socialize with people here, since they are experiencing the same thing that I’m going through.

    Transitioning to the final phases of anxiety for me was almost like mastering a skill. The mantra behind recovery is not “never feeling anxious ever again” but instead “nothing wrong with feeling anxious”. This holds truth in that it is impossible to feel good every day. There will be days where I feel good and days where I feel like the world just turns upside down. Clearing the misconception that recovery involves “feeling good all the time” is the last step in recovery. It is impossible to go through every day without a certain level of anxiety. It is how we are created. We are working people with a set of goals and tasks whether they are long term or short term. There will always be a level of stress in our life and a level of anxiety that comes with it. There are days where I feel as if I am experiencing the same sensations as day 1. The exact same nerves, the exact same tingling, the exact same constipation sensation for sensation. However I now know that I will not react in the same manner as I did before. I find that this is somewhat related to experience. Knowing that anxiety is part of everyday life is not easy to accept. Most of us would rather feel better. I would remember trying to employ Paul’s mantra of accepting the anxiety, but I realized that I was accepting the anxiety to get rid of the anxiety and to bring forth recovery. The mistake in this is that anxiety is not a conscious thought. It is impossible to bring forth anxiety. Try it right now! Try to feel anxious, bring forth those sensations and things – it cannot be done. This means that anxiety is largely subconscious in that it is an aftereffect of current thoughts. This, I feel, is the main difference between the 2nd and 3rd phase. The reason why accepting they way you feel works is simply because it is a conscious choice that you decide to make. The choice to say “I am OK”, “I am fine”, are all 100% conscious actions that are taken. I felt that making conscious decisions works because it is not something that is subjective to thought. When first stumbling on advice such as acceptance, it was very common for me to say “I am ok BECAUSE Paul said I would be”, “I am fine BECAUSE I am doing the right thing”. Adding the BECAUSE tail to each thought leaves it open to subconscious thoughts. These thoughts could then extend to phrases such as “I am ok because Paul said I would be BUT I am still feeling this weird sensation”. Keeping the thoughts clean and simple is what led me to recovery.

    Anyways that is my story and I hope it could help some people out. Living in phase 2 was difficult, but with a positive attitude you will surely make it to the other side. You are all in good hands. Wishing all of you the best.

    Frank

  37. patrick Says:

    patrick Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    March 5th, 2011 at 11:20 pm
    hi all, havent visited the site for ages but i do pop in from time to time. i’m fully recoved, and have been for well over a year now, but in the early days i too was offered both anti depressants and cbt from my gp. my wife made me throw the drugs away and cbt was a huge waiting list so i never bothered. my experience is that no cbt therapist or anybody else could help unless they too have gone through what everybody here has.

    i thought at times that turning my back on ‘orthodox’ help was maybe the wrong thing to do, but i stuck at it, and after being recoverd for so long, i can certainly say that i did not need cbt or drugs in hindsight, but at the time we clutch for that quick fix.

    every body has different circumstances, so i couldnt say that cbt would not help, but i recovered fully without it by and i believe everybody can do this.

    take care

  38. Tracy Says:

    Frank,

    What a great post thank you for taking the time to write it. I think am in phase 2 and it can be difficult because of the thoughts.

    One symptom that is a regular thing is my adrenaline rushes kick in every morning around 4-5:30 am. This has been going on about a year now they are sometimes more intense than other times, but still a reminder first thing in the morning. I don’t let them bother me much anymore, but just wondering if anyone else had this symptom and what happened with it.

    Thanks

  39. Courtney Says:

    Thank you for posting success stories. I have been struggling and terrified of my condition for a few months now, and it’s difficult reading so many negative things on forums. This is the first site that has given me hope, and I appreciate the depersonalization story.

    My constant feeling of depersonalization causes me so much anxiety/depression, I find myself crying everyday, and thinking about this weird feeling any moment I’mt not completely distracted.

    I am so scared there is no way out of this horrible cycle and I keep reaching really low points. I’m afraid I’m going to lose everyone who matters to me. It’s really reassuring though to read that people do get out of this, and although it seems bleak, that people recover.

    Thank you for the positivity.

  40. KM Says:

    Thanks Frank for your post, it was very clear, and i’m definatly in phase 2, some days are good, some average, and some where i feel worse than i did in the begining! I went from not having a panic attack recently for 2 weeks to the past few days having them daily sometimes for hours, where i have really really high anxiety and feeling like I’m back to square 1, during these times how do you reassure yourself that your not going backwards, if your feeling terrible and being sucked in by all the haunting thoughts and feelings? I know i need to just get on with my day and continue on, but this is very difficult, as i feel like running to the hills or admitting myself!!

  41. clara Says:

    Frank,

    Frankly speaking, I could make sense with what you said making a conscious decision that ”I am ok” without adding any ‘tails’ to it…because i felt good and normal living my life when i could just say to myself that Im all ok but due to habits difficult to break…rumination begins..this is what i find it difficult to stop…!
    when I am speaking to someone i may begin the conversation being so natural and involved, then all of a sudden (due to habits) i start thinking how i should talk, what i should be talking and the whole attention reverts back to me…
    how do i at this point convince me that ”i am ok” not giving any attention to those feelings? and carry the conversation as if nothing happened? sometimes i get stuck..!
    Pls help me with this…and what did u do when ur mind starts ruminating to no end?

  42. Frank Says:

    Clara,

    For me, I believe that anxiety is procured at a subconscious level. Sometimes when I tried to conjure a conscious thought, I would sometimes make one, but at the same time try to make the correct one. The correct ones to me were “I am OK”, “I am fine”, “I am alive”, “There’s nothing wrong here”. This may seem unconventional, but there were times where conjuring a semi-negative thought would help me as well. Things such as “I’ve had better days”, “Tomorrow’s another day”, “It’s been a rough day”. At times coming up with the same positive repetitive thoughts such as “I am OK” and whatnot may not seem to work because of the simple fact that we may be lying to ourselves. In the heat of the moment, “I’m feeling OK” may be the last thing you want to think of. It seems counter-productive to come up with thoughts such as ‘I’m feeling like crap today”, but upon realization that you’ve made a conscious decision you will begin to feel better about yourself. Remember that we cannot live all days happy, there will be good days and there will be bad days. But your body has built in mechanisms that can bring you through any type of day good or bad.

    Another thing that you may consider is a conscious action. A lot of anxiety web sites suggest things such as breathing through a paper bag, taking deep breathing exercises. For me these weren’t very effective since breathing through a paper bag is just awkward to begin with and deep breathing focuses your entire attention on your breath. While consciously breathing does seem to work for a while, sometimes I tend to notice slight imperfections in my breathing technique which can then spiral into many subconscious thoughts. Conscious actions that could be taken are maybe taking a drink of water or popping a candy into your mouth. Small simple conscious actions that bring you in control can help. One other thing that helped me a lot is exercise. Not only is it good for you but it also clears your mind and burns out any excess adrenalin that may be surging through you. Another thing about exercise is that I believe that it is best done outdoors (weather permitting of course). Get out into the sun and soak up some rays while either jogging, cycling or even just going for a walk. Sometimes I found that just being out in the sun made me feel much better as it provides a soothing warmth as well as a source of Vitamin D. 20 – 30 minutes of raw sunlight can work wonders on an anxious mind.

  43. steveo Says:

    Hi all

    My question is how do we not let the setbacks/blips affect us so much? (Grrrr…)

    The week before last I had what felt like my best week for probably 12 months :-) Even though now I try and convince myself it wasn’t that great…

    However, after a small argument with my wife, my days slowly deteriorated down to now feeling grumpy, depressed and down right frustrated! It’s a beautiful sunny day and I want to feel ‘clear’ and enjoy it like I used to.

    I’m not looking to feel amazingly happy, as I know that doesn;t happen. The only way I can explain it is to feel clear and not subconsciously feeling down…

    This happens a lot as everyone says through their recovery and I know that I have to be patient and live with the feeling and that is what I am doing. I probably got excited (too impressed by the way I felt) about feeling great and that messed it all up!

    I suppose I’m not really looking for answers as I know them already but I am just typing my frustration out as I don’t really have anyone to discuss this with.

    Right, on with day.

    Steveo

  44. SI Says:

    Steveo…

    Just want to add something to what you’ve put and that’s don’t beat yourself up about “MESSED IT ALL UP” cos all that does it make you feel even low.

    I did this all the time, up and down all the time, but at the moment I just seem to be getting on well with the ups and down’s and not looking back, but actually looking forward. It does seem to take a long time to feel better, but now I can lift my mood a little just by getting on with stuff and not worrying about a set back / blip / low day / low minute…. call it what you want. When all set and done its HISTORY

    Cheer up mate – it will come

  45. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Courtney Says:

    March 7th, 2011 at 2:20 am e

    Thank you for posting success stories. I have been struggling and terrified of my condition for a few months now, and it’s difficult reading so many negative things on forums. This is the first site that has given me hope, and I appreciate the depersonalization story

    That’s the very reason I don’t run a forum, I found them very depressing places where people drown themselves in the subject and get 100 different pieces of advice from different people and tend to find very few that really come throughwith positive stories, I find them more of a place to vent and feel sorry for yourself, than to find real positive help.

    Just my opinion of course, some may find them helpful, I just found them depressing and counter productive.

    Frank your story is great and yes you defintely go through stages, it is a process, nobody wakes up one day and it is all gone. Nobody finds that miracle sentence and then it all goes away. but again never make it your goal to make yourself ‘anxiety free’, be at 1 with it and this will come natural in it’s own time. And remember no one is ever totally anxiety free, I still get anxious in anxious times, but it’s a normal bodily reaction that we are all born with, it’s part of me and my make up and it’s fine.

    It is when we get an over reaction to anxiety and become overly concerned with it how we are feeling that the problem begins. If I felt anxious tomorrow due to a life stress or anything else, I would get a normal anxious reaction, when my nerves were frayed in my suffering and adrenalin came so easy then I would get an over reaction, a normal anxious reaction would be ten fold or I may find myself anxious for no or very little reason. I did not banish anxiety, I brought my levels back to a normal reaction.

  46. evelyn Says:

    hello paul, frank or scarlet
    was wondering if any of you guys have experienced what i posted above.. thanks alot i know
    everyone is busy:) when u do have time please help :)

  47. steveo Says:

    Cheers Si :-)

    You know what it’s like – hard to not be frustrated when you want the old you back.

    As Take That say, Have a little…. Patience.

  48. John C Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Wanted to encourage everyone on here to stick with the methods advised by Paul. I started to suffer with servere anxiety at the start of 2008, infact this website was one of the first I came accross when I started to search the web for answers (as we all do!) Being quite pig-headed I dismissed it at first as not my sort of thing. Many, many visits to GPs and councilors later (luckily no meds – tried but did not like) I returned to the site by chance last October during one of my many late night internet searches for help and answers. I read all of the entries on Paul’s blog and they really resinated with me. I’ve got to say too they made one or two things I’d read in self help books click a bit too, but it was very comforting to hear them from someone who has been through the same experience.

    As a result of Pauls Blog I definately view myself as in recovery now – I think this is the most important change I’ve made – I still have very bad days, sometimes very bad weeks but I also have good days and good weeks. The main reason is that I’ve accepted that all of the wierd thoughts and feelings and the days and weeks and years I’ve spent trapped in my own head have been and are due to anxiety.

    Just wanted to add one final thing too. Please don’t feel ashamed of feeling anxiety. I realise that this one of the biggest mistakes I made (and still make). I’m a very typical ‘lad’ and all of my friends know me as the life and soul and a bit of a joker – only a few of them know about my problems and up until recently I’d have been ashamed to let most people know about my problems. I’m not about to go shouting it from the roof tops but I’m definately not ashsmed anymore.

    Anyway hope this helps some people, please stick with Paul’s ideas – don’t dismiss the like I did, only to come back to the three years (and a lot of suffering) later! Paul if you read this I will buy your book at some point, even though I feel like I’m getting better now, if only to thank you for the help you’ve geive me (and continue to give) on this free blog.

    Thanks

    John

  49. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Thanks for your story John, great to hear another success. And theres no need to buy the book, it does extremely well from recommendations and the only reason I sell it, is because it has far more information in it than I could ever place on here or the main site. It was not written to make me rich and it never will do. I do this full time now so I rely on the book to pay the bills, but I live in a very modest house and earn around what I did when I worked full time, nothing more, helping people is where I get my satisfaction.

    Paul

  50. Kory Holt Says:

    Hi Paul:

    Thank you for sending me your book. I received it this weekend and am about halfway through it already.

    There is so much in the book that relates to me, that is for sure. The traps that are noted in the book … looking at each symptom individuallly … waiting to “do something” when I feel better. There was one note in there that really struck me, and that was the comment (paraphrasing) that living life with anxiety, accepting it and just going with it has to be better than the hell that I have been living with over the years. The word “thrashing” comes up in the book and I think that is an appropriate description of what I have done with my body and mind.

    I do have an odd question …

    Over the past three weeks or so the nerves / muscles in my leg, thigh and knee feel tight, irritated and at times painful. I am confident that it is nothing more than that, but want to do what I can to make it better. I have been stretching 2x per day and exercising about 5x per week over the past two weeks and certainly plan to continue on. Part of me wants to see a doc to make sure I am doing it correctly, but the other part doesn’t want to give in if it is the anxiety talking.

    What do you feel is the appropriate path to take?

    Thank you,

    Kory

  51. Angela Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone could please give me some advice (:

    I am having a set back (which is fine in itself) but I am just sick and tired of feeling ‘weakened’ by anxiety. Before I suffered, I would be upset even depressed, but it would not be the same. I wouldn’t dwell on it, I would just see it for what it is — having a bad day! or week or whatever. Nowadays, when I feel like that, because of life stresses etc, I go into overdrive or something, as soon as I start feeling upset, or stressed, I am out there, buying books, coming on here, reading over old books (claire weeks etc) feeling completely lost again. It’s been two years since this started and sometimes, for prolonged periods I feel completely normal, but then it creeps back up and I feel horrible. I know it will pass, but I have a feeling I am not dealing with it properly as I am running around, buying new anxiety books, coming on here, feeling sorry for myself in a melodramatic way ‘WHY ME??’ (; lol… this obviously means I haven’t recovered bascially……and this is called non acceptance isn’t it?

    When I am in one of these ‘setbacks’ I actually hate myself and can’t see anything positively, I worry myself almost crazy- which of course is a classic ‘am I going to lose it this time for real? ‘lol.. I know I won’t, I KNOW in my heart I am not insane-far from it, just hyperaware of myself. I also overanalyse everything in my life, in such a negative way that I feel completely trapped and convince myself my life sucks completely..(again, I KNOW when I am doing this and I am AWARE this is not to be taken seriously and I have learnt to disregard this, but it still hurts me sometimes)

    So the adive is, don’t focus on these feelings? they’re not important? feel whatever you have to feel, it won’t harm you? I can laugh at myself at times. But how to stop the obsessive self defeating negativity?! I just don’t know how to stop it!

    Thanks to all by the way for all the greta advice and Paul, I really respect your last post on here about your work and your book. You truly are a wonderful person.

    If anyone has words of wisdom, please help me. I am ok really anyway, I am not THAT bad..but I feel a little stuck!

    best wishes to all

    Angela

  52. Timothy Says:

    Hi Angela,

    You are exactly how I feel right now, I would love to know the answer.. I have been up and down for the last two weeks and am really frustrated with myself. I know everything is in my mind and I’m doing it to myself…

    Some advice would be great!
    Tim

  53. Angela Says:

    Timothy- I think your statement hit the nail on the head (if anyone thinks otherwise, please let me know) ‘I would love to know the answer’ what if there is NO answer? because I have been looking for a whie and it seems this only brings on more questions. I remember reading a post quite some time ago from Candie, which really helped me at the time, and many other posts have the same message (again, if anyone disagrees, please tell)it said something along the lines of disregarding any thought that makes you feel directly anxious or depressed, so just seeing any thought that makes you feel like that as just a thought-don’t try to push it away but just thihk to yourself that it is unimportant. I am sure you know exactly the kinds of thoughts I am talking about, you think them and a second later your heart sinks or your stomach starts churning and you feel all uptight and horrible. Then you will analyse why you had that thought, which will make it even worse and stronger in your mind and then you realise that thought is RIDICULOUS and then you go ‘aw, why DO I HAVE TO THINK THIS, why DID this happen to me!?’ no one else feels this way- POOR POOR ME!’

    Lol sorry, that was just an example of what sometimes happens to me, so ridiculous!I thought I had cracked it but it seems when life does become stressful I am right in it again. But honestly, not AS BAD. I also read sometime ago that this is what Anxiety feeds on, these thoughts and these fears, so disregarding them (or trying to) is the best option because then it can’t trick you. Obviously doing all this at the time when you have a million ‘what ifs’ running through your head at a million miles an hour , isn’t quite as simple as writing it on here. ANYWAY, on we go, I almost felt like saying ‘the battle must continue’ but THERE SHOULD BE NO BATTLE.

    According to everyone on here, you just can’t fight, so let’s give up, even in the bad times.

    This is my mind rambling…Timothy it will pass, I know it, you know it!this is not new, I am gona try to just see these thoughts as what they are-thoughts and nothing else., and meanwhile just get on with my day-which is what I do anyway to be honest but sometimes it gets too much and I feel sorry for myself.

    write back to me with your thoughts ! please! And anyone else who has any advice or comments about what I have said, please let me know.

    best wishes to all!

    Angela

  54. Tracy Says:

    Hi Angela,

    I don’t really have any advice other than if you re read your post I think you will find you have given yourself some advice and are not even aware of it. What you write makes total sense and if it helps I am right there with you. Your post actually helped me to remind myself of all the tricks the mind tries to play and to just go with it. We have done it a million times so we KNOW it will pass. Thanks for sharing!

  55. Tracy Says:

    PS..I think allowing yourself to have a pity party for a minute is okay, it is just how you are feeling at the time and to tell yourself you SHOULD not be feeling this way will just add to the questioning of yourself again. I call it shoulding all over yourself..heard that somewhere and thought it fit…just don’t allow yoursefl to dwell in the pity, accept that you may be having a bad day or week then get on with some enjoyable things and get outward with yourself.

  56. Angela Says:

    Hi Tracy,

    you are right, it is advice and all I know is that knowing all this, still doesn’t make it better and that’s obvioulsy where I am going wrong. Still trying to make it ‘go away’. But I have been trying as much as I can recently to just accept I don’t feel great, which makes it a lot easier, because I then can really look at my feelings and realise they are not so ‘terrible’ after all. Sometimes I think we get caught up in trying to make it go away because let’s face it, it’s just not very nice. I am glad my post helped you remind yourself of the tricks of the mind, and writing it down also reminded me actually.

    Angela

  57. Tracy Says:

    Angela,

    I get stuck with the accept piece also..then I get frustrated because I think how many times to I have to face this fear or go towards this feeling to make it stop. I think that is the mistake that is so common, but also just human instinct to want to fix things. It is also just habit that we have had a for a very long time. My family has always been negative and sarcastic so that is what I learned from a young age, it will take time to reverse these habits. I think the important thing is that we are at least now aware, before I was on such automatic pilot I didn’t even know I was thinking this way. Anyway hope this makes sense I start to ramble on you know…

  58. Nick Says:

    Hi Everyone/Paul

    Great to read these stories. I have taken a long time away from this site over the past few months to try and focus on recovery, and since I had my first panic attack last June I have DEFINITELY improved. Last few days though i’m having my worst patch in a long time, which I guess is good as it shows i’m getting better. The thing that troubles me is that even though I have improved it feels like the anxiety is simply dormant rather than actually going.

    My main and in fact only issue always comes in the form of thoughts. I have the same disturbing thoughts time and time again that mainly revolve around: I have no future, i’m worthless, everythings futile, I can’t cope, I need a break from life, I will never amount to anything, I need to escape, I will never be able to be free of this, I should just die, everything I do is pointless.

    Their severity has decreased but it doesn’t mean they don’t stop fooling me and I often still believe they have some inherent truth. Drinking alcohol also makes my anxiety worse.

    I know it’s old ground I’m going over and I know the plan and am trying to stick to it but it has been a long time and progress is slow.

    It’s like I have a rain cloud following me all the time which constantly drizzles then every so often pours hard for a bit. I also have very anxious moments, never full blown attacks just like 10/15 minute periods, like the other day I was at a party, took a whiff of some weed someone was smoking and the panic in my mind started. I also have feelings of ‘lost innocence’ that many have mentioned still.

    Any advice or tips/support would be appreciated, just cant seem to seem to get my head round the fact that this can actually go for good, rather than just stay dormant as i’m distracted from it rather than actually getting rid of it.

  59. Clara Says:

    Hi Tracy and Angela

    This is where I am at the moment too…!! As u guys said we have all the information we need to realise why its happening to us and how we should ignore the thoughts if its a negative,depressive or scary one…

    But i guess due to habits which was ingrained in us from a very young age..it will obviously take time to reverse the pattern of thinking…as Tracy said ” I think the important thing is that we are at least now aware, before I was on such automatic pilot I didn’t even know I was thinking this way”
    even i didnt realise why i was always keeping a watch over my feelings always even before i fell into this…i guess because i dint want to get hurt…so my natural reaction of getting angry, or responding exactly how i felt at the moment got supressed…so that means i was thinking a lot on how i felt and tried to keep myself happy always…

    only way left is to accept that we will feel odd,depressed,dull and start analysing even more…it is all part and parcel of anxiety..its ok however i feel..as i know its anxiety! i will move on with life…nothing to analyse anymore as i know the answer..i feel its better to learn to live with it
    because i had those ‘normal moments’ for a longer period and once i hit a setback i yearn more to get it back which i feel adds fuel to the fire…
    angela …ur posts had a lot of answers in it…:)

  60. Sam Says:

    Hello Everybody,

    I have read Paul’s book (at least twice!), been on this blog, and tried my best to apply everything that is discussed. I have come a long way, but I have one final problem that has really got me stuck and as much as I try not to let it, it’s wearing me down.

    I fall asleep fairly easily, and as far as I can tell sleep well, but then around 5am (at least 1-2 hours before I would like to) I wake up because of a “shot of adrenaline.” I usually sit up for 5-10 minutes, and then can actually fall back a sleep, at least on and off, for a while. The problem is,
    I eventually start to dry heave, sometimes very, very intensely for a few minutes. My stomach feels ok beforehand, but afterwards I’m usually a bit nauseous in the morning and I am very tired as well from the poor sleep.

    Other than fatigue, during the day I actually do quite well and the majority of my anxiety, other than this “sucker punch” that wakes me up, has resolved (with a lot of help from Paul and quite honestly hard work on my part).

    When this first started happening 6-8 months ago (it was actually my first symptom of anxiety), everything was much worse because I would classically think “oh my God, what’s wrong with me? This is terrible, I must be dying; when will this ever end; etc.” Also, other things during the day would bother me, but again, those has essentially resolved. Now I just tell myself that it’s just anxiety, it will pass, I’ll feel better later and get through the day, and I’m very surprised at how well I manage this. However, it isn’t stopping, even after this long, and like I said the fatigue and nausea are starting to wear me down and maybe even create a new symptom of depression.

    Other than trying to “fully accept it even more” does anybody have any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Sam

    PS: I’m almost 100% sure that it is not acid reflux or anything like, just plain old anxiety, or at least an anxiety pattern that has developed. I have spoken with my doctor and she agrees. She also likes the strategies that Paul describes, and is very impressed with how far I’ve come, but has suggested that perhaps I try medications (SSRI) to help me get over this final hurdle. I am actually grateful for this experience as it has taught me so much about myself and the human experience, and I’m glad I worked through it rather than just taking a pill to make it go away (if such a thing even exists). However, at this point I wouldn’t mind some help to break this last big hurdle.

  61. Tracy Says:

    Hi Sam,

    I have the exact same thing minus the nausea. I have had this daily alarm every day for about a year. Sometimes it is better than others. I usually just get up at that point and go for my run. It is more annoying to me because I am in such a deep sleep and would love to sleep in just one day…so I have no advice, but you are not alone. I just figure it will go away at some point and it was also on of my first symptoms…maybe someone that has come out the other side can offer some advice.

  62. PAH Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I have only ever posted on here once before. I’ve had anxiety since last summer. when I look back I know that I have improved tremendously over the past few months but I am really struggling with a couple of things at the moment.

    I still get some physical symtoms but i honestly don’t care about them as I know why i’m feeling them and they will go away. I had certain obsessive irrational thoughts, i accepted them and they disappeared.

    I guess i’ve got different irrational thoughts now, the best way I can think of describing it is that it is like having some sort of turrets of the mind. I am forever saying abusive words in my mind when i think about or even talk to my loved ones, especially my wife who i love will all my heart. This has become a habit that i suppose i now fear. Instead of enjoying the time i spend with my loved ones i am concious that i may swear at them in my mind which leads to feelings of anxiety.

    I have spoken to my wife about this and she has been brilliant. She doesn’t care, she realises it is the anxiety. I know this is the attitude i need to take, as i have with most other areas of my anxiety. Some days i will and i’ll laugh when it happens but other times it gets on top of me which can lead to the whys and what if questions and generally feeling a bit low.

    I do know the answer is to follow Paul’s advice but i guess i’m just after a bit of reassurance. Any comments would be appreciated.

  63. H Says:

    Hi all, ref discussion regarding CBT a few posts back, this is my opinion regarding CBT:
    I feel CBT can be beneficial to certain people depending on the situation. CBT made me realise the power of our thoughts, and the fact we can’t have a feeling without a preceeding thought (up until this point I had never understood this fact – seems so obvious in hindsight!). I think CBT can useful for phobia’s or depression whereby the ‘problem thought’ is a constant, finding a different viewpoint can change a conditioned response to something more rational.

    HOWEVER, where Generalised Anxiety is concerned, I found CBT can be somewhat counterproductive. With anxiety, as fast as one thought is challenged another one pops up, sometimes with seemingly random foundation (anybody remember the arcade game where you bash the moles with a mallet as they randomly pop up??). This constant challenging takes a tremendous amount of energy, adding this to an already tired mind and body, personally made me feel worse.
    Then I found this website (and Richard Carlsons book – Stop Thinking and Start Living) and things started to make more sense – in essence Anxiety thoughts do not need to be challenged, just seen for what they are – empty, false irrational entities which make us feel bad! At this point my perception of anxiety took a subtle shift, it didn’t feel like some inpenetrable wall, it felt less significant, more fragile and a little less important. It all made total sense to me and just felt right. Of course for a while I was ‘trying’ to dismiss the thoughts, searching for a technique, which again led to a certain amount of anxiety. The truth of the matter is it’s more of an attitude, something that creeps in over time – just understanding is the seed that starts the process, as said before it’s more of a ‘not do’ than a ‘do’.
    To summarise I think the principle of CBT is good, but needs tailoring to suit different conditions. In fact now I look back, I feel saddened and frustrated how anxiety is treated here in the UK. There really needs to be a collaboration between GP governing bodies and ex-sufferers to provide quicker diagnosis and information. God, I wish my doctor had explained to me all those years ago when I first visited him, even a well written booklet could’ve prevented years of suffering. Sorry I’m on my soapbox!

    Patrick, great to see your post, and hear you’re doing well.

  64. peter Says:

    PAH,

    Does it matter if you swear at them in your mind? Does it reflect on you or what you think of your wife? No of course it doesn’t. Its just another symptom of anxiety and it really doesn’t matter, pay it no heed and it will go away.

    Believe me I’ve had them all, truly horrid thoughts about loved ones and they would reduce me to tears. Not anymore, if the’re there they’re there I really couldn’t care less. I’ve been away this week on holiday with my familly and the odd one popped in now and again, did it ruin my enjoyment? Not on your life.

    Just get on with your life and stop seeing them as some sort of monster, they will dissipate very quickly, good luck!!!

  65. PAH Says:

    Peter

    Many thanks for the encouragement and most importantly a kick up the backside. Yesterday i got back to not caring and the frequency of ‘turrets’ decreased and i felt less fear. Today i’m going to do the same and tomorrow and the day after. I’m going to enjoy my ski holiday with my wife next week as well. I’m sure i’ll be swearing like a trooper throughout but i know like you say this will dissipate and in weeks, months and years to come i’ll laugh at how silly this all is.

    Thanks again.

  66. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    A new member called Will posted on the last blog post, I thought some may benefit from his post which was very well written and with it being on an old blog post, many may miss it, so I have placed it below. Welcome Will and thanks for writing.

    Will Says:

    March 11th, 2011 at 1:17 pm e

    Hi Everyone,

    I have not read Paul’s book yet but I have found this site very useful in all sorts of ways and here are some recommendations that have helped me get through some really difficult times recently with de-personalization, de-realization, gnawing persistent negative thoughts, depressed mental and physical feelings, disturbed sleep, abstract ongoing fear, and severe panic at times…the usual! I am not fully recovered but I am a lot better than I was a few months back when I was concerned about my ability to get to work at times.

    I think you have to try and see your suffering as part of a bigger picture – our lives are made up of all of us bouncing our feelings, personalities, and actions off each other and sometimes (to extend the idea) we get knocked down by getting overloaded with it all. We get tired out – perhaps because we have been working too hard at life; perhaps because too many people have ‘knocked’ into us with their emotions, words, and actions. Either way, the best thing we can do in this state is to acknowledge that we have been knocked down, that it hurts, and that there will be some damage to deal with which needs to heal, naturally and through our own efforts. In order to heal, we need to take a step back and say “I can’t do things like I used to for the moment” – just like if you had broken a leg. We then need to make sure that those closest to us know what has happened and that we can’t do things like we used to do – if they have a problem with that then it is them that need to deal with it, not you because you are doing your very best to deal with your situation anyhow. A great deal of anxiety, in my experience, is to do with how we are in our relationships with those closest to us – our partner, our family, our work colleagues etc. These relationships make up our lives really, so the first step is to be totally honest with those people and let them know what is happening. By doing this, you bring the fear factor down massively which lowers the scale of the anxiety – the symptoms will still be there but a layer of fear has been taken away by simply telling people what is going on. You don’t have to waste time and energy worrying about when / if they will find out because you have told them – you have done your bit in being totally honest and putting them squarely in the picture.

    Another thing that helps is trying to tackle things that have been worrying you for a long time – debts, unreplied letters, a conversation you really feel you should have with your boss etc. Eliminate as many stress-inducing elements in your life as possible and try not to be evasive about niggling problems – get them out of the way as much as possible.

    Also be nice to yourself – treat yourself, try not to think about what you should be doing and think about doing things you like. Get that ‘teenage’ approach to life back in your head where life is all about just enjoying things as they are and not worrying too much about consequences. If you are a worryer you are not likely to anything silly or irresponsible anyway, so just try to enjoy life in its little ways, however trivial they may seem. As much as we get upset by little things, we get cheered by them.

    Try to keep it clear in your mind that you have not always been like this and that an accumulation of things has led to the condition that you are now in. By slowly reversing that process, you can get back to how you once were – in other words, accept and unwind and remember that it is an accumulation of stress that has led to this and you just need to de-accumulate the stress, one way or another. Stress does not work in the long run, whatever the short-term rewards.

    Pride is another big one – don’t be proud…talk to people about your difficulties and you will find that a great many people suffer all sorts of emotional and psychological difficulties, often people that looked like they lead really great and happy lives. Far from being alone, it is unusual NOT to suffer from any emotional and psychological difficulties – everybody struggles with some problem or another and if they say they don’t, they are kidding themselves and everyone around them probably, or just trying to run away from the challenges and responsibilities of life.

    The thing to get straight, as Paul so rightly says, is that all the awful, crazy, bizarre feelings and thoughts are a product of FEAR so if you can just wind yourself down enough, they will subside – and accepting them and living with them is the first step. Easier said than done, of course. Acceptance, however, is made easier by realising that suffering is part of life – we are not on this earth to be ecstatically happy all the time but to love and support one another, and sometimes that involves taking a lot of negative stuff on board and that leads to suffering. If you are on this website, you have probably taken an overfill of suffering in some way and you need to allow yourself a break to re-charge. You just have to weather the bad and painful moments and get through it by hook or by crook, using what you can to alleviate the agony, knowing that bit by bit, your system will repair itself. There will be ups and downs, successes and failures but bear in mind one important fact: your body is geared to survive and is always defaulting to an easeful state – it doesn’t want to be wound up, so let it wind down and your mind will follow it. Trust me it will.

    I hope some of this helps.

    Will.

  67. sam Says:

    Some great posts here recently!

    In regards to my last post, I think it would be terrible to try to take medication in the beginning (as it would just be a bandaid or crutch), but after one has understood this condition, worked hard, and come a long way (like I have), what is everybodies thoughts on then trying an SSRI or the like to help get over the final hurdles?

  68. Will Says:

    Hi Nick,

    Regarding your post from March 9th, I know all about the feelings you are talking about and it can be described as a ‘negative feedback loop’ – you have been suffering from anxiety and its symptoms which have caused you even more fear that has (all put together) then been wearing out your natural vitality and ‘feel good’ emotions, leading to empty, low, worn-down, low-energy, tired feelings. These low feelings then feed back into the anxiety state creating thoughts that centre around powerlessness – thoughts that say “how can I succeed in my work feeling like this?” or “how can I support myself / my family when I am feeling like doing nothing when I have so much to do?” or “I am not much fun / attractive socially like this…I will lose my friends and social life and then what sort of a sad, lonely life will I have?” etc. etc. – which then get translated by the mind into thoughts of uselessness and pointlessness which then generate fear about the future…which then generates more symptoms resulting in more fear resulting in more low feelings, and on and on it goes feeding back into itself.

    As you can see, the thing to realise is that it is a habit, a loop that feeds itself. And once you get going into positive habits you will create a positive feedback loop – positive thoughts leading to positive emotions which lead to positive actions which lead to positive thoughts and so on and so on. By following Paul’s method of accepting these feelings and thoughts and saying “ok, do your worst…I choose not to be afraid of my thoughts and feelings” you begin to stop the negative feedback loop and, as you do so, you begin to create a positive habit. You feel a bit more in charge, less overpowered, more capable of doing things – and this makes you feel more positive about yourself and your future as you see more options opening up etc.

    On a really practical level, to begin with I find that the best thing to do with the low feelings is to let the feelings run and to be quite child-like about it all – have a cry (difficult for a man, I know, but let it happen if it wants to come), do something you really like doing to cheer yourself up, go and find a good friend or your partner and ask them to give you a hug or a cuddle, talk to someone you trust about your feelings (you will be surprised at how many people struggle with these kind of feelings) or just simply take time out in some way…perhaps to lie down and relax and read something lightweight or surf around on the net reading about celebrity gossip or sport. Whatever will make you calmer, lighter, happier and emotionally warmer then do it. You are absolutely right that alcohol is not a good idea, however tempting. That is taking the power away from you again and will only add into the negative feedback loop.

    Then just accept that you are worn out and that the thoughts and feelings do not relate to any “inherent truth” at all, but are caused by mental and physical fatigue and that, as you allow your system to re-charge itself, you will feel better and better. As Paul so rightly says, none of these kind of symptoms are anything to be afraid of – the depressive feeling are a consequence, above all, of fatigue. And fatigue requires nothing more complicated than giving your system a break, one way or another, to let it get back to its natural level (your old self, in other words).

    I hope that helps.

    Will

  69. ross Says:

    hey everyone,

    no wrote on here 4 while. been busy living life! :)

    ive been acceptin anxiety and going everywhere even tho i sometimes would rather not! for some reason i still have bad dp actually feels worse sometimes, not im carin haha any1 else have this?!

    also 1 thing really buggin me that i cant seem to accept is my breathing, always feels like im not breathin or im gonna stop breathin, really not healthy, also im soooooo tired and exhausted now ,can i get some advice with this please?

  70. evelyn Says:

    hi ross
    i have been also trying to get on with living living life and taking pauls advice, and man i can see a HUGE progress:) its funny how you say about your breathing, i felt the same exact thing yesterday!!! i felt like i had to force myself to breathe or it didnt feel automatic, and like i had to grasp for air.. i havent felt a panic attack in a couple of months, whats left is only my d.p that is slowly lifting, anyhow, i started to get scared and hypervenilated.. i was slowly begining to go back to the cycle.. and i said wait.. i started telling myself that its just anxiety, and i started replaying pauls advice in my head..i calmed down, and thought, its just anxiety, just let it be within seconds i felt better, and got on with my day just fine, i had a great day, a bit of d.p but not as bad as months before.. just let it be there ross bring it where ever, when ever, just take the fear out of it!!! and it will leave..

    hope this helps

  71. Si Says:

    Will…

    I have a question I hope u may be able to answer. I have recently started back at the gym but find it very difficult to just push myself to go there never mind do something. When I do get there if a do 15mins on the cross trainer and a ferw weights I can so easily just get up and walk out because I realy don’t want to be there.

    I feel that I don’t try hard enough at anything, I feel I just do something and then give up so easily and it’s not just in the gym. I talk myself out of anything and everything. OK im better that I was, because I make myself do things now and too be honest the anxiety is no where near as bad, but the depression and tiredness is just very very difficult.

    Any advice? Do I keep going and pushing ?

  72. ross Says:

    cheers evelyn

    i get the breathin thing a lot so annoyin, i try 2 control my breathin wen it happens which i now c is wrong. thanks so much 4 ur reply

  73. Clara Says:

    Hello

    I have been living life as i should be otherwise..now when i am almost fine with life..something creeps in..its like i always need something by my side to brood on or worry..it has become so compulsive…

    i have learnt a lot about my habits and now i know that i feel anxious because of my thinking habits and not my surroundings ..
    but as i learn to live with it and fine with it…i dont know there is an inherent fear that creeps in…

    like for the past few days i have been struggling with the internal dialogue which creeps in when i am in a conversation..this appears inbetween each dialogue that i hardly could concentrate on teh conversation…and when i am involved in any chores…it just starts on its own..and is endless
    i say to myself..its just anxiety just carry on with your day…but at times its so difficult to shift focus…
    any advice or words of assurance on this…

  74. Will Says:

    Hi Si,

    It seems to me that you may be being over-critical of yourself perhaps? Perhaps over-thinking in an anxious way about yourself? It’s quite normal for most people to go through periods where they start things and then don’t finish them and everyone goes through periods where they are letting things slide a bit because they don’t have much energy.

    The best advice I would give you is the simplest: don’t worry about it. Don’t fuel the low feelings with extra anxiety but just say to yourself “I am really worn out at the moment and I am not going to take on too many things”. Do your normal round of things that you need to do and don’t get into any avoidance patterns (just as Paul says on this website). If you are feeling really down you have got to be nice to yourself – don’t overstretch yourself. But always make sure that you are not letting any of the panic or anxiety symptoms get you into an avoidance pattern which will add to the low feelings. I guess it’s a balancing act between recovering your physical and mental energy by accepting and also confronting any fear habits that have built up by / into avoidance.

    Sometimes it can be good just to get on with something even if you don’t particularly feel like doing it but be careful about pushing yourself too hard because that too can lead to fatigue. Just accept how you are feeling – accept the tiredness and the depressed feelings and try to relax with them and not fight them. Once you have relaxed into them you will probably find that you quite quickly get a bit more energy because you are not struggling and thinking about it. Let your mind and body quieten down and you should get a bit more energy that will mean you can, for example, go the gym but actually feel like getting into it rather than walking out.

    That would be my approach – try to balance acceptance and relaxation with non-avoidance.

    Will

  75. evelyn Says:

    hi will;)
    i have a question? are u recovered or in process? i have had all the worst symptoms chronic d.p. which i must admit its gotten so much better since i learned about this site;) So i gues my question is how did u overcome all this? one thing that bugs me is that if i listen to a song it replays allll day.lol. until i get busy. sometimes i even wake to it. ahhhh but over all i must admit i feel a whole lot better in so many areas. i sleep good now. i eat, i exercise, im out and about. i laugh i enjoy things i am soo blessed. thanks for listening

  76. Bret Says:

    Evelyn,

    I HAD that problem as well. I would walk around and have music in my head all day! I know you’ve heard it a million times before, but its just because your mind is tired. It definitely goes with time, I promise you that. Now I can listen to whatever I want, whenever and as soon as the song ends, It only replays in my mind if I feel like singing or I like it enough lol. But I think you are lookin into it way too much. A tired mind will stick to anything. Just let the analysis of it go! Perfectly healthy people with no anxiety condition get songs stuck in their head all the time. Its normal :) Keep on keepin on!

    :) Hope that helped some!
    bret

  77. natalie Says:

    great post will !!!!! what i love is that it is very straight forward and simple explaination of what is happening as an anxious mind can really complicate and overanalys things. i think that the more we learn to just live with the symptoms and stop being so hard on ourselves the better, we are not victims but strong in dividuals dealing with something that is not widely explained or acknowledged, but there is support here on this website, just remember everyone we are allowed to feel these symptoms we are not weak we do not have to explain ourselves to people. A lot of the time people are so involved in their own lives they prob do not even notice how we are and simpley think that maybe we not ourselves and not even give it a second thought so we need to try and relax and let the thoughts whirl around in our heads but not give in to making them more than they are. I find using the phrase “so what” really helpful.. soo what if i am like this for some time.. eventually it will get better.. thats what the body is designed to do! we were not born like this just due to stress our body has got over whelmed and tired but it will get better!! so what if i lose some of my old friends, i can make new one that are more suited to the person i am.. so what…if i get really tired over the simplist things .. i am going through recovery it can be a great journey one in which i learn sooo much about who i am and what i really want from life!.. so what … !:) yes it is hard yes it can be frustrating but give ya self a break .. lol . i have been “suffering” for nearly 2 years now and am slowly recovering..my counsillor is a previous sufferer also and told me that in the last few years the level of people suffering has tripled it is become more widespread than we realise .. so you are not alone and probably if you told some people would be supprised by the fact they may have been a sufferer or knew someone else that had.. its normal !!!!! we are normal !!!!! just a bit quirky thats all :) xx hugs to everyone xx

  78. steveo Says:

    Hi all

    I’ve been trying to stay away from the blog recently (as I become too addicted to it) but I wanted to ask a question to Paul for his experience with this and in particular to Scarlet (and anyone else who has recovered) after her post in the last blog about depression being the last thing to go for her.

    I feel as though my constant anxiety has reduced and improved but to now be replaced by feeling very low/depressed, just overall pretty empty which in turn is creating a further anxiety of worrying about being low and depressed forever… I thought I had nearly cracked it the other week to be only dissapointed with the current feelings.

    I thought I was on my way to recovery and I hope that this will be the final process. I want my happy self back again who can enjoy life and all of the good things I am very lucky to have in it :-)

    I assume I just continue as normal and live the days as they come.

  79. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Steveo I have already posted on depression above, here it is pasted below. But try not to make an issue how happy or sad you feel, how alive or flat you feel. Go with how you are feeling like a leaf in the wind and with no resistence, this gives your mind and body the space it needs to heal itself.

    Below is what I wrote earlier on depression.

    Anxiety depletes us physically and emotionally which can leave us feeling empty or drained, we feel so flat and emotionless. Also we lose a lot of confidence through suffering, be it not being able to once do what we could or we find social situations harder or just the fact that are mind is less clear and conversation can become a chore.

    One last point is that people who don’t normally suffer with anxiety or depression can find themselves depressed if their whole life comes tumbling down around them, which is what anxiety sufferers find, life just seems so hard and motivation is low with little to look forward to.

    I felt awful, I found it hard to socialise and function, I found just getting through the day a chore in my worst days. Anxiety crushed my spirit, it robbed me of so much, so is it any wonder I felt so depressed? I knew when I came through that the depression would lift, emotions came back bit by bit, i remember the first day I smiled without it being fake, I remember the first time I actually looked forward to something, bit by bit the old me came back, I did not force or fake it, I just took each day as it came.

    Paul

  80. steveo Says:

    Thanks for your reply Paul.

    I’m probably just too eager to be back to my normal self again, but that is understandable for all of us.

    I am hoping this is me in recovery but the anxiety makes us doubt things at times as you very well know!

  81. evelyn Says:

    thanks bret;)
    im so glad to hear you had the sane problem and irs gone, i know in the end its all anxiety, just wanted some reassurance.lol. its just annoying, but you are right its just a tired mind, there are times when im not thininking of anything, and im like oh wait and then here comes the song again, i mentioned it to my husband and he said who cares, lol. he has songs ib his head too, he doesnt have anxiety, so he doesnt obsess about it.. thanks sooo much i feel a whole lot better, im so thankful for this blog!

  82. evelyn Says:

    sorry for the spelling errors its hard typing fron my cell phone.lol

  83. MLK Says:

    Hi Everyone!
    Hope everyone is doing well :) Just wanted to come on here to write how I have been doing lately. I was going great recently..hadnt really even noticed my anxiety until I went to the gym and was running (training for a half marathon this coming May!) on the treadmill. I suddenly began to focus on my breathing and how I was not able to get a full breath in. I then gave into the irrational thought/feeling and stopped running. A sense of panic took over and I wanted nothing more than to get out of the building. In the midst of my panic attack I was convinced that I was going to die and I could not calm down. After talking to my parents, and getting my mind off of my panic, I began to calm down. However that panic attack really set me off. I am more worried now and a little upset with myself for allowing the fear to take precendence over my rational thinking. I did take the next day off from working out, but I figured I needed to start working out again because if I didnt then I would fall into this cycle of fear and withdrawl. So I am back on track in my running, but feelings anxious still. I guess I just need a ‘pick me up’ and some words of encouragement! Hope everyone’s road to recovery is going well :)
    MLK

  84. steveo Says:

    Hi MLK

    I think the encouragment is in your own post;

    “was going great recently..hadnt really even noticed my anxiety”

    As easy as that you see :-). No doubt you will be doing great again soon when you take the pressure off.

  85. Will Says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    I am definitely still in the recovery process and what I have written on this site has been the approaches and methods that I have found useful over the last, very difficult 6 months. So I have not “overcome all this” but I have learnt to accept how I am feeling and see it for what it is – intense anxiety about a whole host of important issues that built up over a couple of years to finally erupt into a chaos of fear that was no longer attached to any one problem – it became one big abstract thing. It is like my system said to me “come on, enough is enough – I don’t want you to live in this state of fear the whole time that makes you a manic perfectionist.I want you to be happy and enjoy life and be yourself – to be content and to be a simple human being.” Ironically, this is what happens with anxiety – the subconscious, unresolved fear breaks through into our consciousness so that we are actually forced to deal with it so we can live a better life. We are forced to confront our greatest fears, so that we can truly live life. This is why Paul’s approach is so good – because it is based on facing up to our fear, not running away from it or taking something in from the outside to smother it. And he is absolutely right that the only way to deal with the anxiety and all its related symptoms is to go THROUGH it. When we face it head on our fundamental fear subsides which causes the rest to subside, bit by bit. And when we emerge on the other side, we are even stronger than we were before because there are no hidden fears in us.

    Will.

  86. evelyn Says:

    your are soo right, and make soo much sense, alot of my questions were answered without me even asking them;) my biggest problem is my d.p which i might be saying it wrong, because its not as intense as before, i think i fear it just a tinh bit, which thats why i only feel a tiny bit of it, the day i dont fear it any longer im sure it will dissmiss;). all my other symptoms r gone because i dont fear them anymore, so u are very right

  87. Michelle Z Says:

    That does make sense, Will. I do well for a week or two and then fall back into it. That has happened again the last few days. For me, it’s obsessive, scary thoughts. When I am doing well, I can blow them off. Friday night I was so tired and a thought popped in my head, along with fear. And then I fought it all weekend and today. And, in fact, the depression then comes back, too, and I am back in the circle. Why is it that the thoughts seem so real? I know it’s because of the emotion attached to it. But I then find myself feeling depressed because I can’t just get this. I feel fearful and low at the same time. When I am doing well, it’s not like the thoughts are gone. It’s just that I can tell them, “Whatever,” and they don’t bother me. I guess it’s just a process. Back and forth, back and forth…until, finally, you are on the other side of it.

  88. Kat Says:

    Hello, everyone.

    I don’t know if Helen is still reading, but she normally gives me great advice and I’m back looking for it again. Also, if anyone else can relate to my post and have some thoughts to share, I’d appreciate it greatly.

    Roughly five months ago, I developed, almost instantly, serious worries about my partner and our relationship. Without going into too much detail, as I’ve written about it a few times before, I have started to worry obsessively that things will never return to normal, that I’ll never feel ‘in love’ again and that eventually our relationship will end. Now, we’ve been together for almost nine years, and we have a six-year-old child, and never once before last October did I ever doubt my love for him. I have suffered from anxiety and panic disorder for 10 years and a bit and he has truly been my greatest support and joy through it all. I have felt beautiful, sexy, loved and smart because of him. Now, I feel major anxiety whenever he hints at physical intimacy, agitation and irritation at the jokes and comments he makes which I used to find hysterical, and I have a very short fuse most of the time. Though we are not legally married, I consider him my husband, and I have never wanted to be without him. Why then am I suddenly obsessing over everything?

    I have fantasized about getting married for ages, and for various reasons we haven’t yet. Now, whenever I think about it, I begin to feel panic and doubt. I am so sad about this because I’ve always wanted it, and I am greatly concerned that it will never happen, that I’ll one day be an old, lonely woman who never married, lost her partner because of fears that had no basis in reality. Do I love him? I think I do because I can’t see how love would suddenly stop after so many years of unquestioned devotion. I do not understand this new thought routine and I don’t know how to separate fact from fiction. I have been trying to follow all of the advice of others from this site and have, at times, felt slightly more optimistic (particularly Helen who seems to have had the same thoughts as me), but when I come back down to this horrible, black depressive thinking where I begin to believe what the thoughts are telling me, I become anxious and morose at the same time.

    If anyone has a success story related to this kind of thinking I’d really be happy to read it. I am so tired and emotionally spent from all of this cyclical worry that I really need to believe that one day I’ll feel the way I used to, and that I will one day be happily married with a happy family. Right now, it feels like everyone’s happiness is dependent on me and my ability to overcome all the negative thinking and that is a lot of pressure. Again, can anyone please provide some reassurance?

    Much obliged,

    Kat

  89. KM Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I’ve often read your posts and really feel for you, my name is Kat too, thats why i’ve put KM!! My anxiety restarted the same time yours did, about five months ago after a very stressful life event. I have had chronic persistent anxiety for 5 months from the time i wake till I go to bed. I’ve definatly improved, as i’m sleeping now and eating well (most days), but i’m still stuck in the negative loop of negative thinking, expecting bad outcomes, and plagued by panic symptoms. I can relate to you as i have a loving supportive partner who has become one of the things i fear as well. We dont live together at the moment but anytime we plan to catch up I can’t help obsessing how i’m going to “be” when i’m with him, I’ve attached my anxiety/fear to him and our time together and I dread it! Its the most horrible feeling as when we are together we are usually great but i’m plagued with anxiety and stuggle to enjoy our time together as I’m really not coping at all! Any weddings or social events we are invited too I stress about for days on end, and I feel as depressed as you could get over it! I’ve been through bad anxiety like you have before and i’ve got through it, I know all the mind games and tricks and what not!! And I know to get through to the other side you have to go through it! Its just I dont seem to get many periods where I feel normal, or forget it, and if I do, they are short lived and my negative thinking has me beleiving they never happened or were not as good as I thought them to be…:(
    I’m always much worse at hormonal times of the month as it was my hormones that triggured off this and previous experiences of severe anxiety! I’d just like to be able to wake and not fear everything the day has to offer me, this is not me, its not who I am, and I hope in time I can find myself again..Sorry my post is so depressing, just you have a friend in your suffering who knows what your going through.
    Regards,
    Kat

  90. MLK Says:

    Hi steveo,
    Thanks for the reply! Hope everyone has a nice day :)

  91. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Guys – I just need some reassurance. I was going along doing okay. Had almost two pretty good weeks. Then Friday night had a scary thought and this time…the fear stuck with it…and Bam! I’m back into it. Anxiety, fear, depression, tons of scary thoughts. Sometimes it seems so hard to jump out of that circle. Thanks for any input.

  92. Will Says:

    Hi Michelle Z,

    I would say don’t try to “jump out of” the circle but just accept the feelings and try to talk them out with someone you trust. In my own experience, I have developed bad habits of bottling up fears and worries and just ploughing that nervous energy into my work but what I really need to do a lot of the time is to actually accept my fears and worries and talk them out – perhaps with the people that they centre around or, if they are a more general and ‘lifey’ then with someone I trust.

    Everybody needs emotional support in life and it sounds to me as if you have nowhere to let the steam out when one of these anxiety states hits you. It’s fine when things are going well because you don’t need the support but it will help your recovery, I think, if you feel that if you do go into an anxiety state there is a good support network around you ready to catch you and help you. Just that feeling that there are people who are willing to support you will help ease one of these “Bam!” experiences, I think, because when they come you will just think “ok, I need to talk to someone now and I know who to go to” instead of the “oh, no here we go” cycle of secondary fear.

    Will

  93. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Actually, Will, it’s just the being able to trust this process and myself. I go along well doing what Paul says, accepting feelings and thoughts, then suddenly it’s as if I am unable to do it and I am back on the merry go round. One obsessive scary thought about nothing that even makes sense and the fear just goes through me and at some point the depression comes back and then I’m afraid of my thoughts and on and on. I understand the premise of how this works and know it’s just anxiety and, yet, there’s a part of me that must not totally believe it. So then the discouragement settles in. I think this must just be part of the process. That’s why it is a process and takes some time to get over.

  94. KH Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I can say that I have recovered a lot from my anxiety and I have been feeling better than ever. However, recently I started to worry that I am having a brain tumor. I had an MRI scan six months ago, which came out clean and doctor said that I am perfectly healthy. However, this niggling thought has never left me and has now even gotten worse. I have made a post on this previously and this constant fear is draining my energy.

    Is there anyone out there who has similar experience and can give me some advice? I would really appreciate it as I am trying my best to tackle this thought but I am really feeling very lost at times.

  95. Rachael Says:

    Hi KH,

    One of my biggest anxiety drivers (and actually what kick-started my anxiety in the first place) is worrying about my health – irrationally. It’s taken me a long time to stop doing it, but I finally have and now I’m in recovery can really see that it was just nonsense thoughts caused by anxiety.

    Health is a really easy go-to worry wart for your anxiety to focus on, and it just LOVES the ones you can’t see like a brain tumour (I had a scan too!). What I learned to do was trust myself a little bit more – I’d stop worrying about it, and trust that if there was something seriously wrong with me, I would know about it. Generally, if you’re worrying about something and guessing and wondering – you don’t have it! Symptoms of anything serious are usually too big to overlook.

    Anyway I’m running away with myself here but the point is this: it’s your anxiety telling you to worry about this, and it’s based on nothing. Don’t waste any more of your time on it, and trust yourself that you will recognise if there ever IS anything that needs medical attention.

  96. Will Says:

    Hi KH,

    I totally second what Rachael has said here.

    At the start of my serious anxiety problems, six or so months ago, I genuinely thought that I had a cancerous growth and became totally convinced of it. I eventually realised that it was just a projection of my overall anxiety and did not pursue it medically. But you did pursue it medically, which I think was sensible because you have taken the problem to a professional and they have given you a professional verdict. If you think about it, even if they thought there was the very slightest chance that there was something wrong with you they would take further tests – the medical establishment is super-cautious, not least because they don’t want massive legal cases to deal with.

    As Rachael says, you really would know if there was something seriously wrong with you, especially that kind of illness. And Rachael is totally right about the fact that it’s something you can’t see so that makes it ideal for really worrying about – that is a perfect anxiety focus because it is beyond all control measures.

    Just accept that you are concerned and worried but at the same time remember that people who have spent years of professional study and accumulation of hands-on expertise in diagnosing these things have looked at you and given you the ok – they know what they are doing.

    Will

  97. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    You need to give yourself much more time than you are. You are alert to every thought and feeling you are having and are questioning everything and this is because you are so frightened of what the outcome may be, that the thing you fear most will come true.
    When I was going though what you are now, I would try and think of the things that I know made me happy in the past, to try and recall the feelings of being excited, in love, content and when I couldn’t it would frighten me even more and I would continue to question why I couldn’t do this, what was wrong, why is this happening to me, to us? Just like you are doing now with how you felt about getting married and all feelings you used to have and you think could now possibly be gone. This is the wrong thing to do, believe me.
    You are looking for an answer constantly, wanting it to be gone and the fact that you are doing this is making it worse. IT IS anxiety, every post you have written is virtually word for word what I would have written a couple of years ago. You have to let it run it’s course and you have to stop looking for it be gone. You are obsessing because you are constantly looking for answers. You are irritable because you are scared, tense, tired and emotionally spent.
    Allow yourself to feel however you feel and don’t question it. The focus of your anxiety is your partner, you are going to feel irritable and you are not going to feel ‘in love’, how can you? I bet you probably can even look at him at the moment without thoughts racing round our head. Anxiety is all you feel at the moment, so allow it, give it room, let it in. Stop the questions Kat, I know it is hard but you feed anxiety this way.
    It is very hard to tell someone to allow all the awful thoughts and feelings that come to them but this is the only way to recover. Be strong and carry on as normal, if, for instance, he invited you out for a romantic meal, make sure you GO. Do not avoid anything, don’t let the ‘but what if I don’t feel like I used to?’ or ‘what if I can’t talk to him?’ or any of the questions stop you. In fact Kat, if I had my time over with this again, I would invite him to do something, I would do every little thing that scared me and feel every feeling that scared me. I cowered under anxiety for a long time, let it control me, waited to be better to live again and this, of course, never works.
    You have anxiety, this isn’t a relationship problem, it is anxiety. Believe it, let it in and carry on. You will get through this.

    All the best
    Helen

  98. MLK Says:

    Hi KH,
    I can totally relate to you as well. I recently saw something on the news about a young high school athlete collapsing and dying from an enlarged heart. I immediately went online and googled the symptoms for an enlarged heart and convinced myself that I experience all of those symptoms. I thought I had it to the point that my heart was beating hard and fast for the entire evening..I could not relax. It is so easy to let yourself be taken away by these thoughts that truly have zero basis for concern. It is really difficult though, and I understand how you feel. I guess I need to learn to trust my body and that if something was really actually wrong with me, then I would know! Happy St. Patricks Day, everyone! :)
    MLK

  99. natalie Says:

    hi guys

    hope you all having a good day today !! just a quick post, am really struggling with a racing mind in the morning and it makes me feel exhausted before i even begin my day .. feel better as the day goes on but wondered any tips ?? have tried to get up and have a cuppa watch alittle tv but sometimes i wake at 3.30 and obviously takes it out of me!! also whenever i have a disagreement with my partner or friend /family wat ever i get so worked up tell myself anxiety but have such paranoid thoughts that it makes me cry, think i just a bit drained of late ready for a break.. do fine a nice hot bath and a little pampering makes me feel better but sometimes think it would be nice to take a holiday from my brain to get some strength back. wills post helps a lot THANKS WILL !!!! just seem stuck at the min need to be kinder to myself suppose and look for the positives and not worry soooo much !!! there you go answered my own question :) .. but if anyone has the time your thoughts would help thanks guy .. i can totally relate to all that you say on here xx

  100. Douglas Says:

    Hi everyone,

    A first post from me, and I want to thank Paul and you all for what seems to be a valuable resource.

    Briefly, I am an American professional symphony musician in a German orchestra. My panic issues started “out of the blue” back in 1984, and I was as confused and bewildered as all of you, running around Europe consulting all the wise doctors and therapists I could find. However, I gradually realized, over about three years, that I had to quit worrying and get on with life. My wife and I bought a house, fixed it up, and that seemed to fix me up, and that was that for almost 15 years, when I was absolutely 100% sure that I was over this “thing” forever.

    Until I woke up one morning in 2002 with the old “brick in the gut” feeling, which triggered the old self-obsessing, looking for a cause, depression, etc. etc.. My sister had gone through a major depression a few years earlier, and had been taking the SSRI Effexor for about 3 years, with good results, so my GP prescribed me some as well, and it certainly helped me get over whatever the problem was within about 6 months.

    And then I caught a nasty flu around the end of 2005, the bricks came back etc. etc. and I changed meds, suffered for about 10 months and did a CBT therapy which may or may not have helped, but I again gradually recovered.

    Until about exactly a year ago, when it all started again, and here I am again. Tried a couple of new meds without much success, then found Paul’s site and book in Febuary. Of course I had a few great days after reading both the book and your posts, but slowly the fears and nagging doubts came back. I feel I am a master at “living like I don’t have it” and can function at a fairly high level, including playing difficult repertoire, being with friends and colleagues, etc., and am at times able to forget myself and my “problem.” But the smallest thing can still set me off on endless ruminating, trying, I suppose, to get a handle on this. I’m suffering a lot of depression and confusion still, after all this time. The root cause seems to be the fact that my mother was a borderline schizophrenic who required several hospitalizations and electro-shock, and her sister and 4 brothers all had mental issues as well. So I seem unable to really, deep-down convince myself that I have not inherited something fairly nasty, even though I have expert assurance that I show no signs of schizophrenia, psychosis, etc. And I don’t have any obvious “tics” mentally or physically. But I do have a lively brain, at times teeming with random images, phrases, and, (of course hardly surprising for a musician, but annoying nevertheless) music playing in my mind. And so I worry and obsess and scare myself with my inability to control my thoughts as my mind seems to return again and again and again to what has become, once again, a major preoccupation with seemingly endless aspects to it. Some of which I cannot put into words, other than a sometimes overwhelming sense of something being terribly wrong and terribly deep-seated and pretty much impossible to fix.

    Now I know you will say, face, float and accept, and of course I try to do that, but I feel I have little control over my head and seem to be stuck in the same old same old. And I really feel that I’ve already been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt, as it were. My most fervent wish is to put this nonsense behind me once and for all. But the longer each depression lasts, the less likely this seems to me.

    So I guess my questions are, can we safely assume that all anxiety/depression manifestations are in fact not symptoms of deeper issues requiring medication after all? Or am I, as I sometimes suspect, just being the world’s biggest hypochondriac?

    Sorry for the ramble, but, as I guess we all know, sometimes the level of desperation needs an outlet, and any input would be much appreciated!

    Douglas

  101. Matt Says:

    I would like to say that I am getting close to being recovered from this hell I’ve been living in for two years. I can’t believe that the solution was as simple as it is. I held a couple of the puzzle pieces for dealing with anxiety, but I never could put the whole thing together until now. It’s amazing to me how, by letting your anxiety do your thing, it loses it’s power…..completely. Like Paul said in his book, I thought about anxiety from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed and was trying to fix it. The reason I never recovered is because I was living in the symptoms and not allowing my mind and body to recover from it. Today, by not caring what anxiety does to me, it allows my mind to recover completely. The physical symptoms are completely gone and I feel more free today then I did before I even had anxiety. I guess I feel that way because having to overcome such a huge obstacle like anxiety and feeling hopeless for a few years, and now living with complete freedom is unparalleled. Thank you again for your book Paul.

  102. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sorry not been around for a few days, just moderated a few comments. Welcome douglas and thanks for the comments matt, it always means as much to me as it does to the person reading it that the book helps, so glad the site/book has helped you.

    That’s always the number 1 aim of the site and blog.

    Also a quick message, if anyone has a kindle device and would like to test my book on it, no charge of course, then please just email me. A member kindly offered to adapt my book to be readable on a kindle device and I would just like to test it and make sure the layout and everything is fine.

    Thanks Paul

  103. Kat Says:

    Thank you, Helen.

    I so appreciate your words. Having struggled with anxiety in what seems like endless forms and variations, I am especially troubled by this one. I suppose this is because I incorrectly assumed that a ‘good’ relationship would ‘cure’ me. I suppose I figured that as long as I had him, I could handle anything. I never suspected that I’d ever feel any kind of negative emotions with regard to him or our life together.

    I spoke to him this morning about what I’ve been feeling and I have to admit that I thought I’d feel a sense of relief from it. It wasn’t our first conversation about it, but usually I feel a little bit of a weight lift whenever I unload some of what’s happening in my head. This time, I feel very little difference, though he assures me that he knows I love him. I hate that I am being fooled at times into wondering if I do. I will try to follow your advice and allow the negativity and fear to work its way through. I admit that I do worry and try to isolate causes and solutions even though I have been told that it only exacerbates the problem. Old habits and all that.

    I desperately wish to understand this ‘thing’ better, which I’m sure everyone here is trying to do, but I suppose it’s the ‘desperately’ that is serving as an obstacle. After ten years of this, I suppose you might say I’m feeling a bit defeated. I wake some days feeling like I am filled with lead, that I have a heavy weight pushing me down, and to force a smile seems ridiculous and useless. I won’t give up, but I had hoped that by now I’d have felt some kind of marked improvement. Maybe this is just self pity, but it’s also a bit of emotional depletion. I am just so grateful that others here can relate to what I’m feeling and have managed to overcome it. It’s the hope the rest of us are holding on to.

    Thank you again, Helen. I really don’t know what I’d do without you!

    Kat

  104. Matt Says:

    Hey Natalie, I struggled with racing thoughts my entire life. I still have them frequently, but I don’t struggle with them. The reason is because I don’t latch onto them. During the recovery process, I tried to recall how I dealt with them before anxiety was a factor in my life. And, like dealing with anxiety now, I didn’t. I just let them come and go. I found that the solution for anxiety works for stress, worrying, OCD, and mind-racing. You just let your mind do it’s thing and it goes away. When I focused on racing thoughts or stress or whatever I always made things worse. Now, I don’t focus on it and it passes. Now, I know that’s easier said then done, but for me having the experience of dealing with those things that were to me minor before anxiety helped me deal with it afterwards, if that makes any sense. Once I gave my mind and body time to heal, my reaction to it became second nature like it did before. There’s a motto I kinda live by, “Act your way into better thinking”. So, whatever I’m feeling or thinking, just do it anyways. Whether hanging out with friends, work, or whatever. I have to surround myself with reality before it really starts to sink in. If I stay couped up at home, then reality can become unbearable at times. Anyways, that’s my experience and I hope it helped.

  105. Bret Says:

    Alright…so I don’t post here often, and I like to consider myself 95% recovered. But I would like some advice from Paul or anyone else on something interesting,

    I recently got a hernia from lifting weights and am going to have it fixed. My appointment is next Thursday and I can already feel my anxiety levels going up. I’ve never had surgery before and I think my fear is of waking up after the operation, freaking out and back to square one. Its taken me a long time to get where I’m at and I feel like this is going to set me back. I’m terrified of being put to sleep/being drugged/disoriented and I know its going to flood me with anxiety/detached feelings and I fear I’m going to have to go through this all again. :( Anyone here ever had surgery w/ anxiety/dp/panic?

    P.S. Paul your book really did save my life :)

  106. Matt Says:

    I also wanted to add that, and here’s a metaphor, that for me, anxiety and worries, fears, racing thoughts, is like musical chairs. Let’s say the chair is your thoughts, worries, whatever, and anxiety is the thing circling the chair. Now, I have worries and thoughts all day long, but when anxiety hits, it’s like it sits down in the chair. Meaning, I can have normal everyday thoughts and worries, but as soon as the anxiety hits it takes ahold of whatever feeling or thought I have at the moment and runs with it, if I let it. I could be thinking about Ice Cream, and then anxiety hits out of nowhere and all of a sudden I’m afraid of going into the store to buy it. What helps me today is keeping my mind in reality. Sometimes the anxiety still hits, but as soon as it does I have to automatically remind myself that there isn’t anything to be scared of and the reality is I’m going to get Ice Cream to enjoy. That stops the anxiety completely! After doing this over time, I “allowed” myself to have normal thoughts and even worries without anxiety even being a factor anymore.

  107. Kat Says:

    Hi Bret,

    I am by no means an expert, but since I began experiencing anxiety years ago, I have had a broken foot, given birth and had my gallbladder removed. Through it all, what kept me calm was knowing that it is normal to have some level of anxiety or apprehension before undergoing any kind of medical procedure. To be honest, my worst panic hits when I go to the dentist, mostly because everyone else seems so calm about it, and that’s when my adrenaline goes into overdrive because I interpret my anxiety as ‘abnormal’ in that situation. With the most recent surgery (gallbladder), I didn’t feel a great deal of panic until just before I was sedated, but I focused on the fact that most people come through surgery just fine, that I’d feel so much better when it was done, and that it was okay for me to feel worry and fear because the cause of it was clear. The sedation part, if you’ve never experienced it, is a bit like floating, which makes everything around you seem so much more relaxing. For me, it was not like depersonalisation, which makes me almost hyper-aware, but was instead like moving through a cloud. Not frightening at all.

    If you experience any level of fear about the surgery, then in my opinion, it’s normal. It will pass, and it doesn’t mean the anxiety is there to stay. As we have read here and elsewhere, some level of anxiety in life is absolutely normal!

    You’re going to be okay. Good luck with the surgery!

    Kat

  108. Leslie Says:

    Hi everyone. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. I had been doing great for the past 5 months or so….probably the best I’ve been. I definitely still had symptoms, mostly disturbing thoughts and memories of previous suffering, but I was able to ignore them and move on for the most part. Now, however, I find myself in quite a setback. Honestly the worst I think I’ve ever had. I just feel like I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I’m dealing with some sort of awful depression like I haven’t experienced before. I just feel totally hopeless…..like I want to just give up (obviously I have to keep on keeping on, but it’s just how I feel!). Throughout my anxiety journey (I’ve been suffering for about 2 years), I really don’t remember feeling anything like this. Very weird thoughts are going round and round in my head and getting an anxious/depressed reaction. For example, I just keep thinking “what’s the point of life”, “I just can’t do this anymore”…..it’s like nothing matters to me anymore. I feel like I’m in some sort of black hole that has no way out. I’m sorry for being such a downer! I just really need some encouragement and reassurance to get back on track. Has anyone else experienced this sort of thing? I feel so alone and confused right now. I feel like I keep sabotaging myself…..like deep down I must not want to get better and enjoy my life again. Any words of advice would be so appreciated! XOXO

  109. Michelle Z Says:

    Just wanting to give an encouraging word or two to Douglas and Leslie. I understand what you are both going through. The most difficult thigns about this entire journey for me has been scary thoughts (or just ordinary thoughts that I latch onto and then become afraid of) and then going into depression, which of course, then I obsess about that. I have found the most helpful thing is Paul’s book and this blog. Whenever I need some encouragement, I come back here and it always helps. Yes, Douglas, it truly is about accepting and floating and just getting on with your everyday life. I understand you do that and I do, too (get on with our lives I mean). But the missing piece seems to me to be the change in attitude about it, the truly accepting it for what it is…just anxiety. And that can be very difficult to do. It takes time and patience, but it is achievable. Keep coming back here. Read Paul’s book if you haven’t already. You will find much enocuragement and peace here.

    And, Leslie, it’s much the same process for you. You’ve done very well for some time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t reappear. You’re just not totally recovered yet. Believe in this process. There are some posts further up the line here talking about depression and why it happens. Paul can share it much better than I can so scan up and read. He posted it on March 3. We have to trust this process. Trust our bodies and minds to heal. Trust that it truly is only anxiety and nothing more. Do our best to accept all this and just float through it. And one day, we will each look back and be able to say that we are recovered. We will be the ones coming back occasionally to encourage those still struggling. Believe! We can do it!

  110. Douglas Says:

    Hey Michelle,

    Thanks so much for your encouraging words. They mean more than you can know. And you are right, it’s a matter of trust and faith that it is all just anxiety and nothing worse and/or progressive. Sometimes I do wish though, that we humans were fitted with a “faith button” to be pushed as required!

  111. Douglas Says:

    …and a PS to Leslie:

    I too have many times been plagued by the “what’s the use” and “I can’t do this anymore” thoughts. But experience has taught me at least this much, that good times do return, and when they do, those kinds of thoughts are not even on the radar screen anymore. So I wish you, and us all: PATIENCE!

  112. Bret Says:

    Kat,

    Thank you so much :) i honestly can say your words made me feel much better! I know its a super minor surgery, doc said it will take 20 minutes. But yea the whole sedation thing is scary. We are going to discuss whether General Anesthesia or Local w/ Sedation is the best option for me. I really dont know which to push for, nor do I think it will matter much. Any experience with General Anesthesia vs Local w Sedation? :) You actually made me a little emotional knowing you wrote such a good reply haha, and believe me, I rarely get emo 😉 Your the best!

  113. evelyn Says:

    hi bret:)
    you helped me with the mirror issues once before, so i hope i can help with the surgery..
    i had a d.n.c which is minor surgery when i had a miscarriage, and they had to clean me because i was blood clotting couple of years ago, and i was soo nervous, i thought the worst outcomes, i was a mess, these feelings came as soon as i learned i was getting put to sleep.lol. as kat stated, even people without anxiety get nervous too:) its normal we are all human, well the surgery happen really fast, as soon as they put the i.v i didnt remember anything, your just out of it, its actually the opposite of anxiety, your calm and relaxed. and believe me you are not going back to square on with you d.p thought, you have accomplished to much bret, although you may fall short, you will never forget what has been thought here:) you will be just fine, you picked me up a couple of weeks ago, so now its time, to carry on as you have been, oh yeah and im sure the doc had ran blood work, which im sure for any surgery you need to be healthy, and im sure you are.. lets leave that worry to others..

  114. evelyn Says:

    oops sorry bret, you helped me with the songs playing over and over..lol. ahhh so many people are on here, i forget whos who?? hahah.. ill be praying that your surgery turns out fine..

  115. Will Says:

    Hi Douglas,

    This is my take on your comments and I hope it may be of some use to you.

    It sounds as though you are someone with very high standards for yourself – you are used to performing at a high level and commanding respect from people perhaps? This can really feed into anxiety and depression problems because, from my own experience, we are always struggling with the fact that we are not top-notch and at our best enough, especially when we feel stricken with weird, frightening, disabling, and unpleasant feelings and thoughts – a lot of how we value ourselves is based on our performance and excellence and when we see that dropping away in some way we start losing our confidence, then we (literally) panic and get anxious at a deep level and that then that feeds into all the associated symptoms and problems that anxiety creates resulting in depressive symptoms as well. It is a cycle – a negative feedback loop.

    As Paul frequently, consistently, and firmly emphasises both in this blog and in his book – there is NO quick fix and no ‘off’ button. We must embrace and ‘befriend’ our condition and live with it, invite it in, and not fight it like some enemy – it is, after all, our own system that is ‘doing’ all of this to us. We must just trust that the system that resulted in the problem will also be the system that gets us out of it, as long as we leave it alone long enough to do its work. Get into the habit of LETTING GO and saying to yourself: “So what? So what if it all falls apart – the World will carry on won’t it? So what if I need to take some time off? We will survive won’t we?”. The symptoms and feelings intensify massively when we project our thinking into the future and go into the ‘what if…?’ sequence of thinking – just stay grounded in the present and take each day as it comes and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You are just a human being and you have limits like everyone else and you are perfectly good enough and worthy whatever condition you are in – you don’t need to be perfect, just be yourself and allow your body and mind to have a rest and re-charge when they want to.

    I have had to change the way I do things and see myself in order to ‘grow’ with my experience – we have to see it as a positive part of our emotional and spiritual development, otherwise it just becomes a meaningless, crazy ‘illness’. But that is a choice of attitude that is up to us. Viktor Frankl was a psychotherapist who survived a Nazi concentration camp and he said the following in his famous book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’:

    “..everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude to any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

    And this is where Paul’s ideas are so useful because he continually reminds us that it is ourselves who will get us out of the problems if we choose to stick at it.

    Will

  116. Tracy Says:

    Will,

    I really can relate to your post, although this week I would say I am having a bit of a set back. I put so much pressure on myself to do eveything perfect. I put a lot of my identity and value on my running performance, from a very young age. When I started getting older and injured it became tougher to keep it up..add on a 3 year old and a 6 year and the internal voice telling me you still need to be able to do it all perfect..well things fell apart. I am making progress now though and can feel a change, but it is a up and down affair and often I do feel like it will all come crashing down on me again. I keep the faith and this site with me and people like yourself with such encouraging posts. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  117. Douglas Says:

    Will,

    Thanks so much for your kind words. They come after a particularly trying day and are thus even more welcome.

    My sticking point at the moment seems to be how uncontrollable my mind seems at present. There seems to be nearly constant analysis and conjecture going on at a deep level beyond my ability to influence. Unfortunately the
    hypotheses that do eventually percolate out of this inchoate mass seem always to be bleak and hopeless (arrested emotional development / distorted view of life as a result of childhood trauma? Or maybe something else I just lack the ability to define?) It’s pretty much automatic and my mind seems to slide back into it all on greased rails.

    Now I realize that this is all counter-productive, and I am the one thinking these thoughts. I just don’t seem to be able to help myself and feel I am literally driving myself crazy.

    But of course, as I have often read here, this can all be attributed to mental habits that are ingrained and not so easy to change. But I am trying fervently to believe that any habit can be unlearned ,and your post, with its prescient Frankl citation does give me hope.

    Thanks for listening!

  118. KH Says:

    Thanks everyone for the good advice which were given. I sincerely appreciate all the help that you are giving.

    I do understand that it appears to be rather impractical to consider myself having a brain tumor, considering I had a health check about half a year ago and it came clear. However, I do very often feel detached from the world, which most probably result from a mild d.p. For example, sometimes when I say something, my mind would start to question, “Why did I said that?”, “How did I know if I said the right thing?”. I know that these strange thoughts is a result of over-analysing things. These thoughts drain a lot of energy from me, and it’s the reason why I do get a lot of worries that I might be having a brain tumor.

    However, I do have to say that Paul’s method has did wonders for me. During the worst point of my suffering, every moment is filled with constant odd and obsessive thoughts, and I get no room to rest at all! Everyday is felt with confusion (possibly due to d.p.), where everything would seem strange and odd to me as well. Compared to those days, now I do get many nights where I can sleep without problem, and now I never felt tired of going through my days as I know that recovery is within reach.

  119. Will Says:

    Hi Douglas,

    I can really relate to those awful thoughts of “Something’s not right with me” or “Did something go wrong in my development?” or “Have I got some rogue gene?” etc. The answer is definitely ‘no’, if only because your entire life would have been characterized by what you are experiencing now, if that was the case. A genuine inherent condition doesn’t just disappear for a few years and then come back – how could it, if it is systemic? Nature doesn’t switch things on and off like that despite how it may seem to us.

    You are right to define these kind of things as “hypotheses” as that is precisely what they are – thoughts elaborated into theories in order to explain difficult and unpleasant feelings. But they come from your mind not from ‘reality’ as such – we all have all sorts of theories about everything and some of them may be correct in some ways and others may not – the fact that they logically add up does not make them real, however. Your mind will always seek the logical explanation but that is not necessarily the ‘true’ one. Trust your heart – there is more wisdom in there than your mind 1000 times over. The mind just whizzes around trying to find neat answers whereas the heart can cope with paradox and mystery which are much closer to the ‘truth’ than anything logical.

    Nor do I dispute the importance of childhood experiences in shaping adult experience and psychology – I have had psychodynamic counselling and found it hugely useful in looking at my family relationships and how they have contributed to my anxiety patterns – but these are capable of being worked on and understood and are not evidence of any irreversible ‘condition’.

    I was quite surprised when I read in Paul’s book that he thought that anxiety was one of the most destructive emotions that we can experience. I fully agree with him, as my own experience has taught me that sustained anxiety can escalate to very serious proportions and should not be underestimated in terms of its effects and the kind of ‘symptoms’ it produces, but it is just that – anxiety – and is something that can be steadily reversed. In your case, I would suggest that you try to look at HOW you got into your current anxiety state and re-trace your steps. When you stop the panicking and agitation for a moment to look over what has led up to your current state you will probably be surprised to see how much anxiety there has been in your life, just building up and up until it flooded into your consciousness.

    Will

  120. Will Says:

    Hi Tracy,

    From my own experience, I have had to start ‘re-programming’ myself to get out of that perfectionist mode. Nobody is perfect, nor have they ever been – we all fall short and that is just life. We should give ourselves ideals and goals to aim for so that we can build a good life for ourselves and those closest to us, not because we want everyone to admire us – that is just pride and vanity and it really comes at a nasty price in my experience because when, for whatever reason, our performance ability declines, we then think and feel that nobody respects us any more. And when we think that nobody respects us any more we go into a tail-spin of anxiety thinking that people won’t love us so much which wears us down into depressive patterns of thinking and feeling.

    The truth is that those people who really love us, love us for who we are, warts and all. We actually make it very hard for them to love us (and for us to love them back) if we are continually trying to impress them, rather than just being our plain old selves. And this kind of relationship leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to…you know the rest.

    That’s my take on perfectionism!

    Will

  121. evelyn Says:

    hi will:)
    i was reading the last post that you left douglas, and you talked about, alot of our anxiety is because of cicumstances that happened to us in the past, wheather in childhood or just up bringing and life style.. i am sure that the majority of my anxiety is my child hood and up bringing.. which as an adult it led me to being a fearful person, and over anylitical, which in some over floaded my mind as you state as well, until i just could not take it anymore which gave me the d.p feeling.., so what im trying to ask is,, do you suggest we go and trace our past? and if so, who would i handle things? i must say that since i found this site and read pauls book, i have felt a tone better, but paul does not address how to handle the past, his advice is how to handle the the moment, unless i havent read about it if he has.. i could be mistaken.. thank you so much for listening, oh and on a quick note, i totally agree with people with anxiety always suffer from perfictionism, and in the end the worlds a better place if we just say so what,, or who cares..

    evelyn

  122. Daphne Says:

    Hello, after a half year I made good progress with leaving my DP and anxiety behind me just by going on like normal like Paul says.There is still one thing I’m afraid of and this is leaving my town for longer… I was in another city when I first experienced DP suddenly extensively an for me “being in another city” is associated with DP and big fear. I learned to go to work (ok – at the moment it’s only a side job), to cope with different social situations, but leaving the city is still difficult for me. I already did it though, but only for some hours. It was still quite terrifying. I always have stupid what-ifs like “What if staying to lang away from home makes me sick again, like it did before an I will feel as bad as I felt one and a half year ago?” Yes, this is my main fear, that the anxiety and DP I will feel in a foreign place will make me feel so bad, that it won’t be an “exercise” that finally will help me to overcome the anxiety and DP but a trigger that will overwhelm me, make me feel helplessly bad and after that completetly sick like before.
    Has anyone a similar problem in staying too far away from home for too long?
    Daphne

  123. Douglas Says:

    Will,

    Had an interesting experience yesterday afternoon, re-reading some of the posts here. I was struck by the similarity of language we all use to describe “it.” This “clicked” so strongly in me, that I was able to let all the worrying and theorizing go and have a nice evening and a good night’s sleep. And what is possible for one evening must be possible to build on and expand.

    Now today, your articulate and encouraging post seems to confirm a new path opening for me, a better way to conceptualize all this. Perhaps it is really a matter of letting the heart lead, and the mind will follow.

    At any rate, I thank you for your insights; they are, I feel, extremely valuable information about the road we are on.

    I am thinking of this blog, lately, in terms of the same process involved in learning a musical instrument. The basic mechanics are not too difficult too grasp, but once students attain a certain degree of proficiency, there is usually a phase where they need to hear the same concepts explained in a slightly different way. I believe the true value of this blog, then, is in presenting the same information in various new lights, until us “students” finally “get it!”

  124. Leslie Says:

    Michelle Z and Douglas, thanks so much for the reassurance. It’s just been a rough week that seems to keep getting worse for some reason. I just can’t seem to get myself in the right mindset…..to find the right attitude. I’m experiencing feelings and thoughts that I haven’t had in ages. I swear I feel like I felt when I first started suffering. It makes me think I’ve never actually had a setback until now! Let me tell you, this one has just knocked me off me feet. The thing that is really getting to me is this feeling/thought that something is not right…..that I can’t be happy….that for some reason I shouldn’t feel good. I guess the best way to describe it is as an overall “dark” feeling. It’s basically the feeling that got me into this situation in the first place. I just can’t seem to shake it. Has anyone else ever experienced that? Just an ambiguous feeling that makes you feel totally hopeless and helpless. It really is awful, so scary, and impossible to put into words. I just wonder how I got “here” again. I can totally relate to what Will’s talking about regarding being a perfectionist. Thats me to a T. And I suspect it’s many of you as well. For that very reason, I find myself being unable to let go and do the things I want to do. I feel like I just can’t do it/shouldn’t do it because of my anxiety. Once you start thinking a certain way and fearing normal everyday things, I just wonder how you ever change that and and forget about everything you’ve gone through and move on to live a “normal” life. How do you deal with all those awful memories that you’ve built up through this experience and just say “ok, those aren’t important anymore” and move on? Sorry so many questions! Thanks again guys. xoxo

  125. Douglas Says:

    Daphne,

    You seem to be afraid of a situational aspect of anxiety, eg. “since I panicked before in a certain situation, does it follow that a similar situation will provoke another attack”? Let me assure you, it most certainly does not follow.

    In a similar way, I used to do a whole lot of worrying about what might happen were I to have a panic attack whilst onstage playing a concert. Would I jump up and run? Babble incoherently? Faint?

    Of course I eventually did panic onstage one day at an out-of-town concert, and what happened? Absolutely nothing. No one noticed a thing. I even played quite well.

    And, yes I was kind of shaken up, post-concert, but I did learn not to worry so much about the situational aspect, at least. I have since played literally hundreds of concerts without this being a problem! And I believe we all have deep reserves of strength we are mostly not aware of, and these will carry us through, if we will just try not to worry…

    Hope this helps!

  126. Sydney Carton Says:

    To Daphne

    Just to say this problem of being away from home has plagued me for many years. For instance I have just had a week in Keswick, a town I have visited many times and yet this time due to dp and dr I couldn’t connect with the place, the hotel or enjoy the walking activities. Usually about a fortnight before I am due to travel anywhere feelings of apprehension, denial and insecurity begin and grow to fever pitch up to the day of departure. But I go and more often than not I enjoy myself. Its a case of percentages and the figures to date are in my favour. I would appreciate, however, a wise head on the blog telling Daphne and me the reason and perhaps a cure for this feeling of dread when it comes to travelling and staying away from home.

  127. Daphne Says:

    Douglas,
    I had feelings of DP and anxiety in varying situations, I also don’t think anybody recognized this. I think this is a big step forward, to understand, that you can do EVERYTHING with anxiety no matter how bad it feels. In the long run it makes the anxiety decrease. but my fear of strange places is not to do something embarassing or to make any mistakes, it’s just the fear, that staying away too long from home will cause a massive relapse, because for me it’s the strongest anxiety trigger I know.
    Sydney Carton,
    Actually I also think it will get better the more often you do it.But there are doubts, mainly because my first attack of mainly DP was in another city. To be honest, even before I got really stuck in the condition of anxiety, I avoided staying away for too long. Maybe I just should risk it and try to leave home for a longer time?
    Daphne

  128. evelyn Says:

    hi daphne
    i have a question for you? do you still experience d.p? or are you afraid of experiencing it if you go out of your comfort zone? the reason i ask is because, i once read pauls advice on that topic.. why do i feel better in certain places than others? and the answer is, that it is not the place, its your way of thinking.. Lets take the way you feel at home, or at work, comfortable right? thats because you have a positive attitude towards those places, now instead of saying.. “gosh if i go far, im going to experience the d.p”, try to changing it wwith something more soothing like, “so what if the d.p or anxiety is there, its not going to hurt me, it never has.. and although your not going to believe it at first, later it will become a habit.. Now i am not recovered, but my d.p is no were as near as it was 6 months ago.. just simply by taking the fear out of it, and bringing it along wherever i go!! its been a long journey with the d.p, but i have faith the one day it will go away for good:) as time passes, and i accept it, it starts to leave in layers just like paul and others states…

    Evelyn

  129. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sydney Says:I would appreciate, however, a wise head on the blog telling Daphne and me the reason and perhaps a cure for this feeling of dread when it comes to travelling and staying away from home.

    Daphne/Sydney I can add a few words of help and advice on this

    D P was certainly my biggest hurdle during recovery and the reason I spent so much time studying everything I could about it, but coming through it was my biggest education, you can look back with a clear head and see it for what it really is

    Just give me a day or two and I will reply when I get more time

    Paul

  130. Sydney Carton Says:

    Thanks Paul I am sure Daphne and I (along with many others, no doubt) will appreciate the contents of your reply. I had a good Christmas period followed by a bad January followed by a good three weeks in February and then bam!! a really spaced out March (not helped by the Keswick trip)

    I am amazed that I am still thrown by the variety of tricks that this disorder hurls at you. Keeping calm when you lose all sense of reality e.g.the sense of who you are, the sense of who your wife is, the sense of the day and your surroundings is a struggle. When you do emerge from the mist it is though you have been away and feel a kind of rawness of reality which can tempt you to retreat once more into the mist. Although I have experienced short bursts of dp and dr periodically through my life, this protracted episode began last May following a lengthy period of stress caring for a sick mother and aged aunt together with a visit to hospital for surgery. The reason for the stress has now passed and I am left with various aspects of anxiety.
    I have read and re-read your book many times and I am a regular visitor to this blog especially when my demons visit. Many thanks Paul and all good wishes.

  131. Will Says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    In response to your comment yesterday:

    I think that our relationships with our family members often fall into certain patterns, and if fear plays a big part in those patterns then an anxiety build-up is going to be an inevitable consequence. But that can also apply to any other relationship – with our boss, our neighbour, our partner, our children – in which we are involved. So we have to take responsibility for the manner in which we approach relationships – are we facing fears in our relationships or running away? We have to ask ourselves whether or not we are making these relationships more problematic by throwing more anxiety at them. Personally, I have found it very useful to have a counsellor point out various patterns of fear in my relationships, which has allowed me to do my bit in lowering the anxiety levels in my life.

    This is where Paul’s blog and book come into play. Yes, there may be difficulties in our relationships; yes, life may scare us from time to time; yes, really difficult problems present themselves to us – but we don’t need to add anxiety to an already difficult situation. In fact when we do that we turn what might have been a situation with a straightforward solution into complete chaos! He gives a simple but excellent example of the different ways in which an anxious person and a non-anxious person respond to exactly the same situation – the anxious person creating mayhem out of a simple choice, and the non-anxious making a simple, calm choice leading to (you guessed it) a calm result. We have a choice – do I let panic and anxiety overwhelm me and dominate me or do I choose to accept my feelings and carry on dealing with the situation as best as I see fit?

    Paul makes a very accurate point in stating that anxiety is a mental habit. It’s a way of approaching life which you can CHANGE. Not overnight and not without a lot of effort, but you can do it because it is not an irreversible or inherent condition but an attitude that has developed for a number of reasons, often over a long period of time.

    Will.

  132. Will Says:

    Hi Douglas,

    I agree – there really is a common language here and, in my opinion, one of the excellent things about this website and Paul’s book is that the shared experiences of anxiety are laid out so clearly. Once we can identify it, name it, and see it as something that many others suffer from, we can get on with accepting it and stop adding more anxiety into the mix!

    And I really like your analogy for musical learning and you are so right – practice is the key!

    Will.

  133. Amanda Says:

    Hi all, just reading some of the post about suffering dr and dp, alot of people mention how they get it out of there comfort zone, i have it all the time even at home, just wondered if any body else suffered from it even when at home ? Amanda

  134. james Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I haven’t been on here in awhile which is a good thing :)

    I’ve been getting allot better it seems, however I have a few days where I sink back into my “what if” mode / Mental obsessive thoughts. I keep telling myself everything is going to be ok but it’s hard to keep your mind from racing and thinking these bad thoughts. I know I’ll be alright but a part of me keeps telling me I’m getting mentally ill with this constant thinking. I know it’s stupid and I’ll be fine but it just gets annoying and wish it would go away forever already.

  135. evelyn Says:

    Will
    i guess going back in time, is a waste of energy, and its true we have problems now but we add fuel and anxiety to make them worst!! this whole experience is something that i would never change for anything:) although its not over for me, its giving me a different way on how to handel life situatations in general!! even if i never had anxiety this site has helped me soo much:) thank u soo much will it made alot of sense

    James
    i think we are on the same boat:) sometimes im like yaaaaay im over this monster, and then sometimes, its THERE!! but what i have learned and know for a fact is true is that, if you take the fear out its so much easier to manage, like for example the scary thoughts.. man i was so terrified my them, and would think i was super crazy, like why am i thinking that?? etc. but no when they pop up, i say ok do ur thing i dont care, ur not real anyways, because if you were i would fear you.. just let them be and move on, for me this has helped they are no where near ass intense as they were before:) we can do this JAMES, anxiety has robbed us from to much, lets not give it another second..

    Evelyn

  136. Daphne Says:

    Paul,
    thank you! To be honest, if I had a wish and could get rid of either anxiety or DP, I’d choose DP… though it might be anxiety, that was there first. I just made good progress and I’m now afraid I might get back to my worst days, if I stay away from home for too long…probably stupid thoughts. This weekend I will spend one night in another city an I will risk it again – though this isn’t really a long time. I’d like so much to travel and I don’t want to give DP/anxiety the control of my life… but it’s quite hard.

    Sydney,
    I also had prolonged stress and now the circumstances are much better, but the DP/anxiety is still there. But I really think I just got to give it some time… it’s already so much better since I read Paul’s site. And I probably must just do what I’m afraid of… travelling.

  137. Sydney Carton Says:

    Thanks Daphne – the problem is that I know the theory, thanks to Paul, but I can’t seem to put it into practice. The DP and DR are severe right now and as you say its quite hard. It is difficult going through the motions and not being able to connect to the real world and enjoy the gift of life. Its such a waste of precious time. I look forward to Paul’s reply

  138. Sydney Carton Says:

    Thanks, Daphne – it sounds as if we are in the same boat. My initial anxiety has passed but the residual DP and DR are pretty severe at present and next week I have to travel to Durham for a three night stay. I know that nothing will happen to me but it would be reassuring to know if I will be able to connect with the days and the people I will meet. Lets see what Paul has to say

  139. Sydney Carton Says:

    Apologies for successive posts, the second being a variation on the theme

  140. James Says:

    Thanks Evelyn!

    Yea, I gotta just say “Do what you gotta do and move on” it’s just strange thinking like that because I’m not use too this at all. Another thing that has been bothering me is trying to get in a relationship and not have this be a problem. There’s a part of me that wants too, but then another part in the back of my head is stopping me because I’m afraid of what has happened to me. Does that make sense, can anyone else relate?

    Thanks!

  141. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Will you do write very well and talk so much sense, you really have grasped the message 100%. I really can’t disagree in anyway with what you have written, thanks for sharing.

    Paul

  142. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    O.k as promised a few points:

    Daphne Says:

    March 22nd, 2011 at 8:52 am e

    Paul,
    thank you! To be honest, if I had a wish and could get rid of either anxiety or DP, I’d choose DP… though it might be anxiety, that was there first. I just made good progress and I’m now afraid I might get back to my worst days, if I stay away from home for too long…probably stupid thoughts. This weekend I will spend one night in another city an I will risk it again – though this isn’t really a long time. I’d like so much to travel and I don’t want to give DP/anxiety the control of my life… but it’s quite hard.

    Daphne let’s see the problem with the above statement straight away.

    The first thing is the worry that you may get back your worst days if you stay away from home for too long. Remeber with a capital ‘C’ the attitude is not to care how you feel, to be fine with it and allow yourself to live alongside these feelings, so it doesnt matter how you feel.

    Secondly don’t hang on to progress, sometimes we need to slip back to move forward. Hanging onto progress leads to watching ourselves, monitoring progress, leads to disaapointment, to questioning, obsessing etc. Trust me I would feel great for weeks and then BHAM, I would feel totally flattened out, my mind would feel heavy and tired, I would feel self aware again, my thoughts would feel laboured and thinking would be an effort. At one time this would throw back in worrying, questioning, obsessing, trying to think my way back, spending my day trying to fix it etc, everything that had me back in the loop. What I learnt was to not let these times throw me too much, I just carried on and 100% lived alongside the way I felt until the cloud lifted and I felt like me again. I had to go through this up and down process for a while until the cloud descended less and less and for a shorter period of time.

    On going away, emoitions are fragile when we have anxity and when you think about going away, you start the negative ‘What if’thought process, this is enough for you to feel dread, it’s just an over exagarrted reaction to a thought and is not real in anyway. So many people say to me the actual thought of going somewhere was far worse than what happened, when I got there I got through fine and feel far better than I thought I would.

    What you need to take out of the equation is being bothed how you feel when you get there, if you don’t feel great then fine, nothing will happen anyway, it’s just a feeling. It’s the putting so much importance on how you are feeling or may feel that is holding you back.

    I actually always found a new surrounding made me feel a lot better, the change of scenery does not hold memory of past suffering and can snap you out of yourself and have you feeling better than ever.

    There is one simple piece of advice, expect to feel apprehensive before you go, but don’t see this as a negative, it’s natural. Feel the apprehension and go anyway, you will get through far better than you thought, nothing bad can happen. The only thing that will happen is a new feeling will emerge that you did it and and got through fine, you won and not your anxiety and that you really are in charge. This is where confidence and progress is built up. You certainly wont slip back to the bad old days, you never lose what you have learnt or the progress you have made.

    I used to put off going places until I thought sod it, the only way to get my life back is to live it. Sometimes I felt great, other times not so good, but I learnt not to see it as important, how I was feeling had to stop being my number 1 concern, I could cope and live however I felt, it was not important and was just holding me back. In time things got easier and easier, I had been so many places and never let how I felt hold me back and so no longer bothered before I went, there was no apprehension, I had reprogrammed how I viewed a situation, that’s how I got this part of my life back.

    As Will said there is no ‘off’ button, you may have to live alongisde how you feel for a while, go against your natural instincts, but trust me if you take on board what is said and implement it you will get your life back.

    Anxiety is a very simple cycle in most cases, most people end up with anxiety through stress and worry, feeling anxious and the symptoms that go with it, they then worry and stress about how they are feeling, etc, this is the cycle that needs to be broken.

    Paul

  143. steveo Says:

    TOP post Paul!

    I’m in the latter stages of recovery myself at present (I think) and i’m struggling with what I think is depression and DP/DR,

    This bit is spot on;

    “Secondly don’t hang on to progress, sometimes we need to slip back to move forward. Hanging onto progress leads to watching ourselves, monitoring progress, leads to disaapointment, to questioning, obsessing etc. Trust me I would feel great for weeks and then BHAM, I would feel totally flattened out, my mind would feel heavy and tired, I would feel self aware again, my thoughts would feel laboured and thinking would be an effort.”

    I did exactly that today, felt very good then when got in there car and had time to think… you guessed it “BHAM”.

    Thanks for the post.

  144. Sydney Carton Says:

    Thanks for the post Paul – have printed it off to keep as a reminder

  145. Jo Says:

    Hi all,
    I hope you have all had a good day, I have to say it’s so nice have lighter evenings, creeping in, summer is on it’s way!
    Just a quick message for Paul, I was wondering if you have found someone to try out the book on kindle yet?
    I have already downloaded it to my iPhone which is great, but can be a bit difficult to read, as the font is too small, for my poor old eyes, lol.
    I also have the kindle app on my phone and would be more than happy to try it for you.
    Take care all, Jo xxx

  146. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    I did find someone Jo and it seems to work fine and layout etc seems o.k, but your welcome to have a free copy Jo, just email me through the main site and I will send it on to you

    Regards Paul

  147. Daphne Says:

    Paul,
    thanks a lot for your answer at length. I know you are right. I don’t want to add any “but”s… I think I did it quite well the last time, that I made everything as if I didn’t feel bad and I realize that especially socializing slowly begins to be fun to me again. I don’t know, why travelling or thinking about it still makes me feel anxious/DP. But I will see what happens this weekend and I will accept it, however it will be. It will be a big step forward to face my biggest fear – even if it’s ridiculous that this is travelling. So I think I even have to look for an opportunity to stay away for longer.
    Maybe I protracted my progress by examining it too much, but I think also the self-awareness is getting better a bit. I also re-read your post about the self-monitoring again, maybe it’s just normal, that you first can’t stop asking yourself if “it” is getting better or not.
    Thanks a lot, Paul, your site has really ment a turning point for me. If I ever meet someone with similar problems like me, I will tell about it.
    Daphne

  148. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Daphne it’s just your sub concious that has you worrying about travelling, just like the person who never has a problem with dogs, they get bitten by one and the thought of going to a park where they maybe dogs has them feeling full of dread.

    To reprogram their sub concious they need to go to the park a few times, welcome the fear if they see a dog and walk on by, stroke one or two if they can and over time a new attitude is born. They don’t fear a walk in the park anymore, they don’t see dogs as a big threat, their sub concious tells them it is o.k.

    They do this by going through, not hiding away at home and hoping this fear/dread just dissapears by magic. You don’t have to go on every trip away to prove yourself, just do more than you did and you will see a new confidence return.

    I never had a problem with going anywhere until anxiety struck and then when I went somewhere I felt terrible and put it down to the place and not how I was feeling, hence then avoided going certain places until i had a far better understanding and reversed this habit.

    The mind is a clever pain in the bum at times hey :-)

    Paul

  149. Leslie Says:

    Hi everyone. I posted a couple days back about being in a setback. I’ve been suffering for 2 years. For the past couple weeks I have felt absolutely awful. Nearly every symptom I had has come back. I basically feel like I felt when I first started suffering. I’m back to being afraid of everything and fearing thoughts and feelings……feeling totally hopeless and so sad:( Has anyone else experienced a setback like this (this is by far the worst I’ve had)…..where you feel like you’re back at the beginning? Once I really started recovering , I was able to get myself in the right mindset relatively quickly and start dismissing symptoms again. Now I just feel totally unable to do that. It’s like I’ve just completely lost the right attitude and think I’ll never recover again. It’s like I feel like I should be fearing these thoughts and feelings and that I shouldn’t do normal everyday things that will lead to recovery. My recurring thought is that there is something wrong and I shouldn’t recover. I never see anyone else post about this kind of thought…..just wondering if anyone else has had it? The thought that you shouldn’t get better and you shouldn’t dismiss smyptoms. It feels sooooo wrong to recover after suffering. To say, so what. My mind has been flooded lately by memories of past suffering that just send shivers down my spine. I feel like my mind is never going to let go of all the bad memories and the fact that I suffered in the first place. I would love some advice and reassurance. It’s just awful when I’ve been doing so well the past several months (dismissing everything) and now I feel like I’m back at the start…..so scary. I’m sorry for being so negative right now. Just feeling pretty scared and shaken.

  150. james Says:

    Hey Leslie,

    I also was doing real good lately but I have went back to my old ways almost and also having a mild setback. It feels weird because I think back to how I use to be before my anxiety hit me and I try and go back to those feelings but it just seems like I’m hitting a wall and just can’t get passed it, like the anxiety won’t let me be normal again. I also tend to think back to what I use to think about and all the horrible things I went through so it’s been hard. But I feel like I’m almost there, I have felt better so I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just need to work on this better I guess, it sucks but I guess what can you do and just work towards getting better :)

  151. Jo Says:

    Hi Leslie, I can understand exactly how you are feeling, about four weeks ago, I was hit by a really bad setback, it was really horrible, and felt worse than the first time I started to have anxiety, I felt awful and for the first couple of weeks, I had to take time off work, as I wasn’t getting any sleep, and I just felt I couldn’t cope, all the old fears and terrible feelings came back with a vengeance, it was truly awful. So I came back to Pauls site, downloaded the book to my phone, and tried to follow his advice, it felt like I was starting from scratch, but slowly, things started to get better, and I started to remember the right way to deal with my anxiety, m sleep patternstarted to improve, which was my. Main problem and bit by bit things got better.
    I have been back at work for a couple of weeks now, and I have to say most mornings I have to work I feel really awful, but I don’t let it stop me going, no matter how bad I feel! It takes me a couple of hours to settle in, but after that , I forget my anxiety for a while, and can go on working pretty well.
    I have just been accepted on a diploma course at my workplace, which I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and my first thought was, oh my god how will I manage??? But then I thought, the anxiety is not going to stop me doing this!
    I’ve wanted it for far to long!
    I hope I’m not rambling on too much lol, I just think, if I can do it I’m sure you can too, have faith in yourself, you did it before, it’s all in there somewhere, just give yourself time, and try to be patient, ( easier said than done, I know ) you will come through this again.
    I hope his helps, stay strong xxx

  152. Jo Says:

    Hi paul
    Thankyou for your offer, I would really appreciate the kindle version for my phone, I’m glad you’ve managed to get it to work on there now, it’s a great way to read books, so hopefully more people out there can benefit from your inspirational story.
    I will email you, thankyou again, take care, Jo x

  153. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sent Jo x

  154. James Says:

    Hey Leslie,

    I’m also in the midst of recovery and it seems like everytime I start too feel fine, I hit a wall and just can’t seem to get passed. I tend to go back to my old habbits and it gets frustrating but I guess I had a taste of going back to normal so I know there’s atleast hope! :)
    We’ll get there, it’s just a matter of time.

  155. Michelle Z Says:

    I would agree with Jo & James, Leslie. It can be tough for sure, but we have to keep on. And as Paul talks about, in time, it will get easier. There have been times where I thought I was well on my way to recovery and then WHAM! I hit a major setback and were exactly where you are. But just keep on, read Paul’s book again, read through some of the blogs here, and something will click back in and you will be able to get on with your day no matter how badly you feel. I woke up feeling okay this morning, but when I was almost to work, the thoughts felt scary to me and then the depression felt really strong and, at first, it bothered me, but then I decided to just get on with my day. And so the feelings come and go. I get outer focused and then occasionally notice the awful feelings and just say, “Whatever,” and refocus on my work. Sometimes I feel like I will never get this, but I hold on to the hope I see from so many others…just keep on keeping on and we will all be on the other side one day. :)

  156. Leslie Says:

    Jo, James, and Michelle, I can’t begin to tell you how much your comments mean to me right now. It’s been tough lately, but just knowing that I’m not alone means the world. Setbacks really are the worst. I feel like I almost got a bit over-confident the past few months and then it just hit me and knocked me so far back I can’t believe it. It’s so disheartening and depressing when you finally feel relatively normal and terror free for a bit of time to have it return with such power and leave you feeling hopeless again. It’s so hard not to question what happened. Although I know that’s the last thing I need to be doing right now. You’re so right Michelle when you say the feelings come and go. I could literally be feeling ok one minute then a thought or feeling comes along and I feel as lost, scared, and confused as ever. Such a truly odd thing this anxiety is! I have such a hard time with thoughts telling me I shouldn’t feel better…..I shouldn’t do normal things. It’s like I wonder how I can ever recover if my thoughts are telling me not to. Do you guys struggle with just letting go and moving on? I just feel like so much has happened the past 2 years that I can’t just say whatever and move on. Memories really are so hard to deal with. Denying the anxiety feels weird and wrong. Can you relate? Thanks again for all your support. xoxo

  157. james Says:

    I can for sure relate to what your going through Leslie. For a long time it felt strange to act “normal” again and for some reason I just couldn’t get passed that feeling. I’ve gotten better but I still have moments of having strange thoughts of hurting someone or myself, and other scary situations. I hate bringing that up because I know it’s just anxiety taking over and I know I’m a good person it’s just frustrating because your mind takes over and it’s hard to control. At times I feel like I’m going to go crazy eventually from thinking like this but I know I won’t. Hopefully this helps, I know it helps me out allot coming on here and seeing other people have the same problems because it makes me feel like I’m not alone on this. We’ll all get better though! :)

  158. Jo Says:

    Leslie, I can totally understand wh you mean when you say it’s as if you became over confident, I feel like that too sometimes, I’ll have a long period of feeling really good, and I think I start to take things for granted, until I hit a setback, and it’s as if my mind is telling me, “your not quite there yet” and once I start to feel a little better I realise it has given me another chance to practice pauls method.
    Hope this helps xxx

  159. Sasha Says:

    Hi Leslie,

    you are not alone…I can say that i am going through the same phase…i had months where i could really grasp ‘it’ is just anxiety an overdose of adrenaline…and could carry on with my day no matter how negative my mind chatters…but as u said somewhere down the line i hit a setback wherein i find it difficult to get up..i havent posted since i know what its all about only difference is i just couldnt ‘apply’ it in my life..i’m depressed basically as there isnt clarity in my mind and hence i couldnt go ahead with my day…i couldnt connect emotionally at times…but i just carry on..

    i felt good when i actually ‘consciously’ approched it with the attittude..
    if i am not able to do it it must be anxiety…face the fear and do it anyways…i have done couple of things like that and felt proud of myself as if there were no more inhibitions…but habitual thinking are so wired into the brain it comes back with equal force which ruins the confidence which we had build up with the past months…

    lets not dwell on it…lets just forget the phase and move on…begin each day with the same attittude..whatever is difficult i’ll do it…live each day to its fullest…accept that i am a little different from others as i have anxiety so approch everything with a fresh attittude…

  160. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Michelle says: I woke up feeling okay this morning, but when I was almost to work, the thoughts felt scary to me and then the depression felt really strong and, at first, it bothered me, but then I decided to just get on with my day. And so the feelings come and go. I get outer focused and then occasionally notice the awful feelings and just say, “Whatever,” and refocus on my work.

    Perfect approach Michelle. No one has the true answers as to why we sometimes feel good and then so bad, trust me it was a process I had to go through many times.

    But in time the good days outweighed the bad, the setbacks were not as strong, it truly is all in your attitude to how long they last. I used to let these times throw me into total despair, worry and obsess again, fill myself with pity and with this attitude they took an age to pass. One reason they can really throw us is that they usually come after feeling great and that has us going down the self pity route, ‘Why me’? , ‘I thought i had cracked it’ , ‘What am I doing wrong’? etc

    I truly understand how these times can throw you, but they don’t stop you living, so just go straight through them, don’t try to scramble your way back to how you felt the week before. Remember if you feel good for a period of time and then bad, a positive change is happening, go back to the days when every day was just awful, the days when every day was a bind just to get through. Celebrate that you now have good times and understand you are just going through a process back to the person you were before anxiety came along and give yourself as much time as you need. As you see from every post above and my own experience, we all get them, so we might as well live alongside them.

    I got so used to setbacks that they hardly bothered me, I knew in a few days I would be back feeling great again, usually better than ever and they hardly registered, they were just part of me and my recovery.

    Paul

  161. Michelle Z Says:

    Wow, thanks, Paul! I needed that today. When I wrote the other day, I was waffling back and forth and by last night, just slipped into the pit of despair over all this. Then, of course, wake up feeling the same. Thoughts are freaking me out, the depressive feelings are awful…waa…waa…waa! (Those are whining and moaning and groaning noises. Why me? Waa! :)) I still don’t have this cracked, but as you said above, we have to learn that this is all part of the anxiety condition and the sooner we can accept the whole kit and kaboodle, the sooner we make our way out. This acceptance and under-reacting is I think the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Sometimes thoughts and symptoms can be there and I can brush them off and sometimes I slip right back into being frightened. And, of course, when that happens, then the depression comes. And I even find myself then obsessing about that as well. Back to just letting it all be there. If I have a crappy day, so what? Just focus outward as much as possible. Live life. And little by little, we break through the wall.

    Thank you, Paul, for being willing to share your experience and hope. You are a God-send and a lifeline to so many.

    Blessings!

  162. evelyn Says:

    hello all:)
    i just wanted to bring a lilttle bit of poistivity today, i now understand the meaning of, when paul and others who have recovered would mention.. “it comes off in layers”, i am not reovered, but i can see the light now:) as im typing away im tearing of how happy i feel to have come this far, and to thank paul for who he is, as i would read all the advice of, float, accept, time, give the thoughts their space, whatever attitude, so what, i would always say”ahhh riiight” so as months went by, i started applying this attitude, i said hey what the heck, what is there to loose?? ive already experienced the worse how much worse can it get?? and as days went by as i had a thought or a feeling, or went far or drove, i said of ok come as wish d.p, alothiugh ur there, i am not afraid , it was hard but in time and as a new day past me by, i felt a layer, come off of the feeling, and another and another,, i know understand this whole thing.. i now understand this whole thing..

    off to a great day!!! hope yours is as good as mine will be, and remember your attitude is a result of ur feelings.. oh and one last thing ive been jogging for an hour a day, im sure thats a help as well:)

    \\evelyn

  163. evelyn Says:

    this is us for the time being:), i have spoke to many people that have recovered, and one thing that made me feel so much better and truely understand that there is hope, is the people who are now recovered, that have helped us with advice, have really been through every single feeling we have felt, and now they are happy living a wonderful life, how do i know thiS?? because i read the through last years, blogs, and wham their they were, asking and begging of to get rid of this feeling!!!! there is hope people, there truly is:))))

  164. James Says:

    Just wondering if anyone else does this but I’ve been taking allot of vitamin’s to help my anxiety. I also take fish oil everyday because I’ve read that it does help.

  165. Lisa Says:

    Hello all !
    Its comforting to come here and read about the success stories. Ive been experiencing anxiety for 2 months now. I am recovering slowly. My major battle now is overcoming insomnia and the racing thoughts and also the detachment feeling that i still have .
    Is anyone experiencing this as well and should I be confident that once all the anxiety is gone my sleeping schedule will return to normal.
    I have tried some different techniques to help me sleep but I have not had much success. Today i went for acupuncture and am hoping that this will help me.
    Looking forward to your replies!

  166. Kat Says:

    Hi Helen,

    I was just wondering about a few things and hope you can lend some insight.

    I have been having such a horrific time just pretending that things are okay with me that I wondered if your partner ever seemed to express insecurity on his end when you were going through your anxiety with regard to him. I find myself holding back at times because I don’t want to concern my partner unjustly, although I admit that at times I really feel like things are going to fall apart because everything feels so real. Instead of the symptoms alleviating, they seem to be intensifying, and I quite literally dread spending time at home because all the horrible emotions wash over me like a wave. I go from feeling calm to feeling the adrenaline prickle on my face whenever I think about him and our relationship. I question my love for him, how we fell in love, the idea of spending ‘forever’ with him, which used to provide me with a sense of comfort and now fills me with fear. Why? I still am no closer to understanding this and I am ashamed to admit that.

    This happened in my last relationship, though I didn’t understand it at the time. That relationship ended and not without drama, so I am terrified of going through all of it again. I have started to think about my partner and all of his strengths and weaknesses, and frankly, he’s really perfect for me in so many ways, so why all of this doubt and fear? If I know that he’s wonderful, and if I truly love him, and if my intellectual self can see him for what he is, why won’t the emotional turmoil calm itself?

    I’m sorry for the redundancy of my questions. It’s just that today I was grocery shopping, had a thought about him that lead to all the apprehension and fear, and I haven’t been able to shake it since. My stomach is doing flip-flops and I don’t know if I can explain this to him in a way that will make sense. I haven’t had a day’s peace since October about this subject and I’m really having trouble believing it will ever stop. I don’t know if there’s anything more that you can add to all of the advice you’ve already offered, but if there is, please share. I understand that it seems like I’m trying to rush recovery, and I suppose to some degree I am, but when it comes to a relationship, it seems like every minute counts.

    Kat

  167. Carly Says:

    Hi, am new to this blog but it has given me a lot of hope. I recently purchased Paul’s book which has helped a great deal, so much so I have recommended it to a couple of others. I just have a few little niggles I need clearing up from anyone ‘in the know’ so to speak. I have had constant DP for 8 weeks now, I even rememeber the date it came and didn’t go! Is it common for it to be a constant thing? There are days when I feel positive and think ‘sod this, I’m not going to let it ruin my day’ and off I go but then I have days where it is so thick I feel even more exhausted by it all and I question if this is REALLY anxiety? I find it is worse if I am overtired, I feel almost ‘further away’ if that makes sense!? I also have moments where I think what if I can never be truly accepting of this and I’ll miss the boat in terms of recovery?? Arrgghh!

    I am 36 weeks pregnant with my 4th child and I have gestational diabetes so the exhaustion is here to stay for a good few weeks yet and I am accepting of that. I had an intense period of stress and illness in the run up to Christmas and I turned into a gibbering wreck, couldn’t let my partner out of my sight, had to send my children to their Grandmothers for a month, couldn’t drive, go anywhere, unable to run our business properly, it was horrendous! Terrible thoughts of dread, fear of going crazy, death, everything. I was so frightened that I had become afraid of my own body and mind! Just reading Pauls book has made me feel so much better but it’s the DP that freaks me out the most, I even question whether it IS actually DP and not something else….so to summarise I just need to know that CONSTANT DP is/can be part and parcel of anxiety and also one other thing, since the DP descended on me I have also had a very strange taste in my mouth and everything also smells of this ‘taste/smell….it’s not metallic (common in pregnancy) but more of a nasty mince and onion pie!!!! I’m not weird -honest!!! Thanks all x

  168. Clara Says:

    Hi Kat

    Let me just shed my thoughts on this…!

    You consciously know that you love him but is worried about the redundant thoughts that keeps recurring over and over about the relationship…

    This has nothing to do with the relationship as long you know you love him and there isnt any issues involved but its the constant fear and insecurity thats brewing within you fearing the ‘what ifs’ just like any random thought..

    but this one holds more scrutanising because you dearly love and care for him…and doesnt want to lose him..but consider this as just a random thought which you simply was dissecting….and hence fear it…its all about the shift in attittude.

    why dont you try an alternative attittude…you know you love him and consciously there is no cause for concern…acknowlege the nagging thoughts that enter your mind about your relationship as ‘pure anxiety thoughts’ let it be there…ask yourself what can these thoughts do? if they want to remain let it be…i am going to go on with my life..how i want to be..its my choice..let me decide what i would like to do today and carry on…maybe taking care of myself, or baking something or something to indulge myself..

    feel good about yourself and then interact with people..u have created good feelings for youself…similarly its you who creates negative feelings for yourself..and no one else..once we are in the good feeling phase naturally we feel empowered and in control and that goodness overflows in your life..take a different focus in your life…rather than worrying about your relationship!

    Dont worry Kat…these are one of the ‘habits’ we created for ourselves unknowingly over a period of time…so it will take a while to reverse and assure ourselves thats its the ‘habits’ and not reality…Meanwhile take care of yourself and pacify yourself each time you have these thoughts tell yourself its ok to have them as it has become a habit but i’ll be aware not to follow the train of thoughts endlessly which makes me feel bad..Y should I?

    Take Care..
    Clara

  169. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    You MUST stop looking for answers to how you feel. This is the problem, nothing more. The more you look for an answer, a reason why you feel this way, the worse you will feel. Anxiety throws questions that you just can’t answer. The answer to all the thoughts, questions and feelings is anxiety, not your partner, not looking for where it could have gone wrong, what it was that triggered what is happening to you. You can’t answer these questions Kat, it is impossible. The more you analyse your relationship, your partner, your life; anxiety will throw more questions at you, and the more you can’t answer them, the worse it will get. You are looking for rational thought to help you. You have kind of answered your own question above about the emotional turmoil not going when your intellectual self knows the anxiety. The emotional turmoil is anxiety pumping through your body and when your rational thought doesn’t seem to alleviate this, you believe that there is actually some truth in what is happening.
    Stop analysing your partner and your relationship. You love him and you want to be with him FULL STOP. Nothing more. It is very clear that this is the case.
    Let anxiety be with you without trying to find an answer. When you think of him and feel scared, panicked, guilty and all the other things that go with it, allow it. Don’t think that you need to find an answer, you can’t. Let anxiety in, you are doing your best to push it away and you can’t.
    In answer to your question about my partner feeling insecure, he did at first but he soon realised that it was anxiety, nothing more. He allowed everything and stood by me and all it did (eventually) was make our relationship much stronger. This only happened when I stopped trying to find answer to all those questions. The thoughts would come in my head and it got to the point where I would just let them be there but carried on talking, gardening, shopping, whatever I was doing. I didn’t say to him or myself ‘what do you think this means’, ‘this must be true or the thoughts wouldn’t be in my head’, ‘it will end eventually’ and all of the questions that you have listed above. I stopped trying to work it all out and it slowly got better and better.
    Kat, I wouldn’t have changed going through all that pain, you learn so much from anxiety. You learn about the really important things in life and it is like being set free. The only thing that is stopping you is you trying to find answers, you won’t, there aren’t any, you have anxiety.

    All the best
    Helen

  170. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Kat Helen’s advice is right, really try to get off the hamster wheel of questioning everything, been there, done it, got worse.

    You are giving your anxiety far too much respect, it has you in the palm of it’s hand at the moment. You are carrying a hundred different worry’s around with you at the minute, trying to figure each one out to make yourself feel better, “If I can just figure this out then I will be o.k”, then another comes along and before you know it you cannot concentrate on anything else, you are consumed by how you feel, you become very self aware and have little time for the outside world, your body and mind that so needs a break gets a battering and you feel more anxious than ever.

    Anxiety really messes with our emotions, smile at that fact, don’t go down the road of ‘WHY this and WHY that’?. You are also unable to look at things rationally as you are doing way too much thinking/figuring out and an over active mind has thoughts running wild, you may also find it feels clogged up and unflexible. It is a very tired and abused mind at the minute and needs a break from the constant questioning, so try to step aside and give it the break it so needs.

    Paul

  171. Leslie Says:

    James, Jo, Sasha….thank you all for your comforting comments. I’ve been doing better the past couple days. Going with the flow of things more and not worrying. The blog is just what I needed for some reassurance right now…..to get me back in the right perspective. I’ll be taking a break from the blog now and just getting back into living my life…..with all the ups and downs anxiety throws my way! Thank again. Talk soon. xoxo

  172. Kory Says:

    Hi there:

    I posted a message on March 9th and would love some feedback.

    Over the past couple of months now the nerves / muscles in my left leg, thigh and knee feel tight, irritated and at times painful. Part of me wants to see a doc to make sure I am doing it correctly, but the other part doesn’t want to give in if it is the anxiety talking.

    I asked my wife what she thought, to get a clear mind to help me think through it. She said that it seemed like it made sense to go to the doctor and get it looked at.

    My doctor looked at an MRI of my lower lumbar/sacral spine that was done in January 2011. She said the images and the radiologist notes show a disk protrusion which appear to be causing the issues.

    Even with this reassurance, and the feedback that no further tests are necessary in any capacity, my mind and body still worry. “It can’t be that simple. It has to be something worse”.

    I really try to just recognize it and move on, but I do struggle with knowing whether what I feel is real or anxiety and it makes me confused on how to deal with it.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Kory

  173. Tracy Says:

    Helen or Paul,

    I can relate to Kat in the relationship area a lot and in many areas of my life..the analyzing and questioning!!, but don’t you need to have some of this in your life? I guess I don’t really understand at what point you stop trying to “fix” something. I mean there has to be some benefit to looking at situations and trying to figure out if you are on the right path or doing the right thing rather than just letting it float right? Ha I guess here I am again analyzing the response you gave to Kat! Paul I like the hamster wheel visual, so much of thinking is automatic I don’t even know I am questioning or analyzing, but if I can become more aware I will now tell myself I am getting on the hamster wheel again.

    Tracy

  174. Jess h Says:

    Hi everyone, hope ur all well, I havnt posted on herein a while as have had around 4 months of no anxiety, not one thought and I have just been living life. Yesterday though my horrible thoughts returned, I do not know what triggered them and can’t remember what I was doing, I would just like some advise on this as I really thought I was in control of my thoughts, how can I put this advise into practice, it seems when I feel anxious I read this site and nothing I read makes sense or goes in to apply it, how can I change this, any advise would be great as I am at a bit of a loss when these thoughts come back….. My thoughts are worrying about dying, losing people, worrying what life is all about, that I am not happy etc, when they are there they are so strong. Thanks a lot x x x x

  175. Helen Says:

    Hi Tracy,
    Definately, of course there are times in your life when you know that you have to address something or take stock of a situation and make a decision about what is best for you or what you want out of life and this can be difficult at the time as it may involve making some difficult choices but when you do these things they aren’t based around a fear. It doesn’t paralyse you like anxiety does. No choice is ever that difficult without anxiety. Life is hard and you know when you have to make a change, make a difficult decision. It’s hard but you eventually realise that you have to get on with it.
    You know it is anxiety when the thoughts and fears just circle round your head with no let up, no answers, it’s just continuous and it’s at this point that you have to decide to just let it be, acknowledge that is it anxiety and stop looking for answers because you will never find one.

  176. Robbie Says:

    It’s been several months since I’ve been on here. I’ve had a great couple of months, but about 2 weeks ago I had a night of panic. Not sure why, it really doesn’t matter, but I just took it in stride and began to feel like “normal” after a few days. Well, I’m feeling panicy again tonight. I think it hits me when I’m feeling tired. For some reason I woke up tired and then I start to run with the thought/fear of “why do I feel tired – am I becoming depressed?” That’s been my major fear all along – becoming depressed – like majorly depressed. I don’t know why I fear that, maybe it’s because I have a great life – 2 great kids a wonderful wife of 12 years, a good job that I love, great family support – that I’m afraid it will all come tubbling down because of me.

    Anyway, just needed to get that off my chest. I know it’s just anxiety, and to tell you the truth, these feelings are probably not nearly as strong as what they once were. I know I’ll have setbacks – this is my 2nd or third in about 4 months or so. But, these “setbacks” haven’t lasted long and I am still able to go about my life like normal (there’s that word again :)).

    I just need to get past the habit of internalizing how I feel all the time. That just leads to my fear of depression, which caused anxiety symptoms, which causes me to analyze how I feel (the hampster wheel we keep talking about).

    Great post! It shows us that we will recover. It just takes patience and perseverance.

  177. Matt Says:

    Hey Jess, I too have been having that problem occasionally. I think that’s the most difficult for me to deal with right now. I can go months with no anxitey, and then all of a sudden it comes back full force like it’s never left. The thing for me is that I forget what it felt like to have that anxiety,worry,fear, and so on. But when it comes back, that cycle starts again. Now, what helps me is to go back and read paul’s book again, especially when it talks about the reoccuring anxiety. Fortunately, when it does come back, I can get rid of it within a few hours, rather then a few months. Just apply the basic principles, like don’t worry about it, and let it live beside you, it isn’t going to hurt you. But I tell you, those feelings of being disconnected do come back frequently for me and are a pain to get rid of. That disconnected feeling really bothers me, but when I take the same approach with anxiety it seems to fade away. I guess the thing that helps me a lot is staying optimistic and positive. Realizing that I am making progress. I mean, if you went 4 months without anxiety that is a ton of progress. So, when it does come back for me, I just have to apply what i’ve learned and tell myself that this is just part of the process, and that eventually it will be gone completely.

  178. Robbie Says:

    Hi Jess,

    Matt is right. To go several months without anxiety is awesome!! In a weird sort of way, it’s encouraging to hear that there are people that have similar thoughts to what I have. It does help to know I’m really not that weird :) The thoughts are what trigger my anxiety every time. I have learned to recognize that they are just anxiety, not try to figure out what caused them, and then move on with what I’m doing. I’ve found that if I don’t give them any significance (that doesn’t mean they any less annoying) then they go away more quickly.

    Hey – anyone in their right mind would give only having 1 bad day in a 4 month period! I know that since you’ve had so many good days that a bad one seems a lot worse than it really is, but hang in there and stick with what you’ve learned and you’ll find that it will pass rather quickly.

  179. Matt Says:

    I also wanted to say that I am currently going through a divorce, and that has been pretty rough on me. Depression and loneliness sink in at times and I have to remind myself that those are normal feelings for what I am going through, and that I don’t have to make it worse. I seem to have trouble distinguishing what are these normal feelings i’m experiencing and what are manufactured by me. It’s really hard because I’m trying to allow everything i’m feeling to happen, but sometimes I try to force myself to get rid of natural feelings. Somedays, I have to force myself to get out of bed and go do things with my kids and my friends, but the feelings I feel as a result of my circumstances are very similar to the feelings I felt with anxiety, and it kinda worries me. Like I said, I know this is normal, but I feel myself wanting to escape from it somehow like I did with my anxiety, and I’m afraid it will come back and i’ll start that cycle all over again. I just wanted some feedback from someone that has some experience with this, thanks!

  180. Michelle Z Says:

    Hey Emma – I totally understand what you’re going through. Definitely get Paul’s book. I downloaded it and read it through in one day. Although I’ve not taken anti-depressants (too afraid of meds and side affects and there’s a stubbornness in me that wants to do this on my own), I also thought I was past the point of this happening to me again. Much therapy and groups and books and self-help, etc. And I became a born-again Christian about 8 years ago and although I had many stessors in my life, with Jesus by my side, I handled it all very well. So when this hit me last year, it was devastating. However, I am slowly, but surely, with Paul’s methods, and putting my faith back with God, finding my way out of this mess. This blog helps, too. It’s a tougher road to go when doing it this way; however, I believe with all my heart, that once you get through it, you will find a strength within you that you didn’t know was possible to be there. As you read through these blogs, you will see people recovering with this method all the time. We can do this, Emma!

  181. Robbie Says:

    Hey Emma,

    I just wanted to offer you some words of encouragement. I, too, tried antidepressants and was “better” for over 2 years, than BAM it hit me again and it though me for a loop. However, I found this site and it helped me realize that the medication was just a quick fix and I never developed any tools to help me truly overcome anxiety. This site also helped me realize that it’s OK to “have” anxiety, all you need to do is change how you react to it. I still have days in which the adrenaline is rushing and my nerves feel shaky, but I don’t freak out about it like I used to.

    I was reading some of the success stories and the one from Shirley was really encouraging. I would encourage you to read through some of them again as they can show you that with patience, you can and will overcome this. Anxiety will always be there, but if you change the way you react to it, the symptoms will go away. I know sometimes it’s hard, but the best thing to do is to live your life like you do not have anxiety. The feelings will still be there, but it will help you develop new habits and more positive reactions to anxiety.

    The cancer thought is just anxiety. It will play tricks on you and make you think that the thought is not associated with anxiety, but it is. Just the fact that you are worried and obsessed about it means it’s anxiety, nothing else.

    I, too, am a born again Christian. Have been for 23 years. I would like to leave you with one of my favorite verses.

    “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings. For we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.” – Romans 5: 3-4

  182. Tracy Says:

    Thanks Helen for the feedback..It makes sense, but often I get wrapped up in the logical part of trying to figure it all out. I understand that a lot of the anxiety is from stress and then we make it worse by worrying about the anxiety on top of the other stress. Would the best way to handle this is to try and eliminate the other stressors in your life if possible? Do you think when the body starts up with the symptoms that it is just a side effect of what else may be going on in your life and maybe it is your bodies way of telling you need to slow down or look at a issue that you may be avoiding? Am I over thinking again?

    Thanks Tracy

  183. James Says:

    OK, things were going well, the best in 9 years, and I was even having moments when I felt almost normal. I thought I was really on the path to recovery.

    Then, I got a concussion. Absolutely brilliant. My biggest fear is brain damage, so this is just what I needed :-/

    Well it wasn’t a bad one, and I felt fine after a week or so. However, 3 weeks later I suddenly am having some terrible anxiety, and some new sensations. My therapist says it is all just normal anxiety, and I guess he is right, but these symptoms are weird. I feel like I could freak out at any moment – the tension in my head and neck is just making me feel weird. Just moving my eyes makes me feel like I’m going to go crazy. Moving my head up and down also makes me feel like I’m going to go crazy!

    This is madness, if it is just anxiety it has gone up a few notches, when I already thought I was at the top!

  184. Matt Says:

    I really enjoyed the comments about the bible. My friend bought me one about a month ago, and I started to dive into it. Through finding Christ again, and reading scripture it has helped me tremendously. I am back involved in church and praying regularly. I suffered with anxiety and panic for two years and during that whole period I didn’t pray and wasn’t connected to God.

    I find it amazing how going through the fear and worry that I am not alone and that God is with me the whole time. I believe now, that part of the reason I stayed in that cycle of anxiety for two years was because I did feel alone and that I just didn’t understand what I was going through. Anyways, just thought I would add that.

  185. Michelle Z Says:

    Wow, Robbie, thanks for that Bible quote. It fits perfect for us, doesn’t it? Because that is what we are doing through all this “suffering.” It truly produces perseverance, and than character and, of course, hope. Hang on to that thought, Emma. And Robbie is right about the cancer/anxiety thoughts. It is an obsessive, scary thought and nothing else. Truly only anxiety. Read the part on the website about obsessive thoughts. It will give you some insight. It is the thing, other than depression, that I struggle with the most. I will do okay and then suddenly be frightened by some silly thought. And before I know it, I am back to being depressed and then obsessing about the depression. :) But we need to jump off that hamster wheel. Oh, and Paul has an article on the main site (just found it yesteday) on anxiety and depression. It should give you some reassurance.

    “For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

  186. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi James – So sorry to hear about the concussion. Listen to your therapist. It is anxiety. You will get through this. Go back to accepting and floating through it. Under-react (my arch nemesis :)), but oh so important to getting on the other side of all this. It probably especially feels bad because you have been doing so well. But instead of being afraid of it, realize that you are doing better or you would have nothing to compare it to. Hold on to that. You’re doing great!

  187. Jess h Says:

    Hi matt and rob, thanks for the words of encouragement, it means a lot I am very grateful that I have had four months of being free from anxiety I suppose yes u forget how it feels then it hits u hard when its back. It defiantly is the horrible thoughts for me I struggle with, but I know it is just anxiety, thanks for taking the time to write back and yes I can now get rid of it in a few hours now rather than a few months. Hope everyone is having a good day x x x x

  188. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Tracy Says:

    March 28th, 2011 at 4:34 pm e

    Helen or Paul,

    I can relate to Kat in the relationship area a lot and in many areas of my life..the analyzing and questioning!!, but don’t you need to have some of this in your life? I guess I don’t really understand at what point you stop trying to “fix” something. I mean there has to be some benefit to looking at situations and trying to figure out if you are on the right path or doing the right thing rather than just letting it float right? Ha I guess here I am again analyzing the response you gave to Kat! Paul I like the hamster wheel visual, so much of thinking is automatic I don’t even know I am questioning or analyzing, but if I can become more aware I will now tell myself I am getting on the hamster wheel again.

    Tracy

    Tracy I was talking about anxiety causing you to question your relationship, questioning life, questioning why you feel a certain way, trying to figure it all all, disect it. This is totally seperate from normal life problems that may need sorting out. Basically don’t try to figure the hell out of your anxiety, don’t try to fight and think your way better, be at one with it, let go of the resistence.

  189. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I have deleted Emma’s posts and will email her personally to explain why.

    The reason being is I really don’t want religion to take over the site like it did last year, which caused me no end of problems as some of the older members may remember.

    I don’t want to get into the saga again, but many people from different religions and backgrounds come here and their was arguing between people on the subject from people with different beliefs. People were also emailing me to step in as they were not religious and felt it was taking over the blog and being pushed on them and they no longer wanted to come here.

    It got totally out of hand and I had to step in and just ask everyone to go back to the subject and try and keep their religous beliefs seperate for the good of the blog. This led to people attacking me for not giving them freedom of speech and being able to view their beliefs, when all I wanted to do was keep the peace.

    I have no problem with the posts above from Matt/Michelle/Robbie, I am gald your faith has helped and I have no problem if from time to time you talk about your faith and how it helps at times. I would just ask that it does not start to take over the blog.

    To save any arguing on this post I will not comment again on the subject or get involved in any debate, I just want what’s best for the blog as a whole.

    Thanks Paul

  190. MLK Says:

    Hello everyone,
    I was hoping to get some help or advice from anyone who can help! I had a panic attack (first one in a lonnngg time!) while I was working out the other week. I suddenly felt as though I could not get a breath in and I panicked and left the gym only to be constantly concerned about my heart beat and whether or not I could get a deep breath in. I have continued to work out, and try and work through these feelings since I am running a half marathon this coming may! I ran 7 miles straight the other day, and it felt great. But today at work, I start obsessing about my heart rate and whether or not it was too slow. I have been feeling my pulse all day long and finding myself experiencing sensations that I relate to heart failure. My left arm feels weak, I have been feeling light headed and overall sensitive and scared! I am finding myself “googling” symptoms (which I havent done in a long time!) and being super aware of how I feel throughout every second of the day. I just need some reassurance that I am not experiencing heart failure or anything of the sort..and that it is my mind playing tricks on me. If anyone could help me out a bit, I would greatly appreciate it! :)
    MLK

  191. Rachael Says:

    Really feel like I’m going to die from anxiety today. Going through the setback of all setbacks after a really good few months and the sound of my colleagues typing (my biggest anxiety trigger) is causing me actual, physical pain. I’ve never felt this bad in my life, or as crazy. Maybe I would be better off in some sort of institution.

    Anyway, just writing to vent really.

  192. steveo Says:

    Rachael… NO YOU WOULDN’T!

    You’ve done it before and you can do it again. Stick it out and things will get better. The setback is harder no doubt as you had been doing so very well.

    I’m not recovered myself but I know I am on my way (even though my anxiety tries to tell me otherwise).

    I am trying to learn to “not be impressed by the way I feel” when I am doing well.

    Keep up the good work and the good times will return.

  193. James Says:

    Thanks Michelle.

    Yes I am working better with floating through it now. I am more convinced it is just anxiety – it’s just different to anything I’ve had before. It’s making me very dizzy today, but I know that is a very common anxiety symptom.

    Thanks again,

    James.

  194. Rachael Says:

    Thanks Steveo, just read a great post further up from Paul on setbacks which helped too – in a way they’re a good thing, another challenge on the way out! I just find myself now I’m in a setback scrambling to figure out what’s set me back – like I even started reasoning it’s because I had the door shut today!!

    Just a bad day I guess. Keep up the good thinking!

  195. Robbie Says:

    Hey Folks,

    Can anyone offer some suggestions on how to get past the constant habit of checking in on yourself? It drives me nuts!! I try to treat it similar to an obsessive/negative thought in that I basically try to recognize but not react. However, this one is a little hard for me. Just constantly checking in every moment of the day seeing how I’m feeling.

    Also, I know a setback is something we all go through as a part of recovery, but I also heard a term called “anxiety shadowing.” This basically means thinking back to how you felt while you were in the depths of anxiety and then becoming anxious about becoming anxious. It’s similar to a traumatic experience (I guess it kind of is!). Anyway, I struggle with this sometimes, too. I think about how I felt, know I don’t want to go there, and then the cycle stars (I hate that stupid cycle :)).

    Any insight would be much appreciated.

  196. Eileen Says:

    James, just read your message about the physical symptoms you are experiencing at the moment. Just wanted to let u know
    that I am feeling the same at the moment. Tension in my head, shoulders and back, with heavy, tired tension feeling in my eyes.

    I mainly suffer with physical feelings, rather than the emotional, ie last week had ringing ears and stomach churning.

    Just trying to put all feeling under 1 umbrella as suggested on here, and carry on with my day. Not always easy when feeling dizzy etc?

    Anyway just thought Id reassure you that there is someone else on the planet experiencing the same, and that you are not the only one

    Best wishes Eileen

  197. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    I will do a detailed post on setbacks next, What causes them, What keeps them short and sweet, Why they are an important part of the process etc, There seems a lot of questions on them so I will do a full post on them and talk about my own experiences. Sometimes I also think people use the word to readily, a bad day is just a bad day, don’t always label them as a setback.

    Paul

  198. steveo Says:

    Paul – great idea I think!

    Some days of late I have felt 100% perfect like my old self. However, I then notice this, get excited about it and think “oh i haven’t felt anxious for a while, i’m fixed…”

    You can guess what happens next.

    Look forward to the post.

  199. Si Says:

    Really didn’t want to rely on the blog for another dose of “help me feel better”, I am having a tough time of late. I am constantly on myself 100% day and night. Can not get interested in anything that can take my mind away from me. I am very busy in the garden (wifes choice – landscaping) and I am still holding my jobs down. I am now best part of 6 weeks without meds but gosh sometimes I think “was they helping me” and then I tell myself they were not and I can do this. Got an emai from Will Bestwick today of which Pail has a link to and read what he put. To be very honest I don’t think I did myself any favours, only because I struggle to understand how he puts across things and then that makes me more anxious. I have had some good times but this last few weeks has been very hard and yes I have fallen into the trap of trying to work out why.

    I’ve also just had a blumming good cry to myself in frustration, although it does help I now feel guilty that I have let this thing beat me again!!

    I am at a stage AGAIN where I struggle to put words together to even answer questions my 5 year old asks. I am so very very tired physically, take the dog a walk and I feel so sluggish, even when she stops It’s feels like one pull and I will be over on the floor. Just can’t for the love of it just live with these feelings.

    I know what I have to do, but just can’t motivate myself. I know I should just let it be, but if I did what my body wanted to I would just sit looking into space all day. Nothing but Nothing can interest me other that anxiety and depression (I know why… it’s because I am trying to get better!!)

    And trying is my problem.

    Sorry to all who have come on here feeling a bit better, only to read my rubbish. I do however keep trying to tell myself that I am ok (again am I doing it all wrrong)

    I want my old self back, but I can’t get out of my head what a therapist told me….. you will never be the same person you was!!

    Cheers for letting me vent off and agian sorry to all

  200. Andy Says:

    Si,

    I am suffering for a second time, both due to drugs, one hard one soft either way im an idiot. My first son has been born, I have a stressful job and im studying at Uni. Your point of never being the same person again……… well we are never the same person we were, we change, we mature, we grow on a daily basis. The point is it doesn’t matter who you should be, its only anexity that makes you even give this concern. The doc obviously has never suffered otherwise he would have never made such a comment, just as my doc shouldn’t have basically implied that because i had taken drugs I could become a scitso. I have basically said to myself if i go mad i go mad beause going mad cant be actually worse than worrying all the time (you wont go mad). And you should basically think of course i will be different so what! And in the future you will be different again. One more thing dont be too hard on yourself regards your recovery so what you have had a bad day/week, beating yourself up wont help. I ,aybe on here asking you for help in a week, I hope not, but if I am I am

  201. Clara Says:

    Hi Si

    I think we are different from others when it comes to our emotional responses ..we have exagerrated feelings and and a mindset that is a little distorted hence we are not able to see reality as it is..it is a little biased…so what?

    lets have an attittude..if i am not feeling good let it be..this is me..i am going on in my life and if i cant do something because my mind doesnt let me do it due to anxiety, break the cycle..do it right then..anxiety doesnt stop us from doing anything…

    follow this…we may fall back into old habits of analysing, trying to fix everything, assessing our moods and how difficult life is..
    remind urself this is anxiety and we’ll be like that for now..accept and move on with an attittude that nothing will stop me from leading a normal life..

  202. James Says:

    So just to check in, since my anxiety hit me last November to this day I say it went from Severe too moderate. Which looking back feels like I have made allot of progress. The only thing I still deal with is sometimes dealing with disturbing thoughts. Which at first worried me now just bothers me from time too time. I feel like I’m getting there just wish it would be completely gone.

  203. evelyn Says:

    Hi Scarlet:)
    im writing to you to see if you can offer a little help, because i really like you advice, as i find it very soothing:) my current symptom is d.p which i must say has gotten a whole lot better due to me learning more about it, and doing as paul says accepting it, i can honestly say i do not fear it, although i find it very frustrating and annoying..lol. but my main symptom when i study it deep within or try to figure it out, i feel really detached, and if im conversating with my husband, he starts to seem weird to me, i start questioning “wow thats really my husband” it feels cartoonish, question after question comes to mind, and i go round and round it feels so weird as though i dont know my own idenity:( like who am I? and so forth, ahhhh sorry if i did not explain myself correctly, its just the feeling itself is so weird that i dont really know how to describe it… i wonder if it is d.p or something else, hope you can help with some advice.. thank you so much for your time:)

  204. peter Says:

    Si,

    I have been in your position and its horrid. Keep at it you are doing the right things, it will improve. Patience and faith my friend. Two points, your therapist is talikng nonsense, the old you is waiting to resurface, the other is Will Beswick. I am not being critical because I am sure he does fantastic work but I just don’t understand the points he is trying to get across. The latest e-mail may as well have been written in Chinese. Sorry Will!!!

    I’m having a blip at the moment, my anxiety is high up in my thoughts, so what have I done? Sent the wife away last night, shes having a lovely spa evening and that lets me look after our lovely two year old, then I’m off to the match to meet some friend and have a couple of beers, not too many mind. Yes anxiety is crap but its not ruining my life. To be brutally honest its not always been like that I’ve been rock bottom. Now I really don’t care if I recover I’ll will still press on and enjoy myself.

  205. Davidina Says:

    Robbie Just to let you know that you are not alone with your symptoms. I haven’t posted for some time now, but I read Paul’s book back to front often. I have progressed a lot since finding the sight, but this constant checking in does make me more anxious. I find that when I am with friends and family, it occurs more often. I guess I am just not accepting yet as I still feel fear.

  206. Jackie Says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first time posting on here. I have found the blog and Pauls book have really helped with my anxiety and is reassuring to know that I am not alone in this. I have been feeling a lot better for a few months now and then out of nowhere i have that little twinge in my stomach and all the feelings come back (nowhere near as bad as they use to be but back all the same!), i understand this is habit but wondered if anyone could give me some advise with how to help change the thought pattern and the bad habits as i feel this is something i struggle with?

    Thank you

    Jackie x

  207. natalie Says:

    evening everyone,
    just wanted to ask paul more about the positive things i can do to help improve my health, you mentioon in your book about exercise and changing what you ate, obviously now i can see it was a way of looking about your health and body to give it the best fuel it needed whilst you went through your recovery, i can see now after all that has happened i took my health for granted and thought i was invincerble, that is why it comes as a shock when anxiety hits, and probably why we fight it because we cannot see our “injury” we don’t accept it as readily as if we have the broken leg etc. i have started to eat more fresh veg and fruit but wondered if there was any other foods or suppliments that are good in improving our health, for me i get the paranoid thought which in themselves are irritating but my moods and emotions are what i find the hardest to deal with, and thought maybe a change in diet would help ?? might be rambling here but any information would help, at least i would feel this was something i could do to improve myself when everything else i realise is less in my control . thanks xxx

  208. Cc Says:

    hello everyone

    i have actually gone through the depths of anxiety and have lived alongside anxiety accepting it all..but recently i had felt this intense need to keep a constant watch on myself…initially howver bad i felt i could just carry on..but now that i’m so aware of what i do, what i say its so tiring, and its not that i’m scared but its so annoying that i dont have a mind of my own to think and opiniate on things…its like i plan each and every action of mine..
    it just feels like i am practising and saying each and every word as planned…fake as anyone can say..hence feel no self worth for myself…only relief is i know i’m not faking it on purpose its just taht i cant be in any other way at the moment..
    anyone…had gone through the same? how did u get over this? actually i had gone ahead and met people without giving importance to how i feel..but this time.when i’m talking its so had to detract my attention from myself…each move i make or say is planned..its so painful..

  209. Si Says:

    Andy, Clara & Peter

    Thanks for listening and in some way or another relating to how I feel.

    I truly believe the depressive sluggish feeling is all down to inward thinking and totally looking to see how I feel, react to every single situation in life (and I mean every…. don’t know where to even start to tell you how much I analys the most simplest of things) I look at everything I have in life and think god I am so lucky, there are people out there with nothing and yet they still manage to smile … why can’t I?

    And Peter, the Will Beswick thing about chinese, gosh I actually thought it was just me. Although I did download his book sometime ago, I actually don’t remember reading it all because I did find it difficult then, however started to have a little read last night and it seems clearer but still a little confusing (Im sure you understand), but like you said and I agree I could not knock this guy because has Paul say’s the only people he realy respects on the subject are those who have been there!

    cheers again all

    Si

  210. MLK Says:

    Hi everyone, looking for a little advice regarding physical symptoms of anxiety. I have been experiencing some aches, and weakness on the left side of my body. When I think about this, it tends to get worse and I dwell on it like no other. I end up googling this symptoms and MS and ALS comes up..I am nervous and need some advice. Has anyone else ever experienced weakness and aches on one side of their body? I am honestly exhausted and so tired of worrying about everything little ache and pain that goes on inside my body. Could someone provide me with some feedback on how to look past the physical aspect of anxiety. I am having a rough time right now. Mainly because I convince myself that I have this disease and I think about it to the point where I cant focus on anything other than that. Hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for any feedback.
    MLK

  211. SarahS Says:

    Hi!

    I’d like to add a little something that may help if I may? It’s something that’s helped me no end and is something that would be in addition to the wonderful advice on this site. I had severe anxiety for many of my 40 years but with this site I have managed to slowly change my attitude towards anxiety and layer by layer my anxiety and depression has improved. I still had anxiety however every day. That was until I read an article by Mattieu Richard about meditation/mindfulness which made alot of sense. The article says to practice for 20 minutes a day to get into new habits. My interpretation of mindfulness is to sit in a quiet room with my legs crossed (usually on my bed) with my back straight, shoulders slightly forward and neck tucked in a little towards the throat. I gaze slightly ahead or slightly down and keep my eyes open. The only thing you have to do is stay seated for the 20 minutes of less if you are just starting out. There are no other pressures on you. That’s the beauty of meditation/mindfulness. you don’t have to be achieve anything. I then start by settling in, observing my posture, being aware of my hands resting on my knees, aware of my back being straight, the feel of my jeans on my legs, the slight air blowing on my face in the room, smells, sensations, i then scan my body, observe any tensions in parts of my body, then observe where my body may feel more relaxed, I don’t try to change anything, I just observe, then I notice thoughts, a bit like a spectator, I watch them briefly. I then recognised any expectations I may have, am I wanting to relax more, feel happier etc? There is nothing to achieve here, so I let that go. I then notice my breathing and how my chest rises and falls, how I can feel the air in my nose. I then allow my mind to be free, anything goes. I go back to being aware of sensations, observing my sensations, any smells etc. I write little notes down and put them in front of me to remind me of these along with a watch so I can glance at them at times to see the timing of the session. All in all I have found that with practice this helps no end, there is no expecation, nothing to achieve and all it needs is practice and perseverance. My anxiety has been so much better without me trying and that I think is the key. I was often told to be in the present moment but found this aspect quite difficult to do, until I tried this.

    This sort of mindfulness can be taken with you also, wherever you are. If you are sitting, be aware of sitting, of the feel of the chair beneath you, of any sounds around you, of sensations, of the feel of the air from a window, if you are drinking a cuppa, feel the warmth of the mug, the feel of the cup etc. Hope you get the picture?

    xxx

  212. MarkM Says:

    MLK: I have definitely done the same and of course I would say get it checked by your doctor if you think it is really serious, but from my experiences with anxiety if that were happening to me, I would just accept it’s happening and just get on with my day because chances are it would just be something to get anxious about again because I’m so stuck in the habit of worrying about everything. I have had leg aches, head aches, arm aches, huge neck aches, back aches, tingling sensations, and most other physical symptoms you can think of, but when I finally stopped worrying about them all day and let them be there they started to just disappear, no joke.

    I had enormous back pains about 6-8 months ago, and I just got so fed up with worrying about it and one day I just sat down, stopped what I was doing, and just let the pain be there and said “give me more, I’m not afraid, it’s only pain, I’ll live,” and I really got to know the sensation of pain without trying to get rid of it, and from then on my back aches got way better and now I have nearly no back pain at all. I used that same technique (it’s kind of a mindfulness technique, which I would highly recommend you look into) for all of my other aches and pains and anxious thoughts, and just felt whatever I would feel, without judging it as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but just as a feeling, and then it just seems to make them go away, most likely because I’m not fighting the feelings and I’m just letting them be there, and as soon as I let them be there and they are noticed they just disappear.

    Hey SarahS,

    I too have really taken great strides with mindfulness, mostly from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books and talks on youtube, and I would recommend it to anyone with anxiety as well. I think it’s basically everything this site talks about but just with a different name or slightly different way of going about accepting your feelings instead of fighting them. It also really grounds you in the present moment rather than being disconnected with reality because you’re always in your head worrying about things. When you focus on what’s around you in the immediate vicinity and you don’t fall into that trap of wanting to ‘change everything’ and have it be a different way, it is incredibly soothing and anxiety just melts away when you stop resisting it

  213. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Davidina Says:

    April 2nd, 2011 at 2:20 pm e

    Robbie Just to let you know that you are not alone with your symptoms. I haven’t posted for some time now, but I read Paul’s book back to front often. I have progressed a lot since finding the sight, but this constant checking in does make me more anxious. I find that when I am with friends and family, it occurs more often. I guess I am just not accepting yet as I still feel fear.

    Davidina, the reason you check in more with friends and family is that you want to feel more normal in these circumtances, so you automatically ‘check in’ and maybe try and keep a grip on yourself more at these times.

    The best advice I can give here is don’t try to hold on to normality, just let go, ‘don’t resist’ and open the door to it. Most people keep checking in because they either try to hold on to how they feel or are concerned about their symtoms.

    Even if you feel self aware, don’t try and push the feeling away, allow yourself to feel this way. The best way to lose the grip on yourself is to let go, not the other way around. I eventually lost my self awareness because I no longer cared how I felt, so I stopped checking in, I also stopped trying to hold on to feeling good and having preconceptions on how I should be feeling..

    More on this in the next post about setbacks.

  214. Si Says:

    Paul,

    Can’t wait for your next post mate…. I am too struggling with caring too much about how I am feeling and how i react to things, it’s like I even test myself on a hourly basis to see if i am ok.

    I am a bit on the fence with mindfullness, only because it scares me if that makes sence to you that are doing it. I have trouble relaxing (100%) I can do 75% at certain times of the day but never 100%, make me more anxious, it’s like I am doing something in order to feel better if that makes sence.

    Anyway I have a lill problem that keeps hitting me… SHIFT WORK!! I am struggling like never before to get any sleep at home whilst on nights, I am mentally tired anyway let alone lack of sleep. Im ok on afters and days because I go to bed anytime between 10pm and 12pm and get up between 5am and 7am. But for what ever reason I can not sleep when I get home off nights. I am constantly battling to keep my eyes open through the night at work and very often nod off, I actually feel very very relaxed when this happens. But when I get home at 5.30 and go to bed, IF i manage to drop off I am awake about 9 and the anxiety hits me like a brick wall, my head just thinks of absolute everything in life, it’s not even go to be relevant, like today just about eveything pops up, spins aroiund and causes me to feel very anxious, but what I am thinking is not anxious during my day (so to speak), I’ts a little like I am in a semi-tired mode but my heads just running around like crap, so when I do try to drop back off I usually fail and get up about 10.30 but it’s draining me in all ways.

    Can I ANSWER MY OWN QUESTION?

    Am i thinking to much and worrying about not sleeping? I no this is possible because I had major issues with sleeping at night and now thats virtually fine.

    Oh and one other thing, I can not drop off at all at home during the day, get all thouse mini panic attacks and startles.

    Any help or a kick up the you know what would be appreciated
    Si

  215. MLK Says:

    Hey MarkM,
    Thanks for the advice! Its like I know truly that it is my anxious mind running away with my thoughts and thinking the worst possible scenario. Yesterday was not wonderful day for me. My boyfriend is out of town for over 2 weeks, and Im finding myself consistently checking in and making sure my left side feels ok. Obviously the more I pay attention to it, the more I will feel it, even though it really isnt there. I am going to let the weakness, aches and weird sensations be there today and try not to dwell on them! Thanks again for the feedback, its much appreciated! :)
    MLK

  216. Leslie Says:

    Hi all…..been away from the blog for a few days, but I’ve been having an awful setback for the past few weeks. It’s like nothing I’ve felt before. I have truly been on the verge of tears for 3 weeks…..and have cried more these last 3 weeks than I have in the past year. Over the past 8-9 months I feel like I’ve made amazing progress….definitely had some ups and downs. But then all the sudden, my attitude changed. I just feel so incredibly sad, not with it, and scared. I just feel like I don’t know how to do this anymore. My mind keeps telling me that things are different now, that I’m never going to get better…that I shouldn’t get better….that I can’t do this anymore. I just feel overwhelmed and totally defeated. Has anyone else experienced a setback like this? To this extent……where you felt you were well on your way and then all the sudden you feel worse than you have in ages? I just feel like I don’t know how to put Paul’s method into practice anymore. No clue what happened. So sorry to be such a bummer :( Just in need of reassurance to know that other people have had such awful setbacks when they were well into recovery. Honestly didn’t think it was possible for me to get back to where I am now. xoxo

  217. Clara Says:

    Hi Leslie and Si

    this is what had happened to me exactly..! over the last few weeks..i had been doing well over the past couple of months…was able to go ahead however bad i felt..i could just assure myself that its anxiety all my self doubts and depression were answered in one word and that was anxiety immediately i had felt a relief and i could move on..i thought that was it…
    now it hit me again..a setback!

    if i would explain i can say that my mind is on a roll with so many thoughts about me.. if i want to be with someone i wont panic but my mind is filled with negative thoughts that its hard to relate with them..i am so much in touch with how i feel and it shows off and i struggle to come up with something as i am hooked on to something which seems relevant…
    at this point i just cannot make a decision as all of them seems to have flaws…

    I feel its my mind going back to old habits..that is after i felt good for months…i may be subconsciously starting to expect those feelings ..i was at ease being social ..maybe somewhere i’m worried that i started sensing other people’s emotions which was the biggest problem for me…i was content when i was in my own world where i felt that i can live my own life my mind was able to freshen up easily…

    i feel that i am missing the crux of the matter…

  218. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Si says: I am too struggling with caring too much about how I am feeling and how i react to things, it’s like I even test myself on a hourly basis to see if i am ok.

    Si please don’t go down this road, I can see exactly the cycle you are in and everything I teach tells you to do the opposite of this, so please try and take in on board.

    It is your utter desperation to get better that has you checking in every hour. You can’t hope to move forward when you are in this cycle. How can you join the world around you when all you are is concerned is you? How can you not feel so self aware when all you think about is you? You are in a cycle of caring so much you can think of little else, you feel so self aware, you think and worry about yourself even more, then the cycle continues.

    Si habits take time to reverse, but if you want 2 pieces of advice to help then……

    1. Drop this utter desperation to be better, it will just hinder you, drop everything little saying you have or coping mechanism, just throw it all away.

    2 You are going to have to accept defeat so to say and you need to allow yourself live in a strange world of self awareness, a world of detachment with utter abandonment, you wont like it, but you need to finally stop fighting against it.

    These are 2 massive starting points for you, trust me they will work long term, but it will be long term, if what you are doing now was helping then you would feel better, fact, so please take on board and start with this approach. I was in EXACTLY the same hole as you, so please listen to what I say. Don’t do it for a week and think, ‘Oh sod this I need to be better, then go back trying to fight and think your way better’ Don’t expect my advice to make you feel better straight away and then start monitoring your progress hoping to feel better, however you feel when you wake, then you feel, however the day is, then it is, don’t set any goals, this just puts pressure on you and has you back on you again.

    Trust me with the above words, it was what saved me. It was a up and down road, with a few days when I got down, some when I thought I had cracked it, some days when I could feel very detached, some when I felt normal, but I never reacted and went back to old habits, I realised for once I was stepping aside and letting my mind and body heal themselves.

    People make recovery far too complicated, in certain books they get told don’t do this, do this, make sure you do this. It’s all built around getting rid off or coping, this is why people move from one miracle cure to the next, buy book after book, they are looking for that advice that gets rid of it, it’s why so many people have sleepless nights and can think of little else and why anxiety becomes them. I tried to get rid off and cope for many wasted years. It’s only when I shook anxiety’s hand and allowed it to be part of my day without resistence that things changed.

    On mindfullness, It’s up to the person if they wish to go down this route, some say it has helped them and that’s fine, we are all different. I personally tried something similar many years ago and all this focus on your breath and watch your actions made me feel worse, I wanted to get off me, not watch and observe my every action. But that was just me, some say it has helped them, that is just my personal expereince.

    Paul

  219. Ian Says:

    Paul (Si) –

    I am still here, and still stuggling. Your last post directed at Si is very relevant.

    I have been going around and around, digging up every bit of old advice, thinking about any new, coming back to your comments to me a couple of months ago about how not to do exactly that. Obsessed with myself pretty much constantly(and particularly my thoughts/memories/feelings – which are of course everywhere at present).My mind feelds totally exhausted but I can’t seem NOT to do this. I feel I truly do need to drop it and accept the weird world I will be in.

    Although this episode is 7 months or so, I have a lifetime of anxiety on and off, so feel that these habits of – so called – coping are quite strong.

    Thanks

  220. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ian the reason you can’t stop thinking about yourself is it has become a habit. You need to allow yourself to be self aware and not be concerned by it, work with it there. It is like whistleing a tune for days and then you cannot get that tune out of your head, but if you stop whistling that tune then it will fade, but it wont go overnight.

    So don’t get involved when you are self aware and don’t be thrown by it, let your mind be on you as much as it wants, but don’t then start questioning why or think of ways to stop it, this just has you thinking about you again. If you just allow yourself to think about you without adding to it, then it will wear itself out.

    Paul

  221. Amanda Says:

    Hi Ian , I am in the same postion as you i have had anxiety on off for over 20years, the bad period i am in at the moment started 8months ago with a bad panic attack, i found this site back in october and started to feel better then in january i started to struggle badly again and really let it get to me and have been off work since then, i feel dizzy doing anything physical walking, housework, my mind is constantly on the go i feel weird spaced out, i struggle communicating with people,like you my mind is totally exhausted but is it any wonder.I am just begining to accept this is the way i am for now dont get me wrong i hate how i feel, but Ian you have been through this before and come through and you will do again, take care

  222. SI Says:

    Paul,

    thanks for the direct advice, do I understand that what you are saying is just let every thought and feeling come and go but don’t “Latch” onto them so to speak. I honestly thought I was doing ok, but from what your saying it looks like I am just putting up with and not accepting.

    I push myself to do things and keep busy but at the same time I am checking in on me!

    I have been like this for nearly 2 years (Im not counting … lol) now and my wife has stood by me every step of the way, however I worry that my depressed state reflects on her and the kids and I feel under pressure to ACT AS IF sometimes just to make them happy

    The wife today… We have been in the garden all day and she said “Why can’t you smile, you look like you have the world on your shouders”? What are we supposed to do under these circumstances? She truly understands me but It’s obviously getting to her more and the this is the last thing I want is any of my family to be unhappy.

    Si

  223. evelyn Says:

    Hi SI
    i hope i can give you some advice, with my personal experience with my husband, i am finally getting the hang of pauls advice, trust me i know its HARD with a capital “H”, but you really need to stop fighting it, and like paul says, make peace with it!! if you read my past post, you can see how scared and terrified i sound, even if you ck my post from january, i have felt everything plus more, i always worried about pleasing my kids, and my husband, if we go eat its always what they want, if my husband seems upset, i wanna make him happy, because i think its my “fault” and i feel like im not at peace if hes irritated,WOOOW how much i was thrashing my lil mind with these awful thoughts, so now that im learning more about anxiety, or should i say false thoughts, i have handle things alot better, today my husband was acting weird, and i said whats wrong? hes like oh just a bad day, i said ok sorry hope you feel better, i started playing with my kids and got on the blog, SI it felt soo much better, i didnt get the weird feeling in my stomache
    and didnt feel like i had to please him in order to please myself, SI we that have anxiety are people pleasers, but its time you reverse it, your wife loves you and as ive read your post has helped you 100%, run with that thought SI because thats what the truth is:)
    \

    Also know that its time to start pleasing yourself and not always others:)

    Evelyn

  224. Clara Says:

    Hi Evelyn

    what u said is 100% true..its time we please ourselves…and only that will give us true satisfaction. my trouble now is i cant have an open conversation as the complete focus goes on to me and its annoying to the core. but i am not able to reverse the habit so as to speak ….i am not able to feel or think what i want to …
    the moment i try to think for myself i just go completely blank when that happens that gives me a hard time as i dont want to talk to anyone at that moment as i have to think each time to speak and nothing comes out naturally and even if i am talking its for the other person..i feel bad if i dont speak to someone it s giving a wrong picture that i am pizzed off with them…or showing attittude
    its like i dont want to speak to anyone unless i can get in touch with my real emotions how i feel rather than be on an autopilot…

    i know i should just push myself but when the internal focus is so much on myself its pretty hard..i have done this so easily before ..i guess when i feel that i am recovering these things are popping up just to make me feel that i am devoid of a carefree life..i always needed something to be bothered all my life..if there is nothing to brood on i panic..dont realsie why i am like this…

    just felt like putting across whatever i felt…dont get discouraged anyone…everyone has their own ways to recovery…

  225. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Amanda says: i feel dizzy doing anything physical walking, housework, my mind is constantly on the go i feel weird spaced out, i struggle communicating with people,like you my mind is totally exhausted but is it any wonder.I am just begining to accept this is the way i am for now dont get me wrong i hate how i feel, but Ian you have been through this before and come through and you will do again, take care

    Excellent advice Amanda and a very good attitude with a total lack of fighting and acceptence of the situation, it is that exact atitude that will eventually defrost your feelings, trust me. You have stepped aside from your symptoms and just looked at them with interest instead of fear. Yes it’s still awful, I don’t expect anyone to like the way they feel for the time being. It is that ‘not liking’ that has people back to trying to fight and think their way better.

  226. Dan Says:

    Hey Everyone

    I would just like to share some of my success with everyone thanks to Paul.

    In short, around 10 months ago I began suffering from extreme anxiety. It first started after a very stressful, highly exhausting exam period for my medical degree, with the standard intense and crazy thoughts (some very disturbing). Physical symptoms soon started. I went for around 8 months of pure confusion/worry/dread! This greatly affected my studies but did not affect my results (cementing the fact that anxiety is not a true ‘disease’).
    Through Paul’s blog and website, (I’m sorry I haven’t bight the book Paul) I have found all the tools I need to recover. Everything he says is so correct and relevant.

    I am at the point now where good days greatly outweigh the bad days (and these bad days are a fraction of how I used to be). This is even the case during the period I am currently in which is highly stressful by anyone’s measure! (Exams…killer lol).

    However, what I would like to say is that I can guarantee we ALL had ‘bad days’ before we ‘got anxiety’. It is only now we are more AWARE of these bad days as we attribute it to the anxiety we suffered. Prior to having anxiety, a bad day was just a ‘bad day’; the next morning would not be filled with dwelling on the ‘bad day’ or thinking ‘why we had a bad day’ etc…it was a normal occurrence that happens to everyone. Only now, as Paul says, thinking of reasons why we had a bad day etc… and fighting to get back to normal, which in essence is an impossible feat as bad days are ‘normal’.

    Once this is fully accepted and understood we can truly cement recovery. As Paul has said, it is expected this will occur for a period of time, whilst the body and mind heal and relax. Worrying about bad days does not relax the mind but exhaust it; which is completely counterproductive. In a biological sense, the brain prefers to be ‘relaxed’ not in a sensitized state in which energy expenditure is greater; therefore, giving it time to ‘relax’ and ‘rest’ will be very much welcomed. This has worked very well for me.

    I would like to personally thank you Paul for all the help and guidance you have provided for free. You’re truly is an inspiration and very gifted.
    I am currently studying for my finals and without your help and guidance, I greatly doubt I would be able to.

    Thanks Paul!

  227. steveo Says:

    Paul

    Great last few posts and I’m really looking forward to the next entry on ‘setbacks’. Even though i’m trying to keep away from the blog a little. I think we all find the setbacks so difficult for obvious reasons and we end up fighting and fighting and trying so hard to think our way better.

    I know that I am improving, albeit 0.00001% every day. I have had increased anxiety for 12 months now but I know that on the whole I have improved considerably. I can now actually get excited about things where as 12 months ago, nothing would excite me.

    Cheers!

  228. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Dan thanks for sharing your story and i am glad the site and blog has helped, don’t apolgise about not buying the book, unlike certain others it’s not my aim to sell and promise the world, if the site and blog has been able to do it for you then brilliant and good luck with your exams.

    Steveo if you have improved dramatically and now get excited about things, that shows a change has happened, little by little layers of the old you are coming back. I remember the first time I smiled without forcing it, I remember the first time the world did not look one dimensional, the first day I woke without wondering how i was feeling, the first day I looked forward to something, all small milestones in a big picture.

    I wish their was a quick fix, but if there was everyone one on the earth would know about it, there is no ‘Hidden secret formula’ to make it all go away. trust me I spent 10 years looking for it.

  229. Ian Says:

    Paul,
    thanks for the advice. My main focus on myself seems to be on my thoughts, whatever they are, and as I said they are all over the place – memories I guess mainly, and thoughts around memories, and thoughts around how weird I feel/have felt (like right now I am thinking about how I felt driving to Cardiff the other night and how weird I felt doing so – it is just there, I wish I wasn’t thinking it ironically that evening wasn’t that bad eventually!) -, but whatever. I guess I feel that this is what I need to ‘dismiss’ and get infinitely frustrated that I cannot. Are what you saying is to allow this, allow my mind to be on this, without adding to it, and for as long as it takes?

    Amanda – thanks for the comments and all the best wishes on your journey too. I really try hard, now, not to compare symptoms with anyone or try to match either symptoms or progress.

    Ian

  230. evelyn Says:

    HI clara!!
    i have had anxiety for 10 years, and i truely believe it was due to lack of understanding, i hit rock bottom last August, so i have been struggling for 8 months now, but boy do i feel better, after learning from pauls advice, i remember feeling the same exact feeling that you have described, there was a time at work were i was so self aware of myself, and felt so odd and detached from my words and voice that i didnt even know what i was trying to say, i started panicing right in the middle of the conversation, and i excused myself and ran to the restroom, i was so scared and said oh no im loosing my my mind, but thats not the case, because as days are going my i feel the layers coming off piece by piece:) the reason why we feel that way is due to us being so FOCUS on us, i stopped giving it attention, i still feeli like that at times, but right away i catch myself and know its just me adding fuel and memory alone, can bring it back, CLARA take the fear out of it, and float with it, one thing that helped me is telling my coworkers my symptoms, that way your not embbarresed when things like this happen, i even let them read pauls book, especially on the d.p part, and now if i feel it, they remind me, Evelyn, its just ur tired mind and its normal, lol, its so cool because now im not hiding it or ashame, because they know, it makes me feel \more at ease, also what yo said about not feeling anything, yo feel like wow whats going on?? i have this feeling too, sometimes i have a good day with NO symptoms whats so ever and then i say oh no whats going on?? i believe its a habit, your mind is so use to the negative feeling and thoughts, but just run with the calmness, with time im sure we will get use to being anxiety free:)

  231. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ian you are in the cycle of trying to dismiss these thoughts and also trying to figure them out. I know exactly what you are going through, it’s like a whirlwind that tires you out and has your mind even more fatqued.

    In your present state your mind is fatiqued and with this comes these strange thoughts, your mind grasps onto them and you feel engulfed. What you must do is allow yourself to think anything, to accept it as part of ordinary thinking, don’t try to push them away or figure them out. Go with the sillyness, allow your mind to wander, to chatter and go with it, don’t see it as important otherwise you will be back into the old habit of ‘trying to do something about it’ or remain frustrated by it.

    I used to walk with a friend and the whole world was grey and my mind would wander, chatter and be all over the place, I felt so self aware and I never heard a word he said, I was just so bothered by it all, I was also spending the whole walk trying to force normal feeling, it was cycle I repeated until I finally understood that I had to allow myself to think to this way, to feel this way and to see it as normal in the circumstances, I could not force anything. The world still felt grey for a while, my thoughts were still all over the place and I felt self aware, but it did not seem as important, it was frustrating still, but not as important and just changing that habit had me more on the conversation and less on me and in time I was able to think far clearer as the whole walk was not spend on me and how I felt.

    Paul

    Quick word to Si:

    When you are in the garden and the whole world seems to be going on around you without you feeling part of it. This is how the conversation with your wife could go.

    Wife: Si you always look so distant these days, as though you are not with us

    Si: Yes I just don’t feel part of it, I feel stuck in my own mind, as though I can break free, all my attention is on me

    Wife: Well all you have concerned yourself with is you and how you are feeling is it any wonder that you find yourself so self aware and not part of the world around you

    Si: Yes your right and I am going to begin to change this habot and rejoin the world again

    Wife: How?

    Si: I am going to begin to allow myself to feel the way I do, it’s not nice but I am going to see it as normal for now, this will stop me being so concerned with me and break the habit. It wont work overnight and I may feel self aware for a while longer and that’s o.k, but to be part of the world around me, i need to rejoin it and if that means I rejoin it while feeling odd and detached then so be it, in time normal feelings will return. If I pick my daughter up and it does not feel real then I am no longer going to be throw by this or question why, it’s just my mind that is fatiqued, fatiqued by me worrying and going over and over, trying to figure a way out of this hell, wondering and worrying why I can’t move forward, being impressed everyday by the way I feel, but this is a habit I am going to break.

  232. Tracy Says:

    Evelyn,

    I just wanted to say how impressed I am with how your attitude has changed. I remember reading some of your earlier posts and to be honest I had to skip some because I wasn’t in a place to be able to read them without feeling some old stuff. I think you are a great example of how Pauls method can really work. I imagine like Paul if you have been struggling for 10 years you too must have tried “everything”. Anyway, just wanted to comment on that observation because sometimes the changes are so small we don’t always see them ourselves so I wanted to encourage you to keep up the good work.

    Tracy

  233. evelyn Says:

    TRACY:)
    Awwwwww your brought tears to my eyes, yes indeed pauls method does work, but you really have to follow it, although i know it can be rough at times, yes i have tried everything, from quick fixs, to books , to therapist, all it did is made things worse, and made me focus on my past and childhood, which were horrible, i always thought i had to heal my inner child,
    and for me that was not the case, i have no control over my past, but i can control my future, and thats what im running with:) you know TRACY this experience has made me realize soooooo much, and so many things i had beeen doing wrong, I do not regret it, and i thank GOD for letting me have ANXIETY, because it only thought me to appreciate life, and look and things in a different angle!!!

  234. ian Says:

    Paul-

    thanks – again. I am truly, truly grateful for what you do.

    I have had some good moments of late, in fact yesterday I cycled into town to pick up some donuts from the farmers market, attention on me and my thoughts the whole way down but I began care less about it for a while, cycling back I actually felt really good. Sometimes these moments of clarity (and Idon’t mean being free of the symptoms) seem so hyper real, much like the anxiety seems hyper unreal. Felt good to be alive…. compared to this this morning… but there we are.

  235. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ian it is like someone who has lost a very close loved one, they are consumed with grief and all they can think about is the person they have lost, they have no time for the outside world and what is going on around them, so they become very inward. Someone may speak to them and they seem miles away and start blankly back. But in time the grief subsides and they become interested in the world around them again and become part of it. It’s the same thing with an anxious person and the grief lifting is when you become less impressed by the way you are feeling, breaking the habit of watching and checking in everyday.

    Ian through habit your thoughts and attention would have been on you yesterday, it’s your attitude towards that, this is so important. If you cycle to town and allow yourself to feel this way and see it as part of your ordinary thinking then you may feel a little more real and open the door to recovery long term. If however you cycle to town and let this feeling totally throw you, question it, try to fix it, fill yourself with self pity then for the whole journey you are on ‘you’ again, you have got involved. In time you may feel these moments of self awareness, the thoughts maybe all over the place, but you feel more detached from them, your mind will be on what you are buying from the butchers, the new shop on the left hand side, the man wearing the silly hat, you will begin to become part of the world around you again and not focused soley on you. But you must not try and force this, let these feelings of normality come at there own pace and don’t fall into the trap of measuring your daily progress.

  236. Joshua Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been suffering with anxiety for a year and several months now. Coming on this site has been a big help and even though I haven’t posted reading what other people have written has helped me out tremendously( I actually posted some thing yesterday but it didn’t show. Did I say something wrong?). I realize that I am truly not alone and that is a relief! I do have one problem that has been persistent this whole time and I wonder if anyone could relate.
    When I wake up in the mornings in a half sleep/awake state, my mind won’t shut off and all sorts of random thoughts and images pop into my mind at an alarming speed. Sometimes its conversations I’ve had, music, words running around in my head, or all of the above at the same time. When I get up things slow down but my mind chatters like crazy through the day. This is one of the first symptoms Ive had and the last symptom that seems to want to leave. Does anybody else have or have had this? How well did you deal with it? Any advice would be very helpful…thanks.

  237. evelyn Says:

    Hi Joshua
    i have the same exact feeling from time to time, it has gotten alot better,i have songs replaying over and over and over, or if i had a conversation earlier it plays it out again, scary images and so forth, i use to to be very terrified and scared at one point, but you will start to understand that with accepting it, and not fearing it, it starts to diminsh, i remember the first time it happen, i told my husband about the songs replaying, and he said”so what i have that too sometimes, whats the big deal” he said just sing the song out loud, lol, the thing is “us” with anxiety tend to fear it, my husband does not have anxiety so he dismesses it without caring too much for it, even my daughter walks around alllll day singing the latest songs, lol. pronlem is they dont obsess over it like we do, i promise it will go joshua, i have gotten sooo much better since it first started, sometimes late at night, think and say.. heyyyy i havent felt the odd thoughts today. lol. and of course they return, but since i dont give them importance they soon leave, on a quick note, i also started doing aerobics, and it reallllly helps to burn off the accessive adrenalin we have which what produces the thoughts and images…

    Hope this helps
    Evelyn

  238. SarahS Says:

    Hi Paul

    I would disagree about your comment about mindfulness. It really isn’t about watching your breath or your actions, it’s about noticing and leaving be, for example yes notice your breath for a few second and move on, notice sensations, sounds, smells and leave be, dont change them, allow them. Be aware of how the carpet feels on your feet when you walk, how the cup of tea you are holding feels warm etc. It’s not trying, it’s mindfulness. And I would recommend this to anyone, it really helps to keep you in the present moment and is retraining your mind to be in the present moment rather than your mind to wander and keep being in your head and pre-occupied.

    x

  239. Tracy Says:

    Evelyn or anyone,

    On the topic of counseling..How long did you go? Did it help? I have been going for just over a year, but I am starting to wonder if it is time to let it go. I am cautious or maybe fearful if I stop then well you know..”What if” I stop moving forward and improving. I am sure I would be fine, and maybe that is why I need to stop going to go move towards that fear. I know eveyone is different, but just wondering anyones take on it.

    Thanks Tracy

  240. Si Says:

    Paul,

    Again thanks for the reply and yep your totally right in what you say. When I have a clear mind like I do now I actually feel inspired to just let be, even feel that I want to do something I once enjoyed. Having read the posts over the last couple of days I actualy find it quite facinating that we all seem to have the same issues, I say issues and not suffererings cos it too negative a word. Anyway im not gonna get too disheartened with my 2 steps forwards and 1.5 back, I have come such a long way even though Im not where I want to be (so what). And your exactly right about fighting to be the old me. I am not going to try so hard now, just get on with things and let it be.

    What Evelyn wrote about made me smile because YES everyone sings a tune in there mind and EVERYONE has thoughts that they wished they didn’t have, the difference between the old me and and the new me is that I hang on to it and worry about it, but yet I’ve always done it and it was never a problem then.

    THINKING ABOUT THINKING gives me no room for anything else. I think it’s time I have to let be….. be.

    Thanks again to all of you for sharing your experiences…

    Si

  241. Si Says:

    Tracey.

    Just to let you know my take on counseling. Sorry to bore some of you who already know my story.

    I had 17 CBT sessions, had a weekly 1 hour session with my employers welfare officer for a year, 10ish 1 hours sessions with a NHS Mental Health Nurse and 1 x 20mins session with a Phyciatrist (excuse my spelling) NOTE TO PAUL, any chance of spell checker on here to save my face lol.

    Anyway Tracey… on CBT, i went there hopeing to come away with some kind of computer software program to work through to make me better (HONEST), 17 sessions in and although I was making progress (stopped crying at every session) I feel all I was doing was more analysing and trying to work out what my PROBLEM was. Welfare Officer was very nice to talk too and off load my thought off too although I was never under any pressure to keep seeing her, she always asked if I felt I needed to see her again hence 1 year session. NHS Mental health was a bit of a turning point, because this woman basically told me start doing things and stop waiting for recovery, told me to go out and have some fun, smile and “act as if”. Now this was helpfull but I still kept feeling down, this session then started to be a “there must be something wrong that you need to change Simon in your life”, what she never told me was all i needed to do was change “MY ATTITUDE” and the one session with the Physico was “Your not Ill enough for me to help you, carry on taking the tablets!!” BUMMER.

    Thankfully though, through Paul’s site and book I decided to go it alone, drop the sessions, come off the meds and try again. Went back to work even though sometimes I feel that lethargic that I couldn’t be bothered. Ok so I haven’t yet fully grasped Paul’s concept (My bad habbit), but I hold my head up now I think, I’m doing this alone (ok so Im on here and the wife helps) but I am slowly getting somewhere (sometimes). I even told my therapists abouts Paul’s site, HOPEING that they would take a look and advice me I was doing the right thing, however I think they were all too busy to take a look, which I feel is such a loss, because how may people could they help by directing them here. I NEEDED direction and in my search for help (Thank you Google) I found Paul’s advice

    Sorry I’ve made this a long reply, all I was trying to say is, therapy helps to talk to someone, but don’t let them make you dig into your past and all that stuff cos the past is the past and i’t won’t change your future, all it does is gives you another THINKING problem – DO what Paul say’s and drop all coping and live with it there, yes it’s a real nightmare sometimes, but that’s because I AM not accepting yet, does not mean to say YOU can’t!!

    Si

  242. Kat Says:

    Hello everyone,

    Most of my posts have been about my anxiety over my relationship. Helen has been wonderful in reassuring me, as has Paul, and while I am not feeling ‘better’, per se, I have experienced a little bit of calm. I am still upset that I don’t feel like ‘myself’, and that the physical part of our relationship is on hold, and I wish I could report that I have totally accepted everything but it is certainly a struggle. Somedays I wonder if I’ll ever get ‘us’ back, but at least when I’m calm I’m not thinking about it constantly. It makes me very sad, though, but I keep hoping I’ll get a handle on it.

    My post today is about something else. In the past two days, I’ve become aware of two suicides, one the friend of a friend, and the other my former yoga instructor. Both were complete shocks, and since I heard about the first one, I’ve been a bit of a mess. Then, tonight, I heard about the second and I feel absolutely floored. Now, I was not close to my yoga teacher and I did not know the other person, but the friend was completely flattened by his friend’s death and it really unnerved me. I should have prefaced this by saying that my own sister attempted suicide years ago, and while she survived it and is doing well today, I am still haunted by the experience. I wonder if anyone else has experienced the thoughts I’m having, mainly ‘What if I ever try to do that?’, or ‘What if I succumb to a deep depression I can’t shake?’. Also, I worry that my sister’s depression is a ‘family trait’, even though she appears to have recovered completely (for the record, she has absolutely no patience regarding my anxiety and panic problem so we never talk about our feelings because she gets very impatient).

    I feel as though anxiety and that sort of impenetrable depression are not the same thing, but as anyone who has depressive or down periods knows, the world feels very cold and lonely when we are in the midst of such a phase. I have had trouble calming myself over the past few days and am looking for some kind of coping tool to get through these kinds moments. We all have them, all hear about unpleasant things, but how do we stop ourselves from feeling like it could happen to us?

    Between this and my relationship worries, I can say I’m a bit on edge. So glad I have you all to discuss these things with.

    Kat

  243. Robbie Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I’ve had the very same fear you are describing. I, too, had someone close to me commit suicide several years ago. Although it didn’t seem to shake me too much at the time, thinking back , I often wonder “why.”

    I also have the fear of what if I get so down and depressed that I decide life is not living anymore? This is totally and completely anxiety speaking as I love my life and have a great family and friends. It’s difficult to get over those things that disturb us or make us wander. Our first impression is to ignore the subject, but that is running away from our fears and makes it grow even more. We have to realize that if we fear suicide, if it brings up the panic and anxiety that we are so accustomed to, then it is anxiety. It should actually comfort us in that because we fear it, it means we won’t do it. It all comes down to self-confidence. Anxiety rids us of our self-confidence so much that we become fearful that something horrible would happen to us.

    The unpleasant feelings you’re feeling now are probably due to your grieving process. That, coupled with anxiety, makes it feel worse. Give it time, treat these thoughts like you would any other thought. Although the mention of this particular subject scares you to the core, you know it won’t happen. Let those thoughts roll around inside your head and give them no signficance.

    I kind of rambled a little bit. I hope this helped!

  244. evelyn Says:

    TRACEY
    i must admit that my own experience has been pros and cons, what i took was a 8 week session class on thought stopping, it did not go in full detail about my child hood, which the past i have therapist, that would make me cry in every session due to opening the wombs that were once scared!!, the thought stopping session was a group class, which was cool because all you do is focus on the present and not the past, i think that theapist themselves do not even understand the subject in full terms, thats exacly why medicine does not even work, anyway all it does is makes you bring old memories thats makes you back to square one!! the only therapist that i can say i will always respect is one who has been through it themselves and has come out, thats it and also people that have done the same like paul, every symptom i have told my past therapist, they are not even aware of, and what stinks the most is within 5 minutes they want to recommend medication, wooow

    this is not a disease, its a behavior problem, and like any old habits i believe now with pauls advice, they can be reversed

  245. Matt Says:

    Hey everyone, I’ve been doing a lot better as of lately with my anxiety. But my issue right now is the social aspect of my anxiety. It seems like this hump is so difficult to get over! I’ve improved in so many areas, and overall have improved with the social part, but making eye contact at times is unbearable. I can be looking at someone and then the thoughts flood my mind, like, “I wonder if they notice that i’m anxious, or think i’m crazy”. Some days are better then others, but I guess it just isn’t happening fast enough for me. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions, thanks!

  246. KM Says:

    Hi All,
    Haven’t posted in a while but read the blog daily for inspiration and guidance. Recovery is having its up’s and down’s, most days are still gruelling, but i’m noticing that there are better days than others, which is an improvement. But on the note of counselling ad drudging up past experiences I had an interesting meeting with a ‘counsellor’ yesterday. I got recomended by her as she was an ex anxiety sufferer, who’s recovered and has written several books, i’ve found her pocket books to be great, so thought i’d go see her, what harm could it do. I’d seen her once a week before and it went ok, she is different to me in her approaches, she uses kineosology and reiki, and offered to do some reiki on me in the first session. because i was anxious and unsure of what it was etc i politely declined the offer, which she brought up in this weeks session suggesting i had intimacy issues that needed resolving as i didnt want what would of helped me. I was about to get up and leave I was so enraged, i know myself front to back and i’ve got alot of things wrong with me, but my issue is Anxiety not intimacy. I explained that i have a loving partner and child and have no problem with intimacy with those i choose to be intimate with and not allowing someone i’ve met for the first time touch me was a personal preference let alone another problem to overcome. She also used my not making eye contact with her to bac up her theory!! I left there feeling worse, especially after she tried to dredge up childhood stuff, I’m a trained social worker and no one practises psychotherapy and inner child work on the second session, i had no trust in her whatsoever and i repeatedly said, I didn’t think that it would help. So I don’t think i’ll go back but she did set me back I had a terrible afternoon after that, and felt horrible and angry and upset hence way more anxiety!! She kept asking me what did I think my anxiety was trying to tell me to do, and i replied, my anxiety tells me “ill never get better”, I feel unreal, Dont know who I am, I dont feel human, how am i going to get through the day” etc etc She kept implying there was a hidden message, which really threw me, I told her that exploring this was giving it attention, and that I was there to get over it not examine it. Am i right in thinking this???? I feel totally confused now! I’ve been suffering for six months and although certain aspects are better, bein at work is better, sleeping is better, I still have a long way to go with managaing and desensitising from the cycle of introspection and negative self talk. I surpose I’m just hoping i’m on the right track, dont really feel like I am :(

  247. Matt Says:

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Matt and I am 30 and live in Somerset England. I am half way through pauls excellent book and I am stopping by to ask for some advice.

    I *feel* like I am at a very different stage of my journey to where I was 5-6 years ago. Back then I went through the whole “extreme” bodily sensations, DP, and scary thoughts stage and came out the other side just fine.

    My life settled down very well for a number of years, but I never really gained my confidence back fully with travelling. Today I actually feel really very healthy but have recently had a “setback” since the loss of my dear dad a few months back.

    I put allot of pressure on myself to be “fully well”, but I think this resulted in me trying too hard. I started pushing myself to go places, almost becoming obsessed with challenging myself. My days were very full, but as I was working (I’m a freelance developer) during the day times, I might decide to just get up and go out and challenge myself randomly!

    This resulted in my acting anxiously when I was out, coming home disheartened and then worrying about it constantly. Last month I had a bit of a “melt down” after paying *a lot* of money for mentoring and receiving nothing in return for my money. I lost weeks of sleep over it and today I am feeling mentally and physically spent.

    I cannot seem to find the right balance between allowing myself to heal naturally, and moving out of my comfort zone. My anxiety mostly centres around this issue, and I have found it very hard to get information on how to move forward correctly. If anyone can offer advice I would be forever in your debt.

  248. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    SarahS Says:

    April 7th, 2011 at 7:58 pm e

    Hi Paul

    I would disagree about your comment about mindfulness. It really isn’t about watching your breath or your actions, it’s about noticing and leaving be, for example yes notice your breath for a few second and move on, notice sensations, sounds, smells and leave be, dont change them, allow them. Be aware of how the carpet feels on your feet when you walk, how the cup of tea you are holding feels warm etc. It’s not trying, it’s mindfulness. And I would recommend this to anyone, it really helps to keep you in the present moment and is retraining your mind to be in the present moment rather than your mind to wander and keep being in your head and pre-occupied.

    Sarahs yes that was pretty much it yes and it did nothing at all for me, my biggest problem was thinking about me and watching myself and this approach had me doing it even more. I found the best way to take the focus of myself naturally, was to go ahead and live my life, invite other things into my day and this worked wonders for me. No disrespect, but what helps one person may not help another. I just spoke of my own experiences and I stated it may have helped others.

    I am very aware of the concept, it’s exactly the same concept as the book ‘The power of now’ which means to stay in the present moment. Some like this book, some don’t, each person is different and no one is right or wrong when it comes to if something is helpful or not, it helped you, so you recommend it, it did not help me so I don’t mention it. The same with someone doing CBT, some it helpes, some it does not. Anyway I am glad it helped you and you have passed on your experience to others to make their own mind up.

  249. Interestedoz Says:

    Hi Paul

    I have been having some success with taking an attitude of “not fighting” my DP any more. I think I was guilty of “fighting with acceptance” for a while. Does this make sense?

    I would force myself to feel the awful feelings all the time. It was a kind of fighting I think. So now I simply say to myself “don’t fight” whenever I notice my awful feelings of DP.

    I am not fully recovered yet – but since doing this feel a bit more like my old self.

    Is this the way you did it? Or should you “force” yourself to feel the bad feelings over and over again to habituate.

    Thanks!

  250. Carly Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I know I posted a couple of weeks ago regarding DP and I have had a little look over the site, the blog and Pauls book (all the while trying not to obsess!!) There is still one thing I just need confirmation of that I cant quite find the answer to ( maybe it’s the tired mind not quite taking it in lol) Is it possible to experience DP/DR 24/7…??

    As I said in my previous post, it came one day in January for a day or two (freaked me out a little) then went, then came again and stayed (freaked me out A LOT!!) It’s been here for 9 weeks or so now PERMANENTLY and I am finding it hard to ‘accept’ it.

    I know this post might sound a little on the negative side and I am in a much better place than I was 6 weeks ago but it’s just this little niggle about the DP I need an answer to….please help!! :o)

  251. Ezra Says:

    Hi All,

    I haven’t posted for a while but have just read Kat’s and Robbie comments and felt compelled to. My anxiety first struck in 2009 which centred around upsetting thoughts regarding my daughter . This followed a move to Manchester, a stressful banking job, a sick father, a marriage and a new baby yet it managed to go on its own.
    It then really hit in Feb 2010, I read about the death of Alexandra McQueen along with the fact that a work colleague had committed suicide and then came the thought ‘What if I wanted to do it’
    This absolutely shook my world, because the fear grew and felt so ‘real’ It would just make me cry thinking about it and I obssessed about it for a whole year, every day, every hour and probably every minute.
    If I tried to talk to anybody about it (a select few) they would say’ You dont do you ?’ or ‘You would tell me wouldnt you if you wanted to?’ and that, of course made the fear start fusing with reality.”Of course I dont” I would scream !
    I would constantly seek reassurance from my husband, I used to ask him that ‘I don’t do I?’ I would never do that would I ? etc etc
    The reality is this is my biggest fear, the fear of WANTING to do it and leave my beautiful, gorgeous daughter. I had the fear of it being a REAL thought and I was always conciously checking that I didnt want to do it.
    I went from dare I say it ! a quite attractive, bubbly, confident career woman to being a person who I just didnt recognise. I couldnt make eye contact with anybody, couldn’t put make up on (whats the point if I’m not going to be here next month! etc etc) I had zero self worth, with all the inner chatter and existential question mulling round my head, ‘Is this it?’ ‘Whats the point’ etc etc
    I couldn’t picture myself in the future and when even looking at family photographs, I couldn’t see me on it.
    My hair started to fall out, my periods stopped and I lost a stone (from an already small frame)
    I just had worry etched across my face, I was disconnected, bewildered and numb from life. I had to remember to smile, it was never, ever natural.
    I would have images in my head when I walked into rooms, toilet cubicles, when I bleached the toilet or put anti-freeze in the car…..I was totally obsessed about it.
    It started to subside a few months back when I received Paul’s book and it felt right. I gave up the fight, I decided to stand at the ropes of the boxing ring. Gradually over the next 4 months I started to have more good days than bad. I now can go weeks and feel absolutely fantastic, just like the old me.
    And where am I now ? I still get the thoughts occassionally and when I hear about a suicide or even see the word it still freaks me out but I KNOW its just anxiety playing its tricks. I KNOW its not real, I KNOW that its just my sensitized nerves. So, I let my body freak out internally, the adrenaline shoots up, I feel shaky and it will pop up in my thoughts for a little while after but I dont intervene. I let it do its thing and it goes away. I have regained the power. I welcome the thoughts with a ‘Hello there’
    I know I still have a tired mind and excess adrenaline because I will still think the ‘maybe its depression’ or old or new fears will try their best for me to get their attention but I don’t react.
    I am 95% recovered, I am stronger, calmer, and generally a nicer person that before this struck. Life is so precious and I will never ever take my body for granted again. I eat well, I exercise, I dont allow myself to become stressed out about silly things anymore.
    It just feel’s so good to be on the road to feeling better and it feels like I have a second chance and I’m not going to waste it. I am not seeking for a full recovery, If it happens then great but what I have now is the knowledge, the understanding and the power to live alongside this thing if I have to and in return if it decides to go on its merry way then great.
    The blog and book have been a lifeline for me, I am trying to pull myself away and not read it so much but one day at a time ……

    Thanks for allowing me to tell my story.

  252. Ezra Says:

    PS I meant to say that I too tried all sorts of methods, CBT, Reiki, Tai-chi, meditation, massage, Alexandra Technique etc etc.
    I tried the Linden Method and tried to ‘distract’ myself with learning Spanish, learning the piano, studying, volunteer work and the list goes on.
    Until you are prepared to just STOP,accept and live alongside your current condition knowing that it’s not permanent but you ‘for now’ then you will keep fighting and ultimately keep in the cycle.

    Stay Strong :)

  253. Tracy Says:

    Si and Evelyn,

    Thanks for your helpul responses. I have also done the CBT, acupuncture and Mindfulness Course and now the counseling, I at one time had 2 or 3 counselors going at once..talk about exhausting!! I also would fill up my calendar with appointments to fix some type of running injury because if I wasn’t winning races then who was I. I agree some of the counseling and other stuff had me constantly on myself and trying to “fix” something because I have been told I have a “anxiety” “panic” disorder (hate that phrase) so there must be something to fix right?? I now see what I was doing so now I am at the crossroads with the current counselor and if it is time to let that crutch go..Maybe I am a slower learner than others, but I think I am getting close…but it really helps hearing others did the same and are surviving :)

    Thanks again for sharing Tracy

  254. Robbie Says:

    Ezra,

    Thanks so much for sharing your story! When I first developed these thoughts/fears, I thought I was going crazy. I mean they felt sooooo real, but scared me to no end. It wasn’t until I starting reading the blogs associated with this site did I realize this is actually a common fear among anxiety sufferers. In a strange way, just knowing that brought so much comfort. I, too, am about 95% recovered and am living a wonderful life. It took time, but I finally figured out how to “accept” these feelings. It comes down to realizing your symptoms and then basically not caring how you feel because you know you’ll get better. There’s so many sucess stories around that it shows us that recovery is inevitable. Like you, my goal is not to get 100% better, but to be able to live my life the way I want to live it, and I think I’m pretty much there. Life is a precious gift and it feels so good to be able to enjoy it the way God intended me to.

    Thanks again for sharing your story!

  255. Si Says:

    Ezra,

    I like what you say about DISTRACTION!!

    Did not realise until you wrote that comment, that actually it’s a coping mechanism and all this running around I do to try and distract myself by finding things to take my mind off me actually feeds the problem.

    Im getting it now…. well at least for now. If i live how I used to live and let the thoughts come and go andthe symptoms come and go then maybe things will start to quieten off.

    Trying to push myself to find hobbies that don’t interest me and never did does make me feel anxious and now I know why, because I am trying to make myself feel better.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and helping me along my way just that little bit more
    Si

  256. natalie Says:

    hi paul and everyone

    been a little while since i posted on here, but have just been getting on with things, noticing a little change here and there, allowing the obsessive thoughts (which seem to be the main issue at the min) and getting on with the day. however yesterday i had a chat with my husband because he seems so distant and critical these days, it came out that although he loves me to bits he feels unsure about our relationship, this cut me like a knife and even though i thought i handle it well and we both said we will give each other a little space that maybe the stress of the last two years has effected him etc .. i went out with my friend had a lovely nite went to bed only to wake early hours sweating and heart beating and feeling so scared, obviously i know it has to do with the conversation and it has me questioning the relationship again, but i cannot seem to make a decision part of me wants to go because i am so tired of this happening with him each time things get tough but other part is like maybe its depression on his part and just to see how things go.. not sure how to handle these emotions because unsure if they are due to the anxiety or are real but know i feel that if this keeps happening how can i get better .. any advice (obviously not on my relationship thats for me to come to terms with ) but on how to handle the intense fear again .. its like my world has gone up in the air again and i wish i had could just feel strong enough in myself to make a decision x thanks guys sorry for being a pain i have no one else i could really talk to at the min about this x

  257. Lesley Says:

    Ezra, how lovely to read your story thankyou, I to am very grateful to this site and pauls book another good few weeks I’m having the odd feelings may pop up but if they do then they do but if they don’t then that’s great! It’s like they still have to remind me that “hey I am still here you know, just cos you don’t have the time for me no more” but I’m to busy gettin on and enjoying life, just look at it as when they do creep in another lesson in practising not caring, gets bit boring anyway keep feeling crap all the time lol, lots of love to everyone x x

  258. Paulina Says:

    Paul,

    I haven been here in quite a while only because I sincerely dont have the need to read and re-read advice..I can not explain how much improvement I have made in the past 3 months. I stil remember the first weeks when I used to come to the blog and think “I’m never gonna get better” but little by little I have been comming out to the other side.

    It is true when you say that recovery comes in layers and it is a up and down process, like most things in life I guess.
    I have been exercicing and living in the present as much as possible. I never really suffered from many physical symptoms bu for a about two months I have been having eye floaters. I am not sure why they appeared so late, or why even are appearing after my recovery started. I wonder if my anxiety/stress levels are still high and that is why I have them now. I have to admit that I dont like them and I get a little frustated when I notice them. but I am trying not to obsess too much about them. (easier say than done, i know haha :)

    Anyway, I been feeling as I got stuck in this one “layer”of recovery. I am still self-aware and get continous existencial thoughts which I am not reacting to..but they’re there every day chatting around in my head. All these self awareness sometimes uses my interests in other things that i used to do and enjoy. And as a result I have been feeling somehow down and get sad about the whole situation.

    I dont want to bore you with specific details, I just wonder if there is any piece of advice you might have.

    I want to thank you and encourage all those still in despair just to hang in there because Paul’s advice DOES WORK, and i am living proof of it.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  259. Joe Says:

    Hey all,

    This is the first time I’ve posted here, but I’ve been encouraged by all the reports of progress on this site. Paul I thank you for putting your time into making a blog like this. I have been experiencing sick feelings and anxiety for the past 2 months now after a week of extreme stress. I have never had anxiety before but it started suddenly and has stayed with me. My biggest hurdle is accepting that it is anxiety and moving on because primarily everything I feel is physical. Head pains, back pains, breathing problems, muscle twitches, cold intolerance, naseau, sleep problems, and many more. The worst is the feeling that everything looks weird…the derealization that Paul speaks of. I feel like I am slowly making progress since applying some of Pauls methods…but I can’t take that last step and fully accept because the odd vision/derealization is constantly present. It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting around or exercising…its always there. Infact sometimes exercise will make it worse and I find that exerting myself makes me for foggy. This concerns me because many people..including Paul report that exercising gives them a clear head. Why do I feel so bad after doing something strenuous when I used to feel uplifted by working out? I also have fairly constant heart palps throughout the day where I can feel my heart beating…prior to this I have never felt my heart in my life I’m hoping that someone can let me know that they had a similar experience with anxiety with constant derealization, breathing problems, etc. Most seem to have attacks that come on throughout the day that wax and wane. That has not been my experience at all…it feels like a constant burden. I don’t feel anything like the person I was before.

  260. Carly Says:

    Hi everyone/Paul/anyone out there!

    I know I’ve posted a couple of times regarding DP and I dont really expect anyone to answer but it’s just that I’m finding it extremely difficult at the moment to cope. This site is the only site that I have looked at because I realised early on that googling sypmtoms is not the answer. I’m not getting any joy anywhere else as I feel that nobody else in my life understands and just say ‘oh Carly’s feeling a bit down at the moment – she’ll be ok’ and expect me to be my normal bubbly self. I am far far from that right now and feel I’m sinking deeper. I’ve certainly had ‘better’ days in the last 9 weeks I’ve had the DP but the last 3 days have been nightmarish – no escape from these feelings, shall I just end it all? Even my partner, who has been v supportive, is starting to get bored of it all now ( I dont tell him I feel quite this way, but he knows it’s getting me down)

    Today, in particular, I am wondering whether there is any point to it all, I feel so much worse with the DP over the last 3 days I really struggle to feel like I’m actually real. I’m going in for a c-section on 18th April with my 4th child and I am quite anxious about this naturally, however it’s almost like I’m now numb to these anxious feelings..does this make any sense?? I’m numb to just about any feelings to be honest and I’m aware this is part and parcel (yet so hard to ‘accept’!!)

    I’ve felt progressively more ill and rubbish throughout my entire pregnancy and then at 6 months the DP hit me which has scared the hell out of me. I haven’t been on an endless merry go round to the doctors at all because I know they will just try and put me on medication in fact I’ve only mentioned it to my consulatant who just said ‘oh yes, I get that sometimes when I’m on night shifts – have some anti depressants!!’

    Regards anxiety, I know there is no quick fix but I’m now wondering at what point may you say ‘actually this could be something a little more than anxiety, shall I just get checked over??? But then I feel like I’m fighting this thing – arrggh!
    I would so appreciate a response from ANYONE even if it is just to say, come on why are you fighting this??? I feel so alone and frightened. Please please help. Carly x

  261. Ezra Says:

    Hi Carly,

    STOP for a minute. STOP analyzing it all, STOP fighting it. Your mind has just gone into ‘power down’ due to the constant pressure you are putting on yourself.

    You are a busy mum of three with another lifestyle change due imminently, of course you are going to feel stressed !! I would and I only have one child !! Dont be so hard on yourself.

    Regards the DP, by constantly thinking about it, worrying, stressing, pitying yourself etc etc etc ALL you are doing is sinking deeper and deeper.

    Today, dont stress about it, just for today. Tomorrow go back fighting, worrying, stressing but just for today, have the day off.
    If you feel down, so what ? If you feel stressed, so what ? If you feel tearful, so what?

    Stop fighting and start accepting. Only by accepting will your DP start to fade. Remember your mind doesnt want DP but it deems it necessary at the minute to protect you. You mind is doing its job and if you step out of the way to heal, it will do that also.

    We all think ‘maybe its more than anxiety thought’ its just natural doubt as anxiety utterly and totally rocks your world. Just place under the umbrella of anxiety and lets get you better for you and your children.

    Remember, this is not Carly, this is just you ‘for now’ xx

  262. michelle Says:

    Hi, 3 of my family members died in the space of a few weeks over christmas, i moved house twice, split up from my boyfriend, and have a very stressful job (all this in 9 months). I was standing in a pub on a christmas works drink the following year when a thought entered my mind that I was going to go home and harm my family. I had to leave the pub that minute and cried the whole way home. I was petrified. I thought I had gone insane. Went to the GP who told me it was stress related.

    Ever since that day I have dwelled on that thought. I had another child 3 years ago and since then have had awful irrational thoughts of harming her. I know that I never would as my family are my cause for living. Its just awful and scary and I want to be the person I was before. I think because I lost 3 family members in such a short space of time I was so worried about being left alone.

    Sometimes I sit and think that I am going mad, which I know that I dont. I seem to put the thoughts in my mind and then question it. Its ridiculous really. Have been to the GP who said that I could have CBT and go on anti-ds, which I have declined. Why do I do this to myself.

    I get myself into a complete mess when I know I have to be in the house alone with my daughter, but when the time arrives, the thoughts come into my head for a second then I just dismiss them. I have bought your book Paul and find it a great help.

    Michelle

  263. evelyn Says:

    hi Ezra
    your message was very inspiring:) this is becoming easier for me as days go by, but the d.p is seem to linger for longer than the other symptoms, but i know in time this will leave as well, did you ever suffer from d.p as well??

  264. Suranne Says:

    Hi Carly, you are NOT alone, there are sadly many, many of us who have gone thru this, and continue to do so. Listen. Practically speaking, you are bound to be under huge stress at the moment with your little one on the way, and booked in for a ‘c’ section. Anyone would feel concerned and anxious, simply because you are not feeling what you think you should be, is in a way the D.P trying it’s best to help you thru this. At the greatest times of strife in my life, it is the same for me, I ‘tune out’ and the anxiety ‘takes over’. Let’s not forget, that your hormones are surely playing a part in this, lord knows they can give us girls grief at the best of times! Carly, you didn’t ‘do’ anything wrong, you didn’t ask for this to happen to you, and this time will pass I assure you. You are just a normal human being, whom has too much on her plate, and undoubtedly a caring, thoughtful individual, who is caring of others – as generally we are pretty much all the same in that respect – us anxiety carriers.

    You have much to live for Carly, and to have such a mum as yourself, your children are extremely lucky. Don’t worry about your partner not understanding, it can be difficult for them too, plus he has plenty on his mind as well right now as well – things will come right with time.

    Try to find a wise friend to talk this thru with, but in the meantime, know that although you are unique, you are by no means special when it comes to anxiety.

    I am thinking of you, and hope that you let us know how you get when the baby arrives.

    Suranne.

  265. Ezra Says:

    Hi Evelyn

    Yes I had DP, I felt like I was watching myself ina dream all day every day for about 8 months, gradually this started to lift for hours to begin, and then days and then eventually went away altogether. Like yourself, I just ignored it, I was no longer afraid of it and one day noticed that I hadnt had it for a while and it didnt come back.

    E x

  266. evelyn Says:

    hi ezra
    thanks for ur advice, i have had this linger for about 8 months as well, but i must admit it has gotten a whole lot better:) its just when i have a bit of low days it can come strong, and i start to doubt it, and queation it like is it really anxiety or something else?? and of course i have to reverse the thoughts quick and replay pauls advive, because i start to feed and feed and of course im slowly in the whole, but one thing that makes me smile is readicng all the success stories, that gives me so much modivation to know i will be out of this one day,
    and will log in every once in a while to help others with my help..lol. thats my goal…

  267. steveo Says:

    Ezra

    Great reading your above post. In particular;

    ” am 95% recovered, I am stronger, calmer, and generally a nicer person that before this struck. Life is so precious and I will never ever take my body for granted again. I eat well, I exercise, I dont allow myself to become stressed out about silly things anymore.
    It just feel’s so good to be on the road to feeling better and it feels like I have a second chance and I’m not going to waste it. I am not seeking for a full recovery, If it happens then great but what I have now is the knowledge, the understanding and the power to live alongside this thing if I have to and in return if it decides to go on its merry way then great.”

    I feel I am on the road to recovery but still feel a little depressed and have DP at times. I do think it is going but then this morning i think “is it really”.

    I wish I could look back to 12 months ago when it all started for just 30 mins just to see how far I have really come.

    I know I have, but my mind says otherwise.

    Well done you :-)

  268. scarlet Says:

    Hi Si,

    “I want my old self back, but I can’t get out of my head what a therapist told me….. you will never be the same person you was!!”

    Just out of interest has your therapist ever suffered from and recovered from anxiety???? Yes you will be the same person you were, but with an indepth knowledge of yourself and anxiety, and one who has more empathy and who relate to others suffering.

    Hi Evelyn,

    “but my main symptom when i study it deep within or try to figure it out, i feel really detached, and if im conversating with my husband, he starts to seem weird to me, i start questioning “wow thats really my husband” it feels cartoonish, question after question comes to mind, and i go round and round it feels so weird as though i dont know my own idenity.

    Evelyn, what you have described is a perfectly normal feeling when suffering anxiety and it will pass when you recover. Your brain is tired due to all the over analysing and trying to figure out things. My whole family felt weird to me… but I promise you it passes and you will view them with regular feelings in time. For the time being, try not to analyse your “weird, inappropriate” feelings, accept what you are feeling as normal and let it pass, this is the way to go…. :-)

  269. Si Says:

    Hi Scarlet,

    The therapist did suffer from depression/anxiety she tell’s me, however has she fully recovered? Based on some of the things she said to me I would say “maybe not”. One of the things she tried to HELP me with was coping stratergies, although she never helped me find one, she often tried to get me to find my own if you understand me.

    I do think that I am still trying to rid myself of anxiety…. INFACT I know I am, just struggling to stop. I’ve got to say that everything that Paul and others have written on here regards symptoms and feelings etc. have been spot on, however following the advice is a struggle and not sure why.

    How can we not want and think about being better, why do I have to read and re-read for it to slowly sink in a little tiny bit at a time.

    I totatly get what someone (sorry can’t find the statement or name) regards always having NORMAL feelings and thoughts, but anxiety makes us QUESTION them and not just let be. This is my biggest problem, I don’t know how to not be impressed with my thoughts.

    Si

  270. Jessica S Says:

    Hi I wonder if anyone can help with this. I have been suffering with anxiety for almost 6 years. I got Paul’s book last year and since then I have been improving but still have many bad times and days. My problem is social anxiety. I used to be the most bubbly outgoing person and then this struck and I am always afraid of socilaising esp one to one socialising. It has invaded every aspect of my life. However, I rarely avoid but go around feeling miserable. I have managed to get a good job and I am pretty successful career wise. But my anxiety holds me back so much. I am afraid of my bosses and anyone senior and get anxious in meetings etc. recently the opportunity has come about for me to apply for a job which will be more stressful than mines as it involves more meetings, public presentations etc. If I didnt have anxiety it would be my dream job!! I fit all the essential criteria in terms of qualifications and experience. SO I know paul always says live your life like you dont have anxiety and if I didnt have it I would jump at this job. however, since I have it I am afraid that I wont cope and that it will set me back and that I should stay in my job that I am comfortable in until I recover more?? I know sometimes on here people have said they take a step down to recover. I am coping fine in my current job even though I do feel scared often. But my question is, am I crazy to consider going for this dream job when I feel so anxious?? Any advice would be most appreciated.

  271. Helen Says:

    Hi Jessica,
    My advice to you would be to go for it. It sounds like you really want it but are frightened of the ‘what if’s’. There is nothing you can’t cope with. Anxiety makes you cope with things that haven’t even happened as you come up with all sorts of reasons and scenarios before you have even approached a situation. One of the main things NOT to do with anxiety is to wait until you are ‘better’ to live again. If this is your dream job and it is only having anxiety that is making you question your decision then go for it, face the fear head on.
    I work at a theatre backstage and, whilst in the depths of anxiety, I was given the opportunity to appear on stage in a production, one of the things I NEVER thought I could do. I had always wanted to give it a go, just to see if I could do it but my anxiety was so strong, what if i forgot my lines, what if i had a panic attack on stage, what if, what if, what if!! But I did it, I had to, it was now or never. I felt sick for weeks, knowing that I was actually going to do it, coping with my head whilst in rehearsals, the constant mind chatter, feeling adrenalin pumping through me and then opening night came. I thought I was going to faint, I was so scared and do you know what, it was brilliant. I messed up a tiny bit but it was fine, when I was actually in throws of it and a problem came up I dealt with it just fine. As soon as I got off stage the mind chatter came back but less and less every night. I got some good feedback too.
    If there is something that you want to do, just do it knowing that if something goes wrong you will deal with it then. Don’t try and deal with something that hasn’t even happened yet. It is a waste of your valuable time and energy.

    All the best
    Helen

  272. Joe Says:

    Hey all,

    If anyone has any insights or advice on my post from April 9th I would truly appreciate it. I am struggling at the moment.

    Joe

  273. Suranne Says:

    Hi Si,

    I think I can maybe able to help you with your prefectly reasonable conundrum, or at least give you a jolly good example!

    Last week, I booked a Euro-tunnel crossing. I had always been secretly happy when is turned out to be more expensive than the ferry, but it was not to be this time round! So tunnel duly booked, we set off. As we approached check-in,I told myself, ‘oh it’s not that deep under water’ It is only half an hour etc. etc. Sure you get the picture. Anyway, we were first on, we had quite a bit of a drive to get to the front of the train, and by the time the compartments were shut, we were in quite a small area, with 3 cars behind me- I was feeling highly hemmed in. The train pulled away, soon the windows were dark, and the panic arrived! Well, short of pulling the emergency stop handle, I had little choice ( thou believe me I DID consider it!) other than to continue this self-inflicted journey. Anyway, panic didn’t make the train go faster, and it felt a bit pointless to get so worked up after about 10 mins. I breathed a huge sigh of relief upon coming out the other end, then began working out how to tell my husband how we would not be using the return ticket.

    Here is the point;

    It was only when I was discussing with a few friends (NONE of whom have ever experienced anxiety) About using the tunnel, ALL without fail, said that they didn’t fancy the thought of being under the sea bed, and under huge amounts of water. The expression ‘ I would feel very panicky’ was mentioned by all of them.

    The penny really dropped for the first time ever I think, I had experienced a totally NORMAL re-action, not one of ‘Suranne who has anxiety’ I like you, had always found it difficult to judge what is normal under the circumstance and what was anxiety. Now I know the difference.

    Hope that helps you a bit!

    S

    P.S We did use the return ticket – no problems at all, like water of a ducks back – but thankfully minus the water :-)

  274. Robbie Says:

    Hey Joe,

    Sounds like to me, you are stressed out! Trust me exercise works, but I find it better to do some sort of aerobic exercise like bicycling, running, walking, swimming, etc. rather than strength training and weight lifting. It seems like the aerobic stuff helps burn off the excess adrenaline while the weight lifting just makes me more tense. Also, find something that you enjoy doing. I enjoy team sports more than just working out by myself, so I’ll play basketball, baseball, or something that interests me. Don’t exercise because it will help with your anxiety – exercise because you enjoy it. Don’t know if you do this or not, but that’s my two cents worth.

    Now regarding the heart palps, DP, etc. – it’s all anxiety. Anxiety causes you to overanalyze everything. That’s why you are “feeling” your heart beating or your breathing. Everything seems unreal because you are constantly thinking about how you feel and how to get past this. Trust me, I’ve been there!

    Let’s try relaxing a little bit. I know it sounds hard, especially when you’re in the grips of anxiety, but just for one day, you may want to only do things you enjoy. Go see a movie, hang out with friends, play a sport, etc. Do what you want to do, not because it will help you get over anxiety, but because you enjoy it. It may seem unreal at times, but it will help your mind to relax and over time the DP will start becoming more manageable.

    Hope that helps! Remember that anxiety is only as strong as you let it become. Once you cease to give it any significance, it slowly disappears.

  275. Joe Says:

    Robbie,

    Your advice is excellent. However I’m concerned because even when I am playing basketball or running I continue to feel spaced out/derealized. Is that normal? I think that if I heard from others that they experienced this than I could accept and move forward. Thanks

    Joe

  276. Kat Says:

    Hey guys,

    I just felt a need to sound off a little about where I’m presently at in my anxiety struggle. A little release sometimes helps, particularly when those who have succeeded are able to lend some wisdom.

    I’ve been dealing with anxiety disorder for over ten years now, and I have to say that I am really frustrated with myself at the moment. I’ve been reading the books, I’ve been in therapy off and on for years with a therapist who is wonderful and is a recovered panic/anxiety sufferer herself. She even met and dined with Claire Weekes, if you can imagine. I have had the support of a wonderful partner, who I have somehow managed to develop irrational fear and loss of connection with, and I have had some wonderful advice from Paul and the incredible people on this site. I have always considered myself to be a moderately intelligent woman and know I should be capable of understanding the fundamentals of the steps to recovery, but instead of succeeding, I feel like I’m sinking deeper.

    I know that my main obstacle is accepting the way I’m feeling, that I’m ‘fighting’ involuntarily but am having a horrid time letting go of that tension. For six months I have been obsessing about not being able to feel my ‘normal’ feelings for my partner, becoming moody and detached as a result. I have been riddled with anxious thoughts about the deaths of two people I knew of, both suicides, worried that one day I’ll have the same thoughts they did. And, essentially from the beginning, I continue to struggle with driving, having developed a pattern of tension and acute anxious episodes while making my way home from work. While some symptoms ease on occasion, others seem to be popping up with little provocation on my part and they are seemingly more intense than I can ever recall.

    When I was at my worst, I met my partner and that new love seemed to sustain me for eight years. I still had anxiety and panic on occasion, but I seemed to move with it in bouts rather than a consistent daily routine. Now, I appear to be riddled with it all over again, and am beginning to lose optimism about ever recovering. I am worried it will destroy my life, and while I tell myself that it will get better, any successes or relief I experience tend to be short-lived and are replaced with a sense of depression and worry. I do not want to be this person, and perhaps I’m not being patient enough with myself, but I’d have to say that this is the lowest I’ve felt in years and the relentless nature of it really scares me.

    I suppose I’m wondering about any of your turning points. How did you know things were getting better? How did you start to develop a positive outlook? How long did it take to see anxiety as a friend?

    Sorry about the negative post. I feel like the most negative person going these days and I know that the answers are probably staring me in the face, but I guess you might say I’m a little emotionally depleted at the moment and would love some advice.

    Thank you,

    Kat

  277. Matt Says:

    @kat, I always feel I am the ONLY one who won’t recover so please don’t feel alone :) I was told that I’m an only failure by a well known anxiety ‘guru’ recently and Im not sure I’ll ever get where I want to be….

    However! I try my best not to let things get me down. I have a healthy interest in playing my music and art and try my best to keep fit too. I find keeping my mind busy really helps me feel well – even if I’m not totally recovered I enjoy my life.

    That said I see no reason whatsoever you or I or anyone cannot recover, it just might take longer for some. I’ve been a sufferer or about 8 years an I’m sure now I have read Pauls book I will slowly but surly make some steps forward as will you :)

  278. evelyn Says:

    hi joe:)
    i know you are seeking advice from people who have recovered, which i am not, but i believe im in the process, i have gained so much knowledge and have slowly but sherly retrained my mind, my biggest hurdle to get out of is the d.p nad the d.r, .. on your concerns towards exceriseing, yes you do feel better, but not in that same second, give your body time to heal and to release some adrenalin, example i started working out 2 months ago, and let me tell you what i experienced, i went into the arobic class and mannnn did i feel unreal fake , lost, whats the point? detached, i couldnt even recognize my self while i was looking in the mirror,, omg joe horrible!! i would look around and everybody seemed into but ME!!! ughh but then one day i thought ok if i were really going crazy i would not be here trying to be fit or release some adrenalin right?? a crazy person would not go to work everyday feeling detached if i were truly not “NORMAL” so as weeks went by i started to enjoy the class a bit more, do i have d.p still yes i do, but it starting to leave layer by layer and i hope that one day it will for good, before i stop let me tell you how i am sure that what you and I experience is really anxiety and nothing else, i had to go to court for a speeding ticket, i was so nervous to go and i was so into that , that i noticed i didnt even feel d.p for that moment, why? BECAUSE I PAID NO MIND TO IT I WAS SOOO FOCUSED ON COURT THAT IT KNEW I DIDNT HAVE TIME TO PLAY WITH IT TODAY..LOL .. look joe sorry if im laughing a bit its just that we have to change our thoughts because they can doom us, i have had this feeling for 7 months so please dont comparer ur time with mine, i have a longer time having it which has given me a longer time to learn from it, i want you to read my post from january and now, im sure it can relate to you, yo are not ALONE , we all have been through it, and still are, but just by reading ur post, u are normal and ur not going crazy.. i learned that the more u fear it , he more it lingers, please belive that it is sooo true, give urself time to relax,,,hope i helped at least a tiny bit

    Evelyn

  279. evelyn Says:

    hi scarlett
    thank you sooo much for ur time, i know that its just anxiety, and today is acutally the first day i have experienced a bit of normal feelings:) i know tomorrow might not be as good as today, but oh well , im a warrior and im going to stand tall hand in hand with my anxiety, i know i am far from recovery but i dont care, what matters to be is to not feed it with more negativity, and let it be!!! thanks for ur reply it really did make me feel better, knowinf u experienced this and came out, by the way i read your comment in pauls book, it was finaminal:)

  280. scarlet Says:

    Si,

    “I do think that I am still trying to rid myself of anxiety…. INFACT I know I am, just struggling to stop. I’ve got to say that everything that Paul and others have written on here regards symptoms and feelings etc. have been spot on, however following the advice is a struggle and not sure why.”

    Si I understand totally, it’s like you have a natural instinct to fight and you need to go against all what your mind is telling you. Doing ‘nothing’ is quite difficult at times because the urge to fight, to make sense of things, to analyse and to try and achieve peace of mind by figuring things out is so strong, when really you need to go against all this and do ‘nothing’ to let your mind rest and achieve clarity of thought.

    I promise you that with a wee bit of practice everyday you are able to do it more and more and the need to constantly figure things out will become a thing of the past, and your new habit of doing ‘nothing’ will then be internalised.

    When you get the urge to fight and figure something out from a scary thought that pops into your head, do not react to the thought with a negative emotion, rather one of calm, matter of fact, ‘hmm interesting’ type of emotion. I found it helpful to tell myself that I am not going to take the thought any further for the moment, that my brain is having some quiet time, but if the thought would like to come back later then that would be fine. This sort of diffused the thought until my mind calmed down sufficiently and the anxious thoughts diminished.

  281. scarlet Says:

    Further to the above would just like to add that “thinking yourself out of anxiety” is futile, it will get you nowhere cept deeper in the quagmire, you must do the exact opposite and not think your way out, resist all urges to go down the thinking your way out of it route.

    I read somewhere that if you are in quick sand you should not thrash your arms and legs about to get yourself out, instead float on your back and this will stop you sinking further. Apply this same principle to anxious thoughts, and view the thinking yourself out of it as thrashing your arms and legs, and the ‘doing nothing’ as floating.

    Take care

  282. ian Says:

    Kat-

    I’m feeling awfully negative, like you. I feel like I have been trying everything – way to hard – telling myself that surely if I try hard to follow whatever piece of advice I happen to pick up on here that I must surely feel better. I almost smiled just now when I see you mention the ‘making anxiety your friend’ phrase as I ‘tried’ that for a day or two and I felt an hour or so of peace. Absolutely no disrespect at all, please believe me, to all the advice givers but right now, like Si, I can see it as true when I read it but somehow can’t do anything at all about it. My mind just wants to do something completely different. In fact coming here now on the whole makes me feel worse – makes me go round and round even more.

    I am sure that I worked myself by all this ‘trying’ into another proper panic attack in London on Sunday (only my 2nd or 3rd) – the return of the physical stuff worrying.

    Just venting. I know this is of no use to anyone.

    Ian

  283. scarlet Says:

    Suranne,

    “It was only when I was discussing with a few friends (NONE of whom have ever experienced anxiety) About using the tunnel, ALL without fail, said that they didn’t fancy the thought of being under the sea bed, and under huge amounts of water. The expression ‘ I would feel very panicky’ was mentioned by all of them.”

    Loved your story about the tunnel crossing.

    Yes folks without anxiety can have the same anxious response to a thought. For e.g. if you mentioned the crossing to me, perhaps I might get a pang of anxiety at the thought (more so if it were flying), but I would not feel the need to analyse why I suddenly had that pang of adrenalin rush to the thought, I would accept it as normal and let it pass. I would not feel it necessary to doubt my own feelings to the thought and then try and figure out why I had the response to the thought that I had, basically I would be able to move on from the thought and carry on with the task in hand. (all learned of course, there was a time I would not be able to do this)

    This is the problem when suffering anxiety, anxiety sufferers have difficulty moving on, they start doubting their own response to a thought and feel the need to study in depth the feelings that were evoked from the thought, or the thought itself, to the point that every thought thereafter becomes an anxious one.

  284. Mark M Says:

    Hey Ian and Everyone –

    I’ve been down that road before too and in the past few months I finally realized I kept ‘trying’ to follow everyone’s advice who had recovered, but I think when we are in the anxious state of mind we tend to just make that into one more worry, and we ask ourselves whether we’re ‘doing it right’ or ‘making mistakes’ in how we’re following the advice. This of course just breeds more checking in and self-doubt, and that can definitely drive us into a hole.

    I think this is one of the most challenging things about trying to help people with anxiety, since the real core part of getting better is simply (oh the irony in that word) accepting your thoughts and feelings and letting your anxiety be there without trying to force it out. I’ve found more and more that you can’t ‘try’ or struggle to achieve that acceptance, because then you’re just worrying again and your attention will be on you trying to figure out ‘just the right way’ to accept your feelings so you can finally be free of anxiety.

    That mentality screwed me up for a really long time over these past 2 years, and I realize now it boils down to just not really reacting and doing nothing about when you feel anxious by just continuing with whatever you find yourself doing in the moment. Another way would be to put it as “Doing nothing about your anxiety, but also not ‘trying’ to do nothing about your anxiety. I hope that makes sense, lol, to me it feels a bit akin to meditation, where you don’t ‘try’ to meditate, because then you won’t be meditating, but if you can let go of that ‘trying’ then it comes much more easily and naturally because there is no pressure to perform to some standard, or to reach ‘the goal.’ My anxiety’s just like that, where if I let my anxiety be there while also not TRYING to let my anxiety be there, not engaging in that struggling, fighting, trying to ‘force myself to accept my anxiety,’ then I feel really amazing and just very… free and relaxed. That’s just my personal experience but I figured I’d put it out here if it can help anyone.

  285. Rachael Says:

    Scarlett says:
    “This is the problem when suffering anxiety, anxiety sufferers have difficulty moving on, they start doubting their own response to a thought and feel the need to study in depth the feelings that were evoked from the thought, or the thought itself, to the point that every thought thereafter becomes an anxious one.”

    So true! Only recently I noticed something along these lines I was doing that was driving my anxiety: I’d have a bad day, and as you do on bad days, get snappy with people or act a little strange/quiet. But THEN instead of brushing it off as a bad day, I’d worry about how I’d been rude to people, and how I must have looked, and how was I going to put that right…and so on. Of course in reality people probably haven’t even noticed how I acted, but it’s another way anxiety keeps you worrying and re-thinking about this one off anxious event. Tricky one to let go of – but I’m learning!

  286. ian Says:

    Too much trying indeed!

    Thanks for the comments Mark, I’m pleased your doing much better.

    Lets see if I can avoid turning your post into another mantra/internal struggle :-)

    Ian

  287. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Si & Ian this part of Scartlets advice is especially true

    Si I understand totally, it’s like you have a natural instinct to fight and you need to go against all what your mind is telling you. Doing ‘nothing’ is quite difficult at times because the urge to fight, to make sense of things, to analyse and to try and achieve peace of mind by figuring things out is so strong, when really you need to go against all this and do ‘nothing’ to let your mind rest and achieve clarity of thought.

    You are both trying to fight and think your way better, whislt thinking your doing what is advised. This is the wrong approach as Scarlet says above and she is someone who went through it and came out of the other side.

    Ian the reason coming here is making you feel worse is because you are in desperation mode, just looking for that magic piece of advice that will make it all go away, going over and over what you need to do, what you maybe doing wrong, why you can’t get better, you may read things and they just look like words, they have no meaning or effect anymore. This is because your mind and body is so tired of this battle to get better and that is what it sure is at the minute.

    Both you and si say you are doing what is mentioned here, but no disrespect to you or Si, but I can pick up certain things from each of you on this post alone where you are doing the opposite of what is advised. I hardly ever tell anyone to ‘Do’ something, as it’s never a ‘Do’ something about it, more of a not do. I educate to ease people’s fears of symptoms, to help them understand, so their symptoms don’t have such presence, to tell them what keeps them in the loop.

    You make another mistake when you mention the ‘Making anxiety my friend did not work for me for more than 2 hours’ again you have expected a phrase to get rid of it, right that did not work, what else can I use to get rid of it? You have used the phrase totally in the wrong context. It means you don’t have to try and get rid of it, work with it there, don’t see it as the big enemy, which you totally have refused to do, you used the phrase to try and make it go away.

    When I was recovering I did a lot of studying on the subject and learnt very quickly that when I found something I could relate to, it was better for it to register and then to let it go. What I mean is when I first studied I would find some advice that I could really relate to and then write it down, I would carry it around with me, almost go over it in my head when I felt bad, but over time it would lose it’s meaning and edge and I would be questioning why, trying to re-read that info that had that amazing effect, to see if it worked again.

    The reason we may feel better when we first read something is because we lose some fear of that symptom and are mind automatically relaxes. Then we try to carry it around with us and that calming effect is not as strong as we become used to the phrase, we also almost ‘mantra’ it and then question why it no longer has an effect on us, we become frustrated, thinking nothing will ever help and then back into rushing for more info. All this has tired us once again and brought our attention back to us. I once used to have about 10 different sayings going around with me and I would try and pluck one out for different situations. To cut a long story short I found the best way was to just read the info, build up my understanding and let it go straight away (you never lose it), throw all the sayings away and just live, with nothing internal going on, only what was brought on by habit. This over time had a massive effect, my mind cleared and I become external once again.

    Mark speaks of a similar thing that helped him in the post above and Mark, you are spot on with your advice, let the subject go and live alongside it, but also don’t try ‘not’ to think about it, this can tire your mind the same, as it’s another internal battle trying not to think about it. I remember many years ago I thought ‘Right that’s it I am not going to think about me or the subject anymore, well I felt worse, as this turned into a bigger battle. Trying not to think about something you have thought about for years was impossible. I figured then that I had to allow myself to think about me as much as the habit wished and the way to truly not think about me long term was to drop all my sayings, mantras, safety behaviours and just begin to live again, the habit of thinking about me with no extra fuel would make sure this habit burnt itself out and it did.

    You are at the moment in the opposite scale, you have information overload, you worry, you question, you go over information, you even worry and question why you cannot stop worrying and thinking. This has you feel mentally tired and very internal. My best advice to you would be to copmpletely drop everything you have stored up there, any advice, any saying, everything and take a total break from the subject, don’t avoid it or try not to think about it as habit will make sure you do from time to time, but stop reading up on the subject, here or in books, stop trying to get better, drop it all and give yourself a few weeks to join the world again and then come back here in a couple of months and tell me if it has helped. I don’t mean don’t ever read up on the subject again or help educate yourself, I just mean for now, your mind needs a break at the moment, it will be then easier to digest information, your mind will be clearer and more flexible.

    I was stuck in the exact cycle you both are now and getting better felt like climbing mount everest with no boots on. But this stage is very reversible.

    Paul

  288. Will Says:

    Hi Joe,

    I thought I would add a note. One of the really awful things about anxiety is the way that it leads to a sense of ‘self-alienation’ – you don’t know what is happening inside of you, you don’t feel ‘yourself’ etc. But the thing to realise is that there are 1000 things happening inside your body the whole time that you exercise no control over, so why should your mind be any different? For whatever reasons (there are always causes) your mind and body have become over-sensitized and you are experiencing all sorts of feelings that you don’t recognise. But if you give your mind and body a break you will start to get back some sort of ‘normal’ balance and de-sensitize. You have to actively reduce the stresses in your life and start being kind to yourself, and bit by bit you will regain a sense of balance. As adults we tend to forget the wisdom we had as children – when we felt tired we would just flop down and sleep; if we felt hungry we would eat something; if we felt upset we would talk to someone. In other words, we didn’t think about things too much – try and regain a bit of that spontaneity and stop thinking about it too much. Stay rooted in the moment – the past and the future are outside your grasp, as they are for everyone, so don’t waste time dwelling on them.

    Will

  289. Lellis Says:

    Kat,
    I was 24 when anxiety struck and kicked me off the horse, trampled me down and made me almost a totally different person to the one I was before. I was confident and jolly and ambitious yet I became thin, miserable and terrified of everything, I would not even be alone in the house without a panic attack and crying fit.

    18 months on and anxiety is still here but its weaker, its an annoying little pest which has the ability to ruin things ands a pee me off, however it does not ruin my life anymore. it some ways it enhances it. It has made me cautious and organised and always thankful for good days.

    This happened for me by writing everything down, I wrote every engagement and feeling down in a diary so I could look back and see all the things that in the worse moments I thought I would never achieve so I can see that I can do this.

    I know this is a bit slushy and weird but I am so proud of myself for everything that I have achieved since and I can honestly say that the only way to do it is to ignore it, sit with it and it fades.

    I cannot lie and say I am fully recovered, I still panic about flying and I still have some bad nights sleep BUT it is so much less. At my worst I weighed about 8 stone and slept for 4 hours a night more or less awake as soon as the sleeping pill wore off.

    A turning point for me was the diary, it gave me the chance to see things for what they are as we nervous nelly’s do have the tendency to dramatise events but seeing this in Black and White was a way to stop and think rather than thrash around panicking. It also gave me something to do. My diary used to have Shower 6/10 on the panic scale, dinner 4/10 on the panic scale etc and then a few engagements would be added, nothing too difficult just a pop to the library or to my aunts then gradually I added to the tasks, made them a bit harder etc. I wrote everything down, what I ate , what I dreamt about, what I watched on TV. All things to help me. I also researched everything about anxiety so I was clued up, I then looked into myself. What did I like before anxiety. I had the time so I had to get my interests back so anxiety wasn’t what I was and what I talked about. Exercise and the outdoors helps so much. I took that diary everywhere almost to relieve the loneliness. I would sit in the park and write down what freaked me out about being there and in a way it stopped from panicking.

    It took a while but it worked, gradually there was hours when I didn’t think about it, now its weeks. I am busy again and I like it.

    I am not a guru, I am not even fully there myself, but I am happy again and I am me again, I just come with a little companion that sometimes need to be put in his place but at least I come. I accept every invite, if I freak out I freak out but I bloody go. I lost a relative recently and I sat and thought about all the time I wasted sitting indoors focused on feeling fuzzy. None of us have the time to do that so go out and even if you only enjoy 5 minutes of the trip and your anxious companion has to come with you, take him and accept that it is 5 minutes of joy more than you would have had.

    Good luck xxx

  290. ian Says:

    Paul-

    absolutely no offence taken. I know that I am making myself worse. My comments on how I am ‘using’ advice were comments on me, not on the advice.

    Thanks-

    Ian

  291. scarlet Says:

    Ian,

    “You are at the moment in the opposite scale, you have information overload, you worry, you question, you go over information, you even worry and question why you cannot stop worrying and thinking. This has you feel mentally tired and very internal. My best advice to you would be to copmpletely drop everything you have stored up there, any advice, any saying, everything and take a total break from the subject, don’t avoid it or try not to think about it as habit will make sure you do from time to time, but stop reading up on the subject, here or in books, stop trying to get better, drop it all and give yourself a few weeks to join the world again and then come back here in a couple of months and tell me if it has helped”

    Paul is spot on here Ian. What he describes is EXACTLY what I did as well. At one point I was reading and googling loads of different sites to try and find the magic cure. I had information overload, and when I read stuff it didn’t even register, I was so frustrated with it all, I felt numb, detached and couldn’t make any of it sink in, let alone be able to stop analysing all the cr*p that was going around in my head.. At one time, I felt I would be the only one who wouldn’t recover.

    It was only when I took a break from ‘studying’ anxiety and getting back into the real world and interacting with others on subjects other than anxiety, that my mind became clear and another layer of doubt came off me.

    When I look back this is how it all played out for me and in those moments of reflection, I was able to digest what I had read. Amazing when you hear someone else tell you what happened to you step by step. Makes you realize that we all follow the same pattern to recovery.

  292. SI Says:

    Paul….

    Im smiling to myself right now (honest), you are 110% right about dropping the subject and I know this for a fact and the reason why….

    Before I found your site and advise I had every book going etc etc etc, after reading yours I decided to box the other crap up (and that was crap) and stick to one method (yours). But now and only now after your comment above do I realise what I have done…. I have swomped myself down with the subject big style, and because this site is the only site that makes sence I have used it as a kind of coping mechanism albeit im obviously not coping!!

    And so…. your advice although I know it will be a little hard to put into practise (habbits!!!) I am signing off for a while (so to speak). No im not gonna drop this altogether, but for now I need to go it alone.

    My worry is that I do forget things…. but hey, maybe I forget because it’s information overload.

    I wish you all well and thank each and everyone of you for your kind support and stories, take care and in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger

    I’LL BE BACK :) – With the right attitude :)

  293. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    As usual I did not re-read and there were a few grammer errors in my initial post, all fixed now.

    Si you probably need to forget things for now, there is far too much going on at the minute and the reason you feel so clogged up and internal, trust me I remember that stage very well and I speak from expereince of what got me through, not a medical manual, as does Scarlet. The basics of what I try and get across are very simple and something you will never lose. You don’t need to analyse the hell out of this subject, you can just let it go, that’s what gives your mind and body the break it so craves.

  294. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Scarlet says: At one point I was reading and googling loads of different sites to try and find the magic cure. I had information overload, and when I read stuff it didn’t even register, I was so frustrated with it all, I felt numb, detached and couldn’t make any of it sink in, let alone be able to stop analysing all the cr*p that was going around in my head.. At one time, I felt I would be the only one who wouldn’t recover.

    Yes Scarlet I did the same, it seems everything our instinct tells us ends up being the wrong thing to do, then when we come through it makes sense why doing what we did, made us feel worse.

  295. steveo Says:

    Good luck Si :-)

  296. steveo Says:

    PS – Great posts Paul and Scarlet!!

  297. Cori Says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I am newer to this site and just wanted to say hi and i hope everyone is working through this as best they can. The advice to relax through it and accept and pay not mind is really the way out. I find that i can manage that some days and other times it is not so easy. Does anyone have more difficulty with this, when you are feeling stressed? I am a social worker and when days are filled with particularly stressful things, I find that the scary thoughts come on more strongly and I have more difficulty NOT reacting. I have also had the strange thought that I should feel scared if I DON’T react or have instant anxiety when I get a scary thought. Like the anxiety is a sure sign I am not going mad and without it, I must be…
    Geez, now that I am writing that out, I can see how silly it is. Almost chuckled at myself, there. Can anyone relate, though?

  298. Kat Says:

    Thank you for responding Matt, Ian and Lellis,

    It’s so nice to get someone else’s perspective on the situation. At times, I catch myself thinking ‘I’m the only one who is feeling this’, or ‘I’ll be like this forever; I will never get to live my life!’, and even though I know the thoughts are rubbish, they feel so real and I begin to feel the panic swell inside, like pipes on the verge of bursting.

    Today at work, for instance, I became so anxious, could feel it revving inside, and the adrenaline prickled my face as I tried to calm myself down in order to deal with the task at hand. I felt like I was enraged and on the verge of bursting into tears all at once. Now, I’ve always prided myself on my work performance and do not want to appear as though I can’t handle it, so this really upset me, obviously. The thing is that the last six or months have mentally exhausted me, and now I fear (there’s that word!) that I’ve got myself into a very deep hole.

    Perhaps I do have too much information at the moment, and I will admit that I even read about it on my lunch breaks, trying to find a new way to calm even if it’s fleeting. It’s just that living alongside it, befriending it and allowing it are proving to be incredibly difficult for me and so, yes, I’m in desperation mode.

    I’m so glad that others understand me, though. While I have suffered this for ten years and more, there were some very good times in there and I have to think I have what it takes to find my way back and beyond.

    Kat

  299. Bret Walters Says:

    Hello everyone :)

    Alright…so I’ve got good news and seeking some input on something.

    The good news. I met a girl the past month and found myself “feeling” a lotttttt of feelings for her. Do you know how long its been since I’ve felt that? Almost 2 years. This is GREAT news as it showed me I can feel again. Things actually ended up not working with us as she wasnt ready for a relationship (she had a lot of past relationship problems…might of been a disaster avoided..but didnt find this out til after I started feeling for her, of course) and we decided to go our separate ways. the problem is, since then I’ve felt really on edge, like almost flat again, like I exhausted the little amount of “fuel” i had and now I’m back at square one, feeling like im on a knifes edge. I guess you would say “depressed”. Just really tired and my minds not working good :\ Can’t retain information or absorb it. Then of course this makes me think wow everytime I break up am I going to be drained and feel like crap again? Or was it just because I wasnt quite back to 100% when this happened? Should I avoid relationships until I know I’m back to 100%? My mind is all over the place & my motivation to work etc somehow flew out the window…I dont know what kind of advice I’m looking for but just needed to vent. Anyone come through anything like this? The lovely hollow feeling like I lost something really sucks. Tryin to remember if I came through it once I can do it again, just hard to pick myself up right now. I think my problem with this was when I started to realize I felt for her, I freaked out and grabbed tight, like omg I’m not letting this girl go and i got obsessed because I could feel again and I liked her! And…I think i totally pushed her away..which makes me think ahhh what have i done!!! I just need my mood lifted and mind cleared up. Any tips?

    On a postive note to those who think they will never feel “love” etc again, I can assure you I thought this same thought and the old familiar butterflies in the stomach, constantly on your mind, feeling, it returns :) Enjoy it while you got it!

    Sorry if all that was super broken/bad grammer etc, I was just typing my thoughts haha. I love everyone here and trust me looking back to 2 years ago when I terrible relationship started I have come a long way. I havnt had a panic attack in well over a year.

  300. Clara Says:

    Hi

    its a life situation i want to address…i have been dealing with it quite well as it didnt effect me as i was in my own world of symptoms and how to carry on each day…was busy with that..:)
    now i am back to thoughts about life’s issues and situations..quite difficult to get over and they seem to drain me and make me sulk in minutes….cant get a grip..

    there are few people in my in laws family who is trying their best to defame me so they are trying all tactics…( i guess they keep doing it as they know i am sensitive) before i could just walk in not being effected by it at all as i was in my own world and i was happy because of that fact…now every little thing they do to provoke is indeed catching my attention….i dont want to react as i too will become the same like them…

    i just want to remain uneffected by their antics ( which is not direct) ..they are trying to ”press the buttons..they are players infact with no intergrity)let them do whatever they want…how do i make myself in that mindframe with a happy mindset with their presence or absence having no effect on me…

    any suggestions? i’ll defenitely try them because they desperately want to see me struggling to make a conversation and indeed want to see me in a sad state..

    Cheers…

  301. ian Says:

    Thanks all.

    See you later.

    Ian

  302. Interestedoz Says:

    Hi everyone

    what is the most effective way of accepting? Is it to focus on “not fighting”? Or is it to focus on feeling the uncomfortable feelings in an attempt to habituate?

    thanks!

    J

  303. steveo Says:

    @ Interestedoz.

    I think it is to ‘do nothing’ and ‘don’t try’. If you read the last 20 or so posts above between Si, Ian, Paul and Scarlet, they sum it up very well.

  304. Interestedoz Says:

    Hi steveo

    thanks for replying! I like others here have mentioned, have been guilty of “fighting” my anxiety with acceptance, letting it be there, befriending it and who knows what other types of acceptance. I have also simply tried to “not fight it” – with “some” success in the improvement of feelings ( I have chronic dp).

    Exposure therapy for anxiety is to face your fears. With DP when you “face it” it doesn’t dissipate the way anxiety does. Not sure you can habituate to DP being a dissociative feeling state (btw Will describes things nicely in his recent post about not feeling “yourself”. This is the principle way I describe my dp to people).

    One of the key threads running through posts by people who have recovered from dp is to “not fight it”. But is this running away or facing?

    Primarily I have for the last 3-4 months simply been using a mixture of letting the feelings be there, feeling the feelings, not fighting and resignation LOL

    I am still a bit baffled as to what the best approach is.

    thanks again

    J

  305. patrick Says:

    hey everyone, it’s been 16 months now fully recovered. i had all the same doubts, maybe ” i ” won’t recover, maybe i am doing something wrong etc. hard to believe after almost two years of utter despair the whole episode barely registers now. not to dismiss it of course but it does seem so unimportant now.

    i am in the process of writing my full story of anxiety and recovery and wil post as soon as possible.

    all the best

    p

  306. Joe Says:

    Congrats Patrick!! Can’t wait to read your story.

  307. evelyn Says:

    hi scarlett or paul
    i just wanted some words of encouragement!! i do not consider this a set back, just started experiencing really bad headaches to the point were my eyes fell really droppy and tired, it feels as though theres a tight band around my head, my eyes feel like they cannot consentrate properly, like they want to shut down of how tired they feel, this happened each time i have my headache really strong, also ive been having the chruning in the stomache along with nausea, ahhhh is this anxiety? i dont want to go to the doctors because im soo tired of giving anxiety another minute, i want to be able to say ok this is just anxiety and will get better if i ignore it:) i dont know if this is due to a food upsetting my stomache ever since sunday that i went to a party ive been feeling this way..

    thanks alot evelyn

  308. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Exposure therapy for anxiety is to face your fears. With DP when you “face it” it doesn’t dissipate the way anxiety does. Not sure you can habituate to DP being a dissociative feeling state (btw Will describes things nicely in his recent post about not feeling “yourself”. This is the principle way I describe my dp to people).

    One of the key threads running through posts by people who have recovered from dp is to “not fight it”. But is this running away or facing?

    D.P is there for one purpose only and the reason some feel it with anxiety and others don’t. The more concerned I was with what was going on with me, the more I worried, the more I stressed, obsessed about the D.P, the more my mind and body could not take the pressure/stress and worry I was piling on it. So what happened was my mind/body clicked in a safety switch and turned all my emotions off, yes I could function, but that was about it. this is what D.P is, it protects your from all the worry and stress, your mind can not take anymore, it was not designed to function with this overload, so it clicks in it’s safety device.

    The trouble then is we feel one dimensional, emotionless, not with with etc and then we worry about this new feeling, so the body keeps the safety switch on, we may even fall deeper because now we have a new feeling to worry and stress about. That safety switch will only be released when our body realises it no longer needs it. In other words when the worry and stress is taken out of it, it can work with a little worry and stress, but not this overload.

    So the answer is there, when we learn to live alongside the D.P and no be too impressed by it, it will begin to lift in time, this can take time too as mine did, but I stuck with it, it made perfect sense to me and i knew this was the answer and in time the veil of strangeness lifted, it may come down again, but the first lift told me I was on the right track.

    One quick example is I used to go bike riding with a freind and feel really bad with D.P, I would then not hear a word he was saying, I would spend the whole journey watching myself, filling myself with ‘Why me’ , ‘What is wrong with me’ sometimes trying to force normality, the whole journey was just about me and it was horrible. Then it clicked with me, I had to take this bike ride and just cycle with the D.p there, I may feel strange, I may feel on another planet, distant, but I had to for once live with this and pay it no mind. That first bike ride with this new attitude was far better than the old attitude, there was no internal dialouge, there was no self pity or fighting to be normal. It still felt horrible, but this was a long term plan. New attitudes also don’t come overnight, they are built over time. I just got better and better at living alongside my D.P and not being freaked or impressed when the whole world around me felt so unreal and odd. I went into situations expecting to feel this way instead of before, hoping I did not and then feeling sorry for myself when I did, that was the difference.

    Paul

  309. Interestedoz Says:

    Hi Paul

    thanks for responding. The “click” into DP you describe so well. Metaphorically and literally. Some people even say they hear a click when they first go into the state! I did. I felt something “flick” in my head as I went into the state. Yes and it was at a time of profound stress in my life. I can pinpoint the exact moment I went into the dp state.

    For me dp is exactly as you describe – you absolutely cannot feel joy or happiness. You just feel like you are a different person who can only feel awful fear and strange emotions.

    Maybe it is taking a lot longer as I have been in this state for so long? Over 15 years.

    The only respite I have really had is these rare moments where my mind is unexpectedly distracted by something sensory – say a strong scent of flowers in spring. A strong color on a screen etc. These moments last only a few seconds. But during those few seconds I feel completely recovered! Then the dp comes back. You may get one of these every month or so. Very rare.

    Does anyone else notice these moments?

    At least it reminds you of what recovery and normality feels like.

    thanks again
    Jeff

  310. Carly Says:

    Ezra and Suranne,

    Cant thank you enough for taking the time to respond to my self pity post!
    I really appreciate both of your comments/reassurance/generally lovely things! and as bad as it sounds, I feel an almost strange comfort in knowing that others have suffered with the DP as a constant state.
    Today is a ‘not so good’ day and for the first time, I’m not actually bothered. Yesterday was completely different, I still felt DP, of course, but it was definitely not as strong and I had a bit of renewed energy! The doom cloud had lifted and although being 38 weeks pregnant is taking it’s toll, (Monday is ‘sunroof extraction’ day!!) I am grateful for that better day, knowing that it CAN happen and yes I did grasp at trying to maintain it (even going so far as to try and do the EXACT things I did on the better day!) I know now this is pointless and absurd and that I am going to have to let the DP do it’s thing as it’s going to be there anyway so why fight it?

    Interesting thing was today I had a final check up with the GP who asked me how I was feeling (absolutely SHOCKING this morning I can tell you!) I told him I still felt thick DP and he said ‘It’s the pollen from the trees making you feel like this’ and gave me some more nasal drops!! I walked out of there, put the script in the bin and almost felt empowered because I KNEW all he could do was try to allay my fears by giving me some other useless drug that would do absolutely nothing!!

    On the other hand, I have been to a naturopath who has pinpointed that I am suffering from candida as I am riddled with quite a few symptoms (that I put down to anxiety) and looking back, the reactions to some of these things have plagued me all my life I just didnt pay them much attention! so I am appreciative that I looked into (ONE) other thing haha! My main aim is to look after myself a lot more, and not take anything for granted. Accept there will be good days and bad days but not to make too much of either. One thing anxiety has made me realise is that we so often push ourselves to our absolute limits and think we are invincible that we sometimes dont notice when our body says ‘umm hello, I’m exhausted, I’d like to have a breather please’. I certainly realise I ignored what my body was trying to tell me! :o(

    Thanks also to Paul for his post on DP, I know it’s been there in your book all along but during my darker times I even felt like it was just written to allay some fears and wasn’t actually true!!! Arrgghh the mind can play terrible tricks sometimes and I certainly dont mean any offence Paul!! Your book has been a great comfort to me over the weeks, I guess taking it all in has been trickier than I thought it would be.

    Much love to everyone xxxxx

  311. patrick Says:

    evelyn, i had nausea for quite a time with anxiety. especially early morning and it used to wear off by early afternoon. it didnt last too long becausd for me, i was well on the way to recover by the time i experienced that particular symptom so i confidently put it down to anxiety and gave it little attention.

    i found symptoms came and went during my anxiety. if i read about a symptom i had not experienced, then sometimes i would experience it because i began to fear it. every body is different and everybodies experience of anxiety is differrent which is one thing that makes it difficult. with all that adrenilin and chemicals rushing around there is no wonder we feel ill in a myriad of different ways

    tight band dfeeling round the head is very common i believe although i never felt that, although i did have a phase of headaches that again lasted a while and then stopped.

    it is possible to have all these symptoms and know confidently that they are anxiety based, as i reached that point and even then sometimes i would go backwards and start to fear again but only briefly

  312. patrick Says:

    jeff you say you have brief moments of no dp then it comes back – i used to welcome it back! dp was for me the last symptom dissapear. i would go for a da or two without then then back and iitially this would dismay me until i learned how to welcome it! easy to say i know but it truly is something you can learn to live along side and not let it bother you. the mind has no reasoning , it just “does” so once the fear has gone, normallity will resume.

  313. Joe Says:

    does anyone else have strange breathing?? never in my life have I had breathing problems…but now it seems I’m short of breath sometimes and taking large breaths alternating with small breaths…almost like my respiratory muscles are in spasms. I haven’t seen others mention this symptom…I would just like to know if others feel the same.

  314. patrick Says:

    joe, strange breathing, yes another symptom i experienced. tightness in the chest, short breaths etc.
    just another symptom that passed in time

  315. evelyn Says:

    hi patrick
    thanks so much for ur words of encouragement, was has me scared right now, is that on sunday my sister in law was goofing around and hit me really hard on my forehead with hers.. after that ive been so terrified, like oh my gosh what if i have a concussion, the hit was a bit hard.. and the next day i started to experience the nausea all day mostly and headaches, so alll day im thinking what if i have a concussion, ughhh i was doing so good and now this!! im scared to go to the doctors of what they will say.. my husband had a real concussiin before and tells me im over reacting and that his symptoms were by far worst!! so of course i googled concussion and bam nausea and headaches come up and the cycle begans;(

    thanks patrick;) anyone who has experienced this i would appreciate their help

  316. james Says:

    hello everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone else has experienced a problem with random thoughts constantly popping up in your head. Seems like I constantly think ahead of myself of strange/disturbing thoughts and then I start to get all worried again.

    Can anyone else relate or share their stories? I’m hoping these stop soon.

    Thanks!

  317. interestedoz Says:

    thanks for responding Patrick

    I have been over the last 3-4 months using the welcoming, accepting approach to the dp and it has certainly lessened the second fear aspect. I now go towards situation that may make my dp worse even! I wouldn’t have been able to do that 6 months ago.

    However even while living with it, it’s impact on my life has not really lessened. It still dramatically affects me and my ability to feel joy or happiness, or to feel my normal self.

    Not sure if it is a matter or more time needed etc or maybe not doing something correctly

    thanks again
    Jeff

  318. Clara Says:

    Hi James

    I have the same problem…out of nowhere these thoughts arise and sometimes it may be about the person whom i am with or the situation i am in…before i used to think they are natural as they used to pop up everytime and i knew nothing about anxiety then..i treated them as normal thoughts..thats when i landed up here…where i got to know i shouldnt ‘react’ to every thoughts..

    its so very important..its ok to have them as long as i have the understanding but the moment i take them seriously then things change as i get into that mood frame and unnecessarily i get annoyed, frustrated with myself and others.

    James, only thing which i found helpful was being aware of myself to have them…and its ok..never react..but i keep watching myself that my emotions are in check always, it has become a habit..but then that way i am able to ward off negative thoughts and keep it clean..but its still a process and hasnt become natural to me..
    does anyone have these issues…people who have recovered can throw some light on this….

    what do we do when it keeps popping up?…sometimes i react to the situation soon which becomes unnecessary how do i control my emotions then? sometimes i am doubtful too whether to do something or not…how do i get the right mindframe to decide whether what i am doing is right or if i dont do it its right…i have these self sabotaging thoughts which is very damaging too…

    anyone who can enlighten us on this one..
    Thanks

  319. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Patrick says: jeff you say you have brief moments of no dp then it comes back – i used to welcome it back! dp was for me the last symptom dissapear. i would go for a day or two without then then back and iitially this would dismay me until i learned how to welcome it! easy to say i know but it truly is something you can learn to live along side and not let it bother you. the mind has no reasoning , it just “does” so once the fear has gone, normallity will resume.

    It was certainly the last thing to go for me also and took it’s time. And Patrick is right, I also used to welcome mine back. The worst thing you can do is try and hold onto those normal moments or try and keep a grip on normal feelings. I use my own experiences as examples. Me and a few friends used to go to the rugby games on a Sunday and even in recovery these games were usually when I felt my worse D.P, then I would have a few bad days after and I was thinking, ‘Why when I go to these places like I should, do I still feel bad then suffer for days after?’

    Well the reason clicked with me. Firstly I was going with the attitude of ‘It always happens here’ then I would be watching for it, whilst trying to keep it at bay, holding onto myself hoping and wishing it would not come, then when it did my shoulders would slump and I would feel so sorry for myself, ‘Here we go again’ I would then try and use internal dialouge to make myself feel better, if that did not work I would try and force normal feeling, laughing and joking to try and cover how I felt. all this was wrong.

    What I should have done is accepted that I may feel like this and if I did then it was o.k, no trying to wish it away or hope it would not come, watching myself all the time, waiting for a sign that D.P would overtake me. Then if it came I should go towards it, right in the think of it, no trying to get rid of it or try and act my way through the night whilst crying inside.

    I did take this approach and found because I gave it a free reign to come if it wished, sometimes it would and sometimes not and that if it did and I did not let it throw me, it was not half as bad and lifted far quicker, there was no more 5 days of unreality after it.

    It’s all about attitude, when we welcome something and no longer care if it comes or not, we automatically relax. What some people do is pretend they are welcoming it, but are really saying, ‘Come if you wish, but I would rather you did not’, that’s the wrong attitude. The final established attitude is ‘It no longer matters if I feel that way or not’ It’s an attitude built up over time and it’s the first thing you see shining through with someone who comes back here to say they are recovered. It’s their attitude to how they felt that made so much difference. The more we go towards something, the less it becomes an issue, whilst we keep retreating and this includes pulling away from feelings or wishing them all away, then they become more and more of an issue and as many people can testify, they begin to take over your life.

    Sometimes it’s not easy, I would feel awful at times, I just wanted to sit in doors and shut the world away, but I went out, felt everything at will and things began to turn around.

  320. patrick Says:

    jeff, am i doing something wrong was a question i asked myself a lot during recovery. in the end it didnt matter. as is said often it is all about attitude, i still had symptoms for months just before what i consider full recovery – but i had learned to live with them – i still had doubts and bad days but essentially no longer cared. in reality looking back, what was happening was my fear was leaving me. it took a long time.

    your strongest ally in recovery is “patience” yet this is the last thing we feel when anxious. trust me when i say it is possible to be in full dp, with all sorts of symptoms and actually enjoy the feelings. because that was me during the end of recovery.

    i liken my recovery to an electric hob. you turn it off but it takes a long time to cool down – i had lost most of my fears but the heat of anxiety stuck around until things eventually cooled completely.

  321. Cori Says:

    Very wise advice, patrick. Any i like the electric hob bit. Very accurate. Things get easier, yet there is a slight memory of the scary things. It all fizzles over time, when our systems have calmed…makes total sense.

  322. Clara Says:

    Hi Paul

    Can you help me on this? I have been posting on a particular issue but did not get replies on that…
    I was doing quite well in the sense even when i was feeling bad i could move on because i was convinced that its anxiety..my mind was struggling to get past the unreal feelings and so on…

    now i feel so annoyed all the time that I’m getting pissed off easily and i am not convinced that its anxiety as its about my day today life….
    why do i feel so negative about me and everything around me?? thoughts are not centred around anxiety but i feel my life sucks which is not the case…i am worried what if i feel this way all through my life as i feel i have gone past all my major symptoms..

    how do i keep my emotions stable and keep doing what i should do…
    because right now i am in that mindframe which starts nagging me all the time…my attittude towards life is sulking..
    i need something to encourage me to move on…
    can u assure me that this frustrated feeling and inner sabotage 24/7 is anxiety itself and that i can feel good or normal again….

    Thanks..

  323. steveo Says:

    Hmmm… strong opinions Mike H. Each to their own I personally think.

    This website has helped a lot of people with Anxiety, myself included. I am not recovered but I am improving.

    What may not help you; ‘PATIENCE’ does not mean to say that it won’t help others. I’m sure everyone on here has tried writing and writing and writing, but is this not just reminding ourselves and making the subject even more addicitive?

    Not everyone who has anxiety has had a trauma in their past. Mine as with a lot of others on here is ‘probably’ caused from a build up of stress.

    CLARA – it sounds to me like you are on your way to recovery. Scarlet has commented previously that her depression was the very last to go.

  324. Kat Says:

    Clara,

    I think I understand what you’re feeling at the moment because I feel like I’m going through it as well. For a long time, despite feeling anxiety and subsequent depression on occasion, I largely felt in control of my life, and then WHAM, I found myself in the middle of a very difficult setback. At least, I hope it’s a setback.

    I have been dealing with highly sensitive emotions about my life as well, and I have to admit that I’m really unnerved by it. The irritability, the loss of connection with my partner, the constant urge to burst into tears and the overall feeling of depression have become so overwhelming that I find myself obsessed with thinking about it. I keep wondering if maybe it’s something more, if I’m incapable of recovery or if I’m going to lose my family because I’ve become this horrible anxiety monster. In fact, during a discussion with my partner the other night, when he made one angry comment toward me, I felt the anxiety explode inside me, like my face had sparks coming off it, and I could no longer hear what he was saying. All I could think of was how upset I was, how I felt like I was losing my mind, that things will never be the same…etc. So many horrid and useless thoughts.

    I come here for the reassurance that others know and feel what I do. I know miracles won’t happen, and I’m doing my level best to take all the advice that others offer me, but, like you, trying to stabilize my emotions long enough to process rational thought is proving to be a tremendous struggle. My hope is that this IS part of recovery, that all of this hell will eventually reveal itself to be a necessary part of bringing myself back.

    At this moment, I’m having trouble keeping the faith, but I suspect that trusting those who have recovered is the key to understanding. If you are only dealing with irritability right now, and have moved a little past the anxiety, then I’d say you’re on the right path, judging from the advice of those who have recovered. Steady wins the race!

    All the best to you,

    Kat

  325. Clara Says:

    Thanks Kat…

    I too believe its about faith in ourselves that we are ”good individuals” But since we get those random outpour of negative thoughts all in one shot no wonder we feel we are negative people which takes away all the confidence…and what you have mentioned at times i too am so carried away by how i feel and what my mind chatter sometimes i couldnt listen to what the other person is saying..no wonder we lose our self confidence…and so filled with self doubts that we couldnt stand for ourselves…!

    but the bottom line is we have to live life no matter what and we are not inferior to anyone..hence make our own rules which keeps us happy and never try to overdo things because the mind says they felt bad because i behaved so or i reacted so…let it be..i have anxiety and i cant help it so never feel sorry for myself..in due course when i feel good i may be able to tackle all these..
    Meanwhile lets come here and share our shortcomings and gain encouragement and faith to move on…
    Kat I have read about ur issues with your partner…i know how difficult it is to communicate in those times…Dont feel bad about yourself…lets be kind towards us…we are delicate souls so sensitive that its time we stand for ourselves….
    hope we can make it through..

    Take Care…

  326. Bret Walters Says:

    Mike H.

    I think you are taking the patience thing the wrong way. What Paul, and everyone else are saying, is be patient and live your life along side anxiety. Go LIVE. Go be with your friends have fun etc. They aren’t saying sit there and wait for it to go away. We all know that doesn’t work. As sitting and waiting is anticipating and anticipating is probably why most of us feel anxious anyways. The patience part comes in as we live our lives along side anxiety we are patient with our body to return to normal. Just like you said, get out and live. No one is condoning diversion tactics or avoidance. As for your “depersonalization site”, that is spam to the max. That guy is feeding off people suffering just like every other countless anxiety spammer. Personally I think you are trolling hard. The only people I have ever seen who have truely recovered from depersonalization and anxiety have used Paul/Claire Weekes method. There are countless contradictions in your posts and I am not going to start analyzing it any further, but I just wanted to point out that your perceptions of Pauls “patience” technique are skewed. Keep on keepin on.
    -Bret

  327. Bret Says:

    Hey Evelyn,

    Relax!!!!!! That dude is rubbish, seriously. If you look close at what he says…hes still saying pauls advice works…hes just trying to twist it and make money. Just like every other sad individual trying to pray on people who are looking for a way out. Its gross. Trust me…I’m nearly recovered and I’ve done nothing but read claire weeks and take pauls advice…just like countless other people who recover here and on other sites.

    For instance Mike H Says:
    “You have to begin acting like yourself and having fun with your friends again.”

    Thats exactly what Paul is saying. No where has he said “Sit around, do nothing, be patient, wait for the recovery to come to you” he says “Live along your anxiety, do everything regardless and let the anxiety go on its own time, dont care if its there or not” as it will go away if you pay it no mind and get back into your life. I don’t know where Mike is getting things twisted, or perhaps he is just twisting things on purpose to suck money out of people. Look at how dumb that program is for DP lol. That guy sounds like an idiot in my opinion. I would never pay to listen to that yahoo! Even if he is recovered…hes making it all into such a bigger deal than it is, of course to get money. Even if you go on ANY anxiety forum and find people who have got past DP…they will tell you the same thing. Live your life along side the anxiety, when the anxiety goes, the DP goes. Guaranteed.

    Relax my friend, the fact is you know the truth, you said it in your post. If that guy was really trying to help people he wouldnt be spamming, twisting stories, talking new age psychobabble and charging a large fee to “help”. What is paul truely gaining by posting here and keeping this updated? Hes doing it because he wants to help. Even if he makes 15 bucks or whatever off a book…thats hardly ANYTHING after web hosting expenses, time involved etc. Not to mention the hassle/effort of writing, editing, and publishing a book…maintaining a website…posting large posts (basically repeating himself and staying patient and kind hearted)…just look at the difference.

    Hope that helped calm you a bit, as it should its the TRUTH!

    -B

  328. Helen Says:

    Hi Evelyn,
    What Bret says is spot on. I suffered anxiety for years and am fully recovered and that is purely through living alongside anxiety and just getting on with it.
    Don’t let what Mike H has said bring you down, the minute I read it I knew that it would have an effect on some people who are desperate for an answer. Don’t panic thinking “what if this isn’t the answer?”, the ONLY way to get rid of anxiety is to live with it and get on with your life, simple as. Just reading Mike’s post makes me feel tired!
    Evelyn, just carry on with what you have been doing, getting on with life whilst having anxiety. That is the only way to go.

    All the best
    Helen

  329. Helen Says:

    Hi Evelyn,
    Just so that you know, I had terrible DP, truly awful but it went, slowly and only by accepting it and carrying on. No matter what anyone else says, anxiety and DP/DR are related and you recover from both in exactly the same way.

    Helen

  330. Kat Says:

    Hi Helen,

    I was just wondering how long you suffered with anxiety, if you don’t mind sharing. Since you seem to have had many of the same symptoms I seem to be dealing with, I was just wondering about how long it took, what order you had to deal with them in, etc. Perhaps it isn’t important to know since we are all unique in our respective situations, but as I am one of the ‘desperate’ ones, and as I seem to need a good deal of positive reassurance, I was hoping to come to an understanding with regard to how long it takes for the symptoms to alleviate. I don’t expect anything magical to happen overnight, but I have to say that the last six months have been very rough and I’m wondering how long is too long, and when I should maybe take another look at whether or not I’m approaching the matter correctly.

    I really am having trouble relaxing toward everything and just letting it be. I keep second-guessing, worrying that I’ll one day lose my mind, etc. I know I’m not alone in this, but as you know, it’s hard to be level-headed when in the throes of all this.

    Kat

  331. Lesley Says:

    Whatever floats your boat mike but have to disagree you!!!!!! X

  332. evelyn Says:

    BRET: i want say thank you for your encouraging words, you are so right, i dont understand how i let that get me down, it ruined my whole day, but you brought me back to reality, which is all that truth that paul has said!!, but next time i need to handle lil things like this a lil different, and not forget all that i have accomplished from being on here with you all, truly is the best thing that has happened to me:) thanks bret from tghe bottom of my heart!!

    HELEN:) its so soothing to know that you havde overcame d.p and anxiety and still going strong!!! that is what i desire far much than recovery, is help others for FREE..lol. just to let you know i have read alot of your post, and truly are a wonderful women for the help that you have given as well as scarlett and paul,

    PAUL
    your advice is something words cannot explain, something so wonderful, that i cant believe you devote so much time energy to helping others overcome this monster

  333. Mark M Says:

    I just want to comment on Mike H.’s post because I feel like it will make a lot of people freak out, and even for me who has already gone down the path that he talks about, it still had me questioning myself again out of habit, but then I realized I’ve already done what he has said and I had not gotten better by going down that route. In fact, by journaling and being reflective with a therapist for 2 years and trying to find past ‘hidden’ unconscious traumas, whether it had to do with my parents or teachers or some hidden abuse I didn’t realize I had suffered, I did the exact thing that CAUSED my anxiety to develop to such high levels.

    When looking for those ‘hidden’ unconscious traumas, nearly anything can be manipulated to seem like it was abusive; anytime your parent got mad or replied angrily to you, if your sibling made fun of you, if your teacher said something not so nice to you then it is easy to psychologize that into some understanding of why you would develop to be an anxious person now, nearly 20 years later.

    I think this line of thinking, while it has merits in helping identify causes for the way you act or it may actually provide good insight into a past abusive situation that you’ve had that you need to work through, is very destructive for a person with anxiety. What this does is make your already overburdened mind comb the depths of your entire life, (for me nearly 25 years) writing and talking about it over and over again searching for those ‘traumas’ that will lead you to the reason why you are anxious/have dp or what have you. I also have a high suspicion that by automatically assuming you ‘have’ traumas that need to be fixed, you will search and search until you either find a legitimate one, or even make things up because you are expecting to find something so that you can say “Ah hah! That’s why I’m anxious, now if I understand it my anxiety will go away.” My main concern is giving this advice to people who are already prone to anxiety, because if you start journaling everyday about your anxiety then you just put the focus more and more on the anxiety until you have little else to focus on.

    I don’t disagree with knowing yourself better at all, or reminding yourself who you are because it is easy to lose touch with yourself when you have anxiety, or many of the other things you’ve said about processing these things or expressing suppressed emotions, but this whole ‘looking for traumas’ thing is something I really want to warn people about because it is easy to be very gung ho with it and just psychoanalyze yourself into oblivion, which again was a direct factor in causing my anxiety by overanalyzing everything past, present, and future.

    By the way, your post came across to me as sort of troll-like (for those of you who don’t know, a troll is someone who hijacks forums or comment sections by saying something that is likely to piss off or, in this case, probably make people question themselves or cause anxiety). Not that that means anything because it’s just my opinion, but given that: You are someone who would not classify themselves as recovered for more than a year posting very confident advice, you are posting links and promoting another website about the same condition while saying this site has the wrong idea about it, are making assumptions about what we talk about here (i.e. the patience thing, or that we are all about ignoring our feelings… lol) without really understanding it I think, and you are posting in caps… I don’t know why but caps often makes people sound desperate as if they really want others to really hear their message, though it could just be excitement… anyways, given those things I just felt like it was to troll this comment section.

  334. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I suffered with different levels of anxiety for most of my life with a couple of very bad episodes. The bout that you are asking me about lasted for around 2 years but this was the best 2 years of my life (I couldn’t have said that then!!). Something at some point will just click with you and you will realise that all the thinking and analysing will get you nowhere. I learnt so much, learnt how i have spent most of my life being afraid and worrying. I am so much happier because of having anxiety. I worry about the things that matter and in a constructive way. I don’t bother with worrying about things I can’t do anything about and most importantly, I do not worry about things that haven’t happened yet, the ‘What ifs’ and this is where your anxiety is rooted and the minute you learn not to react to these you’ll crack it.
    Don’t put a time limit on recovery Kat, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure that you carry on living from now, embrace each day and let anxiety be your friend. Learn from it, it will teach you some of life’s most valuable lessons.

    Best wishes
    Helen

  335. patrick Says:

    mike h, i and many others completely reovered using the techniques here and in clare weeks books. it is not about ignoring symptoms and hoping they go away – it is learning how to have no fear. this takes “patience” and time.

  336. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Mike H’s comments have been deleted, I did not see the comments as I have not been on in for a few days and it was someone who emailed me and pointed it out. I don’t mind anyone having an opinion, but that was not an opinion, it was non factual babble, I am pretty sure it was spam or as stated trolling, the filter normally hits these knid of posts, but on this occasion as it was someone who had posted before, it got through (you would not believe the stuff I have to delete on a weekly basis through others promoting stuff or trolling the blog), but whatever the reason for the outburst, which by the way had more holes in it than a tea bag, he will no longer be posting on here.

    By the way the best reply was below from Brett

    Mike H.

    I think you are taking the patience thing the wrong way. What Paul, and everyone else are saying, is be patient and live your life along side anxiety. Go LIVE. Go be with your friends have fun etc. They aren’t saying sit there and wait for it to go away. We all know that doesn’t work. As sitting and waiting is anticipating and anticipating is probably why most of us feel anxious anyways. The patience part comes in as we live our lives along side anxiety we are patient with our body to return to normal. Just like you said, get out and live. No one is condoning diversion tactics or avoidance. As for your “depersonalization site”, that is spam to the max. That guy is feeding off people suffering just like every other countless anxiety spammer. Personally I think you are trolling hard. The only people I have ever seen who have truely recovered from depersonalization and anxiety have used Paul/Claire Weekes method. There are countless contradictions in your posts and I am not going to start analyzing it any further, but I just wanted to point out that your perceptions of Pauls “patience” technique are skewed. Keep on keepin on.
    -Bret

    Anyway time to move on and I can only apologise for not seeing it earlier.

    Paul

  337. Carly Says:

    Arrrggghh! Mike H’s post freaked me right out my whole world crashed down on me last night, the worst I’ve ever had….but I guess that’s what it was designed for :o(
    I know I am in a vunerable place right now and his post has made me angry that people can be so cruel. My slightly more positive post a few days ago is like it was written by a different person. Am really struggling today which I know is understandable as I am going into hospital tonight to have my baby tomorrow….this is normal right?? I never wanted to come on here to get reassurance from people as that can be very draining for everyone and I apologise. Wish me luck guys, I’ve done this 3 times before but never with DP/DR!!!! xxxx

  338. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Carly that was probably what the post was designed to do, his reasons I don’t know and don’t care, he is a 24 year old that seems to have copied and pasted some rubbish from a site and thinks he can now cure the world by pushing this persons site to make money, it would be my guess he is affilitated to him.

    I deleted a post last week from someone who spouted utter rubbish and when I deleted it they stated they would make sure every person on this site would read it (how I don’t know). You have hundreds of people reading and posting here, you are bound to get one that likes to upset/spam/cause controversey by posting something non factual that they think will create this. A friend of mine in the field runs a very well known forum on the subject and stated they seem to spend all their time deleting posts these days. I am immune to it after many years, what bothered me is it got through and freaked a few people.

    Lets just cover the rubbish that was published to put people’s minds at rest and then move on.

    His statement below:

    because Depersonalization is not “Anxiety.” It’s not an anxiety disorder

    That has to be the most inacurrate statement I have ever read and the reason you are no longer allowed to post, this being people can have opinions, what they cannot do is just post total innacurate information that people may actually believe.

    Firstly just google ‘What Causes Depersonalization’ and EVERY SINGLE SITE will tell you that the main cause is due to an anxiety disorder, below is taken from wikipidea, this has to be total accurate information to be on the page, stating it usually refers to a severe form of anxiety.

    Depersonalization (or depersonalisation) is a malfunction or anomaly of the mechanism by which an individual has self-awareness. It is a feeling of watching oneself act, while having no control over a situation.[1] It can be considered desirable, such as in the use of recreational drugs, but it usually refers to the severe form found in anxiety.

    Even that money making site you were promoting states this on his site ‘Depersonalization is caused by extremely high levels of stress’ so back to school on that one Mike.

    Next :

    Depersonalization is a dissociative disorder and is caused by a rupture in your sense of self which is why it always happens to people with trauma in their past. I learned that the only people who get DP are people who’ve had trauma.

    Utter, utter rubbish, I certainly had no trauma in my past and amazing how this life trauma just happens to come out when people develop anxiety. I had no life trauma, as around 90% of others who develop D.P don’t and yes that is a fact, there was a survey over a large number of sufferers where 10% believed it was caused my something buried in their past, but the vast majority said it came after a period of anxiety/stress. I remember going to see some idiot who charged me the earth and went down this life trauma rubbish, trying to drag up a past that was not there, I could not get away fast enough. As stated here, on every site on the net and in every book you read on the subject, depersonalisation has more than 1 cause, but the 3 main causes are; yes a past trauma can cause it, drug use and the main cause after a period of stress/anxiety, FACT.

    The rest of the post is just so inaccurate I can’t even be bothered to defend it. I just wanted to cover the two points above to put people’s mind at rest. As stated the site he was pushing was a typical make as much money as you can site that will have no presence on google, so they start trying to get on blogs like mine to drum up business.

    I looked at the site he was promoting and if anyone is interested here is how these sites work, some may already know this, but if I can save someone from being hoodwinked then it’s worth it.

    They have no interest in helping people, they just want your money. This is the reason they have no information on their site, they want you to think there is a hidden secret that you can unlock, when in the main it’s crap and in many cases just rehashed rubbish they have read elsewhere. They ask you to sign up with your email address to get a free report or become a member, this again is just so they can grab your email address to email you other people’s products that are useless, the person who invented the product gets half and your new friend that emails every week with another amazing offer gets half.

    The main problem comes because google hate these sort of sites and no one ever links to them or talks about them, so they have such poor presence on the web that they start trying to find sites and blogs that they know people frequent and either join in a different name or get others to do it for them, then they either promote straight away or they join as a normal member and post a few times, then after a few weeks they start telling people about this amazing site that helped them, when in reality it is normally theirs or someone they know that they are helping to promote with a share of the profits. The only other option is to join forums and place links in their sig or place 10 different videos on youtube with different titles and hope someone finds it this way.

    So if anyone in the future sees a post that seems to promote a site like this again, then please email me and let me know as I am not always around.

    Thanks Paul

  339. Andrew Says:

    Hi all

    This is the 1st time i’ve posted in ages, been keeping off the site and only dipping back in weekly to see what topics are up for discussion. Have been slowly recovering and have really been doing well feeling more focused and enjoying life again, tried not to put a percentage on my recovery as some people do as I think this only reinforces that there is something wrong. Then out of the blue during the night was hit with the most horrible death type thoughts that I havent been able to shake off all day, I fear that these thought will be with me forever and i’ll never be able to accept them as just that.

    Trying to not slip back into bad habits but its the 1st time i’ve felt like this in ages and its really caught me out. Off course I then get get up and read the paper only for it to be fully of stories of people with mental illness (my worst fear!!) like catherine zeta jones and am now in such a petrified state all my physical and mental symptoms are back, feel plugged into the electrics and totally self absorbed and watching myself again, feel worse than ever!!

    This is clearly a setback that Paul has written about in his book, trying to let it wash over me but very hard as its taken all my previous confidence away and am back to the self pity and feeling that I will never be well again, I’m making every mistake in the book!!!

    Just need a kick up the backside to get back on track, I didnt want to post as I felt that in doing so I was failing but I suppose I just wanted to know that a setback doesnt mean i’m back to square 1.

    Andrew

  340. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    On another note I have decided to do another 10k run for chairty. As a few may know I did one 2 years ago to raise money for the london based charity Anxietycare, this year I am doing it for Anxietyuk, which is a charity run by volunteers.

    The race will be in septemeber, which gives me enough time to get my fitness to where it needs to be. As I did last time I will post all pics of the race on my website, hopefully at the finish line :) Last time through the generosity of friends/family and telling people about it on here and anxietycare we raised £1500, anything near that will be fantastic.

    Also to finish it was a friends 50th birthday last night and my head is very sore, rare I get drunk these days but I am paying for it today :(

  341. SarahS Says:

    Hi Andrew

    It’s okay. Setbacks do happen and no you are not back at square one even if you do feel like you are. Everything you have learned is still there and all the progress you have made has still happened and it sounds like you’ve done so well. Brilliant stuff! You may feel pretty rubbish at the moment but its temporary, let yourself feel rubbish, don’t try to change it, let it be there and then instead of feeling worse you will just feel rubbish until at some point you will start to feel better. I had alot of those sort of thoughts and they occupied my every waking hour until I started to do what Paul and the great people on here advised and smiled at them and said yeah, whatever to the horrible thoughts. I didn’t feel much different to start with but I hadn’t made myself any worse than I was by smiling at them and by having faith and knowing that this would work if i persevered and stayed patient, I did start to improve and these thoughts that I never thought I would ever be able to lose in their intensity, began to be with me less and less.

    It’s okay Andrew, it really is only anxiety and nothing more. Smile at it. Be with it. Take it with you. Say so what? It’s okay. You will feel better again soon enough.

    Sarah

  342. SarahS Says:

    Carly

    Of course it’s normal yes. You have anxiety and are going through a bit thing in your life, you will feel the anxiety more intensely but it’s okay, it’s only anxiety. We are more susceptible to silly suggestions so having read that post will understandably make you feel rather jumpy but remember it’s silly stuff and you know what helps from what Paul and the other great people on here advise. Just go with it Carly, go with the flow of how you feel and know that nothing will happen, it’s just anxiety. Smile at it if you can. And don’t apologise for wanting reassurance, it’s okay and it’s understandable. Go with it, the ups and downs of however you feel and give yourself lots and lots of time.

    Good luck with the baby! Come back and let us know how it all went! Thinking of you! Sending smiles and hugs.

    Sarah x

  343. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sarahs says: I didn’t feel much different to start with but I hadn’t made myself any worse than I was by smiling at them and by having faith and knowing that this would work if i persevered and stayed patient, I did start to improve and these thoughts that I never thought I would ever be able to lose in their intensity, began to be with me less and less.

    That’s the key Sarah, sticking with it, nothing comes overnight. You get used to the thoughts, so they bother you less and less and the less anxiety you have over them, the weaker their presence. They begin to matter less and less and when something no longer matters, your mind starts to find other things to concentrate on.

    My main problem and hurdle was the self awareness, I basically had to become at one with it and just treated it as normal, it was part of me from now. This took time and it was hard to stop old habits of trying to force normal feelings, letting it freak me out. But again the point is once I accepted it as part of me and stopped wishing it away, hoping it would not come and lived my life with it there. Then I no longer had it to concentrate on, no longer spent my days trying to get rid of it or act my way through the day. So it was logical that i would watch myself less, the very thing that brought the self awareness in the first place.

    Paul

  344. evelyn Says:

    Hello everyone:)
    i can remember when i first came on here i was in such a mess! i strongly agree with SI, i have decided to do the same thing, i will leave the subject alone just for a slight bit, you know, just to get on with things, and start living!! i feel that i have gained enough knowledge, and have disected the subject to the point where i know what to do in case of a set back, this blog by far is incredible, and has giving me so much hope, looking back at my 10 years of suffering, so many things that i was doing wrong have finally giving be the reason i was never recovering, i was living everyday for years with FEAR, and over anayzing everything, even before my d.p began, i cheated myself from so much in life, things are now clearlier and nicer, i am not recovered, but i know im on my way, tears tears, i will be back when i have come on the other side:) or perhaps to give my recovery story and help others that recovery is in the hands of everyone!!! in the mean time i will exercise, drink plenty of water, rest, sleep, laugh, learn, and most of all live life to the fullest everyday!!! thank you sooo much Scarlett, bret, candie, will, helen, and last but not least PAUL, good luck SI, and may god bless us in living life:)

    I will be back:) hugs to you all

  345. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Evelyn just by your post I can tell you have come so far. I also did everything wrong for 10 years and in my day there was a total lack of real info, I was basically left to fend for myself. I walked around in a daze, fearing my own shadow, locked in my own mind and it was all down to a total lack of understanding and real help. Do come back and tell us how you are doing, you have been an inspiration with your attitude on here.

    Paul

  346. JoeH Says:

    Hi Everyone

    I am new on here and I have begun to start applying Pauls book to my life so hopefully will keep you all posted.

    I thought I would put my tuppence worth in on Mindfullness. I got quite into this for a few months and became quite well read on it and what its about. However I ended up packing it in for the same reason as Paul has said. In addition I found that I got obsessed in moving towards the next stage of “enlightenment” and ultimately confused by the various types of meditation and strands of buddism which can be complex.

    It ends up in the same old thing………..battering a tired mind with more targets, regimes, aims objectives and compounding your feeling of helplessnes.

    However I have found that 10-15 minutes of “resting ones eyes” (as my old man used to say) once a day is far better and has been suggested to me by quite a few experienced people over the years. Or 10-15 minutes walking or cycling or whatever.

  347. Clara Says:

    Hi Helen, Scarlet, Will

    I would like to know how you all overcame depression…I am suffering from depression right now..Its like instead of feeling disconnected and feeling anxious all the time i am filled with depressive thoughts and all at one time..I have noticed myself these days I dont want to talk to anyone even if i try its like i find evrything and everyone faulty…i know its a distorted thought…i feel bad thinking about such thoughts….
    how did you all recover from this? i think i was able to carry on when i felt disconnected, but when i am overwhelmed with negative responses it shows off and i hate being this negative person who always sulks and dislike being with othrs with this mindframe…as I’m sure i will piss off people at this point…
    Pls tell me the right attittude to carry on at this point..

  348. amy Says:

    Paul…

    I’ve visited and posted here before…but I just HAD to comment on the “Depersonalization”, regarding you HAVE to have had trauma at some point in your life. I know you want to drop the subject, but I wanted to say something about it.

    I totally agree about it being rubbish. I grew up in the most loving home with two supportive parents and had everything I ever needed. I’ve never experienced too much stress and definitely no trauma in my life. Yet, unfortunately, I caught anxiety like a bad cold a couple years ago. For me it started out hormone related…baaaad issue with birth control, and I just held onto the anxiety that I was feeling and it continued to grow.

    I’ve experienced depersonalization and it comes and goes. All it is is an over excessive self awareness…once you “let it ride”, it starts to dissipate!! I’ve learned a lot from your site and Claire Weekes books…this truly is the only way. Attitude and acceptance are HUGE in recovery. I’m still working on it, but have made tremendous strides :) :) :) Thanks so much for your education on this, and your continued support to all the people here :)

  349. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Thanks for the words Amy, it was just someone that got through trying to scare people or spam the site pointing to someone who wanted to fleece people. Well they certainly scared a few people, this is why I had to explain things, normally I don’t give these people the time of day.

    Why do people troll? It can be they wake up angry with the world that day, someone or me may have not replied to an earlier post or an email, they maybe jealous of the sites success, it can be any number of reasons, every forum and blog has them, it’s just a shame I did not spot it for a few days. It’s no concidence that so many people arrive on this site, it is due to people linking and talking about it, the trouble with that is it can attract other people who want to spoil it for whatever reason. Again thanks to Will for emailing me and pointing it out. It’s rare these posts get through, as the blog is heavily moderated, but if anyone spots anything that I don’t seem to have picked up on then let me know.

  350. Cori Says:

    Hi James,
    Yes, I can totally identify with the thoughts just popping up out of nowhere. I think, though, that I am in such a habit of having them, that I am almost too aware of myself and sometimes even think “wow, I haven’t had a scary thought in a while”, which inevitably brings them up. Or, I will think “man, that would be so horrible to have a scary thought about that person.”, which of course, again, creates some silly thing. I think we are just in a loop of self-checking and self-awareness. Has anyone else experienced this? I try to keep my mind focused on the fun I am having or on the conversation and give the check-ins a rest. I don’t always succeed, but I am getting better at it. And, if a thought comes up, i just try to relax and not let it work me up into a state of fear. I have noticed that by doing so, the thoughts don’t have so much power and while they are still there at times, are much more in the background. Eventually, I hope that they just hit the road all together, but know it will take practice. Can anyone here relate to that, though? The constant checking in about the scary thoughts?

  351. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Joe that was my take on mindfullness, it’s only something in my desperation years I tried breifly, it just was not for me and for exactly the same reasons you mention. But we are all different and you will never hear me knock it, as it looks like it has helped others and everyone is free to try what they wish, they lose nothing, it was just my personal experience.

  352. Sara Says:

    Hello everyone. I haven’t posted on here in over a year. I found this site when I was at the lowest of lows and past the point of no return (or at least I thought anyway :) ) and was so grateful for all the information and advice I received on here! I began making progress and continued to make progress over the past year and half. I am now in the middle of a setback I guess. Back when I was at my worst, one of the fears I had was that when I became pregnant in the future, that I would suffer from post partum depression and go crazy. I was really terrified of becoming pregnant. I finally dismissed that fear (or so I thought) and went on with my life. However, my husband and I are now to the point that we are discussing trying to get pregnant in the next few months and the anxiety has started to come back pretty bad. I guess in my subconscious I never really dismissed that fear and so now that pregnancy is getting closer, I am getting more freaked out. The anxiety is sort of making me want to say forget it and not get pregnant, but I know that’s not the answer. However, I just don’t think I can deal with the months and months of anxiety and fear that I will have all during pregnancy and after pregnancy. It seems overwhelming to me. I know that it’s normal to be nervous about being pregnant – especially when it’s your first pregnancy – but I am having more than just nerves – I am pretty terrified. I am already feeling so much fear and anxiety and we’re only discussing having a child – I can’t imagine the fear and anxiety I’ll have when we finally do get pregnant. I’m also nervous about having severe anxiety while being pregnant and how it will affect the baby. I know that I need to just deal with this fear like I’ve dealt with all the rest, but I feel like it will be hard to dismiss until after the baby is born and it’s been a few months and I’ve “proved it wrong”. That is such a long time to deal with the fear and anxiety as strong as I’m already feeling it. Anyway, I guess I was just wondering if anyone had any advice or had dealt with this themselves. I really want to have a baby, but I’m just afraid that I won’t be able to get through it because of anxiety.
    P.S. Is Candie still around? I remember her giving me (and others) lots of advice back when I was in the depths of this. I just wanted to see how she was doing and tell her thanks for everything. And thank you to Paul and the rest of you who helped me thru the extremely difficult time I went through over a year and a half ago! I really have made such great progress… just having a setback that’s bumming me out a bit.

  353. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sara Candie rarely comes on these days, she seems to have moved on with her life and has a child to look after etc. She may read your post though and reply.

    I am just going out soon and I can certainly add a few words to hopefully help, leave it with me and I will reply in the next day or so.

    Paul

  354. amy Says:

    Sara, Hi :) :)

    Everything you wrote, word for word, is exactly how I have felt and still kinda feel. My whole life all I ever wanted was to be a mother, and now that it’s approaching I’m terrified too. But, honestly, the joy of having a child far outweighs the fear that is present. I have to literally picture myself w/ and w/o kids to see that life wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have a child!

    To add to the mounting anxiety of parenthood, my husband and I have been trying for almost two long years to get pregnant….failing at it is hard on me and drags out the fear even longer. I do worry about what my anxiety will do to my child, but I have read far too many successful stories of mothers with anxiety!! (By the way, I have a blog about my baby journey and know some other bloggers out there that are either on their baby journey or have babies, and they do it along side their anxiety…it’s a comfort to read them if you wanna email me :) )

    I know it’s much easier said than done, but pleeeease try not to worry about what hasn’t happened yet…nobody got anything accomplished by worrying :) (I need to take my own advice 😉 ) Try to focus on holding a beautiful, healthy baby that will bring you nothing but JOY!! In fact, I feel that a baby will be a nice distraction from focusing on ME so much! Candie is great about giving baby advice too. Also, Fiona (Hi Fiona :) ) had a baby a while back and she’s a great inspiration as well. Hopefully they will have some support to offer!! Good luck and take a deep breath…

  355. Lisa P. Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’ve never posted here before but found this site a few weeks ago and I love it. I try not to get on here all the time because I am in recovery from anxiety/depression and don’t want a constant reminder, I’m sure you can relate. I, like a lot of you, have good days and bad days. Today is not the best day, probably because I’m tired from the weekend. I have been struggling with trying not to drink wine to escape my own mind. It didn’t work this weekend and it has only made things worse. I got my first panic attack last January (2010) and have been struggling with nagging anxiety ever since. My therapist says that so many things happened that my mind just broke down. 4 years ago my husband and I lost a baby in our 8th month due to a genetic fluke, the next year my aunt died, the year after that my precious grandpa, then two of my clients ( I do hair) and then in September 09 my best friend died of breast cancer. It’s been really hard but I thought I was doing ok until all of this anxiety crap started. No matter what I made a decision to get up every day and do my best to do everything normal. I take a walk with my dog, clean, work, love my family, I don’t avoid anything. I’ve had weeks on end where I feel sooo much better and then I will have a morning where I wake so early usually 4 or 5 o’clock and have anxiety and that seems to set me back. That’s the worst, in the early morning and it’s so hard to get focused again. I just want to say thank you to all of you for sharing, it always helps to not feel alone. Now on with my day! Love to all of you!

  356. Jessica S Says:

    Hi Helen
    Many thanks for your post on April 11th. I have since applied for the job as I know it is the right thing to do. I felt great all last week and I believe it was because I have applied for the job and said “so what” to my anxiety. I am having a bit more heightened anxiety this week but I know it will pass. As you say I can deal with it when it happens instead of worrying about all these what ifs!!!

    Marie

  357. SarahS Says:

    Hi Clara

    I know you asked others for advice but just as my opinion – it’s not nice to feel like that I know but it’s something that will clear given time. You’re not 100% at the moment and those who care and are close to you will understand if you’ve explained to them. If you have depressive thoughts and don’t want to talk to people then that’s how you are at the moment and you don’t have to try and change how you feel, it’s unpleasant but go with it, go about your day as best as you can whilst feeling like that, feel the feelings and thoughts without reacting to them if you can. Don’t try and be perfect just be yourself, you will no doubt be quieter than usual or not as lighthearted but it’s okay, you don’t have to be perfect. Go against your instincts and still be, do pretty much everything you would normally do in a day but as best as you can and know that’s all you can do for now. The symptoms you dislike the most tend to stick around the longest so the more you hate how depression is making you feel the longer it will stick around. So accept it for not, that this is how you feel for now but given time things will change. Take a leap of faith and know from me and other people (my depression was dreadful) who have improved greatly that allowing yourself to feel however you feel at any given time will bring about a change of attitutde bit by bit and by living as best you can every day will lead to much better feelings and attitudes in the future. Give yourself time.

    x

  358. Will Says:

    Hi Clara,

    I think you will find that it helps to remember that you have not always felt like this and that the depression has a cause (it could be a group of causes working all at once) and that this is not your ‘normal’ state. In my case, I went through a prolonged period of stress and anxiety followed by professional crisis that left me disappointed, bewildered, and exhausted – along with the exhaustion of anxiety attacks and the unhappiness and further anxiety caused by the way they disrupt one’s life and opportunities, this resulted in depression. To add to it all, I had some serious family issues to deal with that had been unresolved for years which also came to a head. So you can see that there were many factors working all at once to lead to a depressive state and how closely it was allied to anxiety. One of the excellent things about Paul’s book is that it makes the link between anxiety and depression very clear.

    So, in my case, depression and anxiety came about due to a number of factors and, once I began to see that (counselling really helped), I started to work on all fronts to alleviate the things in my life that caused me anxiety – that involved making some difficult but necessary decisions in my professional life, examining my family and personal relationships in counselling, reading up about depression (reading Dorothy Rowe’s books really helped me through some bad times, by the way) and anxiety, and changing the way I interacted with people in order to avoid build-ups of anxiety or unhappiness. So, just as the anxiety and depression had arrived in a gradual way, gradually I have managed to deal with them by lots of small changes and adjustments.

    As Paul rightly says in his book and blogs – there is no wonder cure for anxiety (or the depression that can come with it) but the first step is to break the fear cycle, and that’s why the ‘living with it’ approach is the right one because this is a decision not to let the fear dominate you. It is very difficult not to feel afraid when you are inundated with negative thoughts and feelings but they are just exaggerations of some of the difficult emotions that all ‘normal’ people have to deal with every day and they cause alarm because of their intensity, not because of their nature. If you think back to happier more relaxed times in your life, you will have thought many of the thoughts you are thinking now but they were not as intense – you felt more confident and less anxious, so you brushed them aside. But with the over-sensitivity (and consequent exhaustion) that anxiety creates you feel things much more intensely but are also so tired out you don’t have your normal ability to brush them off. You are stuck in a cycle, so you have to make lots of small moves to get yourself out of that cycle and back into a positive cycle. To begin with, I found that being honest about my feelings was a very good start – talking to a counsellor, talking to my friends and family, being honest with my work colleagues about what I was going through. I found out that SO many people had experiences like my own and that really helped me not to feel so weird and isolated.

    Also, good relationships are about mutual support, tolerance, forgiveness, patience, and kindness so don’t worry about people having to ‘put up’ with you being down and negative, because that is all part of it and an essential part of a good relationship.

    If you work on things to alleviate the sources of anxiety and unhappiness in your life, a little bit at a time, and as much as possible don’t allow fear to dominate you, I am sure you will begin to see more positive thoughts and feelings come back and bit by bit they you will lead yourself out of the cycle you are in.

    Will

  359. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    As usual Will, extremely well put. This statement below is what I really try to get across and is so very true and needs to be truly uinderstood, it is our aroused/anxious state that has us feeling these moments so intensely. I spent years trying to figure out these feelings, I spent years trying to get rid of them, every day was another diffferent battle to ‘fix’ it. Most people think they have to unravel it il, work it all out, think there way better, keep a grip on themselves, you don’t. The single biggest step I made was to drop it all and learn to be o.k with how I felt, notice how I say learn as it was not a switch, I had been concerned with myself for years, I had to readjust and learn to do the opposite, change a habit and have a new attitude. People may wonder how a new attitude can fix things. That new attitude stopped me fighting each day, stopped me going over and over things, stopped me watching myself and my actions daily, allowed other things into my day and took the focus off how I was feeling, stopped me battering my tired old nerves, stopped me exhausting my tired old mind with more stress/worry/questions.

    Is it better to fight not to feel/think a certain way, or allow yourself to? I certainly know the answer to that one!

    Just going back to an email from last week. Someone emailed me and said ‘I bought your book last week and have followed it, but I am not cured’ Not cured in a week! People still want and chase that instant cure, that switch that does not exist and you wonder if they have read the same book?

    Willss statement: It is very difficult not to feel afraid when you are inundated with negative thoughts and feelings but they are just exaggerations of some of the difficult emotions that all ‘normal’ people have to deal with every day and they cause alarm because of their intensity, not because of their nature. If you think back to happier more relaxed times in your life, you will have thought many of the thoughts you are thinking now but they were not as intense – you felt more confident and less anxious, so you brushed them aside. But with the over-sensitivity (and consequent exhaustion) that anxiety creates you feel things much more intensely but are also so tired out you don’t have your normal ability to brush them off. You are stuck in a cycle, so you have to make lots of small moves to get yourself out of that cycle and back into a positive cycle.

    Paul

  360. Clara Says:

    Thanks a lot Sarah & will…!!!

    I will do my best to carry on with those ‘negative feelings and thoughts’ beside me…
    hope I’ll be able to focus on what i should be doing rather than focusing on whats going inside my head…at times, its so difficult to distinguish between the two and move on…
    Thanks a lot to both of you…Its so much of a relief to come here and express what we are going through and to get assurance or advice on the right attittude to hold on to..
    As my husband already knows about my issues related to extreme mood swings and low feeling, it will only irritate him if i keep on telling him as they dont have these issues its difficult for them to emphathise..hence i try to carry on changing my focus on to my day to day life..but then, at times i just couldnt gather enough courage n faith to move on..tahts when i come over here..i find it easy to communicate here rather than with people around me who simply dont understand..
    Thanks….!

  361. Kory Says:

    Hi Paul:

    I haven’t posted in a while, but certainly read the activity that is on here at least every other day. I have read your book and have put your advice to practice. I can already tell that it has made a world of difference in my attitude. My “habits” in attitude and outlook on life were terrible and needed to change. Until I read your book, I had no idea how present anxiety was in almost every aspect of my life.

    As I have posted in the past, my anxiety and stress comes from physical symptoms that cause me to fear a major disease. I have gone through test after test, and have concluded that the pain, tightness I have been feeling in my left leg is related to a protruding disc in my back that is likely irritating some surrounding nerves. Not sure how it happenend, but that is what the MRI showed.

    I have really had to use your advice that when I feel the sensations and the trust of anxiety, that I let it happen and move on without it ruining my day. I admittedly struggle with it greatly, and would appreciate any advice you may have.

    All I have wanted is for someone to tell me what it is. Now I have it, so why can’t I accept the diagnosis, accept the symptoms and move on?

    Why do I always worry that something was missed and that their conclusions are wrong?

    KH

  362. James Says:

    thanks Cori!

    yea it’s hard to just dismiss them when they feel so real at times. It’s scary and doesn’t make me feel good knowing they just pop up at times. It’s just like someone hit a switch and I can’t find it too turn it off.

  363. James Says:

    Does anyone else feel as though they can’t slow down? I seem to spend my whole life rushing – always desperate to get one thing done so I can move on to the next.

    I feel this is a major issue for me, as I tense a lot when I rush, even to the point where I kind of hold my breath. I am doing it right now even typing this message, I don’t seem to be able to stop!

    I guess it’s doing anything rather than feel these awful feelings.

  364. Ezra Says:

    Hi James

    I live my life tense, my breathing is shallow, I hold my breath, my throat is tight, my shoulders hunched !!
    It annoys me as I wish I could just relax more but I do seem to live on my nerves (probably always have)
    I do everything 100 miles per hour too and am always rushing.
    The ONLY think I think works is to ‘force’ my breathing correct by exercising …(I am exercising because I want to and not because I have anxiety)
    I find just 30 mins per day of high intensity helps loads and sure enough the tension does come back but it gives me a few hours relief.
    I dont really know the long term solution and am just hoping once anxiety levels drop completely it will go but I am not too concerned with it and think it is anxiety driven but also a very bad habit picked up from having a stressful job.
    I hope I have helped a little bit, even if its just knowing that your not on your own holding your breath typing !! :-)

    Question: Does anybody know why our fears feel so real ?? Is it because they trigger an anxiety response in our bodies or because our sub-concious mind doesnt know the difference between reality or fiction ?? I cannot seem to find this information anywhere ??

    Thanks Guys.

  365. James Says:

    Thanks Ezra. I used to exercise, but stopped at the end of last year. Looking back it did help quite a bit with stress levels. Well maybe not during exercise, but for an hour or so afterwards. I think I will try and get back into that.

    In response to your question, I am of the opinion that we interpret things on 2 levels: 1) Intellectually, and 2) Emotionally. Intellectually we may know something is not true, but deep down, in our emotional understanding, we *do* believe it is true. Any scary thoughts we believe, threaten our safety and so trigger an adrenal response.

    For instance, I intellectually know that if I go swimming off the coast of England in shallow waters, the chance of me being attacked by a shark is as close to zero as can be possible. However, emotionally I hold the belief that it *is* possible, and so this triggers a response that I might die if I go in to the water. I think that we change our emotional understanding by working with our thoughts longer term, or facing our fears.

  366. Cori Says:

    Hi Ezra and James,
    I don’t really know why our fears seem so real, but I it does seem logical that responding with fear leads to more fear? It is hard to break that cycle, isn’t it? We sort of train our bodies to remain in that state of fear because we give the thoughts credit with a fearful response…could that be right? I am working on breaking the cycle, but still have days, when I ruminate a bit. That is the worst part of it…thinking about the thoughts and picking them apart…even judging my very character at times. It is like torture. Have you ever felt that way? I believe that everything that is spoken about here makes sense and is the right way to go about recovery. We must pay the thoughts no mind, but for me, some days are easier than others in doing so.

  367. KM Says:

    Hi Cori,
    I agree with you completly. I’ve been doing well lately, past two weeks seem to be having more good days than bad, then WHAM!! You have a day (like today) where you feel like your totally back at square one or even worse! I can’t beleive how I can feel so good one day then so crap the next, how is it that you manage to deal with it fine, then not deal well with it at all. I surpose the up and down is part of it but its hard to see any progress when you feel terrible. I too feel completly trapped in my own head, obsessing about every thought and feeling and prediction of doom!! And i try to think back to what I was doing when i’m feeling better, then i remind myself to just go with it, wait it out and it will pass, I’m always worse when i’m hormonal too which is creeping up on me, how do other women deal with this aspect, knowing that once a month your going to get worse for days, feels daunting and only adds to the fear! So i’m trying to concentrate on work, not doing all that well, and hoping i’ll feel better this evening, but all the old fears and thoughts and horrible feelings overcome you, and again you feel trapped and powerless :(
    I’ll ride out this day and hope for a better one tommorrow :)

  368. Ezra Says:

    Hi Cori,

    I think the fear of the thought and the fear that the thought is indeed ‘real’ leads to more fear rather than just the thought.
    Many people state that before anxiety you would have weird or strange thoughts BUT they had no response from our bodies so they were dismissed. When there is excess adrenaline in the mix along with a ‘sticky’ mind a fear thought comes in and just gets the right reaction to stay.

    I wonder why certain people get different fears, why anxiety attaches itself to a certain fear ?? I’m sure we have all heard many from knives, to self harm,suicide (mine) etc etc. What gives me some peace is to know that I had NEVER EVER thought about it before I fell ill……so, it is anxiety driven but at my worst it felt so real that I thought I had to dissect, analyse and obsess. It was instinctual, almost like my bodies way of protecting me from my danger and that is the cycle we are breaking…evolution if you like.
    Anxiety needs you to believe the fear for it to stay alive in you so just keep practising dismissing the thought as a ‘Whatever’ remember ‘you have to fake it to make it’
    As I am starting to feel loads better the thought still comes up but doesnt have the intensity it once had and I sometimes sub-conciously bring the thought up and am able to dismiss fairly easily so it does get better with time I promise.

    Sorry lads …….Yes KM my anxiety loves my PMT, I was always uptight anyway but coupled with anxiety my thoughts become even more irrationnal and I am so irritable. Oil of Evening Primrose is a god-send, get a good quality high dose and I find it does help loads and I can tell the difference. I have also been receommended Valeria …has anybody taken that ?

    Stay Strong E

  369. KM Says:

    Thanks Ezra,
    I try not to take anything and just ride it out but today has been a shocker. I didn’t eat all day as i had no appetite and of course by the time i got home from work i felt like i was going to die, my whole body had the shakes, I was convinced that I was going to have to call and ambulance, but i ate dinner and tried to distract myself and waited it out and will have an early night. Tomorrow i’ll make sure i try to eat better as coupled with the PMT i’m sure this has been playing havoc. When you’ve had a few good days even feeling almost back to normal at times and you have days where you feel like you completly consumed with it, those are the tough ones to get through, its really thrown me, shaken my confidence. But i’ll keep on going, dont really have a choice, I know there’s no magic wand and i must of been doing something right to feel better. RIght?? I do use the ‘whatever’ and ‘fake it till you make it’ just combine that with taking a bit better care of myself and hopefully i’ll be back to having good days again soon.
    I really appreciate the encouragement and support, sometimes this feels like all I have :)

  370. Clara Says:

    Hi James,

    ”I think that we change our emotional understanding by working with our thoughts longer term, or facing our fears.” totally agree …!!

    as we have so many random thoughts like any other person without anxiety but what makes the difference is we simply feel the ‘urge to analyse’ each and every thought and then feel disconnected or rather get into some unreal world…and so much of our energy is being wasted…

    I guess by working long term on our emotional reaction to situations and being aware when we suddenly feel irritated, depressed or agitated by ‘realising’ that its anxiety and dont have to work out why we feel that way and drop the subject and move on..May be through practise and perseverence we will be able to deal with it…!

  371. Cori Says:

    Hi KM and Ezra,
    I hope you are having a good day, today. Just remember to breathe. I find that breathing helps a lot. Focus on the sound of your breath and if the thoughts are coming, try to redirect to your body. stretch and think about the sensations. Sometimes that helps me in the moment. Anxiety is all about being in your head, so if you can get back to your body, it helps.

    I am wondering if it is true for any of you that the scary thoughts are the last things to go? When my anxiety hit, I was also dealing with some depression and my symptoms, in addition to the scary thoughts were stomach upset, weight loss, apathy (went to bed at 7pm every night and couldn’t get up in the morning), loss of desire to do the things I used to love, etc. Now, I have conquered most of that and am left with the scary thoughts (which sometimes lead to the upset stomach). I find that as soon as I feel I have tackled one thought, my anxiety gives me something else, something even more terrifying. I am a social worker and unfortunately, I have seen many many horrific things over the last four years (some of which, I think contributed to my anxiety in the first place, along with an abusive, two year relationship (that I am free of, now)). I find that stories I have heard often pop up in my mind and I see myself as the victim, perpetrator or observer of these things…my mind will race and I become very afraid. I know that it is anxiety, but I have trouble disconnecting the thought from reality (exactly what anxiety does). I am practicing all of the things written here with all of the thoughts, but my question is, is it common that the thoughts are the last things to hang on? Do they tend to linger about after some the other symptoms have sort of faded?

  372. patrick Says:

    hi ezra, i tried valerian, tasted foul and cost a fortune and had no effect at all. chamomile tea was another “wonder” treatment that had absolutely no effect.

    i am fully recovered now and have been for well over a year. i still intend to submit my full recovery story but until i have time i can post some snippets. i know people are at different stages of recovery, i spent a good few months here during early 2009, but i stopped visiting around september as something clicked and i felt i could go it alone. bad days just passed by, without feeling the need to just check in here.

    this was probably the biggest breakthru and the final element of freedom for me. i had long since stopped searching for that elusive miracle cure, and stopped posting here as i had all the info and support i needed.

    imagine a time when you can just go about your day as though you didnt have anxiety. i still had anxiety and dp, still had crazy thoughts and feelings but i did absoltely nothing to try and fix it. i have said this many times but i welcomed it. it was like i had reached a point where anxiety and all the symptoms just stopped being a problem for me, i had good days and bad days still but the bad days just went by, i think this was the time when i literally lost the fear that was keeping me in an anxious state 24/7.

    i say this was freedom – not from anxiety but from the bind of looking for answers and the bind of trying to fix it. what a relief to have reached the point where i didnt have to do that anymore.

    i still had symptoms for some time after this, im loathe to mention timescales because things just dont happen quickly but once you reach his point, timescales become irrelevant. i could have stayed l ike this for as long as it took. recovery ceased to become something i evn thought about. i had truly learned to live with anxiety.

    in fact i remember “realising” that my anxiety disorder had gone completely. i had stopped monitoring how i felt by the end so it was like a subtle realisation that i felt “normal”!

    the overall point here is that when i reached that initiall feeling of freedom, not from the symptoms, but freedom from the “search” and “questioning”, THIS was my major breakthru. i said in a recent post that patience was a strong ally in recovery, and i would say that confidence is another ie. having the confidence to go it alone. it was candie and scarlet ( amongst many others ) who guided me to that point during 2009 so i hope i can pass some of that guidance on to current sufferers.

    all the best

    p

  373. Ezra Says:

    Thanks Patrick for the advice. It is so good to hear from people who can look back at their time hunched over their computers looking for answers and googling symptoms etc etc and say that their lives are now free from the battle. I generally don’t mind any of my symptoms but do get annoyed at the shallow and restricted breathing. I does stress me out because sometimes I physically have to gasp for breath when Im just sitting at home on the sofa watching TV! But, I have improved by 1000% from this time last year so I’ll take what I’ve got.

    James

    ‘I think that we change our emotional understanding by working with our thoughts longer term, or facing our fears.”
    I totally agree rationally but as my fear is suicide it freaks me out to hear about facing my fear as that would be kinda final !!

    I do agree though that going towards your fears do halp to de-sensitise yourself. When I was really bad I couldnt read the paper or a newspaper as it would just send me into a panic if I read about a young woman with children who had done it to herself I would frantically worry thinking if they could do it then so could I etc etc.

    Cori, I personally think thoughts are the last thing to go as my physical sensations have calmed down loads apart from the non-breathing bit. Over time, all the sensations will start losing their grip on you, I know mine have massively and eventually will just go altogether (I hope) You have a stressful job and coupled with a tired mind upsetting things are bound to stick so just accept them and allow them their space.

    Thanks Guys, the support is just so amazing at shaky times :-)

  374. James Says:

    Hi Clara,

    “as we have so many random thoughts like any other person without anxiety but what makes the difference is we simply feel the ‘urge to analyse’ each and every thought and then feel disconnected or rather get into some unreal world…and so much of our energy is being wasted…”

    Yes I think this is exactly it. The only difference between us, and someone who doesn’t get caught in the anxiety trap is that we have a “program” that tries to fix things by thinking them out.

    By accepting anxiety, we change that program to the healthier version which is to let our body do the fixing, and to stay out of its way.

  375. James Says:

    Patrick, what a fantastic post, thank you so much.

    I feel like I am almost at the stage you say we need to get to. I have *finally* started to let go of wanting to figure everything out, and I feel as though I am living alongside anxiety.

    I don’t think I have quite got to this stage yet though:

    “recovery ceased to become something i even thought about”

    I still do want to recover, and I don’t particularly want to do anything at the moment. I don’t get much enjoyment from my leisure time, and I hate working feeling like this. I do, however, understand the importance of living my life as though I did not have anxiety.

  376. Ezra Says:

    Patrick,

    Silly question I suppose but when you were suffering did you worry that your thoughts and fears were real ? That it was ‘Patrick’ thinking them, not the anxiety ?

    I guess reassurance is what I am after.

    James, I agree with you as I am not at that stage yet but it will come the more we accept, the more real life starts to overtake our anxiety life.

  377. patrick Says:

    ezra, i was terrified that i would never escape anxiety. i had had episodes before but they never lasted more than a few weeks. it was only when i started looking for a fix that i got deeper and deeper. my fear of anxiety was so powerful it crippled me to the point i couldnt function. i could not see how not to fear what i feared the most! my worst thought ws that i was stuck and that the only way out was suicide. this seemed very real and this thought reoccured until i started answering it with, yes, that what i’ll do – and every time it popped in i just kept saying yes etc. maybe there were times when i thought this was real but with help here, i quickly learned the difference between anxiety fueled thoughts and the same thoughts withiut anxiety. even now fully recovered occasionally a stupid thought enters my head but instead of causing waves of panic, i just laugh, thoughts are just thoughts, just woth anxiety they seem exaggerated and more intense – this is just the additional chemicals running around in your body.

    as for the breathing – again another symptom – one of my worse ones was stomach problems – all just caused by your brain trying to help you, in reality – the fight or flight response. not pleasant but not harmful and no matter how intense, your body will return to normal once the fear goes.

  378. James Says:

    Patrick, being stuck has been my worst fear too. Last year I thought suicide was the only option, as I couldn’t see a way out of this feeling, and to live with it for the rest of my life was too horrendous a thought.

    I truly believe that my anxiety has been seriously complicated by the fact that I have taken drugs, because I could not stop thinking that I had permanently damaged myself, and therefore I could not recover like other anxiety sufferers.

    Using CBT, I have been able to think more rationally, and now I can accept this anxiety as regular anxiety that is not here to stay – only if I chose to be scared of it.

  379. patrick Says:

    james, practically every anxiety sufferer at some point thinks “ah but my anxiety is different, maybe i wont recover” .

    i went thru this phase too – every body seemed to have a reason for being anxious or a specific fear. i feared fear itself. how do you overcome a fear of fear? with you it’s the fear that you have caused damage. anxiety makes us think different because the body is set to a differnt mode, we are meant to be running from a sabre toothed tigre – all that adrenelin is there to help us escape, but evolution has meant that the fight or flight response has become almost redundant so we are left with excessive adrenelin. this is why exercise often helps because it burns off the adrenelin.

    i had lots of differnt fears during my anxiety, but the same technique workd for every one. any sort of “what if” scenario, instead of what if i never recover, oh my god, i.wont recover, oh my god panic etc etc, it would go, what if i never cover? well thten i’ll be like this forever, good, i really want to be like this forever, i love being anxious!

    maybe thats over the top, but with lots of practice i found this sort of response came naturally and over time this was just one part of the recovery process.

    the point is that all anxiety fueled thoughts are just that no matter how real or how intense, or how specific they may be to your personal situation.

    take care

    p

  380. Joe Says:

    Patrick,

    I still don’t know if what I’m experiencing is derealization….how do I accept this!!!

    I feel that my vision is odd as soon as I wake up in the morning…odd feeling in head and feeling of fullness in my ears throughout the day with this weird vision like I’m detatched from things. Sometimes when the feeling is really strong my hearing gets weird as well…things sound farther away…almost like the normal experience of consciousness is screwed up because sound and sight aren’t being matched properly. This feeling is so disturbing and its always there. Is this similar to what you experienced?

    This is the first time I’ve ever experienced anything like this…I would give anything to have it go away.

  381. Lisa P. Says:

    Patrick,
    Did you have a lot of trouble with sleeping? Or waking too early in a panic?
    I had been feeling better but last night I had anxiety as I was trying to fall asleep and I woke at 4:00 a.m. and really couldn’t go back to sleep. I even took a xanax last night which I hadn’t been doing since I was getting better.Now I’m obsessing over whether I will start having anxiety tonight and not be able to sleep, which is what happened to me last year, I had night after night of not sleeping and then finally started doing better. I’m really trying to just relax and do what everyone here is saying, that I should accept it, welcome it in, let it just be there. I go about my day doing all the things I’m supposed to do but just this week am having a set back. Set backs feel so awful after feeling so much better, it just sucks to have to go thru it again. I know I can recover but in the mean time it is miserable. Thanks for all the advice on here. I’m going to buy this book as soon as I get paid.
    Lisa

  382. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Your points below are very relevant Patrick, it’s like throwing the back pack of anxiety in the bin and trusting we will be o.k. One woman once said to me ‘I realise I don’t have to keep searching for answers and more than anything I have realised I don’t have to analyse the hell out of it anymore, it’s time to live’.

    Dropping this constant search for answers gives you a much needed mental break and also gives you the breaks from the subject to move on with your life. Even when I had educated myself, I was still left with safety behaviours, sayings that may help, a habit of still going over things, a thirst for more knowledge etc, etc, it was very tiring and I just thought, why not just drop the subject and trust myself. This seems to be the stage you go to and found so helpful.

    Patricks statements:

    Imagine a time when you can just go about your day as though you didnt have anxiety. I still had anxiety and dp, still had crazy thoughts and feelings but i did absoltely nothing to try and fix it.

    I say this was freedom – not from anxiety but from the bind of looking for answers and the bind of trying to fix it. what a relief to have reached the point where i didnt have to do that anymore.

    i still had symptoms for some time after this, im loathe to mention timescales because things just dont happen quickly but once you reach his point, timescales become irrelevant. i could have stayed like this for as long as it took. recovery ceased to become something i even thought about. i had truly learned to live with anxiety.

    the overall point here is that when i reached that initiall feeling of freedom, not from the symptoms, but freedom from the “search” and “questioning”, THIS was my major breakthru.

  383. Ezra Says:

    Thanks Patrick for your fantastic responses and thanks guys, had a weird few days and have needed a bit of support so thank you very much.

    James, 80% of our generation do drugs or drink excess alcohol. I have since learnt that ‘we are where we are’ now lets just get better :-)

  384. scarlet Says:

    Joe,

    “I feel that my vision is odd as soon as I wake up in the morning…odd feeling in head and feeling of fullness in my ears throughout the day with this weird vision like I’m detatched from things. Sometimes when the feeling is really strong my hearing gets weird as well…things sound farther away…almost like the normal experience of consciousness is screwed up because sound and sight aren’t being matched properly. This feeling is so disturbing and its always there. Is this similar to what you experienced?”

    When I was suffering, all my senses were out of sync. It’s totally understandable, because you are giving so much weight to over analysing thoughts, that somethings gotta give. I had balance problems, my eyesight became really bad, sometimes the floor looked closer and sometimes further away (and I fell a lot because of this), I couldn’t hear properly, my sound and vision were distorted, basically everything you’ve said here and more.

    After you have recovered everything will fall back into place and your senses will return back to ‘normal’. Remember ‘detached’ is perfectly normal for anxiety sufferers, so please don’t be afraid of this feeling, live alongside it as if it doesn’t bother you, and get on with your life.

    ___________________________________

    Patrick,

    Great to see you back here and recovered and helping other folks with your advice.. which is spot on :-) .

    xox

  385. Patrick Says:

    Lisa P

    I did have trouble sleeping. What I found was that I had some chronic symptoms, such as stomach issues, DP, sweats, shakes etc, and some other symptoms that I had a phase of. Unable to sleep, headaches and depression were three that I endured and then they seemed to go. Well the depression came and went a few times, but sleeplessness and headaches were something I had only one phase of.

    Instead of worrying what if I can’t sleep tonight , I would answer it with “so what if I can’t sleep, then i’ll just have to stay awake all night!”.

    I found that with practice, this response came naturally for all symptoms, although some were more difficult than others to “brush off”!

    Trust me, the fear subsides, and being able to brush off symptoms becomes easier – it does take time and patience to get there.

    Set backs are the same, I define a setback as when all the fear comes rushing back again, and thus the symptoms can return. This happened three times to me during recovery , even after a long period of thinking that I was recovered. I was able to welcome the fear back, it’s like I was split in two, half of me felt really intense fear again, and the other half just wasn’t at all bothered and welcomed it all. We don;t have to be perfect though, I still had thoughts like “What if this is it?” “what if it’s back for good ” ? and I would get the rush of panic, but i soon learned the same technique – great, I hope it is back for good, I’ve really missed it etc.

    These weren’t just words tho, there was a almost complete lack of fear attached to them. WHat I found was that initially, this technique maybe had little success, and I still felt the fear, but over time, the fear lessened and lessened until all fear had gone.

    Like every one else though, it was up and down, back and forth – the fear would lessen, then come back but overall I got to the point where I had no fear at all, of any symptom.

    All the best
    P

  386. Cori Says:

    Hi Ezra, just wanted to check in to see how you are doing, today…

    Yes, the strange vision thing happened to me, too. It seemed like it was really hard to focus at times and sometimes I even felt really dizzy. That has all faded, however. I agree that constantly checking in causes this. I finally learned to take a rest from “trying to figure it all out” because, in the end, that was giving all of the symptoms total attention (over and over again). I have been trying to “just go about my business”, as usual and it seems to help. I don’t always feel totally normal and scary thoughts can pop in, but I try to fake it til I make it, so to speak. It seems to help because I find myself forgetting about the anxiety, even if for a short while.

  387. scarlet Says:

    Patrick said: “Instead of worrying what if I can’t sleep tonight , I would answer it with “so what if I can’t sleep, then i’ll just have to stay awake all night!”.

    I found that with practice, this response came naturally for all symptoms, although some were more difficult than others to “brush off”!
    Trust me, the fear subsides, and being able to brush off symptoms becomes easier – it does take time and patience to get there.

    These weren’t just words tho, there was a almost complete lack of fear attached to them. WHat I found was that initially, this technique maybe had little success, and I still felt the fear, but over time, the fear lessened and lessened until all fear had gone.”

    Lisa, This is exactly what I did as well.

  388. scarlet Says:

    Following on from above (finger pressed the button too early) 😉

    At first when I tried to brush off thoughts that evoked an anxious response, I had doubts, I was brushing them off and not believing in myself, that this would make any difference. This is normal to feel like this. After practice at brushing off thoughts and feelings, and noticing that anxiety symptoms subside (even just a wee bit), it becomes easier to do, and the fear really does disappear with time, just like Patrick said.

  389. Ezra Says:

    Hi Cori,

    Very hormonal and feel bit edgy almost like I’m on the cusp of being anxious if you know what I mean (poor husband) but do feel fine thanks hun.
    When I felt a bit weird earlier I just brushed it off and as Scarlet has posted I will continue to ‘brush’ as many times as I need to!

    Hope you and everyone are doing well today and enjoying the lovely English sunshine :-)

  390. Lisa P. Says:

    Patrick and Scarlet, and everyone,
    Thank you so much for your advice. I literally have felt alone since I’ve been going through all of this. My husband is supportive but just doesn’t understand and my parents are completely confused as to how I can go from this happy all the time person to who I am now. My friends don’t suffer from this either so I only have my therapist to talk to and that costs money. I keep telling myself that I have been able to get so much better a lot of times over the course of this last year so I know it will happen again but just knowing that I can talk about things with everyone on here and have you completely understand makes me feel better in itself. It’s the racing scary thoughts and feelings of unreality that spiral me back into anxiety and then I OCD about it all day and it’s my first thought when I wake in the night or early morning. I’m going to really try to do what everyone on here is saying though so wish me luck and thanks so much again. This has been the most traumatic thing I’ve ever been through worse even than all the death I’ve experienced (baby, best friend, grandpa, aunt) . Sometimes I long to die just so it will be over, don’t worry I’m not suicidal, just think about the relief I will feel.
    I’m working all day today which always helps and every time I get a thought about anxiety I will just say so what, come in, do what you will, I don’t care.
    I’ll keep you updated.
    Lisa

  391. Tracy Says:

    Scarlet,

    I am glad you mention the part how you would do the So What, but not trust yourself. I have been stuggling with that also, in fact I took a week off the blog based on advice I saw paul giving others and I survived! This was also becoming a new habit for me. I have to ask you many have said they are glad they went through anxiety and wouldn’t change it. Do you feel the same?
    Tracy

  392. scarlet Says:

    Tracy there was a time I felt like Lisa

    Lisa said: “Sometimes I long to die just so it will be over, don’t worry I’m not suicidal, just think about the relief I will feel.”

    but now, yes I am so glad that I went through it and I mean this with all sincerity. I understand exactly what happened to me, what triggered anxiety and how my mind spiralled out of control, how my thoughts controlled my life. It’s amazing when I look back at the events that happened and the huge amount I have learned about anxiety and myself, I would never go back to the person before anxiety, I like myself now (I liked myself before anxiety), but now I am an improved version of before, one with more insight and empathy and experience of this kind is never a waste and I can also pass this knowledge onto others and help them too. :-

  393. Ezra Says:

    Best of luck Lisa P x

    I think for me its not the ‘having’ the scary thought, what I found/find most upsetting is if there is any ‘truth’ in the thought.
    The ‘logical’ me says that there isnt but when I was particularly bad it my life was spent ensuring that it wasn’t true. Checking and confirming that my fear wasn’t true.

    I have learnt though that you ‘have’ to believe the thought is true otherwise the cycle would be broken thus anxiety wouldnt have the fuel it desperately needs to survive. Your mind percieves it as a ‘true’ threat therefore it needs to keep that thought in the forfront of your mind to protect you from the tiger (or in our cases…death/losing mind etc)

    Lisa, I used to have the same thought process almost wanting to rush my life as I didnt simply know how I was going to manage like this for the next 5o years or so . It’s a sad fact because whilst we are healthy and young we should be enjoying life but our minds wont release us from the war. It is a concious shift of behaviour and attitude that will start helping us win the battles of our symptoms.

    Scarlet, if you were ever presented with anxiety again (please god your not) would you feel quite confident to know that you could beat it, or would you simply not put yourself into the position to allow exposure again ? E

  394. patrick Says:

    i agree with scarlet, i would not change my anxiety if i had the choice as i definitely am a much improved version of my former self! i am much more confident, i let nothing stop me achieving if i want to do something.

    i think scarlet would. agree that once fully recoverd by the proper method of acceptance you know it could never happen again. i have no fear of anxiety. actualy when i was suffering, one of my big fears was even if i recover, how will i stop it happening again. this was just an exagerated fear born from the perspective of an anxious mind. in fact thats another key point – perspective is something that differs and improves the more you gain confidence and lose the fears.

    thsts not to say i wont ever be anxious again becuase being anxious is actually quite normal. i had an exam a while ago and i was nervous, my dog is having an operation net week and i am concerned about it. but this is normal anxiety, not all consuming.

    what happened before was normal anxiety spiralled out of control by my desire to be rid of it. biggest misake i ever made but one that has in the long run made me a better person.

  395. Cori Says:

    HI Ezra, I think you and I have gone through the same stuff…man, what you write rings so true for me, too. I would have a thought and then try to figure out if it was anxiety or me or what….it is like your anxiety doesn’t want you to think it is anxiety causing it. Does that sound right? Then you ruminate about the whole thing and pick it apart and try to figure out if you are going crazy, etc…(trust me, I have had all the thoughts and all the worries that go with them, over the course of this anxiety stuff)
    We can all probably relate to that. The scary thoughts and all the junk that come with it are really the worst symptom. I also remember having the thought of rushing my life..not wanting to have to deal with this for the next 50 years (I had the EXACT same thought). Geez, Louise!
    I think Scarlet has a lot of good suggestions, though. We should try not to react to the thoughts with fear and go about our daily business. Yoga and relaxation techniques have also helped me immensely.

  396. celine Says:

    i finished the book. i so agree with it. my question is: i was doing better. i agreed to some eye surgery and now have difficulty focusing my eyes in concert with one another, and it has set me back. what attitude should i adopt to help me with this big hurdle?

    thanks paul………………c.w.

  397. Ezra Says:

    Hey Cori, Isnt it funny how the mind works !

    Paul has stated in his blog re scary thoughts (Feb 08) that before we had anxiety when we had a thought it generally ‘meant’ something. In other words if you had a thought that evoked a reaction it was generally either true or at least had some reasoning to it. When you suffer with anxiety, you have the thought, it evokes a strong reaction but them you have to BELIEVE that it means nothing and is purely adrenaline finding an escape.

    Because of its force and your mind locks to the thought due to its potential danger it then pops up hundreds of times a day but is also investigated, googled, worried about, researched, avoided etc when then validates it and BHAM we are caught in the cycle.

    Your right about the non reaction, I am loads better than this time last year my scary thougths have decreased from hundreds of times a day to occassionally so they do lose their grip. I also think its not feraing them coming back, dont try not to think them as its just like saying ‘Do not think of a pink giraffe’ it will bring the thought up straight away so the attitude ‘come if you want, butu I’m too busy to play today’ works for me

    Stay Strong Guys :-)

  398. scarlet Says:

    “Scarlet, if you were ever presented with anxiety again (please god your not) would you feel quite confident to know that you could beat it, or would you simply not put yourself into the position to allow exposure again ? E”

    Ezra,

    Like Patrick said, my attitude is different now. I have no fear of anxiety, it is a normal process for everyone. If I feel anxious about something, for e.g. losing my youngest in the shopping centre for a few minutes (which I have done), once the episode is over my anxiety has gone, it’s not all consuming anymore. My adrenalin doesn’t stay elevated to the point that I am afraid of all thoughts. I know that my thoughts are nothing more than thoughts, and I believe this statement unconditionally now, whereas before I had doubts.

    At one time, my mind was so overwhelmed with thoughts that I was trying to figure out (so I could achieve peace of mind, ha ha!), that I really believed there was some external entity taking over my body and mind, that I wasn’t in control anymore. But once I learned to brush off thoughts as mere thoughts, my mind became clear enough for me to see that it was not actually a body (or mind) snatcher of any kind that was doing it to me, I did it all to myself, the anxiety was created by me, this was one of my turning points. (hope you understand what I mean here LOL)

    As for not putting myself in situations that may cause anxiety, I avoid nothing at all really, I live life with no fear.

    So yes, I have absolutely no fear that what happened to me 5 years ago will ever happen again, I know it won’t because I understand what happened to me, and the processes involved. I know too much now for anxiety to ever take over again….

  399. Cori Says:

    Thanks Ezra, for your post. I was wondering how you guys deal with the rumination after you have an initial scary thought. It is getting bit easier, now, but I feel like it used to consume hours in my day thinking about the initial thought, over and over and asking myself all of the ‘what if’ questions. Do you just try to distract yourself? Sometimes I feel like my mind can go right there, especially in the mornings. For some reason, it is worse when I first wake up in the morning. The eyes open and there is sudden self-awareness and the fear of the thoughts, which brings them on. So, how do you handle the mornings and how do you avoid all of the secondary thoughts?Thanks, all. :)

  400. Ezra Says:

    Hi Cori,

    Acceptance is a good one ( I post as a sufferer not as somebody totally recovered so do not always heed own advice !!)

    When the thought comes in, welcome it with a smile, say ‘Good Morning to it’ and divert your attention to something else…….not ‘force’ your attention but just bring the thought with you to make a cuppa, flick through the papers etc ?

    Just dont add any more fuel ? Hope that helps :-)

  401. Cori Says:

    Thanks, Ezra,
    I work on the acceptance thing, constantly. It is difficult at times, huh?
    It is crazy how the thoughts are so out of our character. I guess that is why they scare us so very much. Before really understanding the idea of adrenaline and so on, I couldn’t get why such things were going through my mind, but then again, if i were having visions of fairy dust and chocolates, I wouldn’t be anxious, now would I? I think anxiety chooses that which we fear the most and keeps trying its best to scare the daylights out of us. Acceptance truly is the key…then moving on to do things I enjoy. I have the hardest time with that at work, though, as my job is extremely stressful and the work itself provides plenty of awful stories and images to think about. I am glad to move out of the field of social work, soon. I think it will help. I have already come a long way (I used to feel ill daily and couldn’t eat and would actually tremble with fear at times, but now I have gotten through most of those symptoms..the thoughts are the last to hold on-those nasty buggers.
    Hang in there, everyone, we will be fine, I know it.

  402. Shortyroro Says:

    I’ve been dealing with DP and anxiety for a few months now, & though I have read your blog & book, I am still dealing with detachment & DP. My head is constantly running & I scare myself with thoughts of unreality. I know you say to let these thoughts run, & that it’s just my overactive imagination, but I feel like I am stuck in my own head & don’t know how to get out of it. I know I can never get better unless I start to accept these thoughts & feelings. Feeling like nothing is real scares me so much though, and I don’t know how to accept these thoughts. Please help.

  403. James Says:

    I’m still physically tensing against the symptoms. I hold my breath a bit and push my feet hard into the ground. I feel as though I’m fighting it physically, even though mentally I feel as though I have accepted it.

    Does this mean I am not really accepting?

  404. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ezra says: Paul has stated in his blog re scary thoughts (Feb 08) that before we had anxiety when we had a thought it generally ‘meant’ something. In other words if you had a thought that evoked a reaction it was generally either true or at least had some reasoning to it. When you suffer with anxiety, you have the thought, it evokes a strong reaction but them you have to BELIEVE that it means nothing and is purely adrenaline finding an escape.

    Because of its force and your mind locks to the thought due to its potential danger it then pops up hundreds of times a day but is also investigated, googled, worried about, researched, avoided etc when then validates it and BHAM we are caught in the cycle.

    Ezra I love it when someone starts truly understanding, the creates the right attitude towards your thoughts and feelings and takes away so much fear out of the situation, the very thing that feeds anxiety.

    Your mind and body is more at peace with how you are feeling now. When we first suffer we are certainly not at peace with ourselves, we ruminate, worry, fear, try to ‘fix’ it, google, analyse, it’s a vicous cycle, the less we understand, the more we try to escape, the more we understand, the less we try to escape and that is what gives our body the break it needs, it puts the brakes on the cycle.

    James Says:

    April 23rd, 2011 at 3:19 pm
    I’m still physically tensing against the symptoms. I hold my breath a bit and push my feet hard into the ground. I feel as though I’m fighting it physically, even though mentally I feel as though I have accepted it.

    Does this mean I am not really accepting?

    How can you be James? Your tensing against feelings, trying to stop them coming, pushing them away. Allow everything to come, scary or not, it wont last when you invite it. I remember when I would be at someones house and I would be hoping I didnt feel to bad, I would hold on to myself, try to cover it up, keeping one eye on myself and one eye on the conversation. This was all wrong and in future I just thought nothing, if I felt anxious then I did, if that meant me stuttering a few words, then i would, it if meant I went quiet for a minute or 2, then I would, no more pushing it away, trying to hold onto myself or covering up. I did not even think ‘Right come if you wish’ I just went without any thoughts or expectations, I no longer cared. again this attitude did not come overnight, I just kept doing the same thing until it became automatic.

    Anxiety is like any other subject, we are not going to master an attitude after a week, it’s like trying to learn a new language in 7 days, it aint going to happen, that’s why patience is the key. That is why so many come months after and state how well they are doing and why posts on here seem more positive from those who came here a while ago.

    To finish I am the same as Scarlet, I would not change what I went through for anything and trust me the least likely person to suffer anxiety again is someone who went through it and came out the right way. People who have never suffered can fall into the cycle through a lack of knowledge, those who have that knowledge can never suffer again, that does not mean they wont feel anxious again, we all do, it means they could never fall back into the pit, anxiety holds no fear anymore.

    That leads me onto my next post as my partner suffered last month for the first time out of the blue due to heavy stress at work, I was able to nip it in the bud straight away before she entered a fear cycle and put her mind at rest. As I say I thought it would be a good idea to use this story as my next post.

  405. Cori Says:

    I know I have asked this before, but does anyone else find that the scary thoughts and the memory of them are the last things to fade away? Why is that?

  406. Dockies Says:

    Hi to everyone,

    This is my first post here. (sorry for my english it is not my native tongue) I’ve been lurking here for almost a month now. and i would like to thank each and everyone especially Paul for extending your help to those who are suffering from GAD like my self. I first experience panic attack last month, i was thinking about something that is really depressing me out and all of a sudden my attention focuses on my heart beat and i felt weird and then i immediately gasp for air but my chest is not expanding enough and i feel like i was going to faint back there. I tried to relax my self but it only makes it worst, all my muscles are tense and because i have a history of hypoglycemia so i thought that i was having one although i am not doing anything before it happens and i was only sitting on a bench. I rush to the ER to have an ECG and check for my blood sugar level, everything is normal and my ECG is really good according to the doctor. So i went home with all the dizziness and fear building up inside my head. Days pass by and i began to feel afraid of places and situations and i feel terrible because i never have those phobias before :( I desperately look for answers and i read a lot of self help books starting from the very popular to the least, im not saying it was a waste of money but the methods presented really didn’t work for me :( i felt so lonely and scared to death :( and then i found this site, i haven’t read the book yet but i find this site very helpful, i immediately took the advice in this blog and i began to live my life the way i live it before my panic attack, it was really hard at first and it was really challenging for me. I remember speaking in front of people sweating terribly, my voice is shaking, i cannot make an eye contact, i wanted to run and pee :p and my breathing sucks, My mind is telling me to STOP and go HOME but i didn’t. Instead i continue my speech, i let my self sweat to death, i try to breath calmly and try to focus while the nerves in my body is breaking and my mind is desperately wanted to get my attention. I finished it and when i got back i said to my self ‘Well my work here is done, and then i calm my self down’ I’m not saying it was easy :( i sure wanted to see my self victorious and all but man the experience was really scary. After that i choose to live my life the way i have to and enjoy my self with all the oddness in me, my nerves are starting to return to normal but my self awareness still hung around to a degree, especially in the morning :( when i opened my eyes my mind will automatically switch on and focus to how i breath and how i feel. Every morning is like a war for me, i can’t seem to shake it off, it’s like a daily routine and what makes it worst is the sensation is always the first thing that will greet me in the morning :( Those mornings is what makes me think if i am really getting better or just pretending to be… I am so lonely every time i have those thoughts, it’s like realizing that your life is still miserable because you are scared of what might happen :( I read a lot of things regarding GAD, Panic Attack and DP but the thought of me having a different problem (illness) still bothers me :( I know that i need to trust my self and realize that my life is what i make it, and if i make it scary and depressing because of my fear i will surely have that kind of life. Sometimes i wish i have more courage and determination to face it and welcome it everyday… it’s like my good was not good enough :( I just came back from my 1 week vacation i spend 12 hours on the road just to get there and 12 hours again to come back, i spend my vacation and i enjoyed it. I said to my self ‘This is life!’ I missed it so much, but when its time to go back home my self awareness breaks me :( i was having a shallow breathing and even if i was doing great it somehow manage to break my peace and i began to feel depressed again because i know i fail my self. Like Paul i am beginning to accept that my habit will not go away that easy, and that i have to gather all the patience and courage to face it. It’s not easy i know that now, but i decided to not make it even harder for me by giving in to fear. Someone once told me that being depressed does not mean that you are weak, it only means that you were strong for too long, that’s why when we were hit by anxiety we wanted to be in control as soon as possible, we don’t want to give in but sometimes giving in is the only way to make it through, because not everything is under our control. :( I hope everyone of us will soon find happiness despite of our situations, i believe that we can all recover… we just need to trust our selves for that :)

  407. dee Says:

    Hi Paul and Scarlet

    I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I feel i have made some progress for the past few weeks taking all the advice i have read in the book and the blog. But for some reason out of the blue i was woken at 1.30a.m with this churning sickness in my tummy, which set me into turmal thinking and over analizing everythought. Did you every experience this and how did you manage it?,.
    I hate these moment and i guess you would call it a ‘setback?’ but as much as i have tried not to get to consumed with it all, i found myself playing my trip to the doctors thinking there must be some thing he can offer or help with concering this anxiety! which in the light of the day i know is stupid as i have all the help and advice i need here and he would prob only offer me meds anyhow which is something i def do not want.

    Why do we get these setback? and did you experience them much?
    did you also experience the tight band around the head?, sometimes i feel like all my muscles are tense? do you think work pressure and other stressful stiuations contribuate to these bouts of anxiety.

    Thanks for taking the time. 😉

  408. Clara Says:

    Hi Scarlet, will & Patrick…

    Lately I have been struggling with checking in on my every action and every words of mine…It has reached a point where I cant utter a single sentence without double checking it…what can i do when I do this checking on me? hence i am so doubting my self and full of apprehension obviously..but how do i reverse this habit?nothing comes naturally to me..so if i want to do something i have to think what do i do now? should i do it? will it have any problems if i do it? how will i be seen? and the doubts are endless…
    how do i put a FULLSTOP in the very beginning of questioning…so that i could atleast see whats going on in the world outside…so busy rectifying myself all the time proving to be someone which i dont have to do…
    there were months when i have accepted myself like this and i could go on , do whatever i want..but now this constant focus on myself and questioning each and every deed of mine is so frustrating taht i feel helpless being so able to accept myself when i was in the depths of it…now that i am recovering i am again looking for perfection or feel that i have to prove each time..how do i correct this deceptive thought?

    Hope to hear from you….:)

  409. marc Says:

    Hi all,

    hey guys hows it goin? :) havent been on d site in a few months. just thought id drop in and let yas know how im getting on. well iv made alot of progress with my anxiety thank god! still have dp everyday but it has its ups and downs, can have good days showing glimpses of enjoyment and that and some really bad days that are d worst! but thats all part and parcel to recovery! like today im having a bad day, didnt get d greatest nights sleep last night and was having weird lucid dreams and waking spells where i was half awake/half asleep so feeling really dreamy today and dunno if im awake or dreaming at times,but meh!!! had it before and it got better and it will again so why waste my time stress over it when thatll only make it worse!!! still feeling very weird and unreal and still freaks me out when talking to ppl cause i feel like i cant take it what theyre saying,like im unconcious but going through d motions,if that makes sense! have to ask ppl to repeat themselves alot when im talking to them so it sinks in! lol! but i know its normal and ok to feel like this seeing what i have to put up with in my life at d moment! no matter how weird and scary things are i know ill be fine down d road at some point! like clair weekes said-”allow your mind to think as slowly as it allows”. as far as my others sympoms of dp go, theyre not that bad anymore, im not so much in existential angst anymore questioning it all,if anything d questions somewhat bore these days to be honest, i couldnt really give 2 shits anymore as to why and how were here,just get on with it! questioning it all really is just stupid and insignificant and a complete waste of time and mental energy! i really find that getting out socialising,exercising and just keeping busy really helps as opposed to sitting around all day worrying how ur feeling or studying d subject, so for those of u suffering with bad dp and are in dispair like i was and can be now and again-get up off your arse and get outside and keep yourself busy! :)
    as for my other anxiety symtoms that i used to have really bad-head and back twitching,severe muscle cramps,panic attacks,unwanted thoughts…they have all calmed down alot nearly to d point of them being gone! everyday i used to have horrible twitching in my back and head which would last up to hours, i had major social anxiety because of this because i was so self concious incase i started twitching and thought ppl would percieve me as some sort of freak!so i decided that i was no longer going to give a toss what people thought of me and pushed myself into situations and if i twitched i twitched and ever since then it has calmed down so much that its nearly gone! my panic attacks have pretty much gone,but when my dp is bad sometimes i can get a bit panicky but i can get to d point to think logically and calm myself down. my unwanted thoughts can linger now and again, yet again when my dp is bad wondering if im going mad etc! but compare them to what they used to be(harming people,suicide etc) iv come a long way!
    so iv come a long way in d past few months,even if it doesnt feel like i havent. i think thats one thing us anxiety sufferers need to realise, sometimes it can feel like we havent made any progress when in reality weve come miles!!!!so we need to give ourselves a good well deserved pat on d back! :) so dont worry everyone, it can and will get easier!!!!!!!!

    just one question for paul or scarlet,
    i was just wondering guys that sometimes when things are really hard, like some days my dp can be so hard i feel like i cant function at all,like i feel like a mental vegetable! is it ok to give in or just push yourself into whatever situation. like there last week my friends were going on a night out, and usually i dont care how im feeling i just go out anyway,but this night last week i was just feeling awful and mentally drained. should i have gone out anyway and just went along with it?or was it ok that i just stayed in this once?

    ps, paul read some of your tweets there on twitter and couldnt stop laughing at some of the sites that want to advertise on this site! i especially liked d anti anxiety med that has a 96% success rate for dating! hahaha! its hilarious some of d shite that people try to sell u while at d same time sickening wanting to make money from your suffering!

  410. Cori Says:

    thank you marc for your words of encouragement. it is hard to see progress, yet I do believe it is happening.

  411. marc Says:

    no probs cori, i used to always feel down in d dumps because i always felt like i hadnt made progress. i still do feel a little bit like that,but in reality i have come a long long way!!! its just anxiety trying to trick u into thinking u havent!dont let it fool u into thinking u havent when u really have! in time these feelings fade and i know that! well done on your progress and keep up d good work! :)

  412. Cori Says:

    thanks, i read some of your old posts, which helped me, a lot. we share/d a lot of the same symptoms. well, we all do, don’t we? i find that distraction with positive stuff is the best medicine. gotta just get up and go. more and more time is going by in which i don’t even think about the anxiety. just looking forward to the day that i don’t check in about it anymore and when the scary thoughts fade into oblivion. anxiety won’t win this one. :) have a good night.

  413. JoeH Says:

    Hey again all. I am in the early stages and have noticed that my anxiety always seems to be worse in the morning for the first hour or two after waking.

    This is the same whether I get up on the bell of the alarm clock and get on with the day or hit the snooze button and nap a little semi-awake.

    Has anyone else had this and does it subside, or am I just overanalysing!

  414. steveo Says:

    Hi JoeH

    This will subside. Mine used to be really bad first thing. I would wake and feel normal (or at least not think about anxiety) for the first 1 second and then ‘bang’ the anxiety kicks in…

    However, this does improve. Even though i still feel anxious first thing, it is a lot lot better than it used to feel.

    I knowI am too on my way to recovery. My anxiety has decreased substantially (I think) but I now feel more low/down and seem to be having DP. more than before.

    I know I am getting better but my anxious mind doubts it and keeps questionning things.

    Keep it up Joe!

  415. Will Says:

    Hi Clara,

    I think this is one of the most frustrating stages of anxiety, when you are ‘stuck’ with yourself as if you are in a ‘hall of mirrors’. Instead of resisting and fighting it (which will just wear you out) just accept it and realise that it is an exaggerated form of self-awareness – it is nothing more serious or sinister than that.

    To some degree, everybody is self-aware, otherwise they couldn’t plan or do anything. Self-awareness isn’t the problem as such, it’s the fact that your normal self-awareness has become exaggerated because your body is full of adrenaline. If you have ever been in a dangerous situation, you will know that your awareness goes into a hyper-awareness state – you notice everything. This is the same kind of thing – your anxiety is creating a state of hyper-awareness which is manifesting in this instance as hyper-self-awareness. It works the other way round too – a lot of the feelings of unreality (de-realisation) that many anxiety sufferers get is due to a hyper-awareness of their environment which makes everything seem very different unusual to how it would normally look to them.

    The other factor that plays into it is the exhaustion. When you are worn out, so are your emotions – so when you get this ‘hall of mirrors’ experience you don’t have your normal energy just to brush it aside and get on with whatever you are doing. Instead you feel that is invading and disrupting your daily functioning – this feeling then leads to more anxiety and panic which further heightens your awareness and wears you out.

    So you can see that it’s a cycle – and the way to break that cycle is to stop being concerned about the symptoms themselves. They are just exaggerations of normal thoughts and feelings which will subside in intensity once your system calms down and re-charges itself. It is the fear of the symptoms that is the problem, not the symptoms themselves.

    This last point is one of the reasons that Paul’s book is so good – he is saying that the solution lies within you and your attitude to the symptoms. Once you decide that you are not going to be dominated by fear of the symptoms, you begin to calm down. And the more you calm down, the more the symptoms will subside in their intensity.

    One of the really unfortunate aspects of anxiety is the way that it erodes your confidence because of the feelings of powerlessness. When you get the symptoms of anxiety it can be easy to let your ‘grip’ slip by getting afraid. If you were feeling more confident you would keep a firmer grip on your fear. But confidence can re-built by choosing not to be afraid and instead summoning up the will power to replace fear with determination and discipline to keep the ‘ship afloat’. In fact, that’s quite good analogy – you can imagine what would happen if the captain of a ship in really stormy seas just let go of the wheel and dropped down on the floor of the cabin in a state of fear. Ultimately, you are in charge of yourself and your decisions and you can decide not to let the fear dominate you.

    Of course, this is easier said than done, particularly when you are feeling exhausted and depressed to add to the problems, but the will is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. So just keep that will exercised – keep the daily determination not to allow the fear of your symptoms and situation dominate you – and you will get yourself into a recovery pattern as you feel more confident and calm. And when you are more confident and calm, the intensity of your symptoms will subside.

    Will

  416. KM Says:

    Wow Will what an amazingly written post. Very clear and concise and only a person who has been there would be able to discuss it as such. All the therapists advice in the world does not make up for personal account and experience. I truelly appreciate those who have recovered and continue to come here to share their knowledge and pass on the baton of strength to those that are suffering and who need it so much.
    Thankyou.:)

  417. Clara Says:

    Thanks Will a lot….!!!!!

    That is what Im going through..I will try and put that into practise..each time i get self conscious i will tell myself that I am fine and i will experience this as i am in the process of recovery…and Will I guess I have to take in the challenges life throws at me..May be they are not challenges, for a person without anxiety it may not seem anything…but i guess for me i will take up those challenges( which seems to be) guess thats the way to lessen the fear attached to them…

    As u said the ‘hall of mirrors’ which keeps me super aware of my moods where i can see only darkness in any situations or people its difficult to make sense and level headed at the moment…I felt its even worse than DP ..now that i have information on the subject i will keep telling myself till my subconscious accepts the new me…!!!

    I surely needs to change the perspective about myself and my approach towards life…its not just anxiety that I am worried of..its the related symptoms like severe depression and mood awareness…
    I will work on this with a positive approach…
    Your words have really give me with a lot of encouragement to move on…
    I may drop in sometime to get that push and to make sure taht I am on the right track..Thanks a lot..!

    I would like to know at this phase of my life how do i interact with few of my relatives who are trying to do their level best to put me down at any given point though indirectly..i got to know they bitch a lot…but since they belong to one family i just cant avoid them as it will be avoidance that lead to anxiety..how do i interact with them as if i dont give a care in the world…without getting emotionally upset with the things they say or do..! is emotional detatchment possible, keeping our emotions intact…?

  418. JoeH Says:

    Clara

    I read your last paragraph and remembered something I have read recently regarding thoughts “sticks and stones can break my bones but thoughts can never hurt me”. Obviously this is an adaptation to “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me”.

    The good thing is you can apply the same mantra to thoughts and words!

    Will-that is one excellent post and certainly filled in a lot of blanks for me personally.

  419. Nicole Says:

    Good to see you back posting Scarlet, your posts have always been so helpful to me.
    I have not posted in a long time and wanted to share a bit about my recovery thanks to Paul, Scarlet and Candie. It has been 5 years since I first started having anxiety symptoms. Those first 2 years were very scary and confusing although outwardly I seemed no different to my family and friends and was able to carry on with my life. Inside I was terrified that I had or was going to lose my mind:) Finding Paul’s book was the key (Claire Weekes helped too) although I have to say that acceptance has come very slowly to me. I was initially so excited about recovery that I almost became obsessed with finding it :) I am definitely guilty of over analysing, over thinking and over reading on the subject. I have days of feeling like I have cracked the anxiety code and then some thought, symptom trips me up and then the guilt, frustration etc. come with a force.
    Patricks post though sums up where I am at now most of the time – I feel the symptoms – the rush of panic, the constant self awareness etc., but most of the time it feels like these things are just flowing through me and I carry on with my day. I still get tripped up by fearful thoughts that this is some other serious mental problem but deep down I know that this is just anxiety based thinking – an old mental habit that I am working on reversing. In retrospect, I have to say that all of the reading and researching was really just self reassurance and the true changes came about when I actually started living Paul’s advice, not just reading it and thinking about recovery – when am I going to hit on the holy grail of recovery? blah blah blah….Just putting this whole experience aside and claiming my life with the belief that I am whole, perfect and in no need of saving has helped immensely. As Will said, the determination grows as you progress and I feel that this can be a beautiful journey back to oneself once you have the right attitude in place. At times I am proud of how I have handled this and at times I am not because it is taking me so long! Patience has never been my strength! Not sure if this helps anyone, but I just wanted to share my honest reflections on this process. Thanks Paul, your words continue to inspire me.

  420. Will Says:

    Hi Clara,

    Regarding the last section of your post – about your family relationships – I think you have to be really careful to minimize the things in your life that cause you anxiety and, by the sounds of it, some of your family relationships are very stressful. Just because they are members of your family does not mean that you have to accept behaviour that makes you unhappy (whether it is direct or indirect / intended or unintentional).

    I find that the best way to deal with this kind of thing is to be totally honest with the people concerned and tell them that I am not happy. This can be very difficult, especially when you are already feeling anxious and depressed, but you are entitled to your genuine feelings and, to a certain extent, you also have a responsibility to these people to let them know that you are not happy with their behaviour – they can only know how you feel if you tell them. I did this recently with my stepmother when I thought that she had something very unfair – I was upset and angry so I wrote her an email telling her that I was unhappy with the comment and that I found it to be inaccurate and, therefore, unfair. In the past, I would have overlooked the comment but would have carried my unhappiness, anger, and anxiety about the comment inside me and become more and more anxious about our relationship because of my unresolved and uncommunicated feelings.

    My stepmother wrote back to me and apologized and we are on good terms again – and, importantly, I am not anxious about our relationship whereas I would have been if I had not have confronted and dealt with the problem quickly.

    If confronting the problem is too traumatic then I suggest that you just keep your distance a bit. I also had to do this recently with a family member, because I could not deal with a show-down at the time, but it gave me space from the behaviour that I found difficult and reduced my anxiety about our relationship. On a short-term basis, distancing can be sensible as long as you are ultimately committed to discussing the issues with them.

    Whatever you do just make sure that the stress and anxiety levels in your family relationships are reduced.

    W.

  421. Joe Says:

    hey all,

    ive had insance insomnia for 3 straight months now…I sleep barely more than a couple hours per night…just looking for reassurance that this will pass…I desperately want to sleep normally again…did anyone else have sleepless phase that lasted this long??

  422. Cori Says:

    Hi Joe,
    I had some insomnia, yes. I don’t think it is uncommon. Try to do some relaxation exercises before bed. Drinking a hot tea also helps. Have you tried and herbal remedies for sleep/relaxation?

  423. Robbie Says:

    Hey Joe,

    I had pretty bad insomnia as well. I find that keeping with a good routine works best for me. Try to go to bed at about the same time each night, avoid naps, avoid caffeine (which is good for anxiety, too). I also try to read an enjoyable book for about 30-45 minutes before bedtime. Just a nice fiction book, nothing that requires you to “think” a lot. I also try to exercise in the morning instead of the evenings as I tended to get too wired if I was too active too close to bedtime. I found that once I broke the cycle of not sleeping and got several nights of decent sleep, I was back on track and sleeping fine.

    Insomnia can be a symptom of anxiety and not sleeping can definetly impact your ability to cope with your symptoms the next day. However, don’t let it add to your anxiety levels. Just like “trying” to get rid of your anxiety, if you “try” to go to sleep, then it makes it more difficult. Sleeping is all about routine and cycle. Once you get back into a good sleeping cycle, you’ll be fine.

  424. dee Says:

    Hi all an anyone give feedback to my previous post please 😉

  425. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Nice to see you back Nicole and great that things are so much better, what you say below hits a cord with me

    ., but most of the time it feels like these things are just flowing through me and I carry on with my day.

    That’s exactly the stage you hit, you still feel certain feelings, but they seem to flow through you, they become more detached and in the background. This stage seperates you from your symptoms and this is when your mind and body truly get a break. It’s like when you sleep at night, your body is recharging itself whilst being detached, you are alive, but you cannot move or mentally tire yourself out and so it gets the breaks it needs.

    I also think we are all guilty over thinking and analysing too much, it also become a habit. As stated before I became very self aware, my attention could never seem to revert to the outside world. The way I eventually overcame this was to feel this self awareness and live alongside it and see it as normal, whilst not bothering about it. This was in total contrast to before when I tried all day to get rid of this feeling, I tried to force normal feelings or act my way through the day, I always thought I had to get rid, when the way to truly rid myself off it was to go through it and feel it until it no longer mattered anymore and that was the case.

    Thanks for popping back and sharing and good luck in the future

    Paul

  426. Nicole Says:

    Thanks Paul. I like to think of myself in a recovery cycle now, as Will so aptly put it. It is so liberating to feel the symptoms and not be disturbed by them. This is that stage where you really don’t care how long they stick around for because they truly don’t matter. Not to say that I am in that state of mind 100% of the time, but I feel it is very close and I am willing to just let it come in its own time.
    Take care,

    Nicole

  427. JoeH Says:

    Will

    Just a quickie to say I printed your excellent post off the other day and stuck it under my car mirror for quick reference. For somebody who is in the early stages of recovery your post really does help to unmask the barrage of thoughts that you get when you finally stop running away and turn to face them.

    Thanks again mate.

  428. Cori Says:

    Hi Marc,
    Did you find that you the scary thoughts were sorta the last thing to go? Most of my physical symptoms have faded away, but i still deal with the thoughts. You name it, I’ve had it. I have less fear towards them now, but they still pop up and if i am having a hard day or am tired, it is harder to not react (if that makes any sense). Just wondering if you experienced that, too. Very frustrating.

  429. Clara Says:

    Hi Will

    Thanks for the post. I feel confronting is best, but at times I do think its best to avoid being in close proximity as much as possible with such people as it will only invite issues later ( I’m not sure if thats avoidance but again I’m comfortable that way right now) I think the best thing to do at the moment is to maintain distance and being courteous while interacting.
    Meanwhile there are lots of other things to fill up my day…Let that become unrelevant in the long run…

    For me the issue is whoever or whatever it is I get emotionally tied up and my interpretation is emotional most of the time as I am not able to think and take rational decisions and feel myself as a victim most of the times which is again I know is a distorted mindset (but i cant just differenciate the difference between emotional & rational thinking )

    As Paul said its best to carry on with my day however i feel
    & to check my emotional status at times ( assuring myself each time that I am a happy and peaceful being..words cannot hurt me its only my response that can hurt me and i decide not to spoil my state of peace for others)…What do u say…

  430. Maria Says:

    Hi there Paul and all people on this blog. I just wanted to say that after reading this blog and Pauls book I have made great progress toward recovery. My anxiety started only last year after having a few panic attacks and then everything just went downhill for good three months.
    I haven’t had a panic attack in months and even though I still feel my attention is always on my and have a few weird/odd thoughts here and there I have learnt how to brush them off and pay them no mind.

    However, after I started to recover and only in the past month or so, I have developed eye floaters. They were no even there at my darkest days, and now that I feel so much better those weird grey spots in my vision are making me a little upset. Will they ever go away? I don’t want more of they to develop… SO if anyone has any insights I will love to know how other people dealt or went through them.

    Thank you!!! :)

  431. Maria Says:

    Hi all!
    I was wondering if anyone has gone through the hole eye floaters deal. I must say that I am progressing so much towards recovery after my first panic attack last year and then suffering from intense anxiety for about 3 or 4 months.
    After reading Paul’s book and blog I started to recover. and even though I still feel my attention is always on me and there are still a few odd/scary thoughts I have learnt to brush them off easily.

    However, for about a month I have developed eye floaters and what upsets me is that I did not even have them in my darkest days.
    Will they ever go away. I am a little afraid they will get worst before they get better.
    Again my anxiety levels are almost zero, but this symptom seem to have appeared late now that I am recovering… if that makes sense.

    Lets all chin up! :)

  432. natalie Says:

    hi guys
    hope you all having a relaxing easter break and enjoying this lovely weather :)x some really wicked posts on here recently not been on for a couple of week and just had to check in to see how everyone was doing, sarah it sounds like you really are starting to crack this thing its lovely to here. i think i may have stated to get the right attitude but just had a question for paul patrick or scarlet .. i hope you will have time to help me and i knnow that my last post was very negative and am trying to be more positive in my outlook to things. but basically i believe the way forward is to not care so much about stuff so much .. like how you come across etc, but sometimes i wonder if this is selfish because i have adopted this attitude towards my family as this is where i experience a lot of stress, my husband is not very affectionate and i take this personally when i am anxious but now try not to care.. so what if he doesn’t like to cuddle me doesn’t mean i have to let it ruin my day, so what if my youngest struggles with his speech i am doing the expercises he needs to help nothing more i can do.. it will sort its self out… is this right ?? it does make we wonder if they might see me as cold and uncariing but deep down i know i care but in order to help myself at this time i have to be detached as my husbands way seems like rejection to me and my boys demands as they are so young can seem emotionally exhausting.. i suppose its guilt i feel and yes i am looking for reassurance that this is the right way .. i try to say that when i am strong then i can start to open up more to them all .. what do you think ??? xxx thanks so much and i really hope you can help xx

  433. Will Says:

    Hi Clara,

    I don’t think that avoiding people who are causing you problems is “avoidance” at all – in fact, sometimes it is as sensible as stepping out of the way of an oncoming truck! Of course, in the end, you will have to get to grips with why particular relationships cause you difficulties but some distance will give you a better, clearer, and calmer insight as to why this might be anyway.

    Also, the people that you are having problems with clearly do not realise how much grief they are causing you, otherwise surely they would stop. A bit of distance gives them time to reflect on how they have been behaving and to get the picture that you are not happy with their behaviour.

    As for the feeling of being a ‘victim’, I think this is a really tough one to get to grips with. Of course, there are genuine circumstances in which we become a victim (of abuse, aggression, violence etc.) and I think we are entitled to feel hard done by and want sympathy and care in those circumstances. I also think it is safe to say that often the people who do unpleasant things to us are very confused and unhappy themselves – let’s face it, happy and confident people do not run around abusing people, verbally or otherwise – so while we may feel sorry for ourselves, we could also realistically feel quite sorry for people who are miserable enough to behave so badly. BUT just because someone is unhappy and confused does not make their destructive behaviour right, so having an understanding approach does not mean that you have to stick around and let them abuse you – that would not be in anyone’s interest. You are entitled to feel what you feel and if you feel abused you are entitled to ask people to stop it, and if they do not stop then you are entitled to walk away from them. What else can you do?

    Stand up for what you believe is the right way to interact with people and if some of your family members disagree with that, then it must be left as a difference of opinion and, if necessary, communication and contact must be lessened or even stopped altogether temporarily if they are really being unpleasant. You must look after yourself and, as you say, prioritize your “peace”. You must be kind to yourself.

    Will

  434. Dockies Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I hope everyone is doing fine, i need some advice about some problems i am having while accepting my anxiety. I’ve been suffering for almost a month now but i am a worrier ever since i can remember, i begin to accept that the symptoms that i am having are generated by my thoughts, and I’ve been having success accepting them. Problem is every time i accepted or i learned to realize that what i am feeling is just a thought mixed with fear and there is nothing to worry about, a new symptom will emerge and i’m back to square one. Like for how many weeks I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the thought that i am having a heart attack, and my breathing will stop. I go to the doctor and have a clear bill and realized that ‘Ok. I dont have a heart problem, so i what i am having right now is nothing… I will be ok’ then one day all of a sudden while i am eating a piece of bread my anxiety kicks in and i feel like im choking. Geez after that i am thinking again about some illness that i might have. And after that stomach and acid problem begin to occur. I am well aware that this problem begins when i am worrying, and i dont want to go to the hospital every now and then because i dont want to have that habbit it will only ruin my self confidence. Guys please help…

    Dockies

  435. Cori Says:

    Bit of a setback today. I don’t really understand why some days the scary thoughts seem to be harder to disregard. Feeling frightened, today. Is it normal that some days they seem to be less intense and other days they come on strong? Is this part of recovery? It can be very disturbing, sometimes.

  436. Kory Says:

    Hi Dockies:

    I read posts on this blog often and post on here every once in a while, as I have been reading and working on the key steps to recovery that Paul talks about in his book.

    Your comments are one’s that I can relate to. I too have been a “worrier” since I can remember, and only when I started to understand Paul’s teachings did I really understand what has been causing me all of these issues over the years.

    Yes, we and the one’s we love all have ailments and illnesses, but my primary anxiety trigger was that I was taking them to the extreme and turning each and every one of them into a life altering situation. Not only is that unrealistic, but it is also so physically and emotionally draining.

    I am not a medical professional, and certainly would never give any advice on what you should and shouldn’t go to them for. However, I can tell you from experience that seeking comfort and expending a small fortune on various tests, evalulations and diagnostics is not going to make your anxiety go away. In my case, something ALWAYS took its place.

    As I type this, I can feel that my anxiety wants me to worry about an odd sensation that I have in the toes on my right foot over the past couple of days. Today, I am going to accept that feeling and just let it pass through me. Is it fun? No. But, it is much, much better than the alternative of living through the day miserably. I am 34 years old, and have spent 18 years living in this pattern, off and on. If my inherent approach to anxiety was going to work, it would have worked by now.

    I don’t want to mislead you that I am recovered, because I know that I am not. Maybe I never will feel completely recovered. But, you know what? I am learning to be okay with that because I am starting to understand why. With no pressure from myself, I am moving ahead and taking one day at a time. I feel so much better equipped and knowledgable about what is going on with me. That has allowed me to start piecing my self confidence back together bit by bit.

    Kory

  437. Paulina Says:

    Hello, :)
    I was just wondering if you can give me some advise about eye floaters. I am almost recovered after 4 moths of anxiety that started after a panic attack last year. Not even in my darkest days last Fall I developed the eye floaters but now that I am doing so much better and for a about a month now I started to have them.
    I dont know I should go to the eyedoctor or if they will ever go away.
    They’re kind of annoying I must to accept, so if anyone would like to comment on how they deal or dealt with them I will certainly appreciat it.!

    Enjoy the Spring, go out doors and see the beautiful nature!!!

    Thanks and enjoy you weekened!

  438. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Hi Cori – Yes, for me I struggle with the thoughts as you do. I can do fine one day and then not the next. One day very little fear with them and then the next tons of fear. But as I keep doing the accepting thing, I seem to be getting better little by little. Of course, I wish it was all gone, but I am even becoming more accepting of that. Hang in there. Keep accepting…even the fearful days.

    Paulina – I’ve had eye floaters for years. When I first had them, they scared the heck out of me! But once I realized they were nothing harmful, and most everybody has them, I very rarely even noticed them anymore. So it’s a matter of acceptance. They won’t do you any harm. So just accept them, let them be there, and before you know it, you will hardly notice them either.

  439. Dockies Says:

    Thanks Kory for the reply, so is it really true that panic attack is a habit? and that we can really change it? I mean panic attack happens to me all of a sudden, its like while i was talking to someone then BOOM i am having this chills in my chest and ill stop for a second then it depends if i will be able to accept it or not. Can we change something that we really don’t have any control of?

    Thanks

  440. Paulina Says:

    Michelle,
    Thank you for your reply, I hace started to accept that they are also part of what happened to me. Its just so weird to be outdoor and see these shadows. I try to let them be but sometimes I just get down by yhe fact that they are there now. I have always had 20/20 vision and I am pretty young to feel that there are something else.
    But I guess you’re right…I guess they will always be there so I better start start to accept that huh?

  441. Cori Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for your encouraging words. It is nice to knowing that other people are experiencing the same concerns. It give me hope and I know I have to keep accepting-even on the hardest of days. (Sometimes the thoughts can be really nasty and acceptance is very counter-intuitive, huh?) It is really amazing how the mind works. I can’t always put my finger on why some days are harder than others… I find that distraction really helps and because my job is so stressful (social work-lots of horrible stories), it can be a challenge to distract myself with something pleasant. Looking forward to a change of jobs, soon!

    Paulina, I had eye floaters, too. Well, I still do, but don’t notice them. i remember when i first realized they were there, i was very freaked out and could do nothing but focus on them. They will do you absolutely no harm, tho. They are just there, hanging out and almost everyone has them. Just try to let them be. I was 21, when I first noticed them…I think people of all ages get them and it doesn’t mean anything about your vision. My prescription hasn’t changed since i was 12! :) Hang in there. You are just fine!

  442. Matt Says:

    Hi Cori,

    I, too, am having days when the fearful thoughts creep in. I let it get to me a few days ago and I was starting to let that cycle of anxiety start again. I finally accepted it after struggling with it for a few days. I thought I was over this anxiety completely, but now that I am experiencing normal feelings, good and bad, it seems like I become vulnerable to blowing it out of proportion. I guess I am still sensitive to the anxiety and I go through these cycles where I will forget about the anxiety and what it did, and when it does return I struggle with it and I forget that what I am experiencing is anxiety and nothing frightening is really going on. But what helps me is reminding myself that I am still in the process of recovering from it, and that I struggled with anxiety for over two years, so it isn’t going to magically go away in a few months. Anyways, just wanted to let you know that someone else is going through it too, so your not alone.

  443. Teresa J Says:

    Hi All
    Just to say for anyone that is new to this site. I had a similar experience to Paul with anxiety and lived it for over 10 years – I came across Paul’s site and have been here a while.
    I have seen big improvements – my life has changed. I have had long spells where I am almost my old self. Recently I have had a long run of looking at the world through a completely different viewpoint and seeing sypmtons fizzle or not become important even if i have them. It really is a case of ‘not caring’ because once you don’t care they don’t matter, once they don’t matter they minimise and then you just don’t notice them or they disappear. I have also been able to tell myself that no matter what happens in life – we cope. We handle it and it is NEVER as bad as out imagination makes us fear. so it is our imagination and fear that is making us ill and not the syptoms or thoughts we have.
    All the time i felt this way i could handle anything – I now have lost my viewpoint a bit, for a while, it’s disappointing – but I know it’s temporary. I know if i can cope with the various things I have had to cope with recently that life will be ok. The biggest things i remeber thinking over the last month or so is what Paul said about realising you don’t have to ‘think anything’ – just let it all carry on and ‘live life as if you don’t have it’. I know that can be hard for people who are at the early stages but believe me – you will get better. I will need reminding from time to time – that’s why I am here and the support from this site has been the most important thing in helping me adjust my viewpoint towards anxiety. So we are here to support each other, remind each other when our thinking becomes squiffy from anxiety and watch each other improve. Thank you Paul and everyone who has been here to support me.

  444. Racheldm Says:

    Hi… The thought part of my anxiety has been the main problem through this episode of anxiety. I have suffered on and off for 15 years but have had episodes between where i have been totally anxiety free. I never really understood the whole anxiety theory before as i had previously had a therapist whom magically cure me during my pass 2 episodes of anxiety. So as i never truly understood it all the anxiety would come back as i did not know how to deal with it all when it would return and of course it was guaranteed to come back with me as i did not know what was happening behind the whole anxiety progress etc. But this time i habeas a better understanding of it all thanks to this website. Hopefully this will be my last episode once I’m pass this one. I know that recovery can be achieved as i’ve been through the darkest places anxiety takes u and back again. Everyday progress is being made. Although u will not feel it at times… Most of u are already most of the way there. I suffer with Dp and the thoughts are the hardest thing to deal with but once again. I’ve Been here before and got through to the otherwise but it has been my lack of understand of the whole process that brought me back. Although we think we are all unique to our symptoms we are all the same and each one of us will be back to out oldselves very soon. Each day is a step closer. Of course we will encounter days maybe a week in a setback or even bad days but everybody in the world has bad days. That’s just human nature. The world is not perfect.

  445. Clara Says:

    Thanks Will..

    I’ll take on board what u’v said..
    I think if certain personal relationships are at stake its better to keep it at a distance and maintain my emotional stability and peace which is of utmost impartance to me right now..As u said if they knew what i had gone through may be they would have dealt with the situation differently…

    But now what I give importance to is my peace of mind as I get so confused as to how to react or respond in my day to day life as i have those highs and lows in my emotions and my mind starts questioning..So i realised I shudnt depend on my emotional reasoning to respond as its misleading me and i feel my perspective is different at different times…

    And because I’m so self conscious i make sure(unknowingly) that I havent hurt or been rude to anyone..and that again dominates my mindset and now i get where I’m getting that ‘victim feeling’ coming all over as Im overly self conscious of myself….

    So bottomline what i found is always keep my peace and happiness the priority…whenevr i feel confused or worried do what keeps me at peace….!

    As Paul said..Go on ‘however u feel’ do what you want in any given situation..If not able to do something, go ahead n do it breaking the cycle….

    As u said It all starts with being kind & loving towards myself….Let me practise this until it becomes second nature to me…

  446. Cori Says:

    Hi matt. Thanks for your post. I am experiencing the same thing as you. I have a lot more good days, now and the thoughts are not there twenty four, seven like they used to be. There are now many days, when I feel normal and forget about the anxiety and then it will show itself for a moment, setting me into a bit of a scare. I sometimes find it hard to remind myself that the thoughts are only anxiety playing tricks. Sometimes they feel so real, but just letting them float by, really is the key. It has been the biggest challenge for me, though, as the thoughts have been harm related and can rely freak me out. Anxiety seems to choose the things that scare you the most. This has been my first true experience with this, so the symptoms really terrified me, the thoughts, especially so. Nice to know I am not alone in this experience. :)

  447. KM Says:

    Setback question?
    I’ve been doing really well lately, I had a great week last week, but today feel dreadful. My head is just full of racing thoughts, doubts, and innability to concentrate at work. I have alot on with work and study at the moment but feel really thrown at how bad you can feel after feeling relativly good. I’m on the verge of going home from work as i feel terrible, but i have heaps of work to do. Some encouragement/ acknowledgment of what am i doing wrong! It just started up in the car on the way to work and i’ve been great at just acknowleging it and letting it go and it generally passes. Its been at me all morning now, for hours!! ARGH!! Any ideas of what I can do other than accept and let time pass!
    Regards KM

  448. Will Says:

    Hi KM,

    I find that sometimes you just have to give in and let your mind and body rest. In the initial stages of my anxiety problems I did this a lot – I knew that if I did not allow myself to rest when I needed to then I would make my situation far worse. You may have a lot of work to do but, believe me, you will do a lot more when you allow yourself proper ‘down time’ to rest. It depends on what your work circumstances are but if you have some flexibility (you can take time off when you need) then take advantage of it.

    Will

  449. Will Says:

    Hi Dockies,

    In my experience, one of the most difficult aspects of anxiety is the ‘secondary fear’ of what might happen, on top of the symptoms that are already being experienced. Try not to worry about the symptoms themselves and what they might lead to in the future, and just get on with what you have to do immediately today. And don’t bother comparing yourself with the guy who has just died – everybody’s physiology is unique and this guy had already had serious cardiac problems already. Try to concentrate on the fact that you are alive right now, today, and get on with your day-to-day life instead of adding extra worry about what might happen in the future.

    This is easier said than done and requires a ‘letting-go’ of controlling the future. Just think “I am here now and I am ok – I will just get on with what I have to do today and I won’t think about tomorrow”. This takes a bit of getting used to because, as worriers, we pride ourselves on anticipating the future – in fact, I almost feel irresponsible sometimes (“How can I not be thinking about the future? What if…” etc. etc.) but actually it is much more responsible to be just getting on with things that need doing today and not wasting time worrying about the future which is way beyond our control anyhow. I often wonder at animals and why they don’t seem to have anxiety problems – it’s because they don’t have the ability to think too far ahead and are just getting on with their immediate activities. For all our brilliant brains, we humans have got ourselves into all sorts of problems through over-analysis!

    In many respects if you look after the present, the future will take care of itself – the more you just get on with what you have to do today and don’t worry too much about what might happen, the less you will focus on your symptoms and the better you will feel.

    Will

  450. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    On the eye floaters I had them for a long time, some experience them, some don’t. It is a harmless symptom of anxiety and I just did not care if they were there or not, they did not affect me in anyway, so why should I care? They went in time like everything else.

    KM Says:

    May 2nd, 2011 at 2:41 am e

    Setback question?
    I’ve been doing really well lately, I had a great week last week, but today feel dreadful. My head is just full of racing thoughts, doubts, and innability to concentrate at work. I have alot on with work and study at the moment but feel really thrown at how bad you can feel after feeling relativly good. I’m on the verge of going home from work as i feel terrible, but i have heaps of work to do. Some encouragement/ acknowledgment of what am i doing wrong! It just started up in the car on the way to work and i’ve been great at just acknowleging it and letting it go and it generally passes. Its been at me all morning now, for hours!! ARGH!! Any ideas of what I can do other than accept and let time pass!
    Regards KM

    Firstly KM, please find any reference on here that says you wont have some bad days? So let’s dispel this ‘What am I doing wrong’?

    KM, remember the golden rule, don’t let how you feel good or bad throw you. You have fallen into the trap of going through a good time and then been hit by a bad day and letting it throw you. I had so many episodes like this, you are not doing anything wrong, you don’t need to spend your day trying to scramble your way back to how you were last week, no need to freak out, you MUST see these times as part of the process, this is so important. A bad day only has as much power as you give it.

    The biggest mistake people make is thinking that if they have a bad day/period then they are back to square one and no progress has been made, they will be like this forever, etc

    Not one single person has ever recovered without going through bad periods, it is an up and down affair, accept and allow this. It is a like a volcano that is just bubbling away, suffering is near the surface and it may just take a memory, stressful day to come to the surface, but it will have a blast and then settle down again, it always does.

    In time you just get used to these times, they don’t throw you anymore, as you have been through them many times and you now understand it is all part of the process.

    I have stated this before, but a lady I helped many years ago used to let these times throw her, she needed an explanation, asked what she was doing wrong, why she could feel this way when last week was so good etc, etc. Everything was black and white with her, a good day meant she had recovered, it was all behind her, a bad day meant she had not recovered and never would and this would throw her back to googling, scrambling for new answers.

    Once I explained that everyone who recovers goes through an up and down affair and that it was all part of the process she eventually got the message. She then emailed me and said ‘Paul my anxiety levels are very high today and I feel yuck, but for once it does not seem to matter’ it was a total shift in attitude that had brought her to this point. This lady is now fully recovered.

    Paul

  451. Dockies Says:

    Thank you so much Will :) It really lifts my mood. I am worrying the whole day thinking this, and that… scared that i might get this or that. I guess having anxiety and depression makes me forget that we need to live each day as if it is our last, because in the end there is really nothing we can do. We all have our own journey and i should enjoy it with the best of my abilities, because in life the ending does not matter but how we got there. He’s a good friend and i guess the shock that it brought me really shakes the foundation out of me.

    Appreciate your help Will.

  452. KM Says:

    Hi Paul ,and WIll
    Thanks for your kind response, and I did as you advise, I went to lunch, and went back to work and let time pass and it did get much better!
    And what I did realise was that over the past week I haven’t been feeling less anxiety, I have just not been as worried about it, its still there, but I seem to just keep getting on with what I’m doing, then I notice that it hasn’t bothered me as much. And i’ve had times in the past week where it feels unbareable, but i just wait these times out and try my best to get on with it and not go into complete overwhelm like I used too. It is easy to get brought undone with it, but I notice if I focus on something else for a while, the intensity lessens and i’m able to move on!
    I do feel I’m on the road to recovery and at times I feel great, I’ve come huge strides in six months which is great as my last anxiety espisode ten years ago took me a few years to recover! I’ve had to trot out all my old skills and relearn them, but hopefully this time its for good, like the rest of you who’ve fully recovered :)

  453. Cori Says:

    Hi KM,
    It sounds like you are really doing a great job and that you have the right attitude. Keep on doing as you are…keep busy and distracted with the things you enjoy and you will continue to improve. I am trying to do the same and I have really noticed that I have more good days than bad. The bad days are frustrating and feel scary, like you are going back to square one, but we have to remember that like Paul said, no one, who is recovering from this just wakes up one day, fully recovered. We will have good days and bad…don’t lose hope! We will get there. Great that you can already identify the strides you have made in six months time! :)

  454. Matt Says:

    Hi Cori,

    Well, the past two days have been bad for me. I allowed one creepy thought to enter, and then it took over. Like I said earlier, I forgot I was even experiencing anxiety and forgot what it felt like, and as a result I believed the crazy, scary thoughts I was having. Now, I’m trying to get to the other side, but it’s been difficult for me. I was fine for most of the day today, and then a few hours ago the thoughts entered again and I am back to anxiety mode. The feelings of anxiety are so intense and overwhelming that it’s hard to just not believe them right now. If someone could give some feedback on how you overcame setbacks like this I’d appreciate it.

  455. steveo Says:

    Hi all

    I think I am on my way to recovery as my actual anxiety has decreased significantly. Even though I know I am a lot better than I was, my mind still doubts that I am recovering.

    I am feeling less constant anxiety and dread nowadays but now I am feeling more depersonalised and depressed/low. I feel okay but all of a sudden it will still hit me (just not as hard as it used to) “oooh you have been quite normal for the last few hours”

    I was wondering for those who have recovered, how long this lasted for? I have read a couple of posts recently stating that the DP and Depression were the last bits to go.

    One was from Scarlet and I’m not sure the other but it was that DP was the last to go for them;

    “For me the depression was the last to go, and to be honest it lingered a while, that and the numb nondescript feeling. I promise it goes if you continue what you have been doing. Low mood is just another learned habit that takes time to overcome, and you do this by living life as you did when you didn’t suffer anxiety/depression. Try and interact with other folks whenever you can for a bit of brain retraining back to regular thinking, even if you can’t concentrate 100% and revert back to inward thinking it doesn’t matter. Imagine you are chipping away at a brick, each time you socially interact you are chipping away a bit, each time you engage yourself in work, hobbies, watching a movie you are chipping away, reading the newspaper, listening to music, anything to stop the inward thinking you are chipping away. Eventually this new way of thinking (or old as the case may be) takes over. Accept that depression is part and parcel of it all and know that this too shall pass in time.”

    Thanks for any pointers :-)

  456. Cori Says:

    Hi Matt,
    Yes, that has happened to me several times in this road to recovery. I found that i have to try my absolute best not to react with fear and to go about my business. I will say “ok, thought, I see you there…you can be there, but I’m not gonna dwell on you, I’ve got other things to think about, too” and then I will put on music, think about pleasant things that I have going on, start a project, etc..whatever it is that takes my mind to happier things. You aren’t pushing away the thought, just not giving it so much attention. Also, exercising and breathing helps a lot.

  457. Will Says:

    Hi Steveo,

    I would second what Scarlet has said – the depressive side of recovery, in my experience, comes as you get less anxious and the symptoms are less dominant. You just feel flaked out – it’s almost like coming out of a battle!

    So my advice would be to just accept that you are feeling low and ‘spent’ and, as Scarlet says, do low-key normal things (nothing too manic) and just let your mind and body re-charge. And of course, don’t get anxious about how you are feeling – just relax into it and take it easy.

    Will

  458. steveo Says:

    Thanks for your reply Will.

    I know deep down that the anxiety has improved, but I still keep questionning it. Crazy hey!

    I do know I am on my way and I need to remember this and be patient.

    Thanks!

  459. Kory Says:

    Dockies – Sorry for the lagging email … I really can’t comment broadly on the panic attack side of things, as I have had only one in my life. However, as Paul says, the good thing is you now know and understand what it is, so you can use your knowledge as power.

    Kory

  460. Kory Says:

    Hi Paul – I need some guidance from you … I am going through what I would call a setback recently as I am feeling some tingling sensations in my feet that bother me. Most (if not all) of my anxiety lately is triggered by fears of an undiagnosed illness, and each of the new sensations “restarts” the engine. My doctor has assured my nothing is wrong and that any pain, tingling, etc that I am feeling is related to a protruding disk in my lower back.

    Can you tell me how you came to accept that you were okay physically? What can I do to learn to accept the causes and move forward?

    Kory

  461. Clara Says:

    Hi Stevio

    I too am at your stage where my major anxiety symptoms have drastically come down…I had severe depression too..now i feel i’m coming out of it slowly..but then now my issue is what i had before i fell into this anxiety pit…constant checking in on me like ”what i should be doing?” ”will i be ok when i meet so n so?” regarding my mood status i constantly kept a watch and the thoughts that followed it hence making me more and more inward…so i fear am i going into the same pit once again after feeling relieved of all the symptoms….

    Hi Will

    why do i always keep a watch on myself and my feelings? it was there from the very begining which keeps me doubtful whether i can come through completely..i had inherent anxiety from a very young age…
    thoughts come in such force and its hard to focus on the present moment n njoy life as it is…

    I always feels like ”to do something” so that ”everythign goes fine” but in reality what Paul said was spot on .. ”when feeling anxious…you dont have to do anything..just flow with life things will be ok when we face them as and when they happen rather than anticipating something which will never happen but we believe it will happen through our thoughts”…

    I too hope I am on the road to recovery as i have learnt a lot of things which i didnt know before…but i need to constantly remind myself of what i have learnt or else im going after thoughts one after another……

  462. JoeH Says:

    I wondered whether anyone can relate to this. Ever since I have had anxiety its been like a pause button put on my life and you end up avoiding, putting of things, not making plans etc etc. Control, perfectionism all come into play which means planning and setting objectives in your life becomes really hard as you get into a cycle of defeatism. You might set out do something but either never get around to doing it or start but not finish it.

    I wondered if others have found the same thing and have found ways of overcoming this, do you let your mind recover for a period or just set small incremental goals to help your self esteem and confidence, building them up gradually?

  463. Will Says:

    Hi Clara,

    I definitely know that awful feeling – I call it the Hall of Mirrors – where you can’t seem to get away from observing yourself and monitoring your thoughts and feelings. The thing to bear in mind is that, however annoying, it is just an exaggeration of what you would normally do – it’s just an intensfication of perfectly normal self-awareness that has been increased by anxiety.

    Just don’t allow yourself to become afraid of the symptoms themselves – this is what really adds to the problems – and try to get on with things as you would like, as much as possible. A good start is to think about things to do for other people that you know they would like – send them an email, go round and do that thing for the neighbour that you promised ages ago…whatever. Another good thing to do is to talk to a good friend or maybe a counsellor about things – the more you bottle everything up, the more it just whizzes around your system. There is a lot of truth in the saying “A trouble shared is halved”.

    Will

    Will

  464. Clara Says:

    Thanks Will,

    That really makes sense as I was enjoying doing things for others whenever I was ‘stuck’ as I dint ahve a particular mood to begin with so i can decide what I would do..and i chose to do things without any expectations..Now that I’m aware of my moods I just cannot get myself to do things for others or myself…I feel frustrated and no one can understand what Im going through especially my family then why am i bothering too much about others wellbeing…

    But I understand thats not the right thinking pattern..Instead I’ll make a deliberate decision each time that I should take care of myself and my peaceful state of mind…when I chose to bring the focus on that maybe my focus on other negative things around me just fizzles out…
    and I’m trying each day to start with a fresh perspective…” Its ok whatever happens around me…I choose to be peaceful and happy and I am not giving the right to anyone to take it away” and start off the day with geting myself involved in something interesting, talk to a friend, go for a walk…do what interests me without giving attention to self doubts rather than ”what i should be doing” :)

  465. Cori Says:

    Hi Clara,
    I know exactly how you feel and what you are talking about. I started by writing letters to and making cards for friends-something i enjoyed before anxiety, but lost desire to do, while suffering. I just made myself focus on it. I also baked some lovely cookies for family (cookie bouquets) and spent a lot of time decorating them. I think creativity really helps me with recovery. :)

  466. Sara Says:

    Hi everyone. I posted a few weeks back and before that I hadn’t posted in over a year. I definitely know I’m coming along in recovery. I still have bad times but nowhere near what they were before. I feel like I’m coming along – it’s slow, but I’m coming along. :)

    One thing I’ve noticed is that over the past couple of years (or maybe longer) since I’ve been dealing with the anxiety, I have such a gloomy view of the future. Even when I’m doing fairly well and having a decent day, I still can’t help but fear what the future might hold and my future feels sort of scary and gloomy if that makes sense. I feel like I don’t have hope or a positive view of my future. It bothers me and makes it hard to stay positive. For Paul or anyone else out there that has come out the other side – is this normal? Did you have these same feelings and if so – how did you overcome them? Does this part just eventually pass with recovery? I try not to pay them too much attention but it can be very depressing and frustrating sometimes. I said in my post a few weeks ago that my husband and I want to start having kids soon and that is one thing that is scaring me, but it seems my whole future feels scary. I feel like I have a decent understanding of this whole process so I feel like maybe this is just part of the anxiety and that once I’m fully recovered, I will have a positive, happy view of my future. Does this make sense? Has anyone else felt like this and have any advice?

  467. Wayne Says:

    Good Day!

    I have not posted for quite sometime and have been doing well. Recently I started feeling mild DP. Not even close to being as intense when anxiety hit over a year and a half ago. My heart palpitations are back at night also but go away a lot quicker than before. Is this a set back or just every day life?

  468. Candy Says:

    Hello Everyone!
    First time on blog, I have been dealing with anxiety for 10years but never knew what it was, got paul’s book in december 2010 and it has helped tremendously! But i am having a slight problem, my insomnia has come back again, it may be because I had it this time last year, don’t know if it is my anxiety again, i think it may be. when it is time to hit my pillow i think what if i can’t sleep, how do you just fall asleep, or what if i toss and turn and wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. i think i have to sleep so will not be tired the next day, i try to not force sleep, but what if i stay up all night? should i just face my fear of not sleeping and stay up?
    thank you, Candy

  469. Will Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I know exactly what you mean and I think it’s a very difficult part of anxiety – the fact that you are always worried that it will come back in all its intensity again, even if you are feeling better. I think the key thing here is not to dwell too much on the future but just deal with the challenges of today – try to stay rooted in the present and keep your concentration on the things that are part of your life today.

    Part of being anchored in the present is responding not so much to thoughts (which are often about the past or the future) but to emotions, which are always ‘right now’. One of your very present emotions is the desire to have kids and I am sure that when you have them you will find that the joy and delight that your kids will bring you will far outweigh any anxiety. I was chatting with a friend of mine a couple of days ago who has just had his second son (1 month old, the other son is 3 years old) and has also just been made redundant from his mainstay job of 16 years because his company has gone into administration for bankruptcy – his redundancy payout is very uncertain too because of the financial difficulties of the company. He said he came in from being made redundant and felt awful and then his 3-year old son ran up to him and gave him a hug and it just lifted him right out of his downer and anxiety.

    Courage is doing things when you are afraid, which is one of the real challenges of anxiety – you have to learn to do things even if you are feeling afraid. One of the great things about Paul’s book is that he is basically saying “have courage – do things even though you are feeling afraid and you will pass through your fear – don’t avoid situations” – and he is absolutely right. If you start to worry about the future, say to yourself “I will face my fears and carry on with what I want to do in my life despite feeling afraid” and that decision comes from a part of you I would call ‘will-power’ – it is over and above your thoughts and emotions and you are saying “I may be thinking negative thoughts and feeling very scared but I am going to do it anyway”.

    Anxiety is a negative habit and a cycle – having the courage to face our fears and make that step across the ‘fear threshold’ enables us to break that cycle and start another, more positive one. This is why Paul says that once you have really made this kind of decision, you won’t be worried about any ‘relapse’ because you know that you will make the same decision again and again – to confront your fears and step across the fear threshold – every time you become afraid. The fear no longer controls you because you have decided to confront it and get on with your life even if you are feeling afraid.

    And the great thing about courage is that is NOT innate – it is learned. So the more you do it, the better you get at it. There is no such thing as a ‘courageous person’ – there is only the person who decides, on a daily basis, to make courage a central part of their outlook and approach to life.

    Will

  470. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Some really good posts recently, just a few words of my own.

    Kory Says:

    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:54 pm e

    Hi Paul – I need some guidance from you … I am going through what I would call a setback recently as I am feeling some tingling sensations in my feet that bother me. Most (if not all) of my anxiety lately is triggered by fears of an undiagnosed illness, and each of the new sensations “restarts” the engine. My doctor has assured my nothing is wrong and that any pain, tingling, etc that I am feeling is related to a protruding disk in my lower back.

    Can you tell me how you came to accept that you were okay physically? What can I do to learn to accept the causes and move forward?

    Kory

    Kory what you speak of is health anxiety, not a setback, this is focusing on a particular symptom and your anxiety tricks you into thinking the worst, this is where you rise above it.

    My main problem was being hyper sensitive to what people thought, my anxiety would have me going over a conversation, I would try and please all the time, worry how i came across, until I made the decision to no longer cared what people thought and that helped massively. I rose above it and understood that it was my anxiety that made me think this way and not to react to it. Also I thought, if I have offended anyone then I have, I no longer care, I am no longer trying to please people and if I come across as odd or strange then I do, I can’t waste time worrying about it.

    Looking back I was just hyper sensitive through my anxiety. I am anxiety free now and none of these thoughts or insecurities are there, so I did right to ignore them and rise above it, it was just my anxiety making me think the worst and that is the same with health anxiety, it’s like something you can’t shake off, no matter what your doctor says. So the best way again is to say ‘If there is something wrong with me, then there is, bring it on, worrying about it wont make any difference’.

    99.9% of the time it is nothing, it’s your anxiety playing it’s tricks. Move on and enjoy your life, don’t spend it worrying about something you have no control over. And there is no point thinking ‘yes but Paul what if it is that 0.1%?’ you are letting your anxious thinking take over again. Rise above it and even if it is that 0.1%, there is still nothing you can do about it, so let it go.

    I am actually going to see my doctor today as I have had a pain in my left hand side for 2 days, it is like someone has kicked me in my kidneys, I have no idea what it is and have not spent any time focusing or worrying about it. I don’t have anxiety fueling the worry cycle, it is probably nothing and if it is anything more then it is, there is nothing I can do. We all have a choice, I choose not to worry or concern myself about this pain in my side, you choose to worry and focus on the tingling. You have that choice to just let it go.

    I could wake and start my day thinking ‘What if I am one of the 100 people today who get knocked over, one of the 300 people who break my leg, crash my car etc. First of all it’s highly unlikely and secondly worrying about it would make no difference at all, lifes for living, not worrying about something I have no control over.

    Paul

  471. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Will Says:

    May 4th, 2011 at 6:12 pm e

    Will says: Hi Clara,

    I definitely know that awful feeling – I call it the Hall of Mirrors – where you can’t seem to get away from observing yourself and monitoring your thoughts and feelings. The thing to bear in mind is that, however annoying, it is just an exaggeration of what you would normally do – it’s just an intensfication of perfectly normal self-awareness that has been increased by anxiety.

    I can totally relate to that feeling Will, the ‘hall of mirrors’ is a good way to describe it. No matter where you turn you cannot seem to find peace. If you try to forget yourself you seem to think about yourself even more. You are totally right when you say don’t be allow yourself to be afriad of these symptoms and also in my experience don’t try to escape it either, just get up and move on with your day, self aware or not.

    Clara says:
    and I’m trying each day to start with a fresh perspective…” Its ok whatever happens around me…I choose to be peaceful and happy and I am not giving the right to anyone to take it away” and start off the day with geting myself involved in something interesting, talk to a friend, go for a walk…do what interests me without giving attention to self doubts rather than ”what i should be doing”

    That is one of the most sensible, poitive and inspirational things that anyone has ever said on here Clara. I too dropped to such a level that I could no longer be bothered and then I thought sod it, I am reclaiming my life back and not living in this self pity. Out came my bike, I joined a gym, started my running again and it was like being reborn. Just doing something positive and having a meaning to my day helped me so much, it was not always pleasuarble at first, but it was 10 times better than moping around feeling sorry for myself and having no focus to my day.

  472. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Also great advice again Will, the statement below

    Anxiety is a negative habit and a cycle – having the courage to face our fears and make that step across the ‘fear threshold’ enables us to break that cycle and start another, more positive one. This is why Paul says that once you have really made this kind of decision, you won’t be worried about any ‘relapse’ because you know that you will make the same decision again and again – to confront your fears and step across the fear threshold – every time you become afraid. The fear no longer controls you because you have decided to confront it and get on with your life even if you are feeling afraid.

    True Will

    What I used to do wrong in my early days was just grit my teeth and get through a fear episode and afterwards I felt no elation and no sense of victory. This is because I had not gone through the right way, to lose this feeling of fear, then I had to no longer be scared of it. It is like seeing a dog that scares you and then seeing the same dog with a muzzle on and having no fear of it. I put that muzzle on fear by understanding it and going through it the right way.

    There is a book titled ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ this is perfectly true. The next time I felt fear I did not grit my teeth and hope it would go away, I welcomed it and said ‘O.k come on let’s see what you have’ with this attitude it came and left pretty quickly as I had not added any fuel to it, it was welcome to come if it wished. This time I did have some elation and sense of victory. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying when fear rises it is easy to welcome it and carry on, but I wanted my life back and no longer wanted to avoid and run away, I wanted to go through it.

    I told a story in my book about when I went on holiday and felt really poorly on the way out, I arrived on holiday and was sick for 5 days. Anxiety was high in those days, but panic was not a big issue. I then got to the airport for the flight back and just felt rigid with fear/sick, all my anxiety had kicked in and I did not want to get on the flight, I was racked with fear. I then went up to the lady and said ‘I can’t get on’ and explained why, she stated that if I did not then all suitcases would have to be taken off and the flight would be delayed. I just instantly said ‘I am going on’ something really clicked and I had this thought of ‘I can’t live my life like this’, whatever happens, then it does, I had a total resigned feeling and I just walked across the tarmac and got on. Then something odd happened, I felt peace like never before. I flew back with no problems at all and felt fine. This was a feeling of total elation, I went straight through it and nothing happened, I was scared of a feeling, not the flight. If I felt this way again then it would not be a problem, I could and would cope, nothing bad would happen.

    Another example was a job interview when I was still very anxious. Leading up to the interview it went from anxiety to fear and I thought about not going. Then I thought, ‘anyone would be anxious for a job interview and probably feel some fear, mine maybe higher as I suffer with anxiety, but so what, it’s not a problem’ and I went. The same thing happened, once I decided to go, a little fear left and once in chatting I was fine. Again I took some edge out of fear, it was just there as a normal bodily response and would always calm with the right attitude. There was no reason to avoid or treat it with utter respect, it was there for a reason and when it felt it was no longer needed, then it would pass.

    Paul

  473. Sara Says:

    Thanks Will & Paul! I guess the courage thing is what I need to work on. If I had been in your shoes, Paul, I probably would’ve gotten on the plane, but then felt fear and worry the whole plane ride and then been relieved when we landed. That is not accepting it – that is just “gritting my teeth” to get through it. I guess I’m not accepting the anxiety as much as I thought I was. I also need to work on what Will talked about with living more in the present. I do think about the past and the future a lot and when I have anxiety about a specific issue I feel like the anxiety will not go away until that issue is over. Instead, I need to just focus on today and take it one day at a time. Then maybe the anxiety would be over sooner.
    It’s funny – everything makes total sense to me but sometimes it is pretty difficult to actually put it into practice. The fear still completely takes me over sometimes. I find it easier to face my fears when it’s something very short term – like if I’m headed to a dental appt and feel extreme anxiety, it’s easier to face it because it will be over in an hour or two. But with longer-term issues, such as pregnancy, it’s so much harder (and overwhelming) to face because that’s MONTHS worth of anxiety. I guess this just shows me that I’m not really accepting very well when I thought I was. I guess I need to really just focus on the day I’m in and try not to think about the future and the days, weeks, months ahead and this would probably help, right?
    Well thanks again you guys – it really is so nice to be able to come on here and get advice and support. Have a great day!

  474. Cori Says:

    Hi Sara,
    I have been having the same fears as you about pregnancy and the future. (Man, it seems I share a lot of different aspects of anxiety with everyone on here) It just seems so HUGE. I can’t really describe it, but it brings on a lot of fear, that is for sure. I also think this is related to the fact that I am still suffering some scary thoughts and I worry about those being about a child, as I know that some women suffer this with PPD. I am working hard to let the thoughts that cause fear to be there, but some days are harder than others. I guess we can’t get wrapped up in the “what ifs” of the future because they are, indeed, just what if questions.

    Paul, I just got your book, thanks and have started to read it. I read the bit about scary thoughts, but was wondering what your experience was with that in terms of recovery. I have come a long way, in that most of my physical symptoms are gone, but the thoughts seem to remain. I am getting better at letting them be there without reaction, which is def. the key, but sometimes (especially, when work is hard or if I am feeling particularly run down and sad due to the recent loss of my grandma), I have more trouble with not reacting and then end up feeling really scared. Other times I think I bring them upon myself because I will realize I am doing well and that several hours have passed without one, which inevitably makes them come. How will i know when I am fully recovered? Can these thougths still linger for a long time, even after much improvement has been made? (My anxiety has been around for about 9 mos. and started after leaving a very abusive relationship and when my job as a social worker got really stressful. At the same time, my grandma was dying). At first, i could barely get out of bed, couldn’t eat, felt ill constantly, was exhausted, felt little emotion, the scary thoughts were like 24/7 and had panic attacks. Now I am enjoying life again, getting rest and eating properly. I feel more like me now, but the scary thoughts still linger (and are particularly scary to me because they have been about harm, mostly towards people i know). I feel confused about why the thoughts continue to come, even though I am feeling so much better. (although they come with less force)
    Sorry for the novel of a post.
    Thanks! :)

  475. dee Says:

    Hi all, does an one find a symptom of anxiety is over analizing everything
    and lots of mind chatter?
    I would really appricate some tips with how to deal with this if anyone could help.
    Thanks alot

  476. Kory Says:

    Hi Paul:

    Thank you so much for your response. I really, really appreciate what you do for all of us.

    Kory

  477. Lisa P. Says:

    Hi everyone,
    It’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been doing pretty good, sleep is still hard for me and I always take something to help with that, I want to get to the point in recovery where I am not taking any sort of medication. Working on that.
    I’m in a band and we played for the first time after being on a 5 year break, on Wed night at our local city festival in the park. I thought I was going to die the whole day or two before because I was so nervous. I had normal levels of anxiety before when we used to play music but now that I have been dealing with this, it was different. But, you know what? I’m still here and our fans loved it and I was able to sing and perform and play my guitar and I made it through and I even had fun. So I KNOW I’m getting better. I haven’t read Paul’s book yet but just his advice on here and hearing everyone else has helped me a lot. I am not letting the anxiety control me, I talk to it a lot, which might sound weird to some people but I know you all understand.
    My question is this: Will I ever get to the point where I know for sure that I never have to fear having anxiety again? I get scary thoughts like “what if I get sick and can’t do my normal routine that helps me so much, will I go into horrible anxiety again?” I almost want to get sick with a cold or something just to see how I will handle it, does that sound crazy? As soon as I typed that I felt anxious!
    Thanks for listening everyone. I will just keep going and know that it’s JUST anxiety, it can’t hurt me, and it WILL go away!
    Lisa

  478. Will Says:

    Hi Lisa P.,

    Have a look at the comments from yesterday and the day before which deal with this – they may help.

    Will.

  479. Clara Says:

    Hi Dee,

    That itself is anxiety Dee- overanalysing and a lot of mind chatter to the point where u cant choose what u want to think or just simply relax…this is plain anxiety..

    until we know it is anxiety it is really frustrating as we get pizzed off at ourselves and others…I used to wonder why I always sulks because a thought enters my mind and i take it seriously and follow it wherever it takes me…so now i know when it takes me overboard..but then i too get carried away because of habitual thinking….

    Once u realise its ANXIETY it really makes a difference on your attittude towards the continuous mind chatter..initially it may not work…but keep reminding yourself that there is no need to worry about this overanalysing and mind chatter…remind urself that I have this because i have anxiety and i need to reverse my habit of thinking by gradually accepting this is nothing but anxiety and hence removing the ‘fear’ factor from it…

    I have started having a lot of mind chatter recently wherein the mind doesnt stop at all and i know it can be very annoying..but at the same time through practise my logical side keep saying its anxiety no matter how u feel or what it keeps nagging carry on with what u have to…

    the more u try to control or the more u worry it will only intensify..so accept it..let it blabber meanwhile do what u have to do..focus on what u r doing…..tell urself…its ok however i’m feeling..and however i appear before people…its not intensional its bcos of anxiety and do what u have to do..i had to deal with a lot of guilt thoughts too..i realise its just a habit..so i keep reminding myself..

    Most importand– never lose hope…you can always come in here to get that extra push whenever u r stuck..and dont feel self pity..we dont have to identify ourselves with the thoughts..let it run its course..meanwhile lets live our life the way we want..atleast give it a shot each day….
    Lets start each day with a new hope…Lets not lose our hope even if the previous day goes crap..there are many more days ahead to live our life…

    Cheers…

  480. Lisa P. Says:

    Thanks Will,
    I just read through everything for the last few days. Definitely helps. I so relate to the “hall of mirrors.”
    Lisa

  481. Sara Says:

    Hey everyone. I’m sorry to be posting again. I am just going through a rough time right now and feel like I need some advice to get through. I don’t know if I can even explain how I’m feeling or what I’m struggling with.
    I understand that with all aspects of anxiety, the key is to accept the symptoms, not fight them, and move forward. The struggles I am having are with the feelings of depression that come from anxiety. Sometimes I feel so down and also just confused about everything… like as if I have no idea how I feel about anything. Do I love my spouse, do I not and just think I do? Do I believe in this? Do I believe in that? Is this true? Is that true? Do I even know what I think or believe anymore? I feel completely overwhelmed and confused all at the same time. It makes me so sad and down and sometimes pretty emotional.
    The struggle I have with this is that I feel like I need to do something to feel better because if you give into feelings of depression, then you will just sink further into it. At least that’s what I’m afraid of. I feel like I need to talk myself into feeling more positive and try to make myself feel better, otherwise I’ll just get more down and more depressed instead of coming out of it. Especially when I have the confused, scary thoughts that everything I thought I knew and believed might all be wrong. I guess I just pin-pointed one thing – that the thoughts are just more scary thoughts. But sometimes instead of feeling anxiety with the thoughts, I just feel depressed about them. Sometimes instead of feeling anxiety, I just feel depressed. I get scared to just let myself feel depressed because like I said – I’m afraid I’ll just slip into a deeper depression. Do the same techniques that work for anxiety, work for depression? Sometimes it gets to the point where I can’t really even think of one thing that I know I believe – there is such doubt attached to everything that I thought I was sure of. It’s like I’m so impressionable sometimes – that I could be swayed in totally different directions and so confused. Does that make sense? It can be so depressing and overwhelming sometimes. Do I just keep living my life alongside the depression as well and it will eventually dissipate? It just seems like people with depression just end up turning to medication or something to feel better because they just slip more and more into it. Anyway, now I’m just rambling :) but if anyone has any experience or thoughts with the depression and the feelings of confusion and not knowing what you believe, who you are, etc, that would be great. Again, sorry for posting again so soon. One day I will be able to come on here and give advice and support instead of requesting it. :) Thanks to everyone for their help!

  482. Lisa Says:

    Paul I want to thank you for your dedication to helping anxiety sufferers. Your site has educated me and I am very glad that I came across it and got the information that I needed to stop the cycle before I had time to become lost in it further.
    Heres my story in short: Experienced my first anxiety attack on my lunch break from work in Jan of this year.Went to the ER thinking i had problems with my heart all tests came back normal. My doctor told me everything i was experiencing was due to stress. I forced myself to continue going to work even though I felt horrible. I knew that I had better not give in to fear because it would take over. It took me a while to walk past the place that I had the attack.I would feel the panicky feeling but eventually this subsided because i refused to give into fear.I had a couple more anxiety attacks at work but i told myself not to be afraid . The next few weeks were very up and down. The worst came when i stopped sleeping. I thought i was going mad. My brain just wouldn’t quiet. I was having such irrational thoughts , distorted ones. I thought the worst , theres something wrong with my brain, what if i have a brain tumor or a serious psychological condition. I lost more sleep all i did was think about these weird thoughts trying to piece things together. Started feeling like a zombie , felt so numb. I tried crying just to feel something and even then it was hard to feel anything i was so tired . I had the worst headaches and eye pain and my head was so heavy. I became detached . I would panic at night not knowing where i was at times. I came across Paul’s site and started to educate myself. At the beginning of March i started feeling a change in the way i was feeling. Many of the symptoms had diminished. This came when i told myself how irrational my fears were. I wasn’t feeling as detached. I went to visit friends and tried to live as normally as possible. I then got a bad cold and felt more runned down than ever, and since I wasnt sleeping well it took everything out of me. At the end of March I decided to try accupuncture to help with my sleep and anxiety and it helped. I felt this feeling of heaviness and relaxation afterwards and the next week i was already sleeping much better. I can now sleep through the night and because I am no longer anxious about going to bed I feel more at peace with everything. I am feeling better and better everyday and it really does go in layers. The detached feeling i had is going away more and more. I try to do things that I enjoy and everytime i have fun I can literally feel the layers come off. I still have some of the symptoms but they are alot less intense. The dizziness still comes especially when i go shopping because of the bright lights. but i force myself to carry on and that is really the only way. It is so hard at times but it really is the only way you have to teach yourself that there is nothing to fear. I am almost glad for my suffering, had i not experienced this I would never realize how badly i had been living how stressed out i was and how i worried about things that held no importance. It forced me to take a look at my thinking and how negative I was at times. My body had been trying to tell me all along but I just didnt see the signs.
    Another thing that really helped me was avoiding bad forums and researching the topic , for me the more i did this the worse i felt. You really need to go about your day enjoy the little things in life and count your blessings for the all the great things that you have in your life. I know I will make a full recovery and I know everyone here can too.

  483. Lisa P. Says:

    Sara,
    Are you getting out and walking or doing any exercising at all? I know you’ve probably heard it before but getting out and moving is so important. Exercise in any form is good as it releases “feel good” endorphins. I know it’s been HUGE for me in my recovery (I’m still in the process). I get overwhelming feelings of depression too but those are subsiding as I’m choosing to face my anxiety head on and float through it, not allowing myself to be scared of it. Someone else on here (not sure who it was, probably Paul) said that you have to just put it all under the umbrella of anxiety, if the depression is secondary to your anxiety then it makes sense that as your anxiety leaves you so will your depression. I’m blessed to have family and friends and a great husband that I can talk to about it, even then I still feel alone sometimes, but it’s getting better. Hang in there. Remember everything is temporary, and try to find the joy you felt as a child. Another thing that has helped me is my dog, Kobi. He showed up at my house in January so we adopted him and now he goes out on my walks with me every morning, and he’s very active (part Chow/shepherd) so he keeps my mind busy, I know having a dog is not for everyone but I just wanted to share that. I can’t wait to read Paul’s book and I wanted to mention that I also read a book by Lucinda Bassett called “From Panic to Power” and it has also helped a lot, very similar to a lot of things Paul is mentioning on here as well. “When the pain of anxiety overrides everything else including the fear of being alone, we realize that we are missing lifel That is when we will take charge of our healing”…this is a quote from that book. I hope this will help a little, even just reading this blog seems to comfort me. Good luck Sara, I hope things start to get better for you. I will keep you in my prayers.
    Lisa

  484. Clara Says:

    Hi Sara

    I know very well what you are going through and If u can just scroll up u can see Will’s post on that…

    I find it overwhelming too when i have depressive thoughts as our attittude is completely changed over a situation not able to reach a logical decision…Hence we cannot decide for ourselves what we want because we are engulfed in our depressive thoughts….

    when i go out, interact with people or do something for a long time..I have noticed that somewhere my thought pattern changes and i become more and more self conscious being hyper sensitive about my reactions and my surroundings which makes me behave in a particular way…which is more or less like a yes or no to everyone not able to think for myself…

    But the good news is now I realise that its my thought pattern thats causing me all distress…but how exactly can i change this ‘hall of mirrors’ is quite challenging..Exercise is a good option to release unwanted stress hormones…what i do is reflect on myself for few minutes or something to take a break from this continuos mind chatter..take a deep breath..tell myself this is another layer of anxiety..in the form of depressive thoughts..It will also leave me eventually like how my anxiety symptoms and DP left me…

    Self educating myself each time as u said when my mind ‘swayed’ in different directions without knowing what to do or say …

    Detaching myself from the thoughts and ask myself what i want leaving aside all issues behind(thats perhaps created by our own mind) and just go ahead and do it without thinking too much as it will lead to analysis paralysis….

    Reminding myself when a negative thought about me appears each time
    ”I am a nice person who is happy and at peace irrespective of any conditions” — thats very importand as we attach a lot of conditions for being in a happy state of mind..Lets practise upholding to this feeling of being at peace each time….it will eventually bring serenity to our mind…

    each time things become difficult focus on our inner self ask what u want and go ahead…neednt feel guilty even if people make u feel so..its our inherent victim feeling which make us react to such comments…

    I realise in my personal experience i have to connect with my inner self and get empowerment from within even when engulfed in self doubts

    ”we have to change our emotional understanding by working with our thoughts longer term, or facing our fears” as James said.

    I guess by working long term on our emotional reaction to situations and being aware when we suddenly feel irritated, depressed or agitated by ‘realising’ that its anxiety and dont have to work out why we feel that way and drop the subject and move on..May be through practise and perseverence we will be able to deal with it…!

    Hope it helps Sara…

  485. dee Says:

    Hi Clara

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply its so nice to get advice and answers form others whom have been or are going through it. I agree it is nice to come here and talk to others at least that way you dont feel alone.

    I have had a good couple of days actually but i do find that i keep stopping and thinking to myself ‘ oh i havent had anxiety for the past few hours, is it still there’ im sure you would
    say this is just a thought pattern again? , i do hate how i keep reverting back to me…. does that make sense? also i do sometimes look at others i.e my husband and think ‘ you dont seem to have any worrys and am jealous he is not experiencing anxiety!!! even though i would never wish it on anyone, i just wish to someday i will also be anxiety free :). and im sure it’ll come, just keep going and positve thinking hey .

  486. Lisa Says:

    Lisa P :
    I totally agree with you about animals helping with recovery. I am an animal lover and have always had the pleasure of having them in my life and caring for them . I have a cat and he has comforted me in my gloomy and sad days. When I would wake up with a panicky feeling in my gut he was there and I never felt alone. I have a silly parrot too and he makes me laugh all the time. Animals do wonders for the soul. Dogs are truly wonderful companions they really understand when you need love and comfort. They love unconditionally, they just want to spend time with you and that is the best feeling!

  487. steveo Says:

    dee – exactly as you say, keep going.

    it does definitely get easier. i am on my way to recovery and forget how far i have actually come.

    try not to ‘try’ i think is the key, even though this is so so so difficult!!

    i do not read and re-read all of the post i have saved everyday anymore and forget that i used to constantly do this.

    keep it up dee, you are on your way :-)

  488. steveo Says:

    *posts

    (as in all of the positive stories etc)

  489. Steph Says:

    Sara – I completely identify with what you’ve written about the depressed feelings, and the questionning everything and wondering whether there’s anything that you feel sure of any more.

    My anxiety has improved no end recently, and the feelings that you describe so well are still there kind of in the background, but they’re not distressing any more. I think it’s right that as your anxiety lessens, the thoughts will become less intrusive and all-encompassing, but I think for me there was something else about learning to respect them a bit, rather than being scared of them, and getting into a panic about ‘why am I feeling like this? What do I feel sure of? Is anything right?’ etc etc. I think my attitude has shifted to a sort of interested observer. I’ve sort of accepted that I’m going through a period of re-evaluating and questionning what I want from life and my future, rather than being frightened of those thoughts and feeling completely lost and unstable. I think the key for me has been allowing myself to feel those emotions, but not allowing myself to ‘chase’ the thoughts obsessively and try to figure them all out. Just try to stop, accept the thoughts, observe them in an interested way, acknowledge that you’re feeling unsure and confused about life at the moment, but that it’s part of a journey to understanding yourself and your emotions better, then let them go and carry on with your day.

    I hope some of this makes sense! Basically, yes I completely identify, and yes, I think if you apply the same methods as you apply to your anxious feelings, you’ll start to feel better.

  490. Will Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I think that the depression element of anxiety is very tough and I know exactly what you mean when you talk about the confusion and the questions that go with it – Who am I? What do I stand for? What is real and true?

    I would echo what Steph has said in her post – see it as a period of re-evaluation and questionning. This can be tough as it can mean talking through some of your concerns and doubts with certain people that you are very close to – but that is all part of healthy relationships. One of the things that I found about my depressive periods was that it forced me to confront things that I was not happy with in my life – I just couldn’t put it off to another day, as I had done in the past. In the past I would say to myself “Oh I will deal with that when I don’t have so much to do” etc. but the depressive feelings forced me to act on things that I was unhappy about and talk to the relevant people and make the relevant moves. This is difficult because the last thing that feels right is any confrontation and energy levels are so low anyhow that it is a big effort – but it is worth doing because it airs the unhappiness and often gets a better result than anticipated. That was very useful for me and it has really taken me forward in my close relationships to a place that I want to be in, rather than in an unresolved and unhappy state.

    One of the really important things I found that helped also was being very honest about how I was feeling – not trying to please or not upset anyone but saying things how I actually felt them. One of the really exhausting things about anxiety and the depression that can come with it is the fear bound up in what others might think. Don’t bother – just tell it how it is and be yourself and you will be amazed how positive, supportive and understanding most people are. More importantly, you are being you and that releases a lot of positive emotions.

    Anxiety creates a confidence crisis where we find ourselves unable to be the sort of people that we want to be, and that can lead to depressed feelings. But try to see it also as an opportunity to move forward and for you to really show to the world who you are – weaknesses and all – and that you are human, like everybody else. You will actually find that in the long run an even deeper confidence comes eventually because you are no longer afraid of letting the world know that you have weaknesses, and that is a massive strength and a big relief. You are no longer trying to hide your fears and weaknesses from the world and with that comes a freedom because you are not trying to project an image but you are simply being yourself. And with that freedom comes a happiness and lack of anxiety that you didn’t have before. I had no idea I was so unconfident until I had anxiety problems and they have forced me to be the ‘real’ me, which has given me a lot more ‘real’ confidence, rather than the superficial confidence that I used to have.

    See this period as a period of emotional growth – as with growth in the body, this can be pretty painful but you come out stronger – which is leading you to a more real you and will give you more real confidence than you had before.

    Will

  491. Clara Says:

    Very encouraging post Will…!!

  492. Cori Says:

    Will, a very amazing post. I was talking with my therapist about this very thing and she suggested that I see depression/anxiety as an oppotunity. An opportunity for growth and to finally listen to the things my heart has been telling me. I believe this is true and that a strong, more confident person will come out on the other end. I try to think of it as a moth/butterfly situation as best I can. It helps.

  493. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Nice post Will, just to add to that. I have mentioned many times how I became so sensitive to what people thought through my anxiety, I felt like a weak, vunerable child with not an ounce of confidence. It was as though I had a permanant ‘please’ people smile, when inside I felt like crying.

    Where had that confident person gone?

    I did exactly the same and was just me, no matter how I came across and no longer caring what other people thought. You can only love yourself when you are yourself and stick up for what you believe in, say how you feeling, instead of bending this way for that person, that way for another, not being you erodes that confidence further.

    I used to have this conversation with an ex partner and stated the people who I like and respect the most are those that are true to who they are.

    Anxiety seems to rob us of this, we feel weak and sensitive, but we have the power to still be who we are and to feel proud because we spoke up, instead of weak because we did not. Feel a burden lifted because we told others how we feel, instead of thinking we should all keep it bottled up inside.

  494. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Lisa thanks for your comments above and your story is an inspiration and you are certainly going in the right direction.

    Paul

  495. Cori Says:

    Hi,
    Sorry to be a pest, but does someone have an insight to my post from May 5th?
    Thanks for your help and suggestions. I appreciate it very much!

  496. Bret Walters Says:

    Can anyone relate to feeling recovered for a week, then getting smacked with a depression/knifes edge feeling where you have zero motivation and just super down for a few days? Then it just magically kinda goes back to feeling okay? I dont really do anything different. But it kinda causes a small cycle of “what if this time it does go away?” or “what if the depression gets so bad you hurt yourself?”, no im not planning on hurting myself…just scared it will get to that point? Anyone relate to this/got through it?

    Thanks everyone,
    Much Love
    Bret

  497. Clara Says:

    Hi Paul

    Wonderful post to add up to what Will said…thats the stage where I’m in..
    still gets concerned and i have to deliberately change the mindset and think what i want to do…

    When there is little mind chatter its easier to speak for ourselves…as we could focus on one thing..When the mind chatter is on its roll its hard to speak for ourselves as the mind goes on nagging and we tend to act on the basis of this mind chatter which is totally baseless.. But it takes a while to focus on the outside and grasp things without adding our prejudiced thoughts to it…

    Anyways bottom line is just checking whether we are at peace with ourselves in a situation..being ourselves…not acting or pleasing people around…slowly and steadily it will release us from the anxiety that we’ve created for ourselves…Living a life as if there is nothing to hide, nothing to project, nothing to do to please others…just live life as we want to….thats ultimate freedom and which inturn relieves from all negativities and makes us a free soul…

  498. Dockies Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I want to address this question to all of you that recovered and those that can relate :), I’ve been posting some of my thoughts and problems in this blog and I’ve been reading a lot and learning a lot about anxiety. For those who read my first post I’ve explained there how, and when did i experienced my first panic attack. I believe that my experience scares me so much that i pushes me inside a really annoying cycle of anxiety and panic. Although i only started to get this feelings and sensation last month, i still have a hard time accepting and realizing that all of this are just a product of my anxiety and does not deserve my respect. This past few weeks i decided to really accept that if i have this then there is nothing i can do about it, but i have to live my life because being depressed and being scared of this feelings will not give me the answers that i need and will not make me happy in any way. Unlike before i am now having more good days, longer hours of sleep, normality, and peace.

    But still the sensations, thoughts and the feelings are still in the background. I know this because there are times when i am eating my meal and i feel everything is normal then all of a sudden i will feel this churns in my abdomen, then i will start to feel dizzy and my mind will start to race with thoughts. although i can let it pass by not doing anything, the thought still frightens me, thoughts like: “OK you survive that… but what will happen if it happens again?” I know that this is because of adrenaline needing an exit, but i was just thinking… As human being it’s only natural to have fears especially if what you feel is real. I can’t say that what i feel is fake because even if it is caused by anxiety my body still reacts that’s why i can feel it. For those of you that recovered my question is how did you manage to stand your ground when this situation comes? I know this sounds stupid but how can i accept it while i feel my head is spinning, my throat and my chest tightening, and my confidence is fading. Part of me is also worried that if i developed this acceptance and not doing anything, when a real problem occurs like a real illness i wont be able to detect it and save my self from it because i associated it with my anxiety. :(

    Also i am wondering why does my anxiety sticks with me like a glue when i only got it last month while I’ve been living normal for 26 years. I know that Paul is advising us to have patience, but for someone who lives his life normal and only got this last month, the quality of my patience is not what you can say “CONSISTENT”. I just don’t get it… with only one panic attack and everything in my world turns upside down, my confidence, and my well being is really shaken. There are times when i say to my self “This is unfair!… I only experienced you last month and yet i can’t erase you using my 26 years of good memories :( WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!” I am proud of what i achieved in the past and i am proud of my self (in a good way) and that is what frustrates me…

    I am planning to proposed this year but now i am having second thoughts, not because i don’t love my partner (I love her so much) But i don’t want to be a husband who does not know how to take care of his own fears. :( I am now living my life the way i used to live it. I feel great about my progress, the only problem is when this sensation came back it always caught me off guard and i feel terrible afterwards. BUT so far i was able to ignore it and let it stay in me until it fades away. but still the thoughts are really doing their best to hang in my head :(

    Paul, Will, Kory, and all you guys that is constantly extending their hands to help other people who suffers from this habit, I am really thankful and i am not ignoring all your advices i am just confused and frustrated. :(

    I hope you can help me again…

    -Dockies

  499. Shar Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Have being reading this blog for a while now but this is my first post. Have anxiety for as long as I can remember but it didn’t really start to affect me till last year with stress of final year exams and things. Have made great progress in the last year but have recently hit a setback which I know shouldn’t get to me and have accepted plenty of them but this one has just got me feeling very low, with hardly no appetite or motivation to do much. I was just wondering how does everyone get through these setbacks im trying to accept them but the flow of adrenaline is really strong and my mind feels really heavy.

    Thanks,
    Shar

  500. natalie Says:

    well said will !!! such peaceful and insightful words, and i have read your posts from over a year ago and see the progress you have made from one of fear to one of acceptance. You have even seen this process as a positive personal growth one that will make you a happier person in the long run. i completely see where you are coming from and although it is hard to impliment (mainly to stop caring what others think) in the long run it is sooo freeing .. because you are being you and not a person you think you should be or who you think others expect to see !! its simply a case of letting go !!!
    remember people we are all only human and if anyone has a problem with that maybe they have issues of there own, not for us to take on board there is nothing to be ashamed of and we no longer have to beat our selves up as we aer doing the best we can at this time .. xx

  501. Clara Says:

    Hi Natalie….

    I so agree with you…! Actually we could see this as an opportunity for personal growth and emotional strength…After going through such a lot of emotional upheavals there isnt much to be afraid of anymore…though as a habit it keeps pricking in the background..For me whenever I feel good or confident this strikes…as if I shouldnt be a free soul…may be i get easily duped into my negative thoughts out of habit…

    Its really liberating to be ourselves..to love ourselves and not to mend our ways for the satisfaction of others…above all to believe in ourselves…!!!

    That will only bring ULTIMATE HAPPINESS..! where we start feeling we are living this life for us….and which will bring hope and positivity to our mindset….

    ”remember people we are all only human and if anyone has a problem with that maybe they have issues of there own, not for us to take on board there is nothing to be ashamed of and we no longer have to beat our selves up as we aer doing the best we can at this time” –absolutely true…

    as I had gone that route trying my best to please others when i was in the depths of anxiety not knowing who I am and why I am here for….when i wrongly thought atleast if people around me are happy, leave alone my happiness its never gonna come…!!

    But i was so wrong..Anyways, looking forward for a bright future…absorbing all that I have learnt in the process and focusing on my personal growth and emotional stability…
    Cheers :)

  502. james Says:

    Great post Clara!

    For me it all started last November when I bought my first house and when I had too put down my dog (loved my dog). It all hit me at once and was the worst feeling ever. For awhile it was constant and overwhelming but slowly has calm down. I still have trouble shaking these horrible thoughts away but overall I can’t complain. For me it just feels like everytime I start to feel fine I hit a road block like I can’t seem to feel fully over it. It’s like an endless cycle and I’m wondering if this is how it’s going to be the rest of my life.

    Hopefully I’m wrong, just wish it was back to normal.

  503. Vamanan Says:

    Hey guys,

    I had been suffering from anxiety so long and had tried to always clear my mind in shorter period. But last time I let it drag for too long with other stressful things going on and have hit depression I think.

    Usually I use my interests to distract me to get over anxiety, but with depression, I have lost all interest and sleep which have let me in a miserable position.

    I have read from a lot of the places that they say clinical depression is something you need to treat with combination of medication and therapy. I wouldn’t mind therapy but I don’t want to take medications if it can be avoided.

    Since it is my anxiety which got me to this state, I believe even if i am ‘clinically’ depressed, I can beat it by following the method used by Paul and other successful folks.

    I have got Paul’s book and have read most of it. The book and this blog have reduced my anxiety a lot. I am only hoping depression will lift and I will be myself again.

    To the experienced folks in applying this methodology, I know you don’t want to give a duration to when depression will lift. But did you feel it is getting better gradually atleast? For me atleast 10% lifting will help keeping me busy with my life.

    Thanks,

    V

  504. Simon Says:

    Paul, I want to personally thank you. I’ve improved significantly the last six months since checking out your website. Paul, have you made any efforts to put your book on Amazon?

    I have one thing that still bothers me and I know the way to understand it is through knowledge. Thus, for my question. I tend to ruminate on certain beliefs; lets say I enjoy philosophy. I wonder whether my enjoyment of philosophy is a product of anxiety or whether it is part of who I truly am. Also, I feel indecisive most of the time because I question what I would do in certain situations. Basically, this friend of mine in high school instilled doubts in me. Alongside that I had academic pressures and etc, which led to my anxiety. But those doubts are pretty trivial. Like, whether I like chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I know I like chocolate but for some reason I keep ruminating and want to get a grip of it and make sure whether chocolate is truly better.

    How do I do that? Is this indecisiveness about your decisions/interests/beliefs a symptom of anxiety or something else?

    I still have those running scary anxious thoughts but I let them be and it’s worked very well. I just have difficulty knowing when something is a product of anxiety and when something is truly me. It gets me back to the cycle. Thanks.

    I wish all of you a speedy(don’t rush it though, small, gradual steps) recovery. I know you will all get through this stronger and better than ever. God Bless you all.

  505. Victor Says:

    I just had a question in regards to coffee. I feel coffee played a major part in my anxiety starting. I have always been a coffee drinker since a kid and mixed with the stress I was going through at the time I feel it helped created my anxiety.

    I have cut back tremendously on the amount of coffee I drink, maybe once or 2x a week. But i feel that sometimes the coffee has a negative effect (more unwanted thoughts, higher self awareness) that usually lasts a day or two.

    My question is for my fellow coffee drinkers, do you feel staying away from it has helped symptoms of anxiety or had no effect? I feel sometimes its just me thinking the coffee is having an effect when really its just my anxiety going through its ups and downs.

  506. Cori Says:

    Victor,
    Yes, I am absolutely positive that the caffeine played a role in my anxiety. I don’t think it was the source, persay, but is certainly exacerbated the symptoms. I still notice it…i have switched to decaf and when I drink a regular cup, i end up with a racing heart and I feel a bit jittery. It just isn’t good. I find it best to avoid. Switch it out for exercise! :)

  507. Joe Says:

    Hello simon, i have experienced the exactly the same sort of anxiety it’s wierd it’s like sometimes when i make a decision about something i get a feeling of fear in my body as if i’m doing something wrong or something that isn’t true to myself. Then i get confused thinking am i just really indecisive or is it my anxiety playing tricks? im not too sure about it, thats why i still slightly fear it. I think it is just anxiety exaggerting my little doubts. But when it happens i feel like its my own persontality trait but before my anxiety i never thought like this so i think it truly is anxiety. Also does else feel unable to get drunk with anxiety, becuase eversince i had my dp/dr breakdown i have never felt properly drunk when i drink even if if drink loads, i still don’t feel drunk ,it’s horrible, i think its because im so self aware and unrelaxed when i go out and drink but has anyone else experienced this way becuase i’v read on here that some would drink to make the feelings go away but when i got to party and drink etc i just dont get drunk? if paul or anyone else could give me an explanation on this, it would very helpful :)

  508. Raj Says:

    I have been battling anxiety for a while now. I went into a vicious cycle last year with over sensitivity to my ears and eyes. The anxiety went away after months and I spent a lot of money getting help for this. I still heard my ears ring a bit after but they didn’t bother me, my eyes were also sensitive to light but they didn’t bother me. This October my eye symptoms started scaring me and I became focused on them, when I read this site I began to feel better, lately my ears started ringing and I can’t get my focus off them, I really need some advice on what I can do to to ignore my ears. I know it’s my mind and the anxiety is causing this. I have called tons of therapist searched every web site ad finally I’m here. Paul please give me some advice on what I need to do to get over this?

  509. amie Says:

    In the past 4 years I’ve been through a ton. We moved to a new state, lost our house, started new jobs, filed bk, had a baby, breastfed, went back to work (and continued breastfeeding which was very stressful). Then in January I went on a low calorie diet. I lost 15 pounds in 1 month! I felt awesome. Then in february I started feeling weird. My head was dizzy and I felt like I had pressure in my head. I went to the urgent care. My heart rate was 158 bpm. They told me I had a sinus infection and told me to take sudafed so I did but got worse. Went to my primary doctor and he said I was severly dehydrate. So, I started drinking more water. I still.felt.weird and.started googling my.problems. one thing led to another and I convinced myself I had cancer. I started having the worst anxiety. I couldn’t sleep, concentrate, I got dp which was scary! I would get shots of adreniline every morning and it.scarred me. I cried all day not knowing shareware wrong. Went back to my doc and he said I had anxiety. Put me on an ssri and the first night I took it was the worst night of my life. I will not take.another ssri again. I changed docs and started seeing Dr. Judy Moore in midway UT. She is amazing. She did a full blood.workup including a cancer screening blood.test because she knew my worries. The blood test showed my.vitamin d was.super low and my cholesterol and some hormone levels were low. She put me on some vitamins and did some.therapy with me each week. With the help of my doctor and Paula book, I have been getting better. Through all this I lost my job and now I stress about how we are going to pay bills when unemployment runs out. I’m trying to tell myself not to worry about.it but its hard. Also, my heart doesn’t race but my biggest.symptom I have is I.constantly feel like my chest and arms are burning. It.feels like I have icy hot on the inside of my skin if that makes sense. Is it normal throughout recovery to.have some symptoms constantly for no
    Reason? My doc said yes but I wanted to see if anyone else experiences this as well…. Thanks!

  510. Nicholas Christelis Says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is the first time I’ve spoken about my anxiety. It built up over the past 3 years. All the searching and all the obsessing put me in a constant trough. However, I do not regret those times because it led me to Pauls book and blog.

    I understand that the only way forward for me is to not care about my symptoms. But. I would like to explain my symptoms. I SWEAT everywhere. Always. Every second. I actually think I’m sweating whilst writing this message. As you can imagine, its not as easy to be carefree about this symptom. Could I just get some reassurance as to how difficult it actually is to learn to not care about these symptoms?

    Thanks everyone and Paul!

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