I always feel everyday is a battle with my anxiety

Well as promised here is the post I promised, again the last few weeks have been a bit all over the place with the post on the run and the film/song. Today we go back to advice which starts below.

I actually got the idea for the post when I was on holiday last week as I was sat outside in the sun having a bottle of cider and looking at the great view. It was then I remembered a holiday I had when I sufferered many years ago and spent it all trying to feel better.

It started off with, ‘The holiday will make me feel better’

‘I will go for a walk and that will make me feel better’

‘I will go swimming, that will make me feel better’

This really was all the holiday and each day was about, making myself feel better. This is what I had to change, to stop trying to feel better, to stop always trying to supress the bad. It was only later when I truly understood that I had to be o.k with the bad, go towards it and feel it. I had to stop trying to supress the way i felt and stop spending all my day seeking to feel better, trying to avoid and supress bad feelings. This was the battle I was still having with myself, a battle I could never win. If I stopped trying to supress the bad and walked alongside it, the battle would end. I had to stop trying to make the pain go away, I had to stop trying to solve the problem that i could never solve.

I have a small interest in buddism and it is all built around having a calm mind, it does not want to fight all day, to battle with feelings, to keep trying to supress, it just wants to be left alone. i had to stop aiming for peace and just let it come to me.

The more we allow the bad, allow ourselves to feel the way we do without supression, without searching for peace, the less respect we give it and the stronger and more resiliant we become. The less we use our minds to solve a problem time and time again, the more flexible and at peace it becomes. This of course goes against our impulse to fix things, we have a scratch and we itch it, we are always looking for comfort. But it is this looking for comfort with anxiety that keeps us in the cycle. 

I am sure everyone who has improved or recovered here will say one thing. That they hardly if ever fight or battle with how they are feeling now, that they have stopped trying to mentally run around and solve the problem. It really is about letting things go, throwing away all your coping tools. It’s almost like being stripped naked and just being you again with all the past anxiety baggage left behind.

I dropped and no longer had aims of who I wanted to be, about how i wanted to feel, whilst I was always aiming, then the fight was still on each day, striving to be something or someone or to feel a certain way.  This led to tremendous relif in the long run and made me feel far more relaxed, a relaxed mind leads to a relaxed body. I had to learn though not to fight towards relaxation or seek it out like I did on the holiday I mentioned earlier.

If people truly accepted themselves for who they are, then the blog would be dead, as everyone would just be living alongside the way they felt without question and without fight. This is because it is in our human nature to avoid pain, to avoid feelings, to seek feeling better. It is this automatic reaction that we need to change. I no longer seeked out the good or avoided the pain, it was part of me for now and I had to accept that, I learnt to be o.k with not feeling perfect. I gave up the battle to feel better, to work it all out, it had drained me for too many years and got me nowhere, if something was making me feel worse, then why not seek out doing the opposite. If only it was our human reaction to do nothing, things would be far easier.

To finish I remember a documentary on T.V about a lady who was burnt very badly in a fire when she was younger and at first she hid away, hated her refelection, was full of hate and self pity. Her life was utterly miserable, she was full of hate and self pity , all created because whe did not want to be who she was. When asked what turned her life around, she said it was the day she finally accepted herself for who she was, this was the only thing that truly brought her peace and gave her, her life back.

Wise words indeed

I hope that post helps people and they can really relate to it


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

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


Follow me on Twitter

424 Responses to “I always feel everyday is a battle with my anxiety”

  1. Teresa J Says:

    This is a first, being first to comment. This makes so much sense – even when you are ‘better’ it is a good lesson in life to live by. It takes time to reach this acceptance, try to accept that too. Thank you Paul.

  2. Eric B. Says:

    You beat me to it Teresa J. It’s ok though, I accept it. My question is actually on acceptance. How do we accept that our minds want to and will get better. It seems that everytime I start to drift off into normal thinking, my mind says “oh no you don’t” and tells me that I am supposed to be anxious and scared. Then all of the other thoughts hover over. I know that this is not a new symptom, but feels like it. Then I start feeling irritable because I think and feel I can’t let go of it.

  3. JAN TURNER Says:

    Paul, you are spot on!!!! I also have an interest in Buddhism and mindfulness and its just like you say, we are always trying to change ourselves and not like or accept the person we are. Buddhism is about compassion and kindness towards ourself and others, as well as self acceptance, which is what its all about in the end.
    Thanks Paul.

  4. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Jan I have read little on it and don’t claim to be a follower, but I did briefly read and take note of some beliefs well into my recovery and certain parts did hit home and teach me about not striving for perfection, which in my case was striving to always feel better. My actions and my thinking was always trying to find relief, instead of just being in that moment good or bad. Whilst I was constantly trying to feel better, I always felt a battle with myself.

    I did tell a story many months ago on here when I used to go running to make me feel better, I used to be running thinking about how much better I would feel when I got home, I used to get home and watch myself for how I was feeling, wait for the shower to freshen me etc, etc. If I did not feel how I wanted or expected I would be dissapointed and would start questioning why. I then realised I was still in the battle to feel better and that I had to run for me and not for how it would make me feel. The next run was completely different, I ran with no expectations and instead of running and thinking about how I was feeling, I was taking in my surroundings, making me feel more outward than inward. I got back and dropped the subject, there was no pressure to feel a certain way, it was a shower and on with my day. This is what help me leave the subject behind and start living again, I realised that my whole life was about getting rid of my anxiety, what I thought, what I did, where I went etc. This is the habit I had to change, so the subject was just part of me and not me.

  5. rebecca Bermingham Says:

    Hi Paul I just bought your book a few days ago and am wondering if you could answer this important question that has been n my mind!
    it would be much appreciated. 6 Weeks ago I smoked what I thought to be a ‘cigarette’ that in fact contained some marajuana. Instantly I had a panic attack that left me in quite a traumatic situation. Since then I have managed to control the panic attacks but still suffer with anxiety and a feeling of ‘unreality’ as such. I was just inquiring as to whether you think this ‘depersonalization’ I get quite often is an off shoot of the anxiety or if it is somehow related to the marajuana. It is not 24/7. However I believe the constant questioning if it is the drug or the anxiety attack is hampering any success in getting past this

    I would be grateful for any response ,
    Thank you,
    Rebecca Bermingham

  6. Teresa J Says:

    This is so true, it is the wanting to be rid of…. that is the problem. Yes Eric B, i get the mind that decides – ‘oh you are not fretting about your body’, let’s give you something to frett about. i used to be scared of this thought as I used to believe that it actually physically had the ability to create an ‘illness’ all it was creating were ‘feelings’.
    I now have problems with accepting ordinary aches and pains that we all get, but I do recognise this. It is as if i have an obsessive personality and expect everything to be ‘perfect’ and if it is not my mind concentrates on that area in an unnatural way. I am working on acceptance, but sometimes the mind has another agenda! Lol. I call it a loss of perspective. Reading about this need for perfection by Paul and others makes me realise it is probably part of the same thing – so thanks for the reminders.
    One of the things I read was that you need to want to do/be whatever you want more than you want to be rid of the symptoms. You need to want your hapiness more than wanting to be rid of the symptoms – so finding something that is REALLY important to you will help, it will make you brave. This did help me.

  7. Eric B. Says:

    Thanks for replying Teresa. Yeah I have been having some strange thoughts and feelings and my mind has been telling me horrible things. I look around at people and wish I could just be content and generally happy like them, then my mind tells me that it will not happen. I also have a hard time believing that one day this will all be just a blur. I am trying to stay in the moment as much as I can, but I constantly feel myself drifting back into my mind, where the scary thoughts and negativity live. I know my symptoms and thoughts are nothing new and are typical for an anxious state, but it stinks to be the one going through them :).

  8. Teresa J Says:

    I do realise how ‘persuasive’ the anxious voice is. The fact you realise that it is the ‘anxious voice’ and not reality tells you how far we have come. Sometimes its harder to dismiss the voice than others – but nothing stays the same and moods change, time will change your attitude towards it, I know this is difficult to believe at the moment ( I still get times when the voice tries hard to convince me) but although I get pulled in a bit I know that it is anxiety, and the only way foward is to to not pay it respect – keep your chin up Eric, it will become less important .

  9. Jamie Says:

    Hi All! I’m having such a hard time right this second. I have my same old fear of self harm, but now, I also have a fear of harming my daughter. What the heck? I don’t think I ever could, but it is so scary! I guess I’m not really looking for resolution, but I’m just venting and trying to get it out. I hate this feeling so much! I know that is not accepting it, but right now, it’s just awful and I don’t feel like accepting it! Most days, I don’t feel like fighting it and can just move on, but today is hard and I think it’s because the feeling is about my pride and joy.

  10. Teresa J Says:

    It is anxiety Jamie, looking for what shocks or frightens you most. You know this, I know at the moment it may not help for me to tell you something you know – but if were frightened of something else, it would go – that tells you how real it is.

  11. Jamie Says:

    Thank you Teresa! I suppose you are right. As I’ve said before, when you are in the “moment” of thought, it feels so right that you suppose you are just going to succumb to whatever the thought is. This is the worst part of anxiety for me!

    I’m disappointed too because I had been dealing and accepting fairly well, when 3 huge sressors came and had to be dealt with. Knocked them out of the sky and felt fine while doing it, but then shortly after, here comes the horrible thoughts! Is this a fairly common pattern? It seems that I can handle whatever the stress is, but when things should be sailing along smoothly and the stress is gone, here comes my dear old friend anxiety!

  12. Steveo Says:

    A good post again Paul. Thanks.

    Does anxiety affect your life at all nowadays? I am into my recovery and so much better than I used to be but probably still seeking full recovery and occasionally question why this… Why that… Is this me forever etc.

    Hopefully it doesn’t affect you at all and that will certainly give people recovering further hope that you truly can FULLY recover.

    Glad to see the donations coming in!

  13. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Yes donations up to over £300 now Steveo, which is great, hoping to reach £500. I have a few offline donations, but it would let me update the page for some reason. Just like to say thank you to Sara and Lisa for their recent donations, it’s trickiling in now most who are going to sponsor have done. But 1 member who wants to remain anonymous offered me something pretty valuable to auction off. They know who they are and I would love to thank them here personally as well as privately, it was a very kind offer and we are now sorting out the best way to move forward with it. Again you know who you are and I can’t thank you enough.

    Does anxiety affect my life? Stevoe the best way truly is to forget about recovery, don’t get stuck in the pointless questioning and focus on living. It was the true living that helped me, I slowly just left the subject behind me through a natural process of focusing on other things rather than a forced ‘I must put this behind me’ attitude. If my mind wanted to revert to the subject 1 day, then fine, but it would not stop me moving on with my day and I would not get stuck in questioning why this or why that. I still have anxious times, but that’s normal for everyone and mine are back to a normal scale instead of the smallest thing setting me off when my nerves were bad. There were odd insecurities that hung around for a while, even months after days where my mind felt tired etc, but it all faded in time.

  14. steveo Says:


    Thanks for your reply – to be honest, i know i need to forget about recovery… however, knowing that i can fully recover as you have makes me feel a whole lot better already. I understand that normal anxiety is ‘normal’ and can certainly live with that.

    Maybe you could auction the item on here? I suppose there is always Ebay!?

    Good luck with the training :-)

  15. CR123 Says:

    Hi all… i am kind of new to this site.. after finding the site and reading Pauls book i have found lots of help and most of my symptoms have gone.. i just needed a little help with this …. My main fear is “Going Mad/ losing control” although i have tried to let this thought just be there the word seems to have become my habit if that makes sense… with this i find myself watching myself all day making sure i don’t do anything that makes me look like i am mad…then i end up thinking that if i carry on thinking this i will make myself mad.. i no this is just a silly habit and its only a word but it really gets to me.. i just wondered if there was anything i can do to break this habit?? x

  16. elaine Says:

    Hi its my third post on here would ove some advice please Paul. Ihave doing the method for about 4 months now after buying your book . The last two weeks i have felt loads better i got out of my head and unreality went also didnt feel so anxious , got my appatite back and put some wt back on . Then bang its all back and worse and appatite gone again , i look dreadfull and thin , Could you give me a pep talk please paul or anyone who as recovered xx Elaine

  17. Bret Walters Says:

    Hi Elaine,

    I will just give my two cents here. I think most of the time when I have a “bad spell” I’ve just come to realize its temporary. And another good spell is inevitable, just keep accepting and focusing on doing the things you want to do in life. NO one has all good days. No one. Just let it flow. Take comfort in the fact you had a good spell. You now know it is possible. Another good spell is just around the corner, relax.


  18. Tess77 Says:

    Hi Paul,
    Really like your recent post……your advice has been really helpful.
    Over the past week i have tried to stop fighting my anxiety and just go with it and accept it….this has been extremely helpful!
    Ive just stopped trying to be better and completely live in the moment. Its amazing how much this has helped me, ive been living with anxiety for 6 years but can already feel the change
    Thankyou Tess

  19. Andrew H Says:

    One thing I do which need help with…. Everytime I go out, whether it’s just to the shop and talking to the shopkeeper or to someone’s house, as soon as I come out I analyze every word I said for ages! Making sure it sounded right or could I have said it better?!

    How can I stop myself doing this? Help apreciated

  20. ross Says:

    So if i just pretend to myself that i dont have anxiety and be ok with the symptoms i should recover. Another thing for people who have recovered,do you notice that your recovered? Or are you 2 busy living 2 notice. Im scared im gonna be like this 4,ever because i dont seem 2 be improving at all

  21. Eric B. Says:

    Hi Ross, we are all in the same boat. I have come to realize that the fears are the same for most people currently suffering. They seem to get a bit worst when you are going for full acceptance which makes it hard to accept it. However, the way I am trying to look at it is that anxiety is trying to make a big fuss on its way out. Scary, yes; permanent, no. I have been having some of my better days and worst days over the last month or so, but am trying to stay the course. I actually found it a bit refreshing to stay away from reading about it for a few days and found it to come back a little stronger when I did read about it. It definitely does take away some of the power when you stay away from the subject, such as seeking answers, fixes, etc… there is my 2 cents.

  22. KM Says:

    I’ve had a shocker of a few weeks feeling like i haven’t improved at all and desperate for signs that i have. I split up with my boyfriend, had my car deliberately damaged while at work (not by him), and found my little cat dead in the gutter yesterday which was really distressing. But a year ago i would of handled all this stuff fine and felt strong, now i feel weak, and vulnerable to severe bouts of paralyzing anxiety. I’m finding work really hard to get through, but i’m still keeping up all my social activities. Most days to get up and have a shower is a chore and i feel like going back to bed after it. I’m frustrated as i’ve been in this situation over ten years ago and came through, but I dont remember how this happened, i’m sure i just got back into life. I remember several significant times where it was really bad and hard, probably the first two years, I’ve been suffering this bout now since October last year. I want to be able to go to work and be part of life without it feeling like a massive effort as my anxiety is SOO bad. I know im not doing the principles obviously, acceptance, not getting involved, but at this stage i feel it is me, rather than something i have. Haven’t had a vent for a while and was hoping this recent setback would of passed by now as i have felt times of feeling better, but the past six weeks have been awful :(

  23. josh Says:

    Hi Paul & Other

    I have suffered from Anxiety for almost 10 years and have improved greatly after following Pauls advice. Whilst , I have recovered from most of the symptoms , I still fear PASSING OUT when anxiety reaches its peak. especially when I am in office.

    I actually passed out once but all reports were normal.

    The advice I am seeking is; do I need to take any precautionary measures or go full blown facing whatever symptoms that I come across?

    Paul, if I overcome this, I think I will out of it completely… please advice immediately…

  24. DCYL Says:

    First time posting (from the US). I found this site a couple of months ago after what I think was an anxiety attack. I had a lot of build up to the situation. I had been laid off, my mom had a medical condition (wasn’t serious thankfully), got a traffic ticket, and owed back taxes all within a few weeks. Since then, I’ve been fairly anxious though better some days and not so good other days).

    I could write an entire story about everything but let’s focus on tonight. I felt alright early today but some scary thoughts kept popping up. I had talked to my therapist about the thoughts and we discussed facing my fears which led to some pretty strong anxiety. I hadn’t been to this site in a while though I had been reading Paul’s book for a while for reassurance.

    I went into one of Paul’s blog posting on scary thoughts and spent a great deal of time reading the comments. I realized I might be overdoing it so stopped for a while though I went back to it later in the day (I was at work).

    As I about to leave work, I noticed a bunch of co-workers talking so I joined in. This was intentional on my part. In managing my anxiety, I realized I am generally more comfortable in more familiar surroundings. I decided to just socialize a bit. I was a little anxious but interacted just fine but might have tired my mind a bit.

    I left work to participate in some basketball. I’ve been going to this gym for years but with my anxiety, I think I’ve associated it with some fear. The gym is on the second floor with a short staircase to go up. I have a fear of heights to begin with and I think the anxiety has kicked the fear up.

    I was aware some anxiety kicked up but I thought I could manage it. However, my mind got a little tired as I played (perhaps from all the reading earlier in the day, etc). One of the issues I realized recently is that I sometimes mistake “regular feelings” for anxiety. I kept focusing on my mind’s tired feeling and I felt down and the anxiety really kicked in. The scary thoughts were coming hard and strong.

    Somehow as I played more, I got out my head and felt better. I drove some buddies home and felt fine as I talked to them. As I write this, things a little quieter as well.

    The things I am realizing is this:

    1. I am more comfortable in familiar surroundings: home, car, work, places I frequent a little more.

    2. I have some fears of being alone or doing some things alone. This fear may be due to my mom’s issue and because I have lived at home my whole life (this has been a topic of discussion with my therapist). I’ve worked through some things but not everything yet.

    3. In group situations, there is anxiety (shaky body, thoughts wander) but I usually manage to interact to some level. I’m not sure I am 100% but I am present to some extent.

    In thinking about anxiety, I think anxiety MAGNIFIES certain aspects of our lives. Namely, I am a worrier and that fuels anxiety. I tend to favor (like most people) familiar places, people and surroundings. That would explain why I feel a little more relaxed at home and other places where I perceive I am in more “control”. It’s not that I don’t like new places, people or surroundings. It just takes me time to adapt. I’ve never been one to jump into new things easily though.

    My therapist has been pushing me to get out of my comfort zone rather than just simply “managing my anxiety” among familiar surroundings. Indeed, this has been frustrating. There seems to be some much to learn and do:

    1. Minimize worrying.
    2. Accept the anxiety
    3. Push my comfort zone a bit

    I don’t know if I really have a point but this is my particular story that I wanted to share a bit.

  25. dyeriboy Says:

    This is very true, just let go of the urge to control the feelings, the thoughts , the pain etc… and it will go away by itself. Thanks to this blog and the people here, i have recoverd and is back to my old self , i cant even remember how it felt

  26. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Tess says: Ive just stopped trying to be better and completely live in the moment.

    That is what I mean by going against instincts Tess and will help so much in no longer making your day a battle ground and allowing you to begin to live back in your natural surroundings and give your day another focus.

    josh Says:

    August 16th, 2011 at 6:23 am e

    Hi Paul & Other

    I have suffered from Anxiety for almost 10 years and have improved greatly after following Pauls advice. Whilst , I have recovered from most of the symptoms , I still fear PASSING OUT when anxiety reaches its peak. especially when I am in office.

    I actually passed out once but all reports were normal.

    The advice I am seeking is; do I need to take any precautionary measures or go full blown facing whatever symptoms that I come across?

    Paul, if I overcome this, I think I will out of it completely… please advice immediately…

    Firstly your the first person that has ever stated they actually passed out with anxiety. I really feel that it may have been other issues that made you pass out and that you associated it with anxiety and then started to fear it, this is usually how a fear/phobia starts.

    What you need to do like with any fear/phobia is allow it to happen. ‘If I pass out then it’s fine, there is nothing I can do to stop it anyway, I wont be the first and if need be someone will come and help me up’ This takes away all the fear as your are giving it a green light, so there can be no build up of anxiety over it, no internal dialouge, no what if’s, no stress on top of stress. This giving in to it will give you so much more relaxation as you ar not holding on to yourself, trying to control how you feel, worrying if you will faint.

    Extra anxiety is created, it does not just come because it feels like it and your getting anxious about something that is very unlikely to happen. Again if you did faint then I can only think it just happened when you felt anxious and not because you were anxious, as I have never come across anyone who has fainted through anxiety before.

    So again go to work with the attitude of ‘I am done with that subject now, if I faint I faint, it’s not a problem or an issue anymore, I am just creating more anxiety by worrying about it’

    Andrew H Says:

    August 15th, 2011 at 12:43 pm e

    One thing I do which need help with…. Everytime I go out, whether it’s just to the shop and talking to the shopkeeper or to someone’s house, as soon as I come out I analyze every word I said for ages! Making sure it sounded right or could I have said it better?!

    How can I stop myself doing this? Help apreciated

    Andrew the simple answer to this is that you are worrying how you are coming across. I did something similar, like trying to act so as to appear normal. I found I felt far more normal when I stopped trying to appear normal. Also your mind is tired and little rituals can stick, as though you do it automatically. But really the simple answer is just to not do it anymore, you certainly have that power, as soon you start with the internal dialouge, just STOP and move onto something else, maybe what your plans are for the rest of the day. At first your mind might keep trying to revert back to how a situation went, but if you keep moving onto another subject and resist the temptation to get involved you will find you no longer do it. And yes this is something i also did and again it was all because I cared how I was coming across to others.

  27. Douglas Says:

    Hey Folks,

    Looking for a bit of encouragement, as I feel like sliding that old slippery slope once again. Have been struggling with anxiety on and off my whole life (as has my sister; we had a traumatic experience when she was 8 and I was 2 of our mother having a nervous breakdown and subsequent diagnosis of schizophrenia…)

    I have been trying to practice Paul’s advice for about 6 months now, but the problem just seems so huge and overwhelming. It’s always in the back of my mind, and seems to have a power of its own to suck me in and start the whole worry/anxiety cycle again and again. I feel so weird and out of it, absent-minded, like everything I know is wrong…can’t really describe it…

    This morning, lying in bed half awake, so much chaos in my head, voices saying gibberish nonsense, images, places, so much detail. Interestingly, during all this I am calm. It’s only when I try to get on with my day that the brick in my stomach is there. Dread, doom, a feeling that something terrible is wrong with me…going crazy, whatever. It’s as if part of me wants to convince me that I will never get better, that I am in fact just too badly damaged…

    Sometimes what seems to work is to try not thinking at all, but then I am afraid I am just repressing. I of course tell myself to accept, but I can’t be sure I can accept something that hurts so much.

    So does anybody else have these voices in their head? I mean I don’t actually “hear” voices, it’s just nonsense phrases that don’t seem to mean anything in particular, sometimes I also have them when I’m doing something mindless like gardening…

    This all just seems, at times, to be so huge, it has to be more than “just” anxiety…any thoughts, encouragement would be MUCH appreciated!

  28. James Says:

    Douglas – that is how I feel too. I tell myself to accept, but it just feels too intense – too much – to accept.

    Sometimes I just feel like I am being tortured from the inside. I may appear fine, but inside my head I feel like hell. A sort of numbness, but with a feeling of heavy suffering. I can feel myself resisting it, but I just don’t know how to let go! Wow, it’s been so many years of trying to accept now. Perhaps it’s time to accept that I can’t accept :-/

  29. angelcake Says:

    Douglas.. i can totaly relate to everything ur saying and from what i have read about anxiety which is huge amounts over the last few months everybody gets the ‘voices’ its just ur mind rambling then sticking to something u have atatched some fear to at some point however u may not even realise u did at the time…. like paul sais in his book do not attatch a false sence of importance to these thoughts i first thought that if i didnt give them the attention they seemed to want that i was giving up n that they wud take over n i wud lose my mind this is definatly not the case!!!! anxiety n all the horrible strange feelings that come along for the ride r toatly normal for an anxiety sufferer’ also i know how overwhelming it can be at times but u hav to give urself a break!!! just look at how many people have posted on here u r not alone!! 1 day at a time and it gets better i promise, this is my first post hope it helps.

  30. Douglas Says:

    James – Yeah, me too. It is actually a kind of self-torture. I can only hope that we can somehow learn to cope better. What choice do we have?

  31. Eric B. Says:

    Hi dyeriboy, glad to hear of your recovery. Do you mind telling your story and how you came through?

  32. Shirley Dalley Says:

    Hello Paul and all.
    I (as Paul will hopefully remember) was a total sufferer of anxiety in 2008, found this site and never looked back, I was an avid poster and reader for a very long time and like to pop up every now and again to see how the site is going. The fact that I probably haven’t been on here for at least 2 yrs goes to prove that anxiety can leave you back to a decent state which enables you to live your life again without this fear.

  33. Shirley Dalley Says:

    OK, finished that a bit too prematurely! I suffered for every minute of everyday, everything in my life revolved around ‘anxiety’, it was a very dominant conversation point if I met people, I was completely self obsessed about ‘anxiety’. Now i look back I can’t even remember how I actually felt on a daily basis, but reading the various posts brings all the feelings back. I was lucky enough not to suffer from the depersonalisation though everything else was bad enough. I really can’t tell you how I returned to normal, no one can give a time scale but I do remember it literally happened over night. Sometimes there would be a couple of days that I would feel symptoms or feel that I should be having symptoms, it was like sleeping with one eye open, waiting for the advance of the enemy. Anyway, once I had bought Paul’s book and read it once it was enough of a call for me to take back my life. Using the words ‘come, see if I care’ they were the most powerful simple words and they needed a bit of force to start off with but once they knew I meant business I was the one with the upper hand. But, to all of you who have the classic anxiety symptoms I am a case to prove that you can leave free from anxiety.
    Two years ago we went on holiday, and lo and behold it was the time of the ash cloud and we were stuck – well and truly. I took control of our party, a year previously I would have had the rapid heart rate, the what if’s etc, but for that unending state of affairs I just had the attitude of – it will be alright, I did not suffer one moment of anxiety in the most stressful of situations, having with me, my sister, her two children and our elderly parents. This is proof that having been a daily, hourly, minute and second sufferer it never now enters my head. I wish you all success, no one can ever tell you how it will end – but pay less heed to it and it will diminish until one day you will find that you haven’t given it a moments thought, but if you start to again it will return, banish it!

  34. Susan Says:

    I’d like to get advice from Paul and others on how they dealt with persistent, uncomfortable physical sensations. I don’t want to go into specifics, in case someone else reads it and begins thinking about a sensation that, I know, just falls under the umbrella of anxiety that will go away once my anxiety does.

    All I will elaborate on is that this sensation is constant, and it is a nagging sensation that makes me feel fearful, and although I try to employ the technique that Paul describes as just throwing away all your coping skills and let things be, I find that I wrestle with the constant cycle of fear from the sensation itself which is constant. I have a hard time concentrating on any other thought, even while I am in a conversation with someone else, because I am feeling that sensation, so I am struggling with how to ignore it when it is so persistent and nagging.

    Would love your advice on this. Thanks to Paul for an amazing, life changing book and to others who are dedicated to post their success stories, offer encouragement to others, and to provide great tips that worked for them. This blog, although I don’t visit it every day, is a great place to come to when you’re feeling a bit low or discouraged. It seems to give me a mental boost that I need each time I hit a temporary lull.

  35. Susan Says:

    Just wanted to add from my last post: am I allowed to say “anything” to myself when I am feeling the anxiety such as: “just let it be” or “I don’t need to do anything” etc. I just want to make sure I am understanding this right, but often times I feel like I have to say something to myself otherwise I’m confused as to what I should be saying to myself or rather, thinking to myself. This is a point I’d really like to understand from Paul. I understand letting go, but it’s this part that is confusing to me.

  36. James Says:

    Susan – I know how you feel. I can’t possible see how I can accept these feelings when I am holding a conversation with someone. The fear and feeling of just needing to get away is too nagging.

    I honestly think sometimes, reading here, that I must have something worse than just anxiety. I have read Paul’s book many times, and I know most of my symptoms are anxiety, but I just don’t see how I can accept the feeling in my head. I can accept the physical stuff – but it’s this feeling of being trapped in a mental world so far away from reality. It’s so hard to describe, but I just feel as though I’m so unable to concentrate on the moment because it is so painful, that there is no way my mind will let me accept it. It honestly can seem like hell sometimes.

    I guess it comes down to a fear. A fear that if I let go I will slip, and fall into the darkness forever.

  37. Douglas Says:

    angelcake – Thanks for the encouraging words. At times I have felt some relief reading what others are going through here, but then when it gets bad I think that I am somehow different and much worse. Probably bollocks, I know, but sometimes you think what you think…

    james – I too tend to keep an eye on myself, I suppose through not wanting to be bushwacked again with all the nonsense. And it does feel like hell and a war zone sometimes, but I find if I can can become properly engaged in a book, film or conversation, then I tend to forget about me. Does this ever happen to you?

    And Susan – I too find myself going through my day giving myself constant “Attaboys”, ie, “It’s only anxiety and it can’t hurt me,” “I will get over this, even if I don’t see quite how just yet,””Anxiety is not insanity “, and esp. (about 200 times a day:)”Don’t worry!!!” etc. etc. etc. I probably shouldn’t be doing this, but I find that if I don’t, my mind returns to worrying, fear, and really deep despair.

    So I guess my question for Paul is, how does one cope without coping mechanisms? Is it OK to try to stop all thought? Is it a good idea to try to distract oneself, or is that not accepting? I’m finding it all just so confusing and frustrating!

  38. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    So I guess my question for Paul is, how does one cope without coping mechanisms? Is it OK to try to stop all thought? Is it a good idea to try to distract oneself, or is that not accepting? I’m finding it all just so confusing and frustrating!

    Douglas please don’t feel the need to go around with mantra’s each day, how much does this focus on you and the subject. Having a couple that get you through a difficult period is fine, but trust me, you are far better dropping these, as it’s just ends up a battle and the words become meaningless.

    You need to let your mind return to fear, worrying and despair and learn to be o.k with it, it’s the avoiding of state that has you in this big battle, you are avoiding the bad. The only way to come through is to face what you are running away from. I had to allow myself to be in a hole and truly learn to be o.k with it, without trying to mantra my way out of it or constantly run away from how I felt.

    This advice goes to James to ‘If I allow myself to slip I feel I will be lost forever’ you certainly wont, try it and face this dark hole your mind has created. You are constantly trying to hold on to yourself, trying to keep the grip on reality, what a battle that must be each day. Allow yourself to go where ever you wish, this will free you of so much tension, stop the fighting and worrying. Your day is a battle ground at the moment and this is why you seem to stay in the cycle. Feelings and thoughts are not fact, they arent reality, they cannot stop you doing as you wish. Every thought, every feeling is just a sensation, it is not harmless in anyway, only you can create this big fear of how you feel.

    It is the constant mental battle, the watching, the worrying, the need to escape that has you feeling so mentally worn, so physically done. trust me I have been there, done it, bought the T-shirt. The mistake you make is ‘if I still think this way or feel this way I must be doing something wrong’. Your not, you just wont allow yourself to feel this way, this is the mistake you are making. So ‘No’ don’t distract yourself, this is again running away, of course a natural distraction is totally fine, like getting on with your day and what your doing without being so concerned about how you are feeling will do you a the world of good in the long run.

    Without fear a thought or sensation holds no power whatsoever and without fear it diminishes, it is your fear of it that keeps it alive.


  39. Joe Says:

    Hello CR123, hey I experienced exactly the same sort of thought a few months ago. I had this silly thought that i was going mad and instead of smiling at it and moving on. I worried about it, I placed fear on it. Then once you do this you enter the anxious cycle, it was like an avalanche of catastrophizing placing more fearful thoughts on the original hot thought “am i going crazy”. Then you said you started watching yourself for any signs of insanity, thats only becuase your mind is in hyperviligant mode looking for signs becuase you fear going crazy.

    Going back to my story, Then I started to worry omg I’ve been worrying about this for ages now, what if, it becomes a constant habit and becuase of it my mind gets so tired from watching my self all day it turns crazy (again a silly anxious cycle thought) .

    The constant worrying and watching was giving me so much grief for about a week, so I followed pauls advice and started smiling at the thought. I remebered it was just a silly thought brought on by my sensitised state.

    I know right now you fear it becuase it seems to have attached itself to all your thinking. To break this habit (fear cycle) give the thought space and don’t pay it anymore attention, and the habit fear is just another fearful what if thought further on in the cycle. Take the fear out and it will pass.

    Hope this helps :)

  40. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    By the way Shirley that’s a blast from the past, hope all is well 😉 Nice of you to pop in and tell people of your progress.

    Just wanted to say thanks to all the recent people who have sponsored me for my run, I am now only just over a £100 of hitting my target of £500, thanks again to everyone. I am personally thanking everyone individually on twitter and on the post below, it means a lot for me to do this as i really want to thank everyone personally.

    If anyone would like to sponser me for my 10k run in aid of the chairty anxietyuk, it is http://www.bmycharity.com/anxietynomoreuk


  41. CR123 Says:

    Hi Joe thank you for the reply it really helps alot… some times its just so hard and very scary lol… Thank you again x

  42. Sophia Says:

    Hi all

    just thought of penning down my feelings…i had organised a get together, invited all my friends..i had no scary feelings but my thoughts would just wander i coudnt focus on the other person…i can carry on with the situation as i can see myself chatting non stop but with not much sensibity when i stop talking i go into unwanted thoughts about myself..so i know i may look like i am being very artificial to people talking and talking
    but im thinking let it be..as i have no other option i am not going to feel self pity..looking for the next day with the attittude..”come. let me see if i care”
    only thing which i feel sad is that i m losing on a lot of opportunities because i couldnt properly connect with people as i used to be a person who had very good communication skills and was working in customer relations and because i was very intuitive in nature and it was very beneficial for me then to emphathise with people now it has brought adverse effect on me as i m having anxiety and it zones me into self obsessive thoughts about what the other person is thinking and i couldnt come out of it for a long time…

    today i was just acting out was very talkative but i actually didnt feel anything and was simply blabbering as keeping quite makes me very anxious and intrusive as the thoughts are so loud and i feel i have the responsibility to interact with everyone rather than accepting how i feel and being quite making me feel i am being so odd inviting people and then keeping quite …my mind runs so fast that i feel tempted to speak out as i feel them to be real..!

    any thoughts on this?

  43. Matt Says:

    Hi.this is my first post. Paul when you say just accept who you are for now and be truly ok with it do you mean just smile through the day and be happy for who you are and let all thoughts and feelings be there?

  44. Kate Says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post but not my first visit to the blog or website. I have ‘checked in’ at various times over the last four years or so and found great comfort in all the advice given by the people on here and indeed by Paul himself. I just wanted to say I have experienced almost all of the symptoms mentioned, mainly mental ones and have come through smiling at the end. However, does anyone else find that their symptoms return when they experience a major upset in their lives? I have had a recent problem with my husband and I have been feeling back in that dark place again. I am trying not to react to these feelings and accept that this is the way I deal with stress and upset. Would be interested to hear from others who may experience the same.
    Thanks to all. You are all life savers…even if you don’t know it!

  45. Michelle m Says:

    Hi cr123. What you are experiencing is my main symptom of my anxiety issues. Fear of becoming insane which would lead me to harming my daughter. I have had this fear now for going in 3 years. Some weeks are easier to deal with than others. I have had a bad 2 months for some reason and today was my worst day yet. I was out shopping and felt a desperate urge to go home. I stuck it out and managed to stay out. I cannot let this get the better of me. I have had two CBT sessions with a former psychiatric nurse who confirmed that I am not mentally ill, just suffering with anxiety about having anxiety. We are working our way through these thoughts which absolutely terrify me. It’s very hard being petrified of something that you have no control over. Just to let you know that I know how it feels and you are certainly not alone. Once I can accept these thoughts my anxiety will go. I know that for sure. Here’s hoping my recovery isn’t too far off.

  46. Michelle m Says:

    Sorry, how rude am I! Hoping everyone’s recovery isn’t too far off. Good luck all x

  47. CR123 Says:

    Hi Michelle m… im sorry to hear about that… i haven’t suffered for as long probably only a few months… after Joe’s reply the penny finally dropped its because I feared it so much that it stuck around, this week has been really good just from knowing that im not mad and not alone… one thing that also helped that i found on a anxiety site was this ….
    We all have a fear of going mad or losing control but rest assured you are not going mad. Going mad is not a conscious act; those who are suffering from severe mental illness are UNAWARE of their journey into it. You are not going mad. Confused nervous messages to the brain along tired nerves in a tired body do not constitute madness.

    Thoughts are an unconscious product of brain activity. If you are anxious, angry, sad or stressed your thoughts are affected, not only by mood, but also by your physical body chemistry. Blood oxygen levels can affect brain activity and the central nervous system, as can many other bodily chemicals like adrenaline, hormones and even vitamins. These un-pleasant thoughts, emotions and totally irrational fears are not harmful to yourself or others. Any thoughts of harming yourself or other people are perceived only. As you body becomes more relaxed and less anxious your thought processes will return to normal……….

    When i read this a few times it actually made me feel a lot better… and i really hope it helps you on your way to recovery… Carlee x

  48. Michelle m Says:

    Hi carlee, thanks for your kind words. It’s hell at times and cannot see a way out of it. I feel as though I am getting worse. Sleep deprevation over the past three years after having my daughter hasn’t helped much either. I am going to go back to taking my vitamins which I believed helped. I am glad you feel better. If I can just accept this thought as just a thought and not carry it on with a “but what if”, I would be so much better. Your message has made me feel a whole lot better and I’m sure I will be reading it quite a lot over the next few days/weeks. All the best, Michelle x

  49. DCYL Says:

    Hi All,

    Two Questions (somewhat related):

    1. Would anyone here consider themselves worriers? If so, how have you controlled your worries?

    2. Did anyone here feel that a specific issue led to your anxiety? Has that issue been resolved and did it help your lower your anxiety?

    For me personally and many others here, I can see that “over worry” leads to anxiety. Once we’re anxious, the worry keeps us there. But it’s not just worry about the anxiety but even worrying about other things (work, relationship, etc) could keep us in the cycle.

    That was why asked #2. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had multiple issues come up all at once a few months ago (all settled now). The biggest one was my mom getting a medical condition which turned out wasn’t serious and she is OK now. However, my mom worried at the time about it and that in turn got me worried.

    Though things have settled, I think i hit a bit of a transition period where I have to take more responsibility, be watchful of my mom and also prep for the future more. I think that has unsettled me a bit and gotten me to worry more. Curious what other think.

  50. Vamanan Says:

    Hi DCYL,

    I think worrying is the key problem I have had and I am working on correcting it. I had a lot of fear on irrational/scary thoughts and when they come, I will worry on hours to convince myself I don’t have to worry about it. When I don’t have those thoughts I will worry of how to get better. Even when I am not anxious, I will worry of something useless.

    I was usually able to convince myself but a these thoughts will come back and I can’t use the same answer I used before as it is less convincing. These worries kept me in cycle.

    I learnt something important from Paul and other posters and some others who beat obsessive thinking pattern. You have to stop worrying about the unwanted thoughts to get rid of them. In my experience, rejecting to worry of a thought cause some anxiety but my enemy is not anxiety but the fears/worries. I am practicing this method (it took me some time and frustration to break the old habit of worrying) and my fears are losing power and I am feeling better.

    Hope this helps.


  51. Michelle M Says:

    Hi all,

    Sorry to go on yet again, but if I know what i am suffering with then why cant I just accept this? Or is it because I am convinced that it is more than anxiety. If I stop thinking that I am anxious then is that when the thoughts will start to disappear. I feel that if I let go of the fight then it will take over me. How do I let go? Im so sorry again for asking this but am so scared and unsure how to accept these feelings. I know what I have to do to start on the road of recovery but cannot begin as I am too scared to let go. Any advice please, again….:-(

  52. DCYL Says:


    If I can be of encouragement, I fully understand how you feel. When I first got into my situation a few months ago, my thoughts were running all over the place AND I could not sleep consistently.

    By talking to someone, I think it will help greatly. I’ve had to do the same thing recently and it helped. I don’t know if you talk to your friends about this but that would be an added bonus when you’re not seeing the nurse. I know it’s hard and I’ve only told ONE really trusted friend about my thoughts.

    One other thing I did do which you could try was “free writing” or “stream of consciousness writing”. Basically grab a piece of paper and a pen and just write your thoughts (all of them, not just the scary ones) as they come in. Do this for about 5 to 10 minutes and then just get rid of the paper. I read online that this was a way for people to relieve some of the stress / worries. It will not not be the answer for all of our anxiety (it wasn’t for me) but releasing pent up feelings / emotions do help.

    In regards to your sleep, it sounds like you are not having trouble getting to sleep, it’s just that you are not getting enough of it. If that is the case, try NOT to worry about your lack of sleep. That was my issue early on. I was not sleeping at all and I was worried about it greatly which probably didn’t help me.

    I needed some help via a book (that I bought before Paul’s) to get me back to sleeping regularly. I know regular sleep may not be an option for you with your child but do the best you can but try not to worry that you are not getting enough as that will just add more worry / stress to you. I found that once I started getting sleep, it definitely helped my mind not to have as much racing thoughts.

    Hope this helps.

  53. PJ Says:


    I wrote some time ago about my current dilemma. I had been ill in Jan 2011 and doctors had diagnosed that I had pneumonia but later in March identified it was post-traumatic stress. Basically I found it difficult to leave the house due to the anxiety and remained off work for 6 months. I returned to work about 6 weeks ago on a part-time basis and recently began working full-time again. The reason I developed the anxiety was due to work pressure (self-inflicted) and also had a few family members with cancer over the past 12 months.

    I read Paul’s book and it has been of great benefit to me. I have got back to living again, pubs, public transport and settling back to work. The problem is that I have a fairly responsible role at work with a large team of employees working for me. I took on much too much work before my anxiety, working 16-18 hours day. When I returned to work it was at a fairly steady pace and worked out well for me. Unfortunately while I was on sick leave quite a lot of the work was put on hold until I came back and therefore the business deteriorated. The demands now to get the business back will take enormous effort but I don’t feel I can step up just yet as I need more time to build myself up and allow my sensitised nerves to heal. I have not set myself any time limits on when the anxiety will pass. I have taken all the steps to go against the urge to avoid certain scenarios and it has worked extremely well and I feel I have progressed really well.
    So now I was hoping that someone could give me guidance on whether I am being fair when I say the workload is too much too soon. I plan to tell my employers that I will need another role for the next few months until I get more time to allow my nerves to de-sensitise. I love my job and want to get back to it but I definitely feel in order to clear the backlog and carry out the normal job of managing 30 people and being on-call 24/7 I would need to be further down the path to recovery.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

  54. Michelle M Says:

    Hi DCYL

    Thanks too for your response. I am open with how I am feeling with my friends and work colleagues. Its hard to disguise it sometimes. I will try the writing things down to see if that helps.

    I think worrying about my dad over the past few weeks has set me off again as I cannot cope with the loss of a family member. Also a few people at work have committed suicide recently, one of which was a mother of 2, which set me off with severe anxiety again. I always seem to compare them to me, even though i know it has nothing to do with me.

    I know I will overcome this with the right help and much needed sleep but cannot get over this blip at the moment. Sleep deprevation puts some very strange thoughts and images in your head which I have to understand that thats what its down to…and nothing else!!

    Anyway, thanks again for your help. Best wishes all, Michelle xx

  55. CR123 Says:

    hi Michelle m… This is how i “Accepted” how i was feeling… by not trying…… (if that makes sense) it just comes to you. every time i thought something stupid that made my heart race and stomach turn i would say to myself whatever i don’t care any more its taken a while but just by changing my attitude to it which i read in pauls post.. it makes such a big difference. now its become my new habit i literally don’t care any more! you need to give up the fight thats what’s keeping it alive.. It wont take over you…. I no its hard and the first few days will be hard but towards the end of the week i would think something and automatically my I don’t care attitude came in… I no its only been about a week and i still feel a little strange at times but im sooo much better and when i do feel strange i really dont care because this is the time i can change my attitude towards it.. I was so scared to give up the fight but really michelle there is NOTHING to be scared of …. I really hope this helps you Carlee xx

  56. Michelle M Says:

    Thanks once again Carlee. I am so fed up and really bored with the whole anxiety thing.

    I will really try this week to accept that this is it and to try and give up the fight. As I am typing this my stomach is churning and my mind is saying “yeah but what if”.

    Im glad you are doing ok.

    Your words help….thanks again Carlee,

    Michelle xx

  57. CR123 Says:

    Michelle the what ifs are just silly anxiety thoughts just change the what ifs to don’t cares… all the what ifs you think amount to nothing and make you feel even worse… i did the what ifs for so long it just got me down so much… now i hardly ever think oh but what if… and when i do i just shrug it off… Things will get better it might take a while but it will happen… take care carleex x

  58. jen Says:

    Hi everyone, im fairly new to this. It started a few months ago and I took pauls advice let my mind chatter. For a month I was fine then bham.. Back to square one. Questioning, worrying not sleeping. Its truly hell. I feel as though I have forgotton everything I have been taught. I just so want to be my happy self once again. I feel like im failing, im 23 I don’t wana be like this for the rest of my life x

  59. DCYL Says:

    If there was an example of ups and downs the past few days, it would be me. I had a pretty solid Thursday through Saturday. My mind was relatively clear though I still had the scary / odd thoughts that still came through. I was still sensitive to certain words or situations though. I would react but with less fear and it was more of a physical reaction. I was happy I felt alright but I knew not to keep expecting to feel ‘great’ all the time.

    Alas, Saturday night, I was home and a co-worker wanted to chat as we had not talked in a while. He knew about some of my stuff so we chatted about my stuff as well as other things. I had wanted to sleep earlier but ended up talking late into the evening. I also hopped onto here for a brief moment to check on the replies. Alas one of the posts was pretty deep and had some stuff that I was sensitive to. I started thinking again and didn’t sleep well int Sunday.

    Somehow, I managed to make it through most of Sunday OK (took a walk at the beach / mall). But perhaps due to my tiredness, I started questioning things again. I got into a funk in the evening and spent some time reading the blog and looking at Richard Carlson’s books online to see if I could stop “thinking so much”. Since I live at home with folks, I have to contend with them. My mom was in a nagging mood and I got annoyed. That set her off and she was just nagging me for a while.

    Eventually, I went to sleep but my mom was still nagging even then and that set off some anxiety. I did fall asleep but woke up this morning in a big sweat. My thoughts were anxious and they were some super scary thoughts. I got out of bed, washed up, took some breaths and got on the computer. I found some reading’s of Carlson’s books online and I read them (“Thoughts are not actions, etc, etc”).

    Somehow, things have calmed a bit though I just went through a bit of a what if moment. This is definitely a challenge. I can see why people struggle. For me, it seems a slight change of “routine” can through you off (sleeping later, etc). If I am in a reasonable routine, I am usually good. However, I guess that counts as avoidance if you don’t like stepping out of your routine.

    In any case, I wanted to get this off my chest a bit. if anyone has any comments, please do share. It was a rough patch but I have another posting idea I might share later.

  60. Susan Says:

    I just wanted to add some information that might prove helpful to others on this blog. First, I’ve noticed that by eating regularly helps with the anxiety. Every four hours, I try to eat some protein and green vegetables. I avoid sugar, coffee and alcohol.

    For a while, I was drinking one to three glasses of wine every night to relax myself, but I stopped drinking altogether after reading a post on this site, by someone who said that she felt that she was trying to avoid her anxiety by drinking. I, too, thought that I could have some relief from the anxiety for a few hours, when, in truth, it was making my anxiety worse. I’ve noticed that I sleep better at night now, and I feel braver and stronger just by facing the anxiety head on, regardless of how I feel. I suppose that’s the whole point of Paul’s book: avoid the fear and feelings and it makes it stronger; face it and the fear diminishes.

    I am trying my best to incorporate all of Paul’s advice and some days, I get it, some days, I don’t. I find that exercising every day really helps too. When I’m at the gym working out, I find that my focus is on the workout and not on “me” the entire time. Also, I’ve started to practice Bikram yoga, which is really intense, but a great workout nevertheless. The day or two following the workout, I feel really good, which may or may not be due to the fact that I’ve burned off an excessive amount of adrenaline and I’m in a zen-like frame of mind. My body is so tired from the workout that I actually feel relaxed. But, I try not to overthink this or get into the habit of relying on the yoga to make me feel better. I know Paul did this with his daily run, and I don’t want to examine myself too closely, before or after the workout.

    I know that all of us have the tendency to look at our situation, and feeling the way that we do, a personal inner hell as so many of us have described it, we think that “we” are the only ones that are suffering as badly as we do, that no one else, even on this blog site, is feeling the level of anxiety that we do, and that we are the exception to Paul’s advice about healing. It’s so easy to get discouraged and feel that there is no way out. It is in those moments that I just surrender all my anxiety, fear and worries to God, and cast my burdens onto him. I just say to God, “you can figure this out for me.” In many ways, this has helped me tremendously because I am surrendering to the anxiety and letting it go. I may still feel the anxiety, but there is a certain level of peace, that I don’t have to do anything about the situation because God is in control.

    I don’t know about you guys, but one aspect of this condition that has been really positive is that it has really helped me renew a relationship with God, to put my faith into him, to trust him with EVERYTHING. It’s so easy to have faith in him when things are going really well, but when there not, that’s when your faith and confidence in him should be double. In Matthew, it says, “ask and you shall receive” so there is NO doubt in my mind that if you continue to ask God and trust in him, he will answer your prayers, just in his time. I have been reading a great book by Joyce Meyer, and I feel those words fill me with such positive words of encouragement. It helps me so much, and it is my hope that this will help others on this blog, too.

    Another positive aspect of my anxiety has been that I am not afraid to do things that I once did. I was such a perfectionist that I very rarely took risks, in fear that I would fail and disappoint myself and others. Now, I rarely let a challenge stop me from trying. The way I look at it: if I can face my anxiety every day, anything else is a walk in the park.

    One excerpt from Joyce Meyer’s book that I’d like to share with my friends on this blog is this: Regardless of your situation in life, be happy with where you are, because if you wait for the resolution before you allow yourself to be happy, you will waste a lot of time being unhappy. I suppose this goes back to Paul’s point of living your life regardless of the anxiety. This shift in my attitude has helped me tremedously asd well.

    To my friends, James and Douglas: Don’t ever, ever give up hope that you will be yourselves again one day. One day, the anxiety is going to be a distant memory and you will be all the more stronger, wiser and more appreciative of life for it. I will never let this anxiety rob me of my faith in God, my joy for life or my appreciation for all the blessings I have in my life: my son, my husband, my family and friends. I am a truly blessed woman.

    I am also thankful to God for this blog, for Paul who could have easily figured out the way out of his anxiety state, made a full recovery and went on with his life and never looked back. Instead, he chose to change people’s lives with the gift of his experience and knowledge–that is truly a blessing. And to my friends on this blog who are the only ones that can truly understand how I feel, including the incredible loneliness we all feel as we are getting through this, for no one around us could ever imagine what we go through. It’s a source of comfort for me to know that there are people out there who, like me, understand me more than anyone else could and that we are all here to support and encourage each other. Thank you for that.


  61. DCYL Says:

    Susan – THANK YOU for your words. I was planning to just read the blog but your post was touching on many levels. When my situation was kicked up a few months ago, at one point, things felt so difficult that at one point, I prayed to God that I would follow him. Alas, with so many things going on, I really slacked off.

    I’ve been a on / off church goer for years (never baptized). I’ve always believed there is a God but Christianity was difficult to believe in. However, through my recent struggles I’ve been fortunate. I’ve had friends who were available to talk to me. The therapist I am seeing was a local person who had written some books and I had taken a workshop with him.

    I could choose to believe that I was lucky to have things there for me. However, many of my church going friends think God has put forth this situation for me to learn and grow to your next phase in life. It has been difficult to grasp and appreciate this. As I just returned from my church basketball league game tonight, this message seems like a call for me to realize that perhaps it’s time to put my faith into God.

    Thanks again Susan.

  62. E Says:

    Hello all,looking for a little advice.. I have been putting up chronic body tension, ie back, head resulting in headaches and giddiness for quite a few months. Have been continuing to do normal things, ie walking, dog looking after, childminding etc etc. However takes the full pleasure out of doing anyhing. Have had massage and attend yoga sessions, but currently symptoms persist . Just wondered if anyone else had to put up with this nuisance tension?
    Hope all are doing well.xx

  63. elaine Says:

    Hi . I i suffer 24/7 anxiety no panic attacks just very high anxiety and DP. Ialso get depression with it as well but when anxiety lifts the depression goes as well.Does anybody else get depression . x

  64. amy Says:


    What a wonderful post. These are my feelings EXACTLY. I’m a huge believer in Christ, and with Him, all things are possible. Paul’s site IS a blessing!!

    Thank you for sharing :) :)

  65. Lisa P. Says:

    Thank you for your post. It was just what I needed today. I have been going through my ordeal with anxiety and depression for a year and a half. Some of that time I have felt like I was recovering but have had several set backs, I’m in one right now but I know it will pass. I’m listening to my christian radio station right now and have been praying, which always helps. I do believe that we are supposed to go through this to become someone different, someone that god wants for us to be. It may take time but I know how good I can feel and I keep believing that I will get back to that and some day nothing will be able to scare me.
    My dad lives his life as such a believer in god. He never fights anxiety, he is generally happy everyday. He goes around whistling, thinking of the next project to be done, he naps every afternoon, drinks nothing but water, eats well and stays active. He told me once to “Know my own mind” which are very powerful words, I think it means that you have to trust in god and your own self and know that you are stronger than anxiety and with gods help we can overcome anything. This life is temporary and I know that going through my struggle has brought me so much closer to god, I will never stop trusting him, no matter what.
    What is the name of the Joyce Meyer book? I just read a book called “Fearless” by christian author Max Lucado. It’s really good. One of the excerpt’s from this book is “When Christ is great, our fears are not. As awe of Jesus expands, fears of life diminish.” This is what I’m concentrating on today and truly just letting my fears go to god.
    Thank you again for the wonderful post. I agree with you completely! I’m praying for everyone on here today, I really am.

  66. Susan Says:

    The name of Joyce Meyer’s book is Woman to Woman. Don’t let the title of the book mislead you–it has a universal message that applies to everyone–man or woman.

    What I love about the book is that every chapter, which is short and to the point, covers a different topic, all of which is listed at the front of the book. This way, if there is a topic that appeals to you at that moment in time, then you can just read that chapter and meditate upon those words. I try to read a chapter every day.

    To DCYL, Amy and Lisa P. I am so happy to have connected with you through this blog.

    My love and blessings to all,

  67. Michelle M Says:

    Hi Elaine

    I am unsure if I am depressed or not. Some of my close friends who have experienced depression say I am but my boyfriend, mum and councellor say im not!

    I do believe I am probably similar to yourself. When I am really anxious then I am depressed about it. When I feel good, depression doesnt even enter my mind.

    I really dont know what to do for the best. I have been given anti-d’s but havent taken them for longer than a week. I dont know if to or not as I truly dont feel down enough to but wondering if they will help with the anxiety.

    I really do know for a fact that if I didnt have anxiety then I wouldnt have depression. Just to let you know that you are not alone.

    Susan – I am not a religious person but your post brought tears to my eyes. It was lovely.

    Wishing everyone all the happiness and peace you all deserve.

    Michelle xx

  68. Ella Says:

    hello, I feel at a bit of a loss, iv’e had anxiety for the last 2 years after a string of unhappy experiences. I felt like I made so much progress a few months ago, almost like I forgot that anxiety existed. But now I feel like i’m never going to get back to my normal happy self. Iv’e tried the letting all thoughts and feelings back in and accepting everything and for a while it did go but it seems to always come back. I’m starting to doubt if I even have anxiety or of I have another mental illness, I don’t know whether to seek some help or not? I keep having mood swings, one minute i’m happy and looking forward to life and literally the next minute I feel like i’m in a bubble and i’m questioning everything around me, i just feel so down sometimes and I want to cry. I also get horrible thoughts about my boyfriend, when I hear stories about men murdering their partners i think to myself how do i know this isn’t him? so i constantly watch for signs that hes some evil person. when i’m writing this it seems totally crazy but then so real in my mind. Is this anxiety? or go I have bipolar or something?? Some days I will just sit at home all day from 10am till its time for bed again and just think about my life and how its going to turn out for me. Someone i know recently hung himself so iv’e been thinking, how has it turned out so bad for him, is this going to be me in 10 year time? I’m sorry to blabber on about how I feel, but I really feel down at the moment.

    Ella xx

  69. Matt Says:

    Ella, read paul’s book….it is ALL anxiety and nothing more. Your mind is tired and all the what if’s in your head become exaggerations that become magnified to us. your brain is searching for some disaster that isn’t going to happen because you keep worrying and ruminating about things that will never happen. That is how I stayed stuck in the cycle for so long, I assumed that since the thought I had made me feel so much fear and dread that it has to be true when all it was was a tired mind that needed a break. That’s it, nothing more. Once I accepted that and moved on with my life my thinking became normal again and I couldn’t even remember what I went through with anxiety, and I suffered from anxiety/panic for 3 years! I too would sit at home all day thinking, and thinking, and thinking until all I made all the crap in my head facts and fell deeper into despair. And let me tell you, not one of those worries or concerns came true. I’m not crazy, going to hurt my kids, or any of the other stuff I thought. Again, your mind is tired and all it needs is for you to give it a break. You don’t have to understand it or try to figure it out, just accept it and do not sit at home all day, go out and do stuff, it helps.

  70. Susan Says:


    You are not suffering from any kind of mental illness, I assure you. A good read for you may be the Icarus Project, a great website and blog that helps people get off their psychotropic drugs. The gentleman who started the initiative was once a schizophrenic on a cocktail of drugs, institutionalized and then homeless for some time. Today, he is completely recovered, off all medication, and counseling others on the misconceptions about mental illness.

    You are not mentally unwell. You are suffering from a form of anxiety–all of which is false fear getting the best of you. Your thoughts run amok, you get scared of those thoughts, and the cycle begins. When those thoughts come, just observe them and let them be there. Don’t freak out over it because all they are just thoughts–thoughts that come because you are feeling anxious, because your brain is tired and because your nerves are overly sensitive from the adrenaline. The more power you give to those thoughts, the more they expand and make you feel worse. The less attention you give them, the better. Just take the attitude of not being impressed by it.

    Try to avoid sitting home and dwelling on the situation–get out and live your life, even if you have to force yourself to get out of the house and distract yourself. Put your energy into something positive such as exercising, going to the beach, talking to a friend–whatever makes you feel some joy. Do not allow this ridiculous anxiety hold you a prisoner of your life. As Joyce Meyer suggests, even if you’re afraid–just do it afraid.

    Ella, the gentleman that took his life should be a lesson as to what not to do. Life is too precious to let anxiety, false fear appearing real, make you do something unthinkable. It breaks my heart that someone like him felt that he had no other choice than to hang himself when the truth is, there is always a solution, a better way, and it always gets better. You have to put you faith into something greater than yourself. Just know that we’re all in the same boat, but having a positive attitude, no matter what the circumstance is, is 95% of the battle. Shifting your negative mindset to a positive one takes practice, but as with anything else, habits take some time to form. Once you start practicing postive thinking, you will get better and better at it, a little at a time. Over time, a negative thought will become unnatural to you–it will feel odd and unnatural. Keep at it–I know you can do it.

    Blessings and love to you.

  71. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just a polite notice Susan as you have given tremendous advice. But last year I was getting emailed by people who felt uncomfortable about the way the blog was going christian wise with people saying unless you prayed you will not get better etc, etc. It caused a lot of problems and I had to step in and try and keep the peace and was accused of not letting people have their views, when all I tried to do was the best for everyone.

    We have people from all different backgrounds and different religions, believers, non believers. People can have their views and follow what religion they wish and mention what they want and what helps them (Be it religion or not), as long as it is not forced on others and given as part of the advice that others should follow. I also don’t want to go away from what the blog is about and that is help with anxiety, it is not a christian blog, it is a free place for anyone to come with any background or belief to share one goal and that is recovery.

    Again please don’t think this is an attack, it is not and I am glad your faith helps you. I just don’t want the same situation that happened last year, happening again as many people felt the need to leave.

    Thanks and again, excellent advice you have given recently.


  72. Ella Says:

    Thank you so much Matt and Susan :) that made me feel a bit calmer, I did read Pauls book last year and felt better after the advice sunk in, just need to remind myself that it’s just anxiety playing it’s mind trick on me.

    Ella xx

  73. CR123 Says:

    Hi Jen … Im only 23.. in exactly the same boat last week i was on top of the world giving out advice and was ok with everything… then i read something about schizophrenia which i am sensitive to as i was in an anxious state when someone mention someone having it and my silly anxious mind stuck to it….. for months i did the oh my god that’s going to happen to me.. on came the scary thoughts which just made me believe i was even more… its almost like i was convincing myself that i was!! just as i was about to go to the doctors i found pauls site this helped soo much and the book i was doing well but couldn’t get the thought of going mad out of my head… I blogged on here and got some good advice… but monday it hit me again and no amount of my whatever attitude is helping me from feeling like this… i tell myself you’ll be fine then a voice says no you wont then i get scared that its not anxiety but im becoming schizophrenic… it feels like everything i have gained i have lost in 2 days… i just wanted you to no that you are not alone it feels so much worse when you have been free and doing so well and then it all comes back(just from one word)… ..xx

  74. Helen Says:

    Hi CR123,
    I am fully recovered from anxiety and have been for some time and I pop on here every now and then to see if i can offer any help.
    One thing that I learned to do was actually welcome the scary thoughts into my mind. When they came, as they have just done with you after a few days of feeling good, I forced myself to let them be there and carry on as normal. I didn’t fight them, didn’t question them and they soon diminished. I was very frightened of mental illness for a long time and looking back now I can see how I avoided the subject for fear of how it would make me feel, make me think and this is a no no because when you are inevitably, at some point, confronted by the thing you fear anxiety will automatically kick in a false belief of protecting you.
    I promise you it will go, I suffered for most of my life and am now recovered and the only way to do it is to just let it all in, let it go where it wants to, say what it wants to but don’t fight and question, there are no answers. The only thing to do is to just be! You will be fine, just wait and see.

    All the best

  75. Michelle m Says:

    Hey carlee, come on mate. You gave me some good advice the other day when I was at my lowest. Read what you told me and reapply it to yourself. We can’t all be schizophrenics and we really wouldnt be reading up on it every five minutes like I was doing over the weekend. I have worried for the past 5 years over this and am really wasting my life. I’m no more schizophrenic or psychotic than I was before this anxiety started.

    I read something the other day by a psychologist that said people with panic disorder and anxiety has ever gone crazy as we are too much in contact with reality. It will NEVER happen. I know how you feel. My last two days have been great. Matts and susans post helped me also. What I ended up doing one day was sitting in front of the computer and I googled every illness I could think of. I really didn’t have any mental health symptoms other than anxiety. I’m not saying that you should do that as googling everything can make people worse, but I had to know.

    Carlee im having 2 days of normality which feel great just as you did last week. Don’t let it get to you xxx

  76. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi again Paul, need some help here please, was just getting myself better and boyfriend decided to go his own way,so now back with appaling anxiety again, am really scared of being alone, is this just my nerves sensitised again and causing anxiety, how do i deal with being on my own?

  77. Susan Says:


    I completely understand what you’re saying. I agree that I, nor anyone else, should force our religious beliefs on anyone. It may make some people feel uncomfortable, so for that I apologize.

    The underlying message here is surrendering to the anxiety, to just let go and let it be there, regardless of how you feel. To fight is to resist, and as they say, “that which you resist, persists.”

    From now on, I will temper my posts to be religiously neutral.


  78. Susan Says:

    Also, wanted to add a note to Helen: thank you for posting on this blog. It means so much to me, and I’m sure, to others, hearing feedback from people like you who have recovered completely from the anxiety, following the advice in Paul’s book.

    I am in the process of recovery, and your story inspires me to continue moving forward. Since I have only recently begun applying Paul’s principles into my life, it is a slow process, but knowing that others have followed the same process, to come out the other end, encourages me to keep moving forward as is.

  79. CR123 Says:

    Hi michelle thank you for the post i no im just being silly but it was so strong today it really took it out of me… i think it made it worse that i was so happy then it just went wrong form one thing i read… but im much better now.. i will keep trying.. lol thank you.. glad your feeling better..xxx

    Hi helen thank you for your reply sometimes when its so strong my mind just forgets things.. everything becomes so confusing and then my minds plays its tricks… But i guess its all part of recovery thank you Carlee x

  80. Marie Says:

    Hello all,

    I’ve been a silent observer for the last couple of months and the site has really encouraged me alot. I bought Paul’s book after discovering the site while I was googling symptoms of anxiety. Reflecting back I realize that I’ve always been an anxious person, but didn’t really have severe anxiety until the end of 2010. I had lost a close relative during the summer which is around the same time I finished a Master’s program at school and ended a bad relationship. I think it took a couple of months for me to breakdown from the prolonged stress of grief, raising teens, balancing another relationship that was not good for me. I started to experience negative thoughts about myself which still persist, derealization (feeling like I’m living a dream), fear of mental illness, uncertainity about getting better in the future, new and irrational fears. After reading Paul’s book I feel that I’m able to cope better and will gradually get better. Claire Weekes has helped as well as she teaches the same thing Paul does as far as accepting that mind and body needs a rest. The only thing that I’m struggling with is the automatic negative thoughts about myself which is so unlike me because I am usually very optimistic and somewhat self-assured. These seem to come out of nowhere and hang around. Just wondering if anyone has had an issue with this? I’m wondering if it might be a result of depression as a result of the anxiety or vice versa.

  81. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Susan thank you for being understanding, it really does save a lot of hassle and again you give tremendous advice, don’t ever stop doing that. helen your post is also spot on.

    The below is so true and something i believe i need to expand on in my next post.

    I suffered for most of my life and am now recovered and the only way to do it is to just let it all in, let it go where it wants to, say what it wants to but don’t fight and question, there are no answers. The only thing to do is to just be! You will be fine, just wait and see.


  82. Tasha Says:

    Paul, can you please talk about how you “accept” (physically painful) secondary symptoms like tension headaches and upset stomachs/indigestion?

    These symptoms can last for hours at a time and grow in intensity before slowly easing up, and are not caused by underlying physical conditions.

    Did you have these two symptoms? Did you take medications that specifically targeted them? Or did you use the grin and bear it approach like with everything else? Thanks

  83. lkm Says:

    Hi everyone!
    Just wanted to get some advice..I have struggled with this in the past. Anyone ever have any scary thoughts of whether or not you love your significant other? The thing is, I know I love him, but I continue to go over the thoughts until I reach a point of being irritated and frustrated with myself! I think of how bad it would hurt him and what it would do to him and I feel like my thoughts spiral out of control! Any advice on these annoying thoughts?? Thanks!!

  84. Matt Says:

    CR123….It is all anxiety, all of it. My biggest fear too was going crazy, even almost convinced myself of it a few times. I even worked in a mental institution for eight years before anxiety hit me and saw schizophrenic people every day and saw a few that were going throught the beginning processes of becoming schizophrenic. I had a friend that was schizophrenic. Wanna know the same thing they all had in common? When they were having an episode they weren’t worried or scared, they were in a state of mind that wasn’t reality. We are the “exact” opposite. We are aware of every single feeling, thought, sensation, etc. We aren’t going crazy and out of all the time I’ve worked at an institution I haven’t met one person that did go crazy due to anxiety. The only way out of anxiety, I’m finding, is to accept it and not fear it. It’s hard to fear something that you understand, it’s when we think it is something else or worried that it is that we stay stuck in it.

    It is nothing more then a tired mind and I know that for a fact, I recovered completely for a good six months with no symptoms. I did that by just moving on with my life and not being scared. Due to some bad circumstances happening in my life, I entered the cycle again and am now coming through it again. I realize now how powerful the mind makes you believe something that isn’t true. But, if you can tell yourself what it “really” is and believe it, it goes away with time.

    Here’s an example of how insignificant these fears and thoughts are. I remember having this fear of being depressed for weeks, as soon as I got over that and accepted that it was nothing more then anxiety and a tired mind, a new worry popped up. I couldn’t give myself a break and as a result I worried and feared any worrying and fearful thought. Anyways, it gets better, and eventually you are going to forget most of this when you are on your way.

  85. Steveo Says:

    @ Ikm – if you read some of the previous blogs, this question has cropped up quite a lot over the last few months.

    You will find lots of helpful pointers in there.

  86. CR123 Says:

    Thank you for your post matt it really helped im a lot better today i have just let the thought be there even if my stomach turns when i think about it.. i think i just had a little blip but much better now…. Thank you everyone.. carlee xx

  87. Linda Says:

    Hi everyone. This is my first post (although I have been regularly watching this site for the last 4 months and have found it has helped me a lot, just by knowing that there are so many others with similar problems to myself and that I am not alone). I have suffered with general anxiety since I was 11 (to varying degrees) but the last 4 months have beenterrible, the worse ever and I am really struggling.

    I can cope with the physical symptoms but it is the scary ‘what if’ thoughts that are really frightening me. My main fear is how I am going to get through the next day/weeks/months/years without becoming suicidal either due to being bored with life, depressed or thinking about what I’m thinking about as I am constantly aware of my faults. I seem to be scared of everything. I am not a depressed sort of person and normally lively and like going out with friends. My cognitive thereapist seems to think that I have general anxiety disorder which is purely caused by WORRY about dying.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has suffered from the same symptoms as me as I think I must be unique in having this worry. Iam normally a person who is outgoing, lively and likes mixing with people and all of this is not in my character (inspite of my history of anxiety).

  88. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Paul
    Just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful post and I really understand now when you say don’t fight,I have been fighting for years and got knowhere.These last few months I try to accept the way I am and it has not been so intense and I get snatches of freedom from anxiety.Thankyou so much for all your help and advice.Sally xx

  89. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Glad the site helped Sally and you are right, the day I stopped fighting was the first day I felt any freedom from me and my mental torment. I realised I no longer had to mentally fix things, I did not need my internal conversations to make myself feel better. I just let myself feel and think anything, in fact I went towards all the feelings and sensations I had spent so many years trying to run away from, so many years trying to fix and wasted years having internal conversations trying to mentally make things right. We need to drop the need to fix, it really does make things worse.

    It really is like quicksand, the harder we fight to get out, the deeper we sink.

    This will be the basis of my next post


  90. jc Says:

    hi everyone

    i am finding the anxiety first thing in the morning really bad iwake feeling really depressed feeling like i cant cope sometimes it makes me retch and i feel sick all morning i just dont seem to be able to accept this feeling it is actually starting to feel worse each day. ido manage to go about my day and it lessens and ican then accept any bad feelings and sensations i feel like i will never fully recover until i can just accept it. i was on hrt for 2 months but have now started coming off them has i found i was getting really tearful and have now ended up having really deppressive sad thoughts which im also finding hard.iknow hormones are playing apart in all this can anyone offer advice thankyou.

    p.s ihave improved in lots of other ways its just these are my sticking points

  91. Lisa P. Says:

    I certainly understand Pauls point. However, your post helped me a lot and I have the same faith as you. I don’t know if you would like to e-mail personally with me but I’d love to do that, I do understand if you don’t want to. I’m going to buy Joyce Meyer’s book tomorrow, my aunt has also told me about it. I’ve been dealing with the exact same anxiety as everyone else on this site, they all sound like they could be me. Some days are better, some are worse, but I do believe in Pauls advice and coupled with my faith I feel I will recover and hopefully be able to help other people, I’ve sent a lot of people to this site and Pauls book and also shared my faith, so maybe I’ve already helped someone a little, even that thought makes me feel better.
    Let me know if you want to swap e-mails. My husband tells me never to post it but I’m really not worried as I don’t think anyone on here would think twice about it! LOL!
    Lisa P.

  92. Shirley Dalley Says:

    I used to liken my anxiety to the action of making a very tight fist and holding it for days on end, how much that hurts, but letting go of that tight fist was the pleasure, the letting go of the anxiety. Which is the most appealing?
    It’s hard where to know where to start. I had many classic signs of anxiety they were brought on by being let down by the people who should have looked after me and making me feel punished for it. The sleep deprivation was the worst, looking at the bed and hating the sight of it, not wanting to put my head on the pillow because of the horrid thoughts that I knew would come, the constant fighting with the demons. Once I had read Paul’s book and had started to tell myself that the next night was another night, my sleep pattern slowly returned and with that came the healing and feeling confident again. I was lucky lots of these things returned literally overnight but that was because I paid no heed to what were the most overwhelming feelings in the world. The swamping feelings. Once I started to show them who the boss was, I got stronger and the anxiety got weaker. The anxiety makes us shrink and become afraid but once you have got half way up the mountain and started to look down on the anxiety you can rise higher and above it. I liken the feeling of combating anxiety to having one eye open and the other one shut, you are constantly looking for the enemy to creep up and surround you, once you learn to close both of those eyes and start to concentrate on other things the anxiety will appear less and less. i have no solution as to how it’s done and probably if I read this post now at the beginning on my anxiety onslaught I wouldn’t have been able to even concentrate on what I had written let alone comprehend it’s meaning our outcome …… but here I am 3 years on completely cured. I kept away from the blog because once my crutch was no longer needed I didn’t want to return not because of the reminders but because my mind was now elsewhere and enjoying my life once again with not one single thought of anxiety. Paul was my God at the time! even though I had never met him and his teachings were so simple – he was my saviour. Though Paul had suffered a long time before he found his answer I was so pleased to have found the website when I needed it most and to let other people give advice to me at the worst time in my life.

  93. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Lisa if you wish to swap emails then don’t post it here for spam and privacy reasons. When you register for the blog you have to supply an email address, so if Susan wishes to email you then I can pass her email on to you or vice versa.


  94. Matt Says:

    Linda….I went through the exact same thing as you did. Listen, the thoughts linger around because you are afraid of them. As soon as you lose the fear associated with them, they go away like any other thought. You are not unique, and most people with anxiety go through this. I remember watching a movie where a man was fantasizing about killing his boss, he imagined throwing him out of a window and laughing hysterically afterwards. As soon as he came back to reality the thought was gone. With us, we “allow” thoughts to stick, like glue. They hang around bothering us until we accept that there isn’t anything wrong with us, because there isn’t, until they eventually pass.

    You are not unique and it will pass like any other symptom. Your fear of it is what is keeping it alive. What helped me with thoughts like that is asking myself, “Has anything i’ve worried about ever came true?” The answer is no, it hasn’t. The fact is your mind will take whatever fear or worry and magnify it, because it is tired of you obsessing about it. As soon as you give your mind and self a break by accepting the facts, an over-tired mind, it becomes less powerful until you forget it completely. And the day will come where you will inevitably forget what the big deal was to begin with, and why you wasted all you time with it.

  95. Susan Says:

    Lisa, P.,

    Yes, I’d love to talk to you via email, so if Paul would be so kind as to send my email to you or vice versa, that would be great. Really looking forward to exchanging emails with you!


  96. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    O.K Susan I have passed your email addy on to Lisa, great to see make friendships, esp at a time when they may need a helpful/friendly ear :-)

  97. Linda Says:

    Hi Matt

    Thanks so much for taking the trouble to reply. I just wondered, when you started to recover, did you have days when you thought you could handle the thoughts and then another day feel worse and felt you could not cope. I seem to be having a few times when I can lose this feeling a ‘little’ and then the next minute it all comes back again as powerful as ever. The fear of how I am going to cope with the future (without becoming suicidal) is my worst fear. Although I am now back at work (having had 8 weeks off – which was probably far too long), even when I am busy these thoughts are always there, even if they are in the back of my mind. It seems to be taking ages to get better.

  98. Matt Says:

    Linda……The big thing for me was understanding that it was anxiety. When you give a thought or feeling too much power, it stays and you obsess about it because it is so scary. The fact that you are scared of a thought like suicide means you would never do something like that, therefore it scares you. I remember having ridiculous thoughts that made no sense, but because “I” was thinking them then I must do those same things. For me, the thoughts started to go away as soon as I stopped caring and moved on with my life. It didn’t happen in one day, but some days I would do better then others, and because I formed a bad habit of watching myself and my thinking, I had to break myself of that too.

    Again, the key for me was to give up the fight and move on. Let the thoughts be there in the back of your mind like you said. Eventually, the busier you are and less afraid you are of them, then the more distant they will become. Allow those thoughts to be there while you get on with your life, and little by little they aren’t so loud. Anyways, hoped that helped.

  99. KM Says:

    Hi Linda,
    I can totally understand what your saying, i’m just coming off having a really good week after several weeks of feeling terrible like I was stuck with it forever. Still i’m not really sure why sometimes we can brush off a thought/feeling and move on yet other days be paralysed by them. This up and down I understand from what people who have recovered is normal, and if we are having good minutes/ hours/ days/ weeks then something must be shifting. Keeping busy is the key but also sometimes stopping and resting is what our bodies and brains need too. Hope this helps.
    Kat xoxo

  100. steve m Says:

    hi, not posted on here before and not brill at getting my point across, i am familiar with the website and numerous others, but have not even thought about anxiety and its sensations for 5 months.the reason i am now is family ilness has brought back some of the symptoms i thought long gone so i am a bit fed up and depressed. however it has made me think that life can throw a lot of stresses at us whether we have had a break down or not,stresses that we may feel physically or mentally, reactions we have to these things have perhaps always been with us but we took them in our stride and understood why or perhaps didnt even notice them. My point is life will throw things at us that we may react to with stress symptoms and recovery is just developing a normal insultion to stress, which doesnt mean never feeling it again but just feeling it a a normal intesity which i think everyone does. I hope i got my point across………………….wishing you all the best. Out of all the stuff i have read over a couple of years i think paul understands it and us to a T and is great at explaining it. To sum up recovery is not about never feelig sensations again but reducing them to a normal intensity…..after all how many people after a stressfull day at work dont come home with a headache or in need of a shoulder rub………………cheers steve

  101. vee Says:

    hi all, i would like to thank Paul because finding his site a month back was a miracle, and thanks to Helen for the encouragement,im still suffering from social anxiety and its been horrible,iv lost my job because of anxiety,but after going through the site iv seen some small improvement and i have much better understanding as to why iv been like this,im taking it step by step.

  102. Sabs Says:

    Hi all, I know im on the right track because i am having more good days then bad and the good are now increasing. The solution is to stay calm in every situation and dont panic, its the panic/fear that fuels the anxiety. You are in control of your life no one else, dont feel sorry for yourself and make your life interesting by hobbies, friends, going out, holidays, painting, redecorating your house, growing organic plants/flowers, going university, starting up a business, learning a new skill, be a plumber, doctor, volunteering, charity work, long walks, a pet, comedy on you tube etc etc the list is endless. Whats happened in the past is in the past now look to the future and make it damm good, trust me life is gooood, think positive in every situation but i must stress please stay calm and carry on with what your doing dont sit and sulk or be afraid of anything. Have faith, as time goes by so will your anxiety, as the days pass your anxiety will leave your memory. Get a piece of paper out and list all the things you would love to do and then start planning. Please people trust your body to heal, give it time and it will its been through alot. I hope even one sentence has helped someone out there, it will be all worth it.

  103. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    As most people read this post, I just wanted to thank everyone who has sponsored me for my 10k charity run. The run is in 2 weeks time and I will hopefully post some pics up of the day. My target was to raise £500 for anxietyuk and I am just £65 short, if anyone wishes to sponser me then just visit.


    Thanks Paul

  104. natalie Says:

    hi guys
    just thought i would pop in and see how everyone is getting on a lot of new names on here i don’t recognise but the same symptoms listed in each one and i can sooo relate. but i am here to say it really really does get better .. i am not fully recovered but i am living and appreciating my life, i still feel tired and sometime numb and every now and then when stressed i get some of those anxiety systems again but so much less intense and are just a pain in the bum to be honest. i find that i am kinder to myself and others now, more patient and caring and less judgemental of people or myself. its like i have come through this dark tunnel and been able to see how i got there in the first place and want to improve on myself. this last post was the best paul, the fact stop putting expections on yourself people or how you think life should be. This was the final piece of the jigsaw for me. as i was still having the i must do be this etc.. and now i have stopped. I go with the flow i take each day as it comes i enjoy my kids and work and friends .. when i feel myself going into a negative frame of mind or analising something someone said.. i say to myself why do i want to make myself feel so bad ??? if it true or not so what .. i have the choice to not let it ruin my day..it really works. I cannot thank you enough paul and know i will prob pop in from time to time simply because i love to see how much your work helps people.. i recommend you site to people i met that tell me they suffer because i know it will help them so much. Please guys hold in there come to the site if you need comfort or simply to share but then get out in the garden, go to the shops bake that cake .. all with the anxiety raging inside you.. like a storm it will dye down if you stop trying to fight it.. you cannot stop it anyway its just part of how your body has to heal.. its not forever its just for now.. forget time.. because when you do improve it will not matter how long it took simply how happy you are that you came through this and it will make you a better person x love to everyone remember take things .. minute by minute hour by hour ( which i did in the begining believe me ) .. day by day !!!

  105. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Hey Natalie that’s such an inspiring post, every word is exactly what you should and should not do, I could copy and paste all of it, but the last part is so very, very true and exactly what I try and get across

    Please guys hold in there come to the site if you need comfort or simply to share, but then get out in the garden, go to the shops bake that cake .. all with the anxiety raging inside you.. like a storm it will dye down if you stop trying to fight it.. you cannot stop it anyway its just part of how your body has to heal.. its not forever its just for now.. forget time.. because when you do improve it will not matter how long it took simply how happy you are that you came through this and it will make you a better person x love to everyone remember take things .. minute by minute hour by hour ( which i did in the begining believe me ) .. day by day !!!

    To finish I put a quote on twitter today saying “People think they can only live a life when anxiety has passed, nonsense, go out and live it now, never become a prisoner to the way you feel”

    It sums up your whole post

    Again I do post help/advice/quotes on twitter and try and be light hearted also. If anyone would like to follow me it is http://twitter.com/anxietynomoreuk

  106. Si Says:


    I feel somewhat the same as you do. I still feel very tired and sluggish, sleeping is so up and down but trying not to dwell on it too much, Nights is the worst for me and I dread it coming around (every 3 weeks) I get about 2 hours a day for 7 days and that just seems to knock me back BUT I will keep going and hopefuly that 2 hours could one day turn into 5 or 6. I do find I feel better when I am doing things although I do feel quite anxious and panicky when things are quite, but agian I just try to tollerate it. I do realy need to understand and combat the negative thoughts, I seem to let them run and run. I’ve just been away for a week and had a realy nice time, however the coming back to normality is hitting me a bit hard. I keep telling myself this is normal, before I had my breakdown I used to feel flat after a holiday (who doesn’t) Im too not there yet, but feel like the days are a little bit easy (some more than others). I now understand that I worry about how I feel and how certain situations make me worry (like nights) and if continually experiencing the feelings is the answer then I continue to feel. It’s all a bit up and down, but when I feel down what should I do? I brought a download from Claire Weekes web site last week and it’s very inspiring, and actually listening to someone explain is quite relaxing. Putting things into practice like not fighting to feel better is the hardest lessen I will have to learn, BUT I hope I one day become one of those people who thing “SO WHAT” If i feel like this!! I am better that I was 2 years ago, back then I was a shell with no hope, now I feel stronger and don’t have to push myself as much to do things. However does anyone find that they can’t relax when trying to do the things they used to, like feeling that they should be doing something else ?


  107. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just want to personally thank Paul (Not me) for a very, very generous sponsorship for my up and coming run today, you don’t know how much that will help and I am extremely grateful.

  108. Bret Walters Says:

    Well I am in need of some advice from anyone who can relate. Anyone who doesn’t know I actually consider myself cured of panic attacks, I really can’t have them anymore. Even if I try. I just understand them too well. I do still have symptoms of anxiety present but sometimes I get glimpses of being symptom free. All thanks to Paul, Claire Weekes etc.

    Anyway heres my concern/question. I’ve always had panic attacks and anxiety for as long as I can remember, but it never really limited my life that much, maybe a bit but definitely not to the extent it has recently. About 2.5 years ago, I was in a bad relationship where my gf cheated on me, she was my first love. It killed me. She wanted to stay together and I didnt know what to do. Everyone outside my relationship was telling me to leave her, I deserved so much better etc. but part of me just wanted to forget about it. I flip flopped on my decision for MONTHS, constantly brooding over it. Eventually I decided I couldnt do it anymore and let her go. But this indecision tired my mind drastically causing me to have monster panic, DP/DR, loss of emotion…the whole works. As claire weekes says, Indecision -> Suggestibility -> Loss of Confidence -> Feelings of Unreality -> Depression. That is exactly what happened. So fast forward to the present. My best “girl as friend” and myself kinda started becoming a little more than friends. The problem is A.) my loss of emotion makes it very hard to know how I am feeling about her…I know she really likes me and I think I like her too but I cant feel it so it makes me hesitant to jump in..making me very depressed. B.) I think I am scared of relationships now because the way my first serious one went…my brain is trying to protect me and tells me very negative things like “you’re going to get hurt” “you’re going to end up back at square one” I just get very stressed and I notice I flip flop with how I feel about the situation and I know its driving her crazy. She says “one day you say you want to try things and see where it goes and the next you say you arent ready” AND ITS TRUE! Claire Weekes says “one minutes you could be thinking one way and the next the exact opposite, both sides seem 100% correct” But then because I am indecisive its brooding it makes me feel detached again and lose confidence. Like I have no inner self to depend on. I feel very hollow I suppose is how I would describe it. I just want my emotions back…anyone experienced something like this? Or had their emotions fully return? I just need some advice…please.


  109. Michelle M Says:

    Hi all

    Had such a good week last week and anxiety didnt even enter my mind. It was great. Now today is turning into a different story. I know I am tired and its that hormonal time of the month and now the anxiety is coming back.

    Feel so fed up, I thought that maybe I was finally coming through this awful illness. I suppose today I have just been worrying that i am going to feel bad again when I have had such a normal week.

    Oh well, lets read a few earlier posts and try to get it into my head that I know what it is, that I am not suicidal, which I know im not, and that I am not mad. Here we go on that merry-go-round again.

    Best wishes all.

    M x

  110. CR123 Says:

    Hi michelle…
    sorry to hear you are having a bad day… This just proves you ARE coming through this cause you have had a good week its all ups and down … try not to do what i did last week and pay it lots of respect just say oh well having a bad day today tomorrow might be better..

    Funny you should say about worrying about feeling bad again as i thought exactly the same thing today.. i mentioned it to my mum and she told me this… it doesn’t matter how much we worry about something it will not change anything not a thing.. what ever happens happens and no amount of worrying will change that so why waste our time… It seemed to help a little… you WILL have that better day/week/months again its all part of recovery.. keep smiling it will get better… Carlee xx

  111. Michelle m Says:

    Hi again carlee. You’re like my little guardian angel at the moment ;-). Thanks for that! Your mum is so right. What is the point of worrying about something that you cannot change. I feel better already.

    Just relaxing now at home after a weekend at work with a lovely glass of wine. Bliss.

    Thinking of you all xx

  112. DCYL Says:

    Hey all,

    It’s taken a while but I think I’ve finally have a better understanding of Paul’s words. Here are some things that I’ve realized that maybe will help others:

    As Paul (and others) have said, you really should go out and live your life. I was doing that but I realized my life was rather “routine”. In many ways, my anxiety was reduced a bit when I was in my routine but spiked when I was confronted with situations outside my usual routine. I’m not suggesting going out every night but if there is time and opportunity to do stuff, don’t let anxiety get in the way. The more you get out and do different things, the more you’ll focus on the activity and less on yourself.

    I think I’ve discovered (at least for me personally) why recovery is up and down. Because we’re so focused on ourselves and our feelings, the good days may feel “even better” than usual while the bad days seem to feel “even worse”. As a friend pointed out, everyone has up and down days (not just us with anxiety). However, before anxiety, the bad days didn’t feel so bad but because we’re so sensitized, the bad days feel even worse.

    Beyond this, I have found that even normal sensations can cause anxiety. When my mind is tired or I am hungry, it seems those feelings come even stronger than usual. You have to learn that you are really sensitive and understand that you are doing fine.

    But lastly, I’ve learned that certain situations or thoughts will strike fear in me. I’ve gotten past a few of the situations but a few thoughts still bother me. As I mentioned before, I’ve had a fear of heights for a long time. I think this fear has been magnified recently. If I am at a place where I am high up (even if I am safely inside), I get anxious. I’m trying to confront the “what if” fears as it causes my heart rate to go up.

    I think that during the initial stages of our anxiety, we may have associated fear with certain places, thoughts or actions. If you feel you’ve improved but still have something hanging around, this may be a case of situational anxiety.

    All in all, Paul has really simplified things for us. Just go out and do stuff and you will be all the better for it. I find that when I am anxious, I like to fall back into a comfortable surrounding or situation. In reality, we need to just ignore our anxiety and keep going. Eventually, the anxiety will just fade into the background.

  113. Sophia Says:

    Hi Bret,

    I can very well relate to what u’v said…i guess almost all of us who has gone through anxiety has experienced almost all these symptoms..if I havent come across this website I would have thought that something is seriously wrong with me…now that I’v learnt about it I know its nothing but anxiety so I can say that I’m not scared of what’s happening to me..
    But then for me when I am in a social situation when I have to interact with people i get DP and my perception about the situation totally varies like a pendulum..I am so confused as to think what is right and what is not as u said not having a self to rely on..its really frustrating..

    what I do is just carry on with the situation n tell myself ”its fine to feel this way I am a nice individual I have anxiety hence I feel this way its not my fault and however others interpret it let it be I’m not going to analyse that” and I close the topic..Initially I had the habit of analysing what others think of me and it became so inseparable from me until it ended up in anxiety..

    never set anything off just because u feel u cant..
    but never pressurise yourself to do something…go at your pace..keep moving
    dont take your thoughts seriously as we are in a sensitised state things may seem to be out of propotion

    its like learning to walk when u fall many times until u learn to do it urself..
    I dont know whether we can live without anxiety one fine day but its our attittude that will totally show us a new path and we learn to live a normal life

  114. Linda Says:

    Hi all

    It is such a relief being able to read that others are going through the same ‘ups and downs’ that I am. Having had a reasonable weekend (although my thoughts/fears about how I am going to get through the future without becoming bored, were still there) I felt I could handle things and cope. Today I have had the exact same thought as yesterday but today it has really got to me and I feel I am back to ‘square one’. I have gradually got more and more depressed and felt like crying, as the day has gone on (even though I have been at work and busy), Now I am worried because I am depressed.

    I feel I am always worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow or next week, rather than living in the ‘moment’ which I know I should. (I thought Natalie’s post was a realy inspiration). Has anyone any ideas how I can change my mindset and live in the moment?

  115. mike Says:

    hello everyone,
    im a regular follower of the blog and its great to come back when going through bit of a setback.
    my anxiety at the moment is based on things that have happened in the past. im happily married with 3 children and have been married for 4 years and with my wife for 10 years in total.
    back in january i started having panic attacks re a one night stand i had early in our relationship 9 years ago and after trying to just live in moment and forget the past i told my wife about this and also a visit i had to a lapdancing bar, basically i caused a lot of heartache for my wife and also my kids.
    we went to marriage counselling which was great but all of a sudden the panic has returned and im thinking of all innocent thoughts and feelings that i feel i need to tell her ( i mean thoughts that probably the majority of us have and really dont need saying.
    can anyone relate to this and give me any advice because its upsetting me and the anxiety is increasing.
    thanks again

  116. Ezra Says:

    Hi Mike,

    I totally understand where you are coming from and what your anxiety feels like because I too suffer with EXACTLY the same symptoms as you.
    A past indescretion will enter my mind, I will ruminate on it, feel guilty, feel anxious until I confess to my husband. This has happened many many times.
    I have done some research on this as Paul doesnt mention this in his book or had a blog post about it.
    It is a common sympton of anxiety or OCD, guilt portrays very many similar attributes to anxiety, the churning stomach, the fearful thoughts, the sweaty palms, jittery, unable to relax. Unfortunately we cannot do anything about our past actions, NOTHING and when they penetrate our concious mind they suddenly become all consuming and it becomes impossible to concentrate on anything else until you relieve yourself by your confession.
    But as you have shown by your story and indeed I have too, is that confessions cause upset, anger, hurt, betrayal for those that you love the most.
    I am not sure why this happens to some people and not others, in my own case I have always been pretty hard on myself and always been a bit naughty until this ‘guilt’ thing surfaced, where now I am almost afraid to say something which can be contrived at a later date into a guilty thought or do anything which will set it off. I too am a very sensitive perosn, who things way to much.
    Personally, I think the worse thing that you can do is to actually confess as this trains the mind in to thinking it has done the right thing to feel anxious, I have confessed to loads of things over the last 2 years of suffering (most are totally insignificant and when I actually say them they seem so silly and irrational …my poor husband !!)
    I also feel INCREDIBLY guilty for something I did three years ago, I have told me husband and although he was cross at me and stil occassionally will bring it up it still often crosses my mind and I beat myself up about it, why did I do it ? How could I have been so stupid ? If only ….etc etc etc.
    Where is this leading to ?? Just tiring your mind further, knocking your self confidence more etc etc.
    Remember if we are in a highly anxious state our emotions are magnified, and guilt is purely an emotion. We can also not do anything about past actions, we can rarely undo what has been done, so what an amazing breeding ground for anxiety to grow. It makes us feel shitty and anxious and we can do nothing about it apart from hurting those closest …great !
    I am working towards not confessing and the last few months I have had things pop up which I have immediately confirmed to mysef that I am NOT going to confess, NOT to actually stop the thought from coming as that is a surefire way for it to remain forever :) but just to confirm that it can comes if it wishes but it will not be confessed and I am learning to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable about it. Remember it is only our intolerance to the thought that perpetuates the disorder.
    I am sure most people have skeletons in their closet, they dont feel the need to confess it to everybody.
    I also think that if you had never given your indescretion a moments thought in the last 9 years and then it suddenly becomes all consuming it is totally anxiety driven as if it was ‘real’ you would of confessed it straight away within a few hours.
    Stick with it buddy, I know what it feels like and your not on your own. It really is a horrible thing, but it is only us that are in control of our minds and thoughts.

    Take Care

    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.

  117. elaine Says:

    Hi Paul , I have lost all enjoyment and have no interest in anything and i also feel like ive lost my personality is this depression or just part of the anxiety state xx

  118. Ezra Says:

    Hi Elaine,

    Hope you dont mind me answering ……it is part of anxiety I totally lost interest in everything that I loved, baking, make up, exercise, reading etc …it comes back, I promise :)

  119. SI Says:

    Why do I find that when I feel ok I can cope with most things, I can simply ignore my condition to a degree and carry on regardless. Yet other times I am that lost that I have to keep coming back here, keep searching and re-reading everything I have read over and over again, then I feel lower and lower and just can’t get to grips with this constant battle….

    ANSWER (to myself) lol
    It’s because Im fighting to be the person I once was… The person who could handle most things and even enjoy the normal day to day stressfull stuff that I now find such a challenge.




  120. SI Says:

    Sorry just to add and ask anyone…

    I understand that thoughts can produce feelings, but how can the things that I enjoyed cause so much anxiety? Is it because I am trying to hard and possibly checking myesf (constantly) on how I am feeling.


  121. JP Says:

    I suppose the things that you enjoyed cause you anxiety as you are thinking that they will ‘cure’ you or should make you relaxed.. which in turn makes you anxious. The trick is to just do the things and not worry how they make you feel.

    I have been doing so much better over the last few months, I also started CBT therapy which I think is very helpful and compliments a lot of the stuff on here well. I’m not sure if this is helpful for everyone, but my therapist thinks that ‘worry’ is what is keeping me in the cycle, and that I have developed my mind to think that worry is a useful tool for tackling situations, when instead it is actually a complete waste of time. That might be useful for others so thought I would post it. I even had a week last week where I was sure I was back to normal, which felt good while it lasted.

    As always.. one thing that is really bugging me at the moment. I am having very existential thoughts, kind of ‘what’s the point in anything’/does anything we do even matter sort of things, and they are really getting me down and I am worrying that it will eventually get to the point where I stop wanting to get better as I have stopped caring.. any thoughts/help? anyone had these thoughts before?

    Many thanks and good luck. JP

  122. Linda Says:

    Hi JP

    I think I know what you mean. My Cognitive Therapist thinks that all of my anxiety problems and thoughts stem from ‘worry’. I have had a few days of being slightly better but always the thought of the future and fear of becoming suicidal is there. I get all sorts of thoughts that really get me down and make me feel as though I am depressed, such as:

    ‘How am I going to get through the next day with thinking’
    ‘Fear of permanently getting a tune or word stuck in my head’
    ‘Fear of the future and getting bored with living’

    It all boils down to the same thing in the end (fear of dying). My thoughts are worse some times than others but are always lingering somewhere. The thing is though that I am not the sort of person who would normally get depressed. Not sure if this is similar to your existential thoughts, but just wondered if it may help. Other than this, I do seem to be gradually getting better, especially with the physical anxiety symptoms.

  123. Ezra Says:

    Hi Linda,

    My anxiety started with your EXACT thoughts in Feb 2010, esp the suicide one, had them for 14 months in total, every day the same worry. They are pretty much vanished now and if they do pop up I can dismiss them in a heartbeat.

    Always a (weird) help when you know others have had the same fear/thoughts.


  124. Helen Says:

    Hello to those who have recently posted about guilty feelings,
    You don’t realise this at the time, when you are going through it, but anxiety can sometimes give you the false belief that if you cleansed yourself of all your past indescretions or failings, whatever they may be, then this will make everything alright. It’s a perfection thing. If you hadn’t done this then you will be OK, if you admit this then some feelings will dissipate but this is not true. You aren’t perfect, never will be and ridding yourself of anything you feel guilty about will not make anxiety go away. It is how you handle it that gets you through and makes you realise what being a human being is all about. Everyone makes mistakes, so long as you learn by them, you will be just fine.

    All the best

  125. Carly Says:

    Hi guys

    Not posted for a while as have been busy with the kids, summer hols etc I guess I need a bit of advice on dp/dr..again!
    On reading Pauls book ( bloody hell I think I know it word by word!) I can somewhat relate to Tarmo’s story especially the bit where he stated that he felt like he wasn’t in the present moment at all and it didn’t feel like he was talking. It’s really scary and I do find myself wondering where the hell I am sometimes lol! I am finding my physical symptoms are taking a somewhat worrying course and I just need a little reassurance from others who have suffered with any of these. My eyesight and hearing are now really bad, it almost feels like my eyes have sunk back in my head (humour me people lol) and I am looking through odd lenses. Everything looks like it does at dusk, even in bright sunlight. This morning I couldn’t even open my eyes – it was as if they were glued together. I am finding it really difficult to hear things too, people keep asking me if I’m deaf and in turn I still say pardon? and they think I’m having a laugh!
    My memory too is absolutely shocking, I’m talking having trouble remembering my bloomin address and forgetting immediate events/ conversations…also another thing I have noticed is my inability to feel pain, hot, cold etc argghh! The reason I noticed this was because I decided to have a go on my 2 year olds plastic motorbike the other day (we were racing)and was whizzing down the road a little too fast and fell off! Half the skin on my leg, face and hands remained on the road and there was a fair amount of the red stuff but I didn’t feel a thing!!?? Entertainment for my other half though! Please dont tell me that I’m so engrossed in myself that it is making me unable to feel pain?
    Also (yes, there’s more please try and remain awake lol!) in the past I’ve been absolutely terrified of flying and was where I had my worst panic attacks but I flew out to France on 19th August and the fear didn’t even register I dont even feel anxious anymore does this make sense??…all I feel is really really weird with the DR. It’s like my body is there but my mind is hanging out of my back side 6 feet behind me and I cant access it….bloody DR, jog on will you!!

    Anyway, tiredy now but if anyone can offer some advice that would be marvelous. Anyone heard from Shortyroro? I wonder how she’s getting on with her pregnancy???

    Much love to you all and good luck with the run Paul xx

  126. Carly Says:

    Great post Helen – a good tonic for me before bed xx

  127. Marie Says:

    This is my second post on the blog and I just wanted to share a few thoughts about this wretched condition called anxiety. I was looking over Paul’s book last night for a refresh after a day of anxious thoughts and something came to me that was insightful. Well I’ve been suffering pretty extensively over the last few months and even though I have good and bad days I tend to have a lot of insight to what is happening when I have the panicky feelings and obsessive thoughts (wierd and scary). I kind of feel that it’s all about control. I think it is the lack of not feeling like I can control what happens to me or the people I care about. It particularly came about after a loss of a close relative. Because I felt out of control then it is like my anxiety level increased to protect me from the overwhelming feeling of grief eventhough it was a gradual process. I noticed I spend most my time worrying about others and my health (physical and mental) something that I deeply care about. I think my symptoms get worse after I feel that I’ve exhausted myself whether it’s dealing with issues at work, home or a personal relationship.

    I’m starting to look at my condition as a gift and not a curse (I know it’s hard to fathom) because without it I would not have known I was pushing too hard and worrying too much. It was a definite sign that I needed to make some changes in my life. I needed to not over extend myself at work, only stay in and maintain healthy relationships and the most important to learn to say no as I am a people pleaser by nature.

    I’ve also learned that my anxiety is really creative with the thoughts and feelings I get. One day I could fear the most irrational scenario or event that could happen, and the next it could be schizophrenia. But what I also noticed is that the trick is that the thing I feared yesterday may seem so minute compared to the worry today. It’s like my mind gets bored with the idea or worry and tries something else to get me to worry about. I guess it’s still protecting me and I need to accept it and just say oh that’s an interesting concept and go along with my day. I think that is key and the trick to getting better to just let it be. I noticed that when I’m relaxed, I can fight the thoughts really well. I can envision myself with a raquetball swatting the thoughts back as they come in. That is when I feel at my best! Just wanted to share my thoughts with those I know will understand and hopefully appreciate.

  128. Carly Says:

    Great post Helen – just the tonic I needed before bedtime, thank you xx

  129. Kat Says:

    Hello all,

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I think that’s a good thing, right?

    Helen, you were so wonderful in helping me with my relationship fears, and though I haven’t bested them yet, I wanted to make sure I thanked you again for all the support you’ve offered me over the past year. When I reflect on how I felt in the darkest days, I truly cannot imagine coming through it without your words.

    The summer brought a much-needed sense of calm in my life. I was able to feel, in some small measure, my old, loving emotions. I was so grateful to feel them, and wondered if all my doubts had been erased for good. I was grateful for my partner, felt attraction toward him again, and even thought about marriage, something I’d pushed out of my head last fall because the idea of it brought on such severe anxiety. Now, though, autumn is fast approaching, and I feel the fear, anxiety, depression and lack of positive emotion coming with it. Tonight, in fact, I had a horrible fight with my partner, and it ended with him yelling at me that I’m a negative person, that I am incredibly difficult to be around, etc. It hurt me, but made me more angry than anything.

    The trouble is that he’s probably right. I know I’m becoming the ‘little dark raincloud’ again, and I am quite worried that I’m going to sink into that horrible depression/anxious state that I did last year, unable to feel love or attraction. How in the world do relationships survive these episodes? It terrifies me, truly. I have gone from someone who not only values their partner, but idolizes him in a way, to barely being able to think about sex or other kinds of intimacy. Is this hormonal? Where did this anxiety come from when I’ve been so content for the past few months?

    I hate that I can’t call upon the love as easily as I used to be able to. The thought of marriage exhausts and frightens me all at once, and we’ve been together for ten years! We have a child together and are a family. I worry that this problem of mine, and it’s related mood swings, are going to dismantle my partnership, and the consequently, my life. I know I don’t want this, but I am still confused by the emotions I’m dealing with.

    Any suggestions?

  130. Linda Says:

    Hi Ezra

    Many thanks for your response, I am so relieved to find others who have had the exact same symptoms! Sometimes I find I can handle these thoughts better than others. The worst time is when a thought re-occurs when I haven’t thought of it for a few hours.

    Glad to hear that you are recovering from these horrible symptoms.

  131. mike Says:

    erza and helen,
    many thanks for your response to my current problems, im feeling with guilt. what i put my wife and kids through in january just makes me feel real bad and the anxiety over this is making me think of literally every bad thought feeling i have had over the years.
    my wife is very supportive with my anxiety and i love her very much i guess i need to draw a line under the past and move on and learn from my mistakes thanks again for your help with this, its really appreciated.

  132. mike Says:

    erza and helen,
    many thanks for your help with this. the guilt thing has been really difficult. what i put my wife through in january and kids through make me feel real sad and with these guily confessions over thoughts and feelings that are harmless its making me feel nervous and panicky.
    my wife does understand my anxiety and i love her very much i need to draw a line on the past and start from fresh. thanks again

  133. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I am so pleased to hear that you had a better summer, what an achievement from the constant dark places you were in in the past. I am not surprised at all that you have sunk and it is absolutley part and parcel of recovery. That is what you must keep in your mind at all times. I don’t mean that you should hanker for your ‘summer’ feelings but you must always remember that they were there when you are having bad periods. You had it, you had moments, days maybe a week or two when you felt some release. Do not fear the low feelings and anxiety coming back, they will but you will see that, if you do not fight it, the time that they are with you will not be as long. Then you will have more good times, more not so good and slowly it will go but only as long as you don’t fear it. Accept it, it will happen, you well recover but don’t look for it. When all the negative feelings about your partner come back at you, it is a test, pure and simple. The way to past this test that anxiety is giving you is to remember all the advice you have had from the people on this blog. Do not fight, accept that you are having a bad time but keep in your mind and your heart that you have had a period of release. When you are feeling tetchy or angry or frustrated towards your partner, check yourself before getting into any fights, is it really important? Is it worth your energy and his to spend your time arguing? Some things are worth an argument, we aren’t perfect but a lot of times, it just isn’t worth it, life is too short.
    You have a life, a family who you evidently love very much and anxiety is unfortunately getting in the way of you truly seeing and feeling all the positive things in your life. Accept it and take care with yours and your partners heart. You will see, in the end, that all this crap you are going through is so worth it. I have said before that you will learn so much, your eyes open and so does your heart but you musn’t be scared of the awful thoughts and feelings you will get along the way, it’s the only way to pass the anxiety ‘exam’. You will be a star pupil, of that I am very sure.

    All the best

  134. Steveo Says:

    Helen… two word’s – AMAZING POST!

  135. Tracy Says:

    Helen, that was just the post I needed today. I have been plugging along pretty well with acceptance, but the last week has been tough again and last night I was up with mini panic that hasn’t happened in ages..I can’t quite understand why I am fearing the symptoms again, but I am and that is the added fuel to the fire. I have a half marathon this weekend, I have devoted a lot of time and energy to this race and I suppose my biggest fear was I would be feeling awful and now I am..my husband and I got into a fight about my running earlier in the week so that has been on my mind..I love your posts as they are so comforting..thanks for listening.

  136. Michelle M Says:

    Just a small piece of advice and reassurance….please.

    I tend to wake up during every night now, most nights can get back to sleep within minutes, other nights, hear random conversations by random people. I am sure that I am completely awake when this is happening and it scares the life out of me. I dont hear/get any of these during the day. Any advice or reassurance would be great as I am now giving myself something else to latch onto and back onto the old schizophrenia one again. Arrrgghhh….this is so annoying and frustrating.

    I have had 2 really good weeks, the odd thought but nothing too bad until today.

    Thanks again everyone,

  137. Jay Uhdinger Says:

    Great post Paul! I believe acceptance is a big deal and how we deal with what’s going on inside of us. If we mess up our favorite shirt while eating tomato soup we are fine until we realize it and then it bothers us.

    Whatever happens in life it is up to us what we make out of it. Acceptance is the first but a crucial step in that direction.

  138. elaine Says:


  139. Michelle M Says:

    Elaine, please let me reassure you in that all of us in here know exactly how you feel. I too have had feelings of that I cannot cope and cant deal with this anymore but I know that this isnt really me and that this is just the anxiety at its worst.

    Elaine, i know its easy for me to say but do anything to take your mind off how you feel. Put the tv on, pick up a book, try to breathe through it.

    It will pass and you will be fine. Is there anyone who you can call just to take your mind off how you feel or at least who knows how you feel that you can call?

    Remember elaine, when your anxiety goes then so does your depression.

    Thinking of you xx

  140. jan Says:

    Hi there, nice to have visited your site Paul.


  141. CR123 Says:

    Hi all just looking for a bit of help….

    My nana passed away today and i was very very close to her….

    I still get the odd thought/urge to hurt the people i love like hitting them… this thought comes out of nowhere even when i think i don’t feel anxious.. im worried that this thought will come true and i lose it.. is this just anxiety testing/playing its tricks on me still?? also i still wake in the night and feel very anxious and odd i keep telling myself its not madness just anxiety… I just dont no how i will cope with grieving and these thoughts.. I dont want to see a professional or anything like that cause deep down i no i dont need to.. any help i would greatly appreciate xx

  142. Lisa P. Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’m sorry to hear that some of you are feeling so bad and then it is good to see posts from Helen with great advice.
    I’m having really bad panic attacks today, the worst they’ve been in over a year. I’ve been taking xanax and ambien off and on and trying to do an over the counter sleep aid during the week. My main fear is of not being able to sleep because of panic attacks. But yesterday I made the decision to taper off of EVERYTHING. Now, my panic has been a lot worse, I know this is normal but there are moments when i don’t know how I can possibly do this. Paul, I guess my question is for you, or anyone who goes through the “sleep anxiety”, will facing my nights with no sleep medication be what helps me out of this? I keep thinking that I need to face this fear and though it scares me it would make me stronger. Also, will I sleep eventually? I’m so scared because I have a family to take care of and a job that I have to go to, what if I’m too tired to live my life? I’m also singing in a band and we have a show tonight, I had really bad panic attacks while we were setting up but I just kept saying “you’re ok, just let it be” I even laughed at myself once or twice, and now I’m home and trying to rest a bit and I just need some advice from someone. Which direction should I take here. I want my life back, authentically, without the constant worry that I won’t sleep or relax without medication.
    On another note, I have made a good friend on here, Susan, who has really been helpful. That is something I’m thankful for.
    Lisa P.

  143. Lisa P. Says:

    Oh, and Carlee, I’m so sorry about your nana. l lost my grandma in May and it has been so hard, as we were very close. I wish you well.
    Lisa P.

  144. Tal Says:

    Hi all. How are you all doing? I must admit I am doing sooooo much better and I am so greatful. Thank God. I still am not all the way better, like I wish to be…. like many of you I question how can I possibly be back to normal when I think of the things I think about. I can’t wait until that day comes when these thoughts dont bother me anymore. Most of the thoughts dont because I have gotten to the point where I know them way too well to even be scared but sometimes my mind focuses on things that are really terrifyng (like dying) my mind finds things that I can solve then it jumps to things that I will never be able to “solve”. But like Paul says, it’s not about solving anything it’s about living in the moment and just living life-eventually we will get to the point where we can just say no, to the thoughts and they will dissapear we wont have a nagging feeling where we have to pacify the thoughts. I am so happy that I have gotten better, I go out and sometimes I DONT think of anxiety at all and actually laugh. I do have bad days but different types of bad days then when this first started and I was literally scared for my life. Now, I know what this silly thing is and I think I get more scared because its so annoying if that makes sense. It’s like I think of nonsense and I just want to STOP….somethings are very real I think of but noone else is concerned for them. I look forward to the day I am better and even better than the best day I had BEFORE the anxiety. Because believe it or not we are learning so much and becoming strong and passionate ppl through this whole ordeal. remember, everyone has problems and at least we have something that can be worked with and cured. Paul, I have a question…. well 2. The first I prob already know the answer but I guess I am just looking for reassurance-are our points of view and perspectives different because of our anxious state? like fear of death-before I didnt think of it like I do now. Please tell me some day this point of view will go away. I guess we all look for peace and thinking of scary things is obviously not peaceful. Did you look at things differently once your anxiety passed like once things that you were petrofied of (that are realistic not just things that are not realistic) not scary to you afterwards? im just scared to be tortured for the rest of my life. and # 2 where can I give a donation?

  145. Tal Says:

    Elaine, I have felt like you. To the point where I didnt want to live anymore. IT GETS BETTER. I am still getting better, I am not at my best. But ALOT has changed. DONT LET IT GET THE BEST OF YOU. REMEMBER *FEAR* KEEPS IT ALIVE. When you worry and try to fix it (which I had to learn this) it doesn’t go away. Dont let it be your focus. I had no interest either but I still did things and got interest back. Right now your mind is just focused on the anxiety and is pushing everything away however once you forget the anxiety your mind will start pulling life back in. It takes time. Breathe and relax and know you are not alone.

  146. KM Says:

    Hi Michelle M,
    I have this symptom as well but i dont let it bother me. Many years ago i had it alot, now i find that when i drink alot of alcohol it is much worse. Its just your brain trying to get rid of all the adrenaline, and its got nothing to do with schitzophrenia at all. I googled it many years ago and its a normal part of the sleep/dream/semi conscious state. Your just overly tuned into it as your looking for ‘symptoms’ of schitzophrenia, try to let it go and not be too bothered by it.

    On another note seems to be lots of posts of people being is severe setbacks. I dont feel i’ve recovered enough yet to have a major setback. My anxiety is still really high 24/7, i have some better days than others, i’m hoping to turn a corner soon. I went for a long walk with my daughter this afternoon and am avoiding alcohol, so making small changes and trying to stay positive and wait for the body/brain to heal itself :)

  147. Michelle m Says:

    Hi km

    Thanks very much for your help. I have seriously had enough of all this now. I think my problem is that I just want it all to disappear overnight, which obviously I know it won’t. I am so so tired and just want to sleep without fear. I sit and wonder how I have managed to get myself in this situation. I wish I didn’t let it bother me but I am obsessed with the fear of becoming properly mentally ill. One day I will understand it all, just wish it was today.

  148. steve m Says:

    great advice on here and i wish you ALL the best but just reading about anxiety makes my muscles tense and twitch so i dont really know why i am here again.actually i do,i feel shit again after a great summer and i am floundering around again looking for answers.the success stories make feel like they were the lucky ones and i aint capable of it (although i am happy for them).any thoughts would be appreciated.should i just keep away or is it ok to dip in and out even if it makes me feel worse.

  149. Helen Says:

    Hello all,
    I just wanted to offer some advice to those who have experienced some relief from anxiety but then get frightened when the dark thoughts reappear.
    The only thing to do when you start to get unwanted thoughts and feelings back is to say “well, here comes some more, I know what to do so this is how it has to be again for a while”. Let go, feel it and please KNOW that good times will come back and slowly the good times will absolutley outweigh the bad ones. I know you know how very hard it is not to fight terrifying thoughts and feelings but you musn’t. Letting them be there for however long it takes will not mean your thoughts are real, they won’t come true and you won’t go mad. You won’t have a heart attack, you won’t be in any physical danger.
    When you approach the reappearance of negative feelings with “oh no, here it comes again, I was doing so well, why is this happening, I’m not getting any better at all” your body goes into fight mode and releases the chemicals needed to protect you as you have sent it the message that you are in fear but you aren’t so they pump around your body waiting for an outlet and there isn’t one so now you have the negative thoughts coupled with your body being ready to handle threat, this will only make you feel worse as you well know.
    Please accept that you are recovering, you are on a journey where you will have many, many ups and downs but it is so worth sticking with.
    You know what to do so go ahead and do it.

    All the best

  150. Michelle M Says:

    Dear Helen

    Your words are so true and mean so much. I know what I have to do and I know that I will also feel better. I also know that I am not the only one to feel this bad.

    I feel so selfish at the moment as its always me asking for advice and help and not being able to give it back to anyone. I have all the advice and information i need to get on and deal with this rubbish but just cant make it stay in my brain that all is well and I am not mentally ill.

    Im off as i am really really boring myself. Thanks again helen.

  151. Helen Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    You are being way too hard on yourself. You are asking for help and advice because you need it and you will be the one giving that help one day. Also, you are learning something new, that being, how to recover from something that affects all aspects of your life, it will not stick in your brain, you can’t make it, it will just happen. It’s like learning anything, it’s repitition, getting it wrong then trying again, it’s feeling like giving up when you are so fed up with it all, it’s carrying on even when you think you aren’t going to get but then you do and it’s the best thing in the world.
    Don’t be hard on yourself Michelle, you need to be selfish so long as it isn’t to the detrement of others and the people on here who give advice to you and others do it because they want to.

    All the best

  152. Michelle M Says:

    helen…thanks from the bottom of my heart. I cant say more than that. xx

  153. steve m Says:

    Nice words Helen thanks x.im off to weed the garden

  154. John J Says:


    I have just found this website after suffering several months of anguish and frustration with anxiety.
    At points, I was convinced I was going mad and that I was beyond help.
    I have got to a point where I am no longer having panic attacks, and I am aware that the feelings cannot hurt me.
    But I still get racked with fear when I think that I will be like this forever.
    I have such difficulty forgeting that I think I have changed and that I will never be the ‘same old’ person that I used to be.
    My main problem has been distressing thoughts. The thoughts scare me so much. They are mainly thoughts of harm to myself or others and this really scares me.
    I just want to know if anyone else has recovered from thoughts (not intentions!) of suicide? I feel as though it has left a stain on my soul that I can never clean off.
    The worst thing is when I’ve had a really good day or couple of days and I am feeling almost anxiety free, I will read something, hear something or see something that reminds me that I have had these thoughts and that brings the thoughts back!
    My main problem is just letting the thoughts be there. I worry that letting if I let these horrendous thoughts just be there, that my mind may think that it is actually something I want to do.
    I’d like to get my ‘innocence’ back. I love life but I just get so sucked in to these thoughts that I fear living with them for the rest of my life!

    I think this website is an inspiration, and if I was a doctor, Iwould prescribe my anxiety patients to come here! Doctors just don’t understand, and I feel like they will cart me off to an asylum if I were to tell them that I have these odd thoughts.

    Any advice would be great.


  155. Teresa J Says:

    Helen – a wonderful post. I am well into recovery and although I know only too well the up down affair of this journey, I am lucky enough to be able to actually ‘know’ and back up every word you say.
    for all of you who are desparate to be well ‘today’ – it is the forced behaviour that is a stumbling block, and I say a stumbling block, because it is not a concrete wall. Lots of us will stumble around to recovery – I have had some good long recovery and then lost my ‘right attitude’ – but i did not lose it completely, i don’t think you ever do once you have seen improvements. So take heart with what Helen has said – not an easy road but definitely one you will get to the end of.

  156. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Michelle just to add to what has been said to you, I was totally bored and fed up with the subject, totally fed up with everything that went with it and just wished I could be like everyone around me.

    I did not wake up one day recovered, I had to go through so many highs and lows and trust me the lows were hard to stay positive through. I would feel great and think everything was behind me and then feel totally flattened by it all. The real progress in my recovery was when I felt at my worst, this was when I had to go out, even though I felt like hiding away, to stay positive even when I felt like crying, to resist the urge to think and fight my way better. I had to just stay in the symptoms without resistence.

    My main symptom was feeling totally detached from my surroundings, locked in my own mind, if it was like I was in one world and everyone else was in another. At first I went out and tried to force normal feelings, I went over and over sayings to try and make myself feel better, to feel more outward. I would act, fake, anything to get through the day. This was all wrong. It was extremely difficult to resist the urge to do this, it’s a natural instinct to try to make things better. But I learnt over time to just live in this weird world without resistence, to no longer try to come across as normal, I just went with the flow of how I felt. The battle was over, I felt how I felt, good or bad, I had basically had enough and knew deep down that my old approach was never going to be the answer and was making me feel worse. I never, ever thought or fought my way to feeling better, but I remember many times when I just went with it and felt some freedom and peace later in the day.

    When you feel bad, overwhlemed then you automatically try to FIX things. You try to figure out why you think this way, why you feel this way, why last week was great and this week was not, you are back in fight mode. The key is to allow yourself to feel yucky, to allow your body and mind to go where it wants without trying to put a block on thoughts or feelings.

    What you are saying at the moment is ‘Please someone tell me how to get out of this hell’ your whole day is built around trying to help yourself and just finding one brick wall after another. What you truly need to learn is to stop trying to ‘get out of this hell’, to just step aside and just move on with your day with whatever symptoms wish to be with you that day. If you life your life alongside your symptoms without question, even when they bug the hell out of you, then you will begin to feel some freedom.


  157. Matt Says:

    Good post Paul….I to am on my way to recovery. I struggle with that main symptom that you did, feeling detached from everything. Now, I am getting through it, and the same way throught it is the same way throught the anxiety and everything else I am learning…by just letting it be there and moving on with your day. The DP was so bad, I started to believe that I couldn’t think or that mind didn’t belong to me, even though I knew that wasn’t possible, I was still focused on that and can automatically go back there from time to time, but when I let it be there and don’t question it….it goes away like anything else coming into my head.

    Anyways, the main reason I was posting was to ask if whenever anyone quit drinking alcohol, did it make their anxiety a lot more tolerable? I have been drinking nearly everyday for the past two months (started when I developed DP), and was wondering if it really made a lot of your anxiety worse? Common sense tells me to quit and of course it will make it worse, but it has become a crutch these last few months and was wanting to know other people’s experience with it…thanks!

  158. DCYL Says:

    I was re-reading some older posts and found some responses from a “Tarmo”. Tarmo posted that he started seeing anxiety as a wake up call to change his life a bit. From reading various posts here from those who have recovered or are in the process of recovery, I sense that many people have made some life changes.

    I was wondering if anyone would be willing to talk about how they are trying to improve their lives as they recover from anxiety? Matt above seems to be trying to stop drinking. Others have noted some things here and there.

  159. Mark M Says:


    I too have used alcohol as a crutch to deal with my anxiety, and I do feel that it ‘relaxes me,’ but over the past 2 and a half years I’ve been dealing with anxiety I’ve realized that alcohol and my other coping behaviors (computer games, overeating, oversleeping) are all just ways of running away from my anxiety, and that to fully recover you really have to drop all of your coping behaviors and not run away from how you feel.

    You might feel like you can’t cope without it, but I can imagine that this may be the beginning of alcoholism, which may have crossed your mind just like it did with me. But I understand you might also feel like me where I had anxiety over developing alcoholism but at the same time didn’t want to feel like crap, which is a really tough place to be and I sympathize with that if that is how you’re feeling. In the end though, you and I may both want to use alcohol for the purpose of managing our anxiety, but we both know it’s not sustainable in the long run and there are far better ways of dealing with it.

    From my personal experience, working out can give the same effect of good feelings as alcohol, and I think it is also a great positivity builder, because if you think about it it’s pretty hard to run a long distance or test the limits of your strength while constantly telling yourself negative thoughts, which no doubt everyone reading this blog has suffered. I’ve also noticed that for each coping behavior I have, the main thing I get from them is that my mind is incredibly focused on that one particular thing, and too engrossed or distracted by what I’m doing to care about my anxiety. If you think to any of your coping behaviors I think you will find the same, where when I am playing games, my entire mind is shifted in focus from me to the game, and drinking definitely distracts and makes it so you can’t worry or focus on your anxiety very easily as well. Oh man, I almost forgot too, watching movies and TV shows is a huge way that I have tried to distract from anxiety, because I am so focused on the show that I don’t even think about it (until the show content talks about crazy people or anxiety and then I start getting anxious again, lol, been there, done that!).

    I have made huge strides so far with dropping some of these coping behaviors, but I will say that when you first try to drop any of them, it doesn’t matter which one, you will probably feel a lot of anxiety about it, but that’s really the point anyways and you should expect it. It’s actually a GOOD thing, because I think that is the only way to get better, to drop those behaviors and let the anxiety come and embrace it and do nothing to fix it or change how you feel. But as long as we try to avoid the anxiety by these behaviors, they will just be used as fuel for our anxiety because it knows that we are still scared of it and want it to go away, which gives it power over us since we shrink from it. Next time you find yourself wanting to drink to get away from how you feel, try just sitting there for 5-10 minutes feeling however you feel and not running away, being ok with however you feel at that moment, because that is really what is driving the urge to drink (to feel better). If you just feel the feelings right now, you may not feel totally better, but in my experience I feel good for seeing just what these anxiety feelings are all about and realizing they can do nothing to harm me, and after they are felt you have a different attitude towards them; when you feel them they aren’t monsters anymore and are just harmless feelings. And by feel the feelings, I mean just bring your attention to it lightly, let the feeling be there, let the headache be there or pain or sadness or thought or whatever, and then continue on with your day. Everyone goes at their own pace though so don’t rush it if you aren’t ready, but even taking 5-10 minutes before you decide to do a coping behavior and just feeling your feelings can make a big difference

  160. DCYL Says:


    Thanks for your posting. If I may ask others if Mark’s thoughts in the last paragraph are how you typically deal with things:

    “And by feel the feelings, I mean just bring your attention to it lightly, let the feeling be there, let the headache be there or pain or sadness or thought or whatever, and then continue on with your day. Everyone goes at their own pace though so don’t rush it if you aren’t ready, but even taking 5-10 minutes before you decide to do a coping behavior and just feeling your feelings can make a big difference”

    I believe I understand Paul’s thoughts on “accepting” and believe I’ve done relatively well in implementing it. What gets me is thoughts will get me at a weird time OR a physical feeling will come strong and I start worrying. Just curious how people handle their individual situations.

  161. JP Says:

    I have stopped drinking since this all started a few months back.. although now the idea of drinking kind of scares me, so i suppose the answer is to do it in moderation, not as a crux but equally don’t make it something else to be anxious about.

    I have been doing so much better recently, cbt and this website and claire weekes have got me through some of the worst bits, and with a mixture of acceptance and not letting myself get too caught up with worries/what ifs I felt like I had turned a corner. Over the last week though I have felt myself getting really depressed, full of negative thoughts, full of whats the point/what would happen if i gave up kind of stuff, and I am finding it really hard to deal with. How do people get through these depressive periods? Do they stay for a long time or dissapear after a few days/weeks? Any help would be great.

  162. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    DCYL, If you dig out a lot of posts from Tarmo then you will do well, a very intelligent guy who has now recovered and spoke so much sense. There has been so many, but he is probably the person who gave the most to this blog in terms of helpful advice. He still emails me on rare occasions and is just getting on with his life now, here is his story on his recovery on my main site, makes an interesting read

    On the drink subject, I found that I tried to drink my way to forgetting and coping and realised that I was running away and never stopped altogether as the social side can be helpful, I just went back to moderation.

  163. Carly Says:

    Some good posts here especially Matt’s:

    “The DP was so bad, I started to believe that I couldn’t think or that mind didn’t belong to me,”

    Blimey fire this is EXACTLY how I feel! I guess the feeling that nothing is real and I’m just on automation all the time is chronic DP yes?? And the vision thing? It’s not blurred but almost like it’s dusk all the time, like my eyes aren’t letting enough light in and a feeling of pressure behind them?? Watching tv is torture! My right eye seems to have sunk back into the socket because I’m constantly aware of the side of my nose and my eyelashes and it feels ‘stiff’ if that makes sense and also like I’ve got the wrong glasses on…holy s**t this is crazy stuff!!

    I have had gestational diabetes through all my pregnancies which has disappeared immediately except with the last one. My blood sugars remain high but the doctor says he is not worried. Mind you I know enough to know that stress affects the way your body processes insulin.
    I’ve lost 4.5 stone in 3 months and it’s still coming off at an alarming rate (1.5 stone of baby included!) even though I’m eating well (always had a healthy veggie diet)

    I’m so sorry to be so hypochondriac today..I’m just so frightened :o( xx

  164. Matt Says:

    Mark…..Great post, are you my long lost twin brother? Geez, we also have all the same coping mechanisms. The ironic thing is that I was an alcohol and drug abuse counselor for four years, and the same things I was telling my patients I am now having to practice myself. I have been a little worried about alcoholism, but the only reason I started to drink was when I developed DP. It scared the life out of me so bad that I turned to drinking. Two months later, thanks to Paul’s book, I am making some leadway with it. I mean, I dealt with panic attacks and severe anxiety for two years without drinking, but DP was something entirely different. Anyways, now that I am recovering properly I decided I need to give up the alcohol entirely and move on with my life.

    It gets easier and I know I am getting better because on the bad days I still keep chugging along and don’t allow the anxiety to turn a bad day into a bad week, month, or year.

  165. Linda Says:

    Hi everyone

    Although I have had a pretty good couple of days and do seem to be slowly improving, the problem I am left with is the obsessional thoughts, which keep changing all the time. Today I have become constantly aware/monitoring my ‘breathing’. This was then followed by an awareness of my ‘swallowing’ as well.

    Although the sensations don’t panic me, I am worried about the long term effects and whether this could cause me any physical harm. Just wondered if anyone else has suffered with these symptoms?

  166. Michelle M Says:

    paul and everyone, thanks very much for your responses. I truly do appreciate it. Have a good week.

    Michelle xx

  167. Michelle M Says:

    John, your issues and thoughts are exactly the same as mine, and exactly the same as thousands of people all over the world. I really do know how you feel and how crippling this is. I have also feared suicide. I would never attempt it or do not even want to. I too love life and live for my family.

    John, I recently read a book which made me feel better about that part of anxiety. 1 in 2 people in their life feel suicidal at some stage. Im sorry if this makes people on here feel uncomfortable, but for me to read this it made me feel completely normal again, that these are normal thoughts and not just my thoughts, that i am not the only one to have had them. The suicide thoughts will disappear. I had them for a few weeks and still do on the odd occasion if I think about it all too much. But again, its not something that I have even contemplated. Its just something that petrefies me. These are normal thoughts for the human brain.

    I have spent the last 5 years googling and reading everything possible with regards to the harming thoughts….no one with our fears have ever acted on them.

    As I am sure you have read, I am not recovered but hope that my comments help you in some way.

    I hope I havent made anyones anxiety worse and if I have I am very sorry.

    Michelle x

  168. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just off topic

    Thank you to Katie for her very generous sposorship of me for my run for anxietyuk, really appreciated, just a week now until my run, I will post up some pics, again thank you to everyone who has sposered me, it means so much and will help so many people.


  169. KM Says:

    Just a quick symptom question as I dont often ask about specific symptoms but i’m a bit thrown by this experience/feeling.
    I’ve been studying for an exam and was engrossed in study late last night and not thinking about anxiety at all although had a weekend of pretty high anxiety. Anyway I had this strange sensation that i wasn’t sure if I was recovered or not?? Like a feeling I cant really describe, i just felt really weird and odd, and couldn’t focus on anything, it was really scary, like i had lost myself for a while but without a sense of panic! I ended up just turning off the tv and going to sleep, it was like a weird transe or something snapped in my head??? I woke today feeling really really tired, and spaced out, and like i’m stuck in some weird dream state, but not with panic. Writing this i know it sounds like DP/DR, but a weird calm state even though it scares me! Ah its yuck and horrible and I find myself just wishing the usual anxiety would return at least i’m familiar with it lol! I read a page in Pauls book on just putting it all under the umbrella, and not to analyse it, and just get on with my day! But its a weird calm im not used too!!! Its like i’m better but not wanting to be??? I’m just over analysing and obsessing still so I surpose its just anxiety!! move on with some work tasks me think, and if I drop dead or go mad someone else will notice and do something about it! hahaha

  170. yolande Says:

    hi all

    been a bit stressful at work lately and raelised that this had brought back on some feelings of anxiety – which then had me thinking the famous ‘what if’…… by now i have learnt enough to know that it’s useless going down this path but of course, it takes a while to make it work!

    sometimes i wonder if i am still recovering and am experiencing the ups and downs of recovery or maybe hey it’s normal. ppl who dont suffer from nervous symptoms do get stressed out by work or by everyday issues. they probably also get the self same feelings.

    anyway, what i just want to say is coming on here again after being absent for a while, i realised most still have the low feelings and dreaded thoughts. these do seem to hang on for a while. but like i said earlier it’s probably a normal occurence like ppl do feel down on some days. it’s just the way it is.

    of course when it feels really bad, i will have a good cry and then feel better. someone once said on this site that sometimes we tend to confuse normal feelings with anxiety eg feeling tired after a very busy or stressful day. this is very true as i have sometimes feel so drained after work, then i tend to think oops is it the anxiety coming back? when actually i am just feeling what half the population is feeling. and you know what is so darn funny??? my colleagues have no idea of what i am going thru cos of course i dont telut they seem to think that i am happy everyday!!! WHAT A joke. so dont worry how ppl see you. I used to thnk think that my colleagues are so lucky they seem really happy – who knows they probably have demons of their own.

    take care everyone

  171. yolande Says:

    Hi KM,

    I think i know what you are trying to describe – I sometimes feel like this too. it’s all part of anxiety – aggg. Just hang on and it will go away.

  172. elaine Says:


  173. Lisa P. Says:

    Paul,or anyone who has been thru this,
    I want to get off of all my meds and I’m in a major set back. Not sleeping and stressing about it really bad. Do I face the night with no sleep aids is that the way out of this? Do I just lay there and not sleep when I have so much to do? Can sleep aids give you anxiety? I’m not functioning well at all and really need advice. Is everyone who is recoverd here, off of their meds? How long will my body go with no sleep. It is not that I’m not sleepy, I’m just having too much anxiety to sleep.
    Please help.
    Lisa P.

  174. steve m Says:

    hi,dont know if anyone can relate to this but alot of stories on here seem to relate to avoidance fueling anxiety.am i just weird cos i feel more anxious at night watching tv or reading than i do during everyday activities.i am far more relaxed at work/pub/social events/airports etc.i can still get twinges of anxiety at these places but no where near as bad as at home.thoughts appreciated ,,,,,steve

  175. elaine Says:

    Hi Steve , its becauce you are using natural distraction in thes places and the surroundings ae so differant. x

  176. Vamanan Says:

    When I get the fear of anxiety attack during the day, I try to self help by saying things like I don’t need to fear this etc. But then somehow end up saying it over and over which results in anxiety. Is it just me doing this? I can sometimes feel the anxiety without fear and move on, but other times negative thoughts pop in and feeling the anxiety becomes a tough task.

    Anyone else have the problem of waking up in 4-6 hours and not able to go back to sleep? Even in good days I still wake up in 4-6 hours regardless of how tired I am. Lack of sleep makes my eyes red and painful some days.

  177. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sorry again off topic, I just want to thank Sydney for his more than generous sponsorship for my run on Sunday. I remember you sponsoring me when I did one a couple of years back Sydney and I am so glad this blog has helped you. I got the last part of your message when sponsoring me, just drop me an email if you need anything.

    Thanks again


  178. John J Says:

    Hello again,

    I have had two good weeks of accepting the anxiety and just letting it be, but then last night, the strangest thing happened that has really set me back and now today I’m feeling like I haven’t even made any progress.

    Now this may sound strange, or even amusing, but last night I had a very vivid dream about an alien invasion. I know that this sounds stupid, but the dream was very real and I woke suddenly very early in a state of panic. It was one of those dreams that you still ‘feel’ upon waking. As I lay there, I kept on questioning myself if it had been real or not.

    I knew it could not have been real, so I started to try and rationalize it. That was when the fear that I was ‘going mad’ started.
    I started to think that the reason i was questioning and rationalizing something that clearly could not have been real and was only a dream, was because I was in the final stages of sanity and I was trying to grip on to reality.
    This morning I truly felt like I could lose my mind and never return to normal. As the day has gone on, I functioned normally and I know that I am over reacting, but I just can’t seem to shift the feeling that I may ‘flip’ or ‘go insane’ at any moment.

    Even though I know that I won’t, is no consolation. Its as if I’m just waiting to descend into full blown madness. I’m so worried!

    I know that I a being irrational and that things don’t happen like that, but I just can’t accept this feeling as I worry that if I just let it be, then it will consume me and I will never come out of it.

    Its a horrible feeling! Any advice?
    I am so desperate to feel like my old self!

  179. Helen Says:

    Hi John,
    This is how anxiety completes engulfs a person. You worry that if you let go and let it all happen then the thing you fear will come true, in your case you will let go and become insane. So now, you are holding yourself in a tight little protective ball in the belief that if you don’t let go, you won’t go mad. This is the grip of anxiety, of worry. As long as you feel that you have to fight it and not let go anxiety will keep you in it’s grip.
    Just let go and face the fear, you will see how the opposite of what you are thinking is true. If you let go and truly accept what is happening your fear of madness or anything else subsides. You are letting anxiety bully you into not having the freedom of thought.
    You are free to think about whatever you want, it doesn’t mean anything but with anxiety you analyse every little thing and that thought becomes massive, becomes a big ‘what if’ and ultimatley something you believe you have to fight, to bat away from you so that it doesn’t happen.
    I was very frightened of going insane for many years and looking back I see how I tried to protect myself from anything that might make me go mad and this just made me an anxiety ridden and depressed person who was frightened of living life without watching out for every little thing but I recovered. I stopped fighting and guess what, not only did I not go mad but I ended up working as a volunteer for a mental health charity. If you knew me then you would be astounded that I ended up doing this.
    Let go and live. Face it and go about your day without questioning everything, it will go and you will not go mad.

    All the best

  180. Lisa P. Says:

    Did you have trouble sleeping? If so, how did you overcome that? This seems to be the only thing holding me back from recovery, the “letting go” and knowing that I will be ok. Someday I’d really love to help people like you are doing.
    Lisa P.

  181. Helen Says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Yes, to be honest sleeping was a nightmare. Everytime I closed my eyes I would feel dizzy and my head just wouldn’t switch off. I was also very frightened of being alone with my thoughts and the nightime always seemed so much more frighteneing than the day. Then one night, I just got so sick and tired of fighting with my thoughts i decided I would just lie there and let them do what they want. If you do this, sleep comes all by itself as you aren’t feeding your fear and depriving yourself of much needed sleep.
    You have to do it, you have to let it happen, there is nothing to fear. I know how very, VERY hard this is but there is no other way around it. You can’t go over it, you can’t go round it, you can’t hide from it, you have to go through it and when you come out of the other side, my god it’s worth it!!

    All the best

  182. Lisa P. Says:

    Thank you for getting back to me so soon. I’ve been on sleeping pills and am trying to get off of them and just let my body heal. Logically I know there is nothing to fear and this sleep thing is what is holding me back, I’m going to make it thru the night and realize that there is nothing to fear. Are you completely recovered Helen?
    Thank you so much for your time. I hope you are having a good day.
    Lisa P.

  183. Sydney Carton Says:

    Thanks Paul – I have sent you an e-mail – all the best for Sunday.

  184. Shelley Says:

    Hi, I had depersonalisation for the first time a coupld of years ago, after 8 years of anxiety, and because i didn’t know what DP was back then, i questioned everything, looked back on childhood etc etc trying to figure out why i had this empty feeling, i even questioned my feelings for my partner and because i questioned it so much over and over again it has stuck, I now know what it was but am finding it hard to reverse my mind cycle i ave had for the last couple of years, i know i love my partner etc and want the “normal” life, but cant budge past all the thoughts and fears, I do acccept the anxiety and let it chat away most of the time but how do i overcome this and move on? Also, how do i get over trigger thoughts and habits? Drives me nuts!!
    Thanks x

  185. Helen Says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Yes, I am free of anxiety and have learned so much from the experience. I am the person I always hoped I would be but never thought I could be.

    All the best

  186. John J Says:

    Thank you Helen,

    I know I have it in me to recover. I have made great progress since my initial onset of panic and extreme anxiety six months ago.

    But it always seems that just when I am starting to turn a corner and feel like I can make it, that it just gives me another massive blast just to let me know that it is there.

    One of the most upsetting things is that no matter how much I know about the condition, and no matter how many times I tell myself that it means nothing, it really does get me.

    Its as if the anxiety wants me to know that it still has its grip. It wants me to know that ‘I’ll never be the same again’ and ‘I won’t ever to be able to enjoy life like I used to because the memory will always be there’.

    My question to those who have recovered is,

    Does the memory of having these odd thoughts and feelings ever leave you?
    And when it goes away, do you worry about it coming back?

  187. Matt Says:

    John….I understand what you mean. To make a long story short, I was recovered for six months and then fell back into the cycle again as a result of divorce and other things happening in my life. Six months later, I am on my way to recovering and even though I feel like crap from time to time, it doesn’t matter. For those six months I did recover, I rarely thought of what it was like to be in the anxiety/panic state because my “mind” had recovered completely. I was living my life and when I did think about what anxiety used to be like, I laughed about it because that person seemed like a stranger to me. And to be honest, I completely forgot about all the stuff I went through, it didn’t frighten me because I understood what it was and when I did see who I was compared to who I used to be, it motivated me even further to live life.
    It’s hard to compare the anxious, scared person you are now to the person who you used to be because everything feels so intense and real. But, trust me, when you return to your old self, you become the person you were before, except even stronger and all the worries and anxiety leaves.

    I guess I shouldn’t use the word recovered if I fell back into the cycle again, but I was and it is something I hold onto because I came through and if I can come through something crazy like this, I know I can do it again and so can anyone else that is suffering.

    What finally gave me the push forward was that a month ago I had told my oldest son, who is 9, that I would take him fishing and because I was so stuck on myself and scared on that one particular day, I didn’t take him. He was disappointed and I went in the bathroom so angry and enraged ready to punch the mirror. That’s when it hit me, do I allow this crap to take away my kids? Am I going to be the distant father who really doesn’t want to be but is because he believes and worries about something that isn’t going to come true and never has? Am I gonna become the father that when my kids grow up, are they going to look back and look at me as a negative example? That’s when I said enough is enough and got fed up with it all and haven’t looked back. Sure, there has been some real piss-poor days but I didn’t care anymore and I moved on with or without anxiety.

    Sorry to ramble, but I guess what I am trying to say is that when enough is enough for you, you will finally get it and wont be scared, because if there seems to be one thing that people like us don’t have a whole lot of, is confidence and it appears to come at the right time.

  188. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Matt that is a very good post, esp the point when you said am I going to let this take away my life. The very annoying thing about suffering is having everything sussed one day, it all making sense and having a great attitude, feeling great etc. To the week after grasping out for relief, that great attitude been replaced with the old scared and lost person again. Boy did that throw me and really hold me back. But this came as I always reacted to how I felt, when I felt good everything made sense, my attitude was naturally good, my mind was clearer, I had nothing to work out, nothing to try and make better. When I felt flattened, then my mind was clogged up, I felt lost, full of dread and my natural instinct to make it better kicked in. What I needed was the same attitude however I felt, I could be up, down, lost, confused, it did not have to matter, I would truly accept myself, however I felt on that day. Again we can’t expect to feel normal and part of the outside world, if all we are bothered about is ourself. The more I tried to figure things out, the more I bothered and concerned myself with how I was feeling, the more closed in and detached I felt. It makes total sense to me now, but at the time I thought this was the way out, that eventually I would figure my way out of it.

    It really is about having a natural flow, if I felt odd and tense one day then I would just manage the best I could, I would not try and talk myself better, I would not try and work it all out, I would not try and force normality or try and act my way through the day, I would just take how I felt with me that day, if that meant my thinking was more laboured, if I felt more detached, then so be it. It is a bit like trying to act sober when you are drunk, you are forcing, acting, it is hard work keeping it up, it was this I dropped and it really helped and freed me up mentally. An example would be when I woke I always felt at my worst, I would have a good check in on waking, question it whilst laying there, try and make it better, go over how the day would go. Half an hour later I would feel worse than when I woke, so more questioning, deep thinking, this would continue whist brushing my teeth, now feeling sorry for myself, all the, here we go again, why me?, why can’t I just be free? etc, etc. Then to doing the opposite and waking full of symptoms, but no longer going over it, just getting up and brushing my teeth without checking in or questioning it all, for once giving my mind a break, I just took how I felt with me and without battering myself mentally I felt so much better, how I felt was less of an issue and other things would take my attention. I felt some instant relief, but it took some perseverence to be who I am today, but I had to change. I was no longer going to go through the same rituals and avoidence behaviours that were obviously not helping me.

    We are not built to fight ourself each day, so we have to just allow, to feel it, to experience it, whilst not letting it stop us living our life, this is the way home. If you keep hiding and running away from how you feel, it will always be the enemy, you are better letting it in, shaking it’s hand, again this frees you up in the long term, don’t look for that instant fix.

    We are born to avoid hurt and pain, its a natural instinct to hide and avoid it, not in this case though, as the opposite is true.


  189. Douglas Says:

    Hi all,
    Just to check in with a question. I had a fantastic August with my wife and doggies, we hiked over 450 kms in the national forest we live in, and I had great success in just letting things “be”. For over a month I didn’t feel the need to check in and question anything! And felt peaceful and happy! And then I went back to work, had a great week of rehearsals, but then, uh-oh on the afternoon of the first concert had that funny feeling in the stomach, but ever so slightly. So I just let it be…but the 2 hour bus ride to the concert proved a trial, although concert itself was great. And then every day since then it feels as though I’m slipping down that slippery slope once more. Every major depression I’ve had started this way, so of course I’m concerned though trying not to be. I’ve slowly realized that I’ve suffered anxiety and odd feelings my whole life, since a trauma at 2 years. And now I’m 57 and my response to the brick in the belly seems so ingrained and automatic, that I worry that I will never “unlearn” it. I know intellectually that nothing bad ever happens (except of course sometimes really bad pain, confusion, and uncertainty.) But is it possible that an early childhood trauma can cause a neuroses or other condition that can’t be unlearned at my age? I know, I need to not worry and add “second fear” to the condition, but I think anybody who’s ever been severely depressed absolutely doesn’t want to go back there. I know I am just unproductively worrying and plan to go do some gardening as that generally helps, but I’m still way confused about acceptance. Is gardening as a distraction just running away? Reading a book? Watching a movie? I can actually feel the brick melt away sometimes when I do those things, but I’m still not sure if I’m merely “putting up with” rather than truly accepting. Sorry to waffle on, but having felt so much progress, I’m afraid I’m doing something wrong yet again…

  190. Teresa J Says:

    Douglas – I am in my early 50’s and I think although I only really became ‘overcome’ by anxiety at about 39 – it is now obvious to me that the tendency had been there from an early age and there had been a few unrecognised episodes in my chicldhood, and i had no trauma. You are trying to work it out – don’t. If your mind is telling you to garden because it does you good, do it – don’t worry why you are doing it, just do it, the same with the book or film. The brick melting is when you forget yourself, that is how your brain learns that it goes away – it may only be small bouts or even a whole month but try not to question it. Anyone who has suffered this is bound to be worried about going ‘back’ there – but it gets less. As Paul says – it can be so hard understanding it all one day and being at the mercy of fear again the next, but you do not forget that you lost the fear for a while and that will build and build. Keep at it – it gets better, you are not doing anything wrong that is anxiety trying to make you think you are, try not to question your actions. good luck.

  191. Douglas Says:


    Thanks so much for your reply, after having posted yesterday, I did do those things and had a wonderfully calm afternoon, evening, and night. I feel I am slowly beginning to understand exactly what not fighting means. I used to spend so much energy constantly examining myself to determine a cause for all the suffering (character defect?, weak personality?, just plain crazy?!) And I am beginning to realize just how similarly we all suffer, how anyone can become a sufferer with or without trauma and how unnecessary all that struggling is. Your kind post has also helped more than you can know, thanks for that!

  192. Carolyn Says:

    I have never really posted to a blog or forum but found this site last year after endless searching and really like how many psotive and supportive people there are so decided to give it a try. I have Paul’s book and it was the first thing I ever read that I really saw myself in and want so much to believe that there is a way to be free but find it so hard. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for 15 years, though looking back I was always anxious. I have tried therapists and medication, I am still on meds but they just don’t seem to be helping. Like most others, I have up times and down times. Right now I am in a very down time. I am a mom to 2 wonderful boys, have a kind and VERY patient husband but struggle all the time with enjoying my life. This black cloud follows me and just when I think I’m done, it comes back. Over the years, my world has shrunk, it started off with anxiety at work( I was teaching) but I would be okay with my family and friends. Now I have a hard time being with anyone, making phone calls going to the store etc. My thoughts are always on me, no matter what I am doing or where I am. I have such a hard time concentrating on even the simplest things. I am still going where I need to go and taking care of my kids the best I can but I really need some support in how to stop fighting this. I believe this simple idea that Paul stated is the key to so much but find myself constantly battling. I know there is light at the end of tunnel, as I have been through this before but it’s so hard to see it right now. Anyone who can give some support or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

  193. Carly Says:

    Hey Paul

    Just wanted to wish you all the best for your run! Will be thinking of you x

  194. natalie Says:

    some good posts on here, just checking in again :) having some good times and some not so (but only slight) you will get stronger john believe all of us who say this, this is just part of the journey you are going to go through, but there is an end i promise you.. matt i have read so much of your emails as i think we both started to suffer around the same time but you seemed to get it before me.. so pleased you are doing well, i to have kids and its because of them i decided to let go and just get on with it, stop beating myself up or believing the anxiety gremlin on my shoulder and even though i have my doubts now and then i finding it easier to ignore those worries and move forward x i think wat struck me the most about your post if the confidence issue .. i think thats why we get in the circle low self esteem which causes doubt and worry, once you move through this you become more trusting of yourself and your believes and therefore the worry lessens x i hope you all have a lovely weekend and remember we are all here for each other so use the support you are not alone xxxx

  195. Matt Says:

    Hey Natalie, it’s good to hear you are doing good. I remember reading your posts as well and going through things similar to you. The kids were my extra incentive on living my life as well. The big thing that is helping me through recovery is not focusing on recovery, just living and getting on with it.

    Paul, thanks for the post. You hit on something that has been the key for me thus far and that is having the right attitude. My big mistake was searching for that attitude, as I had become accustomed to searching for ways to fix me, instead of developing one. Developing the right attitude, for me, came from understanding anxiety and how it works and learning not to fear it. There were days when I understood and didn’t fear it, but because I didn’t develop a more positive attitude, it never lasted long. I went on the merry-go-round until I did surrender to the feeling of being detached.

    My concept of surrender wasn’t the right one at first though. I thought if I truly surrendered to this it would win and I would be lost forever. But, surrendering for me truly means to give up the fight that can’t be won. As long as I fight, I will always be outnumbered.

  196. JP Says:

    Hola. So I have had a bit of a stressful day, a little ill, a job interview, average sleep etc.. and now i feel a bit like those anxious thoughts are creeping back a bit. Trying to practice acceptance, as i have had a lot of success from that, i suppose i just want a little reassurance. I keep worrying about ‘what’s the point of anything’ and what happens if one day i wake up feeling really depressed and cant get out of bed.. always calming to hear that someone else has suffered with the same thing, anyone out there in anxiety world?

    Hope you all have a great weekend, no worries, lots of acceptance and good experiences.

  197. Vamanan Says:

    Hi Helen,

    You mentioned about sleeping problems you faced which you overcame. My main problem now other than anxiety is lack of sleep. I don’t have problem falling sleep much but I wake up early morning and can’t get back to sleep. As soon as I wake up I get some sort of mind chatter (sometimes random thoughts) and even though I tell myself to stop caring about it and try to sleep, they go in circles and my mind would not turn off.

    I am getting very worried as my eyes are becoming more red due to lack of sleep. I would appreciate some advice.


  198. Teresa J Says:

    Just came on here to wish Paul well today – go Paul!!! hope it goes well and by the time you read this hope it WENT well. Hope you have some treats lined up!!
    Douglas – it was so nice of you to come back and say i had helped. We all need support to give us strength and belief – we lose our vision and sometimes need others to make us see the world through the right pair of glasses. It really is a case of what goes round comes round on here. Glad to know things have calmed down for you.
    Carolyn – just a quick reply for now. Just try to keep treading water for now without getting too wrapped up in thinking about it. I do not say this lightly, i know how convincing anxiety is at making you feel and think the wrong way. Try not to involve yourself in the thoughts – keep doing what you are doing and getting on with things. It WILL get better. For now just bob on the water.

  199. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Awww thanks Teresa, I went with my partner and my mother ran for a seperate chairty and also a friend who came over. We went for a meal after and I had the biggest pile of fish and chips after the race :-)

    The day was great, but the last mile was really hard, but I did run the whole way and did not stop or walk any of it and that was always my aim, finish time was 1hr and 1min. The best sight of the day though was this 60yr+ woman coming in way after everyone else and had to be almost carried over the line, she was running for some charity and just give everything to finish, she just collapsed on the floor at the end, but she did it with everyone clapping her.

    Anyway laid on the settee typing this also as my legs wont work, very stiff. I wont be doing another for chairty as it’s not fair to keep asking people to sponsor you, but I want to stay fit and get my time down, so I have entered another in March.

    Again a massive thank you to everyone who sponsored me, you helped me get fit and reminded me of all the good people there still are out there. More than that, anxietyuk gets the funding it really needs to keep going and give people that first point of help and contact to so many people who think nobody understands.

    Great effort all round and I will post pics of the day up soon.

    Hope that you enjoy the hols Terese by the way, remember to keep smiling and enjoy it.

  200. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Oh sorry Carly just seen your post, thanks for remembering me, I really enjoyed it, well apart from that last mile, it was a killer, I only had 8 weeks to train and just about got where I needed to be, I was just desperate to run it all and had a few conversations with myself near the end not to stop, no matter how much my legs were arguing back :-)

  201. KM Says:

    Congratulations Paul your a great inspiration, I did a 5km fun run many years ago and remember feeling really proud of myself, that person seems so far away from who i am now! I’m really enjoying your tweets by the way the kick start my day or snap me back into line hahaha!! :)

  202. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Even 5k is a long way KM, well done on that, it’s great when you cross that line hey, you do feel proud and it makes all the training worth it and trust me I am not a good trainer. Just figured out who you are from twitter, thanks for the sponsor and really glad you enjoy my tweets. I try and add a bit of humour, life and advice in there to keep people interested.

    My legs are really killing me today, I can hardly walk, look like a cowboy :-)

  203. Teresa J Says:

    Glad those fish n chips were wating for you! Well done – you should be proud of yourself, the charity has done well out of it too – and i am sure people on here were more than happy to be a part of it. We all want to support the cause i am sure.
    Yes the hols are good – as you may have guessed we have broadband here, a first! although i am not spending much time on the computer. The willingness dial is on, lol. Hope you are basking in your success now!

  204. jan Says:

    hi all,
    this will be my first post after starting reading pails book…i just want to ask how you guys deal with fearful thoughts?I suffered from this very much and mybody does react to it as if it were true.rightnow i am having a hard time with the thoughts of having a high blood pressure,and all of the time i tend to take blood pressure by myself non stop for fear that i might have it and evenually ended having a sroke.help me i am so paralyzed by this fear…
    best regards,

  205. Lisa Says:

    I’m happy to hear that the run went well :)
    mmmm fish and chips 😛
    Take it easy and rest up!

  206. Vamanan Says:

    Hey guys,

    Can someone shed some advice on what I am doing wrong or if this is part of recovery.

    My anxiety got to a dark spot in last April when I lost my sleep pattern and developed some physical symptoms including feeling depressed at times. After reading Paul’s book and this blog I got on with my life and had few good days. But the bad days after good days seems getting worse as my confidence goes down at times. I still go on with my life as normal though except at times during day I have fears causing anxiety. I don’t suppress them anymore (I suppressed them in the past to get where I am now), feel them and go on with the day. (Except I still cant avoid some self talk about why I don’t need to bother with them. I work on minimizing it.)

    My worse part of the time is between early morning and I wake up as I wake up early morning tired and can’t get back to sleep. Even if i go to sleep I get anxious thoughts which make me tired when I wake up. Within past 5 months I haven’t had much of good sleep. The very few days I had good sleep, I felt like my old self during the day.

    Since this goes on for 5 months, sometimes I worry, it may have long term effect on my body such as vision problems as my eyes get itchy due to lack of sleep.

    Most days, sometimes during the day, I do feel normal. But then with little stress during the day (not from anxiety, but little issues) it disappears.

    My mind has become over analytical. Even though I stop dwelling on thoughts and go on with my life, it will pick something and start to analyze. If nothing, it will pick up a song I recently listened and repeat. This often happens in sleep too.

    Since April, I started eating healthy, workout regularly, stopped drinking, minimized caffeine and tried to spend more time with family and friends.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  207. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    If anyone follows me on twitter I have just uploaded some pics on there from Sunday.

  208. John J Says:

    Hello again,

    I’m back for some more advice from anyone who has got through this.

    I have been going with the flow for over a week now, and although the symptoms were still there, i was ignoring them and feeling like I could start getting back to some sort of normality.

    But then I came down with a terrible cold, and this has really set me back.
    The cold made me ache all over, and feel utterly lifeless, really struggling to move around without getting a migraine.
    This then made me remember how bad I felt during the depths of my worst anxiety and a lot of the fear came back.
    I started to worry that maybe it was not just a cold, but something more, which then started off the usual anxiety worries that maybe it wasn’t just anxiety.

    And to top it all off, I read a news story about a man who did away with himself, which has brought back all the scary thoughts like, “what if this turns into major depression and I lose hope in life”.

    Has anyone else had a setback when dealing with a cold or illness?

    I keep looking back to my pre-anxiety days and thinking that everything was so much clearer and I was much happier. Everything these days seems do dreamlike and hazy, that I just want that clarity back.

  209. MLK Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Does anyone suffer from constant worrying? I have like 3 things right now that I rotate through. I will convince myself I did something really bad in the past, when in all reality I have thought of that thought before and I have not gone through it so much. I will think..What if this..what if that? and I seriously make myself feeling sick to my stomach. I will find myself googling things, not even symptoms, but things that relate to me. I know i shouldnt google, but its hard. I dont know why I think that the internet has the answer..because it doesnt! I also get the urge to confess these issues to parents, my fiance and others. I am always looking for someone who can tell me its ok or that they have gone through the same thing. Some of these issues happened when I was a teenager and I am now in my 20’s worrying about it. Can someone give me some helpful advice! Thanks, I really appreciate any words of encouragement!

  210. yolande Says:

    Hi Helen or anyone,

    Just a quick question ís it normal like when you have recovered to sometimes think about anxiety’? Eg how it was before and wondering if some event in life will one day toss you back into that pool again?

    i sometimes have this problem and the fact that when i feel everyday lows i tend to immed think óh is this anxiety again’? is this normal?


  211. Marsha Says:


    This is my first time posting. I have always been a bit of an anxious person and suffered from a panic attack 6 months ago (not my first, I’d had a few before and managed to overcome the fear) as I was very stressed out running a business around two children. This ended up as panic disorder.

    I tried everything, googling every quick fix, spending fortunes on downloads and books promising to cure me and then I found Paul’s book just over a week ago.

    Something finally sunk in. I had to stop trying to fight this thing and I am letting it just exist alongside me. I thought I was accepting it, but I wasn’t. I was waking up every morning with anxiety then automatically starting the cycle again by thinking, why me, this is driving me crazy, I’m never going to get better, why can’t I be ‘normal’. What if, what if, what if.

    The first day after reading the book I stopped with these ridiculous thoughts as I realised they were keeping the anxiety going. I don’t know what changed but it’s as if the puzzle pieces started coming together after months of ‘research’.

    I felt peace for the first time in 6 months. It’s very early days and, don’t get me wrong, I still wake up anxious and have moments during the day that my subconscious tries to drag me back down but I feel positive about the future and I am not fighting the feelings anymore, I realise I don’t need to be scared of adrenalin as it always passes. It’s just ‘feelings’ and I also realise that I need to give my body time to heal after 6 months of bashing.

    One thing I wanted to get some advice on, I have a long weekend trip booked with friends (booked before I ended up in this place!) and, although I am feeling a bit better I know I have a long road ahead. I’m scared that taking such a big step and going away (something that I do feel anxious about) and, although I know I should face everything, I don’t know if I’m strong enough yet?

    Paul, maybe you can offer some words of wisdom??

    Thank you again for your wonderful book.

  212. Ezra Says:

    Hi MLK,
    I do have the same symptoms as you, havent thought any guilty thoughts for a while but woke up this morning thinking about something that happend 7 years ago that I KNOW didnt even happen but could of !! I have located an excellent post from Candie from back in February when I posed a similar question to yourself on the blog…….Hope it helps ??

    I felt like the rational response would be to figure it out and not accept uncertaincy, but by trying to figure out the scary thoughts i was raising my anxiety levels due to not accepting them- this in turn fuelled the thoughts. The only way to break the cycle is to trually pay no attention to the questions your mind may raise and eventually you lose the anxiety response to them and can see 100% clearly how silly you where been.

    Those worrying about guilt anxiety and feeling compelled to confess silly things the same applies for. At the height of my anxiety i feel guilty over the most silly of things and would have to talk about them to get over the guilt. In the end i decided no more, let the guilt build as it wasnt real. It did build, but i accepted it- eventually it peaked and then faded and saw how silly i had been. You have to acknowledge that what you are experiencing is fake, if you go accomodating it and giving in to thinking about the guilt and confessing to relief the anxiety you are conditioning your mind to believe it has every right to feel anxious- when in reality it doesn’t.

    My biggest piece of advice would be to just mistrust whatever your symptoms are as fake and retrain yourself to see them as harmless through accepting them. To accept them you have to allow yourself to experience the symptom and dismiss it as fake, not real just anxiety and not to be pondered, figured out or escaped from. Be comfortable with been uncomfortable, so what if you feel guilty, scared, anxious, panic, sick, dizzy, ANYTHING goes. Stop scanning for problems to figure out, as they can fix themselves if you drop the anxiety radar.

    Take Care

  213. JP Says:

    John J,

    Having a cold can suck at the best of times and make you feel like crap, but don’t let it become a factor in your anxiety. Use it as an opportunity as while you are not feeling good you can blame everything on your cold and not your anxiety – ‘i feel rubbish, but it is my cold not my anxiety, so i have nothing to worry about’. Anyway, its only temporary so don’t let it bring you down at all, think what someone without anxiety would be doing if they were ill and act like them. And don’t make it a ‘terrible’ cold and a ‘migraine’, make it a cold and a headache, it will be easier to deal with then.


    Googling. You just can’t do it. Make that your last ever google of symptoms and all the rubbish we like to google. Look at your google search history, laugh at how ridiculous you have been, and then never do it again. When I stopped googling it practically cured my health anxiety. Obviously you will do it again, but once you have done it have a think and see if it has helped – i bet you it hasn’t, even if you found some good news you would ignore it for all the bad news that is out there. Even this blog can sometimes be bad if you obsess over it, but the good thing is the overwhelming message is positive and about being proactive in helping yourself. So stick to this blog, if you literally need to google something, then just give it half an hour and see if the need is there, then write it on this blog, then maybe google. But it doesn’t help and never will, the answer you are looking for isn’t out there.

  214. JP Says:

    That quote at the end of Ezra’s post is amazing:

    ‘My biggest piece of advice would be to just mistrust whatever your symptoms are as fake and retrain yourself to see them as harmless through accepting them. To accept them you have to allow yourself to experience the symptom and dismiss it as fake, not real just anxiety and not to be pondered, figured out or escaped from. Be comfortable with been uncomfortable, so what if you feel guilty, scared, anxious, panic, sick, dizzy, ANYTHING goes. Stop scanning for problems to figure out, as they can fix themselves if you drop the anxiety radar.’

  215. JP Says:

    While my last posts may look like I have the answers.. implementing them is much harder. Has anyone got anything positive/helpful to say about the depressive symptoms of anxiety? I spend a lot of my time worrying (yes, that old catch word) about what’s the point/death/motivation/depression etc. Its been a bit of an obsession (yes, that word as well) for the last couple of weeks, and before that I was doing so well, almost felt like it was all gone.

  216. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    J.P thid below what Ezra says has been said before on here in a few different ways before and is very true.

    Be comfortable with been uncomfortable, so what if you feel guilty, scared, anxious, panic, sick, dizzy, ANYTHING goes. Stop scanning for problems to figure out, as they can fix themselves if you drop the anxiety radar.’

    It is like being in a battle and then just placing your gun on the floor and surrendering. If you remember that it is ‘O.K to think and feel anything’ then there is no need to battle with yourself, let your mind and body go where it wants, don’t feel the need to get involved, figure things out or try and fix the way you feel, this just has you feeling worse, tires your mind out further and has you feeling more inward. The harder I tried to fix, the worst I felt, so I figured I should do the opposite. I realised Iwas never going to think my way better.

    It is like resting a broken leg, like not picking a scab, your mind and body needs this space to repair itself. The last think it wants is for you to get involved in an internal battle with yourself, it really is just a case of dropping the subject and taking your interest into outside things.

    Don’t let a thought, an insecurity, a symptom, an obsession drag you back into the worrying, going over cycle again. I used to walk round with a racing mind that I could not switch off, it used to go here and there as my anxiety was high and it was finding an outlet. This is where these crazy thoughts and obsessions come from, they are not real. I no longer have anxiety, so I no longer have these thoughts/obsessions. So you have to trust they are not real and just let your mind go where it wants whilst getting on with your day. What you are doing is becoming obsessed/anxious about an anxious thought, I think it so it must be real.

    Write it down if you must do, but just rememeber as I tweeted yesterday, “It is o.k to think and feel anything, this will free up your mind and give it chance to heal”

    Don’t get involved and start a war with yourself, don’t try not to think or feel a certain way as this is a another battle, just be o.k with it, however daft, obsessive, scary a thought is.

  217. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Marsha welcome firstly and I am glad you found help with the book.

    Just to take you to your statement below

    I felt peace for the first time in 6 months. It’s very early days and, don’t get me wrong, I still wake up anxious and have moments during the day that my subconscious tries to drag me back down but I feel positive about the future and I am not fighting the feelings anymore, I realise I don’t need to be scared of adrenalin as it always passes. It’s just ‘feelings’ and I also realise that I need to give my body time to heal after 6 months of bashing.

    Firstly it is totally fine to wake up anxous, it is expected as it is early days. One thing I don’t promote or promise is the impossible, like ‘Eliminate your anxiety in a week!’ Firstly it is not about eliminating, it is about your nerves healing back to a normal level. As you found out, trying to rid yourself of anxiety is counter productive and we end up not only feeling more anxious, but in trying to eliminating it, the subject becomes our whole day/week, nothing else matters and we try everything to acheive this and we become more internal and lost than ever.

    It is more about losing respect for the way you feel and think, being aloof from it, understanding that it is just a feeling that cannot harm you in anyway and that nothing is really wrong. Reading the above you have totally understood this message and have really taken it on board.

    On to your question below

    One thing I wanted to get some advice on, I have a long weekend trip booked with friends (booked before I ended up in this place!) and, although I am feeling a bit better I know I have a long road ahead. I’m scared that taking such a big step and going away (something that I do feel anxious about) and, although I know I should face everything, I don’t know if I’m strong enough yet?

    Paul, maybe you can offer some words of wisdom??

    Marsha this is really your choice, but what is it you feel anxious about? Is it the travellng? The fear of making a fool of yourself? The fear of not feeling well enough?

    Anxiety will test you along the way and you don’t have to rush headlong into everything, especially at first. But don’t let the way you feel stop you living your life, feeling anxious when there is nothing to really feel anxious about is a false signal sent to our mind, so you attach it to something. This could be ‘I may feel anxious on my trip’, ‘I don’t want to travel all that way’ , ‘What if I ruin other people’s holiday’, etc. There has to be a reason we feel anxious, so we try and attach it to something, when really there is nothing about the trip to be anxious about.

    I found that when I just went and did it anyway, nothing bad ever happened and I felt a massive sense of achievement afterwards. I was in control, not my anxiety. Sometimes as I went towards something my anxiety would rise, but it always died straight back down again. Once I stayed or moved towards it was like, ‘o.k everything is fine here, you don’t need me anymore’ my anxiety levels would die down and I would be back to calm again.

    If you truly think it is too much for you and you are physically and emotionally drained at the moment, then there is no pressure to go. If you are letting anxiety make excuses for you not to go, then I would just go and see for yourself. Trust me what our anxious mind has us believe is never the truth and you will feel so much pride for going and could have the west weekend ever.

    Just to finish the story, many years ago I was helping this lady and she said she loved to run, but had packed it in now. I asked why and she said “I just could not, what if I have an attack?, ‘What if my jelly legs fail me?, I don’t like going out much now, I just tend to stop in.

    I explained that she would love to go out now, it was the way she felt that was stopping her, she had let anxiety bluff her into hiding away. I told her to just put them trainers on and just go, that nothing bad could happen, adrenalin will never hurt you and that she would be fine. It took some convincing, but she said, ‘what have I to lose? I can’t carry on like this’. Well she went and ran 2 miles and she was so ecstatic when she got back, she kept saying ‘Paul I felt anxious when I first went, but it died down and nothing happened, I was fine, totally fine, the last mile I just had a massive grin on my face and I can not wait to go out again.

    She had let her anxiety control what she did and did not do, she was hoping that one day she would wake up and it would be gone then her life could start again. She did not realise that her life was there already if she distrusted what her anxoius mind had told her. This woman went on to get a job and the last time I spoke to her she said ‘Paul it’s o.k to be anxious, I understand that now, I thought I had to get rid of it to have a life, it controlled me for many years, but not anymore’.

    Hope you can relate to some of that Marsha


  218. Marsha Says:


    Firstly, many thanks for your reply, it is hugely appreciated. I am definitely on the right track and am no longer trying to eliminate my feelings, I’m just taking it one step at a time. In fact when I went out this morning I just put my little ‘anxiety friend’ in my handbag and let it come along with me – sounds silly but it worked!

    You are right though, I am allowing the anxiety to make excuses for me again. What am I scared of? What if I feel horrible the whole time, what if I make a fool of myself, what’s the point in going if I’m going to feel anxious the whole time? I realise what I’m thinking here is my old habit but it’s hard to shake off overnight. Rather than taking one day at a time I’m seeing the whole trip as a disaster and am worried my recent good work will go to pot.

    Reading what you have written, I think I am going to do it. It’s going to be tough, but I know I will feel rubbish if I give in and let it defeat me by not going. It’s a big step when I have spent months thinking I’m losing the plot and was scared of becoming housebound and depressed.

    I will keep you posted and let you know if I make it on the trip! Fingers crossed.

    Thank you again. You have no idea how much you’ve helped me.

    Best wishes,

  219. MLK Says:

    Thanks for the responses! They definitely helped me out! Hope everyone has a nice day!

  220. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    You say:

    I’m seeing the whole trip as a disaster and am worried my recent good work will go to pot

    Marsha trust me you will be fine, if not blame me. I never once regretted moving towards what I had made excuses to avoid, I just grew stronger and it always went far better than my anxious mind had me believe.

    You don’t lose anything Marsha by going forward, you just grow stronger. Don’t have any expectations when you go or put pressure on yourself to enjoy it, don’t feel the need to tune in to check how things are going. Just have the attitude of ‘If the trip goes great, then brill, if not, then so be it’ that attitude will take so much pressure of you and take away any expectations and allow you to just concetrate on the trip and not yourself.


  221. Jen Says:

    hi everybody,

    just felt that i needed to write after my last comment a few weeks ago. i read through the blog and found some comments that stuck to my head like glue that i found really helped me. a lady had written, ‘allow your mind to chatter, let it think what it wants and train ourselves not to react and not to fear it. if you wake up in a morning and your mind wants to chatter from 7 in a mornin til the minute you drop off to sleep, then let it.’

    So i took this advice, and along with this i changed my attitude. I was filled with self-pity, paying my thoughts too much attention, ‘oh my god what if im stuck like this forever, its awful i cant cope’. apologies in advance for being abrupt and rude, but i thought you know what, f*** this lol. im not being a victim no more, its me whos feeding the fear, so why should i???

    the racing heart stopped in time, i began to eat, and i even went on holiday to turkey with my boyfriend without a single what if. yes, towards the end of the hol i thought oh god its cominb back. but i reminded myself, hey this is the mind chatter, you chatter away. i realised i have to see this for what it is……… THOUGHTS!! they can do you no harm. its took my months to for this to finally start sinking in, but looking back ive come so far and thats good enough for me. i was filled with feeling sorry for myself, how did this ever happen, when will this go??? once all the physical symptons go, all you are left with is mind chatter, just remind yourself, sod this! its anxiety chatting away, you cant control your thoughts, so dont bother. if my mind wants to chatter, im gona let it, your attitude needs to change.

    dont get m wrong, i know im gona feel panicky again, but at this moment in time im not, even though my mind is chatting right now, i feel i have made a little improvement therefore i would like to give hope to anybody who was as terrfied of this ‘thing’ as me.

    remember, let your mind chatter for 24 hours a day everyday if it wants!! and, think to yourself, SOD it!! xxxx

  222. Jen Says:

    i would also like to thank paul and everybody else on here for thier kind words and advice. i honestly believe this blog has saved lives. thank u xx

  223. jan Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I wish you would comment on my first post i am starting to read your book, but i have some questions i need to ask,and its on my first post up..or anyone who could offer any advice will be much appreciated.

  224. JP Says:

    Hi Jan, firstly stop taking your blood pressure constantly, that will not help or put your mind at rest (as you have already proved). Secondly, many people deal with thinking they have something seriously wrong, it is just your tired mind and adrenaline feeding the thoughts that scare you most. I think your brain is clever and locks onto whatever scares you the most (strokes for you), so just start living with that fear until it is no longer a fear. But drop your safety habits, and checking your blood pressure is one.

    Lastly, you won’t die of a stroke. x

  225. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Paul
    I loved your last post about trying to accept ourselves and trying not to aim to be like someone or a certain personality. For as long as I can remember I have been a perfectionist high achiever and I know this is what has gotten me to where I am not in the throws of anxiety. I think I have insecurities which lead me to seek such a lifestyle. I have perfect visions of my career path the top positions in big companies that I want and the perfect man I want to marry and the perfect situation that will make this all slot into place. I still try and follow these dremas even though I am wracked with anxiety every day. I want people to see me as the high flying high achiever that I want to be and feel I should be, did I not have the dreaded anxiety and this keeps me in the cycle, as I torment myself daily trying to be something I cannot possibly be right now. I find your book very helpful and I can sometimes accept and go towards the anxiety and I can feel great. But then I will be in a social setting get really anxious again and feel back to square one. I know these are setbacks but they are so frequent that I nearly think it is worse getting my hopes up for a few days then back to square one. I know you say that you were up and down but the downs just seem to get harder and more frequent. I just find this so hard to accept sometimes. any advice would be most appreciated.

  226. Matt Says:

    Hey, I really need some help. I was doing pretty good the past month, then I decided to go to work again, after a two year hiatus, and the DP has been so bad and frightening. It’s like I can’t take it all. I feel so detached and out of it, that I can’t concentrate on what the teacher is saying (I am taking a work-related class). I am so depressed and feel so hopeless, I am beginning to wonder if it is something else, even though I know it isn’t. I am having a really, really hard time functioning, even when I get home. It feels like I am going to be like this forever and will never find my way out. I keep reading about people suffering for years with this and I feel stuck. If someone could give me some advice, it would be much appreciated.

  227. Marsha Says:

    Hi again Paul,

    I’m going to trust you and on your head be it 😉 Already the anticipation anxiety is setting and my subconscious is trying to tell me I just can’t do it, but I’m going to try to be aloof from it and not hold too many expectations. I know if I get over this hurdle then I will be 10 steps forward.

    Jen, I’m going to take some of your advice from your recent trip too, I’m so glad it was a success.

    Thanks again,
    M x

  228. Jen Says:

    Hey Marsha,

    Thank you. Trust me you will be fine, honestly. I look back at myself a few months ago and I was a complete mess, but we do this to ourselves. we have the the power. Its your attitude that needs to change Marsha, just think to yourself you NEED to feel anxiety because thats the time we can make a change, when we are feeling it we can train our bodies and minds not to feel scared. I think i finally get it, although it took months to sink in. I know ill have setbacks ive had a couple, but just think ‘HEY, this is MY life not ANXIETY’S life!! I’m going to show you that im not scared of you anymore’.

    Enjoy your trip :)


  229. Carly Says:

    Hi guys

    Sorry to be a moaning old so and so but I am really really struggling with the DR thing…it’s like I’ve lost all my intellect, I get really really confused and completely disorientated in familiar surroundings, my eyes feel like they have a filter on them so everything is darker. My memory is now non existent (short and long term) and with overstimulation (say in a supermarket) I “can’t see what I’m doing.” I can see what is in my field of vision and hear what is happening but the input becomes scattered in my head — the incoming visual and aural stimuli seems ‘off’….I dont have scary thoughts or anything just blankness really like half my brain is numb! I have the most horrendous visual disturbances too like 3D but without the glasses….it all gets so much worse when I’m focusing on something or if I’ve ‘thunk’ too hard!!

    I developed numbness down one side of my body last week where my face fell, slurred speech etc and more difficulty with the vision in my right eye that seems to be full of glue! My God I was petrified but kept telling myself ‘it’s just anxiety’!! Dr told me it was just depression and got angry with me beause I REFUSE to take the rat poison (AD’s) he prescribes me…I feel so alone and desperate.

    I cant help thinking this is something else and I feel stupid for it but I am really trying to get on with life because I want to enjoy it not fear it but everything seems to be getting worse. I’m 32 with 4 children and I can barely function!

    Damn this is scary stuff and I’m beginning to lose faith big time please please please can someone, anyone relate to any of this??? I feel like my entire body is not working correctly and everything is out of synch. I dont have panic attcks or even feel anxiety anymore, it’s an eerie calmness sort of thing….I’m so sorry to bring anyonr down and I really hope everyone is doing ok. Will, where are you???????

    Much love xxxxxxxx

  230. Carly Says:

    Am I being totally stupid here?? I’m just so scared – sorry everyone xxx

  231. Matt Says:

    Carly, I know what you’re going through. I commented the other day about being totally hopeless and lost. Well, today I kept thinking that I was going end up in a nuthouse and wouldn’t be the father my kids needed me to be. I was reading every website and book I could find, thinking that I had something worse, and then it hit me. I was doing so great a week ago, the DP felt like it was leaving and then I realized today that I have “created” a habit of what I am going through. I was getting scared of everything because everything felt weird and unfamiliar, even my own house. So my brain reacts to my emotions with panic and fear, and I realized and finally grasped everything Paul had said. It makes so much sense now, I created this habit and when I am scared because of everything looking funny, then because my mind can’t find anything to pin it on, it says it must be the wall that I don’t recognize, or my kids, or my house, and so on. I have to retrain my brain in to believing it is ok, that I just created a habit of worrying and there isn’t anything to be scared of. I believe, like Paul says, that that is the way out. You have to retrain you mind and understand that this is nothing, and I mean nothing but a tired mind that will get a break once I give it one.

    That is what I was doing for a little while, up until this week, and now I think I finally get it. Let’s hope it lasts this time…lol!! Remeber though, as I will, that when everything seems weird and distant, your brain’s natural reaction to that is fear. You have to train yourself to be ok with it and move on. I am planning on taking my own advice this time until fully recovered.

  232. KM Says:

    My heart goes out to you, I know exactly how your symptoms make you feel. And managing this with four children, I take my hat off to you, your strength and courage is to be admired. I experienced very similar DP after the birth of my daughter eleven years ago too, mine was also very visual. Everything felt foreign, ojects appeared to have a haze or glow/shadow to them, and my eyes played all sorts of visual tricks and most of the time i thought i couldn’t see straight either. Like you i was terrified of anti depressants, and went from doctor to doctor trying to find someone to support me without trying to medicate me. Good news is you dont need them, you can get better without them, and there are many people who can’t take them at all for whatever reason, remember they are an option, not a solution and there is many other things you can do. I found a great psychologist who practised from a ‘no medication’ philosophy, she wrote a book called, You can overcome anxiety without medication – Sallee McLaren, and her methods are very similar to Pauls, they compliment each other, she too suffered from anxiety and has a nursing background so understands the condition. Fortunatly for me she lives here in melbourne and i was able to see her regulary for years, i’d go for top up sessions occassionally and have seen her a few times this year due to my major set back. My advice is to try not to be so impressed and just keep getting on with your day, i now have good/bad parts to the day, and when i’m feeling bad, i try to tell myself it’ll pass, and i’m on my way, and with each new day your one step closer and one step further away from it all. Engage with your kids even if you feel crap, do little things with them in the garden or outside, give yourself small treats along the way regardless of how your feeling, you need to self nurture a little. I’ve recently started having bubble baths at night, sometimes i feel good about it other times i feel crap, but as long as i bring a good engaging book to read, i make myself do it, as it was somthing i once really enjoyed. Also try get as much help with the kids as you can, babysitters, etc so you dont add to your overwhelm as parenting is full on and puts most mums into an anxiety state even if they dont have anxiety!! Thinking of you hope your weekend improves :)

  233. DCYL Says:

    HI All / Matt,

    Been poking in but not replying much as I’ve been working on my own recovery. Like you Matt, about a week ago, I was doing quite well. Alas, a little disagreement with my mom got her yelling at me and that set me off for a few days. I didn’t like what happened and the feelings seemed to hit me two fold. The scary thoughts came back and I was feeling out of sorts again. I’ve been able to work through things on and off lately.

    I completely agree with Matt about the worry habit though. I’m a worrier by nature and even NORMAL feelings seem to come strong and that sometimes sets me off.

    However, one thing I am learning is that I should listen to my feelings more (the non-anxous ones that is). A lot of times we go through life at super speed and never get in touch with ourselves. When I feel hungry, I go get food. If I feel feel thirsty then I get a drink, etc, etc. Paul’s book touches on this about changing our worry habit but it should apply to a lot of other things.

  234. jan Says:

    thanks JP for the reply it sure helps me a lot.

  235. Elaine Says:

    Hi Could you help please feel very anxious no panick just feel like i am losing control and my mind is very scrambled and muzzy. Ihave put 6 pound back on i have been feeling ok but now feeling awfull and no appatite again . My face is numb and tingly x

  236. SarahS Says:

    Hi All

    Just a short one. I’m checking in after not doing so for quite a while. I had anxiety for almost all my life and severe anxiety at times. I couldn’t sleep, eat much, concentrate, work, socialise, it affected everything I did. My big fear as a result was travel amongst other things but after quite a while of practising what Paul advises my anxiety has lessened somewhat and I am doing so much more, I don’t feel znxious every minute of every day anymore and i feel so much happier Plus, this summer I went on holiday with my family to Spain and loved it! Woooo hooooo! If I can do it then so can you all. If i could give one piece of advice it would be to stay patient, especially if you have suffered for a long time as i did. I got so frustrated as I thought I was doing everything right but I didn’t seem to be getting any bet’ter BUT eventully i did and I’m so glad I stuck with it. Helen – you give brilliant advice!

    Good luck everyone. Keep at it and stick with it and smile at it as much as you can.

    Sarah xx

  237. elaine Says:

    Thanx for thar sara xxx

  238. viktoriya Says:

    Hello everyone, I haven’t visited this website in so long. The reason? Because I am no longer anxiety ridden. In fact, I rarely think about it anymore. Now that I went back to see what’s new here, I realized and got reminded how many people are still suffering with anxiety, the SAME way I used to. I remember when my life was hell and anxiety cosumed me every moment of my day. Everything, all my acitivited had to be planned “in case I panic”. I avoided many activities. I almost became house ridden, but thank God I went to go see a doctor specializing in anxiety and CBT treatment. After i saw him, i wasn’t cured, i just felt a little bit more comfortable. but he did boosted up my confidence that i could beat it. i remember thinking “how long will it take, why has it been a year and i am still anxious, not as much though”.the main solution came from this website. Paul was so right when he said “just start living your life, stop consuming yourself with anxiety and constantly researching on it. just stop and do the things you used to enjoy. and the freedom will come to you, layer by layer, slowly but surely if you just stop thinking about it constantly.” i remember asking myself “how can i stop thinking about it and live my life when i feel like im on the verge of an emotional breakdown or something?”. but i SLOWLY stopped letting anxiety ruling my life. i was scared to do everything i used to do at once. so i started “progressive exposure”. I would go out where i would feel somewhat comfortable at first, then once i got more confidence i started throwing more things into my daily activities. eventually i got confident that even though i am out and i have anxiety INITIALLY, i am still going to stay there and i will NOT run home and avoid it. i knew that this is an essential part of recovery and no magic pill will ever make me feel better unless i myself make myself feel better. slowly slowly i started enjoying my life, got more confident and rarely get anxious anymore. when i do, i know i am not going back to square one again. after all, anxiety is a natural and a normal human emotion. i know we became used to being ‘scared ‘ of anxiety, thinking we MUST not feel it ever. but in reality, we will feel it on many occasions and take it as a normal part of life where we know it will not stick around forever. the difference between “normal people” and anxiety ridden people, is that anxious people experience anxiety and take it as a some sort of catastrophic event, where normal people experience it , and say “oh well” and move on with their activities and the feeling eventually passes. that’s the KEY. i hope it helps. just stick with this website, get courage and start living the life. this too shall pass, i promise :)

  239. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Great post viktoriya

    Not only does it really help when someone comes back and says they have recovered, it also shows what is needed to get there and at times it takes some brave yet small steps. It is also proof that nothing will ever come of moving towards how you feel instead of living in a secuirty blanket and not by letting it make decisions for you, you can have your life back. The route you took was your choice, it would have been easier to hide away and feel sorry for yourself and for that you deserve the freedom you now have and a big pat on the back.

  240. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    By the way the next post will be more on the fear side and moving towards this to break through barriers and safety behaviours. Hopefully I will put it together and post in a couple of weeks.

  241. Marsha Says:

    Hi Paul

    After my post a few days ago, just to say the trip is still booked! The only problem is that the anticipation anxiety is now a killer. Yes, the fear of what might happen, but probably won’t (!). I know the only real way for anticipation anxiety to lessen is to follow through with the event & realise it wasn’t as bad as imagined. The struggle is, despite understanding this is making me more sensitised and anxious temporarily, I just can’t seem to stop worrying about how I will cope feeling so much anxiety. Am I pushing myself too far so early on?

    Any advice on how to get through the ‘anticipation’ phase would be hugely appreciated.

    Thank you

    PS great reading the last few success stories.

  242. SarahS Says:

    Hi Marsha

    Firstly, what you are going through is normal for an anxiety sufferer. You are anxious and about to go on a trip which you find anxiety provoking at the moment so you it’s quite normal to feel more anxious. I think Paul’s advice is great though, if you truly don’t feel well enough to go then you don’t have to, that’s okay it really is, but if it’s an avoidance issue then I would go and allow it to be whatever it is, bad, awful, ok, not too bad, bad at times, fine, whatever it is. It could be a little bit of both reasons and that’s normal too to feel that way. Whatever you decide to do it’s fine, it will all come right in the end. You are practising how to change your attitude towards anxiety and that will come bit by bit rather than overnight. Take steps towards getting better and adopting new attitudes and bit by bit you will improve as you are already. We are all different and adopt these new attitudes at different rates, some quite quickly, others it takes a while (like myself) but that’s okay too. We are all on the right path and heading in the right direction, sometimes we fall but we get up again and move along. If you go then come back and tell me all about it, good and bad, it doesn’t matter.


    Sarah xxx

  243. Marsha Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your lovely reply. I think it is mostly an avoidance issue, to steer clear of the horrible feelings and thoughts as they’ve been starting to fade. I am definitely changing and feeling stronger, there is no way I would have even considered going on the trip just a few weeks ago. I am determined not to let this beat me and that is why I’m going, I just need to work on changing my attitude a bit this week I think…from the lingering ‘what ifs’ to ‘so whats’!

    I will keep you posted on how it all goes :) xx

  244. CR123 Says:

    hi all
    Just looking for a bit of help really…. i cant stop thinking about going mad i get it that im not mad but now all i keep thinking about is that i will eventually go mad because that is all i think about i try to just let it be and not react but it really does scare me that something might just snap and i will lose it.. the thought just wont go away! i have such a bad headache because it just wont stop going over and over…. i read back on other posts and they make sense but just wont register.. sorry to keep asking for help.. carlee

  245. JP Says:

    Carlee.. if you try to stop thinking about it and try to relax, then you will keep going in circles. just accept that at the moment that is how you feel and what your tired mind is focusing on, but once you ACCEPT, it will slowly begin to diminish. the mad thing was something i dealt with a lot when the anxiety first started, but it soon goes away once you accept and start to return to doing other things. don’t do anything, and you will get better!

  246. natalie Says:

    morning everyoone
    hope you are all doing ok x i hav e little problem at the moment and just need to try to make sense of how i am feeling if anyone has the time and think they can help. Have been doing really well but have had a bout of anxiety i think due to over doing things ( got carried away with feeling ok with going out went a bit mad lol ) but also to do with my youngest son, he has always been a bit full on but since going back to school recently he seems really anxious and is constantly angry or crying he goes into his own world sometimes and cannot seem to sit still. I have concerns if he might be adhd but something my mum said has made me worry more and got me feeling really anxious again, she sems to think its due to my condition that my youngest is sensitive to me and has picked up on my anxiety this has upset me so much and i feel so guilty, either way i am finding it hard to accept and cope with my sons behaviour and worry how i will cope. I know half my problem is that i am worrying but like usual when you are feeling quite anxious your thoughts cannot switch off. Feel so low as i was doing so well and now am stuck with all these feelings again and my husband said he is getting tired of my moods. I just don’t know which way to turn at the min and keep telling myself just to leave it will all sort its self out in the end that the best i can do for my son is try to let the thoughts go and just be there to give him the cuddles and love he needs what ever is concerning him, think i just needed some support guys thanks victoria for your post again gives hope when sometimes the road seems long x

  247. Michelle M Says:

    Hi Natalie

    Maybe you are just being over sensitive to his behaviour. I know for a fact that I am with my youngest daughter. She is 3 and I look at every aspect of her behaviour incase she is showing signs of anxiety etc….

    I know how hard it is to sometimes hide how you feel but I think for the childrens sake just try and get on with the day. My children (13 and 3) have no idea how I feel on a daily basis because i want to keep them happy and for them not to worry about me, obviously I mean the 13 year old.

    My partner, like yours has only so much patience. Again, I try not to put it on him all the time. I have been going to CBT which really helps as there is someone to talk to who will not judge you and has heard all the problems and issues thousands upon thousands of times before.

    I think Natalie that if there really was any kind of issue with your son that the school would soon enough pick up on his behaviour and let you know. Just continue to love and look after him as best as you can and I am sure things will sort out in the end.

    If you ask other parents, your worries are probably very similar to theirs but they just accept the behaviour whereas we are more sensitive and automatically assume something is wrong.

    Apologies if I am talking absolute nonsense and havent helped. I hope all works out for you.

    Michelle x

  248. Teresa J Says:

    Hi Natalie
    Please realise anxeity tries to make you want to ‘do’ something about the thoughts you have. Sometimes it seems so important that we ‘have’ to address a problem, and it really creeps into the area of your life you are most sensitive to – we all understand the urgency of anxiety and how disappointing it is when you think you have left it behind. I am at present trying to ignore thoughts – or live alongside them , they can be so convincing, but BELIEVE me. your concerns about your son are anxiety. i know what it’s like when someone close mentions a little thing that seems so innocent and we pick up on it and weave a whole load of worries around it. If your son had a problem – the school would definitely pick up on it. Also your son has other people in his life – are they worried? NO. Decide to leave the worry about your son’s adh to anyone else, it’s not there and if it was someone else would see it. Then when that voice in your head tells you otherwise say, this is anxiety and has nothing to do with anything real – and then try and get on with the day. I know it’s hard – but there are enough people on here doing well to prove it works. good luck.

  249. Michelle M Says:


    As you know, this is my biggest fear and has been for the past 4-5 years. And obviously I havent gone mad. Believe me if you could drive yourself mad with worry I would have done so by now and Im not joking!

    We have to accept them as thoughts and nothing else. They will never amount to anything other than that. I know its crippling at times and you really do feel as though you have lost it but believe me, and as you already know, its just this awful anxiety we have at the moment.

    It will get easier…mine certainly has over the past few weeks. I have been having CBT which helps. Its great to talk to someone who understands it and can explain it.

    Remember carlee, how we feel and the thoughts we have are not unusual in the slightest. Most people have irrational thoughts of one thing or another and what bothers them we could probably laugh at but to them its an issue. Its just something else that we give ourselves to worry about…as if we need more. Just try to get on and live and enjoy your life.

    Another good book to get (sorry Paul, hope you dont mind) is The Happiness Trap. Its CBT in book form.

    Good luck carlee and lay off the worrying!!;-)

  250. Carolyn Says:

    I love Paul’s approach and that there are so many supportive posts on here. I have long struggled with anxiety and would love to believe there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. I sure could use a little help and support though. I have been trying to accept my anxiety but I constantly find myself fighting, I guess b/c i am so used to it. When I can accept it, i feel a little better but get very overwhelmed by every day tasks and get frustrated b/c it is so hard to concentrate with my mind racing. The simplest things are so hard right now. Any advice on how you first started accepting and dealing with frustration would be great aprreciated

  251. JP Says:

    Those first weeks of trying to implement acceptance are pretty hard, because you are trying to accept, and the key is to just accept. That is a bit of a weird concept, but once you stop trying to accept and it just becomes acceptance then you will be on the right path. Maybe trying visualising yourself ‘floating’ past the anxiety, as opposed to fighting against it, just to help get you on the right track. Good luck, you can do it.

    I just got back from a run, 4 months ago I thought I would never be able to exercise again I was so anxiety ridden. I still have my demons at the moment, but another big achievement.

  252. steveo Says:


    How long have you struggled?

    JP is correct. It sounds confusing but I think you do not have to do anything, you just get on with your day. Obviously thsi is a lot easier said than done, but with time it does get easier. We only need to read the posts on here from the people who have fully recovered and they’ve all done the same… nothing.

    Good luck, it does get easier with time.

    JP – excellent news on the run!! Well done :-)

  253. Matt Says:

    Hey guys, could use some help here. I’ve been suffering with DP for the past three months and it has seemed to get a lot worse. I am having a difficult time functioning normally. I mean, everything seems to scare me to death and I am trying to accept it, but it seems so hard. I dropped out of a job due to feeling so detached that I felt like I couldn’t cope with it anymore. Looking at my kids scares me because I feel like I don’t recognize them anymore. I seem to have a ‘blank’ mind and constant 24/7 awareness of myself that is impossible to switch off. I want to be normal again and having a very, very difficult time accepting this. I was making pretty good strides a couple of weeks ago with it, and then after leaving the job feel worthless. Everything seems strange and unfamiliar and I just want to live again but can’t find any motivation to do so. If someone can give some advice, it would be much appreciated, thanks.

  254. Steveo Says:


    I am not fully recovered but I am on the right road. My DP was also very very very high a while back but has improved.

    From my experience and as you will already know, there is no miracle cure for it. You just have to go about your day as normal as possible.

    Can you get yourself in to another job which will hopefully help? No doubt not working is not helping.

    Good luck!

  255. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    J.P Says:

    Those first weeks of trying to implement acceptance are pretty hard, because you are trying to accept, and the key is to just accept. That is a bit of a weird concept, but once you stop trying to accept and it just becomes acceptance then you will be on the right path.

    It is a very important point that J.P, trying to accept can become a battle in itself, especially if you are using it to try and find relief. You are far better just using the pharse ‘Being o.k with it’ in fact you don’t need any phrase as long as you just live along side the way you feel and don’t make a big deal out of it, you just become aloof to the way you feel. If you feel great or dreadful, just get up and move on with your day, without feeling the need to check in, do something about it or work it all out.

    Also those feelings will probably be around for the day, be fine with that, don’t get into a battle with yourself. Everyday without a mental battle is another day for your mind and body to heal.

    This is why so many come back later and tell us how well they are doing, it takes time, be o.k with this also, it is not a race to be better, a race again becomes another battle. Don’t wake up and make it your daily aim to get better, another battle, just drop the subject and get on with what you have to do that day.

    Don’t try and forget yourself though, another battle, if you feel very self aware and detached from your surroundings, again see it as part of you, don’t try and force or seek normal feelings or feel sorry for yourself. If your thoughts race and are scary, see it as part of ordinary thinking, as it is when we are anxious, we feel anxiety, hence our thoughts can be anxious, they are not real and should not be treated as such.

    We actually don’t realise how many battles we get into until we look back on the way we go about our week.


  256. Marsha Says:

    Hello again,

    Forgive me for another post about this trip I have booked at the weekend. I felt so much better last week after starting to implement Paul’s tips, taking each day at a time, so much better that I decided to say yes to THE trip away this weekend.

    Well, I’m now absolutely tormented by it, and back to square one, waking up thinking about having panic attacks on each leg of the trip, imagining all sorts of scenarios, the main fear being scared of feeling so awful. Once the panic subsides I then remain anxious waiting for it to return. Everything I read about adrenalin and fear makes sense, why won’t it just sink in?…and why am I so scared to face this trip? The anticipation anxiety is a killer, it’s taking up so much brain space that I can’t concentrate on much else…when this time last week I was starting to feel free.

    As this worrying making me more sensitised, constantly thinking about it, I’m finding that my anxiety levels about everything else have shot up again, when I proved to myself last week that by just being OK with them I could feel so much better.

    Why does my mind chatter keep winning? I feel exhausted with this one and am wondering if I really should go through with it or just keep taking baby steps. The old me would have been so excited about the trip, that’s the frustrating thing!

    Marsha x

  257. SarahS Says:

    Hi Marsha

    What you are going through is perfectly normal. You can’t just know what your new attitude should be and change it just like that within a few days orweeks, it’s something you are trying to do and that’s good enough. You are working towards it and that’s all you need to do for now. In the meantime you will have ups and downs, good and bad days, frustrations, high anxiety, progressions, 2 steps forward and 1 back and all this is perfectly normal and part of your recovery. You have high anxiety at the mo over your trip and it’s really not at all nice. You will need to go through these things however to make progress, so go through them when you can, don’t avoid if you can help it, keep going through these things and progress will eventually be made. Don’t look for it though, it’ll just come. So, if you can, go on this trip, tell the others you’re anxious and not 100% and ride the highs and lows, you may feel rubbish at times but they’re just feelings. But if you’re not able to go and need to cancel, its not the end of the world by any means at all. It’s fine. Keep doing what you can and going through it, not avoiding if you can at all help it and it will all come right in the end. Thinking of you xxxx

    Hi Natalie

    I understand your concerns completely. My son was the same, he seemed to pick up on my anxieties and I found a couple of years ago he became fearful in crowds which realy really upset me. I think the advice you’ve been given is spot on though. Your son is obviously loved to bits, well cared for and well looked after, which is wonderful.1 You are doing your best and he may and may not pick up on these things but I can assure you that as time goes on and he sees you becoming stronger he will become stronger himself too. My son has done and now he’s gone from being described at school as lacking in confidence and not speaking up to bein described as a quietly confident lad who participates well. he was even chosen by his peers to be the school councillor after he did a speech he wrote himself and said to the school! The other bit of good advice I took from here about dealing with my hubby and how anxiety was affecting us was to remember we are a team (thanks Will) and I think I’ve made big changes in the way I handle things now. I’m not perfect and old habits are hard to rid of but we are much happier as a family now that I’m no longer so irritable and cross. I’ve spoken to you before and you sound so much like me, I think you’re doing so well Natalie. Try not to worry so much about your boy. Although the fact that you do worry just shows what a good mom you are. Just carry on loving him, he gives you even more reason to get on with your day, kids are a hard work but a big help to anxiety too. Hugs

    Sarah xxx

  258. Carly Says:

    Hi Matt

    So sorry to hear you too are struggling with the DP. You’re post to me the other night was a positive one and you made a lot of sense so it will come back (the positivity I mean) Sorry to hear about your job but hey, you got to that stage of going back to work so it will come again and your confidence will grow.

    I have to ask this because I too am struggling with this. You say you dont recognise your kids etc what about yourself? In the mirror??

    I have the same feelings, my house, my street, my children etc all look ‘unfamiliar’ and it’s unsettling to say the least. It gets tiring to be honest as if my brain has to work extra hard because it seems to be constantly searching for a moment of ‘normality’. I think I’d give anything to have the anxiety back, I know that sounds awful but at least I could function now I just have this eerie feeling of nothingness with no motivation…yuck!

    I had a tooth removed today and I feel extra shocking and sometimes I find it very hard to believe that I’m ‘ok’ but we must soldier on…keep your chin up :o)

    Much love to everyone xxx

  259. Bret Walters Says:

    Okay…got a question for anyone who feels they can answer.

    I’ve been doing pretty dang good, relatively low anxiety, no panic attacks in a couple YEARS, DP is pretty much gone, etc. I am currently working from home, not making great money, doing web/graphic design which is my passion. Now heres the kicker, I may have an incredible job offer, full time, for a VERY good salary, doing what I love, design, and…its for the exotic car industry…which I also love lol. But the thing is I still live at home with my mom (I am 23) and I have never really had a full time job. I’ve always avoided it and think that is why I ended up freelancing. But part of me feels like I’m missing that “structure” in my day and being around people, creative ones like myself. I guess I’m just scared because I am afraid I will get too overwhelmed with work and stress myself out and end up in my terrible state again. (obviously i recognize this a worry but it seems valid since stress is what landed me in my dark state to begin with) I just feel like my capacity for stress is so low these days. So I guess my question is should I take the job which will be more stressful than my current…”job” (if you can call it that) or continue trying to make it on my own….which might end up being more stressful. I then get caught up in the whole “if you take this what if you get overwhelmed and then you will be making enough money where you will need to move out, AWAY FROM YOUR MOM” Ugh I cant believe I’m admitting that but it definitely scares me haha. The idea of living a “normal” life is so what I want and it seems so close but it also seems so daunting. Washing my clothes, taking care of my own place, working full time, making all my meals…ugh. Those things that people do on a daily basis that I want to do seem impossible.

    ADVICE PLEASE. Lol! I love you all.


  260. SarahS Says:

    PS: Marsha – Paul’s brill advice above to JP is spot on for you too. However you feel, live alongside it, all the ups and downs. Go with it all xxx

  261. Carlie Says:

    Hey everyone, this is my first post here. My story is a long one but I’ll try to keep it as short as possible. It would mean the world to me if someone would read it.

    First of all, I do have a history of anxiety and what I believe is OCD (mostly the O part), and I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder almost 2 years ago. I’ve long had problems with “OCD episodes” where I become obsessed with a scary thought or idea, but it always goes away over time. Now for the reason I’m here. Almost 3 months ago, I had my wisdom teeth taken out… sounds simple enough. But things weren’t quite right after this. The surgery was on a Friday morning, but I guess Sunday was the day I really started to feel weird. I just remember feeling REALLY REALLY depressed and irritable, almost restless. I decided to just go to bed earlier, but I couldn’t sleep. Nothing felt right. I woke up the next day feeling less depressed, but something wasn’t right. I remember feeling guilty for sleeping so late, and soon after this, I started feeling “foggy”. Like thinking became too difficult or something. I thought maybe it was the aftereffects of the pain medication I had taken and I ate dinner and then felt a little better. But then later that night, “it” came back, whatever “it” was. So I stayed up really late until I felt better again, which did happen. I woke up the next day and again thought I felt better, and finally good enough to leave the house for the first time since the surgery. But even before this, I remember feeling VERY “on edge” and I couldn’t figure out why. I decided to go out anyway. Then it happened. On the way to my aunt’s house, I guess I started thinking about how I was feeling again, and it hit. I just felt foggy, and when I was at her house I didn’t feel completely there. All of the classic depersonalization stuff. I tried to shake it off but I couldn’t. I felt like I couldn’t think straight. I also had a headache. I guess it’s worth nothing that my monthly cycle started around this same time… sorry if it’s TMI, but I feel like it has something to do with it.

    So I originally thought “Oh maybe it’s just sinus stuff”, because I have a history of that too. This is when I started Googling. I came across comments where people said they had suffered from “brain fog” nonstop for years and I think it really scared me. Somewhere along the way, someone mentioned depersonalization, and I came across a forum… I won’t mention the name, but some of you probably know what I’m talking about. Almost all of the posts on there TERRIFIED me. I told my mom I felt like I was in a dream and I just needed to wake up. I wanted to be taken to the hospital, anything to get rid of this. I went to bed, hoping it would go away, and the next day is when it really began. I woke up in a PANIC, sweating, couldn’t breathe, and I even threw up. I have NEVER been prone to panic attacks before, despite my history of anxiety. But this depersonalization became my new problem. Everything “felt” different to me suddenly. I couldn’t be left alone because I was too scared, and I also could barely eat. Reading that forum and other people’s stories definitely made me 10 times worse and brought on symptoms I didn’t even have. I was in a state of panic for 3 days, before seeing a doctor. I told him everything and how I felt like I was now a different person living a different life, even though this hadn’t even been going on for a week yet. I couldn’t remember how to be normal again. He gave me antidepressants of course, and another anxiety medication to take when needed. I tried the antidepressants for 3 weeks but am off of them now. I took the anxiety medication that night, because I was leaving for vacation the next day. I also came across a positive story concerning depersonalization, and then suddenly it was like a lightbulb went off. The medication was definitely helpful too. I went on vacation the next day and while things weren’t perfect, my appetite slowly came back, and at times I was pretty much back to normal. When it was time to come home, I started to panic again, thinking “What if it comes back?” Since that’s where the initial panic attack happened. Well, it did come back. And here I am.

    I had to withdraw from school a couple of weeks ago, even though the intense anxiety IS better than it was. But I still spend all of my days fighting with myself and questioning things, like “Is depersonalization really a separate disorder?” and “Why do so many people have this for years?” It’s terrifying. The last few days I’ve felt like it’s someone else in my body and I’m not even comfortable with my own thoughts. On top of this, my short term memory is awful. It’s truly hell. I don’t feel “foggy” all of the time anymore, but everything else is terrible. Paul, I did buy your book and I’m trying hard to put what you say into practice, but it’s definitely not easy. I guess my question for anyone who actually read this is: Why do you think all of this started after I had my wisdom teeth out? I had a stressful few months before, with anxiety/depression related stuff that was getting worse, but June had been going okay. Was it all just a build-up of stress, and then the surgery/hormones kicking in at the same time triggered something?

    Thank you so much to whoever read this. I tried to keep it short but it was hard. :/

  262. Carly Says:

    Being a bit of a dingbat with the emoticon thingies….wanted it to be a happy face not a shocked one lol!

  263. SarahS Says:

    Hi Bret

    It sounds like you are doing really well! Well done, so you know you can improve. The key however with anxiety is not to avoid anything. You are still a little wary of the anxiety returning and so are avoiding certain things, things which in the long run will enrich your life even more and give you so much more flexibility. My advice would be to face these things. Apply for the job, if you get it, face the anxiety this brings – it may intensify yes but you will be facing it again and making progress. You have already made good progress I bet it wasn’t by avoiding, not facing, etc so even if your anxiety was high you’d get over it and still be able to work, might be a bit hard at times but so what, you could still work. I had many years of being off sick from work due to my anxiety until I decided no more and I went in day after day no matter how I felt. As you say working with people and being able to use your creative skills and really progress is your goal so go for it. Again don’t expect things to be perfect, you are facing something you’ve avoided until now, but you will see it through and come out the other end and be really chuffed you did! As for being concerned about moving away from your mom, there’s nothing wrong with that either! You are only 23 anyway so there’s no rush. It’s only a bit of anxiety talking. I’m sure your mom understands the situation and is proud of your progress. Explain how you feel to her if you can. Anyway you will see that as you take it a step at a time you will find that eventually you’ll want to move out and have even more fun!

    Good luck


  264. Matt Says:

    Carly…a few weeks ago I was feeling hopeful and positive that I could make it through. I was going out and doing things, and even though the DP was always there, it was becoming less and less. After the job thing, I have seem to have fallen into despair and total isolation. I can’t find the motivation to do anything anymore. Everything seems distant to me and hopeless. Deep down somewhere inside me I know it is all not true but I can’t seem to grasp it at all. I mean, some days I grasp everything that is going on and it all makes sense, and then some days I feel completely and utterly lost. The blank mind is really, really bothering me and from what I can remember, which isn’t much, It all started when I was looking inside my own head to the point to where I am having a difficult time thinking at all.

    To answer your question, most of the time I don’t recognize myself in the mirror. I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. I mean, I do know who I am but it seems so distant and impossible to grasp. I have fear for no reason. Like, looking at my kids gives me fear. I know there is nothing to be afraid of logically, but it scares the living daylight out of me. I feel so trapped and terrified that it is extremely difficult to leave the house anymore. I just want my old life back and it seems to be a distant memory and that I will never be that person again. What the hell is happening to me? I feel more lost in myself then ever and can’t seem to find anyway out, no matter what I do.

    I don’t want to sound hopeless and depressing, but it is all so scary. I can’t concentrate anymore, my memory seems completely gone. I can’t stop feeling that I have something worse then what this is. To be honest, it’s petrifying. I used to be a fun guy who was funny and full of life. Now, I don’t recognize myself anymore.

  265. Frank Says:

    I want to offer another perspective reflecting the ideas made in Paul’s post. Everyone has heard the saying that “ignorance is bliss”. I feel that this saying fits perfectly with the anxiety problems that we all suffer today. So the solution to anxiety is simple, blatant ignorance of all that we are feeling. However achieving this is a bit more tricky than it seems. Let’s say we are in a panic situation. If we tried to apply this level of ignorance now, it will likely end up backfiring and probably causing another cycle. In the midst of an adrenalin rush, a rapid heartbeat, hot flushes, hyperventilation, ignoring these sensations is probably the last thing one would think about. It’s absurd, blasphemous, downright stupid to ignore what our body is telling us!! Our body is alerting us via multiple sensations that something is about to occur, a gigantic cataclysmic collision, or implosion is about to occur. So what do we do?

    Instinctively, we try to gain control of the situation. This may be by implementing advices such as accepting anxiety, deep breathing and so on. But as we do so, we are moving away from the mantra that “ignorance is bliss”. We are instead making conscious choices and in turn, putting forward all of our attention to diffuse this time-bomb known as anxiety. Instead of ignoring the sensations, it has become the most important priority on our to-do list. So how do we exactly apply this level of ignorance while our body is on overdrive?

    Let’s take a look at what “ignorance” really is. I am not saying that we have to be ignorant in every situation because that would result in chaos. But let’s take a look at the perception of this ignorant person. Let’s say we are in a panic situation this very moment. At first our bodies tell us that something is wrong and appropriate actions will be taken. Some of the more common responses to this are what Paul said in his opening post:

    ‘I will go for a walk and that will make me feel better’

    ‘I will go swimming, that will make me feel better’

    The stance we are taking now is a positive response to our sensations and we are heeding the advice that something must be done. There is nothing wrong with this as it may provide relief for a period of time. But what about situations where we cannot just go for a walk or go for a swim. We then employ the advice given in this blog such as accepting your feelings and pressing forward. Alternatively we may react negatively and submit to our feelings of fear and panic as we close down and wait until the sensations eventually, but surely subside.

    Let’s put a simple metaphor into action. You are walking along a sidewalk when you notice a large ant on the pavement approaching you. You may react positively to this and squash it with your feet, you can react negatively by running the opposite direction away from it in fear. OR you can simply walk forward as if that ant were never there. The latter response is what I feel, a key step in recovery.

    Ignorance of anxiety symptoms is not responding to a situation with the hopes of resolving something. Though it may help to abort the current situation via relaxation methods or methods of acceptance, it creates a habit that:

    If sensation A happens, then I will react with coping technique B to resolve it.

    If I see a large ant on the pavement, I will squash it to eliminate the chance of it doing something to me.

    The problem with this is that what if coping technique B does not work, or backfires on itself. What if squashing that ant, only brought forth more ants. This could instead cause us to react negatively and possible creating habits such as:

    if sensation A happens, we are in immense danger and must close down in fear to protect ourselves.

    If i see a giant ant on the pavement, then it is a threat and we must run away from it to ensure our safety.

    When we look at the case of ignoring the ant that we walked past, we don’t take a positive stance or a negative stance, but rather a NEUTRAL stance.

    If sensation A happens, then sensation A has happened.

    If i see a giant ant on the pavement, then I walk forward and acknowledge its insignificance.

    I believe that in order to recover from anxiety, we must not objectify what recovery would look or feel like. Initially we think that recovery is never feeling anxious ever again. However this thought is flawed as we all have individual daily stresses that accompany us. It is a simple part of life that there will always be a level of anxiety in whatever we do, whether it pushes us to do better at something or simply a pressure to achieve more. When we picture our recover as never feeling bad, it is very hard to attain this because with this comes a sense of objective or mission to it. This only adds another pressure to us and as we realize that this perfect state is very hard to achieve, if not impossible. This can accumulate over time as we realize that all this time has passed and we still haven’t recovered yet.

    But when we take that neutral stance, we put recovery from this entirely out of the equation. Of course it is a good idea to check yourself out with a doctor to ensure that there are no underlying problems with yourself, but once the “all clear” has been given, then we can think of how we can apply this stance of neutrality into how we feel. As we begin to realize that the symptoms in reality do no damage, other than light fatigue, we will eventually begin to see them as “insignificant” and “irrelevant” to the situation that we are placed in. This is the key to recovery in that we shouldn’t really give our symptoms the attention that it deserves and instead should see them as insignificant nuisances, insignificant ants on the pavement that should have no net effect on us.

    Anyway that is my perspective and I hope it can help people.


  266. Sophia Says:

    Hi Frank,

    Would like to add something..Sometimes I am bombarded with thoughts all at once that I get a wrong perspective of the situation or gets deviated from what reality is..i find it very difficult to decide for myself what is right and what is wrong i guess this checking in itself is an underlying habit due to analysing all through my life…

    one positive thing I’v learnt from anxiety is that I ‘v realised now that I had numerous thoughts coming in throughout the day and i dissect the thoughts seriously and i used to see the world through that..but now I’v learnt that that was a learnt behaviour in me to protect myself from everything aroung me…there is nothing to be protected its just a learnt behaviour..!

    when i have slight DP i am able to do what u have said..my mind is so blank as in there is no +ve or -ve thoughts…so i just be present in the situation..nothing to be done…just sit there quietly..if i get something to talk i do otherwise i dont force myself to do anything…i just try to be at peace with myself..but for me when I’m at an interview or crucial meeting with someone i may have gone there totally peacefully but then the thought of it brings in ”detachment” I’m not scared or sad..but then i feel those are the opportunities which i get in my life…i feel i may be screwing them up as I cannot connect with my own feelings..I’m just there..but with no meaningful conversations I’m losing out on a lot of opportunities…

    Any suggestion on that?

  267. Jack Says:

    Great blog. I found it while poking around looking for information on anxiety and depression. I have started a blog on anxiety and depression. It can be found at onemanswar.blogspot.com

    Would love your professional input.


    One Man

  268. Katie Says:

    Hi Carlie! (hi everyone else, I am new to this site). Carlie, you mention anxiety and your hormones. My anxiety was very much heightened before my period and once I had it I would get great relief. I take anti depressants for the PMT and the anxiety, I am interested to know why you stopped taking yours? I know it’s a controversial one but AD’s have been amazing for me, I do accept that it’s not them alone, it’s thanks to reading this wonderful website that I am well on my way to recovery. I think the AD’s have given me a leg up, regained my interest in stuff and given me the strength to apply the ‘do nothing’ techniques on here. It’s a combination of both. It all started for me in May, prior to that I have been anxious on and off for a few years but in May I got my first panic attack. I had a couple of really bad months, lots of symptoms. I know I am very fortunate to be feeling so much better so quickly. I refuse to be a victim to this, refuse to be self absorbed in it. I’ve worked my two jobs, had three little breaks away and done lots of things out of my comfort zone, often very unpleasant at times but I’ve got to say, if you do manage to do something that you are a bit fearful of it’s like sticking two fingers up to anxiety and seeing it for how powerless it really is. My confidence has grown and grown from facing the fear. You have to go through it to realize that actually, nothing bad will happen! it’s weird now, I feel such a release, I have a huge lust for life, I’m laughing and joking about my day and this is a slight problem for me. I’m not used to feeling this freedom, this happiness (I know I shouldn’t knock it!) but I’m questioning my feeling so good! It’s so stupid. I’ve been googling like mad, never a good idea. Bipolar! this is my new worry, I can never just not worry about anything, I get rid of one worry and another replaces it. I’ve never been depressed, I’ve never been what you call manic but somehow I read the symptoms of bipolar and I fit. In fact, no, I don’t fit at all but I still cannot get the thought out of my head. Every time I feel in a really good mood I question- is this normal to be this happy? is this the start of bipolar? It’s almost like I wanna dampen down my personality which is sad! Does anyone else ever feel like this? in recovery I mean….not quite getting your head around being worry free. Paul? I’d appreciate your insight, or anyone else. Bipolar….sounds so extreme and silly doesn’t it. Someone talk some sense into me!

  269. steveo Says:

    BRET – I agree with SarahS… go for it :-)

    CARLIE – there is no specific reason why the anxiety is triggered. The problem is paying it too much attention which the anxiety and DP all thrive off. Try not to be looking at other websites and searching google and stick with the advice of this blog. You will see lots of recovery stories on here that you will find helpful. Stick at it.

  270. steveo Says:

    Hi Frank – interesting read, and very good. Have you recovered yourself?

  271. Matt Says:

    Sophia…I am going through the exact same thing. Today, I had to take a test at school and my mind felt blank but I took it and did pretty well. I started to think, if my mind is so blank then how the hell did I do that well on the test? Everything in my body wanted me to go back home and research DP and feel sorry for myself. So I told myself that I am not and am going to drive up the street and get a sandwich, what’s the worst that could happen? I then started to feel even better and went to the grocery store. The whole time I was thinking just find because I wasn’t paying it any attention. My mind was clearer. My problem also seems to be that my mind reaches for something, even when there isn’t anything to reach for.

    Again, everything paul said started to sink in and it all made complete and total sense and I wasn’t so scared, I just didn’t care most of the day. He was totally right when he said that he would have a few good days, then bad ones, a few more great days, then worse ones. It’s a total up and down affair but today was a really good day because I stopped paying it any attention. I started to hardly notice it was there. I hope tomorrow I can remember how I did it, because I have such terrible memory…lol.

  272. Carlie Says:

    Steveo – Thank you. :) I’m feeling okay at the moment, but it’s very up and down over the course of a day. Sometimes I feel like it’s someone else in my body… so weird. I know this happens because I’m constantly thinking about myself, but it’s so hard to focus on something else. I constantly question why other people have this for years and if I’ll end up like that… it totally sucks. Also the fact that there’s a name for it (“depersonalization disorder”) really bothers me for some reason. I’m constantly asking myself if it’s separate from anxiety or if it caused the anxiety. Which is probably dumb because I know I have anxiety! And a lot of people have DP worse than I do anyway. But I have all these intrusive thoughts that I’ve just randomly come down with this weird disorder, even though I think I know that’s not true. I just hate how bad my short term memory has gotten and most of the time I can’t think clearly. :/

  273. Paul Z Says:

    Wow, I can relate to this post on so many levels. Isn’t it exhausting trying to feel better day after day after day? I treat the anxiety like a disease as a diabetic would treat their diabetes. I do all the right healthy things. I have given up coffee, alcohol, I eat mechanically (healthy and often), and I exercise, and sleep regularly. I am learning to meditate, to try and calm my mind just to give it a few minutes of rest. These are the basic things that I have to do to keep my mind at somewhat of an even level.
    What you are saying about accepting your anxiety for what it is and not fight it to try and feel better is new to me. The concept is simple, it makes sense and it works for many other issues that people face. You also bring up a good point that it is that fight, the looking for comfort that keeps us in the cycle. I know I feel that as well: I have anxiety; I try to do something about it; it is stronger then any coping skill I have in my tool box; I still have anxiety; I feel I am failing; I have more anxiety because I am afraid of failure and I am afraid of more anxiety.
    I have accepted my anxiety, but as something I can defeat. Perhaps I should change the way I think, and accept my anxiety for what it is: part of me.

    Great blog. I’ll be back. Thanks for the post.

    Paul Z

  274. Steveo Says:


    If you continue feeling/thinking like this, then improvements will take a while;

    “I’m feeling okay at the moment, but it’s very up and down over the course of a day”

    “I constantly question why other people have this for years and if I’ll end up like that… it totally sucks”

    To be honest, I have been in exactly the same position and I would say I am only 80/85% through recovery, but it does get easier.

    I can eat and sleep, I am not totally addicted to reading and re-reading this blog, I can genuinely laugh, BUT… I also have lots of bad moments too.

    Keep it up :-)

  275. Lisa Says:

    You have anxiety and that is all. Trust me, depersonalization as a symptom is very common especially with anxiety. I used to worry that I had some sort of disorder too and I think most of us can identify with that feeling. Trust in yourself. I can tell you that I am feeling very close to full recovery as my symptoms have diminished greatly. My fear of my symptoms is pretty much gone too. Of course I still have testing moments but I always come out feeling so strong as I do not give the anxiety any fuel to feed on anymore. I can say my recovery has been going well and that I am having fun and doing all of the things I enjoy doing without letting anxiety rule me in any way even a few months back when i was still feeling really odd and detached I was still enjoying my summer , visiting friends and going to the beach with family. I know how annoying the dp can be but really its only fuel is fear and once you tell yourself you are fine and stop analyzing yourself you will see that you are free and that it is a choice that you have to be in this state. I know it sounds weird but really you are in control. I and many many others are living proof. I used to be so afraid of everything thinking that my life was over and being grateful for the 29 years that I had without anxiety, I used to talk to myself like this all the time and now that i have improved so much I realize that I was always in control, it was just the fear that I kept fueling and that once your fear levels drop you will see huge improvements.
    You can get better as really you don’t need to do anything just as Paul has taught us. Just keep going and get rid of the negative thoughts and focus on living.

  276. natalie Says:

    many thanks to michelle, teresa and sarahs , your words were more soothing than you realise am feelinng stronger and taking the time to enjoy the good times with my sns and not worrying to much about the future xx i love that we can all talk so freely on this site and hope you are all doing well xxx

  277. Sara Says:

    Kat – I’m not sure if you still get on here and read this blog, but I read your post from a few weeks ago and I can totally relate to the relationship issues. In fact, that’s about the only thing left giving me trouble. I’ve gotten through most of the other anxiety/depression symptoms but the relationship worries/thoughts are what are bothering me so bad right now, and frankly – keeping me from recovering all the way. I used to be so happy in my marriage and felt so much love and attraction toward my husband but lately I just don’t feel those things very much. It’s on my mind all the time – and has been for months now. It makes me so upset and has really started to cause some problems between me and my husband because it’s affecting our marriage. I’m really not sure what to do about it and that’s probably what’s making it worse. I just want to know how to fix us and how to make things better and so I focus on it a lot and I know this is probably making things worse. I just don’t know how to accept not feeling good about him and us. My husband tells me all the time that I just focus in on the bad and the negative and that’s all I see – and I know he’s right – but I don’t know how NOT to do that. I feel like I’m constantly seeing something else that shows how we “shouldn’t be together” or how we “just aren’t compatible” or something. I end up picking him apart a bit, too, and I feel terrible for that. I just feel like the majority of what I see is negative and I don’t know how to fix this or get past this. Anyway, I saw your last post, Kat, and just thought I’d post something because I’m really struggling with this as well. I don’t know if this is normal and I’ll get through it or if this means that we really are falling apart or what. I am committed and don’t want to give up but at the same time I want us to be happy. I am just really confused and upset about all of this. Is there anyone who has been through this and come out the other side? Any insight would be really appreciated!

  278. Sophia Says:

    Hi Sara

    People like us who has anxiety start thinking over an issue, we go into the depths of it leaving the reality behind us…we dont know where to stop or think rational…
    ell urself let me start teh day with..”i’m not feeling that great…instead of gettting on with the day we have this thought on the backdrop and each and every thing that happens before us we try to justify the initial thought making us belief that we are right…its just our leant behaviour of constant negative thinking..in your case, its the relationship worries…its the fear that keeps the thought alive in your mind..nothing else..that has become a habit…instead the next day when u wake up just think ”Im fine however i feel..let me go on with my day….I’m at peace with myself..I’m going to shower my goodness on everything…u feel good about yourself..even when u feel someone is picking at u…u feel u dont have to react u dont want to ruin your peace and u will able to speak to them calmly…this non reaction will naturally bring the otehr person calm…

    when a negative thought enters your mind..be aware of it and dont react to it whenevr you can..instead tell urself..its ok to think them all.they are just thoughts..result of an overanxious mind..I’m blessed and at peace with myself..I can deal with issues ”when” it happens..Above all..”I love myself for the person I am and will be kind towards my own self”

  279. Sophia Says:

    ell urself let me start teh day with..”i’m not feeling that great…that was wrong typing…sorry!

  280. Kat Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I completely understand what you’re feeling at the moment, and as I’ve been dealing with it so long, I can say without a doubt that for me, it’s the worst symptom of anxiety by far.

    When it started for me, it came on like a freight train, and I’d had no indication of it coming on beforehand. One night, after a lacklustre moment of intimacy with my partner, I started to panic, something I hadn’t done in a long time, though I do suffer from anxiety symptoms quite regularly. The panic lasted for about thirty minutes, but the dread feeling, that eerie, awful, doubting feeling would not abate. I didn’t want my partner to worry, but I knew what I was feeling wasn’t going to go away just because I wanted it to.

    I came here, to this blog, and I asked for some guidance, which I mercifully received. Particularly instrumental in helping me was Helen, who has also experienced this, and came through it. I swear, if I didn’t know of someone who had recovered from it I don’t know what I’d have done. The trouble with this particular symptom is that it isn’t really discussed a great deal, and as a result, I’d had no idea what was happening. I thought I’d simply fallen out of love overnight, and I was terrified! The biggest problem for me was that I had ended a long-term relationship some years ago, and at the time, I had assumed I no longer loved the man. I assumed that the dread and fear I felt around him was because he wasn’t the man for me. I ended it, and though I do not regret being with my current partner (he is far better suited), I am still dealing with the guilt over my previous relationship ending, as well as the shock that I may have wrongfully interpreted my emotions at the time. I do not want that to happen again, as this relationship is even more important to me.

    I found one tiny bit of information about this problem in a book by Claire Weekes. She cites the doubt of loving your partner as one of the most common obsessions, particularly in women. As this causes such an intense reaction in an anxiety sufferer, they tend to ruminate over it and create an increasingly strong physical and emotional response to the fear. It is particularly intense when you’re tired.

    As Helen suggested to me, you have to force yourself to do things with your partner that would have normally done before the anxiety attached itself to your relationship. Also, if you have an understanding partner, you should try to explain the situation, emphasize that it’s not him, just your anxiety. My previous partner was not able to understand my anxiety/panic, and I believe that this was one of the main reasons I could not retrieve my feelings for him, because I felt defective and outright crazy whenever we tried to discuss it. Understanding and patience are essential, in my view.

    I had a very rough start to this year, but by summer, I felt a little better and was even able to feel close to my partner again. The arrival of fall, though, has seen me regress back into the fear somewhat. Aside from the emotional contact being weak, our physical intimacy has not returned to our version of ‘normal’ since this began. However, I remain hopeful and am determined to continue following Helen’s advice to see me through. I do wish there was more information about how to deal with this issue, though. I wonder, how many couples part due to a lack of understanding? My hope is that I can succeed, just as Helen did, so I can reclaim my partnership and move forward. Just as importantly, I hope to reassure others who are enduring the same symptoms.

    Do not lose heart. This is not how you really feel, it is just your reaction to the fear. As they say, allow the horrible thoughts, let them run their course, and do your best to carry on, anyway. You’re likely emotionally and mentally tired from all the worry, anxiety loves that! Don’t be bluffed, as hard as that may be. If you didn’t love him, you wouldn’t be worried about losing him, right? If you have legitimate reasons not to be together, that’s one thing, but if it’s all related to your fear and constant focus on the negative aspects of your marriage, then it’s likely just anxiety. You’ve created an obsession, and I know how hard it is stop obsessing, believe me.

    Talk to your husband, but be patient and kind with yourself, too. This is a tough thing to deal with, but by all accounts, common and conquerable.

    You have my best thoughts,


  281. KM Says:

    A Question about Recovery,
    I have a question for those who have recovered. I feel like I’ve come along way and I’m back doing all the things that I used to do, I still have apprehension about them but its nothing like it was before, and some things I’m back to doing without even thinking about them. Pretty much all my physical symptoms are gone, I’m just battling with the thoughts as i’ve read so many of you are. I’ve had days where I feel better and back to my old self, but there is an underlying distrust of this ‘feeling better’, like i’m being tricked and just round the corner i’m going to feel ordinary again. Is this normal in the recovery process? I’ve read from people who’ve recovered that they no longer fear it and feel like all makes sense and they couldn’t care less if it comes back or not. I dont feel like i’m in this place, and I defiantly have my periods of real down time and struggle, but once i’ve distracted myself and let them come and pass, I seem to pick up quicker. I still feel unnerved by it all though, i’m assuming this is because i’ve been so paralysed with it that I’m vulnerable to suffering and have a way to go with it yet. I dont feel ‘recovered’, I suppose i’m just starting to have better days, but still struggle, if this makes sense. I’ve booked a mini holiday for myself and family in two weeks and i’m looking forward to it, with some hesitation, but several months ago I would of been dreading it. I can only put it down to my sensitised nerves must of somewhat healed as i’ve just been getting on with my day, no matter what, there has been no special trick, just doing the best I can. I hope I’m on the right track!

  282. Michelle M Says:

    Hi all

    Having such a bad time at the moment. Thoughts of harming my daughter were awful yesterday morning (I obviously didnt harm her). I said to my partner that i didnt feel safe around her and he has taken the comment out of context i think. He said that we need to sort out ways that i am never left alone with her etc. which has made me feel 100 times worse than I ever have done. I know that I would never hurt her as I am not that type of person. I suppose due to the thoughts that I have, I have never actually felt safe around her but in 3 years never have touched her. Its just i have never worded it in that way before. Does that make sense? This anxiety is making me doubt everything.

    I dont know how to carry on with all this hurt, anxiety and worry. I love my family so so much. Please someone, make me see sense again cos at the moment I feel totally lost. Thinking about trying antidepressants to see if they help in any way.


  283. Sara Says:

    Thanks, Kat. I agree – this has been the toughest part of anxiety for me for sure. It’s really the only thing keeping me in the anxiety I believe. With everything else I experienced I was able to see and believe that it was the anxiety, which helped me to not care about it anymore – and then helped it to go away. With these relationship issues, I wonder all the time if it’s really anxiety or if it’s really how I feel and that causes me to focus on it even more. I guess I ought to believe it’s anxiety since it has so much of my focus and is pretty much an obsession for me right now – that’s obviously anxiety – but it’s so hard to understand. This is by far the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with – these relationship doubts. I feel bad saying this, but it even has me doubting my physical attraction to my husband. Have you experienced this as well? It’s like I have doubts about every aspect of the relationship – my physical attraction for him, my love for him, my emotional/intellectual attraction for him, etc, etc. It’s like there’s all this “evidence” popping up all the time pointing to why we shouldn’t be together or why I don’t feel these things for him anymore. Like you said, this isn’t really discussed anywhere so it makes it that much more difficult to understand and work through. Then there’s the guilt on top of everything for even feeling this way and having these thoughts. My husband is an amazing man and doesn’t deserve to have a wife that is having all these thoughts and feelings and doubts. All of these fears and doubts I’m having are just pushing us further and further away in our relationship and I worry that it’s ultimately going to lead to our downfall – like it’s going to cause us to completely fall apart. Anyway, that’s enough from me :), I hate to post such negative posts and I’m sorry for the people that are reading this :), I just feel so confused and frustrated and upset and don’t know how to deal with this. It gave me a tiny bit of hope when I read that you are dealing with the same thing. I hope that we can both figure this out and get through this! Thanks for replying and for the reassurance and advice!

  284. Lisa Says:

    I know exactly how you feel, I am in the latter stages of recovery and have had a couple of set backs already. They always go though. Right now I am in a mini setback where some of the fear and apprehension has returned, I am feeling so much more myself and its scary which is weird. You would think that as the symptoms diminish more and more that you would be happy to be feeling more yourself but at the same time its a bit odd. I think we are both in the same boat because I feel just as you do, the apprehension about feeling better and having that background thought of maybe its a trick. It isnt!! this is just anxiety on its last legs trying to trick us into thinking this but we know the truth. For me the feelings of strangeness and the weird thoughts have diminished a lot, I have had weeks where my mind is clear as day and the only thing left is just the background oddness that I sometimes feel. When I am having fun I find that I am less aware of it but when I have time to be alone if i focus on it its more prominent. I know by reading other peoples recovery stories that this is the last bit to go. I prepare myself for setbacks because I know there still might be a couple before I am completley recovered.
    I think its good that you are going away with family, its always good to have a shift in focus and also something to look forward to. You will have a great time ! enjoy yourself

  285. Kat Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Yes, it does give hope when you find out that someone else is feeling like you are. Without that kind of reassurance, you think that you feel as you do because you really don’t love your partner, anymore. With Helen’s advice, as well as what I’ve read in Claire Weekes’ books, on here and from other members on this site, I’ve slowly begun to accept that what I’m feeling is not authentic, and that I’m simply reacting to an obsession I’ve created. Accepting this has been hard, but recovering has been ten times harder.

    What I don’t think I emphasized enough in my last post was that I did feel a great deal better over the past summer. I did my best to let the feelings come, to allow all the horrid thoughts to come and go, and I found myself hugging my partner more, admiring him physically, even kissing. Things aren’t as they were in the beginning of our relationship, but then, whose is? Perhaps it’s normal to settle into the friendship aspect of a relationship more than expecting there to be constant physical fireworks? I have no idea, and I suspect this is why I reacted as I did last year. I think I interpreted that one night of a ‘broken libido’ as the end of romance, as it were. Friends have since told me that they regularly experience the same thing and never even think about it, but we anxiety-sufferers think about everything, don’t we?

    I used to visit a therapist when I first started experiencing anxiety, and over the years I needed her less. When this situation happened last year, I contacted her again for one quick session. She did not seem at all surprised by what I described to her, and she even described to me what she thought I might be feeling. She was right. Then, she told me to write out a list of things I like/love about my partner, and a list of things I don’t like. She said to do this when I was feeling very tired, right before bed, because my resistance would be lower. Then, she said to see which list was longer. Obviously, she knew that the good list would be. If I were to write out the characteristics, both physical and those related to personality, that I would used to create my ideal partner, I find a list of traits my partner already has. To me, this reinforces that what I’m feeling is just anxiety, that he is the one I want to be with.

    I understand how awful you feel, though. It’s the worst! That said, when you have a moment of clarity in which you see the man you fell in love with, let yourself see that moment for what it is. Know that you can still feel for him, that underneath all the worry, the love is there.


  286. Linda Says:

    Hi KM and Lisa

    Just to say that I am pleased to hear that you are both recovering, and was relieved to read your comments, as I feel that I am at the exact same place as you.

    Although I am continually GRADUALLY improving, I am still getting ‘down’ days when the thoughts seem extra bad and that I am going backwards. This usually comes on when I have had a couple of good days and suddenly I become aware of how close I could be to ‘slipping backwards’ again! It is almost like I am walking a ‘tightrope’ trying not to fall off again and because of this I can never totally relax. It is almost like I am not happy unless I am worrying. The worse thing is that on my ‘down days’ I feel I want to cry and this then leads me to thinking I am going to get depressed and not want to live etc etc.

    I am sure this is normal and recovery will take more time and we just have to be patient and accept (although some days this seems harder to do that others). As I have read, recovery is an ‘up and down’ affair.

    Enjoy your holiday KM, I think its a very good idea and another step forwards.

  287. elaine Says:

    I am in a very bad setback and feel like i want to die the anxiety is so high 24/7 and depression very bad . please advise xx

  288. Peter V Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I was just wondering if I could get some knowledge on DP, ive had problems with my vision recently where it felt as though my eyes would every now and again skip a beat or like something was moving in my peripheral vision… i also feel a little dizzy and my head can throb.. is this due to over sensitized nerves?

  289. Helen Says:

    I have felt exactly like you do right now, where everything feels hopeless and you feel like you can’t take anymore but you just have to keep going. It is so worth it. You must keep in your mind that you won’t always feel like this because you won’t. You have to stick with it, you have to keep pushing on through even when you are feeling at you very, very worst. You feel high anxiety and depression but the only thing you can do is work through it, I don’t mean fight it just go with it. I know it is painful for you to do this but you must. It WILL go but don’t give in to it, don’t let it win.

    All the best

  290. Sophia Says:

    Hi Helen,
    when i say the simplest of things i get a parallel dialogue in my head which is so immediate that I feel what i initially thought was wrong…suppose if i had to comment on something i dont get a natural reaction its a ”made up” response..as the days are passing i guess i’m becoming more and more thinking in my head what i should be saying and come up with few predictable statements ..i feel i cannot connect with my own feelings when i see something or talk to someone ..its like i’m bombarded with thoughts like how i should be seeing it? what should be my response? simply cannot connect to the outside world…
    thoughts are so aloud that when i’m looking at someone instead of relating to them i feel so difficult to come out of my thoughts..any thoughts on this Helen?

  291. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    I wanted to add to those who have been posting about their recoveries. I feel I made some progress in the past weeks but like everyone, it feels weird. As Paul noted in his book, I feel like I’m in a “in between” state. I feel better but have this nagging worry that something might set me back. In fact, there are a few items I am still worried about.

    For those of you who have mentioned your relationship issues, I don’t have any experience with those specific type of issues. However, I do believe that I can relate in a different way. For example, I started worrying about my parents out of the blue and how they were going to be (as they are older).

    Then I started worrying about myself. I tend to second guess myself on things and when you have some anxious energy, it tends to make things worse than they are.

    I hope everyone is well and continues on their road to recovery. I feel like I have progress but still have things to work through.

  292. Matt Says:

    Hello all, is mind blankness common with Dp? It seems to be 24/7 and very, very hard to deal with. I feel like I can’t remember anything and forget a lot what I am doing or what I was going to do. I would like to know that this is curable, because a lot of days I feel hopeless and lost and just wanting to give up. I have two kids and feel nothing for either of them. It’s like I can’t connect with them at all and have fear for no reason. please help me understand this, thanks!

  293. Marsha Says:


    I am back from my trip. I did it! I would love to say that I had a fantastic time but in all honesty I found it extremely tough, completely anxious leading up to the trip then feeling waves of anxiety for most of the trip, but I did it. I need to be positive about that and stop feeling the self pity that keeps creeping in.

    I now feel completely worn out and battered though. What did I do wrong?? I at least expected to come back feeling a greater sense of achievement for facing my anxiety and instead I feel a bit defeated because I wish I’d been able to enjoy it more. I know I shouldn’t expect anything but I’m finding that part tough.

    SarahS and Paul, thanks for giving such good advice. I’m glad I went as, although my body and mind feel drained, I think I would have felt even worse for not going!

    I so look forward to feeling my old self, I just wish recovery wasn’t so tough. I’m not sure if the trip made me stronger or has created new problems in that I don’t know if I can face something like that again as I felt so awful.

    Back to reading Paul’s book I think! xx

  294. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Marsha what you learnt is that anxiety can not stop you doing anything, even if it was tough, you did it. You may have felt bad as you put yourself in a situation that was outside your comfort zone for the first time in a while, remember the golden rule, it does not matter if you feel bad or not, the plan to go with no hopes or expectations, it is what it is.

    I did something similar and the first time I felt pretty anxious and came back waiting for the elation that did not come, but I did not let it stop me doing it again with no expectations on how it would go. The next time, because I knew I would be fine, there was a lot less pressure building up to it and I found in easier, my mind and body also had some insulation, we had been here before, there as no danger. Which there is not, people think a rise in their anxiety levels is the sign to run away, to pull out, so they avoid and what do they avoid? They avoid feeling anxious, not the place, it is a feeling they are pulling away from, but we will feel anxious if we want to move forward and it’s fine to do so. I say feel it, go right into it, it does not matter if we feel anxious or not. That is the point, there is nothing but a feeling to run away from.

    I did not get used to 50 different places and situations that I had avoided, I realised it was me and my becoming anxious that I was avoiding, so it was this I had to make peace and no longer care if I felt anxious or not, in fact I expected to, but for once it was o.k to feel it, it was not always pleasant, but nothing bad ever happened and it was not stopping me living my life. In time my levels dropped, my mind stopped viewing places as something to avoid, there was no build up when I put myself out there, I just became aloof to the way I felt. I had got to the stage of ‘It does not matter if I feel any anxious feelings’ instead of ‘Oh god I must avoid feeling like that, hide away, escape’ can you see the difference?

    So the next trip or situation, just go ahead, things will just get easier and easier. Don’t let the way you feel stop you, your in charge, not your anxiety.


  295. Marsha Says:

    Hi Paul,

    You’re right, and I do see the difference to finally feeling aloof from it, I will get there. I felt rubbish but I still did it and I am home in one piece, albeit drained. I need to stop beating myself up over it and remember that this isn’t going to disappear overnight.

    I felt like running away at times, unable to see how I could get through the day or evening, back to the hotel room but deep down I knew that I would only sit there freaking out more so I stuck with it and enjoyed some moments of vague normality.

    As you say, when the next trip opportunity arises I’ll remember that the catastrophic thoughts I spent hours creating the week before I went didn’t actually happen and I did survive! It is a feeling I am running away from, I may well have been doing the same if I was sat at home over the weekend. This is what I need to work on and keep remembering.

    Your advice is spot on, and I thank you for pushing me to go. As you say, we can only get stronger by moving forward into these situations.

    Marsha x

  296. Joe Says:

    Hello everyone, I haven’t been on here for a while but I’ve just started university and my first week has been great.

    Im wondering if anybody can help with me a few little problems i’ve been having recently, sometimes i seem to have a extreme self awareness which is stopping me from focusing on my lectures properly and things of interest in general. It feels as if im watching and policing my thoughts rather than focusing on the lecture. Then i’m getting frustated with myself for not being able to fully understand whats been talking about in the lecture. I’m just getting on with my day and not letting it bother me but sometimes it frustating becuase i never used have so much deep thinking about things it would just come naturally? And also sometimes I can so many anxious pop into my about something I can’t enjoy that thing, its like when i ask myself what i want to do as a career my mind makes its seem like everythink is empty.
    I’ve also picked up the habit of thinking too much, it as if when my mind goes blank my anxiety makes me completely aware of it straight away.

    However ive been making big improvements with other aspects of my anxiety, it’s just these problems i feel are holding me back?
    If anybody could help that be great! :)

  297. Joe Says:

    thoughts* head*

  298. Jackie Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am having a really tough time :(

    It all started out with 2 big stresses in my life, relationship problems with my husband and stresses of dealing with a very demanding 5 year old.

    I basically fell, I couldn’t cope anymore but at that time (August) we all as a family were going on holiday, cut a long story short I didn’t leave the caravan for a whole week, felt I’d ruined everyones holiday and wasted all my mum’s money.

    When I got home again (after counting down the days on a reminder I’d set on my mobile phone) I really thought I could start coping with it and getting better. That was on a Friday. Then on the Sunday, 2 days later, there was a horrific murder 10 minutes from where I live, 6 people, 3 little children, and later finding out 2 of the little ones had been at the same nursery as my daughter.

    As soon as the breaking news flashed across the TV screen and I read it I blocked the whole thing out, I didn’t want to know anything about it at all, I kept getting glimpses of it on the papers and closed my eyes and turned away…because when I first heard about it I suddenly thought Oh my god what if I did that!!!!

    This thought has stuck with me for the last 4 weeks now. I think I’m going crazy :( I keep thinking what if I go crazy and do that all the time over and over. Then if I get a moment of normallity I think well I didn’t go crazy then but what if I did……Oh sounds so silly!! :(

    I’ve just spent the last 4 days in bed in panic, I’ve had the doctor out, he tells me I’m ruminating, a little like OCD or a lady with Post Natel Depression, I’ve asked him that I need to go to hospital but he says no I don’t need to.

    I feel like I’ve lost my life :( I can’t pick my daughter up from school, I can’t do anything I used to do, spend time being happy with her, I can’t leave the house, my husband has completely taken over everything.

    I have CBT booked for 11th October, I phoned today to get an urgent appointment but they said it can’t be arranged for another week.

    I’m so scared I’m going mad. I have sorted out my problems in my relationship with my husband (who I just didn’t think loved me anymore) and I’ve arranged Parenting Classes on understanding 5-10 years olds, but I still can’t shake this. I know deep down inside of me that it is not true, its like a big hand has come over me and twisted everything I used to hold so true and shaken it all around. I feel sick, I just want to go to my bed and hide but on the other hand I want this feeling gone I want to be me again. How can I feel like this in such a short amount of time.

  299. Sophia Says:

    Hi Matt,

    I have gone through the same and its very frustrating..feeling so numb and couldnt connect with the outside world… the mind starts with introspection and starts worrying with racing thoughts thats far from reality..!
    Dont worry Matt when u have DP accept that ”numbness” is due to anxiety..dont worry on ”why” you feel this..we are bound to go through it untill we face these situations with an attittude shift…
    ”its ok to feel all these weird feelings” its totally uncomfortable i agree..I personally go into a 30 second self talk with myself…”I’m fine and at peace with myself…I’m a good individual and if anyone has issues with me its their problem..with that thought you are bound to bring some peace to yourself..I then start watching whats going around me..if i have something to say i will else I tell myself its fine..i keep my emotions in check..
    It really helped me Matt..may be you could tell something to yourself which your mind finds calm..
    for me this was importand as I became very selfconscious and I had to live with people who picks at me..I became very vulnerable..But once I accepted I’m bound to feel all those… most of the time I didnt bother and went on with life..Sometimes I felt really low and sometimes I was overexcited for silly things either ways I went on with life..Try not to sabotage yourself even more..
    I always tried to keep my emotions in check..sometimes I get so emotionally drained out or gets unnecessarily hopeless about my life..I deliberately tell myself few positive quotes..it helps Matt…

    Dont lose hope..better days are yet to come..

  300. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi all, especially to Sara and Kat,

    Kat I am so pleased to hear how well you are doing. I posted on here about a year ago with similar issues to you Kat ( I don’t know if you remember) and although I haven’t posted anything for some time I’ve watched and learnt so much from your and Helen’s conversations.

    I have had anxiety for around 12 years and before discovering this website I felt totally alone with the condition. The relationship I am in now is the best I have ever had, it’s full of love, committment and is basically everything I ever wanted. I began to question it obsessionally around eighteen months ago just after a breakdown brought on by anxiety and in particular obsessional thoughts. Although looking back and writing this now it’s clear that my thoughts were not rational in any way considering the place I was in at that point!
    I had been through many many years of thinking I just had to live with this horrible thing, that I was a freak and to expect that every 6 months to a year I would have some kind of breakdown. Through the advice and support of this website I have learnt that I do not have to fix anything. It was so difficult at first to ignore the mind chatter, from first thing in the morning until I went to bed at night with negative, painful and mostly fearful thoughts whirling around my head. The thoughts and the habit of having these thoughts found yet another outlet which was my relationship. Like you Sara, I foccussed on all the negative aspects, thought totally irrational thoughts about him and us whilst being aware that this was not what I wanted and was not based in reality. I battled as I always had done on a daily, even minute by minute basis. It took me a long time and is still a work in progress but I basically stopped trying to fix it all, I stopped listening to and taking seriously the thoughts which made me anxious. I knew there was no fact in them and I also knew that I had control. Not that I could contol them but I had control over whether to pay attention to them or not. I have had some setbacks over this period and as I have said before it has been a progression full of ups and downs. However, I do feel that I am on my way to recovering. In fact I don’t think about anxiety very much anymore. I am enjoying my life and enjoying the love I share with my partner. We have had our rocky periods throughout this time (he too said that I always look at the negative!) but I gradually explained how I felt, what anxiety is like and how difficult it is. Paul’s page on friends and family really helped. The next time I said I felt anxious he understood and empathised more. This journey has taught me so much terms of having patience and I truly believe it will enrich my life and realtionships as a result. The advice given here is truly spot on, Sara there is no doubt that you do not want to lose your relationship with your husband. let yourself have those negative thoughts, do not fight them, but know there is no truth in them whatsover. Have patience, the thoughts will not disapear overnight after some time you might even get to the point that if you have them or not it does not matter anyway. Believe me it’s anxiety foccsuing on the thing you are frightened off, there is no truth in it whatsover.
    Wishing everyone on here lots of luck and here’s to getting our lives back again!! I have no doubt it will happen.

  301. Katie Says:

    I can kind of relate to what you say Joe. The annoying thing for me is that I will be doing something pleasant and fun and anxiety ALWAYS has to rear it’s head. It’s like I am not being ‘me’ unless I have something to worry about. I’m at a party or something, anything I have been looking forward to, anxiety seems to spoil it for me, it’s like it says- aah, but I’m not gonna let you be this carefree! it’s not allowed! It really frustrated me this weekend. I went away for a night and to a fab party but stupid obsessive thoughts just kept haunting me. I was googling bipolar while people were waiting for me to go to the party! I know I haven’t got this entirely different disorder….and yet I can’t seem to forget it. I am just so scared of it.

    As I said before, I am recovering, I feel happy and carefree most of the time but I feel this sense of new freedom and I think- this is not normal! It’s almost like I have this new happiness and yet I question it, question if it’s me. Is it normal to feel bubbly? to not let thoughts stick? I feel like I am cheating anxiety. I feel like I cannot quite relax and move forward, like I don’t quite trust the happy/ carefree feelings?

    can anyone help? I am desperate for someone to talk some sense, praying that they will say this is all normal. Paul?

    Marsha, I think you’ve done great! you should be so proud, you had your break away, you felt like running but you didn’t and there were some good times, hold onto that x

  302. Carly Says:

    Hi all

    I am really really struggling right now with the DP thing. I have a 24/7 blankness like the top half of my brain is not working/numb. I simply cannot remember how to do things anymore, I’m having such a hard time getting on with my day even though I try my best. I collected the kids from school this afternoon and got home (feeling like I hadn’t really done it because I feel like I’m trapped in a bad dreamlike state 24/7) I tried to cook them their dinner and couldn’t for the life of me think HOW to do it…like there is nothing in my head. I’ve raised three kids, run a small business, used to doing EVERYTHING now I can barely make a cup of tea because I’m not sure how to anymore.. Everything that comes out of my mouth seems to be rambling like I’m not making sense (others have noticed this) I feel so horrendous all the time and there is never any respite. I have absolutely no emotion/empathy/sense of satisfaction, it’s killing me trying to live like this. Another thing that totally freaks me out is that everything in my body feels different, i dont actually recognise when I’m ill/hungry/tired/anxious/in pain because it doesn’t feel like it used to. I’m so scared I’ve got some hideous degenerative thing. My doctor gave me some more anti depressants of which I actually took one on Friday night and I honestly felt like I’d been given an anesthetic and I had horrendous flashing lights when I closed my eyes and kept seeing our cat on the bed (even when he wasn’t) it’s made me so much worse…what the hell is happening to me??? I had an eye exam today and when the guy shone the light in my eyes I thought I was going to have a fit or something it was like I had a brain ‘zap’ this also happens if I concentrate on someone talking or watch the tv I’ll feel like I’m going to ‘flip out’…help please somebody!!!!


  303. Matt Says:

    Carly…I totally understand what you are going through. I am having the exact same symptoms. It is extremely difficult to deal with, but when I can somehow tell myself what is going on and believe it, it makes it a little better. I am having difficulty remembering things too and forget what I am doing constantly. The problem also seems to be that I am not thinking about it or anything for that matter. My mind seems so unresponsive to everything going on around me.

    I know there is hope, hell a month ago I was doing a lot better with it and can’t seem to remember how I dealt with it. I guess I developed a “so what” attitude and it got better during that time, but I have forgotten how to do that and when I try to tell myself to not care it doesn’t work. Most days I just stare off into space, not thinking anything, just staring blankly like all intellect and I am gone. This is excruciating to me and wonder how some people can live like this for long. If anyone has recovered or done better with this I would love to hear what worked for them. Thanks!

  304. Joe Says:

    Hello katie, I completely understand what your saying about having a new feeling of freedom or time without self awareness and then wham my anxious voice says “what wow, does this feel good wow this is good” and then when i have a conscious thought about it. It seems to ruin the moment. I realised something in my later lecture today, it’s that I’ve bulit up this habit of almost doing a running internal dialogue on daily events because I’m trying so hard to act normal just like paul said how he tried to act normal in day to day life. For e.g. when i was in the kitchen earlier I was trying to think of how to cook this meal, but my thoughts were very slow as you can understand with all stupid self thinking. Normally i would worry about this (thinking about fixing it)and then rush making my meal ( just act like think thing is getting the better of me), but instead i went with the wierdness and stuck with my slow thinking, becuase our bodies have to be given time to adjust to a normal balance, if we’re rushing worrying about things it will never be given the time to heal.
    continue with the story,My mind kept on wanting to revert to the mantras and you shoulds and shouldn’ts, but i took my time and just cooked nothing else.
    I still felt like i had all this fear inside of me, but thats only becuase my body is trying to protect me from the fear, but i was breaking the habit of trying to get better.

    It’s okay to question it, because thats a normal reaction to any new feeling or in your case a feeling your haven’t felt for a very long time. When you said anxiety spoils things for me, this is sometimes the same for me but for what gets me frustrated the most is this background feeling of something not quite right. But this is just a feeling of fear i think.

    With the obessive thoughts things i’ve had a few obbessive thoughts phases since ive had anxiety, and the best thing to do with them is realise that there only exaggerated thoughts brought on tby he andrealine in the anxious thoughts and makes friends with them. I would smile at mine and then would dampen alot quicker and easier . And the bipolar thing i think is only scary beause when your recovering with anxiety your having alot high and lows, and being anxious you bound to sometimes question these high and lows as something like biopolar but its only the high and lows of recoverey. What i do now is not get too down about these highs and lows, i just treat it as a completely normal part of life.

    I hope this helps Katie

  305. Joe Says:

    like this thing isn’t getting the better of me*

  306. Joe Says:

    anxious state* not anxious thoughts, its been a long day lol

  307. Lisa Says:

    I am in the latter stages of recovery and I can reassure you everything that you are experiencing is part of recovery, I have been in the same position as you. This is just anxiety on its last legs trying to hold on, don’t be afraid of feeling this freedom, it just feels weird because of all the past suffering. Surrender to everything, and remember what Paul said don’t hang onto progress or even great days too much, just treat it all the same bad or good. Its hard to let go and enjoy it but do enjoy it, just don’t hang on too hard because then if you encounter a setback it might make you feel down again. Just go with the flow.
    You are beating anxiety not cheating it. Allow yourself to be happy and then if you are unhappy treat it like you would have before the anxiety hit. Also another good piece of advice that worked for me was stopping googling altogether, its damn hard and its something I did a lot of but you know as soon as i started doing it less and less I felt more at peace with everything. I also felt like I was in control when I could go weeks and weeks without looking up some stupid info on things that I do not have. Its amazing because as soon as I stopped all of that it made my recovery speed up, all that fear was losing is power because I wasn’t tiring out my mind further by thinking I have this or that. I know its hard but you will save yourself a lot of grief and will make those good times even better because you will be more at peace with yourself.
    Remember we are all in this together!

  308. Lisa Says:

    Carly and Matt:
    I feel your pain, been there done that. Trust me I know how hard the dp is. I remember when I was feeling so foggy and when I would do things it felt like a struggle but I just laughed at it at times. It was almost like i was drunk and I was dizzy all the time and making dinner was a chore at times, but I kept on, I kept taking the punches and it got easier and easier. I remember when I used to go shopping and the lights in the store would start making me feel off balance and I could feel that bit of panic rising inside but I just held my ground and kept going. I have improved a lot over the past few months, with many peaceful days and nights and I can enjoy life again even though I still feel odd at times . Don’t focus on it it only makes it worse, no matter how hard it is trust me in the long run it will be worth it, Carly you are doing the best you can and because you are a mother you are putting so much pressure on yourself, you are human you are not perfect and im sure you are doing a great job with your children, dont ever think otherwise. You will get past this keep at it and remember that people are recovering everyday and so will you. Same goes for you Matt , we are all in this together no matter how alone you may feel at the moment. A few things that have really helped me is getting out in nature, going for a bike ride or walk, talking with friends, watching lots of funny movies or doing things that I enjoy that relax me. Also intimacy with people you love, ask for a hug and cuddle time, a massage anything that makes you feel good, indulging is important . Even if your mind wants to go elsewhere or just be blank dont worry about it just allow yourself to relax and you will see that over time it will get better and you will find that you can enjoy things more. It comes with time.

  309. Sophia Says:

    has anyone experienced this?
    too much self awareness worrying about how i will emote as i dont feel anything for anyone hence i decline from expressing myself because i dont feel anything, the reason being too much self awareness…
    Im not having DP I m not scared of any situations but this feelings of no feelings keeps me worried dont know where m going wrong as i am not afraid to go anywhere but feels that i am a cold person

  310. Carlie Says:

    Steveo and Lisa – Thank you for your comments! They really have been helpful. I freaked out a little last night because I’m just analyzing myself too much, I think. I thought I was about to lose it completely. Funny how I have this fear but I never actually HAVE “gone crazy”, I think a lot of people can relate to that. I have OCD and I keep trying to tell myself “It’s just anxiety, it’s just the OCD!” which can be pretty helpful, but sometimes I still get super anxious. It’s like I’ve become obsessed with the idea of DP. I don’t even have that “foggy” feeling that much actually (it does tend to come on a little when I manage to make myself leave the house, I guess because I get a little anxious or I expect it?), and feeling emotionless is rarely a problem for me. A lot of my symptoms didn’t even come on until I read about DP, I mean the initial “brain fog” is gone… that’s why I know it’s the OCD, but it’s still so hard! I know it will pass because all of my past obsessions have eventually passed because I just kept going and I lost my fear of them over time without even realizing it. But I guess this ties into what Paul mentions in his book about some people reading or hearing about an illness and suddenly becoming convinced they have it. I’ve done this before, too. So the scary/irrational thoughts are definitely the worst part for me, and a lot of the time they’ll hit when I’m about to fall asleep, and then I get REALLY scared. I just hate all of the weird thoughts like “Am I a different person now since this anxiety thing started?” and “Who am I really?” It’s like I analyze everything I do and say and I keep thinking it doesn’t really seem like me… it’s hard to explain. Like I’m scared I’m turning into someone else or I’m going crazy or something and I just don’t feel like ME sometimes. And when I look back on my past, sometimes it doesn’t really feel like me, but this is usually when I feel really anxious. It’s like I KNOW I’m causing this and overanalyzing things, but my mind wants to tell me otherwise… I’m scared of myself, basically! So dumb, I know. I’m fine when I can just distract myself for a few minutes.

    Katie, I’m glad antidepressants have worked for you! I’m just scared of them really. :/ Scared of side effects and how they’ll make me feel. I was actually just put back on an antidepressant and the side effects after ONE pill were nearly unbearable and I felt like it actually set me back a little because I had been doing better with my anxiety during the 2 or 3 days before that. I’m still not ruling it out, but I’m stubborn and I want to beat this without them if possible.

  311. KM Says:

    I have the exact same thoughts as you, its bizarre, truely, its like I wrote that post myself. I do all the, “i dont feel like myself”, “who am I”, “who was I before all of this”, “what did I think then”, not recongnising myself in the mirror, logically, I know who I am, but its a disconnection from yourself that is eery, and very scary. And i’ve often thought that I’m just scared of myself. I feel like I want to run from myself at times of high anxiety, its like you feel unsafe in your own skin. Its a dreadful state to be in, but an extreme version of self awareness and introspection. I too have moments sometimes hours of being engaged in activities where I dont feel it at all, then it all comes back ten fold and I feel up/down all the time. I’m working on just going right through it, today has been a bad day and i’m trying not to care too much but after having a few good days, its awful :(
    I’m trying to stay positive but it feels like the panic is lapping at my feet and I’m frozen with fear. I say to myself ‘so what’ no harm can come from this but its very high anxiety all day and its exhausting, mentally, physically and spiritually. :)

  312. JP Says:

    Just had some thoughts last night when I was feeling really good that I wanted to share:

    we can’t control what we think, but we can control what we do. so, don’t try and change your thoughts or run away from them or force them out of sight, just let them exist as horrible and annoying and terrifying as they are, because they are just thoughts. the one thing we can control is what we do and how much we let these thoughts rule us. if we couldn’t control what we did or thoughts equaled fact then all the horrible things we think would have come true. I suppose this is kind of what Paul tries to teach, I just never thoughts of it exactly in these terms before.

    so, we can’t control thoughts, but they are just thoughts so who cares, we can control our actions, which is all that matters. hope this helps someone.

  313. Rich Says:

    Hello all

    I’ve been suffering from severe anxiety for two years now and feel like I’m someway into recovery. I’m a 25 year old male had a great job and was in a pretty successful local band then just one day a fear came over me I couldn’t explain. My whole body would shake I woke up bed soaked in sweat and had terrible thoughts race round all day about everyone from harming to the meaning of life. Slowly I lost everything my job my band all because I could not cope. After a year of therapy I began feeling light relief but the slightest bit of bad news or one thought would spiral into weeks of intense suffering going deeper and deeper into myself becoming more detached from reality and falling into depression. About six months ago I discovered Paulson site which seemed to describe my life ! Since then I have applied his methods with some success. I have enjoyed days of feeling like myself and feeling connected to my partner and playing music again which I thought I had lost forever. I still have days where thoughts seem to just stick to me and consume me and I ruminate and I try to let it go but feel like I’ve lost the battle! I know this is where I’m going wrong as there shouldn’t be any battling but don’t others find it really difficult to have these thoughts and to not fight them or not feel in danger?

    For anyone who is really suffering it does get easier I promise, two years ago I was in hell and things seem to come off in layers it’s just thoughts that I have to accept now. Feel free to contact me if anyone needs advice.

  314. Carly Says:

    Hey guys – thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my post. I am so so frightened I dont mean to be negative but I am finding this almost intolerable now. Matt – it seems we are experiencing very similar things right now, and I noted in KM’s post about feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. That’s so very true…the reason it has become so scary is that I used to get some ‘better’ days or moments but now all I get is an intolerable feeling that there is only one way out….my mind is so unresponsive to anything, I cant even hold a conversation because it makes me feel like I’m going to ‘flip out’. Even looking at the computer is almost unbearable. My doctor has told me to ‘think of a happy place’ – damn am I trying hard with that one!

    Matt, I know I shouldn’t dwell on this stuff but I just wanted to ask you what it’s like when you go to bed?? In that I mean when you’re trying to go to sleep? Last night I woke up and the DR was so bad my hands just didn’t look like my own….I’m so completely freaked out.

    Paul, was it ever as bad as this for you?? I feel like a freak of nature!

    On another note I just thought I’d add two random comments to lighten the mood….

    Hemp milk is disgusting
    Going down Clearwell Caves with DR is not fun!!

    Off to think happy thoughts xxx

  315. Matt Says:

    Carly…I have entertained bad thoughts. I then questioned whether that was me or the DP. I realize that it’s just the anxiety, because I really do want to live and get on with it. Today was up and down. I had some decent times and extremely rough times. I believe I need to get to the point I was at a month ago when I just didn’t care how I felt or if I was thoughtless. What happened was that within a week my mind became clearer and I could concentrate and talk to people and even listen.

    I don’t have DR that much. Mainly just the blankness, but obviously it isn’t that blank because I still have a conscience and imagine in my head talking to others that brings back reality to myself. I know that isn’t craziness because I did it when I was normal, like imagining what I am going to say to the person I was about to talk to or whatever. Instead, it’s like instead I try to cope by doing this and it gives me relief.

    The extremely hard thing for me is concentrating on anything or enjoying anything. I mean I feel so impatient all the time so I pace a lot. I go outside, come inside, etc. all day long. I think your right that it is being extremely uncomfortable with myself and in my own skin.

    On a side note, I don’t like to promote pills in anyway, but taking st. john’s wort has been somewhat beneficial to me. It has helped calmed me down a good bit some of the time. It does and will get better, I know it. So just hang in there.

  316. Jackie Says:

    Following on from my post above, I have re-read it and re-read it and I sound so selfish!! Of course my heart is broken over what happened, I came across as all me :(

    Before that happened in August, I was having an awful time too, as I said about the holiday. I feel I turn corners and can feel OK, but I realise I’m just pretending to feel OK.

    Today the sun is shining and it’s late September, I was sitting on the back step and thinking that I just want to go today and get my daughter from school. I feel this sun is giving me a second chance to get back out there as I missed the complete summer in a haze of anxiety and panic attack after panic attack. I so want to get out there and go fetch her, but I get so scared of all of those awful feelings I have had before.

    They consist of what if everyone starts talking to me and asking if I’m Ok or Ahhhhh I havent seen you for ages how are you. What if I panic? The last time I paniced I ran to my bed and pulled the covers up. I feel so silly. I know nothing can happen. I know I can’t just go mad. I feel I’m hanging onto these awful feelings which are stopping me getting back out there.
    I’ve gone from 2 days ago thinking I really needed to go to hospital to wanting to get back out there and live again. This keeps happening, I’m so confused. Deep down I know I do need to get back out there, I have to take the first step?

  317. Sophia Says:

    Hi Rich

    I hav been struggling since past 3 days with the feeling of ”hall of mirrors” where the total focus is on what i say how i feel, hence all i can do is nod to what people say..i am toungue tied usually when i go through this I can say something as i am not self conscious…this is the worst since quite some time as in i am in the heights of self consciousness..I assosiate with a lot of emotions when i say something…I feel like a victim everywhere..lost at words ..
    People can notice that I am so uncomfortable and i am struggling to say something.
    the more i am zoned in to how i feel i am scared whether that will be me forever…because i had been like that since couple of years even before i fell into the pit..its a long ingrained habit in me…i cant picture myself out of the box..its always like i am enclosed in a scenario and i play victim here…i have long forgotten how to be carefree and talk just like that..i evaluate each n every word of mine which is a pain..I am not in control of what i’m saying i say something bcos i have to say something..i cant think and speak..
    Pls help.. I have to go and meet a lot of people 2mrw ..I can go there but then i may be leaving my individuality behind and nodding simply which i dont want…

  318. Jackie Says:

    and to add again lol… forgot to say Hi to everyone lol

    and my Doctor has given me Propanalol beta blockers. I’ve taken them before, they calm me right down. Now I just can’t bring myself to take on. They are only 10mg and just one calms me, but I dont know why I can’t just put one in my mouth!! Have I felt so anxious for so long I don’t like feeling calm anymore, gosh what a palavar!!! Actually writing things down like this sometimes actually makes me see what the heck I’m thinking!!!

    I have always had a thing about taking tablets as well, takes me 40 mins to take a Hedex!!! :)

    I’m sure I’ll be back with more and even though I’m new here, what a fantastic site and fantastic people on it giving all their help even though they are suffering too. Thank You xx

  319. Rich Says:

    Hi Sophia

    I had your symptoms for a while it may be depersonalisation another symptom of an anxiety disorder. I felt exactly the same like I was watching myself talk and my whole life is centred around how I feel, how I react what I do and say constantly questioning everything. It’s difficult I think reading others symptoms because I certainly feel they are not as bad as mine but trust me I know how you feel and how bad it really is. The answer is we do all these things because our anxiety magnifies every thought and every action we make. People who do not suffer from anxiety disorders have the same thoughts as us but they pass as they do not put importance on them. I once told my friend the thoughts I was having out of desperation I felt so ashamed so scared and he said he had thoughts like that all the time!!

    Separate yourself from the anxiety Sophia live along side it, don’t battle it I tried that for a year and it got me nowhere. Go meet these people tomorrow it may take the emphasis off yourself for a while and don’t beat yourself up about it your not alone

  320. Katie Says:

    thanks for your good advice and empathy Joe and Lisa! Feeling better day by day, i have my off days when I feel like I’m back to square one but I never am. One thing I’ve found, whatever my symptoms, they never last. I get a symptom, maybe a new thing, and I think- oh great, I’ve got this to add to the mix now! but if I don’t care about them my symptoms never stick around. I always think- tomorrow is a new day! that always works for me. one day or two I might have bad palpitations or disturbing thoughts but the next day it’s gone, nothing! but then I get something else! I don’t think I am ever anxiety free but I think I am definitely not going to let it rule my life, stop my enjoyment in things.

    Carly and Carlie- AD’s have been a huge help for me at different points of my life. With the tools taught on here, the combination of the two, I feel I am stronger and enjoying life despite anxiety. You would need to try for a good few weeks though with any meds like that x

  321. Sophia Says:

    Hi Katie
    As u said ”don’t think I am ever anxiety free but I think I am definitely not going to let it rule my life, stop my enjoyment in things.” i agree to it…I am saying this in the midst of a tough time…been replying to mails when alll i could think is how i am feeling after asking them each sentence..! its so fast that i dont even recognise that the weird feeling is because after my initial thought focus is back on how i feel..i guess i had learn to live alongside slight dp as the mind is blank and can start off by filling in with positive affirmation and sticks around the whole day…
    but now that im so self aware each conversation is followed by a negative remark on myself..! Phew…
    hope 2mrw is a new day…and i forget how i felt today…and its not a continuation of yesterday..!

  322. John J Says:

    Hello all,

    I think I am on a path to recovery. I say this because I have just gone two days without thinking about anxiety or any bad intrusive thoughts.

    However, as soon as i thought, “Wow, I haven’t felt bad for the last two days!” I suddenly felt the feeling creep back over me, and as always it felt as fresh as ever. Carrying on regardless helps, and when I have had those moments where I am convinced I am going to flip or go insane, I’ve just though, “If I go insane then so be it”, and I haven’t gone mad!

    I’m stil getting annoyed by the pressure headaches and occasional feelings of oddness, but I try to just keep moving thorugh it.

    I’ve come to the point now where I know that there is nothing else wrong with me, there is no Brain Tumour, Schizophrenia, or any other illness lurking within. If there was something as serious as this wrong with me, then would I be able to forget about it for two days?

    I know that in a couple of days, or even in a couple of hours, I might get another blast of anxiety. I might have the same old feelings back. But each time it comes now, it doesn’t seem to last as long as it once did.
    Its as if the times of relief are getting longer and the times of anguish are getting shorter.

    They still have the ability to surprise me, but knowing that it is just anxiety and that I’ve seen it all before really gives me the strength to ignore its pathetic cries for attention.

    I haven’t checked this blog for 3 days, so I know that I must have stopped thinking about it!

    I will update again to say how I am getting on as I find stories of recovery a great help. Most websites are full of anxious questions, but rarely have hopeful answers. This is because when most anxious people get better, they don’t need to go back to the websites to check, which leaves loose ends, half written stories that never seem to have a happy ending.
    This website is different as it gives you the fuller picture.

    People do recover from this and I know I will. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, and for the rest of my life!

    Just a quick question to anyone out there.

    I see lots of stories about people who have suffered for many years without relief. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think that the use of medication could play a part in prolonging the anxiety.
    Has anyone found that using medication has hampered their recovery and made it harder than recovering naturally?

    Thanks to you all.
    Keep strong


  323. Sophia Says:

    Hi Paul, Will or anyone

    Sorry for posting again n again…I just wanted to know one thing..I have this symptom..which i find difficult to explain…
    I dont have DP or DR now..but its over awareness of surroundings…when people talk i listen to them , but at the same time a parallel dialogue is on the go….I feel I always react to what i am thinking and dont have a mind of my own to think n evaluate…

    my worry is i cant distinguish this as anxiety…

    i guess now that i dont hv dp n dr focus is on my feelings..
    i am struggling with this…i am percieving the world in a very diff way giving unneccesary meanings to people, surroundings
    i cannot be in a conversation and talk in a normal way but i cannot say where i am going wrong as i dont have any weird sensations….. is this also anxiety?
    i am so tired..it looks like i am always trying to do something so that my actions are not a result of my thoughts..
    I constantly think of scenarios where i play a part..
    simply getting irritated with what people say.
    taking things personally…

    pls tell me if this is also anxiety..i am ok if i hav anxiety but i need a proper attittude to move on
    i am stuck somewhere..I am ok with anxiety symptoms, but when i feel i dont have any i feel i am exposed…!! whats this??
    Pls help me with a one liner where I am stable etc etc..
    i always feel i live in a parallel world where my thoughts are…
    I am not able to come down n live where reality is…
    thoughts r so natural i cannot understand them to be anxious thoughts…as it may be something like…”she is planning all these things for her benefit” a simple statement like that changes my attittude towards them…and this thought lingers..and i feel sorry for myself for thinking bad and try to be nice to them..What nonsense..!!! i am constantly giving unnecessary meaning to whats going around..! but dont know where to put a stop as well!
    I guess frank’s approach where nothing happens n move on is the best…the problem is its so random these things pop up and i have no clue if its true or not…!!!!

    did anyone experience this kind of a problem?
    Pls pls help me…!

  324. Sophia Says:

    I can never indulge in a conversation without keeping a focus on myself and i always have an image of myself that i should be speaking this way …its so annoying but cant get out of it..

  325. Evelyn Says:

    Hello everyone.
    I have not been on here for a while.. I really tried to stay away and get on wit__h my life. I must admit at one point I felt I had cracked this thing. Lol. I had the worst d.p that anyone I think could ever exerience. Anxiety was my friend all day every .. until I decided to simply just let it be.. I started going to hang out with my friends.which brought plenty of real moments. Days off hang ut with my kids. Just really felling better..I fee I have come alongggg way.. I even dealt with setbacks alone without even coming here for advice. Up until last week I started feling really anxious.. because my physical exam was coming up.. I went to the doc yesterday and the fear of checkng my blood pressure had me soo anxious.. so of course I get there and my pressure was high.. it upsets me Cus im 28 years old I eat healthy. I exercise ..why would it be high?.. I started crying of frustration. So the doc tells me anxiety is like diabetes .. im going to have if forever.its the way my brain works since the moment I was born.woooooow really through me off.I mentioned there’s soo many who have recovered. He said yeah everyones different ..he’s a great doctor I just feel a lil down. Mainly Cus of my blood pressure.. ughhh I just want this to be over.. I’ve struggled for 10 years finally when im almost at the finish line I del right bak at th beginning .. please help;).. has anyone gotten night blood pressure. Did it go away.. it really frightens me.. hope u all are doing well…. again I have just learned to live alongside my anxiety and d.p and mannnn does it work. Amazing how I no longer fear the d.p. I welcome it.. and believe it or not berly even notice it:)

  326. Denise Grier Says:

    What a great blog! I went searching on google for the biggest blogs about panic and anxiety and found yours at the top. I have struggled with anxiety and panic for 20 years and have learned a lot but as you said, it is an ongoing struggle.

    I have started a brand new forum about fear and panic and am also a writer and book reviewer. Would love to interview you and post a review of your book!

  327. Sophia Says:

    Hi Evelyn
    Even i welcome DP not afraid of it anymore..I have been living alongside anxiety since quite some time..but all of a sudden some thoughts which brought this in the first place resurfaced..and i landed up where i was at the beginning..!
    I was just speaking over the phone..I was totally disconnected..usually when i have dp i can talk something this was like i was totally watching myself that i looked like someone who has done something wrong..and i was answering all rubbish as i got all nervous and what for? people r misunderstanding me ..I have trouble getting that perspective which i had once…
    your bp may be an offshoot of anxiety…..eat the right food, take regular medicines, try meditation or simply a walk in the morning will help in keeping a balance..n worrying about will only aggravate it… i guess like for some people bp shoots up try to keep a watch on the above mentioned things and above all dont stress urself too much which we anxious people cant do it overnight…

  328. elaine Says:

    Sorry but doctors have not got a clue about anxiety . You will recover and you have to believe what paul says . My blood pressure is always high when i go to docs but when i take it at home its noemal, i stopped going to docs and feel loads better i have only been on the programme 5 months . Just carry on with what Paul is telling you and you will be fine xxx

  329. Matt Says:

    @elaine…you can say that again. I went to a therapist for the first time today, talked with him about what I am going through. That I had a hard time thinking and that my short-term memory was gone. This guy was actually falling asleep at different times during the session. He tried to give me the, “i’ve heard it all before crap”. I kept trying to get his understanding on DP and his experiences in dealing with patients with this problem, he wouldn’t give me a clear answer and kept dancing around it. The reason I chose this guy in the first place was because I emailed him and he said that he had experience.

    I told him about my marriage problems and that my wife left me and that I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to go back or not. You know what he asked me? Do you like to have sex? And then proceeded to tell me that I should go have sex with her. Ummm, didn’t you just hear me say that I was still undecided.
    This has to be the worst therapist I have ever come across. It’s like he was asleep the whole time and just had a premeditated response for everything. It at least made me laugh when I left. Geez.

  330. Matt Says:

    Oh, and he also told me that anxiety wasn’t curable and tried to convince me that I had it my entire life. No, I’ve had it three years. I remember my years before that time and wasn’t anxious at all. In fact, I was a pretty happy individual who enjoyed life. I felt like that movie “numb” with matthew perry, going from doctor to doctor. I am not completely hopeless, but man, how these people became certified is beyond me. Sorry to double dip guys.

  331. John J Says:

    Doctors will tell you that anxiety cannot be cured and you will have it forever.
    This is because most doctors do not have sufficient experience in anxiety and all its different forms.

    Anxiety cannot be completely eradicated from your body, because it is something that we need to make us human and to function with appropriate fear.

    Inappropriate anxiety however, can be removed. Don’t ever seek to remove all stress forever because it can’t be done. Even the calmest person in the world may still be anxious around test results time, the birth of a baby, bereavement, work stress and life events that bring about challenges.

    But being afraid every day, afraid of nothing and over reacting to feelings can be re-programmed and this anxiety can be stopped.

    Doctors will tell you it can’t be cured because they are talking about anxiety as a whole. But they should know that it is not ‘normal’ anxiety that we are worried about, it is the inappropriate anxiety that we suffer from.

    Get rid of the inappropriate anxiety and learn how to combat it and life will be better, but that does not mean to say that life’s challenges will not still have a sting.

    Remember before you had ‘anxiety’? Were you an enlightened, totally stress free, super chilled out ultra relaxed person who would never flinch at anything or get sad or upset? Did you never used to look before you crossed the road? Were you always so calm that you never got flustered?
    I doubt it.

    It may seem that now you are in the grip of anxiety, life before was totally stress free and perfect, and you would give anything to go back to the ‘old you’.

    But the old you is still you. Its just your reaction to the inappropriate anxiety that is causing a problem.

    Nothing has changed about you. The only thing different is the reaction we experience in certain situations due to a heightened fear.

  332. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Very good post John J

    I actually get on with my doctor and he is a lovely guy, but probably the least clued up person on the subject and just stared at me blankly when I first went to him for help. He has since admitted he only knows how to write a prescription for anxiety/panic issues even though it is the most common issue people come to him for.

    Most just go to medical school, and learn how to spot symptoms for different disorders/illness and then how to treat them, usually with tablets. Anxiety truly is a subject in stself and you cannot expect doctirs to be educated enough to truly help and fully understand. I am not saying they are all totally uneducated, but I had to find my own help and figure a lot out for myself outside of the medical world and I saw a lot of people who were suppose to be able to help me.

  333. Fran Says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I need some help please. After suffering from anxiety for 3 years after having a breakdown due to the stress of a midwifery degree course and getting almost nowhere with one to one therapy i found Pauls site and put into practice what he taught and made huge improvements. i still had really bad dp and dr which was exhausting. So i made the mistake of going to the doctors and getting some antidepressants, i only took one tablet and had a hideous reaction. It felt like coming up on ecstacy which was terrifying as this is something i have taken a few times in the past and had huge panic attacks and felt terrified. So now im left feeling almost as bad as when i had my breakdown. i feel like i have ruined all the progress i made just because i felt pressure to get a quick fix. how wrong i was. Im reaaly scared that this is me forever now and i have to live with feeling scared of feeling happy because of the association with drugs,
    any advice, please help

  334. vlr1445 Says:

    Okay, this is my first forum experience. I have a lot to say and will try not to overload all of you. In november 2010, my husband woke up not feeling right. He was 45 years old with no medical history. He eventually flatlined 3 times and ended up in ICU with a pacemaker inserted. They claim he had some type of virus that destroyed the electrical activity of his heart. As per my usual coping mechanisms, I survived the acute phase with few tears and moved on very quickly as a caregiver. During the next 6 months my daughter had an abnormal EKG which required cardiac follow up and testing, thankfully working out ok however at the end of all that I develop chest pain which I determined was heart burn something I had frequently. I went to the ED after no relief and they admitted me for a heart attack work up. I was fine and really just had the heart burn. I later followed up with a GI doc and have a hiatal hernia and acid reflux. I went 2 months on those meds and did fine. Then in early June had a GI relapse and have now been an anxiety rollar coaster since. My doctor wanted me to go on an SSRI for post traumatic stress and anxiety and I really did not want to. So she gave me Xanax. Xanax has caused an increase in stress for me because my sister was a xanax addict which caused her to lose everything in her life. Because of this I am so hesitant to take this. I did take a 1/2 of a .25mg tab 2x a day for 3 weeks to get through but then worked my way off. I had a great month following that and now I am back to where I started. I find that most of my anxieties are about 2 main things: 1) having anxiety and whether or not to take medications, and 2) worry/fear of health related things. I have begun CBT and was going once a week for a month and now monthly. I also have been given vistaril 10 mg 3 x a day and did try 1 daily for three days and loved the way I felt during the day it gave me good allergy relief too, but when it wore off I had a very down/depressed feeling. So now I am back to deciding what to do regarding medications. I enjoyed reading the posts and have bought the books and would like to go as natural as possible. Any advice is welcomed .

  335. Sophia Says:

    I am totally disillutioned because of the consistent focus on me ..Its frustating to the core..each and every moment i need to think to say or do something appropriate..but if i dont, thoughts on me my actions r on an unending trail..its giving me a wrong picture of the world outside and cannot stand up for myself as i dont know what is right n wrong as i am enveloped by nothing, but feelings n emotions..!! Phew!!!!!

  336. John J Says:


    Can I ask if your anxiety was high before your breakdown, or has it been high because of it?

    And was the breakdown connected with the use of recreational drugs? Was it all around the same time or was the drug use long before the stress of the degree?

  337. Fran Says:

    Hi John, Thanks for replying
    I think the anxiety was there because of the stress of the degree about a year before the breakdown, but i didnt recognise it for what it was and just carried on. It wasnt caused by drugs but just the degree i think.
    The drug use was years before the breakdown however i had started to have panick attacks in situations that felt similar to when ive taken drugs and even a glass of jack daniels could set me off, and feeling close to my husband could do the same. Then i found i then had panick attacks in other places and so on…
    I know i hate that feeling so much that it scares the hell out of me

  338. Sara Says:

    Sara H. and Kat,
    Thanks for your replies and your advice. It really does help to know others have experienced the same things. Although, I keep wondering if my situation is different and not just anxiety like yours… maybe my relationship really is going bad and it has nothing to do with anxiety…? I know it’s negative to think that way but I almost can’t help it.
    I was wondering – what do you guys do in the meantime when you’re not feeling the same about your spouse? I feel like I’m in a catch 22/vicious cycle… I don’t feel those same loving and attraction feelings toward my spouse so it makes me not want to get close to him (hold hands, hug, kiss, etc), but then by not doing those things, how can I feel close to him? Does that make sense? It’s like it’s just getting worse because I can’t feel close to him without getting close to him – but I don’t have the desire to get close to him until I feel close to him. I feel like this is just compounding things and I wonder how we’re ever going to get better at this rate. I feel like I want and need to get those feelings back for him but I don’t know how to get them back – I think they need to come back naturally but in the meantime they’re almost getting worse. Then this makes me question everything and wonder if we should’ve even got married and if we’re even right for each other and maybe I just misread everything when we were dating. I know this is such negative thinking.
    My husband has faith that we’ll be able to get thru this and past this but I just don’t know if I have that same faith. I can’t force my feelings to come back. This is so hard. I’ve debated marriage counseling but I worry about doing that because I would want a counselor who understand anxiety and I know those are hard to come by.
    Anyway, as always – I’m sorry if this sounds so negative. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer. :) I appreciate any advice you or anyone else may have regarding this.

  339. John J Says:


    It is well known in the ‘anxiety world’ that use of certain drugs can cause underlying anxiety to become exacerbated.

    What would normally just have been a ‘funny feeling’ can be exaggerated into a panic attack or deeply intrusive thoughts. When under the influence of a narcotic, there is nothing you can do to stop the feelings, they just have to be ridden out until the effects wear off. You cannot run away or sleep them off.

    This causes you to feel out of control and that is the worst feeling a person with underlying anxiety can experience. This feeling of being out of control can trigger disturbing thoughts and panic attacks.

    What you are then left with is a memory of how you felt at that time. This makes you scared of how you are feeling, constantly checking your mind and body to make sure that everything is ok and that you are still in control.

    So, when you have an alcoholic drink, you anticipate being out of control due to the intoxication. This scares you and the cycle of fear starts, possibly leaving you with a panic attack. The truth is that the alcoholic drink would probably do you no harm, and if you were in a safe social environment, having alcohol in moderation, even to the point of feeling comfortably drunk, would have no ill effect on you.

    But you anticipate that it will, because you don’t want to lose control. You fear not maintaing that grip on your senses because when you panicked whilst under the influence of drugs, there was nothing you could do to stop it. You felt that you had lost control of yourself and you fear it re-occurring.

    The same thing can happen with excitement including intimacy. Never able to let go and fully enjoy the moment because if you let your guard down, if you take your eyes off yourself and go with the flow, you are scared of what could happen to you. Afraid that if you aren’t always in charge of your feelings that something must be wrong and any small sensation can cause your mind to go into overdrive. “Why do I feel like that?” “Why is my heart beating faster?” “Why is my breathing more rapid”.

    There was a time before you had panic attacks that these things would happen to you and you would just put it down to ‘over excitement’ or ‘a flutter’. But now you fear the panic attacks, every small sensation is questionable.

    Which brings me to your current situation.

    A degree, like any other challenging situation can put any person under immense pressure. Especially midwifery where you are dealing with peoples lives and the pressure must be intense.

    This pressure cannot be avoided, but controlled. Every person alive has pressure/stress/anxiety at some stage in their life because that is the nature of life. Challenges will always be there.

    However, you were facing pressure with an already sensitive and fragile system. You had experienced panic attacks in the past, and no doubt they subsided, but you never actually resolved the issue. Anxiety subsides with time, but if you don’t know how to deal with it correctly, each challenging situation you face will remind you of it, and if that memory is strong enough it can start the cycle of fear all over again.

    The fear of taking an anti-depressant caused the extreme reaction. You were waiting for something to happen after you took it, and every little sensation was intensely magnified until it became uncontrollable. Putting that tablet in your mouth, you told yourself that something would happen. And as the mind is incredibly powerful, the drowsy feeling became spaced out, the slight dizziness became floating, the small visual disturbances became hallucinations. You were set on ultra sensitive and were waiting for the fireworks.

    There is nothing wrong with you.
    You are afraid of being afraid.

    You will be fine and if you follow the good advice on this site, you will see results. Don’t expect lightning bolt changes or total cosmic enlightenment, but understand that you don’t need to be afraid of sensations.


  340. Lisa Says:

    John: What excellent insight you have, you explain yourself so well and I agree with your posts 100%.
    I have just had the worst week and I know it was a setback but I’m here and nothing bad happened to me. It is getting easier and easier because its true that once you start having great days and weeks you can use that to your advantage so that when a setback occurs you just ride it out the best you can until the sun starts to shine again.
    It really is all about losing yourself to find yourself, the whole idea of letting go is so hard when facing anxiety but when you do so completely and realize that nothing you worried about comes true it is like instant relief.

  341. Carlie Says:

    Hey guys, just wanted to say I’ve been doing a little better the past few days. It really is true that if you can just distract yourself and give your mind a break from anxiety, your thinking will become clearer. I’m feeling way less anxious, although I know I’m not totally over it since it’s only been a few days. Even though I haven’t suffered for as long as some of you, I know it will take me more than 3 or 4 days to get over it. But it was SO nice not to be hit with those scary irrational thoughts when I was falling asleep for once. KEEP AT IT, GUYS! And I’ll try to do the same. I really think the key for me (and everyone else, probably) is to step away from the subject of anxiety and dive right into something else. Sometimes I can be feeling fine, but just the thought of anxiety will bring me right back into it. I think eventually I’ll completely lose this fear of all of the symptoms that come with it, and I’ll be fine.

    And KM, that’s EXACTLY what it feels like! Sometimes I feel like my thoughts are so bizarre that no one else feels the way I do, but it’s comforting to know that’s not true.

  342. Sophia Says:

    Hi John…

    you have so well described how anxiety influence one’s personality..

    ”The same thing can happen with excitement including intimacy. Never able to let go and fully enjoy the moment because if you let your guard down, if you take your eyes off yourself and go with the flow, you are scared of what could happen to you. Afraid that if you aren’t always in charge of your feelings that something must be wrong and any small sensation can cause your mind to go into overdrive. “Why do I feel like that?” “Why is my heart beating faster?” “Why is my breathing more rapid”

    This is so very true..initially when i didnt know about anxiety i always wondered why i always controllrd my actions often put restrictions on my actions , thinking what i’m doing is right or not?…no wonder deep inside i felt some frustration because i was avoiding myslelf a lot of fun n opportunities..I NEVER KNEW I HAD ANXIETY now that i know it has become so deep rooted that its so difficult to refrain from that pattern of thinking which is so self destructive..

    Now my question is….after living the entire life in an anxious mode, to come out of that anxious thinking pattern how do i go about it?

    my mind is on constant chatting with a lot of emotions involved..just because i am thinking or day dreaming u can say it leads to a lot of wrong perceptions..

    Hoe do i balance my thinking? i can say now that i enjoyed moments of bliss when i had those blank feelings…BECAUSE i could bring my mind to what exactly I WANT and focus on that leaving all the rest i felt so much at peace and in control of my emotions…like in a meditated state of mind..now i’m not getting that state of mind..anything that passes my mind catches my attention…

    how do i manage my thinking and bring balance?
    is it fine to always be aware of my thinking so that it doesnt go overboard?

    Hope to hear ur insights on this?

  343. Fran Says:

    Thankyou so much for your excellent advice. I realise that for years ever since that first bad experience i have been scared of anything that reminds me of it even laughing. No wonder i ended up suffering from depression as i was supressing any good feelings. I guess i took the antidepressants out of desparation to feel normal again but i know deep down that i was taking them to fix me for other people who are suffering with me like my husband and daughter, rather than because i really believed in them. I also can see the amount of progress i had made, slowly but surely by putting into practice the advice on this site. So this is a wakeup call to carry on living along side the anxiety as hard as that can be, and getting back to doing normal things and feeling normal feelings at a pace thats right for me, and to challenge the fear of being well because i have got so used to feeling like this. Small steps.
    Thanks again
    Thanks agai

  344. Patrick Says:

    Hi Paul and everyone,
    What is the difference between dismissing a thought and trying to remove it? Where is the line where you start fighting to remove it?


  345. Vamanan Says:

    I have the same question as Patrick. As my thoughts even though I am totally aware it is not real or true, I get lost in what to do with them.

    There are one or two thoughts that bring back bad memory of my experience during worst anxiety. Right now as I am typing, they come, but I can easily dismiss it. But sometimes during the day, they come and I am not able to dismiss them.

    What I do is let it be there even if it causes discomfort.This works sometimes as after a while I am able to dismiss them and go on with my day. But some other times I get into the loop trying to dismiss it by reasoning. I am trying to change this reasoning habit but it is hard at times. Any advice?

  346. T Says:

    Hey all,

    I have had a brutal last few months. I have been suffering from anxiety for a long time but really didn’t understand it. There were different moments that I felt like I was going to lose control or faint but always got through. Over the summer, I was traveling a lot volunteering in Ecuador and constantly living on edge. Being a type-1 diabetic, I thought I was going to pass out and not be taken care of. As much fun as I was having , I was limiting everything. When I got back it all fell apart especially after binge drinking. It got so bad I had to take a break from work and eventually wound up thinking I could hurt myself or others. It was just fear of fear instituted after my MD told me about the suicide effects of some anti-depressants I was on. I ended up in a mental hospital because I was so scared of myself.

    After I got out, I found Paul’s book and I wish I would have found it earlier as I wouldn’t have wanted to go to a hospital. I didn’t need to! I was convinced that I could handle anything after reading Paul’s book. I went back to work and instantly struggled again. I didn’t really buy into acceptance. This post really made me understand this. Sure I was doing things and facing fears but I was doing so just to get through things. I thought if I pushed myself to work or friends that I would be cured instantly. I though by doing things like yoga or running I would get better. That is not how it works. It is really the same thing as I was doing under different guise. But this post made me realize you don’t do things to try and fight anxiety you do things to be with it! It makes more sense now.

    Don’t get me wrong things aren’t perfect. I have pretty disturbing thoughts and can’t shut down certain existential thoughts but I don’t need to. Yah I wish they weren’t there but I am not nearly as afraid of them as I am before. I am re-dedicating myself to Paul’s idea. I also thing I can do it and am quit hopeful. The one problem I have is that many symptoms of anxiety are similar to low blood sugars. Sweaty hands, beating heart, lack of focus all occur when I have low blood sugars. As one of my fears is passing out from that it is sometimes hard to accept symptoms of anxiety because they could also mean low blood sugar. But I will just test my sugars and treat myself like I have done a thousand times. If it isn’t a low, I will just let the anxiety run its course.

    Thanks for everybody’s help and posts. You all inspire me and help me get through.

  347. Evelyn Says:

    Thank you so much sophia and eliene.. you guys truly got me back on track 😉

  348. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Patrick says: Hi Paul and everyone,
    What is the difference between dismissing a thought and trying to remove it? Where is the line where you start fighting to remove it?


    There is no line at all Patrick, you NEVER start a fight to remove it, why would you when it is not important? By fighting to remove it you give it far more respect than it deserves and it is a battle you will never win.

    Your anxiety creates anxious thinking, this can manifest itself in different ways. My anxious thinking was being hyper sensitive of what people said and how they were with me. I used to go to bed at night and toss the whole day over, what people thought of me, how I came across, why someone said a certain thing. Then I realised it was my just my over active, anxious mind creating this situation and that I would no longer get involved/take it serious or care what people thought. I just let my anxious thinking have a free reign and stepped back, not caring a jot how I came acoss or what others thoughts. I just let me mind ramble on without taking it serious and the relief was amazing. I still had these anxious thoughts, but I paid them no mind and things improved.

    Now I have no anxiety at all, I don’t have anxious thoughts, which of course makes total sense and I smile at the things that I used to go over. Put your anxious thinking down to being anxious, you can think and feel anything, it is not important. Once you feel less anxious, then your thinking will be to and the best place to start is paying your anxious thoughts no mind, think anything, it truly is not important or real.


  349. Dave Says:


    I have had anxiety for about 8 years and I got to say this website has really helped me. But there are months where il be so confident and then there be months where the cycle will come back. The silly thoughts would start and id start losing my confidence again. Id fight them so they’d stick even though i know it is just anxiety playing its tricks.

    There is one thing that sticks on my mind as well when im confident im happy but when im not confident im not happy and i worry that people notice that im not confident. But i know thinking like this does not help the anxiety.

    Im just wondering if anyone can give me some good advice on how to keep away from the cycle?


  350. Vamanan Says:

    That is a good advice Paul. Thanks.

    Sometimes i do get anxious just having the thought around even though I am aware they are not real. But I guess I should let me be anxious and not never try to remove the thought. It seems like a discipline I need to develop.

  351. DCYL Says:

    I’d like to ask some of the folks here if you guys have experienced anxiety if your “routines” (work, family, exercise, etc) get disrupted? Also, a second question: Do folks get anxious when they are NOT active and doing stuff?

    It’s been an interesting week for me for a few things. On one hand, I feel if my anxiety has improved quite a bit. The physical symptoms are less apparent and I don’t have as many disturbing thoughts.

    However, the anxiety has decided to take up in a different form: WORRIES. What do I worry about? The fact that my normal routines have been changed a bit for the past two weeks or so.

    Routine #1: For the past few months, I’ve talked to a lot of friends about my situation but two people more than others. Of course, BOTH of them decided to go on vacation at the same time.

    Routine #2: I typically play basketball weekly on Saturdays with a group of guys. Alas, due to various logistics (gym closed, people on vacation), we haven’t played the last two weeks. Last week, I had some alternative plans. This week, I made some other plans but it didn’t go as well as I thought so I scrambled to fill in the void.

    Routine #3: I also typically play basketball on Monday and Thursday nights but due to lack of interest, the Monday night people were folded into Thursday nights.

    All of this caused me to worry quite a bit. I’d be wondering which friends I should call if I needed someone to talk to. I was worried how to fill the void of not being able to play basketball on the days I was used to.

    The reality was that my friend’s being away wasn’t as bad as I feared. I have other friends around I could call if need be. The basketball stuff wasn’t as easy to fill but not impossible. The reality was that I could go find another gym or just do a gym workout or something.

    Yet, even though I know the anxiety was a little silly, I was bothered. Mainly because my friends and my activities have helped me greatly but perhaps it was a bit of a crutch. I was worried about just sitting around the house (watching TV, surfing the web) instead of being out and about.

    In any case, things are better but still some stuff to work out.

  352. Sophia Says:

    Hi Paul

    ”My anxious thinking was being hyper sensitive of what people said and how they were with me. I used to go to bed at night and toss the whole day over, what people thought of me, how I came across, why someone said a certain thing.” this is what exactly i am going through…

    I have accepted feelings of unreality and all physical symptoms…i had gone past DP as well..now my issue is my mind is on a roll with constant chatting on whats around me…suppose if someone tell me ” why couldnt u do it?” its a simple query…since my mind is on the roll i get irritated and may respond..if i dont reply i feel im being naive and keeping mum..i dont even know what im feeling is anxiety..how do i simply respond ? all i feel is I’m zoned into my mind and i respond innappropriate, feel restless etc
    i guess because i have a constant story going on in my mind i be careful while talking else i’m reaching somewhere

    Pls give me a perspective on this..for my mind to have a base and then respond to situations around…i guess my focus goes back to me always..!!

  353. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I think you have hit the nail on the head in your post

    “I feel like this is just compounding things and I wonder how we’re ever going to get better at this rate. I feel like I want and need to get those feelings back for him but I don’t know how to get them back – I think they need to come back naturally but in the meantime they’re almost getting worse.”
    The fact that you feel like you want and need to be close tells you that this isn’t merely a difficulty with the relationship but is anxiety and fear driven. The fact that these feelings worry you so much also tells you this as someone once said to me “if you didn’t want to be with him you wouldn’t be” It sounds too simple to be true to us anxiety sufferers but it really is that simple! When you are in an anxious state all your emotions, reactions and thoughts (especially negative ones) are on high alert and you watch yourself all the time. You question everything, why don’t I want hold his hand, why doesn’t it feel wonderful when we hug, kiss etc etc. It’s because you are in an anxious state and constantly monitoring it’s so difficult to feel those natural feelings. If you read the blog, although the focus is often different everyone is totally frustrated with not being able to live their lives naturally and without fear. It’s a completely common theme and one which tells us that this is anxiety driven. Also noone in the world feels how we are expecting ourselves to feel 100% of the time! My advice would be to give your mind a break and let the thoughts in. All the time you’re battling against them they will get stronger and stronger. It’s perfectly normal to doubt yourself and believe there is some truth in the thoughts but why not see if by letting them be there whilst giving your husband a hug or kiss WITHOUT paying attention to them helps. If a thought pops into your head think “so what, I’m just going to carry on anyway” This really helped for me, it certainly wasn’t overnight but letting the thoughts and the fear be there whilst getting on with my life and relationship has taught me alot about patience. It isn’t perfect of course nothing ever is and by dropping the need to be perfect, think perfect pure thoughts I’ve been able to appreciate my life and all that comes with it alot more. I have no idea whether I am recovered or not. All I know is that I am more able to deal with the setbacks and anxious thoughts with this attitude than I was when I used to battle and fight them all the time.
    I hope that helps Sara!

  354. Rebecca Says:

    Hey i havn’t been on this site for a while but I am needing alot of support currently as my anxiety has been really bad. I wen’t for a long period where i thought my anxiety symptoms had vanished and was so so happy however about 2 months ago I ended a 3.5 yr relationship as i wasn’t happy and i knew i had to be brave and do the right thing for me. I have been working full time and making sure I see friends when i can and I have met a new guy who is just wonderful but it is so hard because my anxiety is really evident so i feel like 50% of me is so so happy and the other 50% is having to try and control my anxiety. I have been experiencing negative intrusive thoughts which is a symptom i still find so so upsetting to the point that i feel sick, shake, wanna stay in bed etc. I do however make sure i go out, see my friends, spend time with my new boyfriend but it just feels so tiring. Does anyone else feel really tired with this symptom? I also do feel like i may lose control but when i am in that moment i stay with it and not react, it feels so hard though. My councellor is helping alot however when i last went i was feeling fine and because when spoke about all the things that i have been through in the past it brought the anxiety back. Does anyone else experience this? Thanks Becca

  355. Jen Says:

    hey everybody,

    i am feelin a bit confused at the moment. i allow my my mind to chatter all day, it doesnt bother me when im at work or with other people anymore. but when i go home and im on my own watchn tv or something my mind chatters away ALL the time. its like it canot stop!!

    i feel a bit like im getting conflicting advice, am i meant to ignore them? how can i ignore it if its there? is that fighting? god im confused! lol

    i feel i have moved forwards LOADS but its just this little niggling thing and im not sure what to do… hmmmm lol

    thanks guys, hope everbody is doing okay :)


  356. John J Says:


    I am not a counselor, a medical professional, or even qualified to give advice.
    So what I say is opinion only.

    Personally, I think that when you have reached the point where you understand it is just anxiety and have the tools to tackle it, you no longer need to see a therapist or a counselor.

    Having to attend an appointment and rake up your anxiety, delving again and again into how you are feeling and why, is counter productive.

    In a way, it is giving the anxiety attention and respect. You are feeding the anxiety by making it a special case that needs special attention.

    Therapy and counselling has its place, but when you understand that it is only anxiety that is causing you these feelings, there is only so much a therapist can do.

    Again, the only qualification I have in this field is having been there. I found that when I didn’t know what was wrong with me, the therapy helped in the immediate, but the problem was still there. When i came to understand my anxiety, I realised that therapy was actually becoming an expensive reminder that I had a ‘problem’ and I would just be dragging up my feelings again and again.
    I’d always leave the therapist with a feeling of uncertainty, because i was relying on them to come up with the answer rather than understanding that the only person who could help me was me.

    When i stopped researching and seeing the therapist, I started to go longer without any symptoms as there wasn’t that weekly or fortnightly reminder that I had anxiety.

    I hope no one misunderstands me, because different things help different people, but in my experience, therapy has only ever left me with more anxiety about money!!

    Thanks again,


  357. Helen Says:

    Good post John and one I would agree with entirely.

  358. Brando Says:

    I love this blog. And I love you. You are such a kind good soul. This blog has been the single biggest help to me than any other thing I have ever read online. I have a horrible text file of jumbled “cure equations” and it all boils down to what your blog says so simply. To embrace and move on and forward.

    I’ve been anxiety free for two years and just had to come back because I never thanked you properly. I remember that when you are sick you are always online looking up symptoms and going on mssage boards talking to other sick people and you all just feed off each other. But when you are not sick, you don’t come to these types of sites because you don’t want to remember.

    This blog and your book works not just for GAD but OCD. Because the minute i welcomed obsessive thoughts the weaker they became.

    Anyways, thanks so much. Right now I am ‘stressing’ about waht to do with y life job wise. Luckily though it doesn’t bring any symptoms. Just healthy stress and I know for sure that I want to do something that helps people. Have begun writing a novel. Not self help but a novel.

    Anyways thank you so much.

  359. Rebecca Says:

    Thanks John for your reply, what your saying does make alot of sense, I guess for me trying to understand why I am anxious (Understanding what I have been through) has made me more aware of myself and has made me talk and move towards things that i may have kept inside. You are so right though, It has left me feeling very anxious at times, my last session was good but when i came home i felt really anxious and drained. Yes and the cost, well it is burning a rather large hole in my pocket!! :(((
    My anxiety seems to creep up on me when i have either been through a difficult time i.e me ending a 3.5 yr relationship for example, i am extremely tired or when I fly. I have read Paul’s book, it sits by my bedside table and i tend to use it as a Bible but sometimes i just feel like I need to talk about it as i can get annoyed with it and find it really hard. I am currently trying all the techniques in Paul’s book which are helping but sometimes i feel so alone in all this. It’s just really tough right now especially with the unwanted thoughts, just really upsets me. Thankyou for your advice Bex

  360. DCYL Says:

    As someone who has also been seeing a therapist, I think it depends on your situation. On one hand, as Rebecca says, it is good to have someone to talk to and get all of your feelings out. As much as you can talk to friends, having someone professional to talk to can be a good thing. I remember after my first meeting, I felt good but the anxiety later returned and it took me a while to get better.

    The flip side is that therapists can and will try to analyze your feelings and thoughts. Obviously as we all know, with anxiety, there is no real answer at times. This can be draining and be very uncomfortable.

    Fortunately, my therapist is a laid back sort and lets me ramble and talk through stuff. I’m had other things that have come up and sometimes I wonder if I’ve overanalyzed my “issues” because my anxiety drove them up. But for now, the therapy has been good (to a certain point) but I also trust in Paul’s teachings as well.

  361. Carlie Says:

    I have a question… what about just feeling depressed? I’ve felt this way off and on for a few years, and it’s always bad in the fall/winter (I guess you would call it Seasonal Affective Disorder). While I’ve been doing better with the anxiety over the past week or so, I feel down a lot, like there’s a dark cloud hanging over my head, and I don’t really expect to feel much better for awhile considering the time of year. :/ Just wondering if anyone else has gone through this. I’ve been experiencing it for about 7 years now, and it’s usually at its worst during November-January.

  362. Marsha Says:


    I’ve been trying to stay away so I don’t feed my anxiety with any more imaginary issues :) I’m on a verrrry slow road to recovery, helped so much by Paul’s book. I’ve yet to have a day when I don’t think about anxiety, I suppose I still have a lot of fear around it but this is getting less as I try to put myself out there in situations.

    I’m facing things that I’ve been avoiding and my anxiety levels are of course higher than ever because of this but I know that’s what I need to do, and with each experience I try to come out of it and pat myself on the back rather than falling into the hole of despair wishing that the whole experience had gone better.

    In the mornings I’m getting better at just letting ‘it’ be there, thinking positive thoughts etc etc… but I do have some moments when I just want to crumble because the constant waves of anxiety sensations that I have, mainly a racing heart and tightness in my chest for much of the day, are just get me down. How can I just accept these when it’s the same as having a constant itch that you can’t scratch….it’s bound to drive you insane at times?

    Any tips on dealing with this? It’s hard to ignore it all of the time.

    Also, on the therapist posts above, I have to agree. I see someone a couple of times a month and feel no real benefit. Yesterday she just dragged up my past again and I came out feeling exhausted! Talk about feeding my anxiety, no wonder I feel retched today.

    Thanks xx

  363. Sophia Says:

    Did anyone experienced this?

    like having a particular type of thought repeatedly and constantly for longer periods…some people said they had relationship issues..similarly i have social anxiety…i am overly consumed by self damaging thoughts..since its so loud and constant and always present though i can tell myself its anxiety thoughts its not registering…i am not able to reframe my thoughts or feelings..i’m so in that PIT..cannot think out of the box..!!!!!!!!1

    did anyone experience this same sort of constant awareness of oneself…and all the thoughts that come through is how u see the world..even if i tell myself its anxiety i can think only with that perspective..

  364. Kat Says:

    This is for Helen, or anyone else who feels they may have some advice that might be helpful.

    Helen, we’ve discussed before that recovering from the anxiety over worrying about loving one’s partner takes a lot of time. I believe it took you two years, and I have to admit that I was really upset when I read that, but now that I’ve come through one year, I am starting to worry that it may take me even longer than you. I can’t imagine going through this for so long! At the same time, as mentioned before, I did feel some relief over the summer, and I keep reminding myself of that. The trouble for me seems to be in the resurgence of all the horrible feelings. This past month has seen the return of my most-hated symptom, fear of not loving my partner, and the past couple of days have been challenging for me.

    I realize that this question is very personal, but how in the world did you handle physical intimacy? My partner and I used to have no problem in this department, but since this problem came into my life, I almost never feel like it. In fact, I can’t even watch sexual content in a movie without feeling that ‘ick’ feeling. What in the world is that about? I try to muster the appropriate feelings nearly every night, but can’t seem to do it, and it worries me a lot. My fear is taking everything away from my most important relationship, and I really don’t know how to cope with it. My partner has been great, doesn’t get angry or frustrated with me, but lately, he’s given to making little jokes about how we haven’t been together in a while, and I sense he’s only partly joking. Thankfully, there is no blatant pressure coming from him, or I’d probably never want him to even touch me, but the aversion to even the idea of sexual contact is really disturbing me. It’s a natural thing, so why do I have such a strong reaction to it? Last week, for instance, he was nuzzling my neck, just joking around, and I could feel myself tense up and pull away. This is not like me at all, or at least, the ‘me’ I was before this problem started. I am so worried he will tire of all of this, that I’ll never want a sexual relationship again and will convince myself I’m out of love with him, and we’ll fall apart. For the record, at night, before bed, we sit together, holding hands, watching television, and I am usually relaxed and happy to do so, in fact, I look forward to it. It’s just that when the possibility of physical intimacy presents itself, I immediately become overwhelmed with anxiety and feel a need to run away. Also, the fearful, dread thoughts keep interfering, which makes it difficult to even consider anything more than simple handholding. This is when the ‘what if’ thoughts start, and I begin to feel like I can’t connect to him again. It’s such a horrible, invasive thought process! And, I feel like it’s robbing me of the happiest moments a relationship has to offer.


  365. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Paul and Everyone,
    I found this life saving website around January 2010 after experiencing a panic attack and subsquent constant anxiety whilst undertaking training to become a Psychotherapist, belive it or not. It was a very rough ride and I threw myself into every therapy deperate to unearth this hidden cause for this severe reaction and whilst there were some leads..you can never really know. anyway I recovered with this site and a small amount of anti depressants and have in general felt a normal amount of anxiety for over 1 year now and its been amazing. Really felt enlightened about it etc. I have recently had a setback, which puts it lightly as it feels more like falling into a dark hole again which is so physcially heartbreaking and frustrating. All I did was have wisdom teeth out under general and then after being sick and feeling a bit unwell with it all, a great sense of unease and dread started to form in my chest. My appetite has not returned and although I am carrying on with my life, I am finding it so hard to tolerate the strength of this causeless anxiety. I am very tearful about it. I was thinking about links between me feeling physically unwell with having some sort of anxiety reaction, as my intial anxiety period in 2010 started after having some gasto and flu and overdoing it with the Psychotherapy course. Anyway searching around for links and answers has been a string habit and I did ease off that until now. Just so tired of this and feeling all the things that others post, which is such an amazing comfort. Been managing this bout for just over a week and really do not want help from anti depres this time. Just wanted to express myself as I haven’t actually ever posted anything on here which seems wierd as it has been so helpful for me. any comments would be welcome…or just to be heard. Thanks

  366. Carlie Says:

    Jennifer – You’re the first person I’ve come across who had these issues after having wisdom teeth taken out! :O That’s exactly when my problems started. I DO have a history of anxiety (OCD, generalized, etc.), but as far as the panic attacks, depersonalization, etc… none of that started until after I had my wisdom teeth out. I’m so glad I came across your post. By the way, I had mine taken out at the end of June. I’m MUCH better than I was then, but I’m very impatient with my recovery, which doesn’t help. :/ I also don’t feel detached all the time, but the whole idea of it turned into an obsession that I’m trying to shake.

    If you’re anything like me, your appetite will return soon! Try not to worry. And don’t spend time looking everything up on the internet (I’m sure you know this already). This site has obviously been very helpful, but I’ve come across plenty of stuff that only made me feel worse because of how anxious I was/am.

  367. Sara Says:

    Thanks, Sara H. I really appreciate you getting back to me and giving me advice! This part of my anxiety has really taken over and is so difficult to deal with. The thing that makes this even worse is that pretty much just before I started having all this severe anxiety about my relationship, my husband and I had decided we wanted to start trying to have a baby soon. This gave me a bit of anxiety because I’ve always had some anxiety about getting pregnant and having a baby – but the anxiety was just about that and not about our relationship. I was just starting to get over that and feel better enough to actually start trying for a baby when all this anxiety about my relationship kicked in. That made me feel like I better put off the baby thing until I feel better about our relationship and my husband. This was several months ago and things have just gotten worse. We wanted to be pregnant by now and that’s adding to my anxiety and frustration. I don’t feel like we should try to get pregnant anymore when we’re struggling in our relationship, but this was the timing we had planned on and we’ve already put it off a bit so now I’m stressing over that as well. I know it will take time to get thru this relationship anxiety and feel better about my husband but it worries me how long it will take and how long that will delay starting our family. I feel like I don’t have time to wait for things to get better… but I also don’t want to have a baby when my marriage is struggling either (not that the intimacy part of our relationship is great right now anyway to even get pregnant). This probably sounds stupid to some people or frustrates some people because some people are trying for a baby and just can’t have one but this is part of the struggle I’m having and I know it’s adding to my stress and anxiety even more. It’s just adding pressure in my mind to try to get my relationship better quick because I don’t have endless amounts of time, but I know I can’t get those feelings back overnight. Anyway, I know this may sound sort of ridiculous or whatever but it’s really hard for me and I’m really struggling with all of this. I know there’s never a good time for stuff like this to happen, but it seems like this is the worst timing ever. There’s probably not really any advice for this, but I just felt like I needed to get this off my chest I guess. Thanks again and I hope things are going better for you, Sara H., and for everyone else!

  368. E Says:

    Please can someone advise me?
    I have put up with varying symptoms if anxiety for some years now, and have been following the advice on this site for 2 years. For past couple of months have had increasing head and body tension, with aching eyes. Also have generalised aches of arms etc. just wondered if anyone else had experienced similar symptoms and how long they lasted and how you put up with them?

    Also wanted to know if these symptoms are those of anxiety or something else?

    Still carrying on with daily activites, just needed a little support. Thank very much. Best wishes to all. E

  369. Vamanan Says:

    Hi E,

    I do suffer from eye ache. I don’t know if its my disrupted sleep pattern causing it or just anxiety itself. My eyes are red most of the time and if I keep reading something for long (like at work), it start to pain.

    I feel like I have made some progress with my anxiety but I easily tend to worry of the long term effect of this (E.g.: Eye pain, Ringing Ears, Sleep disturbance, Stomach issues). I just tell myself they will gradually go and I should not worry and more stress.

  370. JP Says:

    Could do with a little support or a push in the right direction. I have been dealing with this for about 4 months or so, which i suppose isnt that long but seems like forever. Claire Weekes and this blog have been lifesavers, and I started CBT a month ago which I really recommend, very different to other therapies and encourages you to do things just like this blog does. Over the nice sunny weekend I was almost back to myself, really felt like I had turned a corner and could deal with anything. All of a sudden the weather turned and I just started feeling depressed, and with that feeling anxious. I am now worrying that I might be like this all winter and I feel like all my good work is undone.. a setback or something more? bit of advice?

  371. steveo Says:

    just keep at it JP – you will already have read that it is a very up and down affair and does not happen over night.

    you have done well to find this site so early and you are obviously going in the right direction.

    don’t try and fight it and you will improve, little by little :-)

  372. Jennifer Says:

    Carlie – Great to hear that u related to my post, thanks so much for replying. Wasn’t expecting someone to have had experienced the same thing. I actually looked on back on this blog for the first time in over a year just to see if anyone had had another bout of anxiety after having an op/being ill. I did find one actually. It’s amazing how much of a relief it is to see in black and white that someone else is/has gone through what your going through. Although its not good to try and comfort yourself all the time like Paul says its a good start to give you that boost you need.

    Admittedly it does feel different this second period of difficulty that I am experiencing as I know so muc,h more about anxiety, but I guess it is just soo DRAINING and it really does hurt from inside to sit with anxiety. Its felt more like a ongoing tightness, unease and pain on my chest with a tired, muggy and heavy head which makes me feel low. I really have just gone out and done what I would have normally done but I must admit I have cried alot and my head has been in knots all over again about why I had lots of strong anxiety symptoms after being in hospital. I must work myself up with fear of pain/unwellness/or how I feel… god knows!! like your obsession with DP, I get loose myself in trying to figure out the childhood difficulties that make me experience this and because I actually love my life. Its very hard not to feel sorry for myself.

    Strange thing proper anxiety and like with I guess depression, u only ever understand it if you have experienced it. I am lucky to have some empathic listeners in my life and I hope other like you do too. Anyway ramble ramble. You sound like your on your way to freedom and its great to share with you. I JUST LOVE Paul’s main message/mission and wesbite and its is so good how many people he and other are helping using this space. It helped to heal me in 2010 x

  373. Carlie Says:

    JP – I feel the same way, and I’ve only been dealing with this for about 3 months! It does seem like forever. I’ve also had times where I felt like I was almost coming out of it, but the weather really affects me too. I’m trying to just accept the way I feel, but it’s hard. And I hate not being able to think clearly. :(

  374. Carlie Says:

    Jennifer – No problem! I’m so glad you posted here, because it does feel a lot better to know that someone else is going through the exact same thing. Every time I tell people that these recent issues started after I had my wisdom teeth removed, it sounds kinda crazy to me, but it’s true! It started off as “brain fog” I guess, and also just feeling very uneasy and anxious for no reason. Then I started worrying about that, which eventually caused a panic attack. My anxiety has definitely lessened though, even over the past week. It’s so easy to get caught up in the cycle and I was constantly fighting the way I felt. Even now I still overanalyze my own thoughts, my environment, etc. and I know that I need to stop doing it. Sometimes I don’t sleep that well either, but I’m not having as much trouble falling asleep, so that’s good!

  375. Sophia Says:

    Does anyone have the constant mind chatter on what should be said? is this right or is that right? self doubting to its epitome? when it is so constant how did u deal with it?

  376. JP Says:

    Was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on where you draw the line between anxiety and depression? Sometimes I feel pretty down and hopeless, but I’m never sure how much of that is the anxiety and just being fed of having anxiety. Depression is also the thing that scares me most, so i suppose on that front whenever I think of it it ignites my anxiety.

    Also, just watched the video that Paul linked a while back. I had been a bit scared to check it out, but actually quite uplifting and I can relate to so much of that.

    Also, Sophie. To deal with that mind chatter, as with everything else, accept it and don’t fight it and it will gradually dissappear, but don’t expect it to go instantly.

  377. Ezra Says:

    Hi JP,

    I always work on the theory of the chicken and the egg ….what was here first your anxiety or depression….If it was the anxiety then you have symptoms of depression due to be truly just hacked off with having anxiety!
    If it was depression, then doing the same thing as Paul teaches will help with that also.
    One of my fears is depression and I will not want to be here anymore so that works with me when the thoughts start to roll in, and then its just a case of saying Hiya to them and not entertaining them or investigating them….they aren’t real, they are purely figments of our anxious mind ‘scanning’ for the threat our body thinks it’s in.

    I have had a few great weeks and (surprise surprise) had a setback kick in last week, totally knocked me for 6 initially but after 20 months of suffering I have dealt with it, the residue is lingering but I generally feel more resilient to deal with the thoughts.

    One thing that does ‘get to me’ is when I am in the throes of anxiety, how totally ‘unsure’ I am about life ….sorry to sound weird but I feel confused about my place in life, my purpose, if indeed I actually have a purpose. I get feelings of sheer uncertainty about the future, see life as a long long time and feel like it would be easier to fast forward to being 70 (how sad and pathetic )
    I am stay at home mum, who does feel like she needs to do ‘more’ but is aware that my hands are tied at the minute with childcare and being pregnant. Usually I can deal with this, but the last few weeks I have felt even more unsure about ‘me’ and my confidence gets rocked by this. Almost feeling like getting my career back would ‘define’ me, but I do desperately want to look after my children until they are an age where I can do it without guilt.
    When I was feeling great, these feelings did dissipate, so I am aware that they are anxious feelings and thoughts born out of anxiety but was just wondering if anybody else has felt the same and if you are feeling like this then just a heads up that these feelings of uncertainty and low self worth/esteem go hand in hand with anxiety.

    Anyway sorry for the negative post, all good on the baby front…still cooking away so roll on January !!

    I hope everybody has a great weekend

    Erin :-)

  378. Si Says:

    Not having a particular good few days myself , but I’d just like to contribute to others issues if I may. My thoughts on some of the following are easy to understand, but so much harder to accept!

    The weather!!! – I too get these feelings of misery when the weather is not good and when the sun shines through the clouds I do actually feel a lift.
    “A Doctor” – Would probably say your suffering from ‘SAD’ (LABELLED)
    “My Thought” – Think back before you had the condition, didn’t dull days make you feel a little less upbeat than say a really nice sunny day?

    Sleeping – I never sleep like I used too. I Wake up early and can’t get back to sleep. I used to sleep like a log and wake up refreshed.

    “A Doctor” – would probably say your suffering from ‘INSOMNIA’ (LABELLED)
    “My Thought” – Yes we are struggling with sleep, some good days, some bad days, but has it killed us? Are we that physically exhausted that we can’t walk? Think back before the condition, how many times have you had late nights, early mornings and not really given it a second thought, only probably to a work college saying you “kn***ered”, but then you’ve carried on.

    I struggle when I have time on my own with nothing to do and then I start feeling panicky and stressed, scrambling to find something to make me feel better only to find Im getting more and more anxious because I have found something to do but I still feel strange!
    “A Doctor” – would probably same your suffering from ‘GODIMBORED’ (LABELLED)
    “My Thought” – OK OK… there is no such word I know, but again think back before your condition, how many times did you say or think I’m bored only to find that you found something to do and then didn’t think anything else about it. You didn’t think “Oh Im ok now, I feel fine” You did something and if you still felt bored, you still moaned but it didn’t effect you physically.

    I could go on and on and I suppose this message is directed back at myself as much as some of you, because I have all of the above…. I do feel it is because we are spending too much time trying to feel better, looking for a cure, hoping that we will feel good. Yet before the condition we probably felt all the feelings we have now but we DID NOT FEAR THEM!!
    We are anxious because we are fearful of the feelings, that’s all. There is nothing wrong with us only that we have a habbit of checking in on ourselves instead of just accepting and plodding on regardless.

    Hope some of this makes sense, like I said, I haven’t truly accepted myself, but even on a bad day like today I can see REASON even if my body can’t :)

    Things can and will only get better…. As Claire Weekes puts it, “Strength is born from weakness” so let the weakness be there and lets build on it together


  379. JP Says:

    Nice message Si. I often think that, how so many things that wouldnt have bothered me are now a massive thing – weather/sleep/bored/a bit down/etc. You are right, it is because we are frightened of these things that they put us straight back in the anxiety cycle, where as if we just accepted them and did not add worry/catasrophising back then they would be nothing and we would just move on. Its funny how sometimes you know all the answers, but it is so much harder to actually do it all. Anyway, just like me I am sure you have had many good days since recovery started, so don’t let the bad ones knock you back too much. chin up.

  380. JP Says:


    Yes you are right I often take 5 mins to stop thinking about how bad I feel and remember how far I have come. 2 years ago I actually did not see the point of anything at all. More recent I have had some real encouraging hours / days and others where I am scrabbling for answers, however it is so true how the good days get better and the not so good become fewer.

    NOW ANYONE LOOKING AT THAT LAST BIT saying to themselves I will never feel the good days, trust me or should I say trust YOURSELF, you will start to feel the lift, ok it’s gradual and in my case very very gradual, but it comes. What I have found helps and truly helps is to do what Paul says and thats to do everything you would have done, don’t let your mind stop you. I used to hate the thought of going to a boxersise class that I now go to 2 times a week and even look forward to it. Sometimes just before I go I could talk myself out of it, but I ignore it and do it and 95% of the time I actually feel great after.

    That’s a good example of STRENTH from WEAKNESS… Keep doing the thing you want when you feel weak and sooner or later it becomes your STRENGTH

    please excuse any of my melling spitakes – after all NO ONE IS PERFECT even us perfectunists

  381. SI Says:

    Yes you are right I often take 5 mins to stop thinking about how bad I feel and remember how far I have come. 2 years ago I actually did not see the point of anything at all. More recent I have had some real encouraging hours / days and others where I am scrabbling for answers, however it is so true how the good days get better and the not so good become fewer.

    NOW ANYONE LOOKING AT THAT LAST BIT saying to themselves I will never feel the good days, trust me or should I say trust YOURSELF, you will start to feel the lift, ok it’s gradual and in my case very very gradual, but it comes. What I have found helps and truly helps is to do what Paul says and thats to do everything you would have done, don’t let your mind stop you. I used to hate the thought of going to a boxersise class that I now go to 2 times a week and even look forward to it. Sometimes just before I go I could talk myself out of it, but I ignore it and do it and 95% of the time I actually feel great after.

    That’s a good example of STRENTH from WEAKNESS… Keep doing the thing you want when you feel weak and sooner or later it becomes your STRENGTH

    please excuse any of my melling spitakes – after all NO ONE IS PERFECT even us perfectunists

  382. DCYL Says:


    Thanks for the message. I have felt exactly like you the last week. It started raining out in my area for a couple of days. I remembered an old co-worker mentioning how the weather affected him and I started worrying about it. While sleep hasn’t been an issue recently, it was early on and that did not help issues.

    But the most bothersome thing lately has been the “boredom” or “lonely” feeling. As I mentioned in a post a week or so ago, a few of my normal activities got changed or didn’t happen in the past few weeks. Two of my good friends went out of town. So I didn’t socialize as much or exercise as much. I was feeling a little worried about being bored and got anxious about it. I did go find alternative things to do and what not, but the anxiety got to me a little bit.

    But this anxiety gets me questioning this stuff SO MUCH. Fortunately, I’m doing alright and have a few things to do this weekend. But overall, I’m starting to understand that this anxiety affects in DIRECT physical and mental ways but also very subtle ways, that sometimes you don’t realize.

    It is tough to accept…..but I am doing better, just have to remind myself of it.

  383. T Says:

    I can have my good days and looking back to a journal I am keeping, my good moments are getting more and more frequent. The problem is that this seems to accentuate my lower moments. When I truly get trust into my intrusive thoughts about my life, I begin to fear and get worried almost more than I did before. Has anybody else gone through this? Some may say this is setback, some may say this is anxiety on its last nerves. I really don’t care, i just hate feeling this low sometimes. I am really trying to practice acceptance of these thoughts but they just bombard me all day!

  384. Carlie Says:

    Does anyone else have VERY vivid dreams? I’ve been having these dreams for the past 3 months since this anxiety stuff started, and they’re really draining. When I wake up, I feel like my mind has been going nonstop, even when I’m sleeping.

    I’m having a bad day, though… the DP is really strong and I feel so exhausted. I’m constantly analyzing my surroundings and trying to make everything feel “normal” again (like I’m trying to remember what a normal Saturday is supposed to feel like, but I can’t no matter how hard I try), but I know that’s not the right thing to do. I guess I’m just looking for some encouragement, it’s been a rough few months.

  385. Vamanan Says:

    Hi T,

    I think I can relate to what you are saying. I too struggled with some thoughts recently. I think the idea of acceptance (and what we are aiming too) is to end our struggle with these thoughts even if we hate the feeling it generate. These feeling may be very powerful to a point it makes us anxious but as I stick to not engage in conversation with the thought, there is some good feeling that I am not falling for the anxiety trick.

    The problem is sometimes I try to take short cut (specially when I am feeling good) to get rid of a thought. It may look like you feel good temporarily, but its the fight I lost many times. I have decided, however small the thought is, not to fight it, even if it cause me anxiety, don’t fight that either.

    Also, trying so hard to accept will backfire (At least it did for me for some times, when I stopped forcing myself to accept, instead just simply ‘stop fighting’). Claire Weekes rightly said that acceptance should be in out heart.

    When such anxious thought comes to me, I just acknowledge the thought (to ensure I am not running away or falling for avoidance), remind myself it is just a thought from anxiety, not a real one and go on with whatever I was doing. I am just practicing it and sometimes I fail and I accept that. Because even if i fail, it wont take too long before I realize I just fell into that trap again.

    Some of the BAD habits I had to correct:

    – Pretending like I didn’t have the thought. (Instead of acknowledging it)
    – Constantly checking if the thought is still there.
    – Waiting for the thought to go. (Instead try to mindfully do the task at hand)
    – Trying to convince myself that the thought is not a threat.
    – Drink few beers and see if the thought is gone. 😀

  386. John J Says:

    I’m interested to find out what the usual time frame for peoples recovery is.
    I’ve noticed a pattern on this and other anxiety related forums and website, that people usually tend to post for around 6 months to one year before they disappear.

    This is probably because they get to a recovery point and don’t need to look back.

    And with setbacks, how often are people experiencing these? Is it a case of having a few setbacks and then realizing that they cannot hurt you, or is a set back a major issue that can put you back to square one?

    I’ve heard people on other websites complaining that they have had anxiety or dp or panic for 10, 20, 25 years. Are these people really experiencing constant anxiety that whole time, or does it just seem that way. And is the delay in their recovery because they just don’t know how to combat it?

  387. T Says:

    Thanks Vamanam,

    I too tried the beer think for a long time. It worked quite well until I fell apart the next morning. I too have read Claire Weekes and I know she is right. Deep down I don’t want to and know I will no act on my thoughts, but at the same time I don’t want them. True acceptance means that you don’t care if they come back or not. When I am feeling well, I hope they will never come back. As soon as I check to see if they are really there I end up starting the cycle again. I also find they come as I think about how long recovery may take. But once again true recovery means that you don’t care. It is all a process, have to ALWAYS remind myself that.

  388. elaine Says:

    Why avnt we had a blog for september and october xxx

  389. Sally Young Says:

    Hi John
    Some people can recover from anxiety relitively quickly others find it harder to rid themselves of it as Claire Weeks says.Myself have had free periods and awful periods over my lifetime and I am nearly 60,but never have I let IT stop me from carrying on with my life,I have travelled extensively been married 40 years raised 3 sons run a home,held down several jobs and all the things that anxiety free people do.There is no frametime for anxiety but I hope you are one of the ones who recover quickly unlike myself but when I was younger there was no Paul to help the likes of us the medical proffessions answer to us was a bottle of pills which we all know now is not a magic cure.Sally

  390. Rich Says:

    Vammanan those are exactly the habits I fall into ! I have good days where I’m anxiety free and deeply focused and enjoying things like I use to and other days like today I feel detached and every thought hits me like a train constant analyse and ruminating, I can’t help but feel I’m taking steps back although the bigger picture is I’m somewhere into recovery. Paul mentioned setbacks, can anyone else understand or relate to where I’m coming from? Some days these thoughts are none existent and im myslef other days they snowball and i feel back im back to square one? Any response will be greatly appreciated

  391. JP Says:

    Rich, I really get what you mean. I think, if you are like me, it is because you are recovering and getting better, but you are scared of getting worse so kind of focus not he thought that ‘you might not be recovering’. Setbacks are a pain, but as everyone says they only have as much power as you let them, they will pass no matter how bad, and once you come out of one you will be stronger as you learn new things.

    One big thing that is a popular thought I can’t get rid of is about existence, how strange it is, and also death, and how we have to die and no amount of therapy will change that. I know I want to be the kind of person that doesn’t let death bother them and wants to get the most of life and achieve everything I want to, but when I start thinking about death/existence it throws me a lot. Any one relate? x

  392. Rich Says:

    JP honestly mate that’s exactly my situation with those exact thoughts just constantly I seem to go deeper and deeper into them they jus consume me. When I’m alrite I can dismiss it or just leave it but when the anxiety grabs a hold of me and those thoughts are impossible to ignore and it’s exactly the same subject you mentioned! Relieving to know we are not alone when all around me seem to be fine and not interested in the subject or the enormity of it! Cheers for the reply appreciate it

  393. JP Says:

    Well I know the answer.. People without anxiety don’t let it consume them, they want to take the opportunity to live their life to the full and know that thoughts like that just get in the way of life. When you are suffering with anxiety it just seems hard to dismiss something like that. I did have a realisation about the thoughts recently, which was that its not the thoughts that are the problem, its the reaction to them. Everyone thinks about death and how weird life is, but doesnt let it get them anxious or depressed, they just get on with their day. So I suppose if we accept our thoughts, accept that our reaction to them is caused by anxiety and isn’t are true selves, and continue with life, they will eventually get weaker. That’s the plan at least.

  394. T Says:

    JP and Rich,

    I have the same exact issues. I have had many of those realizations JP but then fall back into my habits. Even on great days, I wonder about all sorts of things relating to my existence. I think it is all based on fear. As we are more accepting the fear will subside and we will react the feelings in a much more “normal” way.

  395. Rich Says:

    I agree completely. Ive spoke to many friends about these thoughts and they say they have them quite often but it doesn’t bother them. It is completely down to fear and the reaction as apposed to the actual thought. Anything with me that triggers that reaction becomes an obsessive problem for a couple of weeks until I exhaust it and another thought replaces it! I’m aware of the cycle it’s just accepting it but as you say T I have noticed an subside in the anxiety levels.

  396. CR123 Says:

    Hi all just looking for a bit of help again… been doing a little better these last couple of weeks then it hit me again… as everyone probably has read my main fear is going mad i know this is not possible because i am scared about it but for some reason it just wont register in my head… i have started to question everything like did i just see that or did i make it up or did i just hear that…. i just cant get it out of my head that if i keep doing this to myself i will eventually lose the plot… all of my attention is on me all the time i just cant get out of my head… if anyone has been throught this and can help would be much appreciated… sorry to be asking for help again x

  397. Douglas Says:

    Rich, JP, and T,

    I too still have a lot of doubts, but interestingly, only when the anxiety is highly present. When I am engaged in something, the thoughts / questions / worries recede WAY into the background. So this makes me see we are on to something here. Every normal human has insecurities and worries, but they are very much background stuff. In our desperate attempts to rid ourselves of our fear, however, this all comes to the fore. If you can compare human consciousness with a pot of soup, when it’s just simmering, all the heavy stuff stays more or less on the bottom. We anxious people, on the other hand, tend to inadvertently keep the flame turned up max so everything comes to the surface in a mad boil. This we do in a valiant if misguided effort to cure ourselves because we are in fact highly responsible, conscientious and caring people. Which makes us think dealing with our “problem” is our #1 priority. Which it most definitely is not. We just fool ourselves into into thinking so.

    Ah well, as GW so eloquently put it, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, er, ummm you ain’t gonna git fooled agin!”

  398. Vamanan Says:

    Hey guys,

    Anyone here suffered from broken sleep pattern and if you recovered from it.

    Since mine got worse in May 2011, Almost everyday I wake up little bit early with streaming thoughts (sometimes anxiety is there). I am usually too sleepy, so go back to sleep but because of the mind chatter I wake up with bad tension headache. Once I wake up, I usually keep myself not dwelling in those thoughts and later in the day I feel alright.

    I am unable to break this pattern, I want to get back my 7-8 hours of sleep. Any advice would be appreciated.

    I have felt for a while like progressing in the recovery path but because of sleep not improving I am confused.

  399. Si Says:


    My advice would be “just let it be”!!!

    I only wished I could accept my own advice. Because my sleep is dreadful and getting worse and why??? Because I think Im not accepting that this will go away on it’s own if I leave it alone. Instead I got some books on insomnia, I made an appointment to see a Hypnotherapist and you know what I FEEL WORSE… SO I have cancelled my appointment, took the book back to the libruary and re-read pauls book in hope that I can start to understand more.

    Sorry Im not much use, but what I am saying is try not to TRY – yeh easy I know. Im up at 3 am or before every day and then I get stressed because I don’t want to do anything not even watch TV, so how do I fill 20hours a day up when you have 20 hours of anxiety to contend with :(


  400. Vic Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I see a lot of new people on here from when I first visited the site 2 years ago, I also see a lot of the same thoughts/feelings I use to suffer with 2 years ago.

    I myself have not fully recovered, but have overcame my darkest days thanks to the help from this website. And the only reason I have not fully recovered is because I had not put in all my faith in the recovery process until recently. I will explain….

    I have been stuck in the same place for about a year now, zoning in and focused on myself a good part of the day while at the same time battling odd thoughts that I found unpleasant. I was trying all types of techniques to get rid of these unwanted thoughts, constantly thinking about them and trying to find ways to ACCEPT them. All i was doing was bringing more attention to myself and my mind, therefore making the thoughts worse.

    For me, the only time I am really caught up in the anxiety cycle is when my mind is not busy with other things, and until recently I did not have much to occupy my mind so anxiety and thinking about it was occupying a lot of my time. But about 2 months ago I started my first full time job, working 40 hours a week. Of course I had the normal nerves anyone would have starting a new job, but nothing overwhelming ( I actually believe thanks to my knowledge of anxiety and how much mentally stronger I am I handled it a lot better than I would have 5 years ago before I ever suffered). Then once I got into the flow of things and working regularly, I started realizing something….when I was at work my mind was so tuned into the outside world that I was not getting any anxious thoughts or feelings. My mind does occasionally “zone in” like “hey you haven’t thought about anxiety” but for the most part when I am at work I am zoned out and anxiety rarely crosses my mind.

    This made me realize that anxiety only has the power that you give it. Now when I am at home, and get in the habit of thinking about anxiety or if I get an odd thought I accept it and now BELIEVE that it is just anxiety and habit. Until recently, I was still questioning these thoughts and wondering whether it was anxiety or what, because I have had the thoughts for so long. I do not question it anymore and over the past 2 months have seen more progress than I have seen in the past year where I have been stuck in the recovery process.

    My suggestion to everyone is any thought you get that is unpleasant ACCEPT it as anxiety and your mind trying to bring you down. Does not matter what the thought is. Your mind in its natural state would not get most of these thoughts and would not focus so much on these thoughts, but since you have a heightened sense of self and your thoughts you make it a bigger issue.

    We all have moments where we zone out and do not think about anxiety and feel “normal’ again. Whenever you find yourself in the anxiety cycle, think back to these moments and tell yourself “Ok I know when I am zoned out, and feeling “normal” I do not think like this, therefore this is just my anxiety and I need to just let it be”. If you are able to feed of these moments and understand that is the mind state you will be in once you recover, I think it will help you tremendously like it has helped me.

  401. Vamanan Says:

    Hello Si,

    Thanks pal for your advice. I agree that I should not focus on sleep issue too much as it only makes me anxious during sleep. I try not to most of the days. It is just that it has become a pattern sometimes worries me.

    I talked to someone who had sleep issues and even took sleep therapy with no results. Some folks told me they have been sleeping very less time for years and years, it doesn’t affect them.

    So I guess the best thing to do for now is to just not dwell on the worry thought of not having enough sleep (Can’t help the thought popping here and there though).

    Good luck with your journey of recovery.

  402. Si Says:


    Thanks, I think I needed that… I’ve had anxiety for 2.5 years and I know why I got it. I get anxious “FEELINGS” just about anything and obviously home in on that. Although I have a full time job (shifts) it’s a very stressfull job at times, but at other times it’s very quite and thats when it hits me…. too much time to think. But what I don;t want to do is ovoid it by trying to do something else. However I do need to find a balance. I don’t do half as much as I used to do (mentally challenging) and I think I need to address this soon

    Again thanks for putting things into perspective


  403. Rich Says:

    Douglas I completely agree with everything you said that it does become priority number one especially when I’m not working like at the moment as Vic pointed out. When I was working the focus was much less on me, my thoughts etc and also when i’m engaged nothing at all no anxiety. It is a habit I feel that develops through fear and protecting yourself over time for example “if I stay with myself nothing bad can happen, I must watch every thought every action I make” and as I have found out doing this is a very exhausting thing to do only making me worse. Now I accept anything and continue with my day it’s difficult as it’s a hard habit to break but I’m not going back to the exhaustion and mental slowness I suffered for two years.

  404. Jennifer Says:

    JP, I read your post today “One big thing that is a popular thought I can’t get rid of is about existence, how strange it is, and also death, and how we have to die and no amount of therapy will change that. I know I want to be the kind of person that doesn’t let death bother them and wants to get the most of life and achieve everything I want to, but when I start thinking about death/existence it throws me a lot. Any one relate? x”

    and can relate to this and has wondered myself if anyone had these thoughts as actually they are not so irrational. That IS the difficulty that us fragile humans have to life, death happens everyday. It is a fact of life and I do wonder how other people manage with it. Normal blocking out defences obviously come into play in order to enable people to continue with life and not break into tears. But I think experiencing anxiety at times means that we are extra sensitive to anything that makes us or is about more vulnerablity/less control, or as the author Susan Jeffers says ‘fear that we can’t handle it’.

    When our minds and bodies are feeling more relaxed, ‘living life’ is more the focus and this comes naturally we don’t have to try. Paradoxically after we had felt bad/down you actaully sometimes appreciate the little things you can do in life and feel more grateful for them. I read an artical the other day that said ‘life is beautiful and believing this can get you through most things’. cheesy but it kinda puts smile on my face because there is so much kindness and beauty out there when you look.

    CARLIE – yep vivid dreams is a common flare up from an anxiety fuelled day….I think where you are often light sleeping in the morning hours, you brain wakes up a bit and is in that the inbetween stages so all it is, is your mind trying to make sense or rather mish mash more realistic life events with more surreal ones and your mind is trying to process it all. It does not harm to your day or mind, other than having a few mins of confusion and making you feel a little keyed up first thing. But this doesn’t matter because you can just get on with your day and allow it all wash over you.

  405. Vic Says:


    I would most definitely recommend doing things you enjoy. Anxiety will be there for sure, but just let it be there. All the energy you would use letting it bother you, and thinking about it just try and use that same energy to try and focus on whatever you are doing at the moment. You will find that the anxiety, and thinking about it will come and go.

  406. Vamanan Says:


    I had the habit of worrying about anything to make sure its alright or perfect both past and future. Plus I had the strong misconception that I don’t have a choice when a worrying thought comes in, so I had to convince it to get past it.

    I realized that unless I change the above things about me, even when I get recovered in the future, It wouldn’t change my life much.

    So I have made it as a habbit of treating the worries (and the anxiety they bring in) as excercises to correct my old habbits. I know 100% the worry will eventually replaced by another thought so there is nothing I need to do in my part to get rid of it. So the excercise is to acknowledge that the worry popped up, accept any sensation that worry cause me (some anxiety/fear) and go on with whatever I was doing before the worry popped up.

    After practicing the above for a while, I am able to see that I have a choice now. Its a choice that is always there and its up-to us if we want to aim for a short term relief (by fighting against the thought for a temporary relief) or aim for a long term recovery and betterment of behavior by not fighting against it.

  407. Vamanan Says:

    (continued… sorry I pressed submit accidentally)

    In the start, my old habbit of fighting beat my new habbit easily. But now a days I am seeing the tables are turned and my new habbit is becoming more of a habbit and I am starting to feel better (except the sleep problem I face for months). I still fall to the old habbit once in a while.

    When you get anxious, if you can treat it as an excercise to not to worry or do anything about the sensation, you will see it is possible and it is easier than we thought of. Once you do this few times, you will notice a change.

    Also one more thing I learnt is not to beat myself up when my old habbit wins. Since it was a habbit built for 20+ years, it will take some time.

    This is my experience so far in this journey. Hope this helps you.

  408. DCYL Says:


    I am seeing that a lot of others having the same issues, especially Vic’s post really struck me. Vic mentioned that when he was busy, anxiety didn’t bother him as much. But when his mind wasn’t occupied, anxiety would creep back in. That is why I was worried when some of my activities changed and some friends went away. I was worried about not being occupied and anxiety creeping back in as it had happened during the early days.

    I also just learned another thing just a little while ago about how / why setbacks occur. I was participating in a group meeting for a side job that I do. The leaders of the group rate all it’s members so we get slotted for the job we do. One of the group leaders confided to me that the group had downgraded my rating a bit and wanted to talk to me. He had known that I had some issues to deal with and wanted to see how I was. He also was going to speak to the group overall and explain (in general) my situation.

    I told him my overall struggles and he understood. However, even though the leader meant well, I took the rating downgrade a little harsh that I normally would have. I see Si’s comment about being perfect and that was how I felt tonight. I immediately thought “Did I do something wrong?” or “what could I have done to avoid this?” This got some sweating started and some thoughts popped in.

    I am starting to see that even though we may “feel good” with minimal anxiety symptoms, it takes a while to truly “recover”. I see that I still react to things VERY strongly, perhaps more than I normally would. A part of this is the fact that when we’re anxious, we try to do a lot of things to make us feel good. But we can’t control other things like my situation tonight. This is where Paul’s suggestion of just accepting comes into play. It is super hard though!

  409. Vic Says:


    Great advice to you gave to Si, and you are right on.

    It takes more energy to try and fight these thoughts and feelings than to just let it go. If you are having to put a lot of thought into “Accepting” then you are not accepting because acceptance does not take energy and time out of your day.

    I find myself accepting more and more lately, but yes it is such a habit to “fight it” that I also find myself fighting it and questioning it at times still. Again, it is a process you just have to believe in it. If you do not believe in it, you will continue to battle because you will also have the tendency to question it and fear it.

  410. Sally Young Says:

    You are not alone with the existence/death thoughts thats one of my scary thoughts I hate even though I know it is a stupid thought it frightens me and makes my anxiety worse but it is anxiety that is responsible for the thoughts in the 1st place.Sally

  411. Vic Says:


    Just read your post from a few days ago, I do the same thing. It is even harder on me because a couple of years ago I went through a 6 month span where I was hardly getting any thoughts and would only zone in like 1 or 2 times a day. Then one day I just started over analyzing a thought again and set myself back to where I am now. I can say that I have been in a setback for about a year now.

    One thing I am beginning to remind myself, and remember from those 6 months that I was doing great, is that its a gradual process. We will have good days where thoughts rarely come in, and we will have days where they are there constantly there throughout the day. The key is our attitudes. When we have these bad days we have to realize its a part of the process, things will not change overnight.

    I have to remind myself that the key to recovery is not trying to rid myself of these thoughts or feelings, its just letting them be and having an “I dont care” attitude.

    I tell myself that anxiety and odd thoughts could quite possibly be a part of my life forever, but I do not have to let it bother me so much and I just have to change my attitude towards these thoughts. This is what works, and I know that because it is what led me to those 6 months of doing so well.

  412. Kat Says:

    Hi Helen,

    Don’t know if you’ve been away from the blog (out there living your life, as you should!), but I had asked a question on the 5th regarding anxiety and the physical aspects of a relationship. I spent some time thinking about this over the past weekend, and I started to wonder if perhaps hormones are impacted by anxiety, and whether or not you or anyone else out there has heard anything to support the idea?

    Obviously, when you’re feeling anxious and depressed, it’s difficult to connect to the more positive emotions, but I wondered if you experienced a period like I have, in which the more pleasurable emotions were negatively impacted, and further to that question, how long until things corrected themselves?

    I’m doing my best to try to accept everything. I even enjoyed the past weekend, which I’d been dreading, because I had a three-day break from work and was worried about how I would feel. I know, I need to stop anticipating and just ‘do’, but I’m having such a hard time accepting and not fighting. I really seem to be stuck because the fight response is so reflexive to me, as is the feeling of wanting to cry in frustration. The good news is that I enjoyed my weekend, for the most part, but the bad side is that today, I feel disconnected and anxious, again. I’m so tired of anxiety being a part of my daily existence, and yet, I refuse to give up on myself.

    I just feel like I’m letting everyone around me down. I don’t feel I’m being the loving partner that my partner deserves, and I so very much want to be what he needs. Also, I have so many personal limitations that I must be an awful bore to my friends who like to get out and enjoy themselves. I know we aren’t supposed to make apologies for what we’re feeling, but it is very difficult not to. I apologized to my partner the other day for not being as passionate and impetuous as I used to be, because I really felt he needed to hear it. He made a joke, trying to lighten things up, but I felt really sad that maybe I’ll never feel again how I used to. Some days, I feel like I will eventually best this beast, and others, I unconsciously start to believe what the anxiety is telling me. I am then given to wonder if it really is anxiety, or if I’m just incapable of maintaining relationships. It is really disheartening.

    Sorry for venting! I only do it here, amongst friends who can understand what I’m going through. It helps a great deal. I continue to learn so much from everyone here, and I hope that one day I will be able to be the voice of reason, rather than the second-guesser that I am today.

  413. Vic Says:

    John J,

    I have been a visitor to this website for about 2 years, and have heard and seen a few success stories. You are correct, for the most part I have seen people say it took them 6mos-1yr. However, as you may already know, this is all depending on the person as habits can be harder to break for some people. I think it is important to not put a time frame, as it can consume you more than it should and puts too much attention on anxiety rather than accepting and living your life.

  414. Carlie Says:

    Thanks Jennifer, that makes me feel a little better! I had another bad day today. I know I probably shouldn’t be coming on here so much, but it’s better than Googling other sites and forums, which is what I used to do. My main problem lately isn’t really the physical effects of anxiety… most of that is better. I still get headaches (just had a bad one last night), but not as often. I don’t start to feel foggy every time I leave my house… I remember it happening a couple of weeks ago (along with a headache) but I just kept going and I haven’t noticed it lately. I don’t feel jittery and on edge every single morning when I wake up like I used to. I also don’t have as many issues with blurry vision, etc. Those are just a few examples. I feel like now it’s all down to my thoughts, I guess. My obsession is with the whole idea of depersonalization. I still feel like I probably wouldn’t even be dealing with this 3 months later if I had never come across this word and a forum devoted to it that really terrified me from the start. Lately, it’s like each new day feels like a new life or something. If that makes sense. Each day has its own “feel” to it and I always feel like I’m trying to adjust to that. Like today felt different from yesterday, and tomorrow will feel different from today, and I’m always wondering why. If I lived the same day over and over, I know that would get pretty boring! But I don’t know. It’s just weird. Weird is the best word to describe the way I feel, but also the way everything else feels. It’s like life doesn’t make sense to me anymore and I feel confused. Even just walking around my house or doing normal things like taking my car to have a tire fixed feels strange and different than what I expected it to feel like. I just want to live the way I used to without thinking about these things. Without typing something or saying something and then thinking “Is this something I would’ve said before all of this started?” Which is dumb, because deep down I think I know that my personality hasn’t actually changed. And without looking in the mirror checking to see if I feel connected to the reflection looking back at me. And asking myself “Who am I really?” And not knowing what to say. I know I’ve had moments where I’ve felt normal, but I probably didn’t realize it most of the time because my mind was on something else. Since this started, everything has felt like a blur. I mean I don’t feel like I’m having the brain fog I had at the beginning, but I guess things run together because I’m not doing much and I’m so focused on anxiety? It always takes me a minute to think of what I did last weekend or just a few days ago… again, I’m hoping this is just because I haven’t done much and my life is consumed by anxiety. And I’m also obsessed with analyzing situations that have already happened… it’s like I’m checking to see if I felt “completely there” and in the moment. Sometimes I ask myself “Do I feel like I’m in a dream right now?” And I don’t think I do most of the time, but my mind knows that I fear this and it tricks me into thinking otherwise, which brings on more fear, which keeps the cycle going.

    I’m just stuck in that cycle. I mean in some ways I feel like I’ve gotten better… if I go back to early/mid July I remember the sheer terror I felt every day from the moment I woke up. I would do nothing but Google about anxiety/depersonaliztion. I’m still just trying to make it through the day, but things have improved a little. It’s funny because about 2 weeks ago I was actually referring to this whole anxiety thing in past tense, like it was over and done with and I would be getting better soon. Then I started feeling really down and something just set me off again. It’s the whole “feeling strange” thing that really gets me. Sorry for rambling! It feels good to get it all out and hopefully someone can relate… I’m gonna try to sleep now. :)

  415. Si Says:


    Rest assured I can realy relate to how your feeling. I bet you look back on some of the post you’ve written on here and though “I was so much better and possitive when I wrote that” and then we go back into the cycle of creating anxious thoughts.

    Some minutes I feel quite upbeat and then I only have to think how I felt a couple of hours ago and then wham!! Im back to feeling anxious.

    Sorry I am of no help on this matter. And even though we know the only way out of this is to accept…… HOW DO YOU ACCEPT. How many times do I need to read and read and read the same stuff to get it in my head. I totally understand the principle and I know for a fact that going about your day as normal as possible is the answer, but it’s the blumming 24hour anxious feelings that keep me alert to the fact!!

    However, I look back at how bad I was and how better I am now. When you think to back before you had this condition, how easy would it have felt for us to tell someone how to do this, think about it…. It would have been a doddle only because we wouldn’t be feeling anxious.

    AND SO…. I think one day I will be able to carry on each day without stripping every single thought I have down until I feel so depressed. I crave for the day to be free and I half accept it will come. If it take me years then it’s got to be better than feeling this way for the rest of my life

  416. Jennifer Says:

    Carlie – you don’t need to apologise for rambling its theraputic to share, especially to people who understand. Im frustrated at the moment at the way im really, sheding tears sometimes, but the difference this time is that I AM 100% SURE THAT YOU DO RECOVER because I felt very similar to you and has a total blur for a few months back in 2009/2010 and I PROMISE YOU I fully recovered. All those symptoms that you express do just somehow fall away in layers just like Paul says. It creeps up on you, but you will need to go through practicing not reacting to feeling shit. and YES IT IS BLOODY HARD. But you will get there and its so hard to believe when you are feeling fully anxious. I am just having a set back and its knocked me a bit but I know my mind and body will and can be more healthy again. It is also very hard to accept that you cannot pay to much attention to your mind as you cannot think clearly when you are feeling like that coz as you will have worked out when you are not feeling so bad your not bothered by those thoughts/symptoms. FEELING STRANGE is very annoying but you will find that actually no one notices and if you just fake smiling and making conversation before you know it you are somewhere back to being how you used to be. LIKE SI SAYS though its the fact that its there with you 24/7 that is so draining and annoying. Feeling free and more relaxed does come along quicker than you thought possible and its very often not a year, everyone is different but its surprising how you body lets it all go after some practice and sometimes time is a good healer as well x

  417. Matt Says:

    Hey carlie, I have stayed away from forums and this site for the past couple of weeks. And for the most part, I feel a little better. I went camping last weekend with my brother and kids and was completely scared and terrified most of the time but I don’t know what about. I did have a few hours of total freedom because I just completely focused on connecting with the world around me instead of just completely focusing on me. It is extremely hard to practice, but, I believe I am getting the hang of it again. You have to keep the hope that it will pass and you will recover, that helps me tremendously knowing that I won’t be like this forever. There are good days and bad days with this, but it will get better. Some days my thinking is much clearer and other days I feel lost again. The key is to truly understand what you are going through, at least that’s the way it’s been for me. Hell, a few weeks ago I was so depressed I felt like I couldn’t even get out of bed, figuring like what’s the point? The point is that there is nothing wrong with us, our mind is just tired, that’s all DP really is, a tired mind and your body then protects us. It isn’t easy convincing myself of this when I am in the midst of it, but when I can, it doesn’t really hold that much power over me.

    I agree that the feeling strange part bothers me a lot. My kids and family feel strange and like I don’t even know them. But, it isn’t true, it’s just the tired mind that makes everything seem strange and unreal. I hope your doing better and you will make it through. Also, stay off of DP forums!! I went on some of those sites and even commented and received nothing but negativity and how they believe they will never get better. A lot of those people search for the magic pill or some medication that is gonna fix them, instead of having to do it the right way, which is to live normally. Anyways, thought I’d comment since I haven’t in awhile. Hope everyone is having a good night.

  418. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Yes, I have been on holiday and now it is back to work!
    You are over-thinking everything. There has to be a point where you stop trying to work everything out, you have to do this. All you have is today, nothing more and you feeling guilty about letting your partner down, you questioning if you will ever feel the same as you did is getting you absolutley nowhere, it never has and never will. The only thing stopping you from recovering is that you are not in the present, you are in the future or the past constantly and what is the point of that? You do not know how you will feel in the future and how you felt in the past is irrelevant. Look at what you have today Kat, concentrate on that and not on what may or may not happen in the future.
    Someone who truly loves you, like it sounds as though your partner does, will stick with you through thick and thin and love the person that you are even when you are going through bad times so don’t put pressure on yourself to be the “partner that he deserves”. Leave it all alone, live for today ONLY, the future will take of itself, it doesn’t need you to worry about it.
    You will get there Kat but please, please stop questioning everything and wanting to be different, you are who you are today, who knows who you will be tomorrow.

    All the best

  419. Carlie Says:

    Thanks for all the comments, everybody! I really love this place because even though there are a lot of people struggling obviously, there are lots of helpful people here who have been through all of this and recovered completely. Jennifer, your post was so encouraging, thank you! I’m sorry you’re having a hard time right now but I know you’ll be okay! Matt, I’ve seen some of your posts and I relate to what you’re going through a lot. It’s such a weird combination of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and scared of myself and my surroundings for no real reason. Like I’ve mentioned, I don’t really feel “foggy” that much anymore. I still can’t think clearly a lot of the time (like I easily forget what I was just talking/thinking about or what I was just doing), but I can always tell when that feeling comes on, and I don’t get it as much now. It’s more like a constant fear of everything and feeling strange and different because of it. But everything you say is true, sometimes it’s pretty easy to convince myself that it’s just anxiety, but other times I have all those “what ifs”… like, “What if I’m different?” or “Mine didn’t start off the exact same way as these other people, what if it’s not the same thing?” I try to reread the section in Paul’s book whenever I get a lot of those thoughts and it does help. I have stayed off of DP forums lately and I’ve been much better for it! Eventually I realized it was only making me worse and scaring me to death, and I haven’t been on any of those sites in well over a month I’d say, although sometimes it is tempting. It is amazing how many people have been struggling for a long time, and some of them even say that they “stopped worrying about it”, but that must not be the case if they’re still posting on the forums all the time. I just tell myself that I already know what’s wrong with me and I know the way out and that it’s worked for everyone else. I hope you’re feeling better too! We’ll all make it through eventually. Oh and Si, I completely relate to everything you’ve said too. I’m always thinking about the day I’ll be free from this, but I think that when that day comes, it won’t hit me suddenly. It will be really gradual and I’ll be so busy doing other things that I won’t even really notice.

    Right now I’m feeling okay. I know I have to start getting out on a regular basis soon. Since I’m taking a break from school, I know I really need to get a job or maybe start volunteering somewhere, something to get me out and get my mind on other things. Also, it really is amazing how sometimes I can feel okay and like overcoming this really isn’t so hard… I’m just making it seem that way. And other times it feels like it’s the most complicated thing in the world! It seems to change every other hour.

  420. Patrick Says:

    Thank you Paul that helped a lot.

  421. Samuel Says:

    Hello everyone,
    This is my first post on the forum and hope not to be covering old ground but have had a look and can’t find any specific posts on the subject that causes my anxiety.
    Paul’s book has been a big help so far but even on my good days I still think almost constantly about my own death, how it will happen, what happens to us afterwards etc.
    It’s as if there is no escape from the inevitable happening and it frightens me terribly to the point that’s affecting my life alot.
    I’ve lived 30 odd years without having this specific worry although I’ve always been worried about my health on and off for years, I’m hoping that this is all anxiety based fear and will start to go as I learn to accept this condition?
    My bad days just lead me to think that no matter what people say I associate everything with the fact that I will die so what’s the point in becoming successful or whatever I achieve seems somehow pointless?
    I was a truly happy go lucky person before this condition and just feel very frightened that this is all that I can think about at the moment.
    There seem to be some wonderful people on this blog do I hope someone can help steer my thoughts along the right path, Samuel

  422. DCYL Says:

    Samuel – you might not get a response within this post as Paul has a newer one. Feel free to post your message within the newer one as there is more activity there (I happened to see that there was a new message here so i checked it out). Others may want to comment on this as well.

    To answer the question you presented, I would classify your issue as a “obsessive” thinking. The anxiety has grabbed onto a fear and you keep trying to think and analyze your way out of the thought pattern. Along the fear, you’ve acquired a strong fear of this though pattern. Instead of looking at the reason why you’re thinking of this particular thought, look at WHY you’re obsessing over this particular idea. Paul has some postings on his website/book on obsessive thinking and I think that will help you a lot.

  423. Bosco Says:

    “Quitters never win and winners never quit ” – Anonymous

    “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. Lance Armstrong.

  424. Pattie Scungio Says:

    I wish to express my appreciation to you just for bailing me out of such a problem. Just after searching through the search engines and meeting ways that were not pleasant, I assumed my life was over. Living devoid of the answers to the difficulties you’ve fixed all through your good short article is a serious case, as well as the kind that could have adversely affected my entire career if I hadn’t come across the website. Your primary training and kindness in handling a lot of things was precious. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not encountered such a stuff like this. I’m able to at this time relish my future. Thanks a lot very much for the reliable and sensible help. I won’t think twice to endorse your web site to anyone who should get guidelines on this matter.

Leave a Reply