My partner suffers with panic issues

We will talk about todays title further down, I just wanted to cover a few other things also.

Firstly I thought last month was a very good one for help and advice, thanks to Will/Scarlet and others that have contributed. I always set out to just build a community where people could just come and talk and find some support and advice. I know how important this is as I used to see a lady once a week through the NHS.  Her knowledge on anxiety was o.k, but it was a chance for me to talk without judgement, to bounce ideas of each other, to offload, just to talk with someone who understood. This was always a great help to me and I would walk out with a new sense of freedom and confidence and it was something I wanted for others to be able to do, as people know anxiety can be a very lonely place.

Also if anyone asks me anything on the blog and I don’t reply, then please don’t take offence. It is nothing personal, I just have days when I have plenty of time and am able to answer and other times when I have no time at all. I tend to read about 60% of posts and may miss many. Also rather than directing a question at someone I think you have a far better chance of a response if you just ask it generally as then anyone can pick it up.

To finish, I recently added some extra pages to the main site as people will know. But I am always open to new ides for pages that may help the majority. If anyone has any ideas for new pages/ideas, then please feel free to mention them.

On another subject I recently saw an advert in the local paper for a dog walker 3 times a week and put my name forward. The money just covers my petrol, but I have to say it is the best thing I ever did. I usually go for around a couple of hours around dinnertime and have some great views and moorland to walk over. Her favourite trick is running in and out of streams and then shaking herself down and soaking me through. I just read about someone who mentioned they adopted a dog and found it very helpful. I am not telling everyone to go out and buy a dog by any means, just that the exercise, the fresh air and the other focus to the day can really help, whatever you choose to do. Remember your focus tomorrow should not to be rid yourself of anxiety, it should be to get the shopping done, to visit that friend, to take the dog out, to get that job done. I work from home, but I always try and fill my day with living and a positive focus.

Anyway on to this weeks subject:

My partner of many years was with me through most of my dark days and was very supportive and non judgemental. Two weeks ago she seemed very quiet for a while and a bit distant. She then confided in me that she felt panicky at work and this had gone on for a few weeks, but she did not want to say anything and went to her doctor without telling me. She had this strange notion that if she burdened me with the way she was feeling, it may bring my old feelings back.

The history to this happening was that she is in a high pressure job as a truancy officer at school and recently staff have been cut and more and more pressure was put on her. I actually told her last year how important it was to let any pressure go over her head and to just explain that you can only do what you can do and if they want more work out of you, then they would have to employ someone else. She did not take heed of this advice and let it all get on top of her until the stress over flowed and she felt episodes of panic.

Thankfully she eventually told me how she was feeling and the first thing I did was sit her down and explain why she felt this way, what was happening and more than anything that these feelings were harmless and were just an overflow of stress. Just a simple explanation helped calm her down.

We then went out that day for a drive and a meal and she kept gasping for air, holding on to her seat and darting her eyes around. I stopped the car and said to her, ‘You are trying to push these feelings away and stop them coming, take your hand off the seat and allow the feelings to come, it is just the excess stress you have built up releasing itself, I know it feels over whelming, but allow it to come and it will pass’  This is what she did and then a minute later a big smile came across her face and she said ‘It has passed now’. I explained to her that in allowing it to come, then it had no fuel to feed on and it spent itself. When you tried to stop it coming and hold on to yourself, you looked at it with total fear and fear on fear is the fuel it needs.

The next step was to tell her to take some time out from work for a little while, just to have a mental and physical break. This was not running away from the situation, she just needed a time out. Also to come out on walks and bike rides with me and not sit at home feeling sorry for herself, it was relaxation with action, not just staying in bed or watching T.V all day.

She then had to go back into work to hand her note in and have a quick word with her boss. Before she went she felt full of dread and panicky, I explained it was just an association to the place were she first felt this way and the school was not the problem, it was the stress she had been under and this could have happened anywhere. The best thing to do then would be to tell her bosses what had caused her to feel this way and that on return this pressure must be taken out of the situation.

She is now near the end of her break from work and feeling far better. She has had some episodes of feeling panicky, one being when she was asked out last week with all her friends. I told her that this was brought on because she had to mix with people for the first time and she was worried that she may feel overwhelmed and make a fool of herself. She agreed this was the reason and however she felt she was going, she did go and felt on the whole fine.

There was no earth shattering advice, I just kept it simple and it stopped her falling into any cycle. I even explained that she should expect to feel panicky when she went back to the work for the first time through memory and that this episode would pass if she allowed it all to come without resistance and trust in what I had told her, that it was totally harmless and just excess adrenalin over flowing.

The quicker you can give people an explanation the better, as it takes so much fear out of the equation and stops them falling into cycles. I know I would have been saved years of suffering if I had been given the right advice and guidence. I would have still been through a breakdown, but would have never spent 10 years getting worse.

Just to finish on this story; My partner said she understood far more of what I went through and although she trusted in what I told her, that actual doing was sometimes much harder. I told her that our body is there to protect us and when we feel any feelings of panic it sends a message to our brain to fight or escape, when we need not do any, just let it spend itself. It is like a bungee jumper who knows he is safe and the rope will stop him falling, yet his mind is telling him there is danger and not to jump. Going towards feelings of panic and allowing yourself to feel it, without running for the nearest exit is the same, it goes against all instincts. You just have to trust that you will be fine.

I took a choice one day to never run away from how I was feeling again. The first few times were the hardest as I was so used to avoiding, the temptation to run away from myself was strong. But I thought to myself ‘What’s the worst that can happen here, I understand it is just adrenalin and that it cannot harm me?’ The only way to find out if I do cope is to go straight through it. There were a few tests, going on a ride at a theme park where they strapped me in and there was no escape, the usual feelings surfaced, but I just sat on them and then within a short period of time felt a sense of calm. Adrenalin came as my body was used to seeing danger in these situations, it gave me the choice to run or stay, it was saying

‘There seems danger here Paul’,

My response by staying and not escaping is;

‘No there is not, thanks anyway’

And then it reacts by saying

‘O.k I am not needed, off I go and enjoy yourself’.

This is where the sense of calm arrives, adrenalin can not be produced indefininetly, fact. So it always has to calm down, it always does, it will though calm far quicker when given the right siganls

I used to enter a quiz and if you won it you had to read it the week after. This was my ultimate nightmare and I always passed it on to others, until one week I said I would do it. The fear rose, but I went straight towards it and just read the quiz, within a few minutes the fear had subsided and i had a massive smile on my face. After that I knew I could and would cope and nothing did happen as long as I did not add fear on fear and just allowed it to come. Things just got easier and easier, but I had to put myself out there and trust in what I had learnt.

I am not trying to simplify things here, people who have suffered with panic issues for many years have far more memory of suffering, avoidence habits etc, but the core principles are the same.

My partner has been lucky and was given an explanation very quickly and was able to learn so much in such a short period of time and now states that she does not wake up now watching herself and hoping that the feelings don’t come, feeling totally at their mercy, like she did a few weeks ago. She knows if she allows them to come without objection, they will always die down. Just a simple explanation has been able to help her change her attitude towards these feelings and stop a cycle in it’s tracks.

Today’s post was a mixture of different things and a story at the end to show that we live in a far more stressful world with more pressures in life and that anxiety and panic can hit anyone. Hopefully in years to come with the growth of the internet, people will be able to find real help far sooner and not have to go through years of needless suffering.

Here’s hoping :-)

Also I have recently joined twitter, if anyone wants to follow me it’s anxietynomoreuk. I will keep people up to date with any new info, new posts and other bits and bobs.

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

Follow me on Twitter

396 Responses to “My partner suffers with panic issues”

  1. Dockies Says:

    Wow Paul your partner is really lucky to have someone who can understand her, i just posted a question in your previous post i said there that although i only suffered last month the sensations that my fear brings is something that you can’t just ignore especially if no one is telling you that everything will be alright and that it will soon pass. I lived alone and everyday as i try to analyze how i feel i fell deeper and deeper in what we call the vicious cycle of anxiety.

    I would also like to ask my questions here if you may (Anyone can answer :D). 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 tightning, 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 advicing 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 expirienced 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…

    -Dockies

  2. Dockies Says:

    I would also like to add that this past week i am doing better and i have longer hours of sleep, a day with almost no anxiety, more smile in my face, and i feel much better than last month. 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. But it is passing way quicker compared before. And when it passes i recover way more easier than before.

  3. Shortyroro Says:

    Hi Paul, thank you for the post. Your partner is very lucky to have someone who is knowledgeable in anxiety. I feel so alone most of the time because I don’t have anyone to talk to who knows how this all feels. I was hoping someone here can help me. I have had anxiety and DP for 5 months now and I was wondering if it is common to completely lose hope in yourself and feel like your entire existence is unreal or just a dream. My whole anxiety started because I started thinking I was stuck in a dream and from there it has led to panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and DP/DR. Lately, I have only really been dealing with DP/DR, but I feel like I have completely lost all hope in believing this is my life. At the beginning, I still felt hope that I would get better, but now I do not even believe that I am really here and that I am not living in a dream. Is this common? I hope so.

  4. Clara Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Very insightful….& your partner is lucky to have someone who has gone through it all and can understand exactly what its all about and can offer support and advice at the right time….

    As Shortyroro said I had a tough time mainly because I couldnt explain it to people and I even heard someone saying that I was giving some weird and lame excuses which hurt me ..But then we know what it is..So basically I stopped telling anyone about this and started working it out on my own accepting that I have these issues and accepting those bad days as well as there is no other option left..I feel really tired after a bad day…and I dont want to share it with anyone as its difficult to convince what I am going through…

    U were saying about the inclusion of new pages…It would be great if you could include a sub blog or a separate page on depression which comes along with anxiety as there is so much information here on how to handle Anxiety.

    I think it would be helpful if you could add up those suggestions on how to live life when u r under depression …ways and means to accept it…how to change our mindset into a more positive one..after going through anxiety it has depleted all our confidence and positivity to a large extend..So if u could blog ur insights on how to overcome depression and negative self talk it would be really greatful..above all to believe in ourselves without any self doubts left whatsoever..!!!

    Thanks Paul once again for this blogsite….

  5. Evelyn Says:

    hello everyone,
    i have not been on here for a while as i have been trying to get on with life as if i had no anxiety, i have been doing great, i have ups and downs, lows and highs, but the one thing that i truely believe is that its all i process of getting better and recovering, im having more good days than bad now! i still have d.p but not at the degree from when it first stared 8 months ago, it truley is just you being simply to aware of urself, because now when i notice becoming d.p or to self aware i stop and remind myself its just adrenaline and change what im doing and it calms down..wow has it gotten alot better, i have changed so much with my attitude not only towards anxiety but as a whole.. it is amazing how the knowledge here has truley had such a great impact in my life, i feel like my favorite book right now the “very hungry caterpiller”, im having so many transitions until i finally become a beautiful butterfly,

    @Shortyroro
    i totally understand what you are going through, i felt the same exact thing before, i would questioned my excistance, living in a dream, unreal, watching myself,how do we function, where do we come from,and of course everyones favorite “going crazy” ughhh i feel your fear and frustration but one thing i can advice you is that this blog is totally a life saver, and you will find amazing people on here with the best answers you will ever hear in your life, your feelings will go away just as soon, just as soon as you stop the fear and accept and go on with your day!! start living and stop thinking:) and remember you can not see a rainbow until you felt a storm!!!

    Hope everyone is doing great…

  6. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Clara says: U were saying about the inclusion of new pages…It would be great if you could include a sub blog or a separate page on depression which comes along with anxiety as there is so much information here on how to handle Anxiety.

    I think it would be helpful if you could add up those suggestions on how to live life when u r under depression …ways and means to accept it…how to change our mindset into a more positive one..after going through anxiety it has depleted all our confidence and positivity to a large extend..So if u could blog ur insights on how to overcome depression and negative self talk it would be really greatful..above all to believe in ourselves without any self doubts left whatsoever..!!!

    Thanks Paul once again for this blogsite….

    Clara I have an old outdated page on my site about anxiety and depression, but it needs totally updating and making into a main link. The next time I get around to changing the site I promise I will add a new page on this and we can do a blog post later on it also.

  7. Carly Says:

    What a truly wonderful post, I know how important it is to have an understanding partner and I’m so very lucky to have one too!

    I posted on here a couple of weeks ago (success stories) just before I had my 4th child and for the past 4 months now have been experiencing the thickest DR ( at least I think it is) all day which in turn causes the most horrendous fear that I will be stuck like this forever. Some days it feels like my brain has melted, I find it difficult to think, remember things, find things to say, execute or make decisions and any emotions are just numb. I have become fearful of sleeping, eating – just about everything! I feel like I’m going insane. I cannot even do the simplest of tasks some days and dealing with a newborn is very difficult let alone 3 others! I thank God my partner has been so understanding…

    I had a huge build up of stress just before Xmas last year where it seemed like I never took a breath, I was involved in a lot of things outside my home life (school commitee etc) we run our own business, moved house, I was looking after my older brother (cerebal palsy and depression) running a home, being pregnant and a people pleaser!! (My biggest downfall in hindsight!) I felt like I was plugged into an electrical socket all day and just couldn’t relax or wind down. On Xmas morning my youngest son had 2 febrile convulsions, I came down with swine flu and a chest infection and couldn’t get out of bed for 2 weeks. During this time I felt so low and apathetic it was awful. We dont have any family nearby so my partner had to go back to work and I had to carry on. It was at the end of Jan that I started to get episodes of DR where I just felt like I’m not really here, like I havent quite woken up from a dream….then one day it came and didn’t go. I had been feeling increasingly more crappy as the weeks went on. Tried telling my GP and midwife I was low in iron but they didnt listen, just tried to put me on AD’s – sorry no can do! I then went into hospital on the 18th April to have my 4th child wondering how the hell I was going to manage feeling SO damn awful with the DR. I then had complications where I lost 2 pints of blood and had to literally beg the docs to take bloods to confirm I was aenemic. Had a blood t/f as well as horrendous anxiety attacks every minute of every day! A physciatrist was called in, put me Peroxetine – wow! NEVER AGAIN! Awful reaction, twitches, sweats, horrendous nausea, and the icing on the cake was the hallucinations where my own face turned into some kind of demonic thing!!!!! Arrgghhh like something out of The Shining!! Told them where to stick their AD’s and was told by one of the docs that if I didnt take my medicine like a good girl, I would never get better….can you guess what I said!! Anyway fast forward a couple of weeks and I am in a horrible place being dragged from pillar to post by doctors, counsellors, physciatrists (bad spelling) who, I must add, have all requested to see ME not the other way round! and I know in my heart of hearts that they see me as a hopeless case because I refuse to take medication and they are so not helping! Some days I am so entrenched in the fear cycle I feel like there is only one way out…:o( but on a positive I have had a couple of days where I have actually been able to ‘let it go’ and get on with my day. It’s then almost as if my body says ‘right, if you thought it was getting easier, you’re SO wrong’ and the DR is 100 times worse the next day!! I just feel like I want someone to tell ME that it is anxiety not ME telling the docs etc! I keep referring to Pauls book because I find it helps in my worst moments, but then I feel that I’m not ‘accepting’…. I’m not really affected by any other symptoms now, it’s the DR that is the most frightening which it turn fires up the feelings of fear! I apologise for putting all this negativity on here after such a positive post. Maybe I’m just after confirmation that Yes, this is anxiety and it’s OK to feel like this…Crikey, I wonder what has become of me!!
    I want Will to come and live with me!!!! – his posts have been a huge comfort!! Saddo here has even printed some off to keep with me for inspiration!!
    I know, deep down, my attitude has to change in order for things to get better and it will, it’s just so sad that it is so common yet so misunderstood. I promise I will never post another negative post, I just feel I need to get it all out to someone who knows what it’s like!! As my midwife put it ‘I’ve broken my head and I mustn’t try and fix it’…!

    Much love to everyone
    xxxx

  8. Tracy Says:

    Evelyn,

    How strange I was just thinking about you and here you appear! I also took a break from the site and a good few weeks, some downs, but not too bad. The last few days I have had a spike again..My twitches are back, the mini panic..I am trying..really trying not to pay it any attention, but ahh so hard sometimes…I really likes this post and thanks Paul to you and your partner for sharing…The ups and down, how do we come to accept when it can seem that we are back to square one again?

  9. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Carly just remember how you are feeling now has no bearing on how you may feel next year, so be kind to yourself and hang on in there. The mind and body does not take well to an overload of stress and then what tends to happen is we add extra stress because of how we are feeling, we feel worse and then fight and get more distressed, a common cycle.

    Always feel free to come here and let it out though, this may surprise people, but in my recovery there were days when I would burst into tears. I still had good and bad days but had no one to talk about it with, so it came out in other ways.

    The D.P/D.R was certainly the last to go for me and I truly had to learn to just live with it, not with hate and dread but with resignation that this would be me for a while and I would waste no more time trying to fix it, time would do this, i truly had to step aside and accept that the world looked 1 dimensional, that I felt little or no emotion, spaced out. I just had to accept it as part of me, yes it was still frustrating, but I had decided to be in it for the long haul and just go with it, instead of resisting.

    Just reading your story you have been through so much Carly, so don’t expect too much too soon, you will be your old self again, your body and mind just need you to step back and allow it to fix itself. If there is anything you can change in your life to help take the pressure of you then do think about doing so.

    I also like the quote from the midwife, as she is right, the best way to fix a broken leg is to do nothing but allow it to fix itself, the mind and body is the same.

    I’ll email Will for you and tell him to pack his suitcase :-)

    Stay positive

    Paul

  10. MLK Says:

    Hi everyone! Thanks for the great post, Paul. I found it to be very helpful..yet again :)

    I needed some advice on the physical symptoms of anxiety. I fell asleep in the car wrong and it really hurt my neck. At first it was annoying and then I started worrying about it, and it seemed to get worse. It went away about a week after I had slept wrong, but only for a couple of days and now its back. The pain is definitely there and it hurts to the touch. I was wondering if anyone else has ever experienced neck soreness/pain as a symptom of anxiety. I really dont want to go to the doctor, but I have been worrying that it is something serious. I was battling with the mental symptoms of anxiety, and now it is the physical symptoms! Hope everyone is doing well!
    MLK

  11. Cori Says:

    Hi MLK,
    Yes, neck tension is one of the most annoying physical symptoms. I had that a lot, while in the darkest moments of my anxiety, but I also get it from everyday tension from work and such. When we are anxious, we tend to tighten up all of our muscles and hold our breath. Many people carry the stress in their neck, shoulders and upper back or in the lower back. I think this symptom, like the others requires relaxing the mind/body. I actually went and had a massage, which really helped with both of those things. Also, i have a beanbag thing, that you can heat up in the micro. You can wrap it around you neck and it helps to relieve some of that tension. If you fell asleep in the car, you probably just have a little crick and have exacerbated it with worry. :) Just try to relax, do some stretches, put some warm water on it in the shower and see about a massage. Main thing is just to accept it as a little pain from tension, that will also go away as your body and mind relax :) hope that helps.

  12. MLK Says:

    Thanks a lot Cori for the advice!! I appreciate it a lot!! With anxiety, its hard not to think that my neck pain could be something worse than what it really is. Thanks again!

  13. Cori Says:

    well, MLK, anxiety is “pain in the neck” at times. :) hang in there.

  14. Sara Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Hope everyone is doing well today! Thanks so much to everyone for the help they gave me on last month’s post!! I actually had a moment on Monday where things “clicked” for me. It started on Saturday when I went to my sister’s house for my nephew’s birthday. I had been there about 30 minutes when for some reason I felt the anxiety starting to build inside me. I just stayed there and felt it building and of course I felt awful and got pretty quiet. I finally felt like I just needed to get some fresh air or something and so I stepped outside by myself and sat down on their deck. My sister noticed and she came outside and asked me if I was ok. I immediately started crying and just told her that I was suffering from anxiety and just sat and talked to her about everything for awhile. She’s never suffered from anxiety but she was very understanding and supportive and tried to make suggestions and make me feel better. I then realized that I felt a little better. The crying and talking made me feel better for a bit.
    Fast forward to Monday and I all of the sudden realized that I felt better because I had released the adrenaline after crying and talking about it. I didn’t need to fear the anxiety – it just needed to be released. I felt so good that it finally clicked with me. Of course that didn’t make my anxiety go away and I’ve still had it plenty – bad thoughts and physical symptoms and all. But I know that it’s just anxiety and needs to be released. This brings me to today when I went to class (a class I’ve been to several times over the past couple weeks) and I felt anxiety building again and the overwhelming feelings and physical symptoms. I realized that it was just the anxiety and that it would release – the only problem was it didn’t release. It just kind of built up and then sat there – heavy and uncomfortable and overwhelming. I knew it needed to release but it just didn’t. I couldn’t start crying in class to help it release :) so I just sat there and tried my hardest to concentrate on the teacher but it was really hard. I felt the D.P. coming on a bit and I could not concentrate for the life of me. I just got so quiet and felt like there was a huge weight on top of me. I never left class – I stayed there and just felt all of the symptoms – but the adrenaline never released. I left class, drove home, and I’ve gone on with my day and it sort of subsided but never really released. I know that if it would just release I would feel relief – I wouldn’t feel good because I would still have the “after-effects” of it releasing, but I would at least feel relief from the build up of adrenaline. I know and understand that this is all anxiety – I really do – I just don’t know why it builds and doesn’t release. I realized that this happens to me quite a bit where it builds and never releases so I feel no relief for quite some time and I was just wondering if anyone has any tips to help me release the adrenaline? I know my goal shouldn’t be to make it go away, but it just builds and gets to that D.P. point where I can’t concentrate and feel like I can’t function. I’m not really afraid of it – I really don’t feel like I am – I just feel so awful and feel like I need to do something to help the adrenaline come out. I’ve been exercising for a few weeks now and doing things to help, but how do I handle a build up in the moment? Or is this something that will happen for awhile where it will build and even though I’m not afraid of it, it won’t release because of habit or something?
    Reading through Paul’s story about his partner and how she was in the car and feeling it build and then he told her to calm down and it would pass and it did – I don’t know why it doesn’t for me. It just builds and then sits there. I don’t add fear so it doesn’t get worse, but it doesn’t release either.
    Also, Paul or anyone else – has anyone ever tried meditation or yoga or anything? I’ve heard that both of those things help immensely with concentration, breathing, connecting the mind and body, etc. I’ve thought about trying one or both of them to see if they help, but I don’t want to do something that would be a “coping behavior” either. I truly want to get thru this the right way – I don’t want to just learn coping techniques.
    Anyway, sorry for the super long post.
    Carly – I read thru your post and I don’t know that I’m necessarily qualified to give advice but I just want to reassure you that it IS all anxiety that you are experiencing. It sounds like you have been through SO much and you have every reason to feel the way you do. Your mind and body are so tired and are just trying to protect themselves. I don’t know if anyone has suggested this to you before but Claire Weekes book “Hope And Help For Your Nerves” (I think that’s what it’s called – if not someone correct me :) ) is a great book and might be helpful in your situation. I read it back when anxiety was at the highest and worst for me – along with Paul’s book – and they both helped immensely. Please just remember that what you are feeling truly is anxiety and is completely normal in your circumstances considering all the stress you’ve dealt with. I will keep you in my prayers – hang in there!

  15. Evelyn Says:

    hi tracey:)
    im glad ur doing better, i think you and i are kinda in the middle stage of anxiety, where we know so much knowledge and the truth, buut yet we have days were we can get suckered in..lol. but as days go by, there are definitely more good days over powering the bad:) it just so amazing how a simple”thought” can ruin your life and simple change in “attitude” can make you life worth while, i know deep inside im not recovered, and its really not an issue, but mannn do i feel better:)

    MLK
    i just had that same exact symptom last week my neck was hurting sooo bad, i did yoga and went to get adjusted with my chiroprator, it feels alot better, its just anxiety:)

  16. Poonam Says:

    Hello to all

    My name is Poonam and I am an ex-sufferer of anxiety, thanks to Paul’s book. Well, today I visited this site after more than 1 year. All that I can advice you is that just do, ‘nothing,’ like Paul says, and you will do better slowly slowly. Take my example, i just did nothing to my anxiety and lived my life normall everyday, and today I can say that I am 100% cured. It was very difficult, but where there is a will, there is a way. I had setbacks after months in my recovery and i thought that I was back to square one, but no I learnt to float through it.

    Thanks Paul, Candie, Lisa, Scarlet, Kanchan and many others who helped me.

    May God bless you all and all those who are on the road to recovery. Have a nice day. By the way, a message for Candie, my baby will be 2 years nxt month and your baby boy also will be 2.

    I have an interview today. Pray for me. Bye

  17. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Poonam thanks for coming back and sharing, I actually can’t place the name, did you post under someone else? It must have been a while back with the names you mention that helped. anyway so glad you got there and good luck with the new baby.

    Sara says:Reading through Paul’s story about his partner and how she was in the car and feeling it build and then he told her to calm down and it would pass and it did – I don’t know why it doesn’t for me. It just builds and then sits there. I don’t add fear so it doesn’t get worse, but it doesn’t release either.

    Sara firstly I got to my partner very early before her nerves were allowed to go off at the slightest reaction, go bad as they say, this makes so much difference and she was able not to enter the ‘fear’ cycle. Her nerves arent great as they were put under a lot of stress and she is in the position she is in, but she has not piled more pressure and worry onto them by the way she is feeling, which is what she was just about to do.

    My own issues took far longer and my ‘fear’ would tend to just sit there, like something dreadful was going to happen, but never did. Secondly when I say it passed for her, I meant the rising fear, the one that she was creating by ‘fearing’ the feeling so much. She still felt a little anxious afterwards, but she was not at it’s mercy. I asked her last night how she was feeling and she said ‘A lot better, the mornings seem the worst and I do have the odd episode, but it does pass’. She needs more time, more space to let her nerves heal, but each time she has an episode and it passes, she creates a bit more understanding and a bit more insulation. She is not there yet by any means.

    Paul

  18. sally Says:

    Hi Sara
    I have had Generalised Anxiety Disorder most of my life but now I do get good days thanks to Claire Weekes and Paul if only I could have found them many years ago.I just wanted to tell you that I too get this mounting tension which doesn’t disperse and just hangs in there even though I am doing my very best to ignore it so you are not alone.The first book to read by Claire Weekes is Self Help For Your Nerves and then Hope and Help For Your Nerves I have the books and audio it is very comforting to hear her talk about anxiety and coming through you can get the books and audio from Amazon quite cheaply.Wishing everyone myself included calmer days ahead and thankyou Paul for this site.Sally

  19. Tracy Says:

    I need some advice on the setbacks..or “bad days”, Paul I read in your book that these were tough for you as you kept making the same mistakes, but then they became less as you started to not give them as much attention. I feel like I have had many of these I am coming on 2 years to my first really bad panic attack, but not even a year to finding your site. I still am allowing these to throw me..not into total dispare, but I could easily go there…some worse than others. I understand what you are saying, yet I find myself back to the questioning, what have I been doing different, am I working out too hard, looking internally at myself, back to having my anxiety radio on 24/7 and tuning in…It is mostly the physical symptoms that I allow to “get to me”.. I start to overthink myself to get out of this hell…the wrong way to go..Anyway.at these times do you think it is okay to come back on this site for extra support or is this a better time to try and stay away??

  20. Shortyroro Says:

    I was wondering if anyone wanted to be healing buddies? We could email each other when times get tough and be there to motivate each other. It just gets hard when nobody I am close to really knows what I am going through.

  21. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Tracy I am just going out now, I promise I will answer in full either tomorrow or monday with my own full story and what I had to go through and also what will hopefully help you.

    I don’t react to anyones struggles as I have heard them all before, I went through all of them myself. No one could have convinced me that I would ever recover in my darkest days, nobody. There was always that little hope in the background, but it was very thin. So many who came here a while back come on regular to now say how well they are doing. If I could drag their old posts up, you would see that person come here desperate and with very little hope, but they all did it in time.

    Paul

  22. Lisa P. Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I was reading through some of the new posts and wanted to share a little bit about my recovery (which I am still in the process of going through). Paul, what a blessing your anxiety has been. Yes, everyone, I said blessing. Paul has been able to help so many people and now his own wife, so I do believe that our anxiety is a blessing in disguise. There is a song by Laura Story called “Blessings” for anyone here that has faith in god, it’s a great song.
    I have been suffering with anxiety since my first panic attack in January 2010. I started out obsessing about my health after my best friend died of breast cancer and it was a downward spiral from there, anxiety over not sleeping, I couldn’t eat, what if this, what if that, I’m gonna die, I can’t live like this forever, everyone is going to leave me because I’m crazy. None of that happened. Instead I started researching anxiety. The more I learned the better I felt. I began walking every day no matter how bad I felt or how little sleep I had had. I adopted a dog that showed up at my house this January, his name is Kobi and he keeps me company all day. I also started looking at old picture albums and it kinda shocked my brain into remembering how I used to be and it would always make me feel better.
    I began to pray and read my bible, every time I would have that feeling of anxiety coming on I would quote the bible to myself. My favorite one is: Philippians 4: 6-7
    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of god, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
    I was surprised at how much it comforted me. Especially on those horrible mornings when I would wake too early and began to have what I like to call “creeper anxiety” where it isn’t there at your first waking thought but slowly creeps in to your mind. I hate that the most.
    Here is a little bit out of my journal from last year:
    “here are some of the things I accomplished last year even with anxiety:
    I talked to god way more than I ever had.
    I read the bible more than ever.
    I read 4 books, 2 fiction, 2 non fiction.
    I hiked more than ever, to beautiful places I’ve never seen.
    I took a trip to the ocean with my husband.
    I walked almost every day for at least 45 minutes.
    I went to church a lot more.
    I planted flowers and herbs in my garden.
    I rode horses with my daughter.
    I went to my 20 year class reunion.
    I adopted a dog.
    I started to work on my music again.
    I prayed for more people than I ever had before.
    I sang in church.
    I did charity work.
    And I smiled every day and always told the people in my life that I loved them.”

    After I wrote this, I couldn’t believe that I had done so many things while feeling so bad, and just that in itself made me feel better. I still have my ups and downs but more ups and believe me there where days when I would only lay on my couch trembling in fear. I had never known such a horrible place in my life. I KNOW that if I can get better, ANYONE can get better.
    Thank you everyone for being here and sharing, it is only through experience , acceptance,and time that we begin to heal. Everything that Paul says is truly the way to feeling better.
    Life is a beautiful adventure and not meant to be lived in fear!
    All my love and prayers are with you guys!
    Lisa P.

  23. Lisa Says:

    Paul your partner is especially lucky to have you as her support!
    Best of everything to the both of you!!!

  24. Lisa Says:

    Hi Shortyroro: Are ya still looking for a healing buddy? :) I am in the process of recovery, and im here for ya if you need someone to chat with!
    Let me know and ill give you my email addy.

  25. Shortyroro Says:

    Hi Lisa! Yes I would love a healing buddy! My email addy is rdudang@gmail.com. RIght now I am deeply stuck with DP/DR and a little bit of anxiety.

  26. Carly Says:

    Thank you so much Paul for taking the time to respond to my post. I have been wanting to get all that out for a while now but felt unable to because I just felt weak for not coping with it all. To go from someone who has done everything to someone who is barely able to function or feel love for her own children makes me so sad…

    There are alot of people in my area at the moment who are probably asking ‘who is this Paul David?’ as I have quoted him so many times!!! I’m sure my doctor thinks I have an imaginary friend! By the way Paul, Will still hasn’t arrived haha! :o)

    However, I have a glimmer of hope that in time I will recover (so very very hard through the intense DP/DR) and be a stronger person for it, I’ve just never been the most patient of people but that has to change. It has already taught me a few things about myself that I should have maybe addressed long ago so it’s not all bad :o) I have a few REALLY great friends who have been so understanding and of course my wonderful partner who I am hugely grateful too.

    Sara – thank you also for your words of comfort, I have just ordered a copy from Amazon! I promised myself I would only buy ONE book on the subject (Pauls) but two is not too bad is it!? lol. Take good care of yourself :o)

    Much love as always xxxx

  27. Carly Says:

    What am I doing with the emoticons!!!?? They’re supposed to be happy faces lol! xx

  28. Sara Says:

    Carly,
    You crack me up! Even with all that you are dealing with, you are still able to be positive and crack jokes… you’re an inspiration!
    I can totally relate to the feeling weak issue. That is one thing that has been very hard for me to deal with. I also felt like I was always the one who did everything and more and still held it all together – I was the “strong” one. Then anxiety hit and BAM – I felt so weak. The truth is we – and YOU – are STRONG! Reading thru your story I could see how much you are dealing with and you are still getting by each day – and cracking jokes no less!! You are extremely strong and are doing more than I think I could EVER do! Just keep your chin up and I know you will get through this!
    I think that book by Claire Weekes will help you – I have only read 2 books to help with the anxiety and it was hers and Pauls. Someone on this blog who went on to recover (can’t remember who exactly) recommended her book to me. Anyway, between those 2 books I got all the information and help I need and even though I still struggle, I have come a LONG way and know that I can get through this! And don’t forget that you can ALWAYS come back here to this blog for support, advice, comfort, etc. That’s what it’s here for and I know it’s still helping me.
    Take care!! :)

  29. Sara Says:

    Oh – and Lisa P. – thank you SO MUCH for that post! It brought tears to my eyes and made me feel so much better! I think we (or mostly I :) ) tend to forget how much I have still accomplished even with the highest of anxiety and how far I’ve come. Especially when I’m in the thick of anxiety, it’s so hard to see the positive instead of just all of the negative. You’ve actually inspired me to write down all the things I’ve done and accomplished even with anxiety. Thank you for such a positive, uplifting post! I wish you the best!

  30. Kristine Says:

    Hi everyone :)
    I’ve never been on here before, but oh can I relate to you all!
    I too have experienced almost every aspect of anxiety and mild panic.
    18 years of it to be exact on and off, out of the blue, many times for no apparent reason, but I now think I may see the light at the end of the tunnel. :)
    It all started with me being sick with a virus and my toddler splitting her head open. LOL sounds pretty lame doesn’t it, considering I had been through things 100 times worse than that and coped. I started to have the light headed feeling, the not with it feeling…you know what I mean. I was so scared that I couldn’t look after my kids, like I may faint when they were in the bath or something as I had no idea what was wrong with me. I had never had feelings like that ever in my life up until then. All the doctor said was I had anxiety and sent me away. If I had read Paul’s book back then, I believe I would never have gone through what I did and I would have known that my children were completely safe.
    I’ve read everything I can lay my eyes on, but you know it wasn’t until I found Paul’s site that something finally clicked.. that I really wasn’t alone in this. We tend to have ourselves think that we are the only one on the planet going through this hell, but we are not! It can happen to anyone who has tried to be strong for too long, for no matter what reason.

    In my case, I have kept it to myself all these years apart from the initial stages when my Mum and husband knew, but didn’t understand AT ALL. I went to doctor after doctor, test after test, and all I felt was that I was losing it. I was burnt out from not sleeping and a mind that just would not switch off. I couldn’t cry because I was so full of anxiety. I ended up depressed, didn’t take the usual care in my appearance, or care about anything and it was such an effort to get out of bed for several days. I think for about a month, I was like a zombie. I just needed to sleep, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t until I finally cracked and cried and cried, had my kids go to rellies for a few days, that a huge black cloud lifted.I had never sent my kids to stay with anyone in over 4 years, so that made me feel guilty. You see, I had it drummed into me that if we have kids, we should look after them and not expect others to. WRONG! Trying to be super Mum was the worst thing I could have done to myself. My nerves were frayed from my 2nd child being severe reflux. Babies are supposed to stop screaming when they are fed aren’t they? LOL, not this one! She screamed all day. I could get nothing done and I wouldn’t ask anyone for help. I felt useless! Looking back, I was sooo wrong expecting myself to be able to handle it all.
    I’ve been avoiding things I used to like doing all these years, just because of a fear that may never have even amounted to anything. Not anymore!
    Yes I have been self absorbed with my thoughts at the times of anxiety, but it stems from my care for others. A lot on my shoulders for many, many years to do with family illness and I guess when I’ve been suffering from my bouts of anxiety, I feel ‘how can I be there for all these others, if I can’t fix myself.’ I now know I have to stop thinking like that. I have to stop thinking the worst and stop worrying about things I have no control of. I need to accept that if I feel anxious about something, I have to stop trying to hide it from my grown up kids as it only feeds it and my heart races more.

    We tend to let anxiety make us feel weak, or a lesser person because of the stigma attached to it. If more people read Paul’s book, I’m sure this stigma would one day be gone.
    If we can all just think these are symptoms of something, just as Paul has compared to a cold, then the fear is taken out of the equation. That’s how I am thinking now. Time to get rid of negative and try to be positive.

    The words “It’s only a feeling..it’s only a release of adrenaline” are what I use when my heart beat goes like a rocket. Take notice of Paul’s words, they are the absolute truth and I only wish I had read his book 18 years ago.

    Remember..If you think you are going crazy you are not, because people who do have a problem think they are normal and the rest of the world are crazy!

    On the right track :)

  31. sally Says:

    I know I am getting better at handling my anxiety but I find it so perplexing that I can have a day where I can think yes its gone and feel really good and then bang the next day its back with a vengeance and then I know I am fighting to regain the normal feeling of the day before and I know that I should not fight as it makes it worse.Do any of you have these days?as when I can’t keep up the normal feeling of the day before I think I must be nuts.

  32. Trisha Says:

    Thanks paul, a great reminder of what we need to be doing. its good to keep that in our focus. well its a year and a half ago since i found your site. the difference in myself is huge. im nearly there in terms of recovery but no panic as i say to myself i have come this far and maybe it will take another while untill its totally gone. i feel like my old self. i suffered anxiety for nearly 6 years before realising that i could find support from your site. (someone was definately looking down on me that day i stumbled over your site). i recently got married and i walked up the aisle with such confidence. had anyone told me that a few years ago i would have broke out in a sweat. no nerves in site on he day and it felt fantastic. i really see the difference in putting your advice to practice. and i say to anyone really suffering, it can feel like hell and sometimes its really really hard to take the advice and do what Paul sayas because it feels scary but it really really works. its the only thing that worked for me after years. i had been to a councellor who helped me with sorting out some issues that brought on the stress that brought on the anxiety and that was great but she didn;’t really give me much guidance around the anxiety. i since have recommened this site and the book to her for her clients. Dont get me wrong, there is a few seconds in the mornings some times where i have two choices , i start analizing how my day is going to be or i just get up and get on with it. i find days were im tired from work etc the most challenging only at times, thats where the possibility of watching myself maybe higher. But the sense of freedom now to just live my life and enjoy every day without feeling scared or anxious is amazing. I find the biggest thing is that im far more fexible like i used to be years ago. i no longer have to plan things in and see how i will feel on the day or worry about events or appointments coming up, i just deal with them on the day. i say yes to things more now if im invited to social occasions, new hobbies etc because i dont have to think oh, how will i feel in a weeks time if i have to go there. now if i have a day off, and a friend rings at the last min and meet or do lunch i just go with it, because i used to be so focused on making sure i was relaxed and feeling i would be taking too much on and then i might be anxious. now im more energised around being busy and it feels more like me to be out being busy then staying in doors preventing myself from doing too much incase it all was too much. Im living my life now like i used to. Thanks Paul. There are things im still working on but to see and feel such improvement is wonderfull. T

  33. Trisha Says:

    Hi Sally, yes that happens it doesn;t all go away over night unfortunetly. I have had fantastic months then something might bring on the anxiety like im really tired so i start analizing how im feeling and there ya go your back into the cycle for another week and its very disheartening. what i do is just say accept its not a good day….not every day will feel the same. and keep busy and just go about your day regardless and you will see over the next few days how it subsides again. this will happen on and off and is to be expected. dont get disheatened. what i say to myself sometimes is…..this is just anxiety, i felt wonderfull all month and i will feel wonderfull again, ” this too shall pass” and i keep going and yes it does. what i have come to accept is that i wont feel the same every day, sometimes i will feel tired and in bad form, like everyone does. its just not to analize that its just normal. good luck T

  34. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Hi Everybody – I could really use some support. Going through all this anxiety/depression over the last year, I turned to food as a comfort and put weight on. Anyway, it appears as if my blood pressure is high. Whenever I go to the doctor, I get super anxious and of course my BP goes sky high. This happened yesterday. He put me on this 24 hour blood pressure monitor and I have been a nervous wreck the whole time. I know my BP has been sky rocketing the whole time. I have to go back later this morning for results and can’t calm myself down. I have been trying deep breathing and I know I’m not accepting the whole situation, which of course, makes it worse. :( Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  35. Trish Says:

    Michelle hi, sorry to hear about your BP worries. it sounds like you need to distract yourself from the monitor, can you go out for a walk or busy yourself with something. sure we all only need to think about anxiety and our heart starts to beat faster. try to do something to take your mind off it, you could always explain to the GP that you feel nervous and it maybe upping your BP im sure they see that all the time. anytime i get mine checked i feel its impossible to not hear your heart beating faster. go out for a stoll, read the paper, do some normal every day things, try not to worry, just think, …they give them monitors out all the time your focusing on it . im sure its hard. do something nice for youself and the tme will fly.

  36. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Trisha that’s a great story and I love the way you take things day by day and don’t look for perfection, as you say there are things your still working on, but improvements and change have given you so much more freedom to enjoy your life, that was exactly how it went for me. I also love this little section below when you say you don’t start the whole questioning, you just go, sometimes that can take courage and a little trust, so a pat on the back for you there……

    Trisha Says:

    Dont get me wrong, there is a few seconds in the mornings some times where i have two choices , i start analizing how my day is going to be or i just get up and get on with it. i find days were im tired from work etc the most challenging only at times, thats where the possibility of watching myself maybe higher. But the sense of freedom now to just live my life and enjoy every day without feeling scared or anxious is amazing. I find the biggest thing is that im far more fexible like i used to be years ago. i no longer have to plan things in and see how i will feel on the day or worry about events or appointments coming up, i just deal with them on the day. i say yes to things more now if im invited to social occasions, new hobbies etc because i dont have to think oh, how will i feel in a weeks time if i have to go there. now if i have a day off, and a friend rings at the last min and meet or do lunch i just go with it, because i used to be so focused on making sure i was relaxed and feeling i would be taking too much on and then i might be anxious.

    All the above tells me you truly have the message, as you say it can take time for the penny to drop, but you certainly have it and take the correct choices to give you your life back, your attitude and courage is an inspiration.

    Good luck

    Paul

  37. Cori Says:

    Hi Everyone. Having a bit of a hard week, this week. I posted a few weeks back, but it is no longer in the active blog. Can anyone offer some advice about this?
    I just got Paul, books and have started to read it. I read the bit about scary thoughts, but was wondering what people’s experience has been 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!

  38. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Hi Cori – You are so on the right track! Sounds like you are doing awesomely! It is just a process and takes time, but if you keep doing what you’re doing, at some point, even if a thought comes, it just won’t matter anymore. I’ve been back and forth with this, too. Keep accepting. That is the way…with all of this. (I think I just answered my own question above. :) )

  39. Cori Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Thank you for the encouraging words. It is nice to be encouraged, cause anxiety feels lonely. I just read your post up there. I understand how you must be feeling…is there anything you can do to try and take your mind off of it? Can you go for a walk outside? Distraction can be very very helpful. Sending you strength and calm…

    I will keep doing what I am doing. I guess I just get frustrated because it seems scary that the thoughts continue to come, even though so much else has gone away. It scares me because I always thought they were supposed to go away, when your body/adrenaline calms. So, then, when I have them, I have moments of…”oh no, what if this isn’t anxiety, but something else”? I know it sounds a little nutty. But, I guess this mode of thinking is what anxiety does and it very much becomes a habit. I think with the thoughts, it is the memory of them and the fear of them that keeps them alive in my mind. I will keep accepting and moving on about my day. That is one thing I FINALLY did after reading the posts on this site…i started to force myself to do the things I normally do and that seemed to start the healing process. Also, my therapist is great and she has been through the EXACT same thing, so can really relate. Believe it or not, my psychiatrist was also fantastic and basically refused to put my on meds because that would just “medicate my symptoms” instead of working through it. How often does that happen? Lucky to have had a lot of good direction. :)

  40. Trish Says:

    Thanks Paul. Appreciate the response. Hope your partner is doing well. T

  41. Lisa Says:

    Hey Lisa P.
    Your story is very touching. God bless you and your family!

  42. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Hi Cori – Yes, the scary thoughts have been the worst part of anxiety for me, too. I do think it is the memory of them that keeps them alive. I’ve seen other people talk about the fact that this seems to be the last thing to go for them as well. It sounds like you are on the right track. Just keep trusting the process and before you know it, you will be full recovered. Have a great weekend!

  43. Carly Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I know I promised that I would never post another negative post but I have been struggling so much the past two days. The fear of the DR and that I’ll be like this forever is just so horrible. The self awareness is driving me mad, I go about my day or rather drag myself about my day and I cannot get away from the thoughts that this will never end which in turn causes me to feel the fear rising and this is the fuel. It’s so hard to ignore the DR as it affects every single second of the day as it is there permanently and makes me feel so confused and unable to even think! I am still recovering from a c-section so it’s difficult to get up and about as much as I would like and this is turn allows me to sit and think

    I’m at a stage where EVERYTHING I do goes back to this hideous feeling. Arrgghh!! Even if the phone rings or I look at a newspaper or even listen to music I wonder in the back of my mind if there is something hidden or some secret code in there that will cure this thing and I’ve missed it…argghh I’m so badly in the cycle this is rubbish! I’m even beginning to question whether I did actually enjoy anything before this hit me as I cant seem to think of anything that I like. I bought a book the other day but I have been so focused on the DR feeling that I cant even take the text in! There is a part in Pauls book that I read that says one of the sufferers has been like this for 15 years!!! Double ARRGGHH!!!!! I sometimes think I could cope with all the other symptoms but this is the scariest of all….so sorry guys for the maudlin post. Self pity has turned up at my house and wont bloody leave!

    Right, I’m going out for a bloody walk!

    I sincerely hope everyone else is having a better day xxxxx

  44. sally Says:

    Hi Trisha
    Thanks for the encouragement its so hard some days sallyxx

  45. Cori Says:

    Carly,
    Well, in that you have already begun to educate yourself, you have already begun the healing process…even if it doesn’t feel like it. I had to force myself to just go about my day. yes, i felt weird. really weird, but i just did the things i remembered that i liked to do. after practicing this for a while, the joy did come back, slowly but surely. try your best to go about your day. live along side it. i am working on it, too. i am learning that it is a process. you will make it, you will! i believe we all will.

  46. Kristine Says:

    Carly, Lisa P, Paul and all,
    I found that if I write down my thoughts, it can help get things out of my mind. I don’t mean on a blog, just with pen and paper, then throw it out with the rubbish, if you wish. I’ve been doing this for years and it truly can help break that cycle.
    I agree with Lisa P about writing down the good thoughts and what you may have accomplished, no matter how small.
    Carly, the first on your list should be that you are a caring person… with a big smiley face added at the end. That in itself is something to be proud of :)
    You will get past this. It IS only a feeling. Once you can absorb Paul’s words, you will be on the way to being your old self again and enjoying all the simple things in life that make you happy.

    Lisa P..My mornings when I have these bouts of anxiety have always been the same, “creeping” feeling also and you explain it exactly how it affects me. I wake up feeling totally fine, but because I am waking up so early, when it’s pitch black, and there’s not much to do in the dark, I then sneak around our house trying to not make a noise.
    I now have a torch and I do anything that will occupy my mind at these times… This is when I write down my thoughts and do anything from sorting out photos, to colouring in a kids colouring book lol..whatever there is to promote happy thoughts, or better still NO thoughts. I have no idea why I even care though, as when everyone else is up, they just stomp around like elephants, without a care in the world. :)

    I have come a long way since my anxiety first started, and I still have days where I feel exactly how you are all feeling, but the last light has finally been turned on for me in a very long tunnel, as I have recently learnt from Paul.. “We have to change our way of thinking.” Those words coming from someone who knows exactly how we are feeling is going to make all the difference. As he has been through it, we know he understands and they aren’t just empty words.

    When we feel like this, it is so difficult to absorb anything we hear or read. I too have to go over and over things, as my concentration is shocking at times. I’m going to read Paul’s book again and highlight the key points, as I find his words very reassuring.

    I know this is going to take time with me, but after a couple of weeks, I already know this is what I’ve been needing to hear.

    I totally agree with Paul about getting caught up in looking up and gathering too much information.
    I also know that once you find the right words/information, it is like a huge weight is lifted and it is the beginning of understanding.
    I guess most of us may have to go through this process, as it is part of trying to unravel the mystery of anxiety.
    Unfortunately there isn’t a billboard with Paul’s site jumping out at us when we first have these feelings. If only there was!
    Cheers! :)

  47. Lisa P. Says:

    Hi again everyone,
    I’ve been reading through everyone’s posts and wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented on mine. It feels good to know that some of my misery has not been in vain and can help someone else through their hard time.
    I just found out a few days ago that my grandma has cancer and is dying. She has less than 2 months they think. My anxiety has been higher but I am doing ok, living alongside it as I know I must. I have always been very close with her and it will be a big loss but dying is part of living right? It will be so hard to say goodbye to her.
    What I’ve been struggling with lately is this weird feeling of unreality, hard to explain, but I’ll be going along with my day and out of the blue nothing looks the same, even the sunlight streaming in seems different and I don’t like it at all, it is like I’m looking at life through someone else’s eyes. This is kind of a new one for me, I had this same feeling when I was at the height of my anxiety and especially my depression but lately it has been coming on again only I don’t really feel like I’m that anxious or depressed when it happens. Is this a stage in recovery? Other than that I’m doing much better but I still think about my anxiety every day. I suppose this is because what I’ve/we’ve been through is so traumatic and scary and it just takes time for our minds to leave it. I guess it’s kind of like what Cori is talking about with the scary thoughts, I’m just not letting them scare me as much as I used to but it is such a weird feeling, like the sky doesn’t look the same or my house. Wow. I don’t even know how to explain it, I’m hoping I don’t have to and that you will all know what I’m talking about.
    Sara, Kristine, Lisa, Cori, Carli and everyone. I hope you are all feeling better and better. I think about you all as I go through my day and always hope and pray for peace for you all. Peace. The greatest gift one could ask for in my opinion.
    Thanks for listening.
    Lisa P.

  48. jakki Says:

    hi all….my first ever post….brace yourselves lol. i started suffering panic and anxiety in october 2010 after working longer and longer hours with very little reward. i was put on prozac and over the next 5 weeks lost 2 stone in weight,never slept,never ate,and rarely left my bedroom.after ordering and reading pauls fantastic booki stopped the meds. after 2 weeks i was up and about,walking,shoping and seeing friends again…not always easy but did it all the same. now im 99% better and look back on my anxiety often with amusement as some of the symptoms did cause me and my daughter some laughs, for example i remember her making me tomato soup when i was at my worst and i shook soooooo much when trying to eat it that my bedroom looked like the film set of chainsaw massacre lol. also the time i was in the bath and because of the shaking it was as if i was in a jacussi !!!! have loved reading everyones posts over the past 7 months they have helped immensely and i thank each and everyone of you. at my worst i couldnt see a way out but now??? well lets just say….LIFE IS GREAT. blessings to all xxx

  49. Cori Says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Yes, I think it IS part of recovery. As you said, I think it has been very scary for all of us and because our systems were so ramped up, recovery takes time. That scares me too, sometimes, the fact that I don’t feel all that anxious, yet the thoughts stick. I guess that is the same for you and the unreality bit. You end up wondering why that is happening, when you don’t have the same anxiety as you once did. But, I guess we can’t expect for it all to go away, magically. We have to be patient with the process. In all of the books I have read (claire weekes and this site), it is always mentioned that we have to “let time pass”. Easier said than done…it feels frustrating at times, doesn’t it? We have come soooo far…all we can do is keep on that track and let time go on, I think. Eventually, it will go away, completely. The thoughts and feelings will become less and less powerful and the memories will fade.

    I know how you feel in regards to your grandma. I am sorry that you have to face this, now. My grandma just passed a few months ago. She had the same diagnosis and lived only three months. It happened at the height of my anxiety and was and is very challenging. Just hang in there. All we can do is continue to live and be there to support those, who are in the final stages of life. My heart goes out to you. Sending you and everyone strength and peace…you are right, Lisa, that is the greatest gift.

  50. Evelyn Says:

    hi lisa P, :)
    I KNOW EXACTLY, what your trying to describe!! before i start im sorry for your grandmother.. i haave been dealing with that feeling as well, its the worst feeling ever, before i came across pauls site, i really thought i was loosing my mind!!! my house looked weird, my kids and husband, the outside world like a movie, like i was inside my body watching like a robot, i would even start no question is that my husband am i real?? ughhh it has gotten alottt better, it still comes full force at times, but it doesnt linger very long as i ignore it and let it take its course!! before i would questioned every bit of feeling there is to it, but now i dont let it stop me from living, i know one day it will go, once and for all because of this site, and the amazing people one here, so my advice lisa is to let it be there, and dont stop living, its just a feeling, and sensation that will leave just as soon as you live alongside it:)

    hope this helps

  51. Clara Says:

    Hi everyone,

    After going through anxiety for a long time I am at a phase where each and every thought which I percieve has some connection with how I feel..Dont know exactly how this happens as I feel tired after a while for no reason…
    Somewhere something is wrong but cant say exactly what…as in I’m so confused as to what is right and what is wrong…as in thoughts appears in random and in a flow may be regarding a person or an event which may not be true….but then my decisions or perception about it follows after the thought..Then I become doubtful as to why I thought like that? is it a right thought or not?
    And when in a conversation I cant come up with anything…I dont feel any panic or anxiety then but more or less a blank state of mind which is in tune with only my thoughts and feelings..am not able to free myself of it…

    Basicallly I have come out of all major symptoms but these continuos thought flow which gets distorted if i dont keep a check on it is taking me for a ride..not able to totally chuck them off as silly or insane as its relating to day to day life…
    cant take a decision or to the least think for myself…! nothing comes natural to me..i have to think each time is it a right thought? i feel if i dont check them i get carried away with it…
    how can i overcome this? has anyone experienced this?

  52. Clara Says:

    Hi Paul or anyone

    one of the issues of anxiety is not being able to identify our true emotions….for me as Im stuck with the hall of mirrors illusion as in checking on my every move and thought and mood…its natural to be extra aware of my mood…so I’m mostly in a frustrating mode not able to think or do anything freely and this frustration or anger reflects on my interaction with others which shouldnt happen so..
    how could I break this habit of being so aware of myself and my every actions…?

  53. KM Says:

    Hi Clara,
    I struggle with the same symptom, its not anywhere near as bad as it was, but I still have days where i feel very overwhelmed and consumed by it, and on the days that I’m not as bad I wonder where its gone, and what I’m doing differently, but then when i’m crap again I wonder whats brought it all on again. Its a very frustrating cycle and I totally understand it. I notice that its not as bad when i’m focused on other things and just getting on with my day as Paul recommends, this is not always easy, actually, I dont ever think I’ve felt, “oh this has been easier”, its more that I”m able to get on with my day without feeling so distressed by it, but its always there. I’ve had my house occupied by family members over the past week so not sure if being busy with them has helped or whether I’m just getting through it, I try to ride out the bad days and be grateful for the better ones, notice I day better and not good, as I dont think i’m at that stage, but I defiantly have moments of feeling much better, so I figure i must be on the right track. The last episode of anxiety I had i had that awful unreal feeling, I dont have that this time I think because I dont fear it, just that intense introspection and self monitoring of thoughts, like being locked in your own mind. But like I said I feel its improving to some degree, hope it does for you Clara, and i’ve done nothing special just got on with my life :)

  54. Steveo Says:

    Just a quick question from me hopefully.

    My anxiety has decreased drastically and I know that I am VERY VERY lucky to be able to say this.

    However, at the moment it feels like i’m a bit depressed and i’m wondering how best to go about getting through it.

    I’m still ‘checking in’ every day but a hell of a lot less.

    Looking for any guidance from those who have recovered?

    Thanks!

  55. Robbie Says:

    Hi Clara,

    Like KM, I also struggle with the constant introspection. I don’t really have any of the physical symptoms of anxiety anymore, and I think the hall of mirrors part is the last thing that needs to go. This is basically a habit your mind has gotten in to as it was so accustomed to checking in on how you were feeling when you were in the throws of anxiety. The best way I’ve found to get past this is to stay busy (as KM says). I find that if I’m outwardly focused on something other than me, then I tend to think about myself less, and able to go on with my daily life and interactions as well. Again, like KM says, nothing special, I just got on with my life.

    Steveo – for me the fact that I contanstly check in on myself makes me a little depressed as I start to think of what I’ve been through, how am I feeling, will I be like this forever, what if it comes back, etc., etc. Obviously, that type of thought process would make someone depressed! It also doesn’t help that I have a fear of becomuing majorly depressed, so when I feel a little down or tired, I freak out because I think I’m becoming depressed. I really don’t know why I have that fear, but it’s something axiety dreamed up for me. Anyway, that last little bit probably didn’t answer your question :) but it’s OK to feel a little down as you’ve been through a lot. Paul has a good article on this site about depression and anxiety you should take a moment to read. For me, the best way to get through it is the same as with anxiety – don’t let your moods or how you feel keep you from living your life. Just continue to live your life and you’ll find that you’re feelings will come back into a state of normalcy – it just takes time.

  56. Steveo Says:

    Thanks Robbie – pretty similiar positions then I think.

    I suppose the big question for the likes of you and I is did Paul/Will/Patrick/Scarlet etc all go through this same process?

    Assumingly they did and are now 100% back to how they were before, if not better!

    We would have taken our current position any day 12 months ago, but we still obviously strive to be back to ourselves!

  57. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    I had to start a medication for high blood pressure over the weekend. And the first two days were okay, but today I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin. I am terrible when having to take a new medicine…always worrying that I am going to feel something awful. Called the doctor this morning and the lady I talked to didn’t seem concerned. I think she thought it was my anxiety. She is supposed to call back as the doctor has to review my blood work they took last week. I am having an awful time not focusing on how I’m feeling and even if it has something to do with the medication, I know I’m making it worse by focusing on it and telling myself I feel awful and waiting for something else even more awful to happen. I know I need to continue to focus outward and stop worrying about what I’m feeling, but having a hard time doing that. Please some supportive words of encouragement would be wonderful! Thanks.

  58. Cori Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    I would guess it is normal to feel a bit nervous about starting a new medication. I know I would be, with or without this heightened anxiety/awareness. This medication is designed to help you, though…just have faith that this is the goal and that your bp will become more stable with it.
    Try to do some good things for yourself, today. In my darkest of hours, a good girlfriend used to ask me “What would you tell five year old, Cori?” This always reminded me to be good to myself and to tell myself that everything will be alright.
    Try going for a walk. Look at the beautiful things around you. Bake something delicious! Create something. Do something to pull your mind away. The chatter will go on, but just carry on about your business.
    You are going to be just fine. You really really will.

  59. Steveo Says:

    Michelle

    I would suggest that it is merely your anxiety tricking you and ‘waiting’ for something to happen and nothing is going to.

    If you put it under the umbrella of anxiety that should help. All medication will take a while to settle down, so give it a little time and then review it.

    Worrying will certainly not do your BP any good.

    It will settle soon :-)

  60. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Cori – Your kindness brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much! You’re right about what would I say to 5-year-old Michelle. I am so good at being compassionate to others and frightening myself!

    Now the good news is that I heard from my doctor and all my blood work came back fabulous! And the medication I am taking would not make me feel jittery so it is just me doing it to myself and not trusting the process and myself. So back on track. One of these days, I will be able to get through a situation like this just fine. I know it and believe it.

    And the other good news is that this has been a wakeup call for me. I am going to eat more healthy and exercise regularly and get back to looking and feeling good. Thanks, Cori!

  61. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Steveo – Thank you so much as well! You are right. The worrying does not help and sometimes I don’t know why I can’t stop it. I’ve learned to do pretty well with most things, but there are a few things I have phobias about and one area is medical, i.e. medicines, doctors, hospitals, etc. SO I need to do what we do with generalized anxiety and that is to put any of the symptoms under the anxiety umbrella and just accept and move on through my day. I wasn’t accepting for sure this morning. But I’m settling down, little by little, and feeling my normal self coming back. Thanks again and blessings for a wonderful day!

  62. Lisa P. Says:

    Evelyn,
    Thank you! Yes, it helps ALOT. Just knowing that I don’t have to explain it and that I’m not alone is such a good feeling. I’m having a bit of a hard day today. I don’t know if weather affects anyone else on here but it’s grey and rainy, it’s Monday, I didn’t sleep well last night, and my grandma being so sick, is all adding to my dark mood today. BUT, I did my walk and will now go on with my day. The sleeping thing is what’s getting me today but what can one do but to try again tonight. I felt like I was in a half asleep half awake stage all night, I probably got more than I thought but I’m tired today.Do you ever get back to regular sleep? Ok, enough feeling sorry for myself.
    Michelle, I’m glad you’re feeling better. I so know how it feels to stress over medical stuff.
    Have a good day everyone!
    Lisa P.

  63. natalie Says:

    hi clara
    hope today your mind is feeling a a little clearer, i fully understand what you are all saying and i would say that the thoughts are confusing and frustrating because some days they seem to have a life of there own, and i don’t know about you but mine also can be somewhat paranoid in that i read what someone says the wrong way or start to tell myself people avoid me etc .. but than somedays i can see it for what it is .. anxiety and a very very tired mind .. brought on from all the worry and panic in the past the way i deal with it is to tell myself it will pass just another phase and then remember how far i have come.. think of it as if your mind is like a computer and as with a computers it has its favorite sites (thoughts) because you thought about something so much before it keeps it as a “favorite” so it will keep popping up if you then have a reaction to it .. the mind believes there is danger and so keeps running the program, where as if you don’t react and leave it keeping yourself busy and letting the thoughts run through then it is no longer “your favorite” and so it clears the history.. hope that makes sense its no wonder my brain is tired with all that deep thought eh .. lol.. all i know is that i have got better even on my bad days they are no where near what they used to be like.. its a long and hard progress for some of us but its progress and in a way we will appreciate life as never before when it all comes together .. so take it a day at a time .. really enjoy the good days make the most of them and ride the bad .. surround yourself with love and focus on what you have .. it will all be ok in the end !!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. Wally Says:

    I’m still having problems with sleep, but my anxiety is getting better. My sleep is broken every night, meaning I wake up several times during the night. This has been going on for 11+ months now.

    Has anyone had long term sleep problems? Does it get better?

    Wally

  65. Lisa Says:

    Lisa P:
    Thank you for thinking of me your really sweet. I think about everyone here too and always hope to see a positive post that someone is feeling better.I am doing alright , taking it day by day. The dp/dr is almost gone completley. I feel pretty much normal except for the odd moment of strangeness but I dont give it any thought anymore I just keep going. My anxiety levels are pretty low I have come far. The one thing i feel now is this deep sadness, this is also because my grandpa is very ill.. we take it day by day. I just pray he does not suffer and can have peace.
    I will keep all of you guys in my prayers !

  66. Lisa P. Says:

    Lisa,
    I’m so sorry about your grandpa. I know how hard it is. My grandpa died in 2008. He was my favorite person in the world, we were very close. Now my grandma is sick and in the process of dying. I’ve been feeling better for awhile now but today has been harder. I understand the moments of strangeness perfectly and the deep sadness as well. I will pray for comfort and peace for your grandpa and you.
    Wally, I’ve been struggling with sleep for over a year now. Some nights are better. I do take something to sleep almost every night. I have ambien but try not to do that very often. Mostly just a over the counter sleep aid which helps sometimes but last night I had very broken sleep as well and just felt like I never went into a deep sleep. But I’m not too worried and I’m going to get off of the sleep aids some day. Your body WILL sleep eventually, it just does. I know how it feels though and the worry that you won’t sleep. I always used to think “if I don’t sleep, I can’t work, or function properly” and I’d freak out, I don’t do that now, I just go with it and say “oh well, so I slept bad last night, no big deal, I’ll sleep better tonight.” Hang in there, it does get better. Steveo was talking about how we would have taken our current position 12 months ago and that is definitely me. I wish you well and hope that you sleep good tonight.
    Lisa P.

  67. Lisa Says:

    Lisa P,
    Grandparents are so special. Thank you for your kind words.
    I am sorry to hear about your loss and for the hurt that you experiencing now for your grandma, may she have a peaceful exit from this world to the next.

    Wally I struggled with sleep for a long while too, it does get easier. I don’t know if you have ever tried acupuncture but it really helped me with anxiety and sleep.The great thing was after my first session I felt this deep relaxation and started sleeping better from that day on. I also try to exercise and get outdoors for a nice walk , the fresh air always makes me sleepy.Even reading or doing something that requires concentration seems to relax me before bed.

  68. Robbie Says:

    For anyone,

    I have felt really well for well over a month, but all of a sudden last night I felt a little down – not really depressed, but just a little “blah.” I woke up around 2:00 AM, afraid i was becomming depressed (my greatest fear for some weird reason). I thought I would have a rough day today, but actually had a great day. I went to work, was very productive. Met my wife and children for dinner. I coach my childrens’ baseball team and we had practice and had a lot of fun. But, as soon as I came home, I started feeling shaky and then it started – the adenaline rush, the sweat on my brow, upset stomach – anxiety. Where the heck did this all come from? I hate this crap!! Sorry – I just needed to vent a little.

    It seems like I’m in some sort of weird pattern. I’ll feel great for 4-6 weeks and then BAM! I have a day or two of bad anxiety for no apparent reason. No stressors I can think of, everything is great in my personal and professional life, so I don’t really know why this happens. It’s nothing that really keeps me from doing what I want and need to do, but it is very frustrating and annoying. I then begin to think that I’m going to have to deal with this my whole life.

    I’m probably going to end up providing an answer to my issue here, but without gettting too psycho-analytical, I think my protective side is trying to protect me from some “danger” that anxiety has created for me and every once in a while it wants to be heard, so it manifests itself in the form of anxiety. I’m sure anyone – whether they have anxiety or not – would tell you that they would give anything to have only 1 or 2 bad days a month, but when you’ve experienced anxiety, it seems we tend to over-dramatize everything, which makes it seem worse than it actually is.

    Anyway – any feedback anyone could give me on why I begin to feel this way and how to get past it would be most helpful.

    Thanks!

  69. Evelyn Says:

    Hi Lisa P.
    i remember in the begining when my anxiety started, i use to get about 5 min os sleep, i had the weirdess dreams about meaningless things that made no sense, i would question each dream like a private investigator..so instead of feeling anxious every night about will i ever sleep i did things to get me drowsey, like read, relaxing tapes that played natural things like, ocean, birds chirping etc. or watch t.v, it started with couple of hours, to better, days. until eventully, i didnt need my lil method, lol. now i can say i sleep 75% not the full 100%, but hey who does now and days!

    hope this helps..
    p.s dont try to fight it, evenyually it will get better, i know easier said that done, but i promise it will:)

  70. Clara Says:

    Hi KM, Robbie and Natalie,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts…I’m carrying on with my life…as we all know there is no other option left….:) :( always I had been thinking of a ”problem free life” even when there wasnt any problems to be precise..So I realise its my pattern of thinking that needs to be reversed..Phew..!!

    Like I may take in all the responsibilities thinking I should be doing all that..its difficult for me to draw a clear cut distinction on what I should be doing ..to take firm decisions…instead always feel edgy, doubtful, frustrated for no apparent reason..!

    I’m accepting it all as ways of anxiety making my mind unable to focus on any particular feeling with the constant mind chatter…..

    Let me share with you what i found helpful recently..My mind runs on with the nagging non stop from dawn to dusk !!! that ”things should have been this way, i should have done that etc etc ” immediately i tell myself ( whenevr i remember i am on the -ve track):

    ” I am content and happy with myself
    I dont have to ‘do’ anything to make things ok
    Carry on as if nothing happened
    My emotions are in my control.
    I’m responsible for my happiness as my response to the situation is my choice.
    I have no expectation from others. If u like me or not I’ll always be content and happy. ”
    I feel that brings a source of natural bliss that things are ‘already fine’ nothing to ‘do’ anymore…

    These thoughts actually brings in a shift in my attittude as i feel I’m in control of my happiness and peace rather than feeling like a victim in search of happiness and acceptance from people as I’m locked up in my own world devoid of any natural emotions of my own and start thinking in others perspective…….
    But to carve this positivity in the mind is with us..! and thats the tough part..

    So I will keep reminding myself of these positive affirmations each time…
    n Thanks to all for the positive feedback..!!!
    it really feels good to have a place where we can all share our woes and get reassurances…
    Cheers…:)

  71. Steveo Says:

    Robbie

    I think you did answer your own question as follows:

    “I’m sure anyone – whether they have anxiety or not – would tell you that they would give anything to have only 1 or 2 bad days a month, but when you’ve experienced anxiety, it seems we tend to over-dramatize everything, which makes it seem worse than it actually is.”

    Think back to however many months ago when this all started and what you would have given to even have 1 or 2 GOOD days. I would’ve paid £000’s.

    We continue to strive for perfection which I think is our problem, it is certainly mine. We can not expect to be happy and feeling great everyday.

    Patience is the key and the 1 or 2 bad days will soon be every 6/8/10/12 weeks etc until they’ve gone :-)

  72. Cori Says:

    Just waking and feeling bad. My anxiety is really bad in the mornings, but mostly on work days. Trying to understand why the scary thoughts are harder to ignore on days when I have to head into work. Do you think it is some form of a weird distraction from the “real problems” in life? Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this. My job is so very emotionally draining and I wonder if the scary thoughts are happening as my mind’s odd way of protecting itself from thinking about work stuff. I feel tired.

  73. Kristine Says:

    Robbie, I sincerely think you have become stronger by the way you speak and I doubt very much that you will ever be depressed again. You have come such a long way! Yes, we all get down some days, but that is a totally normal emotion and that’s how we should look at it and not compare it to those dark days of depression, as they are really nothing alike. When we have experienced being sucked into that black hole, I feel we will do anything to prevent it happening again. Once the signs of depression begin to surface, something clicks and tells us that we don’t want to go down that road again, so we try to get on with stuff, no matter how crap we feel. That’s probably where the anxiety kicks in, as it’s become very fearful. We have to get beyond that fear and good on you, it sounds like you are just about there. :)

    Sometimes I think I’ve gone through anxiety and depression for a reason. One of my children was bullied emotionally by a so called friend at school for years. I’ve seen what anxiety does to an innocent child and she had never witnessed anyone with anxiety before. It affected her badly on several occasions.
    When she was at her worst, I slept with her every night for about 2 weeks as she would be shaking and sobbing in her sleep…she couldn’t eat, or when she did she would gag…she lost so much weight…couldn’t possibly go to school as she had absolutely no concentration, that worried her as she was getting behind…she used to say that she felt like when she was walking, she was going to bash into a wall, like she had no balance, she couldn’t stop thinking, so this proves it is all just signs of anxiety, as she had no idea about any of it, it just happened to her. Imagine how she felt. I tell you it broke my heart. It took a lot of talking for me to get her out of it, but I did it, as I understood what she was going through.

    Health issues seem to be a major denominator with anxiety. Whether it’s a loved one who is sick, or we hear of someone with whatever symptom, we seem to store it in the filing cabinet of our brain and as soon as a key word crops up, we open up the file and begin to worry. As Paul says, “Why should we worry about something that may not ever happen?”

    Think about it…every single person in the whole world has stuff happen at some stage or another. It’s life, we aren’t singled out, even though we tend to think we are. There is always someone else out there who has gone through something a lot worse. Recently there’s been floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and whatever else. People lost loved ones, their whole homes and all possessions. When I am having my anxious moments, I think of them and think they have a reason to be anxious. Mine is all based on what ifs! What a waste of precious time on this earth!! I have to get that into my head.
    My husband lost both his parents within 2 years of each other, yet he didn’t suffer anxiety. Yes he was very sad, but he accepted that their time was up, even though prematurely and he moved on the best he could. I lost my only sibling, that was just awful for me, but the anxiety didn’t creep in as I had a genuine reason to be sad. He left a wife and 3 small children, so while it was terrible for me, there are 4 others who are even worse off.
    We have to put our lives into perspective and appreciate all the good things instead of dwelling on all the negative that goes through our minds.

    There, i’ve given myself a lecture now I just have to listen to my own advice! lol

    All the best to everyone! You will get past this! :)

  74. JoeH Says:

    Hey everyone

    Havent been on here for a little while as been facing the fear (hard as it is). What I find really hard at the moment is the trying not to analyse thoughts or sensations when your mind can start ruminating in what seems like a split second.

    Some days its just a relentless thought bombardment.

    Does anyone have any tips for de-analysing from their early days?

  75. Lisa P. Says:

    Evelyn,
    Thanks for your post. The last couple of nights have been bad. Last night I felt like I would almost be asleep and then I would wake up in a panic, mostly thinking of my grandma who is dying. But then I started the whole what if game. What if it’s all starting again, what if I can’t sleep, now today my anxiety is higher but I’m determined to just get on with my day.
    Cori, I too have higher anxiety on my work days. What is that about I wonder. I always feel better once I’m actually working though.
    Kristine, I love your last post. Remembering all the people out there who are going through disastrous circumstances does put it all into perspective.
    I just wish I could get enough sleep, I think it would be so much easier to get over all this if my sleep wasn’t so affected. It probably didn’t help that I watched a program on t.v. last night called “Anxious” with people just like all of us.Tonight I will try to relax and have a better night. Going for a walk with my dog right now in the beautiful sun. That should help.
    Lisa P.

  76. Cori Says:

    Lisa P, I can absolutely relate to you on how you feel about your grandma and the anxiety that it may be causing. The recently loss of my grandma effected me in the same way. It is unsettling…like a tension in the air. My heart goes out to you.

  77. Robbie Says:

    Thanks Steveo and Kristine for your wonderful responses.

    I’ve seen it mentioned several times on here before – all we need to do is look back and see how far we’ve come. I will say that today has been much better. I got a good night’s sleep and although I had to work in the rain today (I’m a Forester), it was actually pretty fun in a “little boy who likes to get muddy and nasty” kind of way :)

    You’re absolutely right, Kristine, we dwell so much on the what-if’s that we forget about the real problems of the world. I think about my situation and how wonderfully blessed I am. I sometimes take that for granted, although I never should.

    I do feel like I’ve come a long way. Would I wish anxiety on anyone – NO! But, I wouldn’t trade this experience because it has made me a more confident, outgoing, compassionate person. I sometimes wonder if I would have turned into the person I am today without the experience of having gone through anxiety.

    Kristine – I’m glad you were able to help your daughter with her anxiety issues. Kids can be so mean to each other sometimes! My wife teaches high school and she comments on how mean spirited children treat one another. I have two kids of my own and I know how heart wrenching it can be to see them go through difficulties, but it’s quite an accomplishment that you were able to use your past experiences to help her overcome her fears and anxieties.

    Thanks, folks, for the encouragement. Anxiety robs us of our self-confidence that sometimes all we need is reassurance that we are doing the right thing.

  78. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    It’s me again. Today has been even worse with this new medication. And I think my doctor is just brushing it off to anxiety, but this feels way worse than anything I have felt in years. My heart is palpitating and feels like it is beating fast and then I feel like I am having a hard time breathing. And so I looked the medication up on the internet and it says to let your doctor know right away if you’re having heart palpitations. :( So I called the office back and the girl I’ve been talking to told me to just take a 1/2 pill tomorrow…that maybe my dose is too high for me. But in the meantime do I just wait and hope that this calms down? It’s been 10 hours since I’ve taken it and it seems like my body is slowly calming down. Today has been like one long panic attack. :(

  79. Robbie Says:

    Hi Clara,

    I wanted to respond to your post as I really like the sayings you use to shift your attitude. Recovery from anxiety is all about attitude. I would think that most if not all of us came on this site because we want to recover from anxiety, but don’t know how.

    We do have a choice – to be happy, to be content, to recover from anxiety, to LIVE OUR LIFE! We only have one life, so we need to get out there and live it. It may be hard sometimes, we may not feel like it sometimes, but anxiety won’t leave unless we do.

    I also like the bit about not acting like we are a victim of anxiety. It is not who we are, it is something we experienced. I have difficulty separating myself from it, but I need to remind myself that I experienced anxiety, it is NOT some kind of disorder I have (as some in the “professional” world would have us believe). I refuse to believe that we cannot and will not recover. I’ve heard too many stories just on this site alone that tells me we can.

    Anyway, thanks for allowing me to share this pep talk to myself :)

  80. Lorena Sosa Says:

    Does anyone get bothered by the thought of catching a cold? Or germs that can make you sick? I know that I have had colds before and I have been fine but the thought of feeling icky and maybe light headed from the congestion links with the feelings of anxiety i.e Feeling a bit dizzy, light headed, nervous, etc. I just wanted to see if anyone else could relate?

    On another note, I am super grateful for being introduce to this site by one of my Therapists clients. Just goes to show how effective Paul’s Blogs can be. Just reading everyone’s post makes me feel hopeful. I relate so much to many people that come on this website to express their experiences. I just recently purchased Paul’s Book online and I’m well into the book and it feels like I have a personal therapist/friend with me whenever I need it. I can’t express how great it feels to be able to read material that relates so much to the experiences we all feel when we fear and go through the motions.

    A bit about myself, as this is the first time I write on this blog. I am 26 yrs old and my first panic attack came about when I was 15. Its amazing to hear that like others my anxiety was triggered by the usage of Marijuana. I went through some of the toughest moments of my life as I clinged with terror unto anything during these episodes. I had no idea what it was, I just knew that I was so scared of everything. I became extremely paranoid about everything. A simple walk up the stairs would trigger rapid heartbeats so I would treat myself with so much gentleness but to an exaggerated extent. I was building a life style around fear. Much of this went on for quite some time then it subsided. I went from Hospital to hospital in search of a cure of diagnoses but not much was done, other than the prescription of several meds that were suppose to help me out. What I did notice was how they made me feel more anxious so personally I opted out of them immediately. (Not saying that meds are bad but make sure you do your homework on them before taking them) My anxiety has stages where it comes and goes and its been like this for about 10 years on and off. I know that I’ve faced some pretty dark days before and I can honestly say they only get better with time. They impress me less and less. I’ve also noticed that these episodes of anxiety come at time of great distress.

    Here are some things that help me out. I write helpful quotes in my phone and whenever I feel panic rising I pull out my phone and read them. This reassures me that what I am feeling is only an exaggeration of symptoms due to a thought I believed in. I also attend a Kundalini class on Sundays. This is an exceptional mixture of Yoga/Meditation. This class helps release any negative energy that may be blocked and the breathing exercises help a great deal too. Another thing I have done is watch what I am eating. I stray from Caffeine!! i.e Coffee, Candy, Chocolate, etc. Yes, I may have a bite of Chocolate once in a blue moon but I really think twice because these things can make us a bit more jittery that what we already are. I also, try and eat organic foods and not fast foods because they are high in cholesterol and the fats in these foods can shift our moods a bit. When shopping for meats, its best to buy foods w/o hormones and antibiotics. Eating fruits and drinking lots of water has really kept me happy and balanced out. Little things like filling the tub with hot water and reading a book relieve so much tension for me. I always make sure I am comfortable, fed, bathed, airconditioner nice and cool. Taking care of what makes you comfy is a BIG deal bc this alters our moods and help reduce stress.

    A few weeks ago my anxiety hit its peak since a long time and I decided that I wanted to do some things different this time around. I don’t want to keep looking for a short cut out by distracting myself and trying to get rid of this “thing”. This time around I am making anxiety my friend, I want to get to know it inside out like I have been doing. I need to stick through this because this is the only way we can confront what feels like a big stinking bully! lol I’ve always ran when panic strikes, now I sit and breath it out, I let it come swing by and give it no special treatment and it ALWAYS Subsides ALWAYS!! Although, we have our days when we feel like we have these feelings all under control understanding that bad days will come and embracing them with patience can be a challenge but this is the only route to recovery. I have been anxiety free for over 2 years! Yes, they come and they are very mild and controllable. Even now when I feel very anxious I still feel so much stronger than I have ever been but I have all the tools I didn’t have then! So if I was able to live anxiety free for so long off and on then w/o the tools, imagine how far I am going this time around.

    Paul thank you for all you’ve done for myself and the many people’s lives you’ve changed because of your experiences and knowledge.

    Anxiety is a gift if we look at it that way. I live my life, I mean truly live it and view it with so much respect and love!

    I wish you all the best! We are in good hands(our own).

  81. Wally Says:

    Thanks for the sleep advice friends. I haven’t heard of anyone having sleep issues like mine. Waking up several times during the night for over 11 mos. straight. I mean not one full nights sleep during this time. I call it “Groundhog Night” like the movie Groundhog day. The same thing every night, even if I’m totally calm when I go to bed. Sometimes waking with weird dreams and some scary dreams with my heart rate elevated. I think I will be back to 100% once my sleep returns. I hope it returns. It really helps me a lot to hear from folks that have gone down this sleepy road.

    Thanks, Wally

  82. Kristine Says:

    Of the posts I’ve read all have been from the heart and very enlightening and encouraging to everyone, I’m sure.

    Robbie, thankyou and also very true words in your post to Clara. :)

    Lorena, I definitely agree with the what we eat part. I always enjoy chocolate and a few coffees, and I think what’s the use of living if we can’t have a few indulgences, so now I ask for half strength coffee if i’m out and I limit my chocolate, sugar, white bread etc. This has also helped me lose a little weight.

    I have no idea if this is true, but I heard recently that when we carry weight on our middle, it can make people more anxious, as all that fat is pushing organs and whatever else is in there lol, up to the cavity where the heart is. If the heart isn’t comfy in it’s little home, it can start doing the anxiety dance, or the feeling of missing a beat. Also, I’ve learnt ‘don’t skip breakfast.’ Low blood sugar in the morning can make you feel anxious.

    Cori and Lisa P, maybe you are worse when you are going to work, because usually with anxiety, we try to hide it..we don’t want anyone to know and we need somewhere safe, preferably alone where we can think and think lol and when we have the thoughts of having to go out into the world, all of these ‘what ifs’ start popping into our heads. At work or similar situations, we have to concentrate and appear all ‘normal’, even though no one would ever know what we are feeling inside. It’s not printed on our foreheads that we may suffer from anxiety from time to time! Everyone has off days, or sleepless nights for one reason or another, so just think you are just like everyone else in the world.

    Joe H…This helps me! I read this somewhere in my quest for answers. Thanks to whoever it was!
    Count backwards from 100, 300 if you are keen.. in your head. Count backwards in 3’s or 6’s. Your mind will keep going back to the stupid thoughts, but the concentration you need, can get you off that treadmill. Don’t worry about your mind going back and forth. It truly can break the cycle.
    Breathe…In through your nose until your lungs are full and can hold no more air. Breathe out through your mouth with pursed lips. This can help calm you. Just be as positive as you can. :)

    I’m not into this kind of thing usually, but wow it is just amazing how many people think alike and if any little bit is of any help to even one person, then that is great.

  83. Vic Says:

    Hello eveeyone,

    I have not been on here in a few months, but am having a tough time today and am starting to analyze and question do i have anxiety or have i created a habit because of my previous anxiety issues.

    This habit is hard to describe, but pretty much i can be goin on with my day, mind just flowing normal, but then certain situations, especially around my daughter i will become alert i guess you can say and i will get weird thoughts. They usually are not scary, but just weird. This habit started a couple years ago when my anxiety was at its highest, and has lingered around although my anxiety levels have gone down.

    Can anyone help me understand this? I have had very few days where this doesnt happen at all. Lately it was only happening a couple times a day, but today it was bad. Is this anxiety? Or just a habit i have developed? It gets very annoying and frustrating sometimes….especially when i just went through a period of hardly getting them at all.

  84. Cori Says:

    Hi Kristine!
    Thanks for your reply. Yeah, that may be part of why the mornings are hard. For me, it is also that my job has been a contributing factor to the onset of my anxiety. I have been working in the field of social work in a US city, where the housing and unemployment crisis struck the hardest. For the last four years, each day has been filled with sad stories and sometimes I have even been put in very frightening situations. When I wake in the morning, I feel really tense about going in and then the scary thoughts start up. That is why I wondered if maybe our minds do that in order to protect us from thinking about the things that are too hard to handle, in my case all of the work stuff.
    Luckily, another opportunity has come my way, so I will be leaving at the end of June. In the meantime, every day feels really difficult…and the anxiety can sometimes really take over. I just wish it did not manifest itself in the scary thoughts. As I said, I have improved a TON, thanks to this site and help from my understanding therapist, but those thoughts continue to stick around. Thanks for your support, everyone!

  85. Lorena Sosa Says:

    Wally, have you tried lighting up an incense? They are a few dollars and you can buy them practically anywhere. I like the Indian ones. I find it highly relaxing and I also set my phone to Pandora and I have a station that’s called Garden Zen. This station has amazing laid back tunes that help you drift off. Don’t set it too loud because this can disrupt your sleep. Another thing I do is take deep slow breaths while in bed this gets me into a relaxing state. Try to picture what you want to dream about before you go to bed. Like different a beautiful scenery. Maybe look at some wonderful mountain pictures on the internet or of oceans etc. It’s important to be vigilant of what we expose ourselves to on a daily basis. I personally don’t watch violent shows on tv or anything scary because I know that this will interfere with my dreaming or if you do make sure not to watch stuff like that before you go to bed. I too have repeating disturbing nightmares but when I wake up from them I remind myself that these are only dreams. Sometimes I wake up feeling a bit off from them or sad but the feeling fades away the more I pay it less attention to them. The worst feeling ever is suddenly waking up with a racing heart and laying there in bed scared waiting anxiously for the thumping to slow down. When this happens I remind myself that these symptoms can’t hurt me, it just feels scary but I am safe! Try to make your room very comfortable and sometimes warm baths help me out a great deal!!

    Hope this is helpful.
    Lorena

  86. Ollie Says:

    Hi Paul and others on the blog! I have just bought your book, got both the pdf and then the real book a couple of days ago so I could take it around with me for reference! i know its abit off topic, but i am starting to see that all the feelings are caused by anxiety but when i go on walks and runs i can start to get really spaced out as though i am going to pass out and this worries me! i wouldnt say it is a full panic attack … it happened to me today at school aswell! feels like my brain is just going to shut off! is this caused by the tired mind and always thinking about it which you explained in your book?

    thanks loads your book is really helping me get back to living my life!!!!

    Ollie

  87. Samantha Says:

    Hey Paul/other posters :)
    If you can’t reply I understand as I know your super busy but if someone could shed some light on my situation I would really appreciate it.

    I got intense DP about a 1 and 1/2 ago and was on meds but came off them I was doing great but setbacks came frequently when my partner moved to another part of the country (he or no one knows I have DP) I keep it a secret!!

    Anyway I have been living my life normally as I should and slowly but surely I am having long bouts of being free of the DP which is fantastic..

    The one thing that worries me is that once a week I go out with my friends drinking alcohol.. The hangovers aren’t bad…I am a very social person and if I was to go off the drink I have no way of explaining this to my bfriend and friends who think nothing is wrong…

    I am only 26 and as most girls and boys my age do I like to socialise

    To be honest I don’t want to give up the sat nights out but wonder if this will hinder my full recovery… I don’t know how I can explain to my friends and boyfriend especially as he enjoys an active social life also…I am from Ireland and if you go off the drink here without good reason people look at you as if you have two heads….:)

    With all the respect in the world I don’t want people saying you shouldn’t care would other people thing.. etc as i don’t particularly wanna give up my nights out….

    Again the point I am trying to make is I feel I can handle the slight hangovers and the drunkeness but I am scared this once a week drinking will affect my full recovery.. Does anyone know… I really hope it doesn’t cause its the part of my week i enjoy and feel free the most….

    To everyone out there.. Let me tell you I was the worst of the worst.. With all due respect I have heard many anxiety stories and still consider my experiences to be one of the worst but there is light and recovery for all of us is close…

    The thing that helps me the most is the not to give a f**k attitude to live your life.. love your life.. know that you are still the same person with a little extra emotional baggage at the moment but recovery is there waiting for each and every one of us….

    I have spent the nights crying in my room.. but life is precious… you only get one of them.. dp is a nuiscene and once you realise that its like the school bully when you stop letting it taunt you it will get board and give up….

    Wishing you all a good recovery… xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx lots of love and hugs

    xxxxxx

  88. nikki Says:

    Hello,
    I am new to this site, and to blogging so I am facing two unknowns by doing this which is cracking!! Although I think I have only suffered with anxiety for 18 months, I have always been a bit of a nervous person that appeared really confident.

    I have read Paul’s book and have taken on board that this is just your nerves telling u they are tired and really pay no attention to the anxiety. I was doing so well (3 weeks) then I had a busy weekend and when I went to work Monday, BAM anxiety hit, I am ignoring it but there are constant worries I have in my mind about my performance, they are hanging round, for no reason, like a bad smell!! can set backs last this long, and why is it that I can justify the way I perform in work to myself but nagging thoughts of self doubt keep coming?? am I supposed to let these come and go??

    it really helps to put all this down, I feel more myself just doing that!

    thanks for any feedback.

  89. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Samantha says: Anyway I have been living my life normally as I should and slowly but surely I am having long bouts of being free of the DP which is fantastic..

    The one thing that worries me is that once a week I go out with my friends drinking alcohol.. The hangovers aren’t bad…I am a very social person and if I was to go off the drink I have no way of explaining this to my bfriend and friends who think nothing is wrong…

    I am only 26 and as most girls and boys my age do I like to socialise

    To be honest I don’t want to give up the sat nights out but wonder if this will hinder my full recovery… I don’t know how I can explain to my friends and boyfriend especially as he enjoys an active social life also…I am from Ireland and if you go off the drink here without good reason people look at you as if you have two heads….:)

    Absoutely don’t give up your nights out, doing what you normally do and socialising with people is very important. The key is not to hide behind alcohol, use it as a tool to forget, to numb etc. I still drunk through my recovery and it was because I wanted and needed the social side to my life, to mix with people. I did though cut down the amount, if I got blotto then I would feel terrible the day after and anxiety and D.P would certainly increase. If I just drank in moderation then I was fine.

    Also your post is very positive overall and I love the part about living and loving your life whilst understanding you are still the same person underneath, we are just carrying around some emoitional baggage at the moment. In the main all we feel are surface symptoms and you are totally right, underneath we are the same person, just waiting to rise again.

  90. Samantha Says:

    Thanks Paul

    As always…. As most people will tell you – You are my hero!!! Without you I would be a lot worse off…

    Gonna stay away from here for a while cause in all due respect too many things to do to be getting on with my life…

    I promise I will post back when I fully recover to let you all know as I feel its very close….

    Thinking of you all – Stay strong… :)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  91. Tracy Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I know you are so busy and don’t want to bother, but you mentioned you would respond to my post on May 12th about setbacks, I am still struggling with them so would love your advice whenever you are able.

    Thanks Tracy

  92. natalie Says:

    loving samantha’s post made me smile you can see the real you in there already !!! very positive and the fact you say its like the school bully once you stop letting it taunt you it will give up is just perfect. i think some days you can get weighed down with it all and just have to say .. what ever .. one life my life !! and just get on. i am trying the exercising as i find i struggle with anger when i get stressed and think its just frustration or anxiety just finding an outlet. lets all try to be positive its hard i know but what other choice do you have the other road only leads to more suffering !!!

  93. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    I am so mad at myself! Went to the doctor this morning about all the “side affects” I’ve been having with this new medication. And he told me that it’s not from the medication…it’s anxiety. And, of course, he wants me to start taking Xanax. I am upset with myself though that I’ve allowed this to happen. Yes, I’ve been under a lot of stress, much of which continues, but we all have things we have to deal with. I’ve got to get back on track and truly and really believe that I can overcome this once and for all. I want to trust myself. I want to believe that if I have to take medication or go to the doctor that I know I can handle it without freaking out over it. I think I need to get “mad” at the anxiety and not myself. Feedback please!

  94. Robbie Says:

    Michell,

    Don’t beat yourself up about having to take medications. I take meds as well, and although they are not the end all or the quick fix or the magic pill that some make them out to be, they can help take the edge off and help you cope. They’re not for everybody and can have some side effects when you first start, but continue to work with your doctor and be patient and you’ll be fine.

    On bit of advice, though. DON’T LOOK UP YOUR MEDICATION ON THE INTERNET TO SEE PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCE WITH IT!! I fell into this trap and some of the blogs related to meds can scare the heck out of you. Most of the folks posting on those sites are ones that expect a quick fix, are on very high doseages and are simply looking for answers.

    Also, don’t beat yourself up about “letting this happen.” You didn’t let anything happen, it just happened. You know that you have anxiety, so 1/2 the battle has already been won. Stress has a way of sneaking up on us and anxiety is sometimes your body’s way of releasing that stress.

    You will overcome this. I was pretty bad off when I first came down with anxiety and I feel 120 times better. I’m still not 100%, but I would say I’m 95% of the way there. Use the tools you have already developed, take your medication as prescribed, work with your doctor, and as Claire Weeks said, “let time pass.”

    Just by reading your posts, I have all the confidence in the world that you’ll succeed in kicking this thing in the head :) All you need to do is trust in yourself.

  95. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Thanks for your positive response, Robbie. Yes, I’ve been beating myself up a bit this afternoon. The medication I’ve been concerned about is a blood pressure medication. Since I’ve been so anxious this week, the doctor suggested I also take Xanax, but I most likely won’t. I decided quite some time ago that I really wanted to overcome this without anti-anxiety meds. I did take them on occasion when this first began last year, but haven’t had any so far this year. And I can see that, little by little, I’ve been getting stronger and better. The last seven or eight days, though, have not been the best because I began to worry and obsess about my health. And, of course, when it’s your blood pressure you’re dealing with, all the worry makes it worse. :) So I have to get back to practicing acceptance of everything that is going on in my life. Stop reacting. Trust and believe in this process.

    Robbie, thanks again for the positive feedback. It’s good to hear you are doing so well! Keep up the good work!

  96. Cori Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Try not to be so hard on yourself. You are going through a period of anxiety, so it is natural to react to things, like medical diagnoses. Try to continue to be good to yourself. I also took xanax for a while. Very very small doses, but I was able to get off of it with the help of this site. I think the meds helped me at times, but I did come to realize that I was the one who had to do the work and that the medication would only act as a band-aid. As I said, the psychiatrist refused to put me on anti depressants…he just gave me a super low dose of xanax and that was it.
    Yes, just continue to trust and believe in the process. You have so much strength within you. And you do have the control. I think that anxiety sometimes makes us think that we don’t have control, but we do. We can take charge of things and tell anxiety that it does not rule us. That is the glory of it. Just believe in yourself and your strength. Believe in the process and take one day at a time. Try to revel in the good stuff. Keep your mind on the positive things. Try to see the world as a child would-full of interesting and beautiful stuff. We take a lot for granted…just see what you notice. The sun’s rays, birds, the taste of your food, etc. :)

  97. Cori Says:

    And yes, Robbie is right NEVER GOOGLE YOUR MEDS!

  98. Michelle Z Says:

    Thank you as well, Cori! I so appreciate the support. I’m right there with both you and Robbie…don’t google meds. Very bad idea for us. :) I am going to relax this evening and will, hopefully, wake up feeling refreshed and better able to handle the day. I am back to the basics: Acceptance, under-reacting, positive self-talk (I’m so bad at this one – see there I go already being negative :) :) :) ). Focus on the positive. Live my life, focus outwards, instead of focusing on me. Sounds like a plan!

  99. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Tracy I am so sorry I forgot, totally my fault and I promise I will answer you tomorrow.

  100. Wally Says:

    Beware of Xanax (benzodiazepines) – that’s why am in this anxiety mess now. It can cause you a lot of suffering. Look up Dr. Heather Ashton Manual on the internet. I’m 12 mos. off Xanax and still having problems. I wouldn’t wish them on my enemy.

    You can’t just stop taking them cold turkey. Please beware!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wally

  101. Sara Says:

    Hey everyone! Paul, I was hoping you might be able to give me some insight into something I just realized today that I’ve experienced with the anxiety. I don’t know if you or anyone else has experienced the same thing. I know you are very busy, but I don’t see where this issue has been discussed in your book or on this blog (which kind of makes me a little nervous) and I was hoping you might have a few minutes to help me out – if you even can. If you don’t have the time, I totally understand.

    I just realized today that sometimes the anxiety I feel attaches itself to things I am doing. For example, lately when I get online to look for recipes or browse for home decorating ideas, etc, I get very enthralled in it and I feel anxiety about it. Last night I was on a blog and started browsing recipes and became very interested and excited so I just kept searching and searching. After awhile, I realized I was feeling pretty anxious. It was almost like I couldn’t stop until I had looked at everything I wanted to. In the past when I’ve looked for home decorating ideas, I do the same thing – I get excited and interested and keep searching and searching for more and more ideas and I feel anxiety. I realized this today and I’ve been trying to figure out what the deal is. I don’t know if it’s that I become almost obsessed and have to keep looking until I find everything I need/want, or if it’s that my mind is so interested and intrigued that it becomes very enthralled in the subject and searching and feels like it needs to keep going or what. I’m very confused and have no idea how to handle it. I don’t even know what’s happening. It’s almost like I get obsessed and I don’t know if that means I have OCD or something, or if it’s just because I already have anxiety and because it’s something that my mind engages in, my mind just wants to consume itself with it or what. I really don’t even know how to explain it. I hope this makes sense. I know that I shouldn’t just stop doing these things because that would be avoidance, but I don’t know how to handle it.

    Another example – when anxiety was pretty high for me last year I made a trip to go visit my sister-in-law who had just had a baby girl. While I was there, she told me she had learned how to make little girls’ hair bows and I asked her to teach me for something to do. Again, I became very enthralled in it and I sat and made hair bow after hair bow. It was like I couldn’t stop and I felt anxiety with it, too. My sister-in-law got burnt out on it while I was there because I made so many and got so into it. Now I don’t know if this happens because my mind finally has something to concentrate on and focus on and so I just keep going and going or if it’s because I have some sort of OCD issue or what.

    I probably sound sort of ridiculous but I just realized these things today and they are confusing me and bothering me. I don’t understand how these things cause me anxiety and cause me to get so into it. I don’t know if I should just quit doing these things until my anxiety dies down or if I need to just start limiting myself or what.

    Another thing I noticed (I promise this will be the last thing :) ) is that sometimes when I have a list of things I need to do, I will feel anxious about starting anything. It’s like I don’t know where to start and I almost feel frozen and can’t get focused to begin anything. I just get anxious and sit there overwhelmed, unsure of what to do or how to do it.

    Anyway, I’m really sorry for the long post. I hope that this at least makes sense and that someone can relate. I just don’t understand why this happens or what is even happening and so I don’t know how to address it. I feel like I’ve come so far in my understanding of everything else and I’ve made such progress. This is just something that has me hung up and I could really use some direction. Let me know if I didn’t really make things clear and/or if you have any questions.

    Thanks and hope everyone has a great day/night!

  102. Clara Says:

    Hi Paul & Sara

    U r not alone Sara..I had been suffering with this too…I guess its anxiety finding its way out though compulsive thoughts…

    My experience was that I had been to get some designer clothes for me and I am basically into all these fashion and stuff..After I bought the stuff I just cant stop thinking about it and the various other models it was keeping on coming as if I couldnt stop myself from thinking..I was so tired and it was late at night but the force in which the thoughts were coming it was too much…Then i had to force myself to leave the subject totally and take onto to breathing exercises to move on from the subject…Even I felt whether I had OCD?

    Similarly, on a day today basis as well I have these issues…when I am carrying on with my day..a certain thought may pop up and tehn its a series of thoughts flowing in as I find it hard to focus on what I am doing..
    How much I tell myself that its anxious thoughts I cant stop them coming in with such force as it can be of an event or a person…sometimes it can lead to a wrong perception as well and my mind believes taht perception which is quite scary as it may lead to unnecessary complications in dealing with relationships…

    I am always in a particular mood because of the thoughts and I always feel things are going to come this way and surprising not it happens to be that way..I am unable to shake of a preconceived picture and be anywhere with a clear frame of mind…Am I having OCD as I feel so restless when I am not thinking anything…

    Paul, how do i bring awareness when the mind goes on and on raving about something..it takes my whole attention and I am always so self consumed of what am I supposed to do or say wherever I am and just cant get that out of my head and be present in teh surrounding as one of the people…Its always what others will think of me?!!

    Please let me know how I should get back to normal living?
    Cheers

  103. sally Says:

    Hi Guys
    I have had anxiety a long time and get the good days and bad.I do not take meds but am quite stressed at the moment as my husband has a small cancer problem which being like I am is 100s of times worse in my mind so my adrenalin factory is doing overtime.Anxiety uk suggest Pregabalin as the new treatment for GAD and to my astonishment so does my doctor.But I have this in built fear of medication and am loath to take this route and just would like to hear from you all as to if you have heard of this drug and if you have used it the outcome.Not looking for a miracle just a little help to get through this stressful time.Thanks Guys Sally

  104. Jamie Says:

    Okay, this is my third attempt at trying to post to the blog. My other posts never showed up, so I’m going to keep my fingers crossed.
    After an extremely stressful last year, I know exactly why I have anxiety. This is basically my fourth bout with serious anxiety. The first three times, my obsessive thoughts focused on whether I loved my boyfriend (#1 an 2) and then whether I loved my husband and daughter (#2). the first time, I did nothing and the anxiety went away after a year or so. The next time, it got bd enough that I started taking zoloft and within a few months, the anxiety was gone and I was happy again. The third time came after I had quit the zoloft and I really wanted to do things without the drugs. I started seeing a counselor and anxiety lifted.
    Look ahead about 1 year and my husband’s father had a very bad accident and we spent all of our weekends going to another town to be with him. After he was released from the hospital, he came to live with us for a long while. This was all to much for my brain and I started having obsessive thoughts about what if I injured or killed myself. (that was so hard to type). The thoughts never really went away after this, but they were so much easier to deal with. I knew I didn’t want to do it!
    Now two years after the first thoughts, I’m in a worse spot than I have ever been. Last year was horribly stressful with two major family tragedies and a very heavy workload at work. I still don’t want to do anything to myself, but my brain keeps saying that I do. It’s all so awful to live with. I have a beautiful daughter and a fantastic husband as well as an awesome job and a great house. I have everything going good in my life and I just want to enjoy it without the thoughts being there.
    In the obsessive thoughts blog, I could have written everything that Eva did! I do spend a lot of time thinking about how I am feeling and whether or not I am really suicidal! I know I don’t want to be, but I feel so scared that I will do something and take myself out of my daughter and husband’s lives!

  105. Lorena Says:

    I have a question for you Paul or anyone who can relate or assist with positive feedback. I have been with my partner for over a year now and we love each other very much but why is it when my partner see’s that I may be a little off she asks me am I okay, and it bothers the crap out of me. Perhaps, its the fact that I don’t want to acknowledge my anxiety or is it that when she asks me I am afraid that this thing really exist out of me and others can pick up on it. I guess I am more comfortable keeping things inside, as I really don’t speak up on it when I am feeling tensed. I just play it through until it goes away. How should I approach this without hurting my partners feelings. I know others ask only because they care but how can I see it that way when all I hear is a constant reminder of my anxiety?

    Thanks. Lori

  106. jakki Says:

    @sally. hi im on pregabalin (lyrica) and it has been fantastic for me along with this site and pauls amazing book. i was only put on a small dose 25mg 3x daily im now on 25mg 1x daily. it has worked a treat and has been approved by the e.u for anxiety. it has helped many people, if you decide to take it i hope it works for you too. blessings jakki xxx

  107. Hillari Says:

    Hi guys, im new to this blog. i was researching in hopes for others with this same problem. I have read your guys’ stories and its so great to see the other side. I am young, and anxiety has made me feel so old. Every morning I wake up feeling nauseated and shakey, Ive tried excercising, music, etc.. but it is just so overwhelming i cant take it anymore. do any of you have any advice? Im on anxiety medication and just need some help and encouragement..i do as well have bad anxiety through out the day..but getting up in the morning seems to be hardest. thanks..hillari

  108. sally Says:

    Hi Jakki
    Thankyou so much for your reply I will now certainly give it some thought Kind Regards and Peace to you Sallyx

  109. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Tracey again apologies i was caught up all day with other stuff yesterday, i will address it Monday

    Once again apologies

    Paul

  110. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Jamie – It would do you good to get Paul’s book. It is so helpful. The main thing is acceptance. I have struggled with the scary thoughts as well so understand. I’m still in the process of recovering, but have had spells of feeling better because of just allowing the thoughts to be there. Get on with your day. Just tell the thoughts, “Whatever!” Then focus outward again. The idea is to get rid of the fear of them. Once the fear is gone, then if they pop up, it doesn’t really matter, right? And then when the fear is gone, they may still hang around for awhile because of habit, but they will eventually go away.

    I’ve been obsessing recently about my health because of having to take a new medication. The doctor doesn’t believe me that it is causing anxiety and tells me to just keep taking it. So I am doing my best now to accept even this. Taking new meds is one of my phobias so I know I’m adding some anxiety. So I have to accept whatever I’m feeling even through this and trust and know that I can get through it.

    And I know and believe you can overcome this, too, Jamie. Hang in there and allow those thoughts to be there (with as little fear as possible) and enjoy your life. You can do it!

  111. Cori Says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I can TOTALLY relate to you. I have had every scary thought in the book since the onset of my anxiety. It seems par for the course, somehow. I agree with Michelle in that just allowing the thoughts to be there is the way to go. I am still in this process and some days are definitely harder than others. I don’t know what accounts for the ups and downs, but I suppose it is how the process works. In my experience, though, the better days are those, when I can let the thoughts be there without fear, just as Michelle said. It really is the trick to just remind yourself that it IS just anxiety. That was a big hurdle for me and still is on some days. But just believe in what Paul has written it his book. I believe that is the key for all of us. I am so glad to have all of you on here…the support and the sharing of experiences has helped me feel so much better!

    Michelle, how has it been going?

  112. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Cori – Up and down. I still have this couple hour period within an hour or so after I take the med where my heart is palpitating and I am very shaky. The doctor is insistent it’s not from the medication, but it sure feels like it. And I am working on being positive. I am still a bit upset with myself that I am not handling this all better at this point. I want to get to the point where I can take a new med without creating anxiety around it and in order to do that, I will have to go through it and face that fear in the face…and I didn’t really do that this week. So there are moments where I feel like I will never overcome anxiety/depression and I’m back to that icky feeling that they are just going to have to lock me up because I just can’t do this. It’s at those moments where I’m trying to tell myself I can and am doing it and this will make me stronger.

    And how are you doing, Cori? I live in the states, too, and understand about living in an area that has been especially hit by the economy (Michigan). Fortunately, I have a job, but it can be very stressful at times. It’s getting better though. Glad to hear you will be starting a new job soon. And thanks for always being so supportive. It truly helps!

  113. Jamie Says:

    Thanks so much for the kind words! For me, the thoughts seemed easier to deal with when there was a “what if” factor to them. I think that my mind figured out that I was getting ready to move on and so it made it seem so much more definite so that I would be scared all over again. However, if I really think about the other episodes of anxiety, then I know that the feeling was just as uncomfortable then as it is now!

    It breaks my heart, because in each post on here, you can almost feel the desperation to be rid of this monster. I know that I want to back the clock up and go back to a point in time that I lived care free and I wasn’t afraid of my mind and myself. It’s funny the words that bring fear to my mind. Besides the obvious that deal with death, OCD is one that makes me panic. I really don’t know why because from what I’ve read, if I have OCD I have little chance of actually committing the act that I obsess over.

    This is all such a trial and I do believe that once each of us overcomes it, we will be better off to deal with the world! Hang in there all! Just by being here, we are taking steps in healing our minds and souls.

  114. Jamie Says:

    Paul,

    I’m having a very hard time not trying to convince myself that my thoughts are not true. It seems that if they weren’t so absolutely horrible that I might be able to just move on (althought probably not!) But this is such a serious subject that I feel like if I don’t fight it, then it will definitely come true. I’m stuck in mental torment with my subconscious saying absolutely horibble things and making me wonder if I’m not really suicidal, and my conscious mind saying that I don’t want to do those things and being sad that I’m being tormented that way. I know that not fighting the thoughts would probably help, but I just don’t know how not to fight it. Can you give me some advice?

    Jamie

  115. Cori Says:

    Jamie,
    You are exactly describing how I have felt with my scary thoughts. First of all, you won’t do anything. You are in an anxious state and that is what is causing the thoughts to hang around. It does feel against instinct to relax and let the thoughts be there, but it is really the only way. Think of it as retraining your brain. By worrying about something, we tell our brains that there is something to be alarmed about. If you remove the fear, the thought will eventually fade because you are sending the signal to your brain that there is nothing to fear, so the thought becomes unimportant. I kinda see it as little trenches in our brains that we have carved out deeply. We have to fill in those holes so that our thoughts don,t automatically fall in all the time. I am still in the process of this, myself, so I get that some days are harder than others. And I have had every strange doubt come up in my mind. It is all part of the anxiety game. I have had times when I worried about NOT having fear related to the thoughts! But really, in the end, everyone has weird stuff go on in their brains. We just clutch on cause we are anxious. We pick apart and try to find answers. There really are none that we can uncover and trying to do so kinda makes it all worse. So, the key is to try to relax and to let your brain chatter. Live beside it. Sometimes I even just put off the thoughts. I recognize them and then tell them that I have other stuff to think about and then move on about my day. I have also improved a lot in just occupying my mind with other things. I am working on this, too and am looking forward to a full recovery one day. Start one moment at a time. This will turn to hours and so on and so forth. Let time go by.
    And try not to let the medical terms bug you. OCD is just a name for anxiety. I have had scary obsessive thoughts for a while now and neither my therapist nor my psychiatrist have chosen to define me in those terms. You know what they say I have? Anxiety. :) terms are just there for diagnostic criteria so they can bill your insurance :) try to think of it that way. You will be ok.

  116. Ezra Says:

    Great advice Cori.

    Jamie, I posted on the previous post (shift in attitude blog) with my story but it is EXACTLY the same as yours. The same thoughts, the same worries.
    I too am a mom with the most adorable daughter and couldnt believe I was thinking thoughts about not being here….I mean I wanted to be here but I was always fighting with myself, convincing myself the thought wasnt true. It felt so real, it was so scary.
    I couldnt contemplate the thought yet couldt stop thinking about it. Yet as Cori says if I didnt FEEL fear, that scared me more as I thought that it must be real as it no longer scared me ……I also totally related to Eva in the scary thoughts blog and used to read and re-read her posts.
    These thoughts started in Feb 2010 and finally peetered off in Feb/March this year.
    The thought will still sometimes pop up but holds no fear in me so I am just able to dismiss.
    You are trying to ‘rationalise’ an ‘irrational’ thought, this will never be done. You are also trying to prove that you wont do something, this, again will never be done. You WONT do it, but your brian is getting confused.
    The key is to STOP. Make the thought your friend, your companion. If it is there then great, you want the thought to be there as it will make your day better, it will enable you to remember what a fantastic life you have, and so much to offer.
    It takes practise but you ARE NOT going to do it, so accept that and lets get the thought to not trigger an anxious response. This, as a mum is your WORST nightmare, that it the ONLY reason the adrenalin release has latched onto this thought.
    Yes, keep active, exercise, fill your brain with non anxious stuff but ultimately it will still be there for now but from today just stop fighting because that will ONLY make the habit stronger to break and that it exactly what its become, a stupid, nasty habit but totally reversable.
    Dont keep arguing with yourself, remember it doesnt feel ‘real’ it feels ‘anxious’
    Anxiety has been described to me as a tiger, walk along side it and it will eventually get bored and walk away, run away from it and it will chase you and never get tired.

    Here if you need me chick x

  117. Lies Says:

    Hello all,
    I hope you can give me some advice about my feelings too. First of all I have to say this is a great site, I got Paul’s book for years already too and it really does (did) help me lots.
    I have had some periods of DP/DR en obsessive thoughts in my life. They are always related to a period of stress or worrying about things, I know that for sure. I have dealt with it for the first time when I was about 19 ( I am 31 now), they eventually faded away after a few months. Then I would be fine for years and after stress ( I did a heavy study to become a vet), I would have obsessive thoughts again, but I learnt to deal with them as well (also through a psychotherapist and zoloft). Last year for I also had a small episode, but usually I don’t even have to finish Paul’s book before the symptoms fade away. Now I was worrying a lot about my job and relation for a while and there the thoughts/feelings were again. I just have a question, I hope someone will recognize my feelings/thoughts and can tell me how they deal with this. I do have obsessive thoughts now, but I think I can handle them. The main thing that is bothering me now is that I find the world so strange. I just think everything is so inconceivable: that we are all being born, that we will all die, that we all just live on this planet. That someone has memory, that there is history, just everything I guess. To me it even feels a bit weird that other people are just able to live their lifes without wondering why they are here and without being bothered about it. I know I didn’t feel like this for years and years too (sometimes I do, but it fades away after a while), but now it just seems a bit impossible to me that I will be able to live without these feelings and questions one day too. What do you think, is this just derealisation and depersonalisation? And what would be a good way to deal with these feelings/questions?
    Also, I do have a quite restless life, I work as a vet, I don’t have a fixed schedule and have nightshifts once of twice a week. Do you think it would help me to get a ‘normal’ lifestyle?
    I really hope someone reconignizes these feelings/questions and can give me a tip about how to deal with this.
    Thanks in advance and thanks a lot for this website.
    Lies

  118. E Says:

    Hello everyone,
    I have put up with anxiety and its associated symptoms for many years. Have been following the advice on this site for approx 2 years. Physical symptoms come and go, but I have been having trouble with tension and tight head.This results in headaches, dizziness and very tired heavy eyes.

    Am continuing with my daily life, but just wondered if anyone else had endured similar problems. Mine have been more or less continuous for 3 months.

    Thanks for listening. E

  119. Tom Says:

    Paul and others, 
    My name is Tom and I am at a point in recovery where I really need your help. I am 16 years old and have been struggling with anxiety, most notably the DP and irrational thoughts since I got a bad bout of flu at Christmas. This was the starting point of my anxiety, forever thinking there was something else wrong with me. After my parents took me to the doctors I had blood tests and MRI scan to clear it up. However, although I know there is nothing sinister wrong, I am really struggling. Pails book is brilliant and I am in the early stages of losing the ‘fear’. This is hard however as everytime I try exercise I Feel faint, panic and run home. My irrational thoughts range from this to thinking I am dead and questioning wether its al an illusion.

    The worst part is that my family are being torn apart by it. My mum is getting worryingly ill with the stress it is causing. Everyday seems like he’ll due to this constant feeling I’m going to faint when I go outside. This is even harder for me as I am in the middle of my GCSEs. I have gone from the do all, be all kid to the one scared to step outside and that is breaking my family apart.

    The methods in the book are brilliant and I know they will work once I know how to get over this first hurdle. How do I stop worrying about the faint feeling ? All help would be more than amazing.

  120. Will Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    These intrusive thoughts are part of a really tired out mind and body, which are the kind of conditions when anxiety really begins to take a hold. You need to make sure that you are getting as much as rest as possible and that you are being kind to yourself and not asking too much of yourself – remember that life is a team effort and others can take up the slack while you get yourself rested and re-charged.

    I am going to take a guess here but I should think you are used to being a really key figure in the family and you are getting torn apart by these feelings partly because you feel like you can’t fulfil your role as much as you would like. But remember that it is the responsibility of everyone in the family to pull together and make the whole thing work, not just you.

    Make sure you talk through your feelings with those closest to you. Don’t suffer in silence – again, it’s a team effort and your family and friends are there to help and support you.

    And remember that these are just normal thoughts that have become exaggerated and seem out of control because of your mental and physical fatigue – they will subside once you start to re-charge. You have not always had them so they are not ‘real’ – they are a product of cumulative fatigue and stress. However frightening they may be they are just thoughts generated by fear, not by reality – reality is here and now, not some way off in the future. Get on with your day to day tasks and try not to dwell on future scenarios – deal with what’s going on now. If you need rest, take it. If you want to talk to someone, talk to them. If you feel like buying yourself something to cheer yourself up, do it.

    Will

  121. Elle Driver Says:

    Thank you, almighty creator (Bruce Almighty, Jesus, or whoever you are), that I entered this site! I have struggled with anxiety for many, many years. I had a little “break” for a few years with low doses of antidepressants, but now I have been off medication for over a year. It has been a hard year! The last months have been the toughest in my life, but I do not give up! I know that there are good hours, good days. The hardest thing to get through is depersonalisation. BUT – on this page, I got it explained for the first time! Now I have ordered the book and am looking forward to tomorrow, and even the day after that! Not bad! : D Best wishes from the top of the world, Norway :)

  122. Elle Driver Says:

    By the way, I read the section where you present the disturbing thoughts …. It is as if you’ve taken them out of my mind, and written them down. I read the passage aloud to my mother, and my boyfriend, and they just laughed. “It’s like hearing you talk”!

  123. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    A lot of new people this weekend, so welcome to all those. Firstly someone called Luke posted a very good firswt post but placed it elsewhere on the blog and many may miss it. I have posted it below as I totally agree and thought it was worth a read.

    Luke posts:

    Hello all, As a survivor of obsessive thoughts/panic attacks/depression I have experienced many of the symptoms described above in peoples articles. I can only now look back and see that obsessive thoughts were the root of my problem, I am 29 and battled daily from the age of 22 to age 28 with anxiety. I have read some research which refers to this type of thinking as “Purely Obsessional” a form of OCD.
    How I fixed myself was through personal trial and error, I was determined not to let anxiety consume my life.

    As mentioned above in the blogs, the way to gain your life back is to engage in life regardless of how you feel. I had to recreate my life because I had yielded to anxiety and stopped engaging in areas of my life that gave me joy, this is a vicous circle of avoidance in which you end up at home alone with your anxiety for company, not as entertaining as it sounds!

    You must be willing to engage in life and make room for the anxiety. This doesn’t mean welcome it, but if it occurs then do not try to avoid it, because this avoidance amplifies it, I know this from experience.
    Exercise is great, it aids sleep.

    There is no magic cure, but if you feel terrible, you obviously have to do something different. A great book on obsessional thoughts is called “The imp of the mind” by Lee Baer. You cannot get yourself better by reading books though, you must create a life of meaning, the anxiety then slowly fades into the background.

    Once you win the war over anxiety, most other “difficult” challenges in life are a breeze in comparison.

    Take care and maintain your sense of humour about anxiety, laugh at yourself this helps break the pattern.

    Thought that was a great post and so very true………..

  124. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Also I did promise to answer Tracy’s post below. Tracy sorry for promising dates and not keeping them, I have been ultra busy the last week or so and have hardly had a minute. Here is my reply below for you. I have answered in sections to make it easier.

    Tracy Says:

    May 12th, 2011 at 2:35 pm e

    I need some advice on the setbacks..or “bad days”, Paul I read in your book that these were tough for you as you kept making the same mistakes, but then they became less as you started to not give them as much attention.

    Tracy the mistakes I made was to let them throw me back into despair, to try and scramble back to how I felt, to question things over and over again and it was me and my actions that had me feeling worse and these periods lasting far longer than they should have, I was so impressed by them. I would always come out the other side a new person and look back and realise what I did wrong. Eventually I understood I had to live through a setback and not fight against it. Understand I would come through and always did, no matter how lost and bad I felt at the time.

    With a new and better attitude they seemed to pass quicker and were not felt with as much force. Also coming through them time after time builds a new attitude, it’s almost like ‘O.k here we go, soon be over’ with everyone you come through, your confidence builds and you lose respect for them.

    Tracy says:I feel like I have had many of these I am coming on 2 years to my first really bad panic attack, but not even a year to finding your site. I still am allowing these to throw me..not into total dispare, but I could easily go there…some worse than others. I understand what you are saying, yet I find myself back to the questioning, what have I been doing different, am I working out too hard, looking internally at myself, back to having my anxiety radio on 24/7 and tuning in…It is mostly the physical symptoms that I allow to “get to me”.. I start to overthink myself to get out of this hell…the wrong way to go..Anyway.at these times do you think it is okay to come back on this site for extra support or is this a better time to try and stay away??

    Firstly don’t see a bad day or two as a setback, I used to be up and down like a yo yo, people ask what a setback is? Trust me you know, it totally flattens you, so don’t get them mixed up with a bad day or two.

    When you switch into fighting/questioning mode it is just your normal instinct to ‘fix and protect’ kicking in. In life we scratch an itch, we try and mentally fix an external problem, it’s just instinct. But in this case there is nothing to fix. If you try and fix a tired mind by thinking and worrying about it, you tire it even more. If you feel anxious, getting stressed and anxious about it will just have you feeling worse.

    So how do we change this?

    You agree that you go back to questioning, that you try and trace back, look for a cause etc, etc, basically your constantly looking for answers to why and trying to fix the way you feel. These are all actions and habits that you can reverse.

    When we suffer with anxiety we may have good days, but the mind is still tired and the nerves still frayed. A good period does not mean we are cured, just as a bad day does not mean we are back to square one. It can take a stressful day, a sad story or just one of those days for the cloud to descend or the nerves to trigger. Don’t feel the need to try and track a reason, it sometimes can be for nothing at all, just as people feel happy some days and down at other times, there sometimes is no reason, it’s just the way we feel that particular day.

    My best advice is just to live alongside a setback and truly believe it will pass as it always does, avoid the temptaion to get involved with it or try to fix it, DON’T try and force anything.

    I was not one for sayings as they can turn into mantras, but written down near the end of my recovery and specifically for setbacks was ‘ Do what you want I don’t care anymore’ this meant I totally did not care how I felt, I was going to get up and live my life, go towards living and not avoid it. I was not going to get involved with feeling bad, in other words not trying to track why or try to fix it, I was done with the fighting. At one time I did care, I would wake and the first thing I did was to check how I felt, this stopped, I no longer cared and just got up. I used to plan my day around it, no going here or there just in case I felt bad, this stopped, I no longer cared, I wanted to open doors, not close them.

    As the person above said ‘I did not try and push my anxiety away, but I made room for it, if it wanted to be there it was welcome to be’. If you never give it this room, you spend your days watching yourself and fighting against it, it will never leave you this way. This is what you are not doing, you are still seeing it as the big green monster trying to engulf you, something to rid yourself of, like you must find the key to keep it at bay, to get rid of it, every action you take is to rid yourself of the way you are feeling, this is why you find yourself in fight mode, you need to learn to do the opposite.

    The habit of no longer caring did not come overnight, but just as the habit of caring came about, so did the habit of not caring, it just became second nature.

    I would always still promote engaging in all the things you used to do, even if you feel flat, engaging in life is very important. The outdoors, excercise are all great natural healers. But a change in attitude is as important and it’s this that will help you through your setbacks.

    Paul

  125. Cori Says:

    Hi Lies,
    I have had every single one of those thoughts that you posted there. My main issue has been these obsessive, scary thoughts and because i have always been an overthinker and a have a good imagination, I think i have suffered them all. I am still working through it. Some days are better than others. For some reason, yesterday was a tough day…lots of scary thoughts were there. I think the key with the existential questions is the same as with all scary thoughts. We just have to let them be there and move forward. Get on with our days and try to keep doing as we would. I am finding that some days are easier than others in doing so. I am in such a habit of turning inward and expecting the thoughts, that they probably come because of that. It can drain me at times, though, because they are usually very awful and harm related. Before finding this site, I was terribly fearful and i think this really imbedded the habit. I still have moments in which I feel scared because the thoughts are so horrible. Just trying to keep heeding everyone’s advice, here (and my own, because I know what it takes to recover). It just feels very very lonely at times and something that is hard to talk about to others for fear they will think i am crazy. Hang in there, everyone. Keep trusting the process, even on the harder days.

  126. Kat Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I’ve not posted in a while, doing my best to avoid using this blog as a crutch, but I have to admit that I find that I do come back every other day looking for posts that mirror what I’m going through, hoping that something will ‘click’ in me. I have had some small improvements, only to falter a few days later, regressing back into the pattern, and I have such a hard time pulling myself out. I have to admit, I have been feeling as though I’ll never be any different.

    The depression, for me, is one of the most difficult aspects of this problem. I have basically experienced every symptom of anxiety over the past 11 years, and when anxiety attached itself to my relationship with my partner, I seemed to find myself in a quagmire of sadness, panic and uncertainty. Horrific! I have reached out for and received some very nice reassurance from different people on this site, which was incredibly helpful, but I must admit that the past seven months have been some of the most agonizing of my life! I feel so guilty for the way I’ve been behaving, so sad that I can’t tap into the ‘real me’, and there is a lot of pressure to get well for my family. As a result, I find that whenever I’m home for any stretch of time, I get lost in a dark fog, am ridiculously impatient, and the more my partner and daughter attempt to please me, the more irritated I become. Has anyone else gone through this?

    I have read that a very common phobia with anxiety sufferers is doubting their love for the partner. Before I suffered it, I had never heard of it, so obviously it flattened me. The thing is, as I’ve said many times before, I know that I love him, but feeling it is another matter entirely. A year ago at this time, I adored him, looked up to him, and now, many things he does annoys me and irritates me. How many relationships have disintegrated because of the same thoughts and emotions I’m dealing with now? It upsets me to think about it. The agitation I feel seems to bubble up in me and I hear myself shouting more, sounding more and more irrational, and then I am overwhelmed with remorse when those feelings subside. What if he leaves me? What if this permanently damages our daughter? All those terrifying ‘what ifs’…

    I can’t deny a supreme sense of frustration in myself. Living alongside it, giving it room, etc. all seem so simple in theory, but are terribly difficult in practice, and I cannot believe that after all the reading I’ve done, all the practice I’ve put forth, that I am still in the quagmire, that I am still struggling to feel emotions that should come naturally. Like I said, the depression takes away one’s will to try, and I suppose this is my greatest obstacle.

    I just needed to vent. I hate to sound so negative, but the frustration needed an outlet and I feel like this forum is the best place to let it out. I hope the rest of you are doing better!

    Take care,

    Kat

  127. Tracy Says:

    Thanks Paul for the detailed post. I agree that I get into the fight and fix mode, would you consider trying homopathics, vitamins and counseling still trying to find a fix, even though in my mind I am telling myself these are just tools and not the fix all? My husband always tells me that it is just a bad day or two and not to let it get to me..guess he does know what he is talking about sometimes!…I will work on those things you suggested.

    Tracy

  128. MLK Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I havent been doing so well lately, and I’m looking for some words of encouragement. Recently I was sitting in my office working on something and I grew frustrated with my computer and I felt as though I screamed or something in my mind..but it freaked me out because I didnt intend to do that scream in my mind, and it really scared me. I know it sounds insane!! I am now trying to convince myself that I dont have schizophrenia. Everything I hear, I wonder if I am actaully hearing it, or if its in my mind. I feel like I am back to my lowest point of ALWAYS running through my thoughts and whether or not I am schizophrenic. Can anyone relate to this at all? I decided to pick up your book again, Paul and read it over to allow it to sink in more! I am growing more and more frustrated with myself…so if anyone can throw me a little advice, it would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!! Hope you all are doing well :)

  129. Cori Says:

    I don’t mean to post on here a million times, but MLK, I just wanted to support you, here. You are not schizophrenic. I have had to work with many individuals suffering from this, over the years and trust me, if you were schizophrenic, you would not be here asking about it. Those who have this disorder are convinced that things around them are real and they don’t question like you are doing. They don’t ask “did I just hear a sound” Your anxiety is making you hyper aware and that is all. Trust me. I would bet that many people on this site have worried about the same thing because the anxiety makes us so fearful and then we come up with the “what ifs” about why it is happening. Then every buzz and noise in the room seems so loud…
    You are not going mad and you don’t have a mental illness. Anxiety is just good at making us fearful.

  130. MLK Says:

    Cori, Seriously, thank you so so much! I really needed a little advise! It can be tough to decifer between what is worth worrying about with anxiety. Your post really made me feel better! Thanks again :):)

  131. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Kat – Hang in there, girl! I’m right alongside you regarding the depression. That and the scary thoughts have been some of the worst for me. I went into a setback recently with the anxiety and so am now back to struggling with the depression. The good news is that I had 4-5 weeks of hardly any depression. So it’s possible to overcome just like the rest. We just have to keep practicing the acceptance…living beside all of it…no matter how awful it feels. We CAN and WILL overcome! I believe it!

  132. Robbie Says:

    Hey All,

    There have been several posts on here lately dealing with a myriad of disturbing thoughts. I know from my experience that at times it feels as if you are the only one that is having these thoughts and therefore, something must be terribly wrong with you. That’s why it’s comforting for some of us (in some weird sort of way :) ) to see that others have the same thoughts.

    To list some of the thoughts I had, and still have from time to time as it may bring reassurance for some of you: what if I become severely depressed, what if I commit suicide, what if I harm my family, what if I end up in prison, what is the meaning of life, why are we here, what’s the use of doing all this stuff if we’re just here for a short while and then die, what if I let my family down, do I love my children enough. All of these thoughts made me sick to my stomach! This meant that they did not reflect who I was as a person. That’s what anxiety does, it tries, and I emphasize the word “TRIES” to rob you of your identity. The good news is that it (anxiety) never succeeds.

    Only you know your core values. Only you know deep down who you are as a person. Only you have the ability to overcome this thing. You are NOT what you thoughts make you think you are. The reason these thoughts are so disturbing is that they are the direct opposite of who we are. Therefore, we tend to “mark” these thoughts with a negative response, just like we may mark something positive (say, like a puppy dog) with a happy feeling. We just have to train our minds to overcome the negative response we have to these thoughts. The best and only way that I have found is to implement the strategy that Paul and many others have described – let them be, don’t react to them, let them float in an out of your mind.

    If you fight these thoughts, then you’re just strengthening the negative response you tag them with. That just makes the thoughts seem stronger and more disturbing. It’s very hard to do as the mind seems to be going non-stop 24/7, but as you learn to not react to them, then you’ll find that over time they come with less and less force. Before you know it, weeks, or even months will go by and all of a sudden you’ll think, “hey, I haven’t thought about this in a while and when I do it no longer scares me.”

    I still deal with them from time to time, but overall, I’m pretty much done with them because all they have done is brought me what seemed to be un-ending distress. For me, these thoughts are the last remnant of anxiety. They seem to be less and less strong and although they’re still there from time to time, they no longer bring on the symptoms of anxiety. They are annoying sometimes, but I no longer give them any significance because they don’t deserve it!

    Anyway, I know it always helps me to hear that someone has the same thoughts as me. Didn’t mean to ramble, but I got on a roll and before you know it…. :)

  133. Kiran Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    This is the first time iam posting here although i have been coming to this site on and off for almost 2 years now.As everyone here does or maybe its just me,whenever i am experiencing a setback or having a bad day, i do come to this site and always feel better after reading everyones comments and the blog itself.It also gives a feeling of reassurance that i am not alone, there are others also going through the same feelings.because in our day to day life we dont meet people experiencing the same things,which kind of makes us feel “why is this just happenning to me”something must be really wrong with me and so on..
    But i have to say my frequeny of coming here has decreased a lot now …almost to maybe once in 3-4 months…whereas in the begining i was almost browsing and looking for answers 24 hrs everyday…actually for the last 2-3 months i had actually started thinking i was 100% ok…but since last week have been going through lot of stress…which got a lot build up and wasfeeling all the smptoms again coming back today…all the dreadful thoughts…that maybe i will again be going through all that i went through in the beginnning.. for almost first 4-5 months when this had all started iwas totally in very very bad shape…almost not being able to leave my bed or do anything…

    I also want to tell others that if you do as Paul says…and keep living your life…the feelings start loosing their hold on you…although they’re still there from time to time but seem to be less and less strong to a point that you can very easily brush them off and continue to do what you are doing…and the feelings just go away .
    Although i haven’t bought Pauls book yet,which i am planning to get now.i must admit just coming to this site and reading has helped me a lot.immediately coming to this site and reading people’s experiences,starts making me feel better( just to let you all know i had also strated from the worst ,whatever i read everyone mentioning…i have gone through it ..all the dreadful thoughts and feelings) Mentioned this for others to know ,there is hope and you can again start to feel normal as ever and enjoy life fully again !!!!

    Good luck Everyone !!!

  134. Jamie Says:

    Again, I’ll say the support is simply! Only other anxiety sufferers could be so helpful with all of this!

    Ezra, you are so insightful and understanding! You and Will described me to a t! I thought long and hard about participating in the blog and now I’m glad I did! It’s nice to hear that I’m not losing it and that you don’t think that I’m a danger to myself! That truely is my biggest fear!

    Today I tried to just think of anxiety as an old acquaintance. Someone that I didn’t care if I heard from. I had a long day of sitting in the car for work, and so normally I would have had a lot of time to ruminate over my thoughts. I’m not saying they weren’t there and that I didn’t have some uncomfortable thoughts, but they do seem to lose power once I quit fighting them. If I fight, I notice they start to spiral around the mental drain and I get sucked in. If I just say, “I know it’s you anxiety.” They seem to at least slow. Even the very specific, scary, stomach churning thoughts seem to flit in and out rather than poke and prod constantly.

    For the record, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy! This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with and I’m sorry that each of you has had to cope with it too! Thank you to those of you who are willing to share your experiences and tips!

  135. Ezra Says:

    Hi Tom,

    Just wanted to post a bit of help for you. I have suffered anxiety on and off for a few years now and although pretty much recovered I still get the odd thing, but only very faint.

    Anyway, yesterday I had a very important meeting, a life changing thing that I had to attend. I felt sick, stomack churning and felt very very faint.

    Now this response was an ‘appropriate’ response to a very important thing….not an ‘inappropriate’ response to just popping to the shops.

    It however reminded me how I used to live 24/7, feeling faint is just a symptom of adrenaline. It will not MAKE you faint so just laugh in its face and carry on doing your thing that YOU want to do. Your body cannot keep producing adrenaline and will eventually burn off so by carrying on regardless you are simply saying to your body ‘No need for the adrenaline now thank you’ and will soon start switching off.

    Hope this helps Buddy :-)

  136. Cori Says:

    Hi Robbie,
    Thank you for sharing that. I have had a bit of a setback over the last five days or so. I’m not sure why, but the thoughts came on full force and I have been having a hard time accepting. I think sometimes the thoughts make me doubt myself and that is the worst feeling in the world. I know I am a good person, but sometimes the scary stuff comes with such intensity, I start to question my very character. It is very painful. I am working hard at following the process. Some days are much easier than others.
    I have had all of the same thoughts as you, plus a few more. They are all horrible. But you are right, we would not react with such utter disgust if they matched with who we are. I get that total pit in my stomach and feel really ill. Sometimes it even brings me to tears.
    I am hoping that once I am away from the stress of work I will be able to handle things much better. It is hard to be a social worker and deal with other people’s serious issues, when I am not feeling too well myself. Thanks for the encouragement. I have needed some, everyday this week.

  137. Tom Says:

    Ezra, that advice was great! I was sure it was, just wanted it clearing up as because my attitude recently has been to doubt everything, i though the DP was totally unrelated to feeling faint with the anxiety!

    I have cope better with the feelings these last couple of days and I feel much better for it!

    thanks again for the help!

  138. Kat Says:

    Thanks Michelle Z,

    It does help a little to know that others have gone through the same emotions. What I find the most difficult is sifting through the depression, trying to find any shred of belief in recovery. When I’m really down, I have a very difficult time believing I’ll ever be any better than this.

    My habit/pattern seems to be that if I’m home for any extended period of time (weekends, usually), anxiety/depression seems to intensify. I become irritable and downright distant, which is how I was years ago when I was at my worst. I suppose that knowing this is what is making me feel worse, thinking I’m back at the beginning again. For the last eight years, home has been my safe haven, so clearly this new development is something of a problem.

    I suppose that after all of the reading I’ve done, all of the support I’ve received, I’m reeling because I don’t see anything like improvement in myself. If anything, I’ve moved backward, and I don’t understand how this could happen, given the skills I’ve learned. Others will write about their recovery, their faith in the process, and I feel kind of left behind, wondering if my problem is ‘different’, if I’m mentally ill or if ‘my anxiety’ is a wholly different breed than everyone else’s. Logically, I know it isn’t, but after 11 years of this horrible nonsense, I have to give pause to consider whether or not I’m clinically depressed or unbalanced in some way. That said, there have been periods of time over the last 11 years when I’ve experienced profound joy, so I guess that means I don’t yet understand this beast, right?

    I guess I’m just exhausted by it all. I really thought I’d bested it a year ago, and now it’s become my life again. I am so grateful that others can relate and share their ideas through this blog, though. When this first happened to me years ago, I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it, and that was a very isolating experience. I’m not afraid to ask for help here, because I know that others can relate, and that the common goal is peace and happiness. I just don’t want to give up on myself!,

    Kat

  139. Josh Says:

    Hi Paul

    This is my first post and firstly many thanks for the wonderful work that you have been doing in giving the right path to the sufferers. This extends right from the knowledge of symptoms to bring the bunch of people suffering together to share their views.

    I went through the same issue that most on this site have… I think I have recovered now. I still have extreme thougts etc which I know now is on account of anxiety. I want to carry on with my normal life now… want to know from you that despite feeling the worst … can we still carry on with work… or do you suggest a cautiuos approach… I mostly feel that I am going to pass out … though I passed out once… went to the doctors and reports were normal… wamt an assurance from you that I can carry on with work no matter what may come……This will do a world of difference for me… basically I do want to take baby steps now and take a plunge right away into work…

    Please guide

  140. miranda Says:

    hiya. ma names miranda and a 3 and halfyear ago i bought pauls book as i was in a really darl place after havin my son. didnt want to be here intrusive thoughts it was a crazy time and didnt think i would get through it but i can now saythat has passed now phew but at the time i thought is this ma life which was really scary…… well the reason why i am on here now is that me and my partner off 11 year and husband 5 have just split up. the problems started a year ago when he started selling drugs, not comin home , going on benders, lies. he has been oot more times than my whellie bin lol but all joking apart im finding it difficult. we split for 9 weeks there and he was beggin to get back but during the split i was always on the phone giving him wat for as i was finding out he was still takin drugs and he was suppose to be sorting his self oot. he would say dont give up on me please dont leave me etc. so he moved in for 2 weeks and within that time he was going out and not gomin home this happend on 4 sep occasions but when he did move back in it felt diff, like there was something missing but i thought its going to take time and we will have to work at it.. so after the last time stayin out i said to ma husband i dont think you love me or happy ass you keep doing these things and we cant go on like this to which he agreed. so he moved out. now i have found out he has been txn and sleept with this girl on a few occassions. he says he dont feel the same anymore and felt like this for a couple off weeks. wat i cant get ma head around that he allways begged to get back tells me how much he loves me, that im beautiful, great mum and wife and now a get hit with this. he says he isnt takin drugs but been told other wise. he was really bad a few month ago……..and just at the weekend there he had been on drink all wkend and his cuz told me he had been takin drugs but not as much as he used to but he is still lying, i think his head is messed up. i have said to him on several occassions do you want a devorce and he says no which makes no sence as if you dont love that person anymore why wld you still want to be married to them. i love him soo much but dont want to dwell on something that might never be iff that makes sence. so wat im askin for is how to get ma head round this and move on, any advice would be great. when i got married i really thought it was for life. the girl he is seemigly datin has been with a few whilst been with ma husband but chooses not to believe it , i think he thinks im telling him this to split them up but thats not the case, i just want him to realise wat he is loosin . he has 2 beautiful wee boy , 3 and ahalf and 2 year old and we have had a lot off years together good and bad. i just cant get round ma head he wanted me a few weeks ago and now its too late he says. my husband since we have been together always di the chasing and now hes is a diff man . everone says its the drugs and he has changed, i dont no wat to think. i would like to think its down to the drink and drugs as he has been hooked for soo long or is it that he no longewr loves me no more!!!!!!!!

  141. miranda Says:

    just hate this feeling off sick at the pit off my stomuch, like i cant cope . over whelming feeling off dred, had this before but just a different circumstance. cant see my life with anyone else.xx

  142. Elle Driver Says:

    I still cannot believe I came across this website, I have finally found explanations and understanding! I now have an explanation for my feelings of unreality, “why is the attention always on me”, the fatigue, the headache, the racing mind, in short; every aspect of anxiety. I find it incredibly provoking that most therapists and doctors really know very little about this issue.

    I have tried everything; antidepressants, psychoanalytic therapy, CBT, thought-field-therapy, meditation (which is difficult when you are fighting symptoms), working, not working… I have also read a lot of self-help-books by Louise Hay and Robert Holden. Great books, and a wonderful philosophy, but positive thinking can only get you so far when you are putting a lid on the negative thoughts. It can work for a couple of days, but then loses its force. I found it extremely tiring to suppress the disturbing thoughts, and it usually ended with the anxiety coming back – times ten – when I forgot to think in positive ways for a couple of minutes.

    Anyway… The last two days have been so great. I laugh with my partner and our kids, I play with them, I make dinner. Most importantly – I now to some extent relax at home! My home – which I have hated for so long, because I have been a prisoner here. I actually went to the mall yesterday, and bought two new paintings for our home! :)

    Of course, I am far from cured. I can feel the anxiety, but it’s okay. I can feel the DP, the dizziness, the irritability, the pins and needles, and it’s okay. I try not to fight it. I realise that it won’t happen overnight, this habit is oooold. The most important thing is to let my mind relax.

    So – Thank You, Paul. Thank you for this forum, and your website.

    Love from Norway :)

  143. Steveo Says:

    Hi all (probably SCARLET/WILL/PATRICK/PAUL in particular)

    I have posted a few times before but i now feel a little stuck.

    In comparison to when my anxiety problem first started, 14+ months ago, I know I have improved dramatically but… my mind still keeps questionning.

    My anxiety has decreased considerably but I now have more of a low and depressed feeling for the last month or so since the anixety started to decrease. This was with high DP at one stage but this has also slowed down.

    I know I should be extremely happy about this but what my question is, is how long does the low/depressed feeling last for? Or, should I not even be asking that question?

    I am again worrying slightly than I will not quite make a full recovery and this still scares me as I do not want to be feeling low or depressed forever.

    I do remind myself how far I have come but obviously, I want to go all the way to 100% recovery. I know it’s greedy but it is still getting me down.

    Any advice/guidance welcome :-)

  144. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Steveo you are going through a process at the moment, one that will bring many swings in how you feel, but you are going in the right direction.

    Don’t aim for full recovery and it will come to you, just smile and be proud of how far you have come. I was just happy that I could function again, then happy that I could smile without forcing it, then happy that I felt comfortable socialising, then happy that I could regain my love of life and the things I loved doing, it was just a process that crept up on me, I gave my mind and body as much time and space as it needed.

    You are getting down because you feel down, that never helps, so don’t fall into that trap. Why not write down some things that you would like to do and achieve. Be it get fit, start up a hobby again, do some voluntary work, anything that is positive. We can easily get stuck in a rut of life passing us by or of just caring about how we feel and not doing something proactive. Anxiety or not, doing something positive and active can really lift our mood and shake off the anxiety cobwebs.

    My next post may interest you, it is all about how I came out of my mental prison and got my love of life back. I thought it was time for a really positive post and I hope it helps and inspires others.

  145. Steveo Says:

    Thanks for your words Paul. I know I have come so far since it all started. I used to constantly DREAD my days and was not able to sleep, relax etc.

    I feel more human than I used to but it is our desperation to be better that I need to lose but which is inderstandably so difficult.

    Looking forward to your next post!

  146. james Says:

    Can’t wait for that next post Paul! I think my big thing is Mentally getting over it. Physically I feel fine after everything I went too but it seems my mind drifts back into everything I went through and I fall back into a funk.

    Thanks again!

  147. Debbie Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I am in need of some reassurance as I am going through a huge setback. I thought I had finally “gotten it” and was trying to be patient and get on with my life. I started eating better and exercising regularly and lost 10 lbs which was great. My employer sponsors an annual wellness screening where they take our blood and test for various things. One of my main fears is getting diabetes as my mother was diagnosed several years ago. I was a nervous wreck the night before the test afraid that the glucose reading would be in diabetic range even though in previous years all is normal although creeping up but still normal. It took about a week for us to get the results and I was a wreck the whole time. Well we got the results and was relieved to find out that al levels are still normal. And I have normal levels in all the tests. I was so happy. But that happiness quickly changed. I had been having to urinate more requently right around this time and of course before I found out the results, I “knew” that was my symptom of diabetes. No that I am clear, I am more focused on the fact that I have to use the restroom all the time. I know that that is also a symptom of anxiety and focusing on it only makes it worse but I can’t see to stop thinking about it. This has been for a bout a week. I am a little better at home but it is still in the back of my mind! This sounds so silly as I am typing this but this new obsession is putting me over the edge. Not I am afraid I am going to die and leave my family behind and I have no idea why. We are going on a long awaited vacation in a little over a month and want to be able to enjoy myself without having this new symptom constantly on my mind.

    I am sorry for the long story but feeling very low at the moment. Any reassurance would be appreciated. Anxiety SUCKS!

    Also I know that others are suffering from far worse and that makes me feel even worse about myself. I am throwing such a pity party and just want to stop!

    Thanks in advance.

    Debbie

  148. Max G Says:

    I have been recovered from anxiety for over a year now but my anxiety has recently returned out of the blue. It all started 5 days ago. I woke up out of bed with this choking sensation in my throat. I googled my problem and people say it may be Globus Hystericus. So I came back here looking for some reassurance, advice and support. Been very down lately as well… Thank you all in advance.

    Max G

  149. Josh Says:

    I have been thinking a while on why me and what difference has this done to me? The major part of our suffering also comes when we see others not suffering and being so cool and we on the other hand dreading everything… I guess their are lots of positives about this… I truly like the saying “God chose us for this because he knew … we could handle it”… I guess we are not at all weak… to undergo anxiety and manage work is certainly not an easy task and it requires special effort which unknowingly we are putting but ironically feel that we are weak… in fact I feel we are wee bit stronger then others….

  150. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Max do get that checked out before you think it is anxiety related, it may not be. People who do suffer can feel a choking sensation due to the muscles in the throat being tense, but it’s rare for it to come out of the blue and first thing in the morning, so definately get that checked out, it could be something and nothing.

  151. Elle Driver Says:

    You talk a lot about avoidance behaviour, and trying to control our thoughts is the real problem with anxiety. If I tell myself that “DP isn’t dangerous, the pins and needles are not dangerous, this will pass, I have had 3 ok days in a row now”, is that running away from my thoughts? It’s difficult to let my thoughts just “be” there when it’s giving me these unpleasant sensations, I automatically try to push them away. I mean, I HAVE to think! :) What is “ok” to think about? Hmmm…

  152. Cori Says:

    Hi all,
    Having trouble with the scary thoughts, today. Just trying to heed the advice of just letting them be there, but sometimes they just disturb me so much, I end up reacting and feeling really scared. I feel like my brain has latched on to the most horrific things and it becomes a challenge to just accept them. Have any of you experienced these things and then started with the self-doubt and questioning of your character for even having these thoughts? Started asking the “what ifs”, like “what if that came true”, “what if I did this or that”, “what if it isn’t anxiety and I am a monster of a person?”, etc. I feel like I was doing so well, but that I have taken a few steps down the ladder, again. It has even brought me to tears this week. Totally the wrong stance to take, I know! :( Any advice on this?

  153. Greg Says:

    Hi all,

    This is my first ever post on here. I came across this website only a few months ago, and went on to buy Paul’s book.

    Firstly, I just want to say that having read the posts on here, there are so many really strong and amazing people out there: I know how incredibly hard it can feel confronting this issue of anxiety. I’ve spent a long period , about 10 or 11 years resisting and fighting this “problem”, unable to make head or tail of it, trying to battle with it, having good days but then losing hope on the bad, watching the percieved “cause” of anxiety shift and change each time a new symptom or worrying thought entered my head.

    And then of course I read Paul’s book – and although a lot of it I had worked out myself anyway, it was very helpful hearing someone else who has got through it put down clearly and simply how to reconcile our relationship with anxiety. I say reconcile instead of defeating or overcoming, because put simply – anxiety IS our friend, a protection mechanism that has remained from our evolution from basic animals to humans. For me, I used to have a relationship with anxiety where it would serve me as and when needed. That is what I am aiming for, to call a truce if you like.

    However, it’s a pretty primitive mechanism and I believe it is lack of understanding of it that originally binds us all in allowing what is actually a normal human mechanism go into overdrive, fuelled by worry / fear.

    Personally, I have found that understanding the whole process has taken me from some very difficult dark times to almost being fully recovered.

    However, like many on here, I still have setbacks when I feel like I’m almost back at the beginning, and am still patiently (as much as possible!) waiting for the moment I can say every morning “I don’t care how I feel today”. The hardest part is not being fooled into believing the thoughts that accompany feelings of anxiety. It seems to me this is quite a prevelant statement! When not feeling anxious, thoughts just float by and you get on with it. When anxious, even normal thoughts get questioned because the body and mind are in fight or flight mode and looking for a threat – when it can’t find it externally, the search goes internal. Obviously looking forward to any advice or techniques people use to reconcile this.

    Warm Regards, and to all: keep the faith and trust in yourself, you will always persevere because the reality is there isn’t anything to worry about! It’s just building that shift in attitude and understanding. We’ll get there together!

    Regards,

    Greg

  154. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Welcome Greg and a very good and informative first post

    Paul

  155. james Says:

    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.

  156. scarlet Says:

    Hi MLK,

    ” I am now trying to convince myself that I dont have schizophrenia. Everything I hear, I wonder if I am actaully hearing it, or if its in my mind. I feel like I am back to my lowest point of ALWAYS running through my thoughts and whether or not I am schizophrenic. Can anyone relate to this at all?”

    I can relate totally, this was one of my worst fears, but here I am almost 5 years later and as sane as the next guy (winks). It’s so very normal when suffering anxiety to have thoughts like this and the schizophrenia one is very common. It’s nothing but anxiety tricking you.
    Get out of the habit of trying to convince yourself that you don’t have schizophrenia by more ‘in depth’ analysing. I used to say to myself, so what if I have schizophrenia, I am not going to worry about it any more and carry on with what I was doing, whatever I have I will manage. This attitude shift took the edge off the anxiety, and calmed me down. Try this approach.

  157. KM Says:

    Re: Another setback
    Hi Paul,
    I’ve been doing really well and thought i was through the worst of what anxiety could give me, my good days were outweighing my bad and if I did feel crap again it was only ever for a few hours or half a day!! For the past two days I’ve felt shocking again, just consumed with it and struggling to understand why! I’ve had the flu this week and am less busy with work and uni and i’m wondering if its just because i’ve spent more time on in and am talking myself into it! Its so hard to know, but i didn’t think i could be struck down with the weight of it all over again :(
    I’ve had a few days off work but am back at work today, and I know the drill to just get on with my day and let it be there no matter how loud is screams but it feels like i’m wading through mud :( I surpose I’m stuck with this feeling of thinking ‘its’ back as though its something foreign that i have no control over, as opposed to me, jumping head first into self pity, endulgence and negative thinking!! Its hard to beleive we’d be so self destructive towards ourselves!! I really liked your previous analogy of it being like a bubbling volcano that blows up every so often but simmers down again, just cant see the simmer any time soon! :(
    I’ll get off the blog and see if i can get on with my day and hopefully time will bring this to me :)
    Regards,
    KM

  158. MLK Says:

    Hi everyone..
    Just wondering if anyone can relate to me in that I think back to things in the past and I think about them so much that I eventually will convince myself that I did something wrong, even though I have thought abouit before (when I wasnt anxious) and didnt have these anxious feelings/thoughts. I then think about, “ok well what if I actually did do that? what would happen to me?” I am currently driving myself crazy thinking about stuff like this. any advice??

  159. MLK Says:

    P.S. Thanks, Scarlet for the advice! I feel like I move from one worry to the next…it can be really frustrating!

  160. Jessica S Says:

    Hi
    This is a post for Helen.
    Helen you may remember recently that a really good job came up but I was afraid to apply for it because I thought my anxiety would get in the way and you advised me, quite correctly, to apply for it as I would definitely have done so had I not had the anxiety.

    Since then I had the interview and it went ok and they have invited me back for a second interview which probably means that I have a good chance of getting it. I am now racked with anxiety. Scary thoughst all day about what would happen if I get it and cant cope and have given up the job I have now. I feel like I cant get away from the thoughts and it is really making me question if I would even take it if they offered it. I know if I didn’t have anxiety I would jump at it and be so proud but the fact is I do and I cant change it and I wonder if I wont be good enough for the job because of my symptoms- I suffer badly with social anxiety even though previously I was a most outgoing and confident person.

    Your thoughts on this would be most appreciated

  161. Ezra Says:

    Hi MLK,

    I too have suffered from this symptom of the past. I will think about something I have done or said years ago and thought about it so much it starts to distort and become a massive thing in my head, all consuming.
    To relieve the discomfort of the anxiety, I then have the compulsion to confess my ‘guilty’ thought to my husband. I can confess the same things a number of times.
    This is a common anxiety sympton, its a form of obsessive compulsive thinking. This thinking is only there because guilt is a great sensation for anxiety, it produces the same result, adrenaline, anxious feelings etc.
    As my anxiety has reduced dramatically so have the confessions as OCD is purely anxiety driven and is not a stand alone condition. Once the anxiety is gone so will these anxious thoughts and the need to dissect them or to distort them bigger than they actually are.
    Treat them the same as any other anxiety drievn thought, let them swill round in your head, live alongside them, do not fight them but welcome them in and eventually they will go.
    I also think it is about re-training our brains, as we need to be in control of our thoughts not the other way round.

    Hope this helps at all even if its to say that your not on your own,

    All the Best E

  162. MLK Says:

    Thanks for the advice, Ezra! It does help to know that someone else understand what I go through at times! I will let the thoughts in and not pay any mind to them. I also experience the urge to confess the thoughts to someone..mainly my boyfriend or parents. But thanks for the advice! I appreciate it a ton :)

  163. Cori Says:

    Hi MLK, I can totally relate to you. I have trouble with the scary thoughts the most and I have also thought back to previous times, just like you. I have been through every scary thought in the book, many of which are fueled by actual scary stories that I hear every day at work. It has been very hard for me to deal with, but I am trying to adopt the attitude of acceptance. Sometimes I am better at it than others. Just trying to avoid all of the what if’s.
    I also have the consfessional thing…it feels like it absolves you of the thoughts or something…def as Ezra explained it.
    It is def. nice to know that others are experiencing the same things, as anxiety can feel awfully lonely at times.

  164. steveo Says:

    Jessica

    I know the post is directed at Helen but I wanted to encourage you to GO FOR IT :-)

    You obviously have the right qualities and they can see that hence asking you back for a second interview.

    Once you have the job (hopefully) and have settled in, you will be so glad you did – it will just be a difficult first few months whilst everything settles down.

    I think if you don’t do it, you may regret it, but that is obviously just my opinion.

    Best of luck in what decision you make!

  165. Lies Says:

    Hey,
    Just wanted to thank you (esp Cori and Robbie) to reply to my email and tell me about your thoughts as well. It is true, it does help to hear that you are not the only one going through them and how you are supposed to deal with them. I just try to let the questions/feelings be there (although I think I shouldn’t even try but just let them be there) and go on with my life. I just came back from a trip with lots of walking and it helped me to relax as well.
    Good luck to every everyone,
    Lies.

  166. Jessica S Says:

    Hi Steveo
    Thanks for your reply. I really do want to go for it. But I am just really afraid because of all the scary thoughts. They are there constantly and I haven’t even got the job. I dread to think how I would feel if I actually accepted it. Just can’t seem to let these go!!

  167. steveo Says:

    You would probably be even more afraid to start with, but I’d imagine that it would get easier and easier as time goes by. As it did for Paul, Scarlet, Helen, Will etc

    Damn anxiety hey!

  168. 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.

    I had been following Patrick’s track since his struggles during 2009 and recovery later. It is giving me a lot of hope as I am also learning to “accept” and more than just “cope”. My biggest concern is depression as it’s physical symptoms are sometimes crippling (fatigue, no interest in anything, waking up in the morning and not getting back to sleep). Another concern that bugs me is that even though I had anxiety for 20+ years i failed to do something about it and let myself into depression (guilt).

    Thanks,

    Vam

    To Paul: Sorry for the duplicate post in another thread. I didn’t realize this was the latest post in your blog. Feel free to delete the other one.

  169. Jamie Says:

    I have one quick question for those of you who are well on the road to recovery.

    Is it “normal” for the mind to start to skip around to other fears (old fears) a you begin accepting? I am focusing on greeting anxiety thoughts rather than fighting them. This works pretty good, when I remember to do it! However, last night, somewhat out of the blue, one of my old worries came flying back in which so much force. Now tonight, we are back to worrying about me harming myself, but I’m hoping that I’m headed down the right road!

  170. Clara Says:

    Hi Paul, Will, Scarlet, Helen

    I am always in a ‘feeling mode’ in the sense whatever i am doing or while interacting with others or even when i am simply sitting i am continuously haunted by thoughts like ”how difficult life is, or how i should be behaving? why do people never accept what i am saying” even if it may not be true i cannot let myself free from these continuous thought flow that i totally forget that i am ”thinking” these thoughts…i am not able to think fresh even when i realise that i am thinking as they seem so real n true…when i try to do so i feel i am trying to cover up the truth…

    Things would have been normal if i am able to view life with a clear perspective with no prejudiced thoughts taking over my entire sensibility, mood and decision taking capacity..

    I cannot think independently and logically for myself and hence i am so frustrated….its always highly emotional and myself being in a very hopeless and desperate situation that i cant think straight…!
    Pls help me get the right perspective in thinking straight and independently and detached from what others may think…

    Hope i can regain my lost identity…!

  171. Elle Driver Says:

    Sara says:
    “I just realized today that sometimes the anxiety I feel attaches itself to things I am doing. For example, lately when I get online to look for recipes or browse for home decorating ideas, etc, I get very enthralled in it and I feel anxiety about it. Last night I was on a blog and started browsing recipes and became very interested and excited so I just kept searching and searching. After awhile, I realized I was feeling pretty anxious.”

    I experience the exact same thing. I just think it’s adrenaline, which is secreted when we are excited, either out of fear, expectation, even when it is positive. We misinterpret this on a subconscious level, because we are so hyper-sensitive to bodily symptoms, and then comes the anxiety. This happens so incredibly fast. I can experience this when I listen to music I like, during work-out, or when I’m on the internet.

  172. Elle Driver Says:

    Tonight I will follow Paul’s advice, and take som time off from anxiety as a topic. My plan is to go out, watch Man U-Barcelona (even if football is not really my thing), chat with friends, have ONE beer, and switch my focus a bit. I am feeling odd and out of it at the moment – but so be it. :)

  173. Greg Says:

    Hi guys,

    just wanted to give my own personal opinion on the post by Jamie;

    I’m at the stage where I’m close to recovery after many years of anxiety. What you describe is completely normal for anxiety sufferers, especially on the road to recovery. I’ve been there. Anxiety is a formed habit. A smoker trying to quit still has the craving a cigarette even on the road to recovery, and sometimes they end up succumbing to the feeling they must have a cigarette, even when they’ve successfully ignored that feeling in the past. Anxiety is no different – we can succumb to the same worries we’ve had in the past because the symptoms of anxiety persist out of habit and memory, just like a smoker trying to quit may feel stronger cravings in the pub where they became used to having a cigarette. However, overcoming a bad habit is a process – it takes practice and sometimes there are setbacks, but the intensity of those craving episodes fade over time the more you learn to let those feelings and thoughts wash over you.

    I have become to understand the fact that anxiety demands our attention and sometimes those same old worries begin to come into our consciousness out of habit or memory and try to trick us into thinking and feeling that there is something wrong. The habit is to then give those thoughts and feelings credit through worrying about them more, and so it no surprise we can convince ourselves there is indeed something threatening to us about this thought or feeling.

    So, what I have done which has really taken the edge off is when those thoughts and feelings start to build and demand our attention, I practice taking step back mentally (this is what you may have heard as “mindfulness” – something buddhists and people who meditate practice regularly), and allowing the thoughts and feelings to wash over me without becoming emotionally invested in them, knowing that this is a temporary protection mechanism that will always fade. It’s adrenalin driven, and that adrenalin always fades and allows you the opportunity to re-evaluate your worries with a more calm head. What almost always happens is that you realise those worries are nothing more than symptoms of being anxious. The more you can practice adopting this attitude, the more the anxiety intensity fades over time, and the clearer your mind remains, the more confident you become and the less power anxiety has to trick you.

    Hope this helps.

    Keep the faith: the intensity of ALL worrying thoughts are only ever temporary fuelled by adrenalin, they may come back or reform as different worrying thought, but just learn to accept this is simply a symptom of anxiety. The intensity will always fade with the adrenalin, and the more you can practice becoming less tricked by anxiety, the more these thoughts become exposed for what they are – just thoughts that fade and can never harm you.

    The bottom line is you, me, everyone: we are so much more than just our worries. They are temporary, fleeting, superficial – like a layer of skin that can be shed; whilst you, the real you who does not succumb to the tricks of the anxiety habit, are permanent. That real you existed before you learnt to react to anxiety, it continues to be there under the adrenalin fuelled worrying, and will be there when you fully recover.

    All the best,

    Greg

  174. Robbie Says:

    Jamie,

    Absolutely! As I started to recover, in retrospect, it seemed like my old thoughts would try to come back, leave fairly quickly, then I would go back to my current disturbing thought. I think it’s anxiety’s way of trying a last ditch effort to hang on. That was my experience and I did find that as I started recovering, my thoughts would jump around more and wouldn’t “stick” in my mind as firmly as they had in the past.

  175. Robbie Says:

    Hey Greg,

    I really enjoyed your last post. In fact, it helped me realize something. I tend to feel more anxious when I’m tired. Sometimes I confuse being tired with becoming depressed. Many have read on here that my biggest fear is that I will become severely depressed. So, when I’m tired, I tend to start anyalzing my feelings more.

    Now to my “ah ha!” moment :) You mentioned in your post about adrenaline and how axiety and disturbing thoughts are a manifestation of adrenaline. When I’m tired, my body produces adrenaline to help boost my energy level and help me complete whatever task I’m doing. The result sometimes is that I start to get my disturbing thoughts (release of adenaline), which is the fear of becoming depressed, which causes me to analyze how I feel.

    Now, does that mean that I should relax all the time and not get tired? NO! I just need to understand that if I am tired and I start to associate tiredeness with depression, it is just my adrenaline releasing.

    Thanks for the very timely post, as I’m tired right now after a busy day and my thoughts are running rampant :)

  176. natalie Says:

    fantastic post greg!!! it so is a bad habit one that is hard to kick because for some strange reason we think that worrying is going to help us.. i remember paul saying it is the most useless emotion we have!! so trust why worry .. just think what ever happens it will be ok, maybe not the way we imagined but maybe it goes the way it is suppose to be !!!! but it would be easier if you could get an anxiety patch 😉 ..lol !
    to robbie.. i have been at the depth of despair where i really thought i did not want to be here any more… you know what i got through.. it really is acceptance and trust.. i know the emotions and thoughts are horrible but it is just a symptom it will get better.. seriously depression is just a stage and not perminant.. plenty of outdoors and swimming and being with those i love and trusted helped get me through !!
    for me the only thing i really find is my enthusiasm to do stuff and my sense of humour is lacking.. i put this down to all the emotional and physical things i have gone through has used up all my reserves and it is simply a case of letting them build up again.. also find i don’t always feel connected emotionally to those around me.., in that i don’t seem to care for them like i did.. i hope this comes back .. what am i saying i know this will come back :) !!!
    love to you all.. i don’t post very often but am still sneeking on every now and then to see how everyone is doing and can see a lot of positive posts lately like gregs.. these i think are like gold they really lift the spirits and give hope thankyou to all those that are fully recovered that comeback to advise.. it means so much

  177. Mark M Says:

    For those of you still struggling, I feel like I’ve finally found, and more importantly, understood the answer to my anxiety problems. I heard it so many times before about just feeling the fear and doing nothing about it and going on with my day, but I really didn’t get it until now, perhaps I just wasn’t ready until this point or hadn’t gathered up the courage to do it yet. But 2 days ago I wrote on a sheet of paper what I wanted my life to be about, and what ended up coming out was –

    “What I want my life to be about – Never letting fear rule my life, keep me from pursuing what I want, or make choices for me until the day I die”

    The feeling that had been growing in the past 2 weeks came to a peak once I completed that statement, and I knew that living by that premise was the only way to get better, nothing else will cure me of the despair and depression and all of the other symptoms of anxiety. I just started to understand that once I lived by that principle of going where I wanted and doing whatever I wanted regardless of fear, nothing else mattered, and all of the myriad of ways that I’ve tried to get better or even procrastinate d or distracted myself with have only made my anxiety worse, not better.

    Now I just go and do whatever I have planned for the day without hesitation, and I really have to just remember that no matter how I feel or what happens, I’m going to do what I’ve planned to do, and nothing can stop me. I think that feeling is so crucial, because anxiety will question and try to create doubt in whatever you are doing, but if you go to an activity with an already determined mind that says “it doesn’t matter what anxiety I feel, I’m going to live and go through with this to the full even if I feel horrible, the decision is already made and there is no negotiating,” then really your anxiety quickly becomes useless. Why does it become useless? Because anxiety is there to get you to avoid situations and if you decide on going to a situation no matter what, then anxiety serves no purpose because you will go and do what you will go and do regardless of the anxiety, and from employing this method my anxiety has really just melted away and I feel so much more confident because anxiety doesn’t really have a say in what I do or don’t do.

    I just think this concept is so important, I read Paul’s book and did therapy and all of those things, but it took me 2 years to realize what was meant by saying “just live your life alongside the anxiety,” because now I understand that the only way to get better is to do the thing that you fear without hesitation and with a firm commitment that you will go through with them no matter how good or bad you feel, and I think there is a real freedom in that after you experience it coming from a background of constant anxiety.

  178. Greg Says:

    Glad to be of help Natalie. And you have it spot on Rob.

    No one suffering anxiety should EVER believe they are alone in this. There are millions of people who have been there in the struggle, and just as many who have recovered to a point where it just does not affect them anymore and can lead a perfectly normal, healthy and happy life.

    Everyone on here is capable of leading a normal, happy life. This is not an opinion, this is fact. Anxiety disorder is a learned habit, and like all habits the symptoms will fade over time. Everything Paul says in his book is excellent guidance for how to adopt an attitude which helps you unveil anxiety for what it is, thereby removing the “craving” to worry about it.

  179. ross Says:

    hey hope everyone is doing good :)

    not been on here in ages. just been trying to get on with things but i feel i need some advice . I have recently gone through a relationship break up which was so hard and caused a lot of stress!!! i feel pretty much the same with my anxiety but lately I have been feeling depressed a lot and i often get a ‘trapped in my head’ feeling :( its such an empty feeling that scares the crap out of me. i just constantly feel blank with depersonalisation. i have just bought some st johns wort to see if it helps , is this classed as not accepting?

    i feel i do accept anxiety and its symptoms but i have a deep belief that i will 1 day lose it completely and i cant seem 2 shift that .

    I haven’t exercised lately and to be honest i just dont feel like doing anything :( work is a struggle big time!! i have been suffering with anxiety now for 2 years. im drinking a lot more but i really feel i should be out and about with my friends and having a social life .

    Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated as i feel i amnt improving no matter how much i accept

  180. Clara Says:

    Hi Mark M

    This was exactly what I did months ago shifting my focus from ”why am i feeling this way” to ”its ok to feel anyways this is what i am going to do and nothing will stop me”.. those were the days i enjoyed so much of mental freedom and each day I felt like trying the things which i had kept away fearing i wont be able to make it…
    but somewhere down the line there was again a shift in my thought process..cant actually pick it up at which point or what made it…
    i thought i had cracked it..but now i am in a phase where each thought is accompanied by an anxious or -ve thought and it fills up my mind in no time…then i had to deliberately tell myself its anxiety dont take those thoughts to heart, emotionally detach urself from them and so on..again those -ve thought comes by and i have to redo the thought process…
    why am i not able to fixate the positivity in my mind…”no matter how i feel, i’ll move on” unknowingly these -ve thoughts creep into my mind…
    anyways let me re read your post and remind myself to move on…
    it was a wonderful post!!!

  181. Evelyn Says:

    Hi Paul or Scarlet:)
    i wanted to see if you can help me out a bit, i want to start off by saying that i am 100 times better, and that i have been living my life beside the horrible feelings of anxiety and unreality, i have good days bad days ok days, but overall the good days are starting to over power the bad, i feel unreality ande detached but im no longer scared of it nas it starts to die out when i ignore it:) sometimes it reaches itsn peek and i simply remind myself its just anxiety, i have been exercising, eating healthy and simply just moving foward..Although i have been btter, i still tend to feel stressed out, i have a great job, good family, wonder kids, but i always feel tense, or neckn pain, lower back pain, my life is not the best in the world, but im very blessed, so my question is why do i feel this way, or should i say how can i oversome it, yesterday i took my son out to0 eat for his bdayl, and my eyes felt so tired like they wanted to shut, i had shortness of breath, numb feeling, as i was driving home i felt like i was going to stop breathing, ughhh i get frustrated some times, becuase although i feel so close to recovery, but yet so far.. sorry for the long post, i just wanted to state my positive feelings as well as the negative, lol. i dont always want to complain about the bad, as i to have felt good:) hope everyone is doing well and on the rigfht track!!!!

  182. Josh Says:

    Hi all

    Just one simple thing that I have learnt from my expereince. Even if you had one moment wherein you felt you did not feel anxiuos then you are out of the problem. Believe me YOU ARE OUT OF THE PROBLEM. What follows after that is just your habit. It’s the years of suffering which has conditioned your mind acting upon you. After one second of sucess from anxiety you mind will start decluttering… there is no way things can get deposited again because you now have a shied of knowledge for protection. Anxiety cannot deposit back on yur mind. Its gone away.

    Just try to do your normal things. NOthing will every happen to you. Even in your worst of feelings you can carry on with whatever you wnat to do… belive me…

  183. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Mark M says: “What I want my life to be about – Never letting fear rule my life, keep me from pursuing what I want, or make choices for me until the day I die”

    A very true and inspiring statement Mark and this is very much what my next post will be about, something just clicked with me and took me on to another level with my recovery. More on this in my next post.

    Also I tweeted your statement, I do tweet any inspiring sayings and thought it was worth putting up for others. Again if anyone wants to follow me on twitter its anxietynomoreuk

    Also just to add some great posts here recently. I will be back on this week some time to add a few words, my partner tells me off for working weekends/bank holidays :-)

    Paul

  184. Josh Says:

    James

    That’s a very common feeling which ceratin people go through… it;s again adrenalin as Paul has been saying..it will go away again…

  185. james Says:

    Thanks Josh!

    It feels good to know that I’m not the only one feeling this, but it doesn’t feel good to see my post taken down :/

    But I understand it’s adrenalin, but how long does it stay in you? I mean it can’t stay in you for 6 months straight right?

  186. james Says:

    Also, everyday I wish I could be normal again, or just have my old me back. And I’m just treading and keep thinking this is how the rest of my life is going too be. I’m still young and now this is how I’m going to go through the rest of my days with constant worrying and thoughts running through my head. And all I think about is how am I going to do this, I just don’t think I can sometimes.

  187. Cori Says:

    Hi Ross,
    I have been taking St. John’s wort by direction of my psychiatrist. It helps with depression, but it was not solution for me. I really have had to put the effort forth to keep trying to accept the thoughts and feelings and to not pay them mind.
    I went through a state of depression that was quite awful…I feel much better now, not only from st. john’s but because I made myself get up and go. It did not help me to lay on the couch. I got a gym membership and started to make myself excercise, even if it felt like my feet were made of lead. In the beginning, anxiety was with me the whole time i was on the treadmill…
    I found that exercising and really making myself go about things as usual played a key role in my steps towards recovery. I would just do the things i knew i used to like to do and eventually, the joy returned.
    I don’t know if it is right for you, but I quit drinking almost altogether. In my case, I didn’t really want to add downers to my depressed state.
    I tried to think of things in terms of how to live a healthy life regardless of my anxiety and depression. It is better for me to eat well, work out, take my supplements and see my friends and family than it is to eat garbage, lie on the couch and avoid meeting people. If you go for it, you will see that you will slowly start to feel better. You really will.
    I am still working on the thoughts-the last thing to go, but I am doing better. Comes in cycles…i am learning how to accept. Here is to hoping we all get to mental freedom!

  188. Ezra Says:

    Hi Guys

    How do you know the difference between ‘anxiety’ thoughts and real/true thoughts ?

    Just been wondering !!

  189. Elle Driver Says:

    Since I found this website, I’ve made ??some changes in my everyday life. I refuse to let fear control me. Therefore, I started doing the opposite of the “messages” I get from my mind. I’m trying to accept the feelings that come, but I find it difficult. I am exhausted, and the anxiety has intensified. As a result, there emerged a scary thought; “What if it’s harmful/dangerous for my body to work against my instintcs all the time? Maybe I should wait until I have learned to accept my anxiety? My body is screaming “NOOO!! STOP!”, how can it possibly be a good thing to go against my instincts? Maybe I’ll develop/get Cronic Fatigue Syndrome if I continue this…”.

    Am I not ready to go after my anxiety yet…?

  190. Robbie Says:

    Elle Driver:

    Maybe I can provide some guidence. You mention that you are “doing” the opposite of what your mind tells you and question whether you are “ready to go after your anxiety.” This is going against what Paul and others are telling us. We need to learn to live beside anxiety. By trying to do something when you get these thoughts, you are responding to them. By responding to your thoughts, you are giving them significance. That’s the last thing we need to do. The more we give our thoughts significance, the more they’ll stick around.

    Instead of trying to go after your anxiety, why not just live your life the way you want to live it. Just let the thoughts be there. The reason you are tired is that you are “trying” to rid yourself of anxiety. Believe me, that just wears you down, and I fell into the same trap.

    You know deep down how you want to live and what kind of person you are. The best thing to do is to just live how you want to live, let the thoughts be there and eventually they will subside as you no longer give them any significance.

  191. Robbie Says:

    James,

    Just a word of encouragement. One, you will NOT be like this the rest of your life. Anxiety crushes your spirit to the point where you think this is how it’s always going to be. Just keep living your life and the symptoms will subside. The more significance you give them, the longer they will stick around. I know it’s hard, I’ve been there, but the good thing about life is that tomorrow is a new day. And a new day is another opportunity to have a good day. Just take it day by day and you’ll find the symptoms will start to subside.

    Two, you may feel like you’re treading, but healing takes time. Just like if you break an arm, there will be days in which it hurts a little more than others. But, after time, your arm heals and you start to use it more and more until there is little evidence that you broke your arm. Anxiety is the same way. There will be days in which your mind is running constant and your symptoms seem strong. But, there will be days in which you feel better, calmer, and more confident. Eventually, your mind will heal and there will be little evidence that you had anxiety.

    Three, will you be normal again? NO :) You’ll be better than normal! I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating, I wouldn’t have wished anxiety on my worst enemy. But, I also wouldn’t have traded that experience as it has made me a more confident, caring, social person. I’m not completely cured (about 98% there), but I’m not afraid of it anymore. You’ll find that you’ll come out of this with a renewed perspective on life and stronger than you ever were before.

    Keep it up – you’ll recover sooner than you think :)

  192. Elle Driver Says:

    Thank you, Robbie :) I have been trying to rid myself of anxiety for so long, that it’s really the only thing I know. What i mean by “doing” the opposite is NOT to flee. To stand put. Not to pretend to “be in a hurry” when meeting friends at the store, but to say to myself that I have all the time in the world. To sit by the table with my coworkers during lunch, and not walk away. It’s nowhere near comfortable, I feel like fainting, running around, throwing up and so on… So I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong? “Accepting” sounds so comfortable… What I’m “doing” is not.

  193. Elle Driver Says:

    I agree with you, Robbie, I know my life will be better when I’m through this. My father struggled with severe anxiety for 15-16 years. This was in the late 70s/80s. He never went to therapy – anxiety was extremely tabu back then – but he has been fully recovered for many years now. He says he would never be who he is today if it weren’t for his experiences.

  194. james Says:

    Thanks so much Robbie! This helps me out for sure!!! :)

  195. Kat Says:

    This post is for Helen, but if anyone else reads it and can lend some advice, I’m all eyes!

    First off, I apologize for the repetitive nature of my posts. I haven’t had much relief from my current bout of anxiety and the questions that swirl through my head are relentless. I do my best to work around them, but sometimes, ironically, the weaker part of me becomes stronger than the rational part of me. I hate that I need so much reassurance, but I guess I can’t change who I am.

    The problem is the same as it has been since last October: I can’t seem to feel the love I’m accustomed to feeling for my partner. It up and disappeared! I am so frightened by it, but when I find myself questioning how I’m feeling, I do try my best to be unimpressed by what I’m feeling. The trouble is, I don’t feel like I’m having much success. Like tonight, we were watching some of his old home movies, taken years before he and I met, and there were moments in which his ex-girlfriend or ex-wife were on the screen. The footage was simply family get-togethers or random moments cooking, etc., so there was nothing indicating intimacy, but still, I was frightened when I realized I didn’t feel any semblance of jealousy at all. Normally, this would be my normal reaction to seeing or hearing about his former relationships, but tonight, I didn’t feel a blessed thing!

    I guess I’m questioning how to know if the loss of feeling is real or not. How long should this go on before I start to think there is something really wrong? And, if I say to myself, as has been advised before, ‘Oh, well, so I don’t love him anymore, so what?’, do I need to worry that these thoughts will become true? Can I make myself fall out of love?

    As you can see, I’m really confused. I have days of feeling less anxious, more ‘myself’, but I haven’t ever felt that sort of ‘loving feeling’ for him since this all began. I feel like I’m ‘putting up with’ the situation, but it’s not getting better. Has anyone else gone through this? If so, what did you do to get your life with your partner back?

    I’ve asked this before, a few times, and have had excellent feedback from Helen and others, but this particular problem doesn’t seem to be discussed a lot in the books I’ve been reading, and when it has been mentioned (Claire Weekes touched on it) I didn’t see a very comprehensive explanation about it, nor were there any guidelines to correct it. Can anyone shed more light for me, please?

    Much appreciated,

    Kat

  196. KM Says:

    Kat,
    I think this is just your chosen anxiety focus. We all have focuses that we are fearful of, for some people these change, in your situation your fearful issue being your relationship hasn’t changed. I have recently been going through a horrible set back and after feeling somewhat better its thrown me completly. My thoughts have been racing all morning its horrible, and i’m caught up in thinking i’m never going to get better and i feel just the same if not worse than i did in the begining. I dont have that many physical symptoms of anxiety mine are all mental. The self aweness and ruminating and examination of thoughts feels like I”m trapped in my own head and cant escape, it feels unbareable. I got stuck in traffic this morning and its a beautiful day outside and my head was racing so hard all i wanted to do was crash my car to stop it! Trying to calm yourself down in a state like this is virtually impossible as its not like physical symptoms that subside, your thoughts keep on going, and going…
    So this is obviously my thing today, as it was yesterday (not as bad yesterday) but I have to ride out the bad days, which i’ve had way too many of lately, its hard to feel hopeful when this happens but i’m assured from people who have recovered that this is an up and down process, just hard to remember what feeling good was like, and where i’m going to end up. My advice to you would be to try not to focus on your relationship just let it happen organically, easier said than done :)
    Regards,
    Kat

  197. Ezra Says:

    Hi Kat

    I agree with KM, this is your worst fear, if you had no relationship doubts before your high anxiety then it will be fear linked and being driven by adrenaline.

    One option is to break up and let anxiety win….I’m guessing you dont want to do that and THIS infact would be your real worst nightmare…. So, relax and put your mind at ease but you are going to have to live alongside this stupid thought for now (as annoying as it is) and just truly accept what it is. Belittle it, ENJOY having the thought (takes practise) You are with your boyfreidn because you want to be there.

    I think I have just answered my above post ;

    How do you know the difference between ‘anxiety’ thoughts and real/true thoughts ?

    I am guessing it is when they distress you (eventually you will become numb to them after time, this doesnt mean they have become ‘real’) or if these thoughts had never entered your head pre anxiety ???

    ‘Life is to be understood, not feared’

  198. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Everybody – What does one do when their fear is actually about something that is happening? I recently found out I have high blood pressure and had to start taking medication for it. I don’t like taking medication because of a fear of how it will make me feel. I had to take it anyway and after a week or so did adjust to a low dose. At first it seemed like it was working, but as of yesterday, the bp was high and now I’m obsessively worrying about it (which I know is making it higher) and, yet, I am so filled with fear that I can’t seem to stop the worrying. I didn’t even sleep well last night. :( Thanks for any words of wisdom.

  199. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I so wish you could read your posts through my eyes as you would see what is very clear to me about what you are going through.
    Your posts show how you are watching yourself constantly, looking for how you do or do not feel and then asking yourself why. This is your problem, you are battling with yourself all the time.
    You noticing your reaction, or lack of reaction to watching the old home movies proves this no end. You don’t feel how you used to when you watched them before so you see it as an indication of your worst fear being true, that you don’t love him anymore, can’t feel love anymore. Kat, you cannot feel how you used at the moment, you are emotionally spent.
    If anxiety made you not like pizza anymore for example and it made you feel sick and frightened everytime you looked at it, would you be bothered? The answer is obviously no as it doesn’t matter one bit if you don’t have pizza in your life. You would just accept it, you wouldn’t wonder why this is happening as it isn’t important to you, no more pizza! I know this sounds silly how I am putting this but you have to try and approach what you are really going through in the same way. You have to really accept and not be surprised at your lack of feelings because you are feeding anxiety constantly. It doesn’t matter that you don’t feel this or that, stop looking, stop watching. Anxiety is getting the better of you at the moment as, unfortunately, it isn’t about pizza, it’s about the most important thing in your life and you wanting so desperately for it to go away and your need to work it all out is stopping recovery.
    Just try and get on with things without checking in whilst you are doing it. Watch the old home movies again and when you don’t feel like you used to, accept it.

    All the best
    Helen

  200. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I forgot to answer your question about what getting your life with your partner back. Mine came back very gradually by doing absolutely nothing. And by that I mean doing nothing with the thoughts in my head. I made sure I did lots of physical things, went out as I normally would, got on with everyday things but I just decided that I wasn’t going to fight anymore, it was pointless. My decision to stop battling with my thoughts didn’t make it stop, it was a long process but I realised that, bit by bit, other thoughts would come in, ‘normal’ thoughts if you like. I would have very good days and then maybe a very bad couple of weeks and visa versa but i just let it happen. It frightened me no end when I could feel the adrenalin start to pump and I would think ‘here it comes’ but I knew that I had to let it. Rushing, racing thoughts would try and entice back into the negative thinking that had been a habit for so long but it was always better than the last time and it was just because I stopped fighting. I came to the decision that if my worst fears were to come true and maybe I didn’t love him anymore, couldn’t love him anymore, then so be it and it just faded away over time and it was only because I was no longer impressed by any of it.
    My advice to you is to do nothing with your head and lots with your body and keep smiling even when you are feeling at your worst.

    All the best again
    Helen

  201. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    And so, Helen, I know you were speaking to Kat above, but could you answer my question regarding my blood pressure? I think I should be doing the same thing…” came to the decision that if my worst fears were to come true…then so be it.” It’s kind of hard when I know I’m making my BP worse by worrying and being filled with anxiety and, yet, I can’t stop it. :(

  202. Cori Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Yeah, I think you are on the right track, there. Just go about your routine and just try to let the worries live beside you. I think it is normal to have anxieties about health issues, especially, when they are diagnosed (and not imagined, like I have done). So, you it is a valid concern, but remember, you are addressing this concern. You are doing everything right! You have gone to the dr. and are taking the meds so that you can maintain your health. So, now, just trust in this and let the worries float. Sooner or later, you will forget the thoughts. Go about your business…do the things that make you feel good-walking, etc. Keep active. I think it is really a matter of just going with the flow, as we always talk about, here.

    Helen, love your post to kat. I experienced the same relationship stuff and it really was just a matter of letting it go…living beside those worries and letting them be there. Eventually they really did fade and all of the positive stuff came back. The worries are all just tied into the anxiety. Anxiety’s best talent is finding things for you to think about that upset you. I think the key is to tell it give it its best shot and to not react. I like the bully metaphor…the more a bully pushes you around and gets a reaction, the more he/she will continue to do so. The more you ignore the bully, the more bored the bully becomes and eventually, it will just leave well alone.

  203. Helen Says:

    Hi Michelle,

    You should definately do the same. What will be will be and no amount of thinking or worrying about your blood pressure will help. Look after yourself and don’t let anxiety make you obsess about it, it serves no good whatsoever, the only effect of thinking like this is negative. I know how hard it is but you just have to let it all sit beside you instead of on top of you, then you won’t be crushed by it.

    All the best
    Helen

  204. Steveo Says:

    Great post Helen.

    One for Paul’s twitter I think; “you just have to let it all sit beside you instead of on top of you, then you won’t be crushed by it.”

  205. LorraineH Says:

    How pleased am i that I have found this website. Has helped me so much during the last week.
    Have been sufferinng from anxiety for 2 months now. Been taking medication for 6 weeks. Thought I was feeling better but keep going up and down. Have no appetite. have to force myself to eat. Have lost 18lbs in weight – mind you I was 13 stone 2 months ago! Am going on lots of bike rides as feel better when exercising.
    I can’t accept that I am feeling so rough because of anxiety. Doctor has done blood tests, and says yes it is definitely anxiety. But surely not everything can be diagnosed from blood tests! I just can’t accept it and know i will be going back again.
    I work part time and usually feel a bit better at work, but am so worried i will have to get a sick cert as just felt so bad today, so weak as though i have flu. I love my job and just feel like it will be like giving in, as then i will be stuck at home all time.
    It is great to read the success stories, but just feel i will never get better, sorry to be on such a downer!
    Note for Michelle, I was diagnosed with highBP about a month ago, please don’t worry about it – half the people i know on on med for BP. It will be fine!
    Just need some reassurance that i am not completely mad! Would love to hear from one of you!
    e

  206. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Thanks to Helen, Cori & Lorraine! Good stuff and I will get back to the accepting thing once again. Arg! lol

    Lorraine, at some point, if your doctor is telling you it is anxiety, you have to believe and accept it. It’s a tough road to recovery, but definitely doable as you will see if you continue to read these posts. Anxiety can create so many different symptoms and the best thing to do is to, as Helen says above, “you just have to let it all sit beside you instead of on top of you, then you won’t be crushed by it.” No matter how awful you feel, just get on with your day. Go to work. Focus on what’s in front of you. As you continue to do this, it will leave little by little. You will gain your old confidence back. If you haven’t read Paul’s book yet, I would highly suggest doing so. It will explain so much to you. And, of course, this is a process, so feel free to come on here for support. Wishing you the best!

  207. Clara Says:

    Hey..

    did anyone have this issue? i dont have a particular mood to interact with people as in things dont come naturally to me to speak ..i feel i dont connect with the people around…like i am always frustrated with myself and what i have observed is that m on a defensive mode most of the times and not able to percieve things as they are…

    did anyone have these issues and how did u all tackle..i have quite many friends and i like them a lot but if my mood is bad or if m irritated with myself i get annoyed with them as well..then i have to bring the awareness each time that i shudnt show them my anger but it comes out somehow…y am i taking emotions so seriously and i can see each thought has an emotional meaning to it…hence it is so difficult to distinguish which is significant and real and which is ‘anxious thought’..right now its like my emotions are ruling my head…and cannot find a way out of it..

    Pls help me with some words of wisdom…m blocked somewhere on the road to recovery….!

  208. LorraineH Says:

    Michelle – thank you for replying so promptly. It really made me cry (with happinesss!) Hubby read it and was so grateful as well as he is very sympathetic but admits he doesn’t understand how i feel. Please make sure you have a good night’s sleep tonight, you really have NOTHING to worry about it. I felt so much better after reading your post – had been going through a massive panic attacK.

    I think my anxiety started because i had a really long period, about 3 weeks. (I am 51,first time this has happened, prob peri menopause?) Since then i have felt so unwell. My BP was noticed when I had a smear test about this time. Had to have a 24 hour BP monitor fitted. My – did I get into a state about it! (had been on anxiety medication about 2 weeks at this time). My sister had to come to the docs with me as I was in such a state – and I always said i would never worry if i had high BP! How the mighty fall!
    I felt so much better after reading your post – had been going through a massive panic attacK. I get in state as i have lost so much weight, but as my sister says ‘you are doing all the things to lose weight – you are eating less, you are exercising, plus you are anxious all the time – what do you expect!!’ Heart of gold, my sister!
    I will definitely be buying Paul’s book. Amazon don’t have it in stock at the moment so will order it from here.

    .

  209. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Hi Lorraine – Glad to be of help! I know how much better it makes me feel when someone posts for me. Did your doctor say your iron was okay? When I went through that, I ended up with really low iron, which makes you feel exhausted and really bad. I have been doing the same thing as you regarding the BP. Definitely got myself into a state and helped make the BP even higher. So now I am just focusing outward on my day and if I find myself focusing on my body, I am redirecting it. It’s such a process to learn how not to be afraid. :) But I know and believe deep in my heart that it can be done. You are not alone, Lorraine. Hang in there. We will grow through this together. Oh, and BTW, you can download Paul’s book, which is what I did, because I didn’t want to wait for a hard copy to be mailed as I live in the states. Blessings!

  210. Andrew Says:

    Dear all

    This is the 1st time i’ve posted on this site this year and have been keeping away from the blog as well following the advice and just getting on with my life. I’ve been slowly moving forward most of this year (I dont like the word recovery as that just puts more pressure on myslef to do it fully!) Still get a lot of the physical and mental symtoms but have got to the point where they dont bother as much.
    The advice I need and I guess this is from people who have suffered for a long time as I have is with the continuous focus on myself and from that reaffirming my suffering because of it. What I mean is because I watch myself all the time I react to what I think and feel and the habit has become so well ingrained I have no control, so for example, I notice I feel down, Thought is i’m depressed, panic thought thats my anxiety, cue more adrenaline and round the wheel goes and that process happens for thoughts physical feelings and emotions and because its a continuous process which from habit happens without my control I have absolutely no idea how to break the cycle. I know 1 issue is that I fear my anxiety and anything related to mental health problems as a lot of people say on this blog and the longer I suffer the more ingrained this worry becomes.

    Any help would be appreciated

    Andrew

  211. Clara Says:

    Hi Andrew..

    This is what I’m going through as I focus on myself a lot and on the thoughts and emotions I have so as u said if a random thought appears as ”how am i going to do this?” if that thought hasnt been there i would have done it without any care but since each and every minute i am having numerous thoughts and all thoughts relating to me and my wellbeing I am not able to break the cycle as in I dont know how to go about it..To get out of pure anxiety symptoms were much easier than this 24/7 focus on oneself..!

    Hope we’ll be able to crack it someday…!

  212. Cori Says:

    Yes, the self-awareness is the whole problem. I long for the day when life will be more like getting lost in a good book…you know how that feels, when you are so completely absorbed in a good story that you become totally unaware of the world around you and of yourself?

    Just keep on letting things float. It takes effort, but I really do find that it works. Not every day is the same, tho, so don’t lose heart, if one day you feel great and the next is a bit tough.

  213. Michelle Zimmerman Says:

    Hi Andrew, Cara & Cori:

    Look back at Paul’s post from August 2010 titled: I Feel My Attention Is Always on Me (I think that’s the title). I think it will help you.

    Blessings,
    Michelle

  214. LorraineH Says:

    I Have had a new symptom and wondered if anyone else has had it. Didnot have a good night last night as had made mind up to go back a see Doc today. Woke up and thought i was going to be sick, but had a lot of dry retching.
    Felt better after seeing Doc, went for a meal with hubby, but was very stressed as not happy about going out and eating in a restaurant, as find it makes my anxiety worse.
    However decided to go for it. Did not enjoy meal and have felt terribly sick for remainder of evening with lots of retching. But have not felt sick. Findthis very scary, and just need toknow if anyone else has felt like this

    Thank you

  215. LorraineH Says:

    Sorry re above meant to say had not BEEN sick

  216. KM Says:

    Hi Lorraine,
    When my anxiety was at its worse six months ago i was dry wretching every morning in the shower and often during the day, i had severe nausea too, it all passed, occasionally reoccurs, but i dont worry about it. I had this for 9 months when i was pregnant never worried about it as i knew it was due to the pregnancy, it always passes yours will too.
    All the best

  217. LorraineH Says:

    KM – thank you so much for your reply. Has put my mind at rest. No you are right – I had it when i was pregnant as well, but had an excuse then!

    Thanks again, feel a bit better this morning.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction on this website for any info on how to go to bed relaxed at night?! Am having big problems with this as am so tired but when i close my eyes , I have these strange pictures come to mind – difficult to explain, but like faces I have never seen before. Or just merely sad thoughts about my children and family. I have tried listening to something relaxing, but know i am going to bed with the wrong ‘mindset’ as am concerned that i won’t get to sleep – which obviously I don’t!
    Thanks

  218. LorraineH Says:

    KM – Thank you for your post. Feel better about it now, you have put my mind at rest.

  219. Clara Says:

    Thanks Michelle Zimmerman and Cori

  220. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Lorraine – Sleeping – I would be willing to bet that just about everybody on here has issues with sleeping. For me, I can usually fall asleep, but I wake up very early in the morning and then can’t fall back to sleep. The most important thing is to do as with everything else…accept it. Accept the strange thoughts and let them float. I so know what you’re talking about. Have had the same thing happen. In fact, the funny thing is that I can remember that happening when I wasn’t worried about anxiety. I may have had an exhausting, long day and when I tried to lay down to go to sleep those strange odd pictures & thought would flip through my head. But in those days, it didn’t bother me. I just allowed my body and mind to get to a relaxed state and before I knew it, I would be asleep. So the same holds true here. Just allow whatever pops in your head to be there. Let it float in and out. Don’t add any fear to it. The same holds true for worrying that you won’t sleep. If you don’t sleep, you don’t. I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve had, but I always get through my day just fine. And you will, too. When I stopped worrying if I would sleep or not, I began sleeping. I still have nights where I wake up early, but it’s not everyday.

    You could try different things that may help: relaxation CD before bed, read a good book, a boring TV show will always put me to sleep :), hot bath, but the main thing is to accept it all. You can do it, Lorraine! Hang in there. It will get better.

    Blessings,
    Michelle

  221. Carrie Says:

    Hi friends,
    I am new here. I just wanted to ask for your help in identifying my symptom. I have been suffering from anxiety for the last few months and it has been revealing itself in different forms (including panic attacks, negative thought patterns, sadness, persistent weird thoughts, etc.), but what I am feeling now is new and hard to describe (tried explaining it to a specialist with little success). The best way I can describe it is that it seems strange to me that we exist as human beings. So even though I go through my days as I used to and do the same things I used to (to the extent the anxiety permits me), but I am constantly overwhelmed by this weird perception of the world. It’s not that I wonder why we exist or don’t know of the facts relating to our existence. It is more perception than a thought. It feels that I am stuck in it and it makes me fearful. All the time. I cannot shake it off. I only get breaks in the morning (if I was able to have a good night sleep). I also noticed that the only emotion that I feel is fear or anticipation/observation of anxiety; otherwise, I feel numb to what is going on around me. If someone has experienced the same, please help me to figure this out. If I knew what it is, maybe it would be easier to know what to do about it.
    Thank you,
    Carrie

  222. Si Says:

    Carrie,

    First thing first…. Have you got Paul’s book? If not I would really say the sooner you get it the better your understanding on how you feel.

    Everything and more, and I mean everything you have written about above is explained in Paul’s book and also in these blogs, but I would say the book sums everything up where as the blog is a great place to give you that bit of “Real Time” lift :)

    One small sentence within your blog Im sure sticks out to everyone who comes on here and it is …… “help me figure it out”

    The book is an essential tool for questions like this as it explains all these issues, it’s the TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT that is making you feel ALL the feelings, silly thoughts and low mood, and the harder you try to work it all out the more the symptoms come…. trust me I know and I am still learning (and not always listening *sorry Paul keep nipping on here now and again even thought you suggested I dropped the subject, hard habbit to break, but I’m more possitive with my progression albeit slow)

    Anyway Carrie, I like what Paul says regards this approach to recovery. “It’s SIMPLE, however it’s not going to be EASY” Not sure I quoted you correct Paul,

    Im out of here for another week, whilst I make freinds with my condition :)

    Si

  223. Will Says:

    Hi Carrie,

    I know exactly what you mean – it’s what I would describe as ‘existential questioning’ and, if you look back over a lot of the posts on this blog, you will find that there are many, many people who have discussed just this problem. It is incredibly frustrating, and often frightening, to find oneself questioning the ‘nature of existence’ in this way, especially if it is dominating thoughts to such an extent that it is interfering with everyday life.

    However, the reality, as Paul’s book makes very clear, is that this is simply an exaggeration of quite normal ‘puzzling’ over life and the exaggeration is caused by the mental and physical fatigue that comes with anxiety. Under normal circumstances, a thought like “Why are we humans here?” might actually be quite a pleasant passing question in one’s mind which would just come and go, but with anxiety it becomes exaggerated into an overwhelming, panic-creating question which is so dominant it can make simple things difficult, like interfering with social and work situations, for example.

    As hugely annoying and disturbing as it can be, however, it is simply an exaggeration of what is quite normal and as you re-charge mentally and physically, questions like that just won’t have the same effect but will come and go, as before. Normally you might say to yourself “Yup, that is an interesting question ‘why are humans here?’ but there is no answer to these kind of questions and I sure don’t have all day to think about it because I have a whole load to do!” and just get on with things. And once you allow your mind and body to re-charge, you will be able to deal with it in that way again. It’s just that when you are worn out mentally and physically you, literally, have no strength to brush that kind of thought aside, which makes you panic, which intensifies the thought, and so on and so on – it’s a cycle.

    So you have to break that cycle. One way of breaking that cycle is to really allow yourself to re-charge mentally and physically. Remove pressures in your life as much as possible, rest when you need to, be nice to yourself, eat well, exercise, go and see a movie, do nice things. Also, even when you are feeling a bit weird and these kind of questions are buzzing around your head don’t allow yourself to get into a ‘secondary fear’ cycle and start thinking “What will I do if I start thinking about these questions at work?” or whatever, just go out and do the things you normally do and when the weird thoughts come just remember that it is an exaggeration due to fatigue – nothing more than that.

    Will

  224. Carly Says:

    Hi everyone

    Oh Will, I love you! You make so much sense of everything as Paul does and I feel so weak sometimes that I have to come here and get reassurance but hey, what the hell, I need some!

    It’s been a little while since I’ve been on here, my last post was horrible to say the least as I was having a nasty old day but on a positive note I had the best day I’ve had for ages yesterday. I didn’t grab for it just made the most of it with my kids and a little of the old me popped up! It was comforting to know I’m still under there somewhere haha!

    Certain aspects of my anxiety have started to diminish and affect me less (scary thoughts, random memories popping up, sensitivity to certain words, believing there is a secret answer hidden in everything – wow this makes me laugh right now lol) but I just wanted to seek some advice/reassurance on something. The DP I experience is really affecting the way I live at the moment, indecision and unable to organise are key factors. For example, if I go out with my children, it’s a real struggle to think what they will need e.g nappies, wipes, snacks etc it’s as if the DP makes my mind completely blank. Whilst out wth my partner and kids the other day, my mind was so blank I even struggled to cross the road, it’s like I was unable to register danger or anything, I just stood there. I can no longer seem to multi task which for a woman with four children, is a nightmare!! I even find that my brain seems to ‘hurt’ if I’ve had a busy day, like life is going too fast for my brain to take it in!

    I guess these things are all reflections of a tired mind and body?? oh…wait…the ‘blankness’ has to be because I’m totally focused on me and my feelings and nothing else right? Crikey, I’ve just answered my own damn question!! I guess I just wondered if anyone else has felt quite like this?

    I’m slowly slowly getting the message that this is me for now and VERY SLOWLY losing the fear of it. In fact some days I can really see it for what it is and know that it is just my body’s way of protecting itself which literally ‘lifts’ my heart. I do struggle with the bad days purely because I think, bloody hell I just want to feel like I’m actually in the moment for once! I loathe the self awareness thing with a passion, I hate thinking about me it’s boring me now to be honest and the emotional numbness is tricky to deal with at times but this is part and parcel of getting better I suppose….Oh well, onwards and upwards….

    Much love to everyone as always xxxxxx

  225. Carly Says:

    Oh and a great big thank you to all you lovely people that have taken the time to respond to my posts…thinking of you all xxxxx

  226. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Carly says: I’m slowly slowly getting the message that this is me for now and VERY SLOWLY losing the fear of it. In fact some days I can really see it for what it is and know that it is just my body’s way of protecting itself which literally ‘lifts’ my heart. I do struggle with the bad days purely because I think, bloody hell I just want to feel like I’m actually in the moment for once! I loathe the self awareness thing with a passion, I hate thinking about me it’s boring me now to be honest and the emotional numbness is tricky to deal with at times but this is part and parcel of getting better I suppose….Oh well, onwards and upwards….

    Carly it does take time for the meesage to sink in and also to lose your fear of the feelings. To lose fear of anything you have to unmask it, I now know anxiety cannot harm me, it cannot stop me doing anything, I won’t get carted of somewhere, it is part of mine and everyone’s make up. I could truly be racked with anxiety tomorrow and although I would not like the discomfort of it, it would not impress me or have my resect, I lost that a long time ago.

    I learnt enough for it to no longer rule my life, I got to the point where I just woke and just carried it around with me. It no longer bothered or impressed me, I had lost my fear of it, I had lost my respect for it, gone where the days where I would spend 12 hours trying to fix it, there was nothing to fix. But it took me a while to get to that point, as there was always doubt there in the early ddays, anxiety fed off that doubt and I would slip back to being impressed and start the whole battle again.

    This is why we can read something and feel better instantly, this is because we lose a little fear of anxiety, our mood lifts and our attitude changes. But the next day the old fears come back, anxiety feeds them and we feel like we are back to square one, back on here for some reassurance.

    I will give you an example. I suffered very badly with D.P, now my aim 24/7 was to get rid of this feeling, home in out it, mentally try and fix it. this was wrong, wrong, wrong, but this is what my instinct told me to do. It took a while for me to realise that it was anxiety based and it was there to protect me from all the stress and worry, like a safety switch and that I was not going crazy. So I learnt the best way was to live along side it. This helped me recover long term, but I would be out somewhere socially and then like a switch unreality would descend and the D.P was back. Well I went back into fight mode, spent my night trying to fix it with sayings, homed in on it, went home, tried to figure out why, felt sorry for myself, etc, etc. It hurt mer more in company as I was trying to get my life back and this is always when I seemed to slip back, the temptation to stay at home seemed a good option so I no longer felt that way.

    Then it clicked, I was out in company, that little extra stress was caused by hoping I would be o.k, the social aspect, that was enough for the D.P to descend. I realised I was not fully recovered, I was just getting there, it did not take a whole lot of stress to have the D.P descend. It was the very worry and pressure of hoping it would not come, that had it appear, I had unmask another aspect of it.

    So the next time I was out in company if the D.P came it was fine, I would just sit on it. without the extra pressure of hoping it would not come, it sometimes did and sometimes did not and when it did it was milder. Also when it came I was o.k with it, I was just getting back into social situations and that may bring on a little extra stress which may bring on a little anxiety/D,P and that was fine, (before the more unreal I felt, the more I would try to appear normal, which made it even worse). So I just carried on with my night, no turning on myself or trying to fix it, trying to appear or act normal, there was a reason, an explanation.

    What I am trying to say is it still took me a while to truly understand, to unmask my anxiety and the tricks it played, it came through experince and knowledge. It is alright saying I no longer care, when underneath you do, so give it time, don’t run before you can walk, just stick to the basics and the rest will follow. One eureka moment leads to many more, your understanding and knowledge grows overtime. As you see you are now answering your own questions, a real sign that the message is truly sinking in and your knowledge is growing.

    Paul

  227. Lesley Says:

    Not sure why I’m writing on here really as I seem to know the answer just is helps bit more when someone else advises you or in my case gives me a kick up the arse which I think I need at the mo, after having anxiety for three yrs n the last almost yr Ive found this site n have read Pauls book I seem to be doin really well (up n down mind you but that’s how recovery goes) though am having bit of a tough time lately, I know when I think about it I dont really blame myself as my young daughter has been in hospital for a week then there was the week off school to recover (this is when it flared up again) week worrying when she went back to school if she was drinking enough at school ( she had a pretty bad kidney infection) then were off on hols in two weeks, always worry lead up to holiday so all in all is it any wonder why I feel pretty poo right now, it just bugs me how I’d had a few really good months then to feel crap again pee’s me off I just wish this thing would do one! Lol, I know my own answers really it’s because I’m lettin it get to me n bother me but this time around I can’t seem to help it, silly me, still no where near like I use to be gone are all the mental symptoms and alot of physical ones it just seems to be my breathing that hits me most as if I manually have to breathe most of the time but I know this was the thing that scared me most as rewind yrs n yrs was the start of panic attacks at 16, but they seem to fade out back then when I wasn’t scared of them no more but yet now and throughout my anxiety the whole breathing thing (dont no what else to call it) seems to niggle at me when I have my down times, other than this rough blip on the all lots better so not to sure why I’ve wrote on here just lookin for few words of wisdom I suppose

    Lesley x x x

  228. Ezra Says:

    Lesley

    It sounds like your being a typical mum, one that holds everything together and looks after it all !
    No wonder you have felt crappy lately with whats been going on, pat yourself on the back and look at how how far you have come…..we need to start being kinder to ourselves more :)
    I too suffer with the whole breathing thing, including a closed throat on a regular basis. Its annoying but it cant harm you, I just try to do some exercise or have a glass of wine (however just found out I’m pregnant again so unsure what I am going to do now !!)
    Incorrect breathing can also be a bad habit too so it’s probably not all your anxiey that does this.

    Keep your chin up and enhoy your holiday

    E

  229. Elle Driver Says:

    I am full of symptoms at the moment, and trying hard to accept this – of course it doesn’t work. If I continue to life my life, even though I don’t accept my symptoms, maybe acceptance will come to me…? I hope someone can guide me on this.. :)

  230. Elle Driver Says:

    What I mean is; if I can’t accept right now, does this mean acceptance wil never come to me?

  231. James Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I’ve not been on here for a while, because I feel as though things are starting to “click” for me now, and I’m not really so interested in anxiety any more. I’m really beginning to “let it go”, and accept that it will disappear quicker, the more I just get on with my life in spite of it.

    The one issue I do have though is breath-holding. Whenever I do anything, I have this tendancy to tense up and hold my breath. This causes my symptoms to really shoot up, and it then becomes hard to not think about anxiety. I feel I *do* need to address this, such as learn to breath properly. However, should I simply be accepting this too?

    I’m just about to go for a job interview, which will be interesting!! I am hoping to start work again though, as I need to fill my days. It’s been over 2.5 years since i left work now.

    James.

  232. James Says:

    Elle, don’t think that because you can not accept now, it won’t happen. I was not able to for a long time.

    I honestly think that if you can not accept, then it’s best *accept* that you can not accept – at least just for now. This avoids piling on additional layers of stress.

  233. Liz Says:

    Hi Everyone,
    It’s been a while since I’ve been on here—I first discovered the site almost a year ago when I was going through a really bad anxiety breakdown. I only posted one time before, around last October, just to tell my story and how much the book and site had helped me. I had been in such a bad place and because of Paul’s book and this blog was able to get through it and become a much stronger person. Over this time I still check the blog because it always inspires me to hear people’s stories about overcoming anxiety. And I find Paul’s advice always so helpful.

    I have had some small setbacks, the last one being about 6 months ago. But right now I’m in the biggest setback I’ve had in this whole process, which is so confusing to me because I thought I had come so far. I think its hit me hard too because I’ve had 6 months of very little anxiety—to go from having almost nothing to feeling like I’m back at square one is emotional for me. I almost feel like I have to re-learn everything all over again. I’m so confused by it because I really thought that I was almost there in recovery—definitely not 100% but I thought at least 80 or 90%. A question for those out there who have recovered—is it normal or typical to feel so close to recovery only to be pushed backwards so far?

    I’m having a hard time accepting how I feel and being ‘ok’ with it all when I had such a long break from feeling this way. I had been so proud of myself for how far I had come so now I feel so disappointed in myself. My biggest fear now is slipping back into that really bad state I had been a year ago. I know that tells me that I’m still fearing anxiety but for some reason I’m just having the hardest time not fighting it.

    Anyway, just wondering if anyone else had ever felt so close to recovery only to be pushed backwards like this.

    Liz

  234. Clara Says:

    Hi Liz

    I am having the same issue like yours now.. i had been learning how to move ahead ‘however i felt’ and even when i felt crappier i could just pat my bak and move on convincing that they are simply ‘anxiety symptoms..and I reached a point wherein I had no difficulty to move on and nothing stopped me from going ahead..But lately, i have been going backwards as in nothing seems to ‘click’ i couldnt convince myself that its simply ‘anxiety’ I am so aware of my mood and my feelings and thoughts i couldnt break that cycle the more aware i am the more difficult it is to connect outside …or convince myself that its anxiety…
    i dont know where i’m going wrong..this is how i felt before i got into the pit…no panic attacks but severe depression thoughts..and can see things only in one way and thats way too negative..!

  235. Liz Says:

    Hi Clara,
    I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this as well. I think the problem we are both having is that we are way too impressed with how we feel right now and we are trying to “figure it all out.” And because of how bad our anxiety was in the past, we still have memory of how awful it felt to be “in the pit” of it. I too spent many months learning how to just move on with my life with anxiety next to me and that’s why feeling this way has hit me so hard—what the heck happened? I was doing fine with it and then bam, I had a bad thought come to me and it just stuck. For months and months nothing stuck but for some reason last week it did and now I’m trying to get back to how I was before. But I guess that’s just proving that for some reason I got impressed with that thought. Maybe because so much time had gone by with me feeling “normal”, I was out of practice on how to not be impressed by anxious thoughts. But see here I go again trying to “figure it all out”! I can feel myself just going in circles. This time around it’s not preventing me from doing what I would typically do—I’m still doing my normal daily thing. It’s just preoccupying me and my focus and energy feels so inward. Life is so short—I get frustrated spending an extra second being preoccupied with anxiety.
    I went back and read some of Paul’s past blog entries that talk about this, and I know that the issue is that we are way too impressed with our feelings right now. And when you’ve had a long stretch of feeling so strong I think it just takes us off guard. I’m hoping that this setback will just make me that much stronger and I hope that for you too Clara. It’s hard to not be impressed with our feelings, especially if we feel we have no reason to feel bad or anxious (anxious about being anxious!). But I think we both just have to say “whatever” to our feelings right now and hopefully acceptance will gradually take over.

  236. Cori Says:

    I also want to add that everything takes time and that we have to try to be patient with the down times, when they come. After all, isn’t that the human experience? No one is ever on top of the world all the time! So, take heart and keep practicing all the old rules of acceptance. One moment at a time. One foot in front of the other. Try to see it as a journey. We have to travel over the mountains (good times) and down into the valleys (hard times). Try to go about your business and do the things you like to do, no matter what!

  237. Candy Says:

    I am new here, I have read alot of the comments and have purchased Pauls book this past January. I have had anixety forever, but panic attacks started about 1 1/2 years ago. I have been doing good since just still have anxeity trying not to watch myself to much. Since i have gotten Pauls book and read it, I have read it over and over and then certain parts kind of like a study book. Have been good since I have gotten alot better and understand it more (anxiety) but just today in the evening i got a attack I don’t know if it was depersonalisation or a panic attack, by the way first one since i don’t even remember i wanna say this past january. (so i didn’t have pauls book then) But, it felt like the ones i used to get last year, where i felt like i couldn’t tell if my thoughts where real or a dream i had in the past night. So i kinda of started getting alittle scared and I went to read pauls book on feeling detached from ur surroundings, and read up on it. I then started to try to let the feeling just be there and try to involve myself with my kids and husband, but kinda was getting irritated. But i felt i handled it better than i use to (last year). I was trying not to let it scare me and go one with whatever i was doing trying to get out of my head. This is my first one since last year (before i purchased pauls book) But i have to be honest , I may have gotten a bit scared about it, but I didn’t let myself constantly try and question it i already knew what it was. It took awhile to come down, it is still there alittle right now (shakyness, trying to get out of my head). I thougt I was over this, it has been about 6 months. But I have read pauls book and your postings and i know it takes time. I just have to let it come and don’t put to much thought into it. I feel like i am rambling, lol! My big problem is i am so use to anaylizing everthing. I haven’t had one in so long and I want to try and fix it so i won’t have another. How do i fix this? Do i just let it be and think if i have another one of those episodes, then i do? Just let it be and continue going on with my business. I just don’t want this to come back again. I have been good since last year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for listening, Candy

  238. Carly Says:

    Hi all,

    Thank you Paul, so so much for your response

  239. candy Says:

    Hi all, well i went back to pauls book last night and i found that i was just going back to doing what i was doing wrong b4 which was trying to fix it, instead of just letting it be and going on with my life, and if that felling was there then it was. just another feeling from anxiety. So now I know what people mean when they want it to come back so they can feel it and not give it so much importance.
    Thanks Paul for ur book you are the only one who explained all this in detail so well and it helps so much to see all that have overcome this,
    Candy

  240. Carrie Says:

    Si and Will:
    Thank you so much for your replies. It makes me feel I am not alone out there.

    Dear Paul:

    You have sent a strong message about dealing with the effects of anxiety that has accumulated over time, but do you think that trying to determine the events that caused the anxiety in the first place is a productive exercise while the anxiety is still present? For instance, I think, in my case, the anxiety has been caused by a long educational path and constant worrying about personal relationships and everything else under the sun). I also really dislike my job which is causing constant mental pressure, although this is not something I can change at the moment. Along with trying to accept anxiety symptoms and going along with them, I have also spent some time trying to determine what caused the anxiety in the first place. Do you think I am putting more pressure on myself trying to figure out the causes? I think so, but part of me is trying to see what I can do to prevent more anxiety (not in terms of symptoms but in terms of how I ended up here). Also, some days I am on the verge of ruining my otherwise healthy personal relationship because I somehow think that it is causing my anxiety (I am really hoping that it is just the anxiety playing its tricks).

    Thanks for your time. I am truly grateful. If a similar question has already been answered, I apologize.

    Best,

    Carrie

  241. James Says:

    I got the job I applied for, so I’m back in work at the end of the month! Can’t believe it. It’s going to be so hard for me, but hopefully so helpful in my recovery.

    Did anyone see my question about breathing I posted on Tuesday? I’ll repost it in case anyone can help:

    “The one issue I do have though is breath-holding. Whenever I do anything, I have this tendancy to tense up and hold my breath. This causes my symptoms to really shoot up, and it then becomes hard to not think about anxiety. I feel I *do* need to address this, such as learn to breath properly. However, should I simply be accepting this too?”

  242. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    No problem Carly. also I made an error. it was suppose to say ‘I know I won’t get carted off somewhere, not ‘would’, now changed :-)

    Carrie says:

    Dear Paul:

    You have sent a strong message about dealing with the effects of anxiety that has accumulated over time, but do you think that trying to determine the events that caused the anxiety in the first place is a productive exercise while the anxiety is still present?

    Paul: I am not one to dig for something that may have happened in the past, like a childhood event or whatever. Most people will tell you it was a build up of personal problems that led them to where they are, others may say it was a need to be perfect, impress others instead of being happy with who they are, some may say they have always been a worrier.

    If there is anything in your life that you can change to brings less stress, then fine, if you can change a situation or you can teach yourself to worry less and be kinder to yourself, then I am all for it, but if it was just a past event or accumilation of them, I think it is better just to deal with how you are feeling now, the past cannot be changed, the future can.

    Carrie says: For instance, I think, in my case, the anxiety has been caused by a long educational path and constant worrying about personal relationships and everything else under the sun). I also really dislike my job which is causing constant mental pressure, although this is not something I can change at the moment.

    As above, you can learn to be happier and not worry as much about your personal relationships. I have yet to meet one person who has worried a problem away or said they felt better after worrying, a problem to me now is one to try and fix, not one to worry about. I really don’t worry about anything these days, as I say I have certain problems to sort out, that’s it, but I don’t worry about anything I cannot control, my life will be what it is and what I make it. I certainly wont be on my death bed regretting not worrying more, it truly is the most destructive emotion we have and I read time after time on here when people have a setback, ‘I now worry this is me forever’ , ‘I am worried it will come back’ , ‘I am worried the effect it is having on my family’ , the list never ends, even though you tell them a setback may arrive, smile at it and ride it through. Anxiety feeds on worry, the worry makes them feel worse, so they worry even more and the cycle continues. I went through many setbacks and knew they would always pass, it would be;

    ‘O.k feel overwhelmed this week, it will soon pass though’ and that was about the only respect it got from me, they pass, they always do.

    You admit above you worry about everything under the sun. You need to address this within yourself. I was the same at one time and it is not something you can turn off like a tap, it’s a worn out habit. but over time you can learn to just let things go. People say to me that nothing seems to bother me, I tell them ‘Why worry about anything, it wont change it’ again of course there are problems that need addressing, which I do. But I have taught myself to let things go now, what will be will be. I have seen friends worry themselves silly about losing their job, worrying will not change it, if they lose it then they start a new chapter in their life, something always turns up and they may be even happier. I have seen friends worry about their relationship, they are not happy or they worry their partner will leave, worrying will make no difference, if they split, then they do, again a new chapter starts. Why worry about future events you have no control over? I am not saying if your partner left or you lost your job then smile and don’t care, I just mean people spend time worrying about things they have no control over and what in 99% of cases come to nothing.

    I can say my life is 100% better since I learnt to cut out the worry, buddists are the happiest people on the planet, they clense their minds of clutter and take away all personal possesions. they live the most simple life. They don’t have to worry about the gas bill being paid, working themselves into the ground to buy the latest car etc, they realised what is important in life and that is living without worry, to keep things simple, a body and mind without worry and stress is a happy one.

    I have totally changed as a person since my own recovery. I love the simple things in life, I no longer chase the big house, the flash car, getting as drunk as I possibly can. I do a few hours voluntary at my local hospital radio, I like to spend a couple of hours walking each day with my friends dog, I go walking and cycling with friends, meet up for a drink without being excessive, go to watch my local rugby team.

    Before I was pretty selfish, got drunk 4 times a week, never excercised, would not dream of working for nothing, the outdoors was for boring people, I worked 50 hours a week so I could have the latest gadgets. I now look back and realise how hollow my life was. I am far, far happier now and live a far less stressful and more fulfilling life. But that had to come from me, I made so many changes. When you go through what I did, you realise what is important. This includes your health, your own happiness and not bending to make others happy, to help and be good to others, to live a simpler, but happier life, to look after your body, but more than anything to be you and not care what others may think.

    I don’t want to get too deep, but below is a rule the zen buddists live by, it had a big effect on me and the changes I made.

    12.Live simply. The corollary of Rule 11 is that if something isn’t necessary, you can probably live without it. And so to live simply is to rid your life of as many of the unnecessary and unessential things as you can, to make room for the essential. Now, what is essential will be different to each person. For me, my family, my writing, my running and my reading are essential. To others, yoga and spending time with close friends might be essential. For others it will be nursing and volunteering and going to church and collecting comic books. There is no law saying what should be essential for you — but you should consider what is most important to your life, and make room for that by eliminating the other less essential things in your life.

    Paul

  243. Clara Says:

    Wow…! Great post Paul..

    I love to read such inspirational posts..Even i had felt the same regarding leading a more fruitful life in terms of being happy and content rather than looking for things and events that make us happy and simply anticipating them..in fact we ourselves can bring the blissful or content feeling by the right tuning …but somehow my tuning is just before or after the right point and somehow i end up finding myself to tune in to feeling good every other moment …kind of obsessed with how i feel…

    may be when i include a lot of activities in my day to day life will be able to go with the flow..as of now i m not feeling well and that may take up a toll on my health and hence the low feeling….as each cloud passes by i will feel the clear sky until the next one comes…i just want to have the willpower to accept this truth without questioning each and every emotion of mine…

  244. Ian Says:

    Love this tweet (not that I ‘do’ twitter but I had a peek)-

    “you just have to let it all sit beside you instead of on top of you, then you won’t be crushed by it.”

    Difficult few weeks, so, so hard on myself, carrying bits of paper around with Pauls advice to ‘drop all the advice’ – what’s all that about then??!! – (trying to make it go way obviously with another method). Everything is so true, but so hard, I must admit Igot a lift from coming back to a lot of postive things here (and of course down by all the negative….)

    Thanks to all, my best wishes (for I have no advice!) to everyone.

  245. Liz Says:

    Just wanted to say that I am starting to feel a bit better about my setback and thought I would share why. I know when I’m feeling down I come here because I like to here positive posts, so maybe what I have to say might give someone else some reassurance.
    I started opening up to some family members and friends about my setback-I even started crying as I was telling them. The interesting thing was that no one was surprised by it. I apparently have been the only one surprised by this setback and I think it’s because I have yet to really accept anxiety as just a part of me right now (whereas my family and friends know it’s something I have dealt with in the past and they accept it about me and love me nonetheless). My family member reminded me that anxiety is a completely natural, physical thing. He compared it to his asthma—he’ll go weeks, sometimes many months feeling fine only to have it affect him really badly for a certain amount of time, sometimes for a good reason but sometimes out of the blue. But he doesn’t have constant worry about it—why is it back, why can’t I feel like I did last week. He says he accepted a long time ago that it’s a part of his life and there are things he can do to make the flare ups easier to deal with, but he just deals with it and knows it will pass. I know that my issue is that I still don’t accept anxiety like I do a physical ailment. I have a bad knee—its been that way for 15 years. Sometimes it hurts really bad and it will last an hour, or it can last weeks and swell up really bad. But I don’t worry about it—I just say “well, this sucks and the timing is poor, but what can I do-it’s just part of who I am.” And sure it would be great to eventually not have any knee issues, but it doesn’t bother that much so if I have it for a long time then whatever—life goes on. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think I just need to grow more comfortable with the fact that anxiety is just like any other physical thing. If I’m feeling anxiety symptoms (just like if my knee were to swell up), well, it’s just part of who I am for right now and eventually it will pass.

    And now I kind of get it when Paul would say that recovery just came to him-he wasn’t striving for it, just like I don’t strive to never have knee pain again. I do what I can to make my knee stronger, but if it never is completely strong I don’t really care because I’ve learned to live alongside the condition.

    I’m still not completely there, but feeling better and feeling like acceptance is creeping in. I hope maybe some insight I have gained might be of help to someone else, because I know how painful and frustrating this can all feel. Best wishes to everyone out there.

  246. DEE Says:

    Ian – thanks for making me smile! I’ve also been having a tough few weeks, knowing what I have to do (or not do!) but finding it hard right now especially with my thoughts. All the best to you & everyone else (I’ve also no advice!)

    Dee

  247. Sara Says:

    Paul – wonderful post and something I have also been wondering about so I’m really glad Carrie asked the question. I think that’s one of the things that has led to my current set back is worrying about “why” I feel the way I do and what led to it this time. I am realizing more and more that I need to just let that go and move forward. I have been practicing more and more at living in the moment and getting on with my day and my life and I truly am seeing improvements… small improvements maybe, but improvements nonetheless! :)

    2 questions for you if you don’t mind. First, I’ve been experiencing some depression lately and have started addressing it the same as the anxiety – accepting the feelings/thoughts (as hard as that is) and not reacting as much as possible and just getting on with my day. Just trying to live “in the moment” more. Is this a good way to handle the depression? Or should it be handled differently than the anxiety/panic?

    Second, you say in that last post that you can “learn to let things go” and learn to stop worrying. This is something I definitely need to work on as I really struggle with both of those things – I have for as long as I can remember. I was just wondering if you learned this by practicing it – just like you learned to address the anxiety…? If something happens that bothers me or causes me to worry, do I just address it the same and say “Oh well, I’m not going to let that get to me or worry me” even though I may really feel the urge to go over it, worry about it, try to fix it, etc? I’m just wondering if practicing this, even thought it will be difficult at first, will lead to it eventually getting easier and becoming a new habit? This may sound like such a simple question but I just want to learn how to handle these things better and wondered if handling them the same as anxiety will do that or if there is a different way to learn how to let things go?

    Anyway, thanks again for all of your help – Paul and everyone else on here! I feel like each setback I have teaches me more and provides me with more understanding and I am so grateful for that! It has been a slow process for me but I have progressed so much and I am so much more hopeful for the future!

    All the best to everyone!

  248. Cori Says:

    Has anyone experienced extreme irritability along with their anxiety? A sort of impatience? Just wondering. It comes and goes, but it really came on during anxiety. Now it is there on and off. It bothers me a lot, but I am trying to just let it float like everything else. Anyone else have this?

  249. KM Says:

    Hi All,
    Just looking for some advice on managing the anxious and negative thinking which is the symptom i’ve been struggling with the most. I feel like my anxiety radio is on 24/7, some days worse than others. I feel like i’m constantly tuned into how i’m thinking in attempt to try to think positive and couteract anxious and negative thoughts. By lunch time I just feel exhausted, i have to do alot of driving for work, and find that this is the time that its worse as there isn’t alot to distract me from my thoughts. I play games on my Iphone tune into talk back radio and make calls, but when i cant do this I find i turn my thoughts inwards and it feels scary awful and I dont like what I think. I’m working on following Pauls advice about not placing too much importance or giving them respect, but i find they come so fast and loud its hard not to be disstressed and caught up. I find i get into cycles of feeling ok for 5 minutes then have a negative thought or feeling and feel down again then up and then down, this up and down is awful, i almost feel like i’m bipolar, which i know i’m not. I surpose today is just another bad day and i have to roll with it, I feel very down, like I haven’t made any progress and the time still ticks on….

  250. Michelle M Says:

    Hi,

    I used to suffer high anxiety around the time of the month and started taking high strength evening primrose, vitamin B6, Omega 3 fish oil and soya isoflavones. I have noticed a difference. I didnt take them for a few weeks due to moving home etc and had another anxious week.

    They help me. I didnt personally want anti d’s as I dont suffer with depression. I posted on here last week (cant see my post) when I felt really bad, started taking my vitamins again and feel so much better already. Maybe its all psychological, but it makes me feel better. Thats all that matters at the end of the day.

    Good luck everyone, Michelle xx

  251. Clara Says:

    Hi KM

    This exactly word by word is what i am going through…actually with anxiety symptoms like DP we are forced to speak something or think something when we are in a social circle but when the thinking is so inward it seems so hard to break the cycle and focus outward…as i look very depressed and i feel awful to interact its not that i fear but i feel so depressed and uncomfortable as all i can think of is ‘how i feel’ and i have to dig so hard to get something to think of..its effecting my personal relationships also as i feel sometimes they add up to the reasons for my unhappiness as they dont care enough…

    when i’m not able to express myself it again add to my mystery…i feel i have loads to express but when it takes form m not able to put forth the matter in the right spirit i look more needy and demanding..hence i spend time with myself reading, browsing watching tv…

    As KM mentioned even i used to think whether i have bipolar n all
    basically i feel my thought pattern is corrupted it looks like i’m a victim of circumstances and i am able to see it only that way and my reactions reflects the perception..

    i wish i could convince myself that i can lead a life on my terms…but thoughts dont come that way….i guess emotional detachment from people may do good slowly focusing on the inner strength and regaining self dependency …
    anyways i’m not looking for recovery as im tired of counteracting and all my -ve thoughts and replacing it with positives…let it come on its pace…
    when i say this let me be like this for a while i fear inside that what if i dont check my thoughts i dwell deeply into depression and self sabotaging…?

  252. Greg Says:

    Cori,

    yes, irritability is a very common symptom to anxiety. It makes sense: you’re dealing with these unpleasant thoughts and feelings going on in your mind and body, your reaction is you want them to go away, so it is very easy to get frustrated that they’re not, and therefore to get irritated not just with these feelings, but outside stimuli as well as you seek to battle to get rid of it.

    I have had it many times during my anxiety. I’ve ended up very irritated and taking it out on those closest to me, a mixture of annoyance with myself and also believing they didn’t understand what I was going through.

    An analogy here for anyone who played computer games as a kid (or even now!): you get stuck on a difficult level, but you don’t want to give up and you carry on playing, despite the fact the more you play without taking a break, the more irritated / upset you get and the less capable you are to successfull complete that level. Cue your mum coming in and starting to ask you questions like “have you done your homework?”, or “stop playing those games” etc, and it’s easy to lose your temper! Anxiety isn’t much different, it’s why we can get irritated / upset when people tell you to shake yourself out of it, or even simply diverting our attention ( when infact doing this is actually doing us a favour!)

    So , how do you break the irritability and also more likely finish the level? You take a break: you get up and reconnect with life – carry those thoughs and feelings of irritability and frustration with you, but you get out off the sofa and they soon disappear as they always do, leaving you calmer and more capable of going back to that game later on and completing that level. Of course, it’s a little harder with anxiety than it is with computer games to “let it go”, but it IS doable and follows the same process.

  253. Ian Says:

    More talking to myself really, but at least the upshot is I hope to stay away again, TRY and do what Paul says….

    Man do I need to drop the subject (as advised). Exhausted. Spent the last three days ‘allowing’ myself to become obsessed with all the advice on here again, searching and searching, and when not reading, thinking over it all, day and night. Bit of an anniversary as coming up to a year with this current episode and as regular things happen to remind me it is a year, I have been getting more desperate (my partners Dad almost nearly died recently too) – these are all excuses mind. This morning at work trying to do some work with colleagues whilst looking at the blog, swapping windows when anyone looked, not actually doing anything at all, just silly. Read something again about not analysing the hell out of it all and time to live life.

    Paul mentioned 10 phrases he had he carried around, I feel like I have 200 – seems I can pull something out of the bag for everything, I literally know half the blog off by heart.

    Going away on holiday to Normandy at the end of June, and frankly been wondering how I will cope (especially the long drives, and the quiteness), the being with myself, and, literally, thinking of what phrase/approach/advice to pack along with me.

    Got to drop it and take ‘nothing’ with me. Got to start living again.

    Apologies again, rant at myself over. Berate me if you see me here anytime soon (honestly).

    My best wishes to you all.

    Ian

  254. Tracey Says:

    I am in a major setback right now. I have been doing really well for over a year now. Occasionally I would get tripped up by something but I was right back on track. However the last couple weeks I have been getting very little sleep and have been drinking coffee and I feel it’s catching up to me. I know what I need to do…. Nothing. But my mine wants to go back to the habit of watching and analyzing like old times. I then get frustrated by this which I know I shouldn’t which that in turn makes me more frustrated. I need some encouraging words to get back on track again.

  255. dee Says:

    Hi Ian
    I wish I was good enough with words & advice to tell you that you will get back on track again. What you have written is what I could say about myself at the moment, back on here looking for reassurance again when I have been months without even thinking of the blogs etc. I do feel that very slowly my attitude is changing to this anxiety but even so I am not in a good place right now. However, I assure myself that I will get over it all and good weeks followed by a few bad ones is how it is and must be accepted.

    I hope you manage to enjoy your holiday – tell yourself you’re going to have a great time and I bet you will! I went on a cruise in April and had the most brilliant time, not a moment of anxiety at all.

    Take care
    Dee

  256. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ian take your own advice below

    Got to drop it and take ‘nothing’ with me. Got to start living again.

    You are wearing your mind out with going over and over things, it is tired and weary, taking nothing in, making you feel odd and detached, you are eating and sleeping the subject, you are letting nothing else in and becoming more and more aware of yourself and not joining the world around you.

    You are flogging the subject to death trying to get an answer to make it all go away, you are chasing your own tail giving yourself no breaks at all, this makes you feel worse, so you look and fight harder, you search even more.

    Please take your own advice and drop the subject for a while, habit may bring you back to it, you may feel self aware, odd and detached for a while, that’s fine and expected, but this time don’t go on the search, search, search route to fix it, this is your problem you are spending all your day trying to fix it, instead of living alongside it!

  257. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sara says: 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. First, I’ve been experiencing some depression lately and have started addressing it the same as the anxiety – accepting the feelings/thoughts (as hard as that is) and not reacting as much as possible and just getting on with my day. Just trying to live “in the moment” more. Is this a good way to handle the depression? Or should it be handled differently than the anxiety/panic?

    I will answer that in one way, don’t be depressed because you are depressed, we all get up and down days, anxiety or not, there is no need to try and treat it, roll with the punches. I just try and excercise and do something positive with my day, go outdoors, it blows off the cobwebs, your mind needs stimulation as do your muscles.

    So the answer is basically yes, you are doing exactly what you should be doing, don’t let a down day stop you getting on with your day.

    Second, you say in that last post that you can “learn to let things go” and learn to stop worrying. This is something I definitely need to work on as I really struggle with both of those things – I have for as long as I can remember. I was just wondering if you learned this by practicing it – just like you learned to address the anxiety…? If something happens that bothers me or causes me to worry, do I just address it the same and say “Oh well, I’m not going to let that get to me or worry me” even though I may really feel the urge to go over it, worry about it, try to fix it, etc?

    My main problem was being sensitive to what people thought or said, through my anxiety my confidence plummeted. I used to go over things, wonder if I said the right thing, be sensitive to what people said, turned into a people pleaser. I basically just dropped the insecurities and told myself this mostly came through my anxiety and I was not going to worry or care what people thought anymore, everything was just going to go over my head. I would still get the same insecuruties, but the next time I just did not get involved in it, I just let it go straight away. It was almost like the insecurities would still be there at first, but I just got on with them hovering over me.

    So yes the urge is still there at first, but with time the urge goes, it becomes second nature to let things go, it becomes your new habit. I also used this in every aspect of my life, there was something personal that happened in my dark days, something that would have sent a non sufferer deep into the worry cycle, but I just tried to distance myself from any worry and fix the problem, what happened after that I would have no control over, so why worry about something I could not control? Worry led me into anxiety in the first place, mainly worrying about how I was feeling, what was wrong with me, would I lose my job, etc, when the anxiety got worse, then I worried more, felt worse, so worried even more, it’s a vicious cycle, but one that can be broken.

    As I said a worrier cannot turn it off like a tap, it’s an ingrained habit, but habits are formed, the same way as they are broken. So just begin to learn to let things go, grab and enjoy life instead of worrying about it, fix a problem instead of worrying about it, learn to just let things go, no matter how strong the urge is to go over and over it. There is a chapter in the book called ‘Born to worry’ which pretty much sums it up.

    Paul

  258. Sophie Says:

    KM and Clara, when you talk about your selves it’s as if you are talking about me. I can totally relate to what you are both saying. The negative thoughts have been the worst symptom. I have worried my self silly at times, and still do frequently. Paul, thankyou for your website and blog – with out it I would still be going round in circles thinking I was mad and the only one in the world suffering this illness. I can completley relate to what you have just posted about letting things go over your head – I have been so senstive to what people say, what I say in reply etc. I have been following this blog for about 8 months now and I can honestley say that I am starting to see improvements – very, very slowly – but they are there. I am still at the stage where I still get very down and anxious at times, but I also have good days, which is a blessing. I went for about 10 years of complete anxiety, where I spent every day with DP, anylizing, searching, thinking I was going mad etc.
    It took a long while for all of the information to sink in, and, at times I questioned whether it could be something more than anxiety. But I have stuck with it, and boy am I glad I did!
    So, once again thankyou paul, and thankyou to everyone who posts such wonderful encourageing posts on here.
    p.s I’m sorry about my spelling, I’m dyslexic! And can’t spell for tofee!Lol.

  259. Ian Says:

    Popped in, in the hope the Paul might have responded, and lo an behold he has. I can’t thank you enough Paul. I shall take my own (and your) advice.

  260. Liz Says:

    Having a really hard time the last couple days and could really use some advice from Paul, Scarlet, Candie or anyone who has recovered. I seem to just be getting worse. I started to feel some anxiety coming back 2 weeks ago (after feeling almost recovered for a whole) It’s been up and down-feeling good, feeling bad. But now I’ve gotten myself in a really bad state again-I can’t eat,I feel down, like this will be me forever.since 2 weeks ago I never thought I could feel this way again but yet here I am, I feel like something else must be wrong with me-I must have some kind if imbalance. And that thought just scares me and the cycle continues. Any advice would be appreciated right now. To go from feeling so great and almost recovered to feeling like this all over again is so disheartening.

  261. Vamanan Says:

    Hi guys,

    One of the thing that is troubling me so much is early morning waking up. I never worry of it when I go to sleep but regardless of if I had a good day or bad day (I am suffering from anxiety induced depression), I wake up in 4-5 hours of sleep and my mind goes on random thoughts. These thoughts used to be worries, but as I am feeling slightly better, they are not worries now, instead random thoughts. I am unable to go back to sleep, even if I do, i wake up with overworked brain giving me a headache.

    I am ignoring it and going on with my life but If there is anything else I can do, please let me know.

    Thanks!

    Vam

  262. K Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I just recently received Paul’s book and it has been a great help, yet I can’t seem to get past the dizziness and DP. I’m trying to have the “live alongside it” attitude, but can’t get past these two things. Along with my anxiety I have depression and feel so detached from the people I love. I get obsessed with how I feel and nothing else seems normal. I try to grasp the normalcy, which leaves me scared and feeling weird. I just don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know how much more I can take. Does anyone else feel this way?

    Thanks for listening.
    K

  263. E Says:

    Hello everyone,

    have a question that someone on here may be able to help me with.. Have been following the advice on here for approx 2 years, and manage to keep myself going with day to day activities.

    Visit this site every now and then for a little inspiration, and note that most people write of their emotional feelings, more than physical problems.

    I on the other hand have to put up with continual physical feelings of anxiety. For the past three months i have been feeling giddy for most of the time, with tension in most of my body, but especially head, shoulders and back of eyes. Am walking, doing yoga and many other things to detract from this, but feelings dont want to leave.

    Doctor just offer medication etc etc, but just wondered if i anyone else puts up with these physical feelings more than the emoional. just want to progress with life, but find this continual tension gets me down. Would welcome a response from someone who may be feelling the same.
    Best wishes. E

  264. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Liz you may not get much of a response as this question is asked numerous times a week, there are over a 100 posts asking the same question and all answered in the same way.

    No matter how many times people are told this will be an up and down affair. No matter how many times people are told that 1 good week does not mean you are recovered, no matter how many times people are told to enjoy the good and accept the bad, no matter how many times people are told not to slip back into worrying that there is something else wrong or that this will be them for good, adding more stress and worry to the mix, no matter how many times people are told this and more the same question will always be asked.

    ‘I felt so good last week and now I feel like I am back to square one, I now worry there is something else wrong and I am going to be this way for ever, please help’.

    This question is truly answered over a 100 times a year, so please, please try and take it on board and accept that this WILL be an up and down affair, that someday’s you will feel totally flat and awful, please resist the self pity route, that going over it all again because you have a bad day, worrying yourself worse, trying to scramble yourself back to how you felt last week.

    Until you accept and I mean truly accept that this is a journey, with plenty of bumps along the way, maybe even a few tears, then you will not move forward as every bad day will just send you down the worry route again, feeding your anxiety, crushing your spirit, it will have you going over and over things, tiring your already tired mind, detaching you from the world around you. It does not matter if you feel good or bad, your mind and body still needs that break, it does not want you to be fretting this will be you for good, worrying that there is something else wrong, filling yourself with self pity, it just wants to be left alone.

    It took me a while to learn and understand and truly accept this up and down affair, but it was my saviour. I could feel bloody awful, as bad as ever after a great period and I truly just said ‘Well this is a bad day, oh well’ and that was it. Without loads of worry to fuel it, without me going over and over things, without filling myself with self pity I came through far quicker and the day/week was nowhere near as bad.

    You will be amazed how many people react to how they feel on a particular day. Their post will be full of joy and how this is all behind them on a good day, then a week later, they will never get over this, this must be me forever and then the week after they will apologise about being so negative, I have this cracked now, feel great today. The trick is to have the same attitude when you feel good or bad, don’t wake and start checking in, if you feel good then great, if not then just roll with it and you may find the next good day is just around the corner.

    Paul

  265. Liz Says:

    I appreciate your response Paul-thank you. I guess for some reason I felt different because since my initial breakdown a year ago I have had very few setbacks-and the ones I had were not that bad. So this big setback after a year of doing so well really took me by surprise and has me questioning everything. I got laid off from my job a couple of months ago so I’ve found myself with a lot if time to think about how I feel. And my loss of appetite has made me so weak so I don’t have any energy. But as you say, I must just accept and move on. The self-pity is just making me so much worse (saying things like “how could I have let this happen to me again after all I have learned this year?”). I need to live like I don’t have it.
    Thanks again for listening.

  266. Cori Says:

    Greg,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. That made me feel a lot better. Your description was perfect and it made me feel more relaxed in general. I was carrying a lot of guilt for my irritable feelings and your post has helped to relieve those feelings a bit. I appreciate your response. Thanks.

  267. marc Says:

    hey guys,

    havent been on here for a while. im on my way to recovery(at least i think i am lol!).anyway guys just have a quick question for anyone who could give me an explanation. basically when i was at d height of my anxiety one of my symptoms was head and body twitching/shaking and they came back to me last night when i went to bed for d first time in a few months. now iv had a very couple of nervey days d last couple of days because yesterday i had my first thai boxing fight. so d question(s) i have is why did d twitches come back to me last night when i was in bed relaxing and not in d height of my anxiety yesterday before i got into d ring???? and could d reason why d twitches came back last night when i was in bed be my nerves just looking for an outlet from d last couple of nervey days iv had??? see i know d twitches stopped for a while because my nerves were de-sensitising, so could it be because of my last to nervous days that my nerves sensitised a bit and d twitches coming back last night was just a short symptom of it??? and dont worry i aint gonna be fooled by my nerves and freak out that they came back to me last night! so bloody what if they did! nothing i can do about it anyway! just thought id post up here cause im curious is all…

    hope to hear back from someone soon,
    thanks guys-marc

    ps, i hope evryone is doing well on their way to recovery! its possible,just have to believe in yourself! :)

  268. Matt Says:

    Great post Paul. I seem to have the ups and downs a lot. It still surprises me that, although I have a pretty good understanding of my anxiety, that when it hits after going for a period of time without out, I start to fall in that cycle and “forget” that what I am actually experiencing is nothing other then anxiety. Today has been a bad day for me with it, but I have to look at the fact that I went for almost two months with hardly any problems. So why let a few days bother me so much? It’s like I am so sensitive that anyone can say anything and it affects me. But there has been more hope then dread because I’ve had more good days then bad.

    @marc….For me it was my nerves, like it is for you. When I stay in that cycle and try to fight it, then I put my body through the ringer. That’s why I am a little sensitive now. I can watch t.v. and believe I have a serious problem, when there are no symptoms. Someone can talk to me and i’ll feel that horrible feeling in my gut and start to feel shaky. But, it has been my experience that when I let it pass and accept it for what it is, it will go away a lot faster then if I try to figure out what’s wrong with me and attempt to fix it. What seems to always work for me is understanding that I may feel lousy a few days, but next week I will be my old self again. That seems to almost always take the fear out of it. But just hang in there, it will get better!!

  269. Kat Says:

    Thank you to Helen and the others who were kind enough to respond to my post a couple weeks ago. I’m so sorry for the delay in responding, but, as some of us know, when you read something positive and reassuring you sometimes run with it and try to leave all the other thoughts behind. At least, I do.

    Helen, I know/hope you’re right. I largely trust everything you say because you have come out on the other side of things, but I still have the nagging little doubts that crop out occasionally. Today, my partner is terribly ill with a stomach virus, and instead of my ‘normal’ mothering approach to dealing with it, I found myself annoyed and irritated by it. That’s ridiculous, I know it, not to mention selfish, but I’m doing my best to stay grounded in the belief that what I’m feeling is anxiety-based, and I’m NOT a horrible, self-centered human being. I’m continually amazed at how depleted I feel at times, while at other times I feel almost (I stress ‘almost’) normal.

    I still worry about my new habit of snapping at him, my aversion to marriage (despite being together for nine years and having a child together
    ), and our lack of physical intimacy (what’s normal, anyway? I have no idea), but I press on, and I keep trying to accept.

    I’m slowly beginning to see that it’s only option.

    Thank you again. I really value the advice you have given and hope it sees me through!

    Kat

  270. natalie Says:

    paul your statement
    My main problem was being sensitive to what people thought or said, through my anxiety my confidence plummeted. I used to go over things, wonder if I said the right thing, be sensitive to what people said, turned into a people pleaser. I basically just dropped the insecurities and told myself this mostly came through my anxiety and I was not going to worry or care what people thought anymore, everything was just going to go over my head

    thats 100% me and i am sure a lot of people on here can relate, i actually think because we are sensitive people we feel stress more accutely than others.. and yes i am trying to do the same a you.. let the thought come in and then go so what if they think ..blah blah.. so what if they don’t want me to do …blah and get on with it. its liberating when it works, because you don’t allow it to tak over your mood you can feel lighter and happier.. its your choice its your own thoughts that make you feel this way so stop being so mean to yourself and let it go xxx

  271. Suranne Says:

    Hi Marc,

    Just to say from my own personal experience; If it is the sort of ‘twitching’ that comes on JUST before you drift off to sleep, and then goes on to keep you awake…..you may consider magnesium supplements or at least try to make sure your diet is magnesium rich, I had no idea that a lack of a simple little mineral could have such a profund effect. I find that if I consume too much alcohol, get too stressed, it seems to deplete me of magnsium very quickly – I had a blood test in the end – confirmed I was deficient, and I must say, that and VIT D ( was also deficient) has made huge difference to my symptoms.

    If you google magnesium, you will find out just out how important it is!
    all of us need to look after ourselves, and make sure our diets are optimum ( sometimes easier said than done! :-)

    Just my thoughts on the subject!

  272. Bret Walters Says:

    Hey everyone,

    On the topic of supplements, I went and bought fish oil (nordic naturals..i researched it a lot, vitamin D, a multivitamin (Alive! Brand) and a magnesium supplement. The multivitamin is organic, all natural whole foods and has a lot of B vitamins, almost like a B Complex. I really want to start taking them….but I’m afraid. LOL! Its almost like I’m afraid..they are going to give me “too much” energy or really I think I’m scared of just feeling “different” than I do now…but I don’t like how I feel now even though my anxiety is mostly under control, I still am very lethargic and have brain fog…which I need to be sharp and creative for my job as a designer and I just cant get motivated. I know these supplements will help me, any advice on this or has anyone felt like that? I think it all started because I had a panic attack after taking an SSRI pill so now my body has catalogued pills = anxiety. Its like part of me wants to feel better and part of me is scared of feeling better? I dont know if that makes sense! But thanks in advance for any advice.

    -Bret

  273. KM Says:

    Hi Bret,
    I could of written that word for word. Mine medication fear started similar to yours accept i didn’t take the pill, I remember my G.P wanting me to start antidepressants and she said expect to feel a little worse for a while until they start working, and I googled side effects and there is no way i was going to take them and haven’t till this day and that was ten years ago. This fear developed and i wouldn’t take vitamins, antibiotics, pain releif for headaches for the same reason. I now take antibiotics etc and nothing happened didn’t feel any different other than whatever infection i had went away! so if you want to take them do so.. :)

  274. Michelle M Says:

    Hi eveyone

    I have accepted the fact that I have and occasionally still do have the scary irrational thought of harming my family. They are no where near as bad as they used to be. I am now struggling with the thoughts of the future and what if I lost the plot, didnt know, then hurt my family. How do I accept that this is NOT going to happen.

    I also put thoughts and images into my mind which arent obviously there. I listen to a noise and question whether it was me who just heard it. So I question whoever may be in the room with me to see if they heard it too. I can also look at a book if there is a face on it and make myself believe that she will speak to me. I know that she wont. Its like I am just constantly testing myself to make sure that i still have my sanity. Why do I do this? I saw my GP and told her these symptoms, she confirmed that I certainly wasnt mentally ill. Why cant I accept this?
    .

    Any thoughts would be great.
    Thanks very much,
    Michelle M

  275. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Michelle M – From one Michelle to another :) – I can totally relate. I have the oddest thoughts. But we need to treat them all the same. Just remember they are an extension of all the built up adrenalin. Just another form of anxiety. The list I could give you of strange, scary thoughts I have had, oh my! But as I live my life and just let them have their space without adding fear to it, they do go away. They come back now and then. Same as you have experienced with the thoughts of harming your family. But the more we just tell them “whatever,” let them bounce around in your mind if they must, and get focused on something else, they eventually lose their intensity and just go away. I have times now when I can actually laugh at them or can say “whatever” to them and really mean it. And then perhaps the next week, they frighten me (although not as bad or as long because I understand the process now). So as you can see I am making progress. And it sounds like you are, too. Believe your doctor. Believe what you read on here and in Paul’s book. Hang in there, my friend!

    Michelle Z

  276. Carly Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Michelle M, I do know what you mean, it’s almost like we want to test ourselves and dig as far as we dare to see what will happen and then get alarmed by our thoughts…I did this a lot but I really believe it’s all part of our tired minds and the importance we give it. It’s OK to think these things in our current state…

    Anyway just popping in to ask a tiny tiny thing lol. I am on my way to letting go of the fear of all of this, little steps but they are adding up! (Haha she says, about to question something)

    I have started to experience quite a bit of dizziness (rather like being on a boat) and overwhelming fatigue and my attitude has been, oh well this is all part of the anxiety, my neck and back are so stiff from all the tension I create for myself so is it any wonder I feel dizzy and off balance?? My blood pressure is a little on the low side I discovered today so that’s also a factor. However I just need to bounce a few things off people…I have noticed I am starting to slur my words quite a bit like they get stuck in my head and dont come out properly and that I am becoming quite clumsy. I feel like I’m walking with marshmallow boots on sometimes ( a bit like being drunk) and am unable to pick my feet up so therefore I stumble often. I was walking back to my house the other day and just simply fell to the ground. My legs just did not hold me, I cant deny I was a little alarmed by this!

    I’m well aware that there are many tricks the mind can play on the body (or is it the other way round lol) and in a really weird and funny way, I’m kind of becoming interested (not worried!) in what else could this throw at me! One thing I am concerned about though is that this latest bunch of tricks will stop me from driving. My reactions seem to be getting slower and slower and the intense feelings of unreality make me question whether I actually know where I’m going.. I obviously dont want to put myself or my kids in danger….

    If anyone can relate, would be good to hear from you.

    On a positive note, I went out last night socially to a pub quiz (havent been out for a while socially – lack of babysitter!) and had a fantatsic time! I really enjoyed myself and everyone said it was like I was my old self again…and I wasn’t putting a face on it for once lol!!!! Boy, did that give me hope! I know it’s only a little thing to some people but to me it’s a step forward :o) No grabbing though!

    Oh and Paul, the short reply before was because my son hit the enter button for me before I had finished lol!!

    Much love as always xxx

  277. Cori Says:

    Hi to the Michelles!
    I have been in exactly the same boat. At the height of my anxiety, the scary thoughts were constantly present and they disturbed me very much. At that point, I wasn’t accepting and doing the things I needed to do, but kept fighting them and always tried to find an answer. I have had every scary thought in the book and also felt worried about mental illness. As I started to take the advice written here, I began to feel better. You really have to live beside the thoughts. I usually say “I see you there, but I don’t really need to dwell on you”. Learn to let the fear attached to them go. I know that this is very difficult at first, but it gets easier and soon you will see that the thoughts come less and less. It is really my last symptom to go…all the other physcial stuff has subsided (but was really bad). I have gained a few pounds back and am not waking up in total anxiety every morning. I think the thoughts linger because we are so aware of them..does that make sense? We think “oh man, what if I have that thought, again, which inevitably brings them up, again” or, we remember the fear of them, which brings them out. So, the thoughts still come up for me, almost daily, but they are much more infrequent and come with much less force. I think that they are working their way out and that they will eventually go. It is a process. Try to remember that. Nothing happens over night. You have to be patient with yourself and let time pass. You are a good person. We all are. We just had a bout of anxiety, which makes goofy stuff happen. And I want to reiterate that you are NOT MENTALLY ILL. Trust me on this one. I work with it every day in my job and people who are don’t really question things…they don’t look at images and wait for them to speak or think they hear sounds. For them, there is no questioning. Does that make sense? Just try to let this fear float, too. It is just a part of the anxiety symptoms.
    Hang in there. You will be just fine.

  278. Michelle M Says:

    Cori, Carly and Michelle, mwah!

    Thanks all for making this whole experience seem less worrying. I can honestly go for 2-3 months with only worrying once or twice during that month but now I have been on alert all week. My boyfriend is my soulmate on one hand but doesnt get this whole anxiety thing on the other, so it makes it a little bit hard for me. This forum is great.

    Carly, funny you say about the dizziness. I was driving home up the motorway the other day, after a 12 hour shift at work and it suddenly felt as though the car was flying. I felt so dizzy and lightheaded. I had my two kids in the car and was petrified. It happened another 3 times on that journey and then I got myself into a state about it the next day, thinking that I wouldnt ever be able to drive again. I got in the car, everything was ok. I sat back and put things into perspective. I had just done 3 x 12 hour shifts on about 5 hours sleep per night and then drove 55 miles 3 times. No wonder I was dizzy. Needless to say I got in the car again and all was ok after a good nights sleep.

    Tiredness and sleep deprevation is dangerous and does equally strange things to the mind. I bet youre tired too!! Glad you also felt your old self again.

    Anyway, had enough of talking about myself. Wish you all the peace and anxiety free days!!

    Thanks again everyone,
    Michelle xx

  279. SarahS Says:

    Is there something wrong with the site? No posts since 23 May?

  280. SarahS Says:

    Oh! I pressed enter to post above and all recent posts appeared! Strange! There’s some really helpful posts on here and great to see people really getting there. I don’t think I’ve ever got round to thanking Paul for his site as I tend to read rather than post too much but Paul’s site has been a god send, thank you to Paul and all the helpful, lovely people on here. xxx

  281. Clara Says:

    Hi Natalie

    that was a very nice post..Even i had this issue of thinking over things unnecessaririly..why did they say that? did i hurt anyone? then what should have i done instead…and the list goes endless..the best is to accept as u said its anxiety deriving such thoughts which drops our mood instantly and hence we feel we are at the mercy of other people..instead if we just drop the subject each time its liberating..I agree ..only thing is as the habit is so ingrained in the brain its taking a long time to reverse the habit as in i forget its anxiety and take the thoughts seriously..i guess i have to tell myself every other day when my mood drops (self counselling) that its anxiety related and drop it without any further analysis…If you dont mind let me know ur mail id as i feel we have the same issues being overly sensitive…

  282. natalie Says:

    hi clara

    thanks hun and i really believe most people who have anxiety are very caring and sensitive people and probably take more than they should, what i do now and it is getting easier and easier .. is as sooon as i feel the questioning or negative thought come up is acknowledge it ” ARRHH there we go ” and then let it go.. it does sometimes still keep questioning and bring up new doubts but i don’t feel i have to answer the questions or try to say something to myself to make it go away, this way it doesn’t linger to long and i just get on with my day. i must say though i have started baking ( comedy if you knew my cooking skills lol ) and reading about gardening and decorating my home things creative that i enjoy .. this way my mind can get more involved in what i am doinng and this seems to help me !!! am here to help you clara .. prefer not to give out my email address if that ok with you as it relates to my work .. not that i am ashamed in anyway as my collegues all know what i have been through but because we are not allowed personal emails hun x just remember people are more busy in their lives than you realise and prob have not give a second thought to what you said didn’t say etc, and you will be the same when you master the art of letting go .. but should you have a bad day and not handle it as well as you could .. don’t get annoyed it takes time to learn any new skill jut think tomorrow is another day and you got plenty of time to get there xxxx

  283. Si Says:

    Hi,

    I have a problem that’s realy getting me down and I can’t settle until I have asked the question.

    Does anyone have the following, or has had the following in the past? I hope I can explain it well enough for someone to understand.

    It all relates to sleep and relaxing. I have no problem dropping off to sleep when it come to bed time, what ever that time is, usually 10 or 11pm, I can sleep quite well until around 4am and then I awake, but I don’t want to get up so I stay in bed until everyone else at home wake. Now what happens during this time is that I just lay there with my eyes closed and just let thoughts come in and go, but in the semi-sleep (dreamy) mode I get very mild but very uncomfortable adrenalin rushes that prevents me from falling back to sleep (Im sure thats all it is) but these are brought on not by anything specific, but everything I am thinking. (absolutely everything).

    I am starting to wonder if that whats happening is like whats happening in the day for me…. I get adrenalin rushes at very stupid things and I mean stupid things that I don’t understand, like if I have to pick my son up from work I get an initial mild surge, but i am quick to react to myself by just ignoring it and going about my day (85% of the time) the other 15% is trying to work out why the hell I get bothered about day to day stuff.

    Anyway what I am thinking (oh the brain is a blumming pain….) during the day when I am conscious of my thoughts I can react quite quickly to stamp out the feeling, but in a semi conscious state I have no control over it and so it just does it’s thing and startles me until the point I get out of bed and go about my day and it’s not a great start to the day when your bodies charged up!!!

    Also although I am tired alot during the day I can’t sit down because I can keep nodding off and get the same startling effect, so it’s pointless trying to relax when all that happens is I get very anxious.

    Sorry to go on and on but I just need to know Im not alone and if this eventually eases with time?

    Thanks Si

  284. Steveo Says:

    Si

    I used to get a similiar feeling. After not being able to sleep at all, it was great to actually be able to sleep at all. This was until literally 4-5am every morning when i would be awake each day, but not fully awake.

    I think it is a case of trying to not put pressure on yourself to get back to sleep. I used to pop in my earphones and listen to something which would usually send me back off to sleep for a while.

    I’m happy to say (touch wood) that I have passed that stage now and could sleep for England again most of the time and I’m sure you will be able to aswell soon :-)

  285. JOHN P Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I been on here before I been pretty much recovered and then a vacation happened. I went on a cruise and before I panicked and al I thought about was a tsunami or an earthquake. I lost it. My wife was planning this vacation and I panicked and said I wanted to go home. She was so upset and almost finished us. I get like this before I travel. Today with the stress of not having a steady job. My anxiety turned to anger. A car almost side swiped me. I got so angry and yelled at him. I got out and he drove off and turned. I turned as well and didnt want to fight I wanted to argue. He had other ideas. He came out and put his hands on my neck and I got scared and said I did not want to fight. I feel so ashamed and guilty. I feel like I am at square one. I never thought anger was part of it. Im hopeless right now and ashamed.

  286. Vamanan Says:

    Si,

    You are not alone in this. I have the exact sleep problem you have. Even though I do not care about how much I sleep, this problem cause strain in my eyes and body that makes it hard during the day. My anxiety has gotten better but the sleep has not. I don’t have problem falling asleep though. Hope someone will help both of us with some tips on how to handle this.

    Best of luck mate.

    Vam.

  287. JOHN P Says:

    please of someone can help. Im up my wife is asleep and i cant help but cry. I keep replaying it over and over in my head. Around and around not sire what to do. feel so alone.

  288. Steveo Says:

    John

    Be strong, you are not alone. It sounds to me as though you are having a setback.

    Can you not explain to your wife how you are feeling?

  289. Helen Says:

    Hi John,

    Do not be consumed by what has happened. Stuff happens but you did the right thing in the end and didn’t fight. Don’t let this become bigger than it is. As you well know, having anxiety causing massive frustration and there is a thin line sometimes between frustration and anger. It is all part and parcel and you can’t change what happened, only learn from it.
    Don’t question why and how you are feeling. Just feel it and respect yourself and others in the process. You will be fine. You know that constantly going over it in your mind will not make one bit of difference, it is one of those moments that you wish hadn’t happened but it did. Just get on with your day as best you can and don’t try and think your way out of how you are feeling because you won’t. You will be absolutley fine.

    All the best
    Helen

  290. Leslie Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Just wondering if anyone else has thoughts like this……my scary thoughts are that I shouldn’t recover, that there’s something wrong and have to be scared. Sometimes I’ll even think that I don’t want to recover. No clue what that ones about! Before I suffered my breakdown over 2 years ago, I would definitely go through periods of low mood of anxiety, but I could always be strong and tell myself just deal with and move on. Now, however, I’ll try to tell myself that same thing, but my mind says “no it’s different now, you’re not supposed to get better”. I’ve been dealing with this thought for over 2 years and it just stops me dead in my tracks. Please tell me someone out there can relate! I feel like if my thoughts were different (for example harming someone close to me or something like that), I could eventually grasp that those are stupid thoughts and anxiety based, but my thoughts convince me that I’m not supposed to get better. Then I start questioning, “how can I recover if I’m not supposed to”. Actually, the thought of recovering and forgetting about all this anxiety really really scares me. It feels so wrong. I know in my heart that I need to just let go and move on, but I feel like I don’t want to. Can someone please give me some advice. I feel so scared and confused at times. xoxo

  291. Tracey Says:

    Leslie,

    Trust me, if you had any other thought you would feel exactly the same way because of the state you are in. I have thought the SAME thing, I still do from time to time and it stops me in my tracks as well. I have been suffering for about the same amount of time as you have. I’ve been doing really well for about a year and a half but just recently I am in a setback which I’m still getting thru but everyday it does seem to get better and I know that I will get thru it because I have before, it’s just a bump in the road and a new learning curve. You are not alone. I have the same thought which is added to others but that one for some reason feels like it really punches you while you’re down. I will be in a really good mood and have really clear head then all of a sudden it hits me and I realized I notice it and instead of dismissing it, I still let it grasp my attention–which is why I’m back in this setback for the time being. Just continue to stay positive Leslie. That thought is just like any other strange thought that scares you, dismiss it and move out (I know how hard it is) but it truly is the way to go, as I have seen the light before and I know you can too.

  292. john p Says:

    Helen

    Thank you so much. I read it and my anxiousness fell so much I fell asleep. This brought up anxiouness from my past of being bullied and made fun of. Thank you for putting me back into focus.

  293. Matt Says:

    hey guys, i’m having a little difficulty right now, and have been the past week. I’m going through a divorce and just started a new job a few weeks ago. At first, working seemed to really make me feel good, but last week I was anxious the entire week. I am also extremely scared of feeling depressed and hopeless and sometimes convince myself that I am. I struggle with these feelings of loneliness every night and it sucks!! I keep reminding myself that all this is is anxiety/panic playing tricks on me and just let it go, but I am having trouble doing it. I was doing so good for awhile, and it really feels like I am back at square one. I feel on edge, and my nerves are shot. If someone could give some advice that would be great!

  294. Faye Says:

    Hello Paul .
    I suffer from anxiety for 3 years and I have since become obsessed with the ringing in my ears I hear it all the time
    I feel like it’s going to drive me mad ! . I go to work and act normal with my boyfriend and have a good cry everyweek just feel like I am driving myself mad listening out for the ringing ? Can you help ?or does anyone suffer from
    This ? This is my first post thanks x

  295. john p Says:

    Hey everyone and Matt
    Im in the same boat…I had two good years and then so much happened…and now it feels like I’m back all the way back. My family is telling me to go on meds. Im so defeated. Don’t know if its anxiety or depression or prob both. I guess my self esteem is shot. Don’t know where to turn.

  296. Robbie Says:

    Matt,

    Sounds like you’re going through a lot of change in your life which could cause anyone to feel the way you do. But, you have experience with anxiety, so you analyze these feelings more than most people do. I have the same fear of being depressed that I almost convince myself I am sometimes. It helps me to do something outward, like a hobby, or chores, or something other than myself that I can concentrate on and something in which I can see immediate results (I like to do woodwork, so when I finish, I can see what I did).

    I’ve never been through a divorce, but I have worked away from home and my family for an extended period of time and the lonliness will get to you if you let it. I found that if I planned out each evening in advance – nothing special – but something nonetheless, it helped keep my mind off of being lonely and on something more positive.

    While I’m on here, I would like some advice as well. The last couple of weeks I’ve felt a little BLAH. Not sad, or depressed, but just a little listless, like I have no energy. It really doesn’t impact what I do on a daily basis, and I’m sleeping fine, but I just feel a little numb, and a little bored. This causes me to start to check in on myself which drives me crazy!! Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this. I’m quite sure it’s just an anxiety symptom, or is it just me over-analyzing everthing like I always do.

    Thanks!

  297. Matt Says:

    Thanks Robbie and John for replying. I felt better this weekend, like I am getting back on track. But I do understand that the ordeal I am going through is an up and down affair and just “understanding” that makes it easier to cope. I guess the one thing that always lifts me up when I am a little down is being optimistic. Because, sometimes, what I am feeling is not based in reality, and by letting my body recover from putting it through constant worry and stress, I can at least get back to a better place. I went a good six months with a few setbacks, and even when I first separated from my wife, three months ago, I got down a little bit, but the anxiety didn’t set in until a couple of weeks later. I know that the majority of my depression is the actual anxiety and accepting that has brought some peace.

    John P,

    Man, I understand. For two straight weeks i’ve had anxiety/panic, and thought i’m back at square one again. But, I am not. To be at square one for me would be to not understand what is wrong with me, and constantly searching for that solution. Today, I woke up and said that I was done with this constant worrying and obsessing. I don’t care anymore! and when a weird feeling arose, or thought, I accepted it for what it is….anxiety, not me going crazy, or something else…..anxiety, the same anxiety that when I understood what it is and stop caring about how I felt and thought, I got to the other side of. I put myself on a rollercoaster of anxiety for two weeks, now I need to let my body recover, and I understand that.

    Also, reading paul’s book again, twice, helped me out a lot. And what I realized is that regardless of what I am going through, a lot of my problems arose from what I am “putting” myself through. Looking at all the positive things in my life, because there are more positive things then negative things right now going on, also helps.

  298. Michelle M Says:

    Matt

    Your post to John P is great and has me sitting here with tears in my eyes. Its very hard sometimes to find the positive things through all the negative thoughts but as I sit here and watch one of my daughters happily jumping around laughing it makes me think that maybe its not that bad afterall.

    I am over analyzing my severe dizziness whilst driving. It happened last week for the first time, and again yesterday. I know it is down to tiredness but am constantly looking out for the feeling of “not being there” whilst driving now. Yet again I am giving myself something else to worry about, like I need more!

    I cant remember everything what happened in my life 10 years ago and am hoping that in another 10 years I can forget this part of my life and continue to live a happy anxiety free life….I wonder.

    I woke up one morning months ago and said the same thing, that I had had enough of all this worrying. It worked well really. I had a few great months. I am obviously having a bit of a set back, but like you, know I am no where near square one again.

    Kindest wishes everyone, have a good week.

    Michelle

  299. JOHN P Says:

    hey Matt,

    Thank you for that. I neeeded the support and helpto realize that Im not at square one. I know it anxiety but anxiety likes to ask what else or what if. I had a few bad days andlast night passed out into a regular sleep. the panic attacki had on thursday brought back my memories of the days I had of anxiety. All memories and letting them go.I needed your words. I thank you for no one understands more then someone who is recovering from it. I was at about 80 percent back to 60.One set back but another step forrward.Thank you Matt!

  300. Clara Says:

    Hi Leslie

    I could exactly relate to what you are saying..u can see in one of my posts where i have written the same thing..when i was having clearly anxious thoughts far from reality it was easy to get out of it..convince myself that its simply a thought but when the thoughts about anxiety and its symptoms subsided..it moved into real stuff where we see everything as exageraed version through the same anxiety glass and never realise that we are seeing it differently..

    each morning when i get up i used to think will i be able to grasp things as they are? sometimes i am not able to grasp whats around as ‘they are’..and finally convince that there is somethign wrong with me and i couldnt recover as each time i recover from something new things catch my attention..and as u said at times i too feel i dont need to recover bcos then i am convinced 100% that i am thinking these thoughts because of anxiety and reality is far from those thoughts i can move forward more easily as i can keep these thoughts aside and go forward with the day..

    but now my position is that necessary thoughts and the unwanted thoughts are all interlinked i usualy end up with the same kind of feeling of hopelessness and negativity though i start with a positive thought deliberately somewhere the track changes..
    im so bugged that i have stopped looking for recovery instead just look forward for the day..and when i have bad times i do something which is less taxing…and gradually when i am in a good mood i do the things which i really feel like doing..most often i dont pres myself to be in a mood to do something..if i feel like doing i go ahead and do and if not i try not to be hard on myself..

    i guess putting less pressure on ourselves helps…i have this habit of taking things personally where i dont have to…but cant help it..so when i feel overwhelmed by sad thoughts or victimisation i just drop it alltogether as it becomes an endless cycle if i start analysing with no outcome but simply deepening my wound and hurting myself…

  301. faye Says:

    please can some answer my post on the ringing ears thanks x

  302. Matt Says:

    Michelle,

    I’m sorry you are struggling, just as I have. It sounds like you have depersonalization, the same thing I was struggling with. I got to a point where I believed I was truly “losing” it, and my mind shut down. Everything was like a haze and being in a dream. Today, I cried because I truly let my anxiety go and the fear with it, and I started to see myself again. It’s amazing how cunning and baffling anxiety really is, but if you can just accept it for what it is and not care, it completely loses it power…..period!

    I had that period of dizziness recently, it’s the fact that I am so self-aware is what allows it to manifest itself. What helped me with every physical symptom I have, is that whenever I have it I remind myself of two things. One, it’s anxiety, and two, obsessing about it feeds my anxiety. You have to stay positive and realize that there really isn’t anything to fear…and believe that.

    John,

    I wanted to tell you that I am a recovering addict, that has been clean for eleven years. And the solution for recovery and anxiety are pretty much the same….take it a day at a time. I tell myself that in the mornings, have been for years, then I said it to my anxiety and it really helped. Use your positive experience from your past to help you, but for me, I can’t really handle the past or future, only today. People have setbacks all the time, mine just happened to last two weeks, but ya know what? Who cares. Because as soon as I stopped caring about my anxiety, it didn’t matter. Anyways, good luck.

  303. michelle z Says:

    Faye,

    Paul does mention ringing ears in his book as a common anxiety symptom. So you must do as you would with any other symptom and that is to accept it as only anxiety, that it won’t hurt you and focus on your day. I know it can be difficult, but I know you can do it. Hang in there! It will get better.

  304. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi there Paul, am trying to hang in at moment. Work is proving difficult, its not the work in itself but the pressure of having too! does that make sense to anyone? I have a good boss who is trying to help me tho, and the mental health services, although I feel I get more help from the book, Paul. Its good to know others are struggling as well, and im not alone.
    Any replies gratefully received.

    love janxxxxxx

  305. faye Says:

    thankyou for you reply michelle
    its so loud at times and i researched it on he internet, im just having a hard time accepting this sypmtom i get paniced when i have a day of and i think oh no im going to be left with this ringing in my ears what if i go mad , sorry to rant but these past 3 weeks i have been so teary and feel like im losing hope .
    thanks for your reply xxx

  306. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just to let everyone know it is so important to give that tired and weary mind a rest, so we can function better, so our minds are clearer, so we don’t feel so utterly bogged down and not with it, I will do a post in the next couple of weeks and go into more detail on the subject and how I truly helped myself.

    Faye the ringing ears is very common, mine drove me crazy until I just decided to stop focusing on it and let it ring away, once I stopped being anxious about it, it grew weaker and weaker. It’s just caused by an imbabalne due to anxiety, trust me just leave it in the background and it will pass in time.

  307. Kelly Martin Says:

    Hi Paul. I have to say you are a breath of fresh air with your approach to anxiety issues. Your blog and site are very helpful and supportive to me. Your partner is blessed to have you supporting her and also knowing what to say to aid her in helping support herself. I have dabbled in and out of embracing the anxious feelings but this week I have felt a strong inner urge to finally make peace with where I am with my feelings. In doing so I came across your site, your blog (and when I can I will look into getting your book), so I posted it in my recent blog. Anyway, I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU!

  308. Faye Says:

    Thanks for your reply Paul

    I know you mention it in your book . It’s just i panic about it sendin me mental and also I have been obsessed with ot for 5 months and it’s not se to be easing . Have you got any tips to ignore it . Cause I have been trying to face the noise I don’t kno which is
    Best to do . Thanks so much for your reply x

  309. john p Says:

    Hey eveyone.

    I’m just scared that I will get better and move backwards. I hate the idea of putting my wife through it again. I feel like a failure. Thanks Matt for the previous post as well as Helen.

  310. Matt Says:

    John,

    I felt like a failure too buddy. But that “fear” is really just anxiety. Think about what you are saying, I am afraid of successs and will move backwards, so I feel like a failure. The reason I felt like a failure was because anxiety had totally stripped me of my confidence. I had trouble keeping a job, friendships, and everything else because of this hell. But the solution is so simple we overlook it and try to find solutions to anxiety invoked thoughts. There isn’t any solution to an anxiety invoked thought other then letting it run it’s course, and accepting it for what it is. And after that my body recovered, and I could live my life with very few worries.

    Like I said before, I have gone through a few setbacks that did last days and sometimes weeks, but that is a heck of a lot better then months or years.

  311. john p Says:

    Matt thanks for that

    Do you think its possible to be back to normal for good like Paul mentions in his book.

  312. Victor Says:

    Hello all,

    A question for those of you who have battled with repetitive, odd or scary thoughts and over came it.

    I have been stuck in this circle of odd thoughts for a couple of years now, most of them only come to mind during certain situations. What I mean is that my mind can be flowing freely, no anxiety going through my head, and then a certain topic or situation comes up in my day that brings with it an odd thought. The same situation no matter how often they happen usually brings with it the same odd thoughts (i hope this make sense). There’s about 5-10 different situations that come up practically daily that make me get an odd thought, it is such a habit!

    After 2 years of this cycle it really has me wondering is this really anxiety? or a habit I created during my bout with anxiety a few years ago.

    These thoughts never make me feel anxious, and they are not scary, but they are odd and disturbing. And like i said, they only come up during the same situations, for the most part I am doing well and my mind flows, but certain situations make me zone in and these odd thoughts come rushing in sometimes. I worry that this is a habit I created and not anxiety, understanding would help me get over much faster I think. I know worrying about it does not help, but I am still confused as to why these thoughts are so consistent in their nature. When my mind really gets flowing, I do not get these thoughts, but there is not a day that goes by where a something comes up and makes me zone in and get an odd thought.

    I use to have such bad anxiety, always worrying and “zoned into” my mind. My mind has definitely settled down, but these odd thoughts still linger mostly out of habit as i mentioned. If anyone can help me understand why these thoughts are constantly coming to mind usually only during certain situations I would really appreciate it.

  313. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Faye I think you have answered your own question, the ringing occurs due to an imbalance brought on by anxiety and you have been anxious and obsessed about it, creating more anxiety, hence it continues. Again do the opposite as I suggest, nothing will go away if you wish it away or obsess about it, live alongside it, even if you find it annoying, just let it ring away and direct your attention to other things, this is what I did and it worked in time, but give it time.

    Just be less anxious about it, we always have the choice if to let it go or obsess about it, that choice never leaves us.

  314. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Thanks for the comments Kelly and I see you run a blog of your own, nice to see one that is not fill with adverts and trying to sell every product out there, I have linked to it through here on the left hand side for you and good luck with it.

    Paul

  315. Faye Says:

    Thanks paul so much for your advice . U have been facing the noise o think thats were I was going wrong ! Thanks so much for your advice x

  316. Cori Says:

    Hi Victor,
    I think you and I are in the same boat, really. My anxiety used to be pretty extreme…lots of scary thoughts and tons of physical manifiestations, too. I had them all. I have come a long long way, that is for sure, but the scary/disturbing thoughts are the last things to go. I, too, have gotten to the point, where they don’t come all the time, anymore, just now and again. I have been trying to figure out if it is certain situations that bring them up, but I can’t quite hit the nail on the head. Sometimes I think there is some residual anxiety, which causes them. I mean, you say that you have no anxiety related to them, but there must be something there, as they seem to bother you, still. (otherwise you wouldn’t be worried about them). I do think that it is very habitual to have the disturbing thoughts and it takes a lot of training to get rid of them fully. It is a process. It takes time. Just consider how long we kept them very alive in our minds!!! We let them run rampant for so long that it takes a while to retrain. I think a lot of anxiety is based in habit, don’t you? We get so used to certain things that we expect them, look for them, almost. That is why it is necessary to let things float…to let the thoughts be like clouds passing in and out and to go about our business, as usual. Believe me, I still have trouble sometimes and I still have moment when I feel frightened by thoughts that pop in, but I do find that not paying them much mind is the thing that makes them go away. Also keeping busy with the things you like, exercising, avoiding caffeine…all of that. As someone wise on this site once said, let it sit next to you and not on top of you.
    So, to answer your question, I think that maybe the habit of anxiety is still hanging around a bit and now that you have tied it into certain situations, maybe you expect them to be there and therefore they come???? I know I was doing that for a while and still do on occasion…”what if I had a scary thought about this or that” and this would/will inevitably bring them up. Just try to let them float as they come up. Keep practicing. I know we can break this cycle, especially with the support from one another!

  317. Victor Says:

    Cori,

    Thanks for your input, and yes you are correct our situations sound very similar. I do find myself anticipating some of these thoughts especially during certain situations.

    Yes I too have overcame so much, it is frustrating because I have overcame this phase before and did well for about 7 months but then found myself in a stressful life situation and started ANTICIPATING anxiety and sure enough it brought itself around again.

    I definitely have hope, and really believe 5-10 years from now I will be laughing at this phase of my life, it will definitely make me stronger. It just gets frustrating sometimes when you think you got it and then you find out you haven’t.

    My biggest concern is these thoughts and habits becoming permanently embedded in my thought process. But I know with that thinking I will never recover, I need to just let go. If i fear anxiety and these thoughts I will never recover.

  318. Carly Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Firstly apologies to Paul for the email…you said use the blog so (deep breath)..here goes..

    Did NOT want to post this as it’s so extreme but I am increasingly down at the moment and feel there is no hope

    I cannot believe that I am able to think like this, to the point where even leaving my four children and wonderful partner do not hold any weight any more. The depression is getting so bad now I am not able to cope with everyday life and my kids and partner are suffering hugely. I know what it is like to live with a ‘nervously ill’ person and it’s no picnic!

    I have had constant feelings of ‘not being here’ for 5 months which frightens the hell out of me. I know my body and mind have been through the mill but just when I get a feeling of acceptance, like it no longer matters, it is just as quickly snatched away..I know there is no magic answer but I never knew you could feel so much despair. My doctor has given me anti depressents (which I am STILL reluctant to take despite feeling so low) I hate being self pitying with a passion but I would really really like to hear from anyone who has been this low…so so sorry for being so negative.

    Carly xx

  319. Carly Says:

    it’s my birthday today too, maybe that’s another reason why I feel so crappy because I’m just not the person I used to be…kick me up the backside please somebody :o(

    Arrgghh! Self pity – you are RUBBISH!

  320. Michelle Z Says:

    Oh, Carly, yes, I have been that low. It is so utterly horrible to feel like such crap. But I am able to give you good news. I have come out the other side of it by doing what Paul teaches with the anxiety. I stopped making it worse by focusing on it. For me, the depression and the scary thoughts were the worst part of all this. And each time the depression would rear it’s ugly head, I just thought I would never, ever get better. Can I tell you I’m totally recovered yet? No. But I haven’t experienced the really low depression in almost two months. And for months prior to that, it was up and down, up and down (mostly down).

    And I also learned to do nice things just for me, i.e. exercise (go for a long walk), hang outside in the sun, take a swim, read a good book (a just for fun book), take a mini vacation with the family (okay, this one is not just for me, but that’s okay – it was lots of fun!), buy a new outfit, get a manicure. Whatever things you enjoy. Oh, and sometimes when I was having a really bad day, I would play songs that are uplifting, usually something I could dance to, and yes, I would get up and dance to it (even though I usually didn’t feel like it). And slowly but surely, all these things, alongside the fact that I just got focused on living my life (and telling those stupid thoughts good-bye – I’m not listening to you).

    Happy Birthday to you, Carly! You can and will overcome this! I believe it! Do your best to enjoy this special day that you were born. The thing that really has helped me the most is to continue to focus on just living my life. As I did this, slowly (ever so slowly) I am getting my old self back.

    Love and blessings to you! xoxo

  321. Greg Says:

    Hi Carly,

    just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Not been back on here for a while, but just checking in and wanted to say hi to everyone, and remind you all that you are on a journey, it’s a process, and you can overcome those horrible thoughts and feelings by not falling for the tricks they play on you, and instead by allowing yourselves to be guided in the right direction through heeding Paul’s (and each others’) advice.

    It’s what I did, and there were times when I truly thought I could never get better. But it’s about realigning a habit, and even on my road to recovery I had plenty of good days, good moments and I know all of you have too, it’s just when you have those bad days the anxiety tricks you by making them very difficult to remember, to tell you there is something wrong that needs your attention, to make you worry disproportionately about things that when you’re not feeling anxious would just not bother you.

    The thing I noticed though is that this progressively learned habit of anxiety and worry I was involved in is like a blanket, and starts to be permanently pulled away as you understand that you don’t need to let anxiety hold your hand and lead you down the garden path to a cycle of worry. Instead you carry on with you life, and slowly that blanket is removed fully and your old self – hopes, loves, laughter, enjoyment of life, are still there.

    Live alongside it for now, there is no tipping point – those thoughts and feelings you so fear and dislike always fade. You can do it. You will never be permanently “stuck” with it: you may fall back now and agan feeling rubbish – it’s a habit, it takes time – but you will always have hours, days, weeks, months and eventually years when your understanding of your condition means you realise you have nothing to fear and can live a fruitful life where the urge to worry about it all disappears. Even in the meantime, you will have enough opportunities where you will find some “normality” amongst even the oddest of feelings when you can continue to build upon your understanding that you do not need to worry, and this starts to become more natural and automatic, to the point that you simply do not even notice.

    Keep the faith in yourself – you can do it.

    All the best guys,

    Greg

  322. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Great post Greg and thanks for coming back with your progress, it does help others to keep the faith. So many have recovered, but are too busy living their life , which of course is a good thing :-)

  323. Evelyn Says:

    Hi carly:)
    Happy birthdayyyyy, and i bigg hug to you, and many more:)
    what you have described is exactly how i was feeling last year, i am not fully recovered but mannn am i alot better thanks to this site, and of course paul, i am a chicken to take anidepressants, but if they work for you than by all means do so.. the best advice that i can tell you carly and please really take it in mind.. IS SIMPLY DO NOTHING.. dont fight, dont question, dont try to fix it.. just go right through it..During my lowest times with feelings of unreality, i thought i was going crazy, going to hurt someone even my children:(.. but i sat there and thought before i got depressed did i ever want to do that?OF COURSE NOT!! anxiety can play tricks on you, do not fight it, but let it be there, after i while i promise it gets tired and it leaves you:) and when it does ur going to be able to laugh about it, or even help others which is one of my biggest satisfactions..please go out, hang out with the kids at the park, EVEN IF YOU DONT WANT TO< OR HAVE THE ENERGY TO, as time goes by ur true emotions will come out, i promise u.. i still have the unreality not with it feeling from time to time, but it really doesnt matter, cus it hasnt stop me from living and it wont!! CARLY hun, FAKE IT TO YOU MAKE IT….. live ur life until ur true emotions kick in, i promise they will… take care sorry for the long post

  324. Mark M Says:

    I posted here a month ago about an epiphany and a huge step forward I had with anxiety after 2 and a half years of suffering, and just wanted to post an update on whether it worked or not. I wrote previously about living by the statement: What I want my life to be about: Never letting fear rule my life, keep me from pursuing what I want, or make choices for me until the day I die, and living by this has brought me so much freedom, and it wasn’t just some short lived saying, I know that this is the real deal on how to get better.

    I got a chance to test it on various things that came up during the past month, but the biggest was a job interview I had, and as usual I had all of the negative and irrational thoughts and thoughts of low self-esteem, that I would feel weird with the interviewer or they wouldn’t like me etc., but I kept redirecting myself to that statement and if I felt even the slightest hint of anxiety trying to make choices for me in my life or keep me from pursuing something that I really wanted, then I said “NO, you don’t get to rule my life anymore, and no matter how you make me feel or if you tell me I’m going to harm my interviewer who I don’t even know or you tell me I will act weird or I will act so ridiculous they will just throw me out, it doesn’t matter, because I am going in there no matter what you say, your words are useless because I’ve made my decision and you can’t stop me.” And that right there is really the only way I have had success in regaining my confidence, and I can’t express how much it means to me to be able to take back my life by not compromising and not letting anxiety rule my life any longer.

    As people have said on here, it really is the attitude that saves you, the attitude of doing what you want to do regardless of any anxiety you feel, and the attitude that stems from being sick and tired of letting anxiety boss you around and having to be a victim and shy away from your life, and in the past few months I have gained such freedom from just going where I want at will regardless of anxiety that I wish I could’ve understood this sooner

    So of course my first interview (really ever for a professional job) was a complete success despite the multitude of fears and scary/irrational thoughts I had, and I got a job offer the next day, which was just amazing. I was waiting in the car before it shaking with fear and getting lumps in my throat, but I knew after my epiphany that there really is only one way forward, and avoidance does nothing but reinforce my anxiety and ensure that I will never recover, and if I don’t go to this interview, I am wasting an opportunity to do the one thing that can “cure” me. And so I took my motto to heart and I just went in there and didn’t let my anxiety make any choices for me, and since then I have not let it make any more choices for me either, not even little ones. I had huge anxiety over calling an old friend recently as well, just because of typical fears that “we’ve changed, he’ll find me weird now, there will be awkward silences in the conversation” and things like that, and I was incredibly close to just putting the phone down and giving in, but really after this commitment to not let anxiety rule my life, and knowing that there is no other way to get better but to face the anxiety head on and do that which i fear, I just put my foot down and did it, and man I can tell you I feel great and I’ve opened up to an old friendship that could’ve never gotten the chance to blossom again.

    The best part is realizing that it was my own determination and confidence and never backing down from the thousands of worries that anxiety threw at me that helped me gain my confidence back, especially in the job interview. My advice to people wanting to get better is, in my opinion, that the only way to get better is to do those things which you fear, as cliche as that may sound. As much as you may want to distract and avoid from doing things that bring you anxiety, or drink alcohol or smoke or whatever it may be to get away from your anxiety, those things DO NOT help and only prolong your suffering, you must go towards your anxiety, not away from it. When I heard that before many times I didn’t understand it at a gut or experiential level, so I will put it into practical terms you can do almost immediately: If you feel any fear at all, say hi and smile at that person walking past you, wave at that friend you feared running into and be fine with talking to them and catching up, make eye contact with that person even longer than usual, go to that appointment you’ve been putting off, go out of the house, call that old friend you’ve been wanting to call but have been to scared to, speak your mind, go out and meet with your friends at that bar/dinner. Most of all, DON’T let your fears make YOUR choices or rule your life and tell you what to do, this is YOUR life, not your anxiety’s, and you have to stand up for it and pursue what you want in life and let your anxiety know that you will no longer be a victim. That is the only way I know of to get better, to build confidence action by action and make that commitment to never let fear make your choices for you or rule your life ever again.

  325. Greg Says:

    One further thing I want to add:

    A lot of people’s anxiety cycle is fuelled by having an unpleasant thought which the anxious habit reaction is to say “oh god, why am I thinking that? I must be really sick, how can I live a normal life after having this or these kind of thoughts, normal people don’t have these thoughts, I must be going crazy, I will never be able to get better, now I’ve experienced these thoughts and feelings how on earth can I get better and live a normal life?…” – and you can see the knock on effect is to get more worried, all because of one thought or recurring set of thoughts or feelings you may have had.

    Well, understand this: “normal” people, ie those not affect by the habit of anxiety, have odd and unpleasant thoughts aswell. It’s just how they react to them, they haven’t formed a habit becoming lured into believing the thought is a major worry. This is the power of the imagination at work. The fact they therefore haven’t learnt to react in an anxious way means the frequency of these thoughts is much reduced. That is the only difference.

    Trust me, I have had every horrible thought I can think of at some point. But I am living a normal life now. And so can you. This is a promise. Weird thoughts do pop up now and again (but then so do many neutral and nice thoughts) but that “urge” to worry about them disappears and as a result they become more and more scarce.

    I’ll give you an example of what I mean about “normal” people: there are some pretty imaginative scary horror movies out there, with some plots you would struggle to think up even in your most wildest, most fearful dreams!

    The people who come up with these ideas have had to delve into their own fears to come up with these plotlines. Those who come up with these films and those who end up watching these films have seen or felt or thought some pretty imaginative scenarios.

    The fact is that it’s actually relatively normal to have odd, sudden scary thoughts. But it’s how you react to them that is the key, and as Paul and those on here who have recovered or are close to recovering will testify, having the attitude and understanding to know you can let them go because they cannot harm you and fade anyway with time is the key.

    I hope this helps. Remember – no thought or generated feeling can permanently harm you. With understanding and patience, the thoughts you have soon become quickly rooted out as tricks of an over imaginative mind, and nothing to cause further worry.

    All the best,

    Greg

  326. Steveo Says:

    Greg

    Great posts :-)

    Glad you have done so well and thanks for the reassuring post.

    Daft question but would you say you are now recovered and back to your normal self?

    Thanks

  327. Michelle M Says:

    Hi everyone

    Can I really only have depersonalisation for 2 hours a week whilst driving home? I have put it down to fatigue. I only get it then. The rest of the week I am totally with it. I know I have a tired mind at the moment, what with constant worry, self analysis, work and children.

    Has anyone tried hynotherapy for phobias? I have an irrational phobia of mental health and its getting on my nerves at the moment which in turn, fuels my anxiety and worry.

    I feel if I relax and accept this fear, then its like I am letting it happen. I think that for as long as I am aware and fighting it (whatever it actually is) then nothing will happen to me. But I am obviously making it worse. How do I truly let go knowing that there is nothing to fear.

    I only have one time on this earth and it really winds me up that for the past 3 years my life has been consumed by anxiety and fear.

    Any suggestions would be great.

    Michelle xx

  328. natalie Says:

    happy belated birthday to carly, remember not many people like there birthdays as they get older anyways so please don’t stress on the fact your another year on and yet still like this or that or that you SHOULD be enjoying it.. its just another day and you will have plenty more in the future that you can enjoy hun x read gregs two posts they are fantastic and seem so simple. he is simply saying just let the thoughts or feelings go they will settle down and in time lesson they only linger because we focus on them, try instead to focus on the good stuff, the people in your life that mean something to you, the beauty all around, your kids if you have any. retrain your mind see it as an assignment and then as you get stronger like will start to stretch yourself more, go at your own pace somedays you might not be so strong thats fine the next day you will be better, and most importantly reward yourself for you achievemens

  329. michelle z Says:

    Mark & Greg,

    Awesome posts! Thanks for taking the time to share.

  330. dee Says:

    Hi all

    Sorry to bring a downer to some of the inspiring posts on here, especially Greg & Mark, but I feel like i’m going to burst! My attitude towards the dp I have had in the past has definitely changed for the better – I no longer fear it and if I have a down day with it I don’t give it any attention and it passes quickly. The thing is I have been suffering with very bad thoughts for some time now about those closest to me. I try to pay them no attention and see them for what they are but in the last couple of weeks they have been there all the time. I have just been made redundant & am going into hospital for an operation in August. I am upset & anxious about both things and am wondering if that is why the ‘thoughts’ have become so bad and I have got myself in such a state. They only have to come into my mind and I feel a whole anxiety rush through my body.

    I am trying to give the ‘what ever’ to them but I am scaring myself by thinking they will never go and I am going to get worse. Irrational, I know, but that is how I am feeling right now.

    Can anyone give me the kick up the backside I obviously need!

    best wishes to all
    Dee

  331. natalie Says:

    morning guys
    just a quick one but does anyone wake up feeling absolutely exhausted despite having a good nites sleep like no energy or motivation .. not sure how to handle this whether to just take it easy for the day and do stuff i enjoy an leave what id really don’t ahve to do for that day or to just push forward and make sure you do as much as possible. i seem to prefer the taking it easy approach but not sure if this might slow down my progress of recovery thank guys xx

  332. Clara Says:

    Hello everyone

    can anyone help me with the ”self awareness”? it is so accute that I got so used to feeling and thinking only about myself not in a scary way but in an odd and disturbing way to the point that i am disillutioned where to begin or how to go about living a normal life..
    my mind is on a roll giving me a non stop chatter about the world around me and the people in it and i feel so lonely in there..I am not able to be part of it or be one among them..instead I am always counteracting and defending myself all the time..
    how do i get back into thinking for myself and speak up for myself? why do i feel at the recieving end always why am i not able to express myself? something stops me from within i guess it is the ‘watching over self’ while talking that stops me from expressing what i want…
    i am not able to supress the negative voice in me..

    Please help me with some suggestions..

  333. Will Says:

    Great posts Mark and Greg!

    Hi Natalie – I know exactly that feeling and the dilemma of whether to get busy and drive away the lethargy or whether to really take it easy. As Paul makes very clear in his book, the relationship between anxiety and exhaustion is a direct one and the two feed into each other, so making sure that you are taking things easy and re-charging, and not putting yourself under too much physical or mental strain is very important in the recovery process. Having said that, leading a reasonably active life and getting out and involved is also an important part of getting back onto an even keel and enjoying life and is energizing in itself.

    I suppose the key is a healthy balance between relaxation and activity, as both of them have benefits. And a very important thing is not to get anxious about feeling tired in the morning but to just accept it and know that it will not last forever.

    Will

  334. Will Says:

    Hi Clara,

    I have posted on this before, as have many other people on this blog. It’s what I call the ‘Hall of Mirrors’ because you just can’t seem to shake your own reflection – everywhere you look, you are staring back at yourself and analyzing it…it’s horrible!

    In keeping with Paul’s book, I see this as a direct product of mental and physical fatigue – it is an super-exaggeration of our normal level of self-awareness that has come about because our system does not have its natural buoyancy or energy. So, the key to getting over it is, in the first place, not to be anxious about it but to see it as a product of fatigue. That calms the emotions and mind down and begins the process of re-charging. In the second place, we have to then go about reducing our fatigue levels by resting and reducing pressures and strains in our lives. I am sure that if you do this, the ‘hall of mirrors’ will subside which, in turn, will reduce the negative feelings about it.

    When you then see that the intensity of it is subsiding you will begin to feel a bit more confident and relaxed, which in turn will lead you to do more positive things which make you feel more positive about life in general. It really is a feedback loop, and once it gets negative it starts to feed on itself. So you have to get onto a positive feedback loop and then it will start running itself.

    In order to do this you have to make lots of small decisions that gradually change the pattern from negative to positive – perhaps take some time off work, treat yourself to that holiday you had promised yourself, stand up a bit more to the people who you feel put you down, try not to be too perfectionist, take each day at a time and try not to think too much about the future – you will know what will reduce stress in your life and give you more energy, so do that little by little and you should see an improvement fairly quickly.

    Will

  335. Vamanan Says:

    Hi Will,

    I like your point on replacing negative feedback loop to positive feedback loop. That is what I had been trying to do.

    Thanks,

    Vam

  336. SarahS Says:

    I wasn’t sure whether to post on here or the latest post of Paul’s so I’ve posted on the latest post to Helen and Will if they can hel at all please? Many thanks. x

  337. Clara Says:

    Thanks Will a lot..

    It has been really encouraging as its been couple of weeks i have been trying hard to shake off that ”feeling” what u call ‘hall of mirrors’…i find i get this more when i live with other people be it my own siblings and parents as i feel they dont understand what i am going through and when i am consumed by thoughts about myself and how the world relates to me my mood goes rock bottom and i get easily annoyed and even lashes out at them which makes me feel bad later..!

    i feel sorry for myself and for my dear ones when i just cant be ‘myself’…
    but i find it easier to shake off when i am on my own i can do all the little things which u said and slowly i get out of my world and gets a better perspective…

    As u said to stand up to the people who treated me badly verbally i really make an attempt to stand up for myself if i get hurt ..sometimes it never bothers me…

    i dont know whether others have also felt the same..ie intense feelings about oneself..its like being in a tunnel travelling through a tube far from reality and at times get to see the outside world and back to the tunnel…
    i guess i understand the concept and have the will power to convince myself that its a journey and not a deep hole in itself…!

    Thanks once again for your encouraging words..

  338. KM Says:

    Hi Clara,
    I know exactly how you feel and i experience that symptom alot its one of the feelings that I really fear/dislike so in effect it hangs around. I just try to do my best to get on with my day, some days are better than others. It really is just an intense focus on oneself, thats all, but it feels creepy for me, like i’m being watched or cant interact with the world and my thoughts see really loud in my head. The intensity comes and goes and I feel if this is happeneing then i must be on the road to recovery but i still get upset with it at times and freaked out! So yes to answer your question there is others out there who feel the same and are on a similar journey!
    Regards,
    Kat

  339. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Great post Mark

    Saying you are not going to let anxiety make choices for you anymore and that you are going to live your life regardless of insecurties, fears, doubts etc is the easy thing, doing it is a little harder, as every instinct tells you not to. But this instinct is in everyone, people who don’t suffer will have all these fears/doubts at some point in their life, but they will have them in situations that really deserve an anxious response. It’s their body’s way of saying ‘Well there is a little danger here, are you sure you want to do this? Most people accept they will be a little anxious so do it anyway. The problem with someone who suffers with anxiety is they will have these moments for something trivial, maybe just going shopping or talking with a stranger, so the anxious response comes kicks in, normally because they are worried how they will feel when shopping with the crowds and hussle and bussle or how they will come across when they speak with someone socially, that slight anxiety can trigger an exaggarated response. Someone with anxiety always gets these out of proportion responses and it is that that keeps them from doing things, that makes them retreat and not move forward, but they are false signals and that is a very important point to remember.

    They need that total leap of faith that anxiety is just a bodily response and is in no way harmful, we wont lose control and it truly has no power. And we take that power away by going towards it, by not letting it make decisions in our life, the more we pull away and retreat, the more power and respect it gains.

    I did exactly the same as yourself Mark, the more I did not want to do something, the more I did it. I remember if you won a quiz at our local pub you had to read it out the week after in a pub full of people. Well I decided after making plenty of excuses that I would do it for our team. Well on the day I felt sick, my throat was dry and I was very anxious, but I thought I am doing it and what happens, happens. Well I went straight through it and by question 12 I was fine, my anxiety was just mild and I was actually enjoying it. the pride I felt inside was massive as it took all my courage to do it, when every instinct told me not to.

    But I said to myself I am reading a quiz, not walking in with a lion. I understood it took little to trigger an anxious response and that speaking in front of people and making a fool of myself and being anxious about how I would feel, was the trigger, not reading a quiz. So the best way to come through was to start talking in front of people, go towards what I feared, the exact thing as you did Mark and like you it gave me so much confidence for the future, I knew I could and would come through anything, nothing bad would happen, I would not lose control or be carted off somewhere.

    I remember a woman many years ago who emailed me and said ‘Paul I used to love running, but that is impossible now, I can’t even put my trainers on without shaking’ I said well why not just try? What is the worst that can happen? You are letting a feeling stop you living your life and you will never know if you can do a run if you don’t try. I wish I had saved that email that she sent me an hour later when she got back, she did it and said she was laughing all the way around, she could not believe she had been held back by nothing more than a feeling and her anxious thinking. This lady went on to do many half marathons and she was taught a massive lession that day and that was, the only way to find out if she could do something, was to do it and not let her anxious thinking make her believe she could not.

    Paul

  340. Steveo Says:

    Hi Paul

    Yet again, another great post.

    I think I have asked this question before, but as I progress through my recovery and the bumpy road that it is, I suppose I need to reassure myself that I can recover 100% back to my normal self before all of my anxiety kicked off.

    I would like to ask those of you that have recovered and I probably shouldn’t (Paul/Helen/Will/Scarlet/Greg…) if you are 100% back to your self before anxiety your started.

    I worry obviously due to my anxiety that I will have to ‘make do’ with the progress I have made and that I will never recover fully to how I was previously, with a generally ‘clear’ outlook on the world. I think because I am still looking to be recovered, that maybe this is my problem and why I am struggling a little.

    I have been thinking over the weekend… maybe i have always been more anxious/depressed than I thought, maybe this, maybe that, maybe i’m just more switched on and monitoring myself…

    If I know I can 100% recover and that others have, then I suppose I can tell myself to remain patient.

    Thanks for your help!

  341. Tracy Says:

    Any of the ladies find our hormones contribute to any of the increase in symptoms? If you have recovered how did you cope with this factor and were you perimenopausal? I am trying to apply the same guidelines that Paul suggests, but it can be tough with this added component…

  342. Carrie Says:

    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to ask for your feedback. I seem to be having the anxiety symptoms in various form almost every day. I think I am past actual panic attacks (although they do appear, they don’t seem to scare me that much as we know or should know that they always pass), but existential thoughts and low moods is something that has been bothering me most lately. I probably get one day every few weeks when my mind just kind of breaks free from all that and I feel relief (at which moment all the worries from the previous day seem trivial and I start seeing things in a different light). I have been following Paul’s method to the extent I can grasp it (i.e. trying to do normal things while ignoring the symptoms, and doing things for relaxation and fun), but I am not sure if I am doing it right because I am thinking if I had, I would probably be seeing more progress. When my anxiety just started, I would have the symptoms every now and then (and had many more clarity periods), and now it seems to be less intense, but more frequent/or almost always present at the background. What am I doing wrong, if anything?

    Thank you for your time and kindness.

    Carrie

  343. Carrie Says:

    Maybe it is the ignoring the symptoms part that I have not fully grasped yet. I feel like I surrender rather than ignore. I go about my day being aware that the thoughts are ever present. If I truly did not care, I probably would not be aware of them, would I?

  344. K Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I see that the people have not commented in the dp section for quite some time. So I am going to post here in hopes that someone reads. I was wondering if i have dp. No one has been able to diagnose it. I have been to the opthomologist my gp etc.My eyes, they say, are in great health. My main symptom is constant dim and dull vision. It’s as if things aren’t as bright as they use to be. The best way i can describe it is it feels like i have just come from outside in the sun and my eyes have not adjusted to the light correctly. Very weird sensation. It is even worse in fluorescent light. I am also always lightheaded/dizzy. Does anyone know if this is dp? I am desperate for answers and so very scared. Please help…please

    thanks for listening.

  345. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Steveo says: I worry obviously due to my anxiety that I will have to ‘make do’ with the progress I have made and that I will never recover fully to how I was previously, with a generally ‘clear’ outlook on the world. I think because I am still looking to be recovered, that maybe this is my problem and why I am struggling a little

    I have been thinking over the weekend… maybe i have always been more anxious/depressed than I thought, maybe this, maybe that, maybe i’m just more switched on and monitoring myself…

    If I know I can 100% recover and that others have, then I suppose I can tell myself to remain patient.

    Steveo, Again the sentance starts with ‘I worry that…….’ your anxious, so your thinking is anxious, understand this and just don’t get involved, let yourself think whatever and just smile and move on, don’t get involved, one worry will just be replaced with another worry anyway. I just let all the worry/doubts and insecurities be there, but I just got on.

    Secondly you should have been enjoying your weekend, instead of wasting time going over things, total waste of time, put your energys into the world around you and not yourself, you just end up chasing your own tail and never quite find the answer you think will make it all go away or make yourself content.

    Making it your aim to fully recover just puts pressure on yourself, has you grasping for it, making it your daily aim, watching yourself. Forget recovery, drop it and just let it creep up on you. That’s the way it worked for me, I just got better one step at a time, things just got easier. Even then i could have a few days of the old me, but these times became less frequent and with less effect and although I mainly had my life back, there were a few symptoms lingering about, but they were not hindering me, they were just a nusicence. They were basically just a watered down version of my darkest days, my nerves were far better, but not fully healed and my mind was far less tired and battered, but was not totally flexible. These watered down symptoms just left me little by little, there was no one day when I woke up and thought ‘Right that’s the end of that’ I never once thought of recovery, I was just glad to regain my life back little by little. It truly was a process and whoever you talk with who has recovered will say exactly the same thing. But I made a lot of changes to get there, when I had no information and knew nothing, everything I did had me falling deeper and deeper, inc avoidence behaviours, running away from how I felt, drinking to try and forget, spending hours trying to mentally fix it etc. I also finally understood enough about my condition to have a big shift in attitude. Once you understand something, you fear it far less and don’t waste so much time going over and over it, the two things that can keep you in the cycle.

  346. Michelle Z Says:

    Paul – You are so right. I find as I get about living my life and forgetting about worrying or obsessing, slowly I have been feeling better. What does seem to be causing me issues are times when things are quiet in my life. For example, if I have a lot going on, i.e. planning family gatherings at my home, busyness with family or work, etc., I do better. I am currently in the middle of a 10 day stretch (day 8) working every day in a row with no break. I noticed over the weekend that scary thoughts began sticking and scaring me again. And I know I’m doing the wrong stuff, i.e. “well, maybe something else is wrong with me. I’ve never heard anybody thinking of these things or being afraid of something so silly.” And on and on. I mean the thoughts I allow to bother me are so goofy, most people would probably laugh at them.

    And I guess I’m trying to minimize that there is nothing going on in my life. There are a couple of major worries. I need to learn to not worry so much about things I have no control over. When I say nothing going on, I mean nothing fun to focus on. My job at this point is so routine and I find it boring. I love the people I work with, but there are no challenges at work.

    So anybody who wants to throw in their 2 cents and give me feedback, I would appreciate that.

  347. Steveo Says:

    Thanks very much for your post Paul. I appreciate your time.

  348. Paul Says:

    Hi All, I would like to know if any of you can give me some advice. I have experienced severe anxiety for the past 6 months (although it was only diagnosed 3 months ago), I had been through a tough time initially but recently I have begun to feel much better. I had been on Anti-depressants to help control the anxiety, tried 2 different types but neither was effective. Recently I asked my doctor could I stop taking them as I wanted to try CBT Therapy without any medication. I have been off work since January and was feeling pretty bad, tried to go back to work before being diagnosed and just could not cope as I was having panic attacks and didnt know what they were. Anyway about 3 weeks ago I came across Paul’s site and almost immediately I felt that this is the route I want to take. I read the book over past 2 weeks and it gave me inspiration. The words “Dont fight it” were exactly what I was looking for. Finally I could follow a route that made sense to me and I gave it a go. This past 10 days I have experienced a notable diffence in how I feel. I do feel anxious regularly but I no longer fight the feeling and just let it pass. I also still get the panic attacks but I let them work their magic and just remind myself that its just adrenaline. I havent had that feeling of frustration for the last week or so. I called my boss and requested to return to work, also called into my GP and said that I was ready to return to work. He said that I was looking much much better and seemed to have regained some confidence too. I know that it is a long road and there will be tough times but over the previous 6 months I was listless with no light at end of the tunnel. Now I feel that the knowledge I have gained from the book and the website has help give me a platform to move forward with optimism. I return to work next week and would like if any of you could share any thoughts on how I should prepare for returning to work, at present I am looking forward to it as I enjoy my job but still reckon I will be very anxious leading up to it as I felt overwhelmed the last time I tried to return..look forward to any input..

  349. PJ Says:

    Apologies for any confusion, I will use a different alias other than Paul which I used in post above, dont want people getting confused with the main man Paul :)

  350. Greg Says:

    Hi Steveo,

    sorry for delay in responding – been out and about this weekend.

    Am I back to “normal”? Well, I suffered anxiety for 10+ years, but it’s fair to say in that time I’ve had periods of feeling ok, but due to a lack of understanding and avoidance always ended up falling back into old habits and trying to force myself to get better but not knowing how.

    I’m at a stage now where I’m a very different person to that 19 year old who first experienced anxiety and got dragged into the cycle. I now no longer fear anxiety. Is every day a walk in the park? No, because at my age there are genuine life issues that can be quite stressful. However, my ability to deal with stress and to worry less and take it easy are far more pronounced than before. I am still able to enjoy life but with a new found wisdom, and it’s as good as it was before I suffered anxiety disorder.

    Hope this answers your question. Anxiety is a habit, and bundle of feelings and thoughts. Not wholly unlike Anger. Just because someone goes through a phase of anger, does it mean they can never again become a person who isn’t angry? Of course not. Anxiety has no bearing to stop you from becoming the person you once were. Infact, you become a better person, more compassionate, more thankful of the good things in life, more able to deal with stressful issues.

    Hope this answers your questions. Keep building the faith in yourself

    Greg

  351. Steveo Says:

    Thanks Greg – it does answer the questionthankyou.

    I suppose the bottom line for me in asking the question (that I shouldn’t really be asking) is that you do not feel that you are constantly thinking about anxiety 100% and that you are not ‘checking in’ on yourself all of the time!!

    For me, my life’s stressors are expected (work/baby/house/finances etc) but at the moment, with anxiety, my head is not as clear as it once was and is still constantly checking in… It is significantly improving in comparison to 12-18 months ago, but I am still incorrectly looking for total recovery.

    As people rightly say, you should not look to recover but let it creep up on you.

    To be honest, I’m obviously ‘anxious’ about not completing my path to recovery, even though I would have taken my current position 18 months ago.

    Thanks :-)

  352. Cori Says:

    Hi Dee,
    I am right with you, girl. My main symptom has been the scary thoughts. I have had all of them…trust me. I had all of the physcial stuff, too, but all of that has gone away. I still have the occasional sticky scary thought about the same things as you.
    You have to let them float and not give them much attention. In my opinion, trying to find their cause and so on, kinda just makes them worse because it puts you into that loops of repetition..why, why, why? They are there and so be it…just let them come in and go out. Practice this. I know that some days are better than others. I have the same issue. But, obsessing about them and worrying about them really makes them worse. Try non-reaction and then move on with what you are doing. Pretty soon it will start to fade. Distract with stuff you like. Keep doing it. I can say my problem went from the 24/7 scary broken record to just the occasional thought…they still come up, daily, but now I don’t feel as overwhelmed by them and can blow them off. I know that if I keep practicing this technique, they will eventually disappear for good. And if they do rear their ugly heads somewhere down the line, Ill know how to cope. :) So, take heart! Practice makes perfect!
    Eat healthy food, cut the caffeine and exercise (this helps SO much).
    Hang in there, you will make it!

  353. dee Says:

    Hi Cori
    thanks so much for replying. As you say, some days I can manage to have no reaction to them, they just come & I let them go but sometimes they really get to me and I can’t seem to get past them.
    Here’s to them disappearing for good for both of us x

  354. yolande Says:

    HI

    I havent been on here for a while and doing quite well. however lately i have had some stress at work over some work issues that i am having problems with. i let it get to me and started worrying over it – this morning i woke up with the adrenalin or was it fear spasm coursing through me. it really shook me up.

    i know i shouldnt have let it get to me but i just felt down cos i kept making mistakes at work. i dont know why. i feel down and all and i guess i just kept on thinking and worrying about it and so wonder i had the feelings back again.

    Paul or anyone, can you pls help and advice on what i should do now? I am not even sure if i am fully recovered :( – i sometimes still feel down and all. sometimes i wonder if it’s caused by PMS or just everyday blue days. it’s so frustrating sometimes. why cant i just not worry??? i just cant seem to let such things go and keep gnawing at it.

    i dont know if scarlet, candie or helen still post here but if either of you do, i would welcome some help.

    thank you

  355. Mark M Says:

    Thanks for the reply Paul, and yeah, saying I’ll “never let fear make choices for me” is a big step, but putting it into practice is 1000 times harder, and I’ve definitely learned that. After making a commitment like that the fear seemed to intensify, and actually this past week was my first week at my new job, and the morning of the first 3 days were just terrifying, to be frank. They didn’t have much for me to do in the beginning since I was so new and I was just sitting at my computer trying to look busy, except I really had nothing to do, so I got anxious about that. Then, of course, cue a million other different worries to come up like “I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life, what if I hate this and don’t like it here, what if it’s awkward with these people I work with, what if I don’t remember everyone’s name, what if I don’t understand this,” blah blah blah, and I seriously could barely think during that time and struggled to keep any kind of normal feelings that I could. I was seriously incredibly close to leaving and starting over or just running away, and I would say that was the biggest test I’ve had so far in my anxiety, it was just frightening how the what ifs built upon one another trying to make me more and more anxious with the added fear of what would happen if it looked like I’m freaking out at work and the kind of image that would portray to them in my first week.

    I would like to say I was not scared and completely fine and that I’ve conquered anxiety, but that would be far from the truth; I was incredibly scared and had to leave to go to the bathroom to pull myself together, and the only thing that helped me was yours and Clair Weekes’ advice plus the collection of previous experiences in ‘floating’ through panic and just seeing the anxiety through to its end no matter what. But god I can’t express how scared I felt… I just feel very, very proud of myself to the point of tears that I was courageous enough to keep with it and stick to my ‘motto’ that I mentioned before. After the mornings, though, I felt way better, like past 9:30 I felt even better than at home, and I think it was because I started caring more about the things around me rather than worrying, because there was a lot of learning and work to do that I could focus on instead, which felt ironically really relaxing even if it was work. Just focusing on one thing at a time without worrying about anything else and losing myself in the work is a great way to remember better what ‘normal’ feels like. Plus of course all the perks of making money and keeping myself busy and meeting people and all of that really helps you remember yourself and gain back the self esteem lost from the countless worries that having this kind of anxiety entails. The rest of the week was a breeze and I feel so much more normal now it’s awesome. Though, over the weekend I still played a ton of computer games which is my way of distracting, but given the stress of a new job and the fact that I’m learning tons of things, it makes sense to want a break and fall into old habits over the weekend. However, overall I think this was a huge step forward, and I start my next week tomorrow, which I’m ready for. I’m not going to make this post another book like last time, lol, so I will stop here and just say that I will keep at it and not let fear make choices for me and just keep facing it until I take my (god damn!) life back. Again, of course thank you Paul for your wonderful book, I still read a few pages every few days if I feel I need a boost and it has been invaluable to me, along with this blog.

  356. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Mark just a quick split up of your post;

    Thanks for the reply Paul, and yeah, saying I’ll “never let fear make choices for me” is a big step, but putting it into practice is 1000 times harder, and I’ve definitely learned that. After making a commitment like that the fear seemed to intensify, and actually this past week was my first week at my new job, and the morning of the first 3 days were just terrifying, to be frank. They didn’t have much for me to do in the beginning since I was so new and I was just sitting at my computer trying to look busy, except I really had nothing to do, so I got anxious about that. Then, of course, cue a million other different worries to come up like “I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life, what if I hate this and don’t like it here, what if it’s awkward with these people I work with, what if I don’t remember everyone’s name, what if I don’t understand this,” blah blah blah

    Paul says;

    Yes a pattern that I remember and the rush of thoughts where you feel you cannot think straight. Anxious people have adrenalin rushing through their body and obviously this is the flght or flight scenario, it gives you that burst of energy, adrenalin on tired nerves is what gives you that aggitated feeling, bit it’s the burst of energy that makes people fidget, can’t keep still, it’s priming our muscles to move, but we don’t have anything to move from, so we tend to fidget or walk around like a caged tiger. It’s the same when the adrenalin comes with the thoughts, they seem to race around without control, they are also all anxiety based and always thinking the worst and we feel we have little control over them. I fully understood this as when I started to get fit and would do a daily 3 mile run, I had burnt all this excess adrenalin off and not once would I feel anxious or have any anxious thoughts for a few hours, my body would replenish the adrenalin and then I would be back to normal, but it 100% convinced me that how I felt and thought was anxiety based, I was not going crazy or a special case, I was 100% normal, it was my anxiety that made me act and think this way. Now this is odd as you mentioned the words, but one morning I got caught up in anxious thinking, one where I could hardly think straight or turn off my thinking and then it damned on me, it was excess adrenalin, don’t try and think straight, don’t try and turn it off and I just wrote on a piece of paper blah, blah, blah and it eased instantly, I had moved away from it and just let it burn itself out instead of trying to stop it or internely talk myself right. Anytime I would start with all the internal waffle I would just say, “blah, blah, blah”, it was not important, all anxiety based and I had a day to get on with.

    Mark says:

    I was seriously incredibly close to leaving and starting over or just running away, and I would say that was the biggest test I’ve had so far in my anxiety, it was just frightening how the what ifs built upon one another trying to make me more and more anxious with the added fear of what would happen if it looked like I’m freaking out at work and the kind of image that would portray to them in my first week.

    I would like to say I was not scared and completely fine and that I’ve conquered anxiety, but that would be far from the truth; I was incredibly scared and had to leave to go to the bathroom to pull myself together, and the only thing that helped me was yours and Clair Weekes’ advice plus the collection of previous experiences in ‘floating’ through panic and just seeing the anxiety through to its end no matter what. But god I can’t express how scared I felt… I just feel very, very proud of myself to the point of tears that I was courageous enough to keep with it and stick to my ‘motto’ that I mentioned before. After the mornings, though, I felt way better, like past 9:30 I felt even better than at home, and I think it was because I started caring more about the things around me rather than worrying, because there was a lot of learning and work to do that I could focus on instead, which felt ironically really relaxing even if it was work. Just focusing on one thing at a time without worrying about anything else and losing myself in the work is a great way to remember better what ‘normal’ feels like.

    Paul says;

    Mark you have to remember that starting a new job is a stressful and nervous time for anyone, an anxiety sufferer just feels things more intensely, everything is exagarated, so you were feeling what most people would, but to a higher degree. Again it was just excess adrenalin and yes it is there to give you a choice to go or stay, but it has created a far bigger threat than is actually there as adrenalin on on an already anxious person creates a bigger reaction. I had many times like this and it is hard and it takes courage and a total belief that you will be fine. I can 100% say that I always was, adrenalin came, it peaked and then it left me, everytime. As stated before, your body can only create so much adrenalin and this is why it always calms, not only that but once you do stay, it basically says, o.k your still here, I am no longer needed, ta, ta. It truly is just a normal bodily reaction, just exagarated because our nerves are taught and frayed.

    So a massive pat on the back for you for staying, these times get easier and easier, as if you run, the next time you automatically see it as danger, “Oh god this is where I felt awful before” you are on red alert before you get there and the first sign of anxious feelings or fear then off you go down the ‘Oh no’ route’, ‘ It’s happening again’ ‘I need to escape again’. ‘Why me’ etc adding more and more adrenalin to the mix. If you stay, the next time it is an automatic reaction of, this is where I did it, I stayed and nothing happened and the reaction is far weaker and any anxious reaction does not have you going down the ‘Oh no route’ as you felt it before and came through fine. I always used to make decisions that would open doors, not close them. It’s all about unmasking it until it does not matter if you feel this way or not, that’s the key.

    Mark says;

    Plus of course all the perks of making money and keeping myself busy and meeting people and all of that really helps you remember yourself and gain back the self esteem lost from the countless worries that having this kind of anxiety entails. The rest of the week was a breeze and I feel so much more normal now it’s awesome. Though, over the weekend I still played a ton of computer games which is my way of distracting, but given the stress of a new job and the fact that I’m learning tons of things, it makes sense to want a break and fall into old habits over the weekend. However, overall I think this was a huge step forward, and I start my next week tomorrow, which I’m ready for. I’m not going to make this post another book like last time, lol, so I will stop here and just say that I will keep at it and not let fear make choices for me and just keep facing it until I take my (god damn!) life back. Again, of course thank you Paul for your wonderful book, I still read a few pages every few days if I feel I need a boost and it has been invaluable to me, along with this blog.

    Paul says;

    The reason you felt better through the week and found it a breeze is because you did not fear going there, you had been through it and come through fine, so you did not fear feeling anxious again. If any feelings came you knew you would be fine and because of this you lost yourself in your work instead of watching how you were feeling or dreading any feelings coming.

    Paul

  357. Si Says:

    I know it’s all in the mind…….

    Last Friday afternoon I took my wife and 2 daughters to centerparcs at longleat. Before I left home I was so anxious, anxious of everything, wanting everything to be perfect, wanting to get rid of this blooming condition. I had been awake since 3.30am and I had a 4 hour drive ahead, how was I gonna do this for a start????

    Well… the truth is I did it, and I enjoyed the journey and so did the family. In fact we had what I can only describe as a brilliant weekend break, one which I was so worried about, mainly because the last break we had away I spoiled it by being so low, well not this time. BUT WHY???? WHY DID I NOT WORRY about anxiety, why could I just brush off all silly thoughts (and why did i not have so many), why did I climb walls, walk, drink, relax, everything that normal people did…. I DID IT and god it felt so good to be free for the weekend. I rarely checked on myself, can’t remember sitting around in self pity. It was one of the best weekends I have had for 2 years.

    BUT….. Im back home and guess what, i’ts all come back, I feel trapped in my head, can’t relax, feel quite anxious about day to day stuff, totally anticipating feeling crap again… why why why does this have to happen???

    I had 85% lost myself over the weekend (or should i say found myself) and now I am back I feel dull, tired and somewhat quite tearfull. Totally in my head again.

    Sorry if it’s a rant, but just a little dissapointed with the return of the old symptoms.

    Can anyone advise?
    Si

  358. Steveo Says:

    Si

    Was really hoping to not read the last couple of paragraphs…

    I think in this instance we have to remain patient as there is proof that we can get ‘normaility’ back. The problem is, we self pity and get frustrated… I have been doing the exact same recently and even questionned on here if people have returned 100% to their normal selves.

    This was because i wanted confirmation that i can aswell.

    Best of luck. If you had such a good weekend, you will get the positivity back again !!

  359. Si Says:

    Steveo,

    Thanks for ther comments, it is just a downer when you feel so good and confident inside and yet when you get back to the normal mundane day to day stuff it all creeps back up. I think I am on the right track, not getting to concerned about it, but I hate this constant checking in on myself. Wondering if it will all just go away one day :)

    Ups and downs I suppose, and I need more time

  360. Steveo Says:

    You sound almost identical to me Si… i’ve improved so much over the last 12-18 months, but IT is still there.

    We try not to fight it but it is so natural to want to get rid of it.

    I’m hoping it will all go away as people like Paul have fully recovered.

  361. Si Says:

    Steveo, something else happened whilst I was away and I also find this fascinating….

    Did I once check this web site for some reasurance or pick me up….. NOT ONCE and NOT ONCE DID I EVEN CONSIDER IT…. Even though I had full internet access I did not once feel the need for any reasurrance at all!!!

    But yet now im back and my mood is so up and down hour by hour I find Im on here again.

    I guess when we are pre-occupied with stuff other than day to day we find we managed alot better, but when we we are back in our routine it’s very difficult to just go with it. I do truly believe we can do this by not getting impressed with out negative down time and plodding on regardless. And it is also very true that all we are feeling is everything was feeling before anxiety hit us hard but now we are so sensitive it jumps at you.

    Im on nights this week, terrible shift since I had anxiety, 3 hours sleep from 6 till 9 every day, why does my head know the blumming time?? It’s like GROUND HOG DAY!! lol :)

    Chin up, we’ll do it one day
    Si

  362. Steveo Says:

    Agreed Si.

    To be honest, I know I am improving though as I do not read the site constantly. I think I skip through it for the miracle story!?!?!

    Some of the posts I do not find myself totally scrutinising.

    Chin up indeed :-)

  363. Michelle M Says:

    Hi everyone,

    The constant fear of developing one of the severe mental health conditions is taking over my life. I wake up with the thought there and go to bed with it still there. I cant understand why I have attached myself to this worry 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the moment.

    I have just a constant fear of leaving my family and thinking that my girls wouldnt be able to cope without me and develop a mental health condition themselves. I know this sound ridiculous but I cant seem to get out of this cycle of worry at the moment.

    As I have said before, I dont have any symptoms of these illnesses and I know the thoughts are irrational. I let them come but feel that if I accept them then I will lose myself completely and let them take over me, if that makes sense. I am going to see a councellor through work next week hoping that this helps. Did anyone else have this crippling fear and if so, how did you overcome it.

    All the best, Michelle x

  364. Michelle M Says:

    Cori, I have reread you answer on the 15th June, which has calmed me down again. Thanks once again for a great post. Hope you are doing well yourself.

    Michelle x

  365. Ian Says:

    Si –

    like you I had a good holiday recently. The trip over was pretty damn awful, just sitting on the ferry with all sorts of nonsense in my head, going over and over advice and quotes, very anxious indeed, didn’t sleep that night at all I don’t think. Somehow, and I don’t really know how, on the first day I think I just thought f**k it, its not going to ruin this. I really tried to drop the subject, anxiety came and went, thinking about anxiety came too , but I tried to drop it as best I could, I felt bad oddness/DP on and off but I just kept on with the holiday and really enjoyed myself, some days were a bit bad, some were good, none was without anxiety and DP. I just did stuff. I was beginning to think that the anxiety didn’t actually matter that much anymore and that I had given myself enough ‘space’ to be able to just get on and not obsess about it, to be able to think a little clearer about it. Perhaps inevitably (though I hoped not) the first day back at work was horrible, as is today. It sometimes seems such a struggle to drop the subject, like it is fighting. My head feels so very full up of it all now after only 48 hours back in the country. Anyway I’m off again (from here, not from England!)

    Ian

  366. Lisa Says:

    Paul :
    How is your partner doing? I hope she is completely recovered.

  367. Lisa Says:

    Michelle M:
    I know exactly how you feel about the crippling fear of thinking you will develop some mental illness.For the longest time I had this fear also but I knew it was just anxiety telling me this and the more I feared it the more logical my irrational thoughts were getting. Trust in yourself, millions and millions of people suffer from anxiety. All you have is anxiety trust me! This was so hard for me to believe at times but I had to let go of these stupid fears in order to recover.Just let go, its hard at first but trust me you will feel peace in the days and weeks to come.

  368. Michelle M Says:

    Lisa, thanks very much for your reply. Are you now free of these thoughts. Its also the fact that I have had disorganised thoughts also. This has only happened twice when I was drifting off to sleep. But I have got myself so worked up about these, googled them and found them to be a symptom of a mental illness. Arrrgghhh, I dont know what to do.

    Michelle

  369. Lisa Says:

    Michelle M:
    Don’t worry about the disorganized thoughts that is all part of anxiety. I had weird thoughts all the time in the beginning and I would even see weird pictures in my head but all this ceased once my anxiety levels dropped showing me that it was all anxiety based and nothing to fear. It makes sense that the thoughts would be a bit weird and disorganized because our bodies are producing a lot more adrenalin ,mix that with lots of fear and worry and that’s what you get. The fact that you had it only happen a couple of times is nothing! In the beginning I couldn’t even sleep because my mind was racing with bizarre thoughts and pictures of people and places. It was just because I was so mentally drained. Just laugh at it trust me its nothing to worry about.
    When you are ready you will let go and you will see that its just anxiety playing tricks. Don’t add fear on fear and it will soon diminish to the point where your mind becomes clearer and you will become less bothered by them when they do come.

  370. Lisa Says:

    Michelle M:
    A bit of sound advice, don’t google anything! its the worst thing you can do.
    I used to be obsessive googling everything and it only made me feel worse. In fact all that reading of stuff only perpetuated my fear making it grow and keeping me from recovering. As soon as I stopped that it really made me feel a lot better about everything. My thoughts calmed down and my fear left me.

  371. Michelle M Says:

    Thanks again Lisa. I will take you advice with regards to the googling. Im at the stage where i am absolutely googling everything which is so time consuming and youre right, not doing me any favours other than that there are thousands of others in the same boat as me.

    Some days i sit and think i know what this anxiety is all about and that i am fine and within a second a flood of fear flows through me about that i could still become psychotic.

    Thanks for your help with this everyone. Im on a bad one at the moment and have been for the past month. I dont know why but im sure i’ll get through this one too.

    Michelle

  372. Will Says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I certainly know about that fear of heading towards mental illness. It is an awful, harrowing feeling to feel this and, inevitably, it results in a feelings of terror and depression as you stare into the future dreading what might happen to you and those around you.

    For me, talking to a counsellor made a big difference here because this was someone trained in the clinical assessment of people’s mental health telling me that I was suffering from anxiety and that my overall mental health was fine. Clinically speaking, anxiety is a neurosis, not a psychosis; and there is a very big difference between the two. Having a trained person tell me that calmed down the ‘secondary fear’ that was adding to my problems.

    I think anxiety is complicated in the way that it often involves many factors which result in it happening in someone’s life – our past, our current environment and relationships, long-term stress, or a specific trigger like trauma. And I think it varies in intensity and character depending on which of these factors has played a significant part. Generally speaking, I would have thought that most anxiety sufferers will have a few but not all of these factors playing a leading part in causing the anxiety. But when many of the factors coincide, then the intensity of the anxiety might well be such that the sufferer feels that they are losing their mind, and their ability to function normally is seriously jeopardized. However awful this state may be though, it is still anxiety and it is not a psychosis.

    As Paul’s book repeatedly makes clear, anxiety is all about fear and, one way or another, fear can be dealt with and managed. Paul also makes clear in his book that anxiety is very powerful and destructive but if we work hard and long to confront it, live with it, and not let it dominate our lives, we can get through it to full recovery. And, as his book and website show, there are lots of people who go through terrible periods but get through it and stay recovered. Psychosis, by contrast, is an entirely different world with different origins and patterns – however terrifying and confusing anxiety can be, it is not ‘madness’ but a transitional stage in our lives that can lead us to being stronger and happier people than we were before. How determined we are to make that recovery is up to us, but there are lots of people out there who thought they were going seriously crazy at one stage in their lives but now lead happy and confident lives again.

    Will

  373. Michelle M Says:

    Hi Will,
    Thanks too for your reply. I have sat in front of my GP and explained my thoughts and feelings and as I have said before, she confirmed that I wasnt mentally ill.

    I realise I have to let the fear go. How can i keep on worrying about something that hasnt happened or that isnt going to happen. For a start I am quite a few years out of the age range and I have never had any of these symptoms or issues in the past.

    I know that I will get through this blip. I have been so much better today than I was yesterday. I dont feel depressed just fed up and wanting to understand why this happened to me…but then again, I know the reasons.

    Michelle x

  374. Cori Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    :) I am glad that one of my posts has helped you. I should probably go back and re-read some of my advice, too. Having a bit of a setback this past week. Not sure what triggers that…it is frustrating. It always manifests itself in scary thoughts and then I get upset and worry, which feeds them even more. I know how to deal with them, it is just that some days it is easier than others. Some days the nature of them frightens me and it is hard to blow them off. I have come a long long long way, so I just have to go back to the best advice-not reacting and going out my business. I think recovery is a process..up the ladder a few steps, down a few (or paused) and then back up even more. Eventually, I will make it to the top. Just glad that there are others out there, who experience the same things. It is lonely at times.

  375. Cori Says:

    Michelle,
    One more thing: I just wanted to reiterate that you are not mentally ill. As I said before, I work with this a lot in my job (social work) and those who are truly mentally don’t ask that question. They don’t wonder about whether or not they are ill…they don’t have that insight. See what I mean? Anxiety is nervous habit, NOT mental illness. And really, DON’T google diagnoses. It makes it all worse and feeds the anxiety. I know from experience. :) Man, I could never study medicine cause I’d probably “come down with” every illness in the book. Ha ha. Hang in there!!!! You are ok!

  376. Michelle M Says:

    Cori, thanks. Am sorry to hear you are having a rough time at the moment. But as we both know, we’ll get through it again. It just hits me hard sometimes and I dont see a way out which gets me so upset.

    Ive had 2 good days now so long may it continue uptil my hormones decide to go mad again.

    All the best

    Michelle xx

  377. KM Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    I feel like a slave to my hormones too, and i’m always lots worse around ovulation and with pmt! Bad days really throw me as well im in the process of my second one after feeling better for a while, not much we can do really, I just keep on going hoping for a better one every morning, looking forward to not caring how my day goes but i surpose that will come when im feeling consistently better without such low low’s! I’ve had relationship problems the past week and i’m putting this setback down to the stress of these argh!! I think i need to re-read a few of pauls chapters! hope your feeling brighter!
    Love kat

  378. Cori Says:

    Just want to say that I can relate in terms of hormones. My two recent bouts with more anxious moments have been during that fun time of the month. I think it def. plays a role. It is a bummer, but I guess we have to learn to cope, huh?

  379. Steph Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I havent posted here for while allthough i frequentley visit and read posts and peoples comments which the vast majority i have been able to relate to at some point! I totally get the fear of developing a more serious mental condition as when i first experienced anxiety this was me in a nutshell..i actually used to be on pins listening thinking i was going to hear some one talk to me, see things etc stupid and silly i know and the more i was thinking it and stressing myself the more heightened my senses became to noise, my surroundings etc, which then made me more anxious and so the vicious circle went on. The more we dwell on things and worry the worse we feel the mind becomes so tired and confused we do have silly random thoughs and images popping into our head which at the time of anxiety seem ridiculously scary. My relatively “normal” anxiety free freind told me she has been having difficulty sleeping latley and now when she drifts off her minds that tired random faces images noises pop in her head like shes in dreamstate half awake half not. Yet she laughed it off as she doesnt have anxiety..i think the more anxious you are the scarier “normal” things seem. If i start to have an anxious moment where i feel that fear i just laugh at it and say come on steph you have been apparantley going off your head for how long and your still sane just a little wiser! No matter how anxious i get i realise now that it never gets any worse, its never the end of the world (which i believe it will be at the time) and i most defenitley am not completely bonkers..well not really haha..hope this has given you a lighter way of looking at it. Take care.
    Steph

  380. Steph Says:

    Oh i forgot to mention girls hormones play a huge factor where my anxiety is concerned! I can be fine then wham out of nowhere i am like an emotional wreck which affects my sleep, mood, anxious state and poor boyfreind! Wicked witch of the west is not the word! I have been taking evening primrose, calcium&magnesium and Vitamin B6 and B12 which are supposed to be good with balancing hormones.i havent been taking them that long but i can notice slight difference in mood. If you know of any other vitamins or natural remedies to help with this please share!
    Steph

  381. KM Says:

    Maybe Paul could do a page or a blog for us women who suffer from the dreaded PMT from a mans perspective haha! lol :)

  382. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Maybe Paul could do a page or a blog for us women who suffer from the dreaded PMT from a mans perspective haha! lol

    Erm, nope, way out of my comfort zone that :-)

  383. JP Says:

    Hi all. I came across this website a few weeks ago, when I was about 2/3months into my anxiety taking hold of me. It has been very helpful, i have coupled a lot of these ideas with claire weekes’ books, and essentially understand that it is all about acceptance and time, understanding what is happening to you and just accepting it while your body recovers. However, I am really struggling with one or two things and was wondering if anyone could offer some advice.. I am very frightened of getting ill/bad headaches as I I feel like this would bring me back to square one and increase my depression.. how do I deal with this fear and how do people cope when they are suffering with anxiety and also come down with an illness?

    Many thanks and thank you for this website. x

  384. Michelle M Says:

    Steph, I could have wrote your post. That is me all over. I have had 4 really good days….why…cos I have finished the awful monthly cycle, now dreading the next one but cant worry too much until it arrives. The thing is, I know that it is hormone related but cant accept it at the time. Over the past 4 days I have felt a little wierd at times but have not paid it any attention. I cannot let this ruin my relationship, which it will do if I carry on.

    I also take omega 3 oil and soya isoflavones, which helps. Have a good day everyone.

  385. MK Says:

    Hey everyone!
    I have been struggling lately with guilty feelings. I have been thinking a lot about my past (middle school teen years) and some of the strange things i used to do. I have never really worried about them before, but now that I just recently got engaged (!!! 😀 ), I have been feeling like I should “confess” some of these things to my fiance. I know this sounds strange, but could someone give me some advice on how to deal with these thoughts and feelings of guilt and urges to tell someone..? Thanks

  386. MLK Says:

    I think my last comment/question didnt post?? Unless it was deleted or something?

  387. MLK Says:

    Just wanted to wish everyone a nice weekend!

  388. MLK Says:

    Just to touch base on the whole mental illness thing..I have thought countless times that I was becoming seriously mentally ill, but like it’s been said already, people with mental illness don’t have the though process to know whether or not they are seriously mentally ill! I work with mentally ill adults, and believe me, they had/have no clue that they are mentally ill. I used to think I had schizophrenia, but people who actually have schizophrenia don’t worry about developing schizophrenia. They are more worried with seriously paranoid thinking, or people trying to harm them. Anywho..just wanted to mention I understand how it feels! There are still days when I question my mental state, but I let the thoughts be there..and it fades very quickly! Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

  389. Ezra Says:

    Hi MLK,

    I too struggle with guilty thoughts about my past. They just pop up out of nowhere and I have been guilty of just confessing them to my husband to rid me of my anxiety feelings and guilt about them.

    My advice to you would be DONT DO IT !! It is purely an offshoot of anxiety. My first guilt episode was years before I actually had my official anxiety ‘breakdown’ (Feb 10) since then I have eposides of guilty thoughts and confession time whether it be a past misdemeanor or something I have said etc.

    I have now vowed that I am NEVER going to do it again, I am gaining back control and as Candie once said to me when I asked about feeling guilty (11/2/11 post) you need to be ‘comfortable feeling uncomfortable’

    Apparantly it is a common offshoot of anxiety or OCD, hypder responsibility its called but without putting a label on it, if you have never given the thought a moments notice before your anxiety, it is purely being driven by your anxious, tired mind tricking you into feeling guilty.

    I absolutely understand the feeling you get when the ‘guilty thought’ comes in, for me its a horrible, sickening feeling. I then obesess, worry and cannot shift my mind from the thought and then the SECOND i confess, it magically goes away and I feel amazing. However by doing this, I have actually trained my mind that it should, indeed be anxious so now I need to untrain it !!

    The last time I confessed was only recently and I felt so annoyed with myself for doing it and being so weak.

    Anyways, just thought Id reply as I know how annoying it is !!

    Congratulations on the engagement hun ! :-)

  390. Lisa P. Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I haven’t been on here for awhile and I’m going to sound a lot like other posts I’ve read on here but I am just so in need of some support right now.
    For about a month I was feeling very good, as I’ve heard other people say, it was almost as if I could touch the person I used to be, I felt so good, wasn’t thinking of anxiety, I was eating and sleeping and able to enjoy my life again. It was so wonderful. But then I went and had some dental work done and had some problems that I started to obsess about and now just like that, my anxiety and DP is back, I’m waking too early with anxiety and I feel worse than I have in a long time, so of course I came back to this site since it was a lot of Paul’s advice that I had been following that seemed to get me to such a good place. I’m so frustrated and am crying as I write this, it hurts so much to have your life back and then to have it ripped away by my own mind. How could I have such control and happiness last week and now be here crying my eyes out on my couch. I have so much that I have to get done. My band is playing music next weekend and then almost every weekend after that, I can barely concentrate on it. I will not give up however, it just feels so awful, I used to be such a positive person, I remember feeling happiness every day and thinking how blessed I was until I created this horrible anxiety inside of myself. If anyone has advice, it would be greatly appreciated. I know most of you have gone through this sort of thing and that it sounds so repetitive, so I’m sorry for that, it’s just so uncomfortable I thought maybe sharing with all of you might relieve me. I’m gonna go clean my house now. Hope you are all doing well.
    Lisa P.

  391. Lisa P. Says:

    Ok, I realize I’m posting again just an hour and a half or so later, but I’m already feeling a lot better. I read through a bit of things from Paul’s posts and looked around the site. I really try not to come on here very much but today I needed the reminder. I read the bit about living alongside the anxiety and to go on with my everyday life (I had been dwelling on it and feeling sorry for myself). I put my Sirius Acoustic Coffee House station on, did the dishes, talked and laughed with my daughter (a good laugh does miracles btw) and still felt a little shaky so now I’m eating walnuts and cherries and decided to share with you guys, I was thinking that maybe it might help someone else to see that you can feel better inside of an hour if you just choose to do so. I can’t say I won’t feel bad again ever, but I have to keep reminding myself to give it time, to think of positive things and to keep moving, oh and to eat and drink lots of water, and the hour and a half walk I took this morning helped a lot too! I guess I jumped the gun asking for advice on here when I just went and answered my own questions. I think it’s a good reminder that I am still in recovery and a few bad days can truly be used as a growing and learning experience. Who knows what tomorrow brings, but tomorrow is tomorrow and today I can listen to the birds and enjoy the sun and feel relaxed and use that memory for the next time I feel anxious! I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! thanks for always being here and for letting me share my feelings.
    Lisa P.

  392. Tracy Says:

    Lisa,

    Wow you could have been writing about my last few days..I too have had a great month in a long time, then WHAM yesterday had a panic attack..I have been so worn out due to increased training for my half marathon and a lot of family stress. I was adding in the additional training, but not adding in the extra rest and food. I feel when I am tired I can’t put into place Pauls advice and start spinning with all the thoughts in my head oh and add in the hormones it isn’t pretty. I love how you wrote your first post which was pure anxiety talking by the way…I felt that yesterday I was reaching out to friends just out of pure fear and to avoid my feelings…I can see on your second post the real you talking and it is amazing how it can change in a hour isn’t it?..Anyway thanks for sharing you really reminded me of a few things I need to keep in perspective and to stop trying to scamble back to how I was feeling last week and figure it all out, that will just tire out our minds more as Paul always says. I too am going to get on with my weekend and take my panic attacks along with me if they would like to join :)

  393. Michelle M Says:

    So here i am sitting at work when my colleague next to me said “haha, ive just had the strangest thought that what if i poked eileen in the eye with my pen”. She laughed it off as a ridiculous thought. It made me laugh with tears that someone as rational as her would have such an irrational thought pop into her mind for whatever reason.

    It just confirms that no matter how “normal” we are, we still have odd thoughts. Its just I stick to them for some reason.

    Hope everyone is having a good weekend. RIP Amy Winehouse.

    Michelle

  394. MLK Says:

    Thanks, Ezra for the post! I appreciate the advice and it definitely helps!! Thanks again!! :)

  395. Michelle m Says:

    Hi all,

    Just in need of a little reassurance again. Have been having thoughts nearly every day for the past 6 weeks. Feel like I am going backwards rather than getting better. Am so concerned that my stress and worrying could lead to a psychotic episode. How do I get round these thoughts. I can’t carry on like this. I will be fine one minute and in the next minute I feel so low. I know I feel down because I cannot accept that this is now my life. I don’t know how to live alongside these thoughts. What can I do? Just want some sort of normality back. Thanks, Michelle

  396. Jennifer Says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve dealt with anxiety/panic on and off for a few years. When it happens, my head spins, I feel dizzy and I just want to run away from the situation (whatever it may be). I also feel fatiqued and achey. Does anyone else become overwhelmed with the dizziness? Thanks. Jennifer

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