Anxiety film and song dedicated to the site

I received two emails a couple of weeks ago which I found very interesting and I wanted to share. Both were very humbling and really meant a lot to me, they were a short film and song, both inspired by the site and book.

The first email was from Dash Berlin, who has had huge success around the world with their music. The email with the link to the song is below. I truly love the song and the style of music is really my type, I have also placed a link to the lryics below the email.

Hey Paul,

Just wanted to let you know your (life changing) book has inspired us
to write this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qScjGvaix0

All over the world people are singing a long..

Cheers

Seb

Lyrics

http://artists.letssingit.com/dash-berlin-lyrics-disarm-yourself-feat-emma-hewitt-qdt6b8m

The second email came a few days after, which stated a short film was made in dedication of the site/book. Here is part of the email after I gave feedback telling us more about the film. I watched it and found it very well done and I could relate to so, so much of it, it was basically my life many years ago.

Hi Paul,  I’m a Uni student and I made it for my final major project. The guy in it is an actor from Manchester!  We want to enter it into various film fests and try and get it nominated at the royal television awards. It’s on vimeo and feel free to link to it.

I really really appreciate your positive feedback. I’m glad you can relate. It was such a hard topic to try and tackle. There is so much you could try to squeeze into a film that it was difficult to decide how it could be done as simply as possible. I was a little worried that people wouldn’t get it. By all means share the video around it will be nice to get interest. I hope it works to give others hope and Fingers crossed we get good marks too!

John

Here is the link to the film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLrO6gGtDD4&sns=em

I just wanted to thank both Seb and John for making the song and film and it did mean a lot to me that the site could inspire both projects.

Paul

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129 Responses to “Anxiety film and song dedicated to the site”

  1. Helen Says:

    Hello All,

    That is an excellent piece of film, that has made me cry but in a good way. I was that exact same person once and I no longer am. For someone who has recovered you see how far you came and it makes you proud to watch. For those who haven’t recovered, when you watch this and your heart starts beating, know that you will recover and know that one day you will watch a piece of film like this and feel very proud of the person you are and of those around you.

    All the best, always
    Helen

  2. Teresa J Says:

    It is a wonderful film and yes Helen it made me cry too, so thank you for sharing that, it was because of a sense of understanding and empathy.
    I am not that person anymore either, although I am still learning and opening up to a new way of thinking. It is wonderful to know that so much good is coming from Paul’s work, inspiration has a domino affect. Well done Paul and all concerned.

  3. Si Says:

    This is such an excellent film and gosh how proud you must feel Paul to have given someone so much inspiration to decide to dedicate this to your site.

    John, I wish you all the very best with the awards, and I am sure if anyone on the judging panel can relate to anxiety then you’ve got your self an award.

    Totally understand when you say there is so much more content you could put in, but for those who are suffering, in recovery and have climbed the mountain, it speaks volumes.

    On another note, (im sure it’s not what you had in mind) but the Health Service could do with playing this in their waiting rooms, cos I am sure the link to Paul’s site could not only make peoples lives more positive let alone save lives

    Well done to you all

  4. natalie Says:

    si what a brilliant idea abot showing it in doctors waiting rooms.. because that why people would get the information they need and maybe the shame people feel about this condition will lesson. i too can see how far i have come and it was this site that helped pull my through the worst times and gave me a new way to approach the condition. it reduces the fear. fantastic video.. paul surely there is a way this could be put forward to the nhs ?? i feel strongly that this message should get out there. because more people do suffer than you realise because it is kept a secet x

  5. Lisa P. Says:

    I just watched the video. That is exactly Me. I’m in between that place and recovery now though and can see how far I’ve come by remembering the person I was when i was in the height of my anxiety. They did a good job showing the struggle and anguish we all have gone or are going through. Thank you for so much for sharing!
    Lisa

  6. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Love the feedback and glad people loved it as I did, I have emailed John about putting it on youtube where it would get so much more publicity, he has said this is what he wants to do.

    I would love it to be involved in the NHS etc, it’s just what they and others will take on, unless you have 3 phd’s behind your name it’s a very hard process for them to take an alternative view than doctors and pills.

    Hopefully we can get the film around the internet and I will ask the contacts I have to promote it and tweet some anxiety organasitions and see where we go from there.

    Paul

  7. KM Says:

    This was truelly a great film and anyone who has ever experienced anxiety will totally relate. For me in particular the shower/bathroom scene was very similar to my own experiences, the questioning of yourself in the mirror. Very powerful use of film, great work. I make films myself, launced one recently and I know how much work goes into them and this one is of great quality. I’ll forward it onto services here in Australia, it will definatly be taken on board, and great to promote the website, as for me who is a social worker and an anxiety sufferer this is no other way to recover permanantly.
    Cheers,
    Kat

  8. Steveo Says:

    WOW! Really great film and what an honour it must be for you Paul.

    Top Top work :-)

  9. Fran Says:

    Watching the video made me want to cry. I have suffered with anxiety for three years now after having a breakdown. I started going to Anxiety Care meetings a few weeks ago and have found it helpful, scary, but helpful. Anything which promotes the reality of anxiety and the help that is out there has got to be good and it would be great to see it in doctors surgeries and in hospitals. Anxiety has taken away my confidence in who i am, i am putting myself in more social situations but the more i do i question how i am being and how i have come across to others then i feel more anxious. has anyone else experienced this?
    Fran

  10. Will Says:

    That is an excellent film that really captures the intensity and diversity of anxiety. Hopefully someone will do a documentary with this kind of re-enactment on the BBC about it soon – it would really help a lot of people.

    Will

  11. Mark R Says:

    Excellent film, really well shot and captures all aspects of anxiety in the short time it is up. We can all identify the awkward moments traveling to work, walking round town in a daydream, telling the boss etc.

    This would be an eye opener in the doctors, be far more useful than those pathetic leaflets that are handed out.

  12. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just off topic for one minute, I have received a lot of emails off people from the blog recently and people also tweeting me asking me questions looking for extra help and advice.

    Please can people just use the blog for this, I get swamped daily and really would be answering emails 24/7, 7 days a week, hence why I use the blog to keep in touch, show a face behind the site, help and advise etc.

    Again it’s just a polite request, thanks

    Paul

  13. Shortyroro Says:

    I recently found out I was pregnant, and I was wondering if anyone has dealt with having anxiety while being pregnant? I’ve heard that stress could be really bad for the baby, and I just don’t want to hurt the baby in that way. I also don’t want to feel like I can’t connect with my baby because anxiety separates me from everything. Can someone help? Thanks!

  14. Ezra Says:

    Hi Shortyroro,

    I too am pregnant (8 weeks) and I mentioned to midwife the other day about periods of high adrenaline and she said that it causes the baby no damage whatsoever so dont worry and add even more panic and stress.
    I was suffering when I had my daughter 4 years ago and anxiety did the opposite of seperating me and my feelings – it made me burst alive with love, pride and happiness and gave me a new focus rather than inward thinking etc.
    Fast forward 12 months and I did find that anxiety had a fab new subject to scare me with but when I found the tools (Pauls advice) to deal with this it now absolutely isnt a problem.
    I would like to say now that I’m pretty much recoeverd and back to myself and you will be too if you keep the faith, look outwards and ‘let the tiger walk alongside you’ it’ll soon get bored hun.

    Here if you want to be recovering anxiety sufferers pregnancy mummies together!!! :-) xx

  15. Simon Says:

    Great links. So Paul discusses that anxiety can usually be linked to a period of immense stress. I have learned very well to accept things as they are and just live life to the fullest. This “whatever” feeling has worked quite well. However, I am concerned about the actual causes of my anxiety. Ought I try to tackle them head on if they’re an issue in my life? I have never been to a psychologist as I never truly felt the need to. What I do know about most though is that they think tackling the cause would make the rest of the system go with it. I don’t think this is true because it may have started because of the cause, but as Paul said, it grew to so many other things. For example, if your partner left you, and you never got any closure, do you need it to move forward with your anxiety. Or do you put that aside too? Thanks a lot.

  16. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi, I have just been sitting in an office at work, explaining why i feel so bad to my manager. I can totally relate to this film. The not sleeping, the hopelessness, and the wanting to jump!!!! I have had this for many years, and still trying to cope with work etc. This is a good film and needs to be seen!!! Paul, thank you for your work.You are so right, my mind is utterly exhausted.
    Love Janx

  17. sally Says:

    Hi Jan
    Like you I have had anxiety for many years and still trying to cope and agree with you this film needs to be seen in all the years I have suffered especially from a lack of understanding from others this film shows anxiety in a way that people can understand it better love Sally x

  18. Shortyroro Says:

    Hi Ezra, thanks so much for your encouraging words. Life has been so hard lately. I find myself questioning everything, and sometimes I think I am getting better and sometimes I just feel like I am getting worse and losing my mind. When I look at something, I question it and wonder if it is real. It really scares me, this feeling of derealization. Sometimes I wonder what is still holding me together, and whether I will hit the point where I can’t hold myself together anymore. I just don’t know how to get better.

  19. Josh Says:

    Shortyroro

    Perhaps you are at your peak on axienty and this is where most of us have been through and come out. There was nothing special we did. All of us kept our pateince knowing it;s anxiety sometimes we reacted and sometimes we did not… we let it pass through and I am 100% sure that it will pass in your case as well…dont try to get better because there is nothing to get better… live with it… you will be fine

  20. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi Sally, thanks for your post, its difficult to explain to someone who doesnt have it!! Luckily I have three good friends who know just what I am going thru, and i can ring for support, also the mental health team are really good as well. I have to keep telling myself this too will pass, and not be toohard on myself, which is not easy, am trying tofollow buddhist teaching of being kind and compassionate to myself, I can do it with others. I have read once that anxiety sufferers can achieve alot when not under pressure, how true!!!!which is why am having trouble working!!
    hey ho!!
    Love Jan

  21. Jessica S Says:

    Hi I am looking for some advice.
    I have had anxiety for around 6 years but I feel I am improving slightly with the help of Pauls book. However at times I am still extremely anxious! I have a job which I can cope with at the minute and which I am happy enough with but I have this feeling within me that if I didn’t have anxiety I know I would move onto something better as I have good qualifications which are in demand. So I applied for this job in a big city, went for the interview and got it. The employers have offered me a great package and I know that if I didn’t have anxiety I would jump at it. However, since I have had the offer I have had the most intense sensations of fear. Worse than I have ever felt. I can’t take my mind off it and I feel like I am going to burst with anxiety. I know this is a fabulous opportunity and i know some of my work colleagues would jump at the chance but I am afraid that it might put even more pressure on my already tired nerves and I might end up worse and unable to cope with the work but at the same time I don’t want to hide forever in a job I can just cope with. I would love to know Paul’s or anyone else who has/ is recovering thoughts on this as only people who have/ have had anxiety can know what I am going through.please help!!

  22. JAN TURNER Says:

    Jessica, I understand exactly what you are saying. Its your mind telling you negative worries that you will not be able to cope with your new job so you are in a vicious cycle of worry now. Its not the situation, but what you are sayin to yourself. I am going thru same thing as work have put me on written warning not too havc time off sick so anxiety takes over.!! Why do you feel you need another job with more pressure,is it for money, or esteem or what. Look at whats important to you. There is no shame in living with what you can cope with. I read in a book that nervous people can achieve alot on their own but cannot cope with the pressure of a set rouitine. This is so true, and why many sufferers are self-employed. I think Paul will agree with this.
    Hope this helps!!!
    Jan.

  23. Jessica S Says:

    Dear Jan
    Thankyou for your kind reply. The job would be a natural career progression and step up based on my qualifications and I have always wanted to experience big city life. I absolutely believe there is no shame living with what you can cope with but in my line of work I will have to move on at some stage and I know that the person I was before the anxiety would have jumped at this opportunity. I know people on here are saying live like you don’t have anxiety and to make the same choices you would if you didn’t have it. I am afraid that anxiety is making me feel like I couldn’t cope rather than it being a reality.

  24. Will Says:

    Hi Jessica,

    One of the most important aspects of Paul’s book is the message of not allowing fear to dominate your decision making. There is really no way that you will know how well you will cope with the new job until you are in it and doing it. I understand the dreadful fear that this kind of transition can create, making it seem like an impossible leap, but anxiety gets you out of the habit of confronting fear and moving through it and that is a habit that you can get back. You probably remember a time when you used to treat challenges with glee – try to get that back and see the whole thing as a bit of an adventure.

    I completely understand the awful feeling of knowing that you would have been really excited in the past about an opportunity like this – it is really difficult to deal with because you keep on asking yourself “why aren’t I feeling upbeat and grateful…instead I am feeling anxious”. But this is just a habit that has become ingrained in your thinking, just as the habit of positive thinking was once.

    Just take it one day at a time and take on the challenge without putting yourself under too much pressure.

    Will

  25. Will Says:

    And also: remember that most times when we actually get to doing the thing that is making us anxious, it is not as bad as we thought.

  26. SarahS Says:

    Hi Helen and Will

    I don’t post on here too often as I’ve had anxiety for almost all my life (I’m 40) and tried everything I could possibly try to get better so once I found this blog I stopped asking for reassurance as much as I could and started to toughen up a little. I’ve been doing very well although my recovery is about 2 and a half years down the line and I’ve still got quite a way to go. I now just post if I can help others or if I am stuck. And I’m stuck. My question is about how anxiety affects my relationship with my husband. When I was very very anxious I couldn’t cope with any sort of talk other than kind, friendly talk. I couldn’t cope with harshness, sarcasm, criticism, negativity etc from anyone especially my husband and just wanted him to be nice and kind and lovely all of the time. When he wasn’t this caused me great stress and anxiety and as a consequence rows between us. This was also the case with our son, I defended and continue to do so fiercely and as he is a lovely, kind, wonderful boy he very rarely needs to be told off anyway but if my husband did I would have to say something which my husband said undermined him. This problem has continued throughout my recovery and I still dislike him being anything other than nice and dislike it even more if he is short with our son. I’ve spoken to my mom and she understands how I feel as my hubbie was in the army and does speak in clipped, precise tones but also sees that I jump far too quickly to my son’s defence when mom says he needs to learn that people aren’t 100% all of the time. Our rows just escalate as we’ve had many problems in the past which have been partly related to my having anxiety and we both would like them to stop. I am a very sensitive person and one of my big issues to overcome still is that I am flooded with anxiety each time somone says or does something that I see to be unfair, unkind, sarcastic etc. I try each time to let the anxiety come but not to retaliate in an anxiety related way, just to smile and try to ignore and let the thoughts that are coming into my head just to come and go. Often, however it is written all over my face and people can tell I’m not okay with it. Please could you help?

    xxxxxxxxxx

  27. Jessica S Says:

    Dear Will
    Thanks so much for your reply. It was exactly what I needed to hear and at the right time. I was considering not taking the job and staying in my comfort zone purely because I was anxious rather than letting what I really want deep down influence my decision. I’m sure I will be anxious when I start it but I am going to try not to worry about it so much and just let the negative thoughts be. I know I can’t control the situation so I will stop trying and as you say see it as an adventure!

    Jessica

  28. Will Says:

    Hi SarahS,

    I aim to give a well thought out answer to your post – give me a day or two to give you a reply as the next couple of days are very busy if you would please?

    Will

  29. SarahS Says:

    Thank you Will. Much appreciated.

    Sarah

  30. ross Says:

    hey every1 . been sufferin with anxiety for a couple of years now. just lookin for some advice on dp . does any1 have a weird feeling that they feel completely blank and all i have is vision if u know wat i mean? im feeling really frustrated cos i feel im just gettin nowhere with improvement. i just want my old self back :( i have made a lot of improvement and i force myself 2 work , socialise etc . but i really feel so lost with it its a horrible and scary feeling . ive not really been on here lately cos im tryin 2 move on with my life . any advice would be greatly appreciated . can dp always stay with you?? ive actually forgotten what feeling normal actually feels like . i have also had suicidal thoughts wen im at my lowest but i would never do it obviously

  31. Faye Says:

    Hiya Paul
    Do you do one on one sessions ?
    Thanks Faye x

  32. Clara Says:

    Hi Sarah…

    I have realised something that I share a lot in common with most of the people out here how they feel with Natalie, Leslie and now what u’v written is exactly how I am feeling at the moment…
    For me its not just with the husband but people whom I interact i expect them to be kind caring and not sarcastic and critising as you say and if someone is being rude and arrogant with me rather than leaving the topic as it is it may be their fault instead the whole scene changes and i take the responsibility of feeling hurt thinking how can they speak like that?, why was i not able to take it lightly and give them a quick cool answer and back to self pity…because once there was a time when nothing bothered me so much and could carry on with my life…
    Now i have lot of suppressed feelings because of this and am not able to confront anyone..when i do that the attention falls on me and the other person easily wins the argument even when he is at fault..and as u said anyone can say that i’m hurt from the look on my face

    I guess Sarah the more we try not to retaliate ror not to feel bad when someone says something bad we put a lot of pressure then..instead it would be better for us to change the focus and think its their issue let them say what they want..i am stable and i dont intent to feel bad for myself because of another person my happyness and emotional stability is my right and i have a choice here not to react..this infact helped me quite a bit …actually it doesnt make us react in a spur of a second..instead give us a moment to stabilise our feelings and back to the situation or conversation…nothing happened here ….!But we need to practise this approach or attittude until it becomes second nature to us like how anxiety has become our second nature..Lets support each other and get out of this pit…!!
    We will defenitely…but persistence and perserverence is the key…

    Will…looking forward for your reply

  33. SarahS Says:

    Hi Clara

    Thanks for replying to my post and understanding what I meant. You make a lot of sense in what you say so let others behave in their own way, be it unkind or insensitive, and allow them to be this way without it affecting me/you too much? May be it’s about letting go and allowing again then? I do find I try to pre-guess for want of a better word in alot of situations. I try to do as much as I can for example in the evenings so my hubby hasn’t got too much to think about in the hope I guess that he will behave completely fine and not be grumpy or tetchy, as this would cause me anxiety and if he is I just don’t seem to be able to cope with it and we end up having words and things escalate very quickly! Then with friends, I think they should behave in a way that is nice and kind and thoughtful, which is how I try my very best to be with them, and if they don’t I feel hurt and betrayed and full of anxiety!

    I appreciate your reply thank you. There are so many articulate people on this site which is why I had asked Will and Helen about their thoughts, their advice is so well written as is yours Clara.

    xxx

  34. Paul Says:

    This is my first post and was hoping for some advice. I began having Panic Attacks in January due mainly to a faily illness and overworking myself. It took six weeks to get confirmation that the issue was Anxiety and Stress. I tried to return to work in March before I knew I had Anxiety, I lasted about 1 week and had to go on sick leave due to some horrible feelings I was experiencing, I was feeling overwhelmed and thought I was losing my mind. Now that I have read Paul’s book I know that this is all nonsense and is my mind playing tricks. I plan to return to work this coming week after 5 months off, I have asked to return as I feel if I dont meet this head on I will never get to the bottom of it. Now that I have informed work that I would like to return I am beginning to feel a little bit anxious that what I experienced before will return, being overwhelmed with work (quite a demanding job but one I love). Any tips on how I should approach the next few days leading up to my first day back :)

  35. Ben Says:

    Just a quick question about setbacks if I may as I know they are a common problem….

    The only reason I ask is that after thinking I had pretty much totally recovered, more than 6 months on I feel right back at square one (even slightly worse). I have had setbacks before but nothing this severe and was wondering if there can be such a big gap between feeling OK and a full blown setback ?

    Just wondering has anyone else ever been through this, any words of advice/re-assurance. I thought I had this cracked but evidently not :(

  36. Carly Says:

    Hi Ross,

    I know EXACTLY what you mean and you have managed to put it across how I tried to. I also feel that it’s as if my mind has been ‘deleted’ and just so ‘blank’. It’s as if I can see but the info is just not getting sent back to my brain properly…can you relate? I also have real difficulty in organisation and thinking ahead etc I think this is what is described as being so introspective but it is so frightening I agree. I too have been very low with this and sometimes those thoughts seem so real and I cant believe I am actually having them. I also have trouble with a feeling like my brain is like a heavy weight in my head. It’s hard to carry on with the day when you feel so emotionless and blank but I have had glimpses of my old self returning. I do feel more positive than of late but it’s easy to get dragged down with it. I know it’s not a great comfort but just know that you are not alone with this and in time it will pass. We have to trust in ability to heal ourselves.

    Any other feedback from others on this would be great though!!

    Much love to everyone xxxxx

  37. patrick Says:

    ben, i had what i would consider a huge setback at christmas after a year of 100% recovery. it lasted about two weeks and ws literally back to square one physically. except i knew “mentally” it was a setback and i just said last as long as you want and after a couple of weeks it just seemed to dissipate. anyhow, quite normal to have “setbacks” after many many months.

    take care

    p

  38. Hearty Mum Says:

    Hi, does anyone else find the rapid heart beating to be the most distressing part of anxiety? I can try to follow Paul’s advice with all the other symptoms of anxiety by just accepting them as anxiety, but this heart racing is just the most horrible thing. It makes me so agitated and all I want is to be on my own to try to slow it down, but that isn’t always the way. :(
    It is definitely linked to the stress going on in my life, and then my health worries make me feel like I can’t cope with all these other issues.
    Years ago I had a halter tape and ECG and all was ok. I went to the doctor a few weeks ago to ask about anxiety again. The whole drive there my heart was beating so fast, I thought it would jump out of my chest. When I got to the doctor’s office, I had to wait for like 45 minutes. By the time I got into the doctor, my blood pressure was so high and pulse fast. My blood pressure is only up during times of high anxiety, it’s usually fine. (I checked it daily for a few months) He listened to my heart and said it’s typical of tachycardia and it’s nothing to worry about!!! Gave me some pills to slow heart rate down, take them when I need them, but just reading the leaflet about the side effects made me so anxious to even take them. I eventually did, but they made me feel weird! Haven’t taken any for the past 2 days. Today, I’ve had about 3 bouts of my heartrate over 100. I know my nerves are fried at the moment and it usually passes after a while….BUT
    Can this hurt me when it can be on and off for days/weeks? They say to exercise, but when the heart beats faster, it feels like anxiety and I can’t stand it.

    Paul says if your heart wants to beat fast let it, but how much can it stand?

    Anyone got any advice or go through this also?

  39. Ezra Says:

    Hi Ben

    I too have had 6 months of really feeling very positive and feeling like I have pretty much recovered but the last few days I have been having the same ‘fear’ sensations along with the little chestnut thoughts (what if I killed myself…what if I hurt my daughter) blah blah blah.
    I also feel, well abit lost really again like I have no place here, being ‘just’ a housewife…probably some existential stuff going on but I feel a bit panicky like I need to reaffirm my identity again and feel like I need to go and get a job to prove myself …hard as I am 4 months pregnant. I know I sometimes feel abit bored at home and give my mind too much space but this feeling is more, like I dont feel like I am a worthwhile person anymore.
    My confidence feels like its been rocked again and I am feeling generally very negative and a bit pants !!
    I have linked them all together under the umbrella and feel that this the challenge that I am faced with and this is how I will know if all the information gathered has stuck.
    I am ready to face this head on and just accept that this is what it is, accept the thoughts as not real, accept the panicky frightened feeling, accept the exitential crap, accept the fact that it has returned, accept the fact that I have anxiety and need to be able to ensure it never ever has the power that it once had over me where it would literally stop me in my tracks.

    I always tell myself to let it walk next to me, because if I run away it will have all the fun chasing me and never get tired.

    Good Luck

    E

  40. Ezra Says:

    PS ….my biggest fear is ‘ What if…I didnt want to be here’ stupid and I know I do but its a really annoying, hurtful, scary thought which gets my attention every time and makes my mind ‘lock’ to the thought!! Aaaargghh !!

  41. natalie Says:

    hi sarahs
    reading your post was like i had written it as i to have a partner that is less than sensitive in how he speaks and where as before i would just shrug it off or laugh at it .. i get really angry and on my high horse thinking how dare he speak to me like that if he loves me how could he speak to me like that. the thing is we are all different and i think also because of our condition maybe we only see the negative take it personally because our focus is so much on ourselves. your nerves are raw the slightest emotional reaction will effect them, everyone has down days but ours seem worse !!

    i think basicially me you and clara are just very sensitive, for myself i think i was brought up very sheltered and my family was a very caring sensitive family and i have a very idealistic view of life, but as you get older you see life really is not like a story book and you have to see the shades of grey and take them for what they are. look for people who are like you to share your life, and learn to turn the other cheek from what you feel is negative until you feel stronger in yourself xxx ps my dad was also ex army and i totally know what you mean 😉 xx

  42. SarahS Says:

    Hi Natalie

    Thanks for the chat, it’s really nice to have chat to people who get me and yourself and Clara do make sense, I just find it very difficult to actually put it into practice when I’m in the thick of things and find it so all comsuming. I am also struggling with the fact that I’ve had anxiety for nearly all my life and although I understand that it takes time, I don’t often read that it’s taken people much longer than 2 years to recover even if they’ve had it for years and years. Well my recovery is at least 2.5 years so far and I’ve got quite a long way to go still.

    As for being sensitive, yes you are right I think we are. I’m trying to turn the other cheek but it’s tough and I feel as though my body us constantly being flooded with anxiety from different things, stress of interview recently, leaving one job, starting another, mum in law got to have big op, friend being funny with me, hubby and I falling out etc etc. I say okay then, so what, get on with it but my body isn’t following what I know to make sense. It’s tiring and I like then to have a little cry, daft I know.

    But life really isn’t that bad and I know it, in fact I’m so fortunate so why do I cry? I went out the other evening and have almost nil anxiety at all, this, however, has taken me months and months and months of going out with these group of friends until I didn’t feel the anxiety. Is it normal to take so long?

    Anyway Natalie I’m going on, thanks for getting what I mean and about the ex-army way of talking too ha ha. I often read your posts and see the similarities between us. You sound as though you are doing well, good on you.

    Hugs

    Sarah xxx

  43. yolande Says:

    helen or anyone

    i just want to post and ask for advice. i have a good job in fact i took on this job while i am still recovering from anxiety. i have done v well in my own opinion and this was also related to me by my boss. however i live in fear sometimes that my colleagues may one day think or feel that i am weird in my actions and speeches.

    sometimes i tend to be a bit blur when they talk to me. but when i am working i am never blur or lost- it usually comes out when we are chit chatting. is this normal???

    it’s been a year since i had anxiety and i think i have come along pretty well. this job is pretty fast paced and sometimes i do feel stressed out – i get thoughts like what if the stress brings on the symptoms again or my nerves get sensitised by stress??? then i tell myself to chill. it’s an ongoing battle really sometimes :)

    i posted also somewhere that lately i have been a bit stressed out and woke up today feeling the same ole fear spasm or adrenalin coursing through me. really shook me up/. i guess i have to relax cos i certainly dont want to go down the anxiety road again.

    i welcome any advice that anyone can give or share.

  44. ross Says:

    thanks so much for your reply Carly .

    sorry to hear your haing bad time aswell, it does help knowing other people hae these feelings. its so horrible this anxiety isnt it? its a big nightmare that doesnt seem 2 end. all these feelings are all part of DP i suppose. i was really getting better recently until a relationship breakdown caused a lot of stress for me and my DP seems 2 have got really bad. i feel like im watchin myself its as if my brain is searching for my old self if that makes sense .

    Being ok with it and understanding it i suppose is the way to recovery. i am a binge drinker at weekends and i dont think this is helping my recovery at all

  45. Will Says:

    Hi SarahS,

    I’m sorry that it has taken me this long to get back to you but the week has been really busy and I wanted to reply when I had time to write down in full my feelings and thoughts on this subject, which I think is very important.

    Let me begin by saying I can entirely identify with what you have experienced – that awful feeling that you are surrounded by people whose comments and behaviour seem harsh, uncaring, and uncompassionate, and the sense of astonishment that people who claim to love and care about you can treat you in this way. In fact, the bewilderment at their behaviour is almost worse than the behaviour itself. And that prompts the big, important question: Why do they behave like this towards me?

    I think there are several answers to this question. Firstly, as Paul has so clearly outlined in his book, anxiety has a great deal to do with what might be described as ‘over-sensitization’ – we have become mentally and physically so worn down that normal sensations and reactions become hugely magnified. This means that our perception of the way that the really important people in our lives behave towards us is magnified and, you could say, distorted out of normal proportions. This can work both ways – we can feel gratitude and love towards these people in a way that we have not done before, but we can also feel hurt, damage, anger, and yes, even hatred towards these people in a way that we have not done before. But the thing to get straight is that it is an exaggeration of our normal state and, hard as it is, we have to accept that we are not ‘seeing things as they are’ but that our perception is, for the moment, in an exaggerated state.

    This does not take away the fact that it is still a painful experience but it does, at least, allow us to see that our over-sensitization may be leading to an exaggerated perception and that the person in question may not be behaving in a way that is really out of the range of their normal behaviour – it is very unlikely, in other words, that they are being deliberately hurtful or harsh and we may be misinterpreting their behaviour and comments in an exaggerated and negative way.

    The second answer to the question ‘Why do they behave like this towards me?’ is also, I think, to be found in the bewilderment, frustration, and anxiety experienced by the people that are closest to us. They will inevitably be struggling in their attempts to deal with the suffering and difficulties of someone that they love and care about. So it is very likely that those closest to us will become anxious about us and frustrated and angry that they cannot help us as much as they want. Also, as we become very preoccupied with ourselves, and the symptoms and problems that come with anxiety, those closest to us will inevitably not be feeling as loved and cared about by us as they would do normally, so they may feel anxious, insecure, and even angry and resentful. So it is likely that they might well be behaving in a way that is not as gentle, kind, and loving as they would do normally. In fact, they may be scratchy, defensive, angry, and paranoid as they too struggle with their feelings and thoughts of insecurity, inadequacy, and powerlessness. And when you add to that we might also be saying to them that they are not being kind or helpful – we are being critical towards them, in other words – you can see that their self-esteem will be suffering a lot too.

    So we can see how these two factors – our over-sensitization and the emotional difficulties experienced by those closest to us – can combine to create a very difficult situation and one that can feed in on itself negatively. And I think the best way to deal with the situation is for all concerned to see that they are all in it together, and that by working together, as a team supporting one another, you can all pull through it. And everyone in that team needs to jump outside of their own skin a bit and really think about how the others might be feeling. Of course, when you are in the thick of it, that is easier said than done but each person involved needs to say to themselves about the other “I trust you and believe that you mean well” – that can require discipline and ‘will power’ because the emotions of each person may be telling them to retreat or perhaps to strike back aggressively and defensively. But deep down each person knows that they can trust the other and that the love and care is there because it has been shown over many years in many different ways.

    So keep the trust at the forefront, accept that your perception may be exaggerated, and understand that those closest to us are very likely to be having a hard time of it too.

    And remember that you’re a team!

    Will

  46. SarahS Says:

    Hi Will

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. I think I will read through your reply a few times because as I read I find myself nodding and thinking I must read that again it’s so true and makes sense. It’s as if you know me! It hurts to admit that hubby must have been so affected by my anxiety too but of course I know that I just choose to think of myself far too much whilst I’m suffering that I don’t think of his pain too. So that’s a big wake up call for me to be honest. That and the fact that I always go on the defensive and treat him like the enemy which he is always saying and I think he’s right, I do. I needed these things to be said to me from someone who understands so thank you. It’s not just about me and we can work as a team. I’ve got to go through this the right way to get through to the other side, rather than anyone else changing anything. I often find that as I improve in my behaviour and improved anxiety, he do

  47. SarahS Says:

    oops ….. things and stop thinking of me so much and realise that other people are hurting too and that I can help by realising we are in this together, we can be a team and not the enemy! I think others will get alot of help from your reply also so thank you again Will.

    Sarah

  48. Ben Says:

    Ezra/Patrick,

    Thanks for the words/re-assurance. I guess it’s time to really start practicing this acceptance as my first thoughts were “oh no, why is this happening again, maybe I need to go back to see the doctor etc etc” which is only going to just give it more of a life.

    It’s funny as logically I know I can recover as did for so long, so it shouldn’t be so hard to just accept it (as I must have done that last time) it just seems even harder after a period of feeling fine!

  49. Ezra Says:

    Ben,

    It is so hard to say absolutely positive through out this whole recovery thing. I think, we as anxious people are prone to be a bit negative anyway but when you are feeling so good and then it hits again, its hard and we take it really hard.

    I read Pauls book again last night (cheers Paul!) and it really reaffirmed to me what the message is and gave me a renewed confidence.

    I wish that we could have the confidence that when it hits we totally ignore it and just ‘let it be’ but it is the very nature of an adrenaline ‘spike’ to find the danger and keep ourselves concious of the danger and our mind locked on it…..eg, a sabre tooth tiger walking around needs to ensure that we keep our mind on the danger and for us not to be distracted by lovely little bunny rabbits hopping by ! However in modern day life, when our ‘fear’ hits there is NO danger yet it feels like its very truly there. So lets not beat ourselves up, we are reversing an evolutionary wonder by conciously saying ‘Nope, no danger’.

    I just find it so frustrating that I KNOW my fear to be unreal, I know its just a figment of my anxious tired mind but it stills tricks me into secondary fear questions, ‘do you want to be here’ ‘how do I know’ ‘your not suicidal am I?’ ‘what if I didnt, what would happen to my family’ etc etc etc.

    My new questions is around depression and whether I have depression or anxiety? I know, through this blog, this is a common fear so I’m just not entertaining the idea, So what if I have, great ! I WANT depression, come on depression, bring it on !!!

    I read somewhere that us anxious people need closure to a question, that is why we ruminate and obsess but sometimes you got to just accept you dont know the answer and take a chance !!

    Good Luck Buddy

    E

  50. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi Ezra, the thoughts are caused as you so rightly say by adrenaline, but however fearfu and upsetting they will pass and the adrenaline will calm down, its just your mind saying, GET ME OUT OF HERE NOW, also that you are not good enough as you are. Try and think that. Life can be really hard for those with a sensitive nervous system, but we are also nice people!!!!
    cheers Janx

  51. Ezra Says:

    Hi Jan, thanks for the reply.

    What keeps me in the cycle is the fear that I might be one day or indeed might be now !!??!! It sounds so silly as I KNOW I love my life and daughter more than words can describe. So, in essence it is my biggest fear for me to leave her which in turn has got my anxiety with a lovely feeding ground to breed.

    I am trying to answer an unanswerable question …I might be one day, very much doubt it …but who knows ?!?

    It just feels so very REAL at times, but as Evelyn has said on here along with a few other people …had this thought EVER entered my head before I became anxious – absolutely not and it was a response that was triggered when reading a story that started the fear cycle.

    I have also been told the judge between a real thought and an anxiety thought is if it brings either anxiety or guilt with it then it isnt indeed a real thought but a worst case scenario thought brought on by adrenaline on an over tired but active mind.

    I am feeling loads better of late and this is just a setback and I’m a bit ashamed to be blogging again or indeed giving it any credit at all.

    Onwards and Upwards Folks !!

  52. marc Says:

    such a wonderful film and song! d film reminded me of what i used to be like and worse! im not 100% recovered yet but am on my way, and well one way how i know this i have to post up here cause i am really proud of myself that i plucked up d courage to do this! i may have lost but i still won inside! :) 8 months ago i couldnt get on a bus due to bombared fear,panic,shaking,dp….. 8 months later- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjAvtSu3jac :)

  53. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi again I like the idea that if a thought brings anxiety or guilt then its not a real thought!! And if not anxious then we wouldnt have the thought in the first place. Ita all a bit mad really.
    Regards Jan.

  54. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Hey that’s very inspirational Marc and remind me to keep on the right side of you 😉

  55. James Says:

    I started back at work last week, after 2.5 years off on sick.

    I’m working long days and it is killing me. My anxiety is off the scale most of the time, and I can’t concentrate well enough to do the job. I don’t see how this is going to work. I can’t accept my anxiety when it is this awful. My DP/DR is so intense it is impossible to do anything other that just stare into space and feel like hell, and I feel sick to my stomach from stress.

    I thought getting back to work would help, but I can’t even handle this job which is really quite low stress (for someone without GAD). I just don’t know what to do any more. I want to accept but I don’t see how *anyone* could accept the severity of these feelings and sensations.

    Ugh.

  56. michelle z Says:

    James, you CAN do it!!! Just accept, accept, accept the feelings. They won’t hurt you. They are just uncomfortable. I’ve continued to work through all the horrible thoughts and feelings and know from the bottom of my heart that you can do it, too! It is very stressful when first learning a new job. Give yourself a break. Instead of telling yourself you can’t do it, remind yourself of far you’ve come and pat yourself on the back for going back to work and getting thru each day. You can and will do this! I believe in you!

  57. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Again James – Go to the blog My Partner Suffers with Anxiety Issues and read Mark’s post regarding work and Paul’s response both from July 5. You should find it extremely helpful and comforting.

    Blessings!

  58. marc Says:

    haha cheers paul! all about will power and courage mate! and u and ur site/book showed me d way! and for that im forever grateful! plus theres an organisation here in ireland called ‘grow’ that help people suffering with anxiety and depression and im looking into doing some volunteer work to help young people(15-24) suffering, spread ur work! :) finally people out there suffering are finally been shown d realistic way to recover rather than going to their GP to get some magic pills!

  59. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    James there wont be a more testing time than going back to work, all those things you have avoided for a long time, back to mixing with people, etc. You are going back and feeling heightened anxiety and then feeling sorry for yourself, expect the heightening sensations when you first go back, but DON’T judge yourself after a week, work alongside all the hoorible feelings, don’t stare at the celiing feeling sorry for yourself and how you feel, work alongside it and judge yourself in a few months, if your complaining about how you feel then you are certainly not accepting and working alongside the way you feel.

  60. Mark R Says:

    James,

    I know how hard it is going back to work after a long period of time off, I was off for 7 months before. As Paul said you should not be berating yourself, its a massive step, and a massive step in the right direction at that.

    Surely its better to be moving forward and working than sitting at home?

  61. James Says:

    Thanks everyone. Today was quite a lot better actually, so perhaps the worst is over. I sure hope so.

    I think I’ve taken on a bit too much, as I’ve gone from living at home with few responsibilities, to starting this new full-time job and seeing a girl at the same time. It was probably a bit foolish to do both together!

    I’ve been feeling very sick for the past 5 days, and have been worried I have developed IBS from the stress. I think I have been more stressed than ever before – it really is intense!

    I am determined to give this job my best shot though, and get fully involved so I don’t think about how I am feeling so much.

  62. Eric Says:

    Ezra, I know exactly what you mean. I am having the same struggle with that type of thinking. The reason why we are so bothered by these type of thoughts is because it is not in our nature and goes against our core beliefs. It seems hard to let these types of thoughts go because of fear. Yet, that is all they are, thoughts. Thoughts do not equal truth.

  63. Lisa Says:

    Marc: Its amazing how far you’ve come! I too have come very far and am proud to say that I am almost completely recovered.

    This song is cool! and I really enjoyed the short movie too, I think it portrays the diff aspects of anxiety quite well .I remember when I was at the height of my anxiety and I was so scared of everything, not knowing how I was ever going to be me again, but time heals and with it grows knowledge and courage to get better until you reach the point where you are sick of letting anxiety rule your life and you go out and do everything regardless. That is truly the only way out!

  64. steveo Says:

    Well done Lisa :-)

  65. Lisa Says:

    Thanks Steveo! I wish you all the best in your recovery!

  66. vicky Says:

    Hi everyone
    This is my first post I was just wondering if any one could help me?
    I started suffering with anxiety afew months ago when I started getting pain in my left
    Side all across my chest n shoulder up into my neck I’ve had humours test and they all come bk fine but the pain is still there pretty much constantly.after stumbling on this site I understnd that a lot of it is the anxiety (and thank-you Paul I could kiss u!) My trouble is that when the pain has gone n I feel quite normal again I’m getting really anxious about the fact I feel normal like its the lull before the storm just waiting for something major to happen. I was just wondering if this was quite normal in the early stages of recovery?

    If anyone could help that would be fantastic thank-you! X

  67. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Lisa Says:

    Paul :
    How is your partner doing? I hope she is completely recovered.

    Awww thanks for asking Lisa, yes she is fine and now back at work with a less stressful job.

  68. natalie Says:

    hi guys

    can i please ask for some help and advice of anyone that has time please !!! am really struggling with rejection at the moment, namely how people who don’t really know you that well start to feel uncomfortable or avoid you sometime, i think because on my bad days i tend to go into myself and go quiet and withdrawn and maybe avoid long conversations because i am feeling pants and just want to have some time to myself but then on my good days i am outgoing and like to chat lots :) x to a casual acquintence i probably seem like i blow hot and cold but this is how i am at the min which is fine only i get upset because of people reactions to me..or my percevieved interpretation (god i sooo don’t make sense today) and then convince myself i am a bad person and rude to people ..i know this is daft and i know this email is really childish but its how i feel and would love soome encouragement guys if you can xxxx

    ps sorry paul for being negative i do try to keep an upbeat attitude but today is a hard one xx

  69. elaine Says:

    Hi this is my second post .Ihave constant mind chatter and am aware of my thoughts all day everydy its sending me mad , its as though i am being tortured. They are not disturbing thoughts just everyday thoughts what we shouldnt be aware of when going about doing everyday things xx Elaine

  70. steveo Says:

    elaine

    don’t try and fight it. read a lot of this blog and you will realise that this is the key.

    eventually it will lessen.

    good luck!

  71. ross Says:

    hey need some advice!!

    had a really unsettling experience yesterday like i was concentrating on my eye movement so much i couldnt stop thinkin bout wheres my eyes were pointin :( it was scary like i wasnt in control of them . just needed a wee bit of reaassurance .

    my DP is really at its peak i feel just now , its been like this 4 months and doesnt seem 2 be improving even tho im ok with 90% most of the time . any feedback would be great. feeling really worn down with it all just now tbh

  72. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    JP why would a headache bring on depression? Your anxiety is playing tricks with you, don’t be bluffed into fearing anything.

    If you allow yourself to have a headache without question then you no longer fear it, so allow yourself to get a headache if you must, don’t care and give it a free reign.

    The more you concentrate and fear something, the stronger your anxious symptoms, as you add fear on top of fear, anxiety on top of anxiety. If you take the approach of ‘If I get a headache I do, worrying aint going to help’ then you automatically stop worrying, stop focusing on it and allow other things to come into your day.

    When I truly educated myself I just whatever happen, happen, I stopped worrying or caring, I put must of it down to anxious thinking anyway and just lived with a few insecurities and doubts instead of mentally trying to fix them or seek reasurrance. They just became part of me and left when I stopped focusing and worrying about them, they had nothing to feed on.

  73. Angela Says:

    Hello Paul or anyone else who has recovered!

    So you seriously seriously have stopped worrying about daily life then? so it’s a habbit that can be reversed? but it’s so hard! if I had one wish, it would just be to LET THINGS GO and not drive myself crazy with worries and concerns. Any advice? let the concerns float past?

    Thanks,

    Angela

  74. Josh Says:

    Hi Paul

    Can you list down all possible Anxiety tips which we could possible use from a perspective of using it a) Daily, b) Monthly c) Yearly d) as and when it occurs… it could like a mantra which all of us can just tie it down with us…

    should be like a ready recknor… :)

    I know you have a post on Anxiety TIPS and TRICKS but that is not conveying a summarised message.

  75. Helen Says:

    Hi Angela,
    You will still have worries in your life, recovering from anxiety doesn’t mean that you completely stop worrying about things, however; your reactions to them are completely different. When I am concerned or a bit worried about something, I look at it for what it is, nothing more. I don’t catastrophise situations any more where I would play out all the scenarios or outcomes in my mind. You learn to address things in the right way and you learn that no amount of over thinking a problem or worry will make it any better. You just get on and gradually things sort themselves out. It is a wonderful feeling of freedom. You will see, when you have fully recovered that there isn’t any part of you or your thinking that you have to hide away from or cower to. You will just love it!!

    All the best
    Helen

  76. elaine Says:

    Hi there is mind chatter and scrambled thoughts a sympton of anxiety .Ifeel like i am going crazy also feel like i have been stripped o my personality and like i am plying a part a very unhappy part i may had x

  77. steveo Says:

    Josh

    I can’t imagone that Paul would do a list etc as this goes against his whole suggestion of not paying it too much attention.

    If you read the blog, the idea of carrying 20 sayings/quotes around with ourselves is not suggested… even though we have all done it.

    Have a good read of the blog and you will gain some very good advice.

    Elaine – yes most definitely anxiety playing it’s tricks.

  78. Ezra Says:

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for letting me know that your going through a similar thing to myself. I am sure we all agree that it definately helps to hear that we are not alone with our particular fear.

    ”You gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do”
    Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) American columnist, lecturer and humanitarian.

  79. Michelle Z Says:

    What a great quote, Ezra! I sure needed to read that today. I am actually facing a real-life medical issue and find myself beside myself with fear and anxiety. I can’t see the doctor until Monday afternoon to discuss it, get details and find out where we go from here and I am trying to just get on with my day, but continue to have this overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety, many physical anxiety symptoms as well. I really want to do this the right way and know I’m not. Any support would be greatly appreciated.

  80. Angela Says:

    Hi Helen,

    Thanks for your reply. I do see what you mean, I have periods where I don’t worry as much, and then I have periods where I worry a lot about a lot of things and can’t get the worries out of my head. It’s kind of like opening a door, and once you let one unrealistic worry in, they keep coming until you decide to close the door and ignore the worries. I will get there. Another problem I have is that I am scared of my feelings, say this week for example, I have been crying a lot, and so my mind comes up with many depression worries and makes me even more sad. Surely, there is nothing wrong with crying? But for me the fear of ending up in the ‘bad place’ is very big, and when I cry a lot or feel sad or anxious, the fear of the bad place kicks in and stresses me out. I know, I should know by now how to deal with all this.

    angela

  81. Evelyn Says:

    hello everyone:)
    hope all is well, i have not been on here for a while, just trying to get on with life and really trying to live alongside my anxiety, i have gotten a whole lottt better, i have gone 0out dancing, movies, dinner, hanging 0out with my co workers, i still fell detached from my body, undreal, d.p.. its kinda frustrating at times:( because i feeln that i have really tried to ignore it and live with it and get on with my day, but its soo follows me and wants to be my bestfriend,,lol, i have not had any anxiety attacks aside from a month ago at the gym, it was horrible my friend wanted to call 911 , but i said to myself oh no!! u cannot win i will this time,, and i mangaged to let it do its thing and soon of course just like any other time it passed:) i have learned and feel so much better and like helen said in her post, once u recover from anxiety u learn how to deal with things and situations a whole lot different… that is so true, because i have come across many situations that i have handled in a different manner instead of getting sick over it.. i just say hey?? it is what it is and move on:) dont know if u guys understood my message, lol but helen, paul or will am i doing ok? am i recovering? i feel alot better i just really want to feel real and overcome the d.p part… please give me advice.. oh and one of my biggest accomplishments is that i sleep well at night, and if i want to say NO!! so something or someone i say it without feeling guilty or bad.. mannn that feels so good

    Evelyn

  82. Clara Says:

    Hello Natalie

    how r u doing dear? been out of the blog lately.. been busy with life…still have those anxiety issues in the backdrop….

    I just thought of penning down my thoughts..I have felt the same..good days where i feel very outgoing and good about myself i do all the pending things i have kept…but on bad days i am disillusioned as to how people percieve me as i had been very friendly with them the previous days and now i cant hold a conversation with them..it really makes me feel helpless..it is then that my mind tend to bring focus on how i feel , what people are thinking and it just takes me into an endless loop of self consciousness and DP…

    what i am doing then is changing my focus from that scene to my sense of wellbeing…
    i tell myself these feelings are exagerrated forms of anxiety and there is no reality in it…let me be at peace with myself..i ask myself what do i want to do now? something may pop up and then i move on that…its hard…but m trying each time to believe in myself…

    i feel we dont believe in ourselves enough that we give too much attention to any percieved threat leaving behind so many opportunities in life..
    Lets support each other in this plight..i belive we are too good individuals that we tend to over emphasise that no one is hurt and life is always fair and good and to maintain that we assume threats in future and always tend to free ourselves from those unforseen hassles in life be it from people or situations..and we happen to live in fear where none exist as u said u had a sheltered life all your life me case is also not different..:)

    lets step each stage in life with the thought we have anxiety unfortunately..but lets not waste this life which is really beautiful…lets move ahead in life feeling the fear and disturbing thoughts…our only focus is moving ahead with life and not analysing the blips and moments where we get stuck not even able to think…

    Take Care…

  83. ross Says:

    really could do with a bit of help or advice.

    i dont let anxiety stop me do anything i go against my feelings and let the feelings pass. Yet i feel as though my DP is gettin stronger and harder 2 accept.i feel so blank that all i can concentrate on is my eye movement its horrible yet i keep myself busy at work and it passes , i realy do feel sometimes like my mind has gone! ive had anxiety for nearly 2 years now , at one point id really felt like recovery was slowly coming my way but i went through the most stressful period in my life and i feel pretrty bad.

    Deep down i feel i have depression but i dont know . i started taking st johns wort as a sort of test but nothing really changed . ive recently had a relationship break up so i dont know if thats got to do with it as im feeling lost just now. any advice would be great! thanks for listening

  84. natalie Says:

    loving helens post of the 19th july have read it a few times it makes sense and is awonderful way to view things .. this is what i will strive for as all this worry and negative thinking just makes yu feel wrse and doesn’t solve nothing. clara thanks for your response yes we will support each other hun and we now deep down that we are the person we aer on our good days, its just on the bad days we are just recovering like if we have a bout of flu, nothing we can do but let it pass and get on as best we can, i find those closest to me know what i have been through and if i am having a bad day i just tell em know without going into details so they understand if i am quiet its just with people don’t know well that i struggle but again this is all part of the process i am constantly learning as we all are, it s about trying to trust eventually we will be well and being patient that it will take as long as it takes there is no rush .. its not a race and we will all be winners in the end. xx

  85. Ezra Says:

    Hi Ross,

    It sounds like you have been through the mill whilst suffering…dont be so hard on yourself, allow yourself to feel bad and detached…for now. You have just got an exhausted mind and sensatized nerves and your mind has decided to catch a break.
    With regard to depression, what came first ? The anxiety or the depression ….if it was the anxiety then you may well feel depressed due to it, this is totally normal and totally understandable. Natural, organic advice for depression is EXACTLY the same for anxiety. I would also stop tallying the months/years since you were first struck down with this, it only puts pressure on your recovery. If you have it for another while, so what?!? It can you no harm and you can live fine alongside it, dont make it the enemy. Remember Pauls words that you need to get along together for it to clear off.

    I have just re read Claire Weekes book ‘ Self help for your nerves ‘ it really does give some good old fashioned advice about your nervous state and how to overcome it and live alongside it for now – Face, Accept, Float and let time pass…all four, together along with Pauls advice will get you through the finishing line buddy.

    I totally understand how frustrating DP is, I have suffered with it myself and we, by our very nature want things to sort themselves quickly but it has probably taken us years and years of mind battering to get us to this stage so it may take us a long time for our nerves to totally settle down so you may as well try and put a positive spin on it and WANT it to be there …it ADDS to your day…you ENJOY the feeling of it …I know this may sound weird but take the fear away from it, then the battle is won.

    Keep Smiling and Stay Strong :0)

  86. ross Says:

    thanks so much Ezra .so good of you to take your time out to write me some advice.

    I see what u mean , if i start tryin 2 even like anxiety feelings the fear will go and fear is what keeps anxiety alive . its just hard 2 break this habit of bein petrified of myself , i will get there and im going to come out a better person :)

    thanks again made my day xx

  87. marc Says:

    lisa: thanks very much for d comment! its a great feeling knowing your on d road to recovery! :) still having some setbacks here and there but they dont scare as much anymore!

    ross: i know exactly where u are man, i dont let my anxiety stop me from doing anything also, but DP lingers round like d pain in d arse that it is. u have to understand that our memory is so vivid that it can bring symptoms back especially DP. i was so bad with DP before that i had it constant 24/7, even in my sleep! i still have it but its not as bad because i keep myself busy alot of d time and interact with people alot, so d only time when it would come back to me is when i think about it or focus on it…which my mind will down to habit. d trick is just to completely surrender to it and not even think about feeling ‘normal’ again and just live with it for as long as it takes, DO NOT put a time limit on getting better, u have to give your tired mind and nerves as much space and time as they need whether it takes weeks months or years!!!! iv been on d road to recovery for 3 or so months now, and it isnt easy i can tell u, many ups and downs, im in d middle of a nasty setback at d moment(bad DP,panic spasms,violent shaking/twitching,severe tension), but i know it is just a setback and i just have to take it on d chin and keep my head up and go on about my day as normal and accept if i feel shit or not. i know eventually ill be having more good days than bad days down d line which will lead to full on recovery!

    keep d chin up mate, youll be fine! just accept and understand that its gonna take some time for your tired mind and nerves to heal. :)

  88. Jessica Says:

    Hello,

    I’m working on a new anxiety website. I want to include personal stories, and came across your blog. I’ve had a good read and I’d love to feature you as my first story. How would you feel about a short interview?

    Congratulations on the blog, also.

    Jessica

  89. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Jessica just email me when I get back from my holidays and I will answer anything you want. I go next monday and arrive back 12 days later.

    Sorry for my absence recently. I am trying to get back into web design with a new program I am not familiar with, it’s courses and books at the moment, this program just gives a far more professinal look and will not only help me with mine in the future, but I still get asked to do work, it’s just very time consuming.

    I am also doing a 10k run for the charity Anxietyuk and trying to get fit, the run is the 11th of September, more details in my next post.

    As soon as I come back of my holidays I will put up a new post that I think people will benefit from and start replying more than I have recently.

    Paul

  90. elaine Says:

    Please could you advice .I have got mind chatter and i feel like i am trapped in my mind is this normal for anxiety and it makes me feel like i am losing my mind and also i am not the same person its like ive been possesed by a stranger . I am so scared xx

  91. steveo Says:

    elaine

    read the blog and you will see this is VERY common!!!!!!!!

    it does get easier if you try not to fight it. easier said than done i know.

    have a good read and it will hopefully make you feel a little better :-)

  92. Bret Walters Says:

    Hey Paul,

    I am actually a freelance Web Designer/Graphic Designer/3D Artist (I know right..) and I just wanted to let you know that I would be glad to help you out anytime you need ANYTHING related to the field. You can call me, skype me, email me whatever, you helped me so much the past year or so and I’d love to return the favor any way I could. My site is http://www.mediakingdom.net if you want to check it out. I also talk about having anxiety and how its helped me become a designer in my About page. And also posted a pretty cool blog about worry if you read in my blog section!

    Thanks,
    Bret

  93. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    I was just about to delete your post as it looked like spam Brett, but then I read your about me page and realised it was not. thanks for the offer, it’s really kind and I am glad I have been able to help. I am actually setting up a small home web design company with my mother, so I will get in touch if there is anything I need.

    Paul

  94. Bret Walters Says:

    Ah, my apologies Paul! I kinda thought that might happen when you saw I was posting a link haha. Thanks for not deleting it though and I’m glad you read it. You do a pretty dang good job of keepin this place spam free!

    Regards,
    Bret

  95. Ezra Says:

    Hi All,

    I am feeling pretty het up at the minute and am feeling like I am just about to explode at my family ! Everybody is really irritating me and I just feel like I have no patience with anybody, especially my chatterbox 4 year old daughter.

    Usual things that I used to be able to have patience with, I am now exploding at and just feel like a ticking bomb! I have shallow breath, and feel so tense.

    Can anybody at all relate to this or am I just a miserable sod !! Has anybody and advice ?? Do I ignore and just carry on or do I allow myself to shout and be miserable ??? Is this accepting or I feel confused !!

    Thanks for the vent !

    E

  96. steveo Says:

    are you not pregnant Ezra?

    ie. your hormones playing you up!

  97. Susan Says:

    ANY ADVICE ABOUT GETTING OFF MEDICATION?

    Hi Everyone,

    I have made tremendous progress and have been doing really well for nearly six months now, but now that I have cut my medication (anti-psychotic Serroquel) from 150 mg to 100mg, a ton of anxiety has come back and I find that I am suffering from panic attacks, which I haven’t had for about a year or more.

    My doctor blames himself and says that he made me make a big cut, but still he wants me to get off it as he feels I don’t need it and that I won’t make a full recovery until I’m completely off all meds (was on three; now down to one).

    I know the sedating property of Serroquel is what is bringing on these symptoms, and I know that I am partly freaking myself out too.

    If anyone has any advice they can offer about their own experience of coming off and how they dealt with the relapses and or withdrawal symptoms, I would so appreciate it.

    Susan

  98. Will Says:

    Hi Ezra,

    I know exactly what you mean about finding everyone irritating and being on the point of exploding. Obviously, it wouldn’t benefit either you or those around you to ‘loose off’ and, in my experience, you only feel awful afterwards. But you are just as entitled as anyone else to have bad days and be in a grump and sometimes you will have to let off steam — that’s just a normal part of life, right?

    I have a feeling that quite a lot of anxiety sufferers have got a bit of a perfectionist streak and want to be the best for everyone the whole time. That is something that I have really had to work on — to acknowledge that I am no better or worse than anyone else and will have bad mood days as much as anyone else. In other words, I am not perfect and never will be and others will have to tolerate me when I am not in a good mood as much as I tolerate them when they are not in a good mood.

    So, no you are not a “miserable sod” and remember that you and your family are all in it together and make it work as a team effort, and sometimes they will have to put up with your issues and bad moods, just as much as you play your part in putting up with their issues and bad moods. Give and take.

    Will

  99. scarlet Says:

    Hi Marc

    “such a wonderful film and song! d film reminded me of what i used to be like and worse! im not 100% recovered yet but am on my way, and well one way how i know this i have to post up here cause i am really proud of myself that i plucked up d courage to do this! i may have lost but i still won inside! 8 months ago i couldnt get on a bus due to bombared fear,panic,shaking,dp….. 8 months later- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjAvtSu3jac

    Wow! You should be proud, you’ve come a long way. My son (14) is going kickboxing (Muay Thai) as well, hope he is as good as you are one day. I was well impressed by the youtube, keep up the good work, it’ll all come right in the end.

    Scarlet
    x

  100. Ezra Says:

    Hi

    Steveo – Yes I am indeed pregnant and yes hormones are raging but I think I go into panic mode blaming it on anxiety without actually putting it down to maybe another explanation, your response made me :-)

    Thanks for the response too Will, I think we, by our very nature want to please, want to ‘hold it all together’ and I get very very hurt if I do shout at my family and its on my mind for hours afterwards but your totally right, it is team work and we have to work together. I think its just feeling like a raging bull I hate and being snappy for no reason apart from the way I am feeling inside, that, in truth is whats annoying me but how much repect am I giving it if I am being grumpy about it !

    I wish my nerves could just settle down and be back to myself but wishing wont do it so onwards and upwards !!

    Thanks for the replies guys, it really helps.

    E

  101. rm Says:

    any advice? im due to be giving a best mans speech next month. im suffering with anxiety and i know standing up in front of all those people will be terrifying. i do not want 2 do it, my head is not in the right place

  102. SarahS Says:

    Hi RM My advice would be to do it anyway, go against the instincts your anxiety will make you feel not do it and think okay so what, it’s just a speech. Kg.eep it short, write it out and read it from your notes. I understand you most probably don’t feel like it but all these instances where you go against what your anxiety is telling you to do will add up in the long run to you winning. You will feel anxious, think so what. Allow yourself to feel however you feel on the day and go with it, not against it. How many best man speeches have you heard and been brilliant? Not many I bet. How many have been too long, too short, too quiet, too rude, too boring, etc etc – quite a few? So allow yourself to do what you can on the day and if it’s not great then so what? Doesn’t matter, you had a go.

  103. John Jones Says:

    Hey guys. Something it took me a while to realise was what it actually meant to be ‘recovered’. For ages, even after reading Pauls book multiple times, I still assumed recovery meant forever feeling better, never feeling anxious again, never feeling bad again. Recovery is not this, this is impossible to achieve.

    Everyones bodies react to stress in a different way. Some get eczema, some get physically unwell, colds flu, some get chest infections etc. For others our hearts beat faster, our hands shake, they have a racing mind and uncontrolable thoughts etc etc. Anxiety occurs when these feelings scare you anxiety isn’t these feelings. These feelings are all natural and are all a reaction to your body suffering from stress. Instead of focusing on recovering from these feelings, just do what you can to help yourself de-stress as this is your real problem. do some excersize, a short gental walk, or a vigouros run, what ever you really feel like doing. Read a book, if your mind wanders just patiently bring it back to the page and carry on, this may happen a million times but be patient and see it as practise. Have some early nights, eat three healthy meals a day. Do the things you enjoy, or used to enjoy before all this feelings scared you. They are just feelings of stress and with patience will go. anxiety is fearing your feelings of stress. Recovery is realise that this feeling don’t matter.

    However hard we try, whatever we do, we will at some point suffer from stress, and our bodies will react in the way they do. it is all natural. And so it is impossible to never have these feelings again. Instead of believing recovery as a state where we can never feel bad again, I realised recovery is an attitude in which we realise that these feelings happen, they just happen – when we are over tired, over stressed. There is nothing we can do to control them apart from give ourselves a break and try to avoid being stressed in the first place.

    Just realise that when we get stressed or tired, our bodies react in the way they do. it doesnt last forever, and when your body calms down the feelings will go.

  104. Sara Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I haven’t posted on here for awhile and haven’t looked on here for awhile either. I got to a point where I felt like I understood this anxiety junk for the most part and felt like I could go it alone. I have made a lot of progress – have gotten over a lot of the physical symptoms and have continued to ignore a lot of the bad thoughts as well. However, I’ve been struggling more lately and felt like I needed to come on here for some advice if anyone has any.
    A few months ago my husband and I started discussing trying to start a family sometime in the near future. Not long after we started discussing this, he left out of town for work for a couple of months. Both of those things combined (along with some other things I’m sure) got my anxiety and panic fired up again pretty badly as one of my biggest fears has centered around pregnancy/having a baby. Well like I said, I came on here for some support and really started to make progress with the anxiety and panic. I finally felt like I started to understand things and really made progress. Then around the time my husband was due to come back home I started having some anxious thoughts about him and our relationship. For the past month or so, these thoughts have really been bugging me. I’ve been trying my best to treat them just like every other anxiety symptom, but it’s definitely been harder since it’s something I care so much about. Well, after months passing by since our first discussions about starting a family, we’ve been discussing it even more lately and feeling like it’s time. However, because of the way I’ve been struggling the past month or so, I just don’t know what I should do. I feel like how can I even think about getting pregnant when I’m having all these negative thoughts and feelings about my husband and our relationship and also – how can I get pregnant when I am still having so much anxiety/panic and some depression because of it? Is it smart to do that when I’m not in the best place mentally right now?
    I feel like maybe I should wait to get pregnant until I’m not struggling as much but at the same time – I wonder if I’m struggling so much because of this and that the anxiety is because of the fact that it’s getting closer and so it doesn’t make a difference to wait. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone but I just thought maybe someone would have some advice for me. I have really been struggling lately with all of this and have been feeling pretty crappy and I just don’t know what to do. If anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it. Sorry this was such a long post. I really debated coming on here but I just didn’t know where else to turn or who else to talk to since no one else can understand.
    Thanks!

  105. marc Says:

    scarlet,

    thanks for d comment! youve always been a great help to me in my time in need and have put my mind at ease many times when i needed to get stuff off my chest so im forever greatful! still learning to accept and not run away! kinda hard when ur twitching and shaking like mad!haha! but doesnt bother as much anymore thank god which is why d shaking has calmed down loads and will eventually go! :) thats brill that ur son is going to classes! trust me hell love it! great for fitness and self defence, and d most important for a lad his age-discipline! :) how have u been keeping anyways? hope ur keeping well!!!

  106. marc Says:

    sara,

    d best bit of advice i could give u is to sit and down and speak with ur husband about what u are going through right now, and dont hold back on anything. tell him about d anxiety/panic, about the negative thoughts, dont be afraid to tell him because u are afriad he will get frustrated with u thinking that u dont want to start a family, if he loves u he will listen u and understand… but dont forget that these thought u are having are just fuelled by ur adrenaline! nothing more nothing less! u have to look deep down what u really want, dont let anxiety decide for u! if u want to start a family deep down,then go ahead, dont let ur nerves trick u into robbing u of what u really want! on d other hand, if u feel like ur not ready to start a family(lets leave anxiety out of d equation here) then u should discuss this with ur husband, he will understand and respect u for telling him! and remember its u that has to carry a baby in ur womb for 9 months and go through it! so its all about when ur ready! :)

  107. Nick Says:

    Hi guys,

    Really wanted to direct this question to will / paul.

    First thing I wanted to congratulate seb on the short film. It is great and almost identical to my experience except I have no girlfriend. Anyway I’ve been away from here for a while and wanted to report on my progress and ask for some advice if possible.

    My anxiety started june last year after a panic attack, triggered by smoking weed (randomly, don’t smoke anymore). So been living with it for about 1 year and 1 or 2 months.

    The early days were absolutely brutal, I had DP and constant fear all the time. I have come a very long way since then, got a whole lot better. But……

    I am up and down a lot as is the nature of the condition. The main issue I have is just existential thinking, and feelings of hopelessness and that my life is pointless and that it would be so much easier if i were dead. Irrational thoughts of jumping in front of the train happen to me regularly on the tube.

    Almost exactly like the guy in the film.

    Also a constant feeling that I will never be free of the condition and it is inherently part of me and will never go. It has almost become second nature for me to believe this. In addition I also have worries about how will I cope with life and ever be able to succeed and be happy. Also self doubt about my worth.

    I do however have much quieter periods though. I have also noticed these quieter periods have become longer as time as gone on.

    In these periods the anxiety is very background. Never completely gone and always lingering like a dark rain cloud in the background but not that intrusive at all. I can even sometimes go many hours without thinking anxious thoughts. Sometimes even have 3 or 4 day period where this happens and anxious/existential thoughts are at a minimum although are still believable. I am at my best when out in a social situation where i can often forget about anx all together.

    Whoever, there is a general ‘fragility’ to the world and a tendancy to focus on the negative. Sad events can still really effect me too. This last weekends news about the norway massacre and Amy winehouse have hit me very hard.

    I also have a lot of time to think as I work freelance from home which doesn’t help. Its funny because when it first started I was running loads and meditating loads and had a real sense of urgency to recover, but as I have started feeling a bit better I have failed to keep up these good practices. Drinking also does not help, weekend hangovers can be very brutal.

    Anyway, any words of help or encouragement or useful advice much appreciated. While I have been having a few down days it must again be noted I have seen a massive improvement since it started. And while I try and stick to the plan i cant help longing for freedom.

  108. scarlet Says:

    Hi Marc,

    thanks for d comment! youve always been a great help to me in my time in need and have put my mind at ease many times when i needed to get stuff off my chest so im forever greatful! still learning to accept and not run away! kinda hard when ur twitching and shaking like mad!haha! but doesnt bother as much anymore thank god which is why d shaking has calmed down loads and will eventually go! thats brill that ur son is going to classes! trust me hell love it! great for fitness and self defence, and d most important for a lad his age-discipline! how have u been keeping anyways? hope ur keeping well!!!

    It’ll all come together Marc, you will overcome this… you have a great sense of humour which will carry you through. Look at you kickboxing my gawd. You are doing great. Remember some of your posts this time last year, you are on the right road no worries about that. My son has been sparring today, but to be honest he’s a bit wimpish which is why I sent him in the first place, to toughen him up, give him some upper body strength. he loves going and has already made some good friends at the club.
    Me I’m fine, plodding along, it’s hot hot hot here, too hot to go out at times, but I’ managing.

    We are just in process of opening a wee business, so hubby will be working a bit and both my kids will be at school in a month, so and I’ll get a bit more time to help on here. So expect me to be checking in soon.

    x

  109. Will Says:

    Hi Nick,

    I can really understand the feelings of hopelessness and despair about the future — that awful sense that things will never be the same again. In some senses this is true — you know that anxiety exists and you will never ‘unknow’ that. It’s the same for any experience, good or bad.

    But the important thing here is to work out to what extent anxiety dominates your life. If you think about it, I am sure you will work out (counselling can be really useful for this) how various factors in your life contributed to you having an anxiety build-up that resulted in an ‘acute’ anxiety state. Unfortunately, once that acute situation has developed, often more ‘secondary’ anxiety is added to the original state and perpetuates it with endless questioning, analysis, and concern. Paul discusses this in detail in his book and it is a cycle that feeds itself: anxiety added to anxiety creating more anxiety.

    However, like any cycle or loop it can be diverted into a positive cycle and loop: confidence added to confidence creating more confidence. Easier said than done, of course, but remember that it is a cycle, not a permanent condition. That is evidenced by the fact that you have not always been in this state. Often this kind of thing happens to trauma victims — their world has been dramatically and unexpectedly changed and their normal cycle of thinking changes radically into another cycle. They have to re-learn trust in the world. Likewise, you have to re-learn your confidence.

    In order to re-learn your confidence, you have to accept the anxiety (fighting it only wastes more energy) and not allow it to dictate your actions or stop you doing things. So it requires courage — the discipline to do things when you are afraid. And when you do things even when you are feeling afraid your confidence builds and you start to feel more able to take risks and venture into the unknown a bit. And then there is a momentum of confidence where you don’t even think about what you are doing and you are so involved in what you are doing, anxiety does not feature because it has no relevance to what you are doing.

    Once you have got over that initial confidence hump, you will then, I am sure, amazingly begin to see some anxiety as actually quite useful, healthy, and good and that it has given you more sensitivity and perception of others than you had before — in fact, while you might now long to be how you were, I am sure you will come to see that person you used to be as less sensitive and responsible. Lets use the analogy of driving a car. A good bit of caution (slight anxiety) when you are driving a car is very sensible and in everyone’s interest. By comparison, those who are super-confident on the road often drive like idiots and are dangerous to themselves and others. But likewise, too much anxiety is dangerous too because you would get so absorbed in fear that you would stop paying attention to what was actually going on around you.

    So, as with everything, it’s a balance. Sad events like the Norwegian tragedy and Amy Winehouse are just that — sad — and it is a good thing that you are affected by them rather than just breezing through life as if nothing mattered. So don’t knock your new-found sensitivity — however exaggerated it may feel at the moment — because this world would be carnage without compassion. And bear in mind that as well as the courage to break the negative / fear cycle, you can also work on many fronts to reduce stress and anxiety in your life — your relationships, your health, your workload, your finances — that will help to get that cycle into a confident one.

    So don’t regret and fight where you are, and don’t look back to your old life — all of these will only add fuel to your anxiety. Accept your anxiety, discipline yourself to have courage, and work with what you have got to reduce any factors that may have resulted in an acute accumulation of anxiety in the first place. And don’t long for “freedom” but see your current anxiety as an exaggeration of the very healthy emotions of sensible caution and sensitivity for life that, as you feel more confident, will take on a good role in your life, for yourself and for others.

    Will

  110. Eric B. Says:

    Hello all. Been suffering on and off with anxiety for around 12 years or more. It all started when I became religious and began questioning it. Most of the time throughout that, I was able to cope and enjoy things(with anxious thoughts buried and lingering). I would have episodes about once a year(or less) for a few weeks, move on, and take the fear of my lingering thoughts(mainly about dying, not feeling safe..) which was pretty annoying. I would say more about my past, but it doesn’t matter. We all get to the same point where we are looking for answers/cure, etc…

    I have been in a D.P./full anxiety state for approx. 7 months now. I found this site and have been monitoring for the past few months(also bought the book). This is probably the single most useful site on the subject because of all the insight from people that have come through the mud. I only wish I could have found this website first before googling. If anybody is here for the first time, please DO NOT google symptoms. It is a complete waste of valuable mental resources and time. I was completely obsessed with googling my symptoms and it only made things worst because of all the bad information and it will only confuse your mind more. All of the info you need is here. I am past this stage and will keep this as a little victory for me.

    Another thing. If you do go see a doctor, please be mindful that most doctors know a lot about the subject, but don’t know what it feels like or what you are truly going through. I saw a pill dr that only made things worst with his replies to my questions. I have gotten to the point where I have looked doctors in the eye and can tell they have no clue. I had my GP basically say “that sucks that you have anxiety”.

    I feel I have actually gotten to the point where I am ready to take a couple of days off of the subject during the week. I already do this on the weekend. I would say my worst symptom is the fearful thoughts. I have gotten more used to the D.P., the feeling of adrenaline rushing through, etc… but the obsessive scary thoughts are sticky little guys.

    The upside is that you do get to a point where you just live your life with them at your side even thought they scare the heck out of ya. I had a bad reaction to a thought yesterday, but let myself feel terrible and now I can’t really remember how bad it was. I just remember it happened. The other day I was actually starting to feel very comfortable(letting the thoughts take there course) which was an unusual feeling in itself. I thought to myself, “oh my, does not fearing this mean I will let it happen eventually?”. The not fearing the outcome of thoughts(automatic dismissal) is probably going to be one my major victories and I have speckles of light that I am headed in the right direction. I also know that if/when I do reach full recovery, I would do it with my own knowledge/support and would know what to do in case it happened again.

    I know this a pretty large post, but please please please keep in mind that you do not need to google(although, I probably wouldn’t have found my way here otherwise, so if you are here consider yourself lucky).

  111. Nick Says:

    Hi Will,

    Many thanks for your words. Really appreciate you taking the time to answer

    Prior to may anxiety attack I had admittedly been in a bit of a rut for a couple of years since uni, and I guess sticking my head in the sand, particularly with regards to getting a full time job, moving out of home, and just accepting my responsibilities and moving on with life now that i’m not a child any more (Just turned 28).

    The most jarring part is really just the thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and the fact that I can not see a way out.

    As i say when I feel bad the hoplessness thoughts and thoughts that it would be easier not to be here almost try to assert their validity and truth. Yet when i feel a bit i either don’t think them or when they come have an equal amount of belief that they are not true. Never full dismissal mind.

    When I have bad days like when I posted before, as Paul mentions in the book, it almost just completely stifles my will to accept and recover. Like a dark cloud that just slowly descends and temporarily blinds you to reason.

    I suppose when you have been in a negative cycle for an extended period like I clearly have, it can be very hard to imagine you not being in it. I remember reading Claire Weekes and her emphasizing the importance of being occupied too, something I really need to work on. Must try harder to get more work outside of my home.

    Really just need to learn to enjoy life again, and face and accept these thoughts and feelings. Pauls and others stories and even this video does give me great hope though, as it makes me realize there are others out there who have had similar and even worse experiences with anxiety than I have but have come through it and actually become stronger and happier. I know I need to be more pro active, especially with facing my fears. Just finding it very hard after suffering for so long and seeing progress but very slow progress.

    Will really try to change my perspective now and just see the thoughts and feeling as more exaggerations of normal ones rather than what I tend to do which is see them as alien to me, fear them and see myself as ‘trapped’.

    Many thanks again.

    Nick

  112. Will Says:

    Hi Nick,

    To what extent are you sharing your concerns at the moment? Are you discussing your current concerns with those closest to you? I think one of the hardest things about anxiety is that you have to let go of your pride and talk to the people that are closest to you in your life about your concerns and problems. We all need emotional support in life and to cope with its pressures and strains, and, to a great extent, that’s what friends and family are for — life is a team effort and we all help each other to get through it.

    If you talk to your friends and family about your problems, you may be surprised that friends and family have been through very similar experiences to you. This is what I found, and my relationships have got much better and more satisfactory (both with friends and family) because I feel that they know the real me now, problems and all, and I know there is genuine love and support there. That in itself massively reduces anxiety, because you no longer have to deal with the “what if they knew about my problems?” questions. Everybody struggles with life during certain periods of their lives, and if they say they don’t they are either lying or in a state of serious avoidance and denial. If you engage with people fully, life is always full of challenges and when we are confident we enjoy those challenges but when we are anxious we find them terrifying and that leads to a despairing view of the future. So, in a sense, the problem is not life itself but the way we are looking at it.

    I get the feeling that you would experience less anxiety if you felt that you had a good network of support around you, so I would advise that you get talking to those around you and share your problems a bit. I often say “A pleasure shared is doubled and a problem shared is halved” and I think that is true a lot of the time. We are at our happiest when we are interacting and participating, and the first step in interaction and participation is the sharing and communication of our joys and sorrows — in fact communication means just that: communing or sharing.

    Also, I think it’s probably fair to say that quite a lot anxiety sufferers are ‘thinkers’ and one of the problems with too much thinking is that it can stifle the emotional current a bit. When that emotional current gets stifled it can build up a lot unreleased tension — fortunately, that tension can be released simply by talking honestly about it. That’s why psychotherapy is often called “the talking treatment”. Just talking about things makes a massive difference, especially with close friends and family. Sometimes, for various reasons, that is not possible and a counsellor or psychotherapist provides that opportunity. The latter is especially useful if the anxiety has a lot to do with those closest to us in our family or friends.

    Also, I really understand the types of negative thoughts that you have from time to time and I know that feeling of them invading your emotional space and creating despair and hopelessness. But they are just that — thoughts — and in ‘normal’ circumstances you control your mind, not the other way round. When you are feeling strong, both physically and mentally, you brush negative thoughts aside and wouldn’t take them seriously. But when you are physically and mentally worn out you literally don’t have the strength to do that, so these thoughts have more intensity which causes anxiety and then despair as the whirlwind of anguish seems to increase. The key point here is that the core problem is not you or your mental health but the fact that you are worn out. This is something that Paul repeats again and again — once you have re-charged yourself you won’t be overwhelmed anymore. It’s no surprise that sleep deprivation is one of the key forms of interrogation — someone who is worn out feels so utterly awful that they will do or say anything to get out of how they feel.

    So, in whatever way you can, share your burdens and worries and spread them around, and allow others to support you and allow yourself to start re-charging. And also be nice to yourself — don’t put yourself under too much pressure or expect too much of yourself. You probably have very high standards for yourself — a lot of anxiety sufferers do — but just allow yourself to be ‘mediocre’ and stop demanding so much of yourself. Also, you might have to be a bit more ‘selfish’ — if you don’t want to do something because you are worn out, don’t do it. One of the things that I have found is that a lot anxiety sufferers are ‘pleasers’ — they really enjoy pleasing people and they find it really hard to say ‘no’ to people — but if you are like that you really have to learn to say ‘no’ and look after yourself , because devoting your time and energy to pleasing everyone will wear you out completely.

    if you concentrate on ways of reducing the stress and fatigue in your system, I am sure that you will find that this will reduce the intensity of negative thoughts and allow you to re-charge so you are back to your normal mental and physical strength again and can just brush these kind of thoughts aside. Thoughts in themselves are more like ‘bubbles’ of curiosity — they just pop up and disappear. But when we are anxious they take on terrifying proportions and we latch on to them and don’t let disappear of their own accord — we turn them into monsters. So just concentrate on re-charging your mental and physical strength and really prioritize your emotional welfare above everything else, and I am sure the thoughts will take care of themselves.

    Will

  113. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just in an internet cafe, great hol so far, just modereted loads of comments that will now be showing, most were from people who post regular, no idea why it placed them in moderation, but they should all now be showing above or where people placed them.

    Paul

  114. Sara Says:

    Hello again. I just posted a few days ago and really didn’t want to post again, but I’m really struggling with something and I guess I’m hoping someone else has gone thru the same thing. Or at least I’m hoping maybe getting it off my chest will help some. I don’t know who else to talk to about this because it’s so personal and if it’s just anxiety I don’t want to cause any issues with my loved ones.

    I posted a few days ago about how I’ve been getting a lot of negative thoughts and feelings about my husband and it’s really bothering me. It’s been going on for over a month now and it’s starting to get very overwhelming. I keep getting all sorts of thoughts that maybe I’m not in love with him anymore and maybe we’re not right for each other and maybe we shouldn’t have gotten married… etc. It’s gotten to the point where it seems like there is so much “evidence” pointing in that direction that I feel like maybe it’s not anxiety and maybe it’s true. These thoughts and feelings bug me every single day and they’re starting to really affect our relationship because of the way I feel. The thoughts have gotten to the point of me even wondering if I’m attracted to him anymore. I feel so horrible even saying that. It’s like I’m in tune to every little thing about him and I sort of feel like I’m picking him apart and how horrible is that?! I feel like such a terrible person for even doing so but it’s at the forefront of my mind a lot.

    I’m really struggling with this and don’t know what to do. I don’t want to talk to him about it because it would obviously hurt him and I don’t want to talk to any friends or family about it because if it is just anxiety, I don’t want them to remember I felt that way and none of them have ever suffered anxiety so they can’t understand it.

    This has become such a huge issue in my mind and is really making me so upset and sad and I feel guilty and horrible on top of all of that for even having thoughts like that. My husband deserves a wife that is crazy about him and thinks he’s the most handsome thing on earth and is totally in love with him. And I don’t know if these feelings are just anxiety and if they’ll go away or if it’s really the way I feel or what. This is so hard to talk about because I just feel like the biggest jerk on the planet and feel so guilty and horrible for the way I’ve been feeling. Can anyone relate at all? I’m really sorry to have such a negative post, I’m just so upset and don’t know if this is normal or what. Thanks for all of the help – even when I don’t post I read some of them and a lot of people on here have helped me a ton without even realizing it.

  115. natalie Says:

    hi guys just came across this yesterday thought it a very simple and effective post and highlights a lot of what paul has been saying. its common sense really and does sound so simple lets try and put it into practise hard i know but if we try a little every day it will soon grow like any other habit xx

    Here are steps to freedom from overthinking:

    1. Be independent
    Live your life for yourself. Never stop your life for anyone else, especially someone you’re not married to yet. If you do, you’ll waste your time and become resentful towards that person. What is especially important is to make decisions for yourself and not because you think the other person will like it.

    2. Release those unnecessary thoughts
    When you catch yourself overthinking, just release those thoughts. Keep yourself busy and release your energy in positive ways such as doing activities you like.

    3. Know that you ARE high commodity!
    Realize your self-worth so that you never sweat the small stuff. Value yourself that you put yourself first and don’t let other people waste your time and thoughts.

    4. Have trust
    Believe in the person you’re dating or where you are in your life that things will run it’s course. If she/he doesn’t feel the same, move on. Have trust in your life. Trust that you are sparing your time for the right person who deserves you.

    REMEMBER:

    Don’t overthink his/her email or text.
    Don’t overthink what you should say next
    Don’t overthink your outfit
    Don’t overthink your decision on that plan towards a goal
    Don’t overthink on her/her actions
    DON’T OVERTHINK YOUR WORTH…BECAUSE YOU REALLY ARE ALL THAT!

    Vanae’s tip of the dae: Live a simple life. DONT OVER THINK IT…LET IT BE. When was the last time you were overthinking? How did you get over it?

  116. Will Says:

    Hi Sara,

    It sounds to me as if you are asking far too much of yourself in relation to your husband. When you demand from yourself these very intense feelings of attraction and love for your husband, you are actually stifling those feelings, which only come spontaneously. You cannot and should not force these feelings.

    A really difficult and frustrating part of anxiety is the way that it often diverts the attention of the sufferer onto themselves — it actually becomes really hard to think about anyone else. Inevitably, this causes anxiety in itself because then there is the anxiety of how our relationships will suffer from our inward behaviour, and there may even be feelings of guilt that come from seeming to think about oneself all the time and not thinking about others.

    Just accept these negative thoughts and feelings and remember that it is perfectly normal for any partner to feel ‘negative’ from time to time and that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect wife’, but, like everyone else, you have to work at relationship and evolve in an honest relationship as an equal to your partner.

    It is very important for you to share these kind of feelings (perhaps with a close friend or a counsellor) because then you will probably realise that you have just become very anxious about perfectly normal feelings, which have blown them out of proportion.

    Will

  117. Matt Says:

    I just wanted to post something, and it is good news. I just overcame my dp, and holy crap I can feel again!! I can feel tingling and love and, I’ve just been crying for the last hour with unbelievable happiness because I figured this hell out, and it happened by accident, lol. I was laying in bed, and even though a lot of my dp symptoms have gone just from moving on with my life, I had this incredible fogginess in my head, like I couldn’t think straight and was half-way convincing myself that I couldn’t think at all. In fact, I just wanted to feel fear or anxiety, but felt absolute nothing. So, I forgot about thinking about thinking, and started to think about my past right before I got dp. It happened at work and I was going through the day it happened and the days following and how I felt, I then remembered a specific moment on one day, before I even knew what dp was, when I was so consumed with myself and I just went on my day and can remember a feeling I had. Somehow, I connected in my brain reality with then and now, and all of a sudden goosebumps and my emotions came flooding back. I started crying and thanking god and everything that I made it out of this hell. The weird thing is that I have forgotten about what dp felt like, I mean, I can describe what I went through, but I forgot what it was like. This is the strangest thing I have ever experienced. In fact, if I were to use a metaphor to sum up DP, it would be that it’s like walking in a haunted maze. While your in it, all your focused on is the eeriness, walls, and darkness of the maze. So of course you aren’t gonna find your way out when your doing nothing but obsessing about it. For me, it was walking through the damn maze regardless of how anything and everything looked to me. But, for me, I believe somehow I connected my brain to reality by thinking of my past and understanding why dp happened to begin with. I don’t know, hope that helped someone, I feel like me again and I could flipping run cross country right now.

  118. Steveo Says:

    Great news Matt :-)

  119. Lisa Says:

    That is great! I am still recovering from dp although I can say for the most part it has diminished but there are times that I still feel a bit trapped in my mind.I feel best when im socializing with others and doing fun stuff as it takes a lot of my attention and I totally forget about anxiety completley. I feel my complete recovery is very close though, as most of my symptoms have gone, However the funny thing about recovery is that now that I am close I am apprehensive about everything which tends to bring my crazy thoughts back. All part of recovery I suppose.

  120. Matt Vogel Says:

    Well, I for me, I had to move towards the DP. I believe for me it was thinking about why i developed it to begin with and truly understand and accept why it happened and that it truly is a harmless feeling. Once I started to understand and accept it, I started to reconnect with reality a little bit at a time. For me, and this may sound weird, all of my symptoms of DP were gone, except that for some reason I wouldn’t let it completely go. But I wouldn’t let it go because I felt as if I did, I would end up in some coma or something because of this transition back to reality. That’s why I was constantly ruminating and thinking worrying thoughts about myself. I realized that “I” could choose to live in reality…period. I also realized I could choose to live in this state of DP. Some days I would go back and forth with myself with it. I would choose to live in reality and enjoy it with no anxiety or nothing, then I would remember some weird thought I had during DP and, out of habit, return back to that state. I finally realized with DP that if you give it a break, even for five minutes, it gives you a break. So when I completely stopped thinking about it, DP was gone. But when I started to think about it, it came back. It started to make sense to me and the fear has completely gone because I know the truth. Also, coming through this mess makes anxiety and panic seem like nothing.

    Lisa…like I stated above, I was apprehensive also. But ask yourself this, why are you apprehensive? I was apprehensive because DP became some weird crutch or delusional friend that became my life. But seriously, when you transition from that state to reality, you completely forget certain thoughts and things that happened. The last thing to go for me was the same way that DP entered my life, that’s why it was so hard for it to completely leave. I developed it from overanalyzing myself and then questioned my own existence. So, naturally, the fear of that was the last thing I truly had to let go of because it was the reason that DP was hanging around.

  121. Eric B. Says:

    Glad to hear Matt! I haven’t really had DP that much over the last couple of days. To be honest, I hardly notice the DP anymore. The one thing I struggle with and will probably be the last to go is fearing thoughts I have told myself. I actually welcome DP now, it’s kind of a weird spacey feeling.

    Lisa, I am glad to hear you are far on your road to recovery.

    This has probably been covered a few times, but does anyone feel that they test themselves with negative or scary thoughts?

  122. Bret Walters Says:

    Great news everyone :) Anxiety is such a paradox. Everything is really the opposite. You have DP so you try so hard to think your way out…and it clings…then you give up and say okay whatever…and it leaves lol! Just like all the other symptoms. Love popping in and seeing such positive posts. I understand what you mean matt about coming to the realization of how you got this way and it kinda bringing a sense of relief/losing a lot more fear of why you feel how you do. Congrats to you! :) Take it easy friends.

    -B

  123. Nick Says:

    Hi will,

    Thanks again. Just to reply to your last comment.

    I am generally a very open person and like to talk stuff through with people. I do have a few close friends who I do tell everything to. One who actually suffers from anxiety too, which is really great. She suffers from social anxiety though and we are both kind of in a similar position in the sense we have a lot of time when the anxiety is not so bad, but then bad periods where its all consuming.

    I have mentioned stuff to my dad, but feel it is better not to tell my mum or sister as I come from a long line of worries and they tend to over react to anything health related. haha

    I do feel like I have great people to talk to though and count myself lucky. I fit all the criteria you mentioned though, i’m definitely a big thinker, do tend to try and please, and also have certain perfectionist characteristics. I tend to get caught up in the small things rather than looking at the bigger picture.

    I think occupation is one of the main things i’m lacking, as I work part time from home. ‘Sticking’ thoughts and an over reaction to thoughts and obviously feelings of hopelessness and a lack of purpose as mentioned before are also the main issues. The worry is also that while many recover, many are also left with anxiety lingering for indefinite periods. Stuck in almost a middle ground between being fully recovered and having full on anxiety. My friend and I are good examples of this scenario.

    I really just want to have a worry free normally sensitized mind and a feeling of belonging and not this inherent feeling of doom like I need to escape and that the happiness and well being are out of my reach. Just at peace with myself and my surrounding, and seeking pleasure.

    I know it is all just mental fatigue. But it can be difficult to decipher sometimes what actions will be beneficial and what won’t be. Like I try to avoid high stress work scenerios, but at the same time I know that I need to get out more and get a job away from my house and push myself forward. Need to meet new people and also try and make some romantic connections, something I am also quite fearful of.

    After I split with a girlfriend around 10 years ago, i believe now with hindsight I suffered from anxiety at the time. I was smoking a lot of weed and got very depressed after, I can remember crazy thoughts too and many classic symptoms of anxiety now I recognize them.

    But that period came to an end when I moved to uni and I had some of the best days of my life with no trace of the anxiety. Apart from being left perhaps with a shyness /reluctance to put myself on the line and pursue women, which is really at odds with my public persona which is very social & very loud mouthed/cheeky. Almost paradoxical.

    I also think a lack of motivation and fear of growing up and accepting responsibility, all contributed to my initial panic attack that triggered my anxiety.

    I guess I am just frustrated that the suffering has been very long and while huge improvement has been made I still can’t seem to shake it.

    Nick

  124. Lisa Says:

    I need some help, I have been doing well for quite some time now many of my symptoms are gone and the dp has diminshed and there have been many days where I can barely notice it , but I just can’t stop the what if scenarios. I keep thinking that I will develop chronic dp even though ive never experienced it before and I know the very cause of it was anxiety. I am 29 and have been experiencing anxiety for 6 months I have been doing quite well just living with it but my true fear remains that I will get better and then it will happen again. I don’t know how to convince myself that this is just anxiety telling me this and that I am keeping myself in this state because of my fear.I think I am experiencing a setback at the moment and just feel afraid and apprehensive all over again. Im sure im not the only one that has had this fear…Thanks for listening!

  125. Eric B. Says:

    Here is a good post from Patrick regarding this. Hope it helps.

    Patrick Says:
    April 21st, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Set backs are the same, I define a setback as when all the fear comes rushing back again, and thus the symptoms can return. This happened three times to me during recovery , even after a long period of thinking that I was recovered. I was able to welcome the fear back, it’s like I was split in two, half of me felt really intense fear again, and the other half just wasn’t at all bothered and welcomed it all. We don;t have to be perfect though, I still had thoughts like “What if this is it?” “what if it’s back for good ” ? and I would get the rush of panic, but i soon learned the same technique – great, I hope it is back for good, I’ve really missed it etc.
    These weren’t just words tho, there was a almost complete lack of fear attached to them. WHat I found was that initially, this technique maybe had little success, and I still felt the fear, but over time, the fear lessened and lessened until all fear had gone.

    Like every one else though, it was up and down, back and forth – the fear would lessen, then come back but overall I got to the point where I had no fear at all, of any symptom.

  126. Ben Says:

    Hi everyone, just after a few words of encouragement during a particularly nasty setback that I appear to be goign through. In fact I don’t think I have ever felt so low during one :(

    It’s funny as I know I can be better and only a few months ago I was about to come on here and write about how great I was feeling and how I was well on the way to recovery. The hardest part for me is that as well as the heightened anxiety I am feeling very sad and teary at the moment which is a most unpleasant feeling.

    I’m guessing the sad feeling is just a symptom of the anxiety, but I am finding it very hard to get motivated to do anything. I am now at the stage where I keep thinking about maybe going back to the doctors for some medication etc, but the more I think about it the more it makes feel worse. I guess I am doing everything BUT accepting which even though I know is not the right thing to do is still the direction I keep heading in!

    Anyway, I’m sure I’m not alone with these feelings.

  127. Eric B. Says:

    Ben, hang in there and read the post I sent previously from a recovered fellow named Patrick. From my understanding, we are to do nothing when a setback occurs other than let it pass, which it will. These are the times that will make you stronger because when it does pass, you will see it was nothing but anxiety making a scene as it leaves.

  128. Will Says:

    Hi Nick,

    I think you have to be careful not to allow any ‘moral’ assessment to enter into your understanding of your situation. I speak from experience here and I I should think that, being a ‘thinker’, you probably consider the moral aspects of your life and your current situation — that is in evidence from the way that you mention growing up, accepting responsibility, and pushing yourself forward.

    Quite a lot of anxiety will be generated by this kind of thinking because you are always asking yourself to be more than you are presently. That gap between the reality and your expectation will probably generate both a feeling of anxiety about how / if you will get to that point and also a sense of depression because you have not reached it and may become despairing that you never will.

    So, yet again, acceptance is absolutely key to recovery. You must accept that you are not at the point that you want to be but that there are good things in your life so, while it is not perfect, it is good enough and so are you. You might not be the perfect this or that, but you are a decent enough guy who does his best under the circumstances that prevail.

    Try not to think about whether you could / would / should have done things differently and concentrate on what is right in front of you now. Likewise, try not to think about whether or not you will ever reach certain expectations of yourself but concentrate on who you are right now and work with what you have to get what you need to get done on an everyday basis. Just earning a living is hard enough without putting lots of other pressures on yourself.

    Focus on the here and now and I am sure you will find that you start to enjoy the little everyday things and that through that you will get back that feeling of being at peace with your surroundings and yourself.

    Will

  129. Leslie Trefethen Says:

    This film was excellent. Spoke volumes to me. It made me cry also. But in a good way. A hopeful way. None of us, who feel anxiety, are ever as alone as we think we are, in our minds. I had suffered with anxiety/panick attacks as far back as I can remember. In fact the first panick attack I had, I was just 6 or 7. I am 52 now and it has been a long road and a lot of back sliding, but nowdays, I am happy with my good days, as well as the bad. Thanks for this video and thanks to Paul.

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