Anxiety success story

Hi Everyone, I was asked by a member if he could let others know about his own story of recovery. I was only too pleased and thought I would do a new post with the story included.

Firstly I would say the hard part of recovery is keeping the faith that things will get better, too many people are impatient and think how they feel today, is the way they will feel in the future. I was tested many times through my own recovery and the odd day I would shed some tears, feel frustrated and back to square one. I would also feel the need to scoot off and find the miracle sentance or cure that would make it go away instantly. I knew though that I had to stop looking for a way to make it go away and become one with it. To take the sting out of it you have to learn to be fine with the way you feel. Don’t be anxious because you are anxious !

Also another part that is very important is having the faith in yourself. When anxious our subconcious plays many tricks. We may think about going somewhere or doing a certain task and the hovering anxiety tells us to take the safe route and hide away, don’t go. Then we get frustrated that we can’t do ordinary tings and start questioning everything. It really is about feeling the apprehension and just doing it anyway, what you are getting is a false signal caused my your current state. I could write a long list of all the times I just went straight through my insecurites, my fears and apprehensions and nothing ever happened. I knew this was the way to get my life back, to stop giving in to my anxiety, to take away it’s power and see what it really had, I wanted to stop closing doors and start opening them and this meant going against my instincts and start living again. I can’t recall how many times people have come to me and said ‘I used to do this, but I can’t anymore’ when asked why they can’t, they cannot answer. You can do anything you want, there is nothing to stop you, don’t listen to that voice that says you cannot and start to nurture that voice that says you can. To feel normality you have to live normal, to lose your fears you have to go through them, not around them, you have to have the faith that although you may not always feel great, you will be fine. Anxiety symptoms really are surface symptoms, you have not lost who you are, that person is just waiting to resurface again.

Anyway here is the story that was passed on to me, hope it helps and inspired people.

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,  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 and he 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?”. 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 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, it was up to me and slowly I started enjoying my life again, I 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 real 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 as 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 this short story helps. just stick with this website, get courage and start living the life and it shall pass, I promise.


I just want to add something to the story sent in above;

The key point is that you probably will feel anxious when you go somewhere or do something that in the past you have avoided, but so what? Again feeling anxious has been here since the dawn of time, it is how people reacted to it that differs. Remember it is just adrenalin, it cannot harm you , it’s just a feeling, a feeling that was put there to protect you, it truly is nothing to run or hide away from.

I always found that when I did not go for the quick escape or run away from it and rode it out, then it always calmed. You cannot produce adrenalin indefinately anyway, that is a medicl fact, so it will always calm. I eventually got to the point where I did not care if I felt anxious or not, it made no difference to me, it was just became a harmless feeling and that was when the real progress started as it was no longer an issue.

I hope the above helps and inspires people.


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593 Responses to “Anxiety success story”

  1. Elaine Says:

    Very insperational thanx. I have a quiestion Paul i have had your book about 5 months now and after 24/7 anxiety i have had few respites . The problem is i am in a very bad setback ive got very anxiety and a very anxious feeling in my gut , i have lost my appatite and i have depression with it . I do my housework visit friends and take my 2 dogs out every day but i dont feel like doing anything at all i have no interest or much motivation . I am doing thins BUT IS THIS FIGHTING IT AND NOT FACING IT . I WAS GETTING SOME LOVELY NORMAL DAYS AND THEN WHAM this comes back again as bad as it was in the begining xx

  2. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Elaine
    I too have had some very good days this last few weeks but then last week bang it is back and now I am full of self doubt,tearful and a bit doubtful I will ever be rid of it even though I now know deep down Paul’s way is right.But we have no choice but to try not to fight but accept.Just wanted you to know you are not alone.Kind Regards Sally xx

  3. CR123 Says:

    hi all i really need some help right now im so scared… before bed yesterday i had a space where i was fine and really didnt care then as i went to bed my mind went into over drive…. does anyone else have like an “argument” with yourself i know that sounds weird but it was like i would say to myself its just anxiety or whatever im not bothered then straight away i hear myself say yes you are what if its not??? this is my own voice im sure but it has really scared me I cant stop thinking that this is the early stages of going mad and something else in seriously wrong with me…. i really dont want to go to a doctor cause they just dont understand… Please someone is this normal for anxiety im freaking out…. thank you carlee x

  4. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all, had the week from hell this week, I am getting by just thinking that its adrenaline and my body is trying to protect me, its wierd even tho you can tell your mind that, you still get anxiety! Its so hard to live with it but i guess thats what we have to do. At least I feel like im not alone on here. I wish i could exchange places with the one who is now recovered!!!!!

  5. JAN TURNER Says:

    I have just realised that I have not really been accepting it just thought I was by going out and doing things, I think I was not willing to accept the feelings and thought, just rushing around in the hope that it would not happen. I managed to go into a cafe yesterday but think I was really steeling myself for what might happen not willing to let the feelings come what may. Does that make sense to anybody??
    I hope we can all find some support today. CR123 you are so not going mad if you were you wouldnt think so, its the fear of going mad. Hope that helps. Its a period of stress/pressure that started me off, and it happens over a period of time, but its the strong habit of fear that keeps it going.

  6. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Jan
    As you can see from my previous post you are noy alone Elaine and I are having a bad time too after some really good days.I threw out all the self help books I have bought over the years today keeping only Paul’s and Claire Weekes cos I know Pauls way is the right way because of the good days I have had but it is still a hard road to travel but with this site we do not feel so alone as I did years ago.Wishing you some better days to come same for all on here.Kind Regards Sally X

  7. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi Sally thanks for the reply, yes I dont feel so alone now. Have had Claire Weeks book for many many years now, and Pauls as well and I think the same as you. I think this such a hard thing to cope with and even harder toexplain to those so lucky people who dont suffer with it. Thank you for your wishes. Janx

  8. Diane Says:

    hi all, been going through a bit of a rouh patch myself, been signed of work and going back Monday, find it difficult some days and better others.I find Pauls book helps, when anxiety thoughts and feeling come in but still feel I fight other than just accept, does anyone have any suggestions????????? No Jan you are not oing made the thoughts are there and we have to try not to pay them atention, sometimes more difficult than other times!!!!!!!! Lets all focus on taking it step , it really helps thinking you are not alone, take care x

  9. JP Says:

    Just a little hint that has been helping. Change your belief from I can’t cope to – I can cope. Three magic words, no matter what you are thinking of or what you are scared of, just start to believe that you can cope and guess what.. you will. then slowly prove it to your body and mind, until it can’t do anything but believe that you can cope. can’t see why this attitude can’t work for everything.. I can cope. Easy.. sort of. good luck. x

  10. jackie Says:

    I like this quote i read recently and think of it when anxiety has me in its grip
    “When the tigers racing towards you
    Drop your gun”

  11. Sally Young Says:

    Hi All
    I say to myself I AM getting better rather than as I used to oh what if this or what if that what if I cant cope.More poitive I think X

  12. Diane Says:

    Hey JP, thank you for that I will give it a try :)

  13. CR123 Says:

    Hi all …

    has anyone else eperienced my previous post … i feel really freaked out by it all???? i cant stop thinking that im going mad now everytime i think of something i question it with a negative responce… any help please xx

  14. Fran Says:

    Hi Carlee,
    No you are not going mad. I know its hard to believe but yes it is just anxiety playing its tricks. I used to have a constant internal dialogue with myself, in my own voice about so many terrifying things, and believe me that argueing with it is the most counter productive thing to do. The way i survived this at its worst was to keep on with what i was doing and give my attention to that instead, and gradually the dialogue has got less and less. Its still hard at times and i still fall into the trap, but keep at it cos it does get easier. Doing things you enjoy really helps, even though they dont feel as enjoyable as they used to, it keeps the mind focused on something other than oneself.
    I hope this helps

  15. jackie Says:

    Cr123. Hi

    Sorry, i cant be of much help to you as at the moment what you are going through
    So am i…. Exactly the same thing,
    I am just trying to just let it be and when anxiety is high accept it all in and eventually calm down

  16. CR123 Says:

    thank you so much for your reply… i think im in a setback i have been fearing going mad for about 9 months now and every time one thing goes another thing happens… this one has really drained me as i did the whole googling for schizophenia and that really hasnt helped… im just so worried and its stuck in my head its horrible.. i feel nervous all the time and am stuck with my thinking.. when tis like this i cant do the i dont care attitude because i really do care im worried about going mad and letting everyone down…
    Jackie although i am gratefull that i am not the only one going through this its horrible that someone else in going through this too…(if that makes sence) xxx

  17. jackie Says:

    Yes perfect sence. My doctor is now getting fed up i think of telling me im not going mad and this is not how one goes mad, but when its all you can think of it certainly doesnt feel that way xx

  18. CR123 Says:

    jackie.. i dont go and see my doctor anymore as when this first started i told her how i was feeling.. that i felt like i was going to go mad… she straight away offered me ADs and to see someone when i said no she asked me what exactly i thought i was going to achieve from going and seeing her… i was like your the doctor you should be telling me lol… i dont trust them now so when i found this site it was a lifesaver.. i just get so worried bacause i have worried for so long about going mad sometimes i think ive even convinced myself of it… thats why when i would think something then i would reply to myself it scared me sooo much… doesnt matter how many times i read that because i worry and fear it it will never happen because i always think im different… lol xx

  19. elaine Says:

    Hi Folks ive decided enugh is enough, if i go mad i go mad , if i end up in hospital i do, if i dont get better i dont, and another thing if i think like i am losing control let me lose it and get it over and done with .THATS IT IVE HAD ENOUGH OF FIGHTING AND THINKING SO SOD IT . WHAT WILL BE WILL BE XXX

  20. Elaine Says:

    CR123 , DO you feel as though you are going mad or do you feel like you are going mad ? I felt like i was going mad i felt my head wasnt rite. BUT GUESS WHAT READ MY POST ABOVE I AM CHANGING MY ATTITUDE AND TO HELL WITH IT XX

  21. steveo Says:

    None of you (us) are going mad.

    Re-read the success story and other stories on here and have hope. All of these people including Paul felt the same as you do know and look at them.

    Patience and not fighting is the key.

    It is a case of learning to ‘let the monster walk beside you instead of trying to fight it’…

    There are some excellent re-assuring posts in previous blogs.

    Everyone CAN recover and people who go mad do not know it.

  22. elaine Says:

    Steveo, yes thats what i am going to do , no more worrying and being scared i am going with it and live along side of it . x

  23. Katie Says:

    Elaine, your attitude will do wonders for you. Anxiety doesn’t interfere with my life too much these days. It got to a point where I felt so nervous, so much adrenaline, so many symptoms, that I just got so fed up and thought- to hell with it! have a panic attack then! it might feel nice! nice to release some energy! I was so angry with anxiety getting in my way. you sound a bit fiesty, that’s good! a ‘don’t care’ ‘come on then, show me what you’re made of’ attitude is good! and you know the best thing? the anxiety never amounts to anything when you have this attitude. One day I felt panicky in work, I nearly left, ran to the doctor (again) I saw the look of helplessness in my husbands eyes (he works with me) I saw how he was hurting and it gave me a bit of fire in my belly. I thought- NO! anxiety, you are not winning, you are not making me leave a job that I love, you are not causing grief in my marriage, I haven’t got time for you, I’ve got 2 kids to look after. Do whatever you want, I can faint (never happens!) I can feel sick, I can panic in public, I can be sick on a bus! (none of this happens) but anxiety will not stop me living this precious life!

    You know at school as a kid, that feeling you’d get from larking about, having fun, half thinking you might get caught by a teacher, being slightly naughty. That’s how I feel when I don’t give anxiety any respect. I go against the grain. Instinctively if I am anxious/panicky I will want to curl up in bed but instead I have been in a situation where I’ve done the opposite of what I feel- like gone to a party. Not supposed to drink too much? sod it, I will then! I find myself having a good time and then I think- whoops! are you supposed to be enjoying yourself?? this is not allowed! you have anxiety!!

    But I carry on regardless. It’s sticking fingers up to the condition, gaining control. It’s quite easy when you get the hang of it and very very liberating. I don’t fear anything now, well I do, but I have fun alongside it.

  24. Katie Says:

    It’s a subject so close to my heart, not an obsession…it’s not worth the time, it really is not. It’s only important as YOU make it. It’s something I have strong opinions on. I hate to hear of anyone suffer, whatever level, it doesn’t have to be like that xx

  25. elaine Says:

    Katie i have got to the stage now were i put two fingers up to it .Let it do what it likes . xx

  26. Sally Young Says:

    Hi CR123
    I have had anxiety many years and want to reassure you that you are NOT going mad this awful condition manifests itself in many ways so try not to focus on you think you are mad.Anyway mad people do not know they are mad.Hope this helps a little Sally xxxxx

  27. CR123 Says:

    Thank you all so much for your kind replys…. ive decided that i really am going to stop fighting… i thought i had and that i was excepting and not fighting but actually i have realised i havent been at all… i decided that i am going to stop googling symtoms and give away all the self help books (apart from pauls) i have recently bought cause actually all the different advice just confused me cause i was trying to many different tecniques which was not excepting but trying to find anything to make myself feel better… my biggest problem is self doubt i think im the only person in the world that will not get better and will go mad lol… but that all stops today i have been avoiding going out with my friends afraid of how i will react or blabbing on about my anxiety and because they dont understand they just look at me like i am mad.. afraid to drink to much just incase it makes me feel worse the next day… well not anymore im 23 and im gonna go out get as drunk as i like and sod it.. if i feel bad tomorrow i do… (probably be blogging on here with a new symtom lol)… if i hadnt of found this site and the kind people on here that help i dont no what i would of done so thank you all.. xxxxx

  28. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi, those that are mad have no idea that they are, only those who worry about it are not! Its a fear that if we let go something terrible is going to happen when its really not. We dont feel safe or secure that we are alone, thats scary and feeling we cant cope, as previous post has said, try and think we can cope.

  29. elaine Says:

    I am out of setback and guess why after 11 days of hell . Isaid sod it let it do its worse i have lost interest in it and it can do what it likes to me i am not bothered anymore . xx

  30. Bret Walters Says:

    Weird…I’m kind of in a stupid funk. A lot of family problems and stuff are getting me down and feeling quite depressed, keep having thoughts of like “what if it gets worse and you hurt yourself and you cant cope anymore” which I know is just anxiety, but it still freaks me out. Anyways my mom was concerned because I seemed a bit down, shes super protective..liek I am sure a lot of us anxiety prone people’s parents are. So she picked me up some St Johns Wort and 5HTP, obviously I know not to take them together. But anyways I did a lot of research and seems to be pretty positive reviews about both. But of course I then read that they can cause serotonin syndrome etc. So now im too scared to take them lol. I mean obviously I want to feel back to normal, part of me is like AFRAID of feeling normal? Like I am scared of feeling different. This is so stupid! I think I am scared if I take it I am going to lose control and hate how it makes me feel and panic and hurt myself….any advice on this one lol? Anyone tried these?


  31. jan Says:

    Elaine…i think i know you…we have already met.


  32. jc Says:

    i to am in a setback after a few good weeks i have had areally bad week feeling really depressed and like im not coping really bad last night felt panicky and sick only had 2hours sleep feel awful this morning retching no energy ijust want to cry this is the worse ive felt since i started with anxiety last october now im frightened im having a break down i seem to have lost all resilience.the thing is while having afew good weeks my sister was taken seriously ill we nearly lost her which was a very emotinal time thankully she is on her way to recovery but at the time i coped really well but. now shes over the worst ive gone backwards i just cant cope

  33. elaine Says:

    jc you can cope its all abluff honest it is . Read my post i was like you in setback for 11 days it was hell complete hell xxxx

  34. elaine Says:

    Jan were do you know me from xxxx

  35. Mark M Says:

    I agree with how important ‘having faith’ in yourself is, as I’ve been experiencing so much progress just by believing in myself. I realized that when I think about anxiety, I always go about it with the attitude of ‘I can’t recover’ or I bring up all of the doubts and reasons why I wouldn’t be able to recover. But I had this huge epiphany a few weeks back that THAT belief is what holds me back the most, the belief that I can’t recover. In every other area of my life where I’ve had success I know as a gut feeling that I first MUST believe that I can do something before I can actually achieve it, and I think the same is with anxiety. Believing with unwavering faith that I can live a live free of excess worry of course doesn’t mean anxiety will automatically go away, but without that belief that I can recover in the first place, it’s nearly impossible for me to recover. It’s seriously just common sense, we have to believe something is possible before we can do something, and the more possible we think/believe something is, the more motivated we are to go after it.

    I’ve never been a person of faith or a religious person at all, but having this stubborn faith/belief that I can recover has been enormously helpful. Just try it for a few days, like everyday if there is some event you have to go to, then just have unwavering FAITH (faith as in not built on reasons or justifications, so that your mind can’t argue with you) that that event will go well and that you will be great. Just really go into every situation throughout the day with the attitude that it will go well and faith that it can. Even small things, like if you’re afraid to go outside, just have complete faith that you can walk outside and it can and WILL be wonderful in every way possible and you can enjoy the sunshine and birds and nature. Again, it doesn’t mean it necessarily will be that ideal, but you can bet that there’ll be a damned better chance that it will go well than if you don’t hold that belief, because to me that’s really a necessary part of achieving any good results. I can tell you that you sure as heck won’t enjoy the sunshine if you don’t even go outside with the belief that in your anxious condition you CAN enjoy the sunshine, you know? I just wanted to share that insight because it has helped me immensely and can be applied so universally to problems with anxiety. I hope it helps some others who read this blog too

  36. jan Says:

    you are a member of another forum…is that right?

  37. jan Says:


  38. elaine Says:

    Jan yes freedom from fear , its the same method as this. Are you a member Jan your name isnt familier xxx

  39. jan Says:

    elaine, i have the program but i dont go to the forum…i saw all your post all thesame,thats why i reconized you…they dont know that you are also here? so which method is best for you?

  40. elaine Says:

    yES THEY DO KNOW AND THERE IS A FEW WHO HAVE PAULS BOOK .ITS THE SAME METHOD DR C WEEKES THATS WHY I COME ON HERE . Why dont you come on the forum ? i will look for you xxx

  41. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all, I think what someone said earlier about belief in yourself is the essence of anxiety, I always think I cant cope with this or that situation, like now am struggling with fear of being alone as partner has left, or any situation involving change i find increases anxiety. Anyone else struggling with being alone???

  42. jan Says:

    elaine, might as well stick on one method,things will be confusing…they are thesame method but yet diffrent approach.

  43. jan Says:

    elaine, and i can also read some of your success but you didnt tell which is more helpful for you paul or david..?kind of misleading

  44. elaine Says:

    i find them both the same approach , just let the sympton be there and let them live with you . NO FIGTING JUST ACCEPTING XXXX

  45. elaine Says:

    Jan i also like the help off David as well . I would not mix two methods it would not work but they are the same xxx

  46. elaine Says:

    Jan have you got a differant name on fff x

  47. Si Says:

    Hi CR123,

    I too am very similar to you in your ways. I have a tonne of self help books and googled every single thought and guess what? When I found Pauls site just by look, I decided to box up my books, stop all the therapy, don’t google anymore and concentrate on Paul’s method.

    It take time I think to understand what you have to do, Im probably not making much sense but I feel it’s all trial and error. I don’t mean Paul’s method is trial and error, I think if your like me, after a while on one of your bad days you’ll get out the old odd book, probably google a bit, even go back to your gp’s for a bit of support. I did this recently and you know what I think I have learned to trust in myself and this method. The books have gone back in the box, the googling has stopped and although I am thinking about me and anxiety a good amount through the day so what, Im hardly gonna be able to stop that straight away. So I carry on doing the things that need doing. I pish myself to do things that I feel good about once I’ve done them. I try so very hard to make conversation (this is so hard).

    I am beging to see that I have not changed all that much from how I used to be, the only difference between the old me and new me is I AM VERY AWARE OF ME!! and this is the problem. We have to ACCEPT the way we are in order to become comfortable with who we are.

    As for the going out and getting drunk…. Think back when you used to do that…. get hammered and then feel crap the next day, do you realy want to feel like that anyway. Look at this as a new begining, go out, have a few drinks, then have some water, have a laugh (you will trust me) but how much better you’ll feel the day after without the hangover.


  48. jc Says:

    thankyou elaine when you feel so crap its hard to see positives. i have managed to survive the day even though the waves of panic have been so in tense and feeling so sick but ive got on with things cooked roast dinner made acake realising ive just got to get on with it just push on through and hope things settle

  49. elaine Says:

    Jc , dont hope things settle just let them feelings be there dont hope for anything . just live with it beside you . When you accept its anxiety it will fade away . Get on with things without thinking anything xxxx

  50. Hollie Says:

    I first came across your book about a year and a half ago, my mum bought it for me when I was at my worst and I instantly felt better. I remember crying when I read it for the first time because I was so overwhelmed with relief. Im still not FULLY recovered, however it doesnt bother me much anymore and it is a million times better than it was. I feel that full recovery is somewhere in the very near future. My advice to people is to eat healthily, get some excercise and find a hobbie to keep you busy during the week after work. (It makes a huge difference.) Alcohol is a definate trigger for anxiety (although I dont my own advice!! Ha!)
    Everyone keep having faith in yourself, setbacks can feel pretty devastating at times, but remember – this is part of the whole process of recovery!
    I cant believe that a book has changed my life like this one has, and I will be forever grateful to Paul for writing it.
    `Keep calm and carry on`
    Peace, Hollie

  51. Ann Says:

    Hi all. I found Paul’s book and this site about a month ago. I’ve been reading the blog and can relate to so many of you. Lately I can especially relate to Jan Turner’s post about fear of being alone. In a couple weeks I’ll be living on my own for the first time in a long while and this change has caused a major setback in my anxiety (the scary thoughts are back with a vengeance). I go back and forth between believing I’ll be ok and being terrified. I’ll just have to find a way through – hang in there Jan, you will too!

  52. Sara Says:

    This post is directed to Sara H., Kat, Helen, or anyone else that has may be able to answer this. I’ve been struggling with these relationship worries/doubts/fears for awhile now and have another question that I’m wondering if anyone can give some guidance or advice on. It seems like lately things have gotten to the point where I can’t look back and remember our really good times together. I know we had them and I know I was happy with my husband before, but I can’t remember why or details of those times. This makes me worry that maybe I forced those good times or that I made them into something they weren’t. I also can’t seem to remember very many things that made me fall in love with my husband or be attracted to him either and that’s worrying me as well. I remember thinking when we were dating that he was wonderful and amazing and I couldn’t come up with even one reason not to marry him – but now it’s like I can’t remember those reasons that I fell in love with him. I can only remember sort of generic reasons like he’s a good guy and he treats me well, etc, but I can’t remember any other specific reasons for why I fell in love with him. This has me so concerned and worried. Is this the case with anyone else? Has anxiety made you forget a lot of the good things to the point where now you can only see a lot of bad things or you worry that you “created” the good things and that they weren’t really there? I’m so worried that about not feeling these feelings for my husband and I’m worried that I am literally not in love with him anymore… and now it’s to the point that I’m worried that maybe I never really was in love with him – I just thought I was. I’m so confused and upset. I really needed to come on here and see if this was the case for anyone else or if it’s just me and this really is my relationship falling apart. Can anyone relate? I’m sorry to be so negative again! I would really appreciate any responses anyone has!

  53. Rich Says:

    Sara I’ve been through exactly the same but with other subjects and it really is due to anxiety nothing else. Constant questioning and obsessing leaves no room to feel much else or live outside ourselves. I just try to live along side it some days Im myself others I question and obsess when something gets locked in my mind! There’s no quick fix I’ve had this for three years and I’m getting better slowly, these questions and obsessions are only fuel for the anxiety not a reflection of yourself

  54. Diane Says:

    Hi all,
    was starting to feel a bit more more positive, but today I was meant to go back to work after a month of, I was anxoius but tried to tell myself this was normal. I awoke to feeling crap and have a throat infection, I called in,
    my work are very supportive but its like I have built a fear of going in and facing everyone. I feel I rubbish and low that I didnt go, I think going will be uncomfortable but not as low and tearful as I feel now. I am really frustrating my partner who speaks so much sense but compassion is wearing thin, I need to get a grip and go towards my fears but I still find it hard as my head starts rushing with what ifs and dont feeel I have the energy to rationalise. Ok enough self pity tomorrow is another day and I will try to push and accept this is all part of the healing. Any suggestions is I would aprreciate , I just want to make the steps to et back on track

  55. elaine Says:

    Let it be and dont push it away just carry on gently through your day . Just accept it and just let time pass.

  56. steveo Says:

    Diane – just go for it. You know it will be difficult but it will get easier as you go. Wednesday will be easier than tomorrow and Thursday will be easier than Wednesday…

    You will be fine.

    Good luck

  57. Douglas Says:

    After a great August and most of Sept. I was really believing I could beat this with Paul’s method. But I’ve been sinking back for a couple of weeks now, and it feels as bad as ever. I find, when it’s this bad, it’s not even so much the anxiety bothering me, but the mental confusion, racing thoughts, hopelessness of it all. It seems enormously complicated. It really does feel like there is something basically “wrong” with my basic way of thinking, but I can’t determine what, exactly. And so I find my mind goes back again and again, ad nauseum, to trying to figure it all out. I seem to have no control over this, it feels like I#m under attack by my own mind, and am just obsessed with it all. I find myself thinking about it ALL the time, and am driving myself crazy with it all over again… can anybody relate to this?? Help!

  58. Douglas Says:

    Yesterday we buried a long time colleague, and during the service, I couldn’t quit focusing on me and think about my colleague and his family. Of course I did say all the appropriate things, and as usual no one could see my inner turmoil, but I just feel so guilty that I can’t quit worrying about myself…I don’t even know if the guilt is justified or not…just one of about a billion things bothering me about who the hell I am…

  59. Sophie Says:

    Hi Douglas, I’ve never posted on here before but follow this blog quite a bit. I just wanted to say that I completely understand what you are describing. I think the thing to remember is that all of those symtoms you described such as racing thoughts, confusion etc are all just a part of anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with your basic way of thinking, your mind is just exhausted. I know it’s confusing but I find that if I get sucked into the trap of worrying about these symptoms or any others and trying to figure them all out they just get worse but if I just stay calm about them, reassure myself that they are just another part of the anxiety condition, try to stop thinking so much about it and get out and do something then these also fade. Remember you will have setbacks, as Paul says, as even though you have had a good couple of months it’s still possible to have another setback, just don’t add to it by obsessing about it. They’ll fade if you let them. Anyway, it works for me, after being where you are I can see it all with clarity now, I do have setbacks still myself but am learning to take them as they come. Best of luck.

  60. Sophia Says:

    Hi Douglas

    I could very well relate to what u r saying…I am not able to explain what I’m going through..Its like I’m on a continuos mind chatter which I dont even realise which I can compare to popcorn bursting out with no end..Dont know why this is happening after me going through a hell lot of anxiety and getting past all those symptoms and understanding for what it is…

    what bothers me the most is—- the continuous focus on me, thoughts just pop up (self centred ones) it has become my lifeline..without which i cannot exist..initially it was much easier since i ackonwledged i had anxiety and i went ahead and faced all my fears..and finally i was able to face all those fears..

    But now i’m living in a self created world of self sabotage, worries and a lot of wrongly percieved notions which i cant help as these thoughts comes forth like oxygen..i have no control on what i’m thinking..(i am not afraid..But I dont know whats happening to me and what to believe in)

    since these thoughts comes so automatically i dont even realise why i feel so crappy almost always!!!..and i try to do my level best in all my chores, never cancel anything for how i feel……..but nevertheless i feel hopeless!!!!
    its like i cant ESCAPE from it..!!!atleast I dont know how to..!

    If u find anything helpful let me know..

  61. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sorry I have just moderated loads of new comments from new comers. I have had workmen in all week and just finished tidying up. I will be back posting and replying when I can.


  62. Douglas Says:


    Thanks so much for your kind words, you describe the condition so well and I’m touched that you chose your first post to respond to me. I have to say, practicing what you suggest has worked so many times for me as well. It’s just that, having gone through this so many times before, over the last 50 years or so, and because it’s gone on so long this time (almost 2 yrs.) that I sometimes lose hope and fear (THAT word again!) that it is not “just” anxiety and must be something much worse and chronic as well…But I do see there is no point in worrying about it. So I guess I am saying it takes as long as it takes and I keep hoping to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel once again.

    And I think Sophie, that Sophia’s post goes for you, too. Somehow, we have to believe we’ll ALL get past this!

  63. Douglas Says:

    And Sophie,

    I can really relate to what you’re saying, as I find that I also can’t even begin to describe in words what it’s like. And that’s SO frustrating, for me as well as my wife. It’s like a complete lack of the ability to quit THINKING about IT all the time, to the exclusion of everything else, kinda like a strong and not to be ignored compulsion (which I suppose it is). When it’s bad it’s seemingly always there, in the background, even when I’m doing some fairly demanding other stuff. Kinda like a mega multi-tasking computer doing a billion things at once.

    But I do know, at the times when I feel better, none of this stuff is even on the radar screen and I find it almost beyond belief how completely silly some of my worries were. I feel it’s very much a case of two steps forward and one back, for the time being. At least I hope so. Or maybe I’m just trying to hope so? (Does the trying mean I’m still fighting?! Hmmm…)

  64. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Douglas
    Just wanted you to know that I too have been going through this for the last 40 years or more with good times and setbacks.Have had the pills and counscelling and all the rest of the rubbish offered on the NHS which do not work but this site and Pauls book have given me more understanding of my condition and shown me the way forward so stick with the don’t fight that he teaches I have achieved some really good days with this.Kind Regards Sally X

  65. SarahS Says:

    Hi Douglas, Sally and Sophie

    It’s been really interesting to read your posts. I too suffered for many years with chronic anxiety (almost all my life) but I too have found Paul’s site and book (and prior to that Claire Weeke’s books) and have since made really good progress in my recovery. I have to say though it has taken me a good few years to get this far, probably 2 or 3 so far but the progress is really fab and I’m getting there I ever would let myself and my coping skills are getting stronger and my feelings much more on an even keel. It’ been hard going sometimes and I did find it hard that not that many peoplen here seemed to have suffered for as long as I did and the progress I was making didn’t seem as fast and I hadto learn to have complete faith that what I was practising would eventually show some results, that itmay not this week or month etc but at some point it would and I’m glad because it did! So don’t think you won’t get there because of how long you have suffered because you will! My mom is 70 (2 weeks ago!) and she also suffered for years and year

  66. SarahS Says:

    oops pressed submit comment! where was I oh yes she also suffered for years and years but read a bit of Claire Weeke’s and a bit of this site for it to just click with her and she just got it! She’s been so well for years now, you just wouldn’tbelieve the difference. I think we are all different though and for me it’s more steady and taken a little more time but the direction is the same – forward! Keep going! Shrug your shoulders to this little thing that little thing and say so what, put it all under the umbrella of anxiety, that’s all it is.

    Sarah x

  67. Vamanan Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    That is a good inspirational story of yours and your moms. I had been making progress but once in a while the old habbits take me back and then I start to question the full recovery. That is when I come to this site to read such stories which give me back my hope. Thanks again.

    I realized today that I need to learn to treat thoughts as thoughts and nothing more (read this somewhere in this site). Sometimes I get a negative thought (For example: A thought which says I can’t accept) which I know I have done so many times and not true. Most cases I accept this thought that I can’t accept and move on (or sometimes do thoughts watching – watching thoughts as they come). But sometimes (like lastnight) I tried to convince my brain the thought is not true. It took me a while before i realized ok I am doing it wrong again where I stopped the struggle. Today i realized part of what I am learning is to instantly accept thoughts as just thoughts. For now, I have to remind myself not to struggle.

  68. Sally Young Says:

    Hi SarahS
    Thankyou very much for your reply much appreciated.It is interesting to know that your Mum has anxiety/nerve issues as my mother also has these and her sister and my sister so maybe there is a worry gene in some families.Wishing you the peace we all crave Sally X

  69. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi Ann, have been on my own since August when partner left, kids have already left ages ago, so apart from the shock whch cause exteme anxiety, I am strggling withbeing alone. I know retionally nothing bad will happen to me, ts lack of faith in myself to cope, trying to take one day at a time,
    Regards Jan

  70. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all, I remeber Claire weekes saying that dont experct to live without any stress symptoms, as this is impossible, Its the catastophising and exageration thats the trouble, and frightens us. Also I do think there is some inhereted think to this as my mum was the same and her mother. My sister is calm and never been to docs about this even tho she has had really bad trauma in her life, thats why I think some peoples personality are more sensitive. You can disagree if you like!!!1

  71. DCYL Says:

    Jan / Ann,

    Do not worry. You are “not alone” in how you guys have felt about being by yourself. It’s probably buried in some of the other posts but I had that same feeling the past few months though the fear has eased up considerably in the past few weeks.

    How did I feel? I felt like I needed someone around me whether I was at work or at home. There was a fear that if no one was around, I might “do something silly”. This extended to the point where even if I was at home with my folks but they were sleeping or not in the immediate vicinity, I would start feeling anxious. This became a bit of an issue too as I was afraid of “doing stuff by myself”. It could be walking, shopping, exercise or other stuff.

    How did I get past this? I can’t answer directly. I am generally active so i did start taking walks by myself. I slowly got back into doing my normal stuff and things are better these days. One thing I will say that talking to friends helps though. So even if you are physically alone, talking to someone will help take your mind off of stuff.

    I can’t say I am 100% back to normal but it’s a lot better than it was a few months ago. Hope this helps.

  72. Diane Says:

    Hi all, I need some tips, I have been of work for a month and as I was going back I caught a viral infection which has knocked me back, I feel exhausted and my anxiety is worse I even feel a bot agrophobic, I am finding it really hard to just live next to these feelings I am defeniatley over thinking everything and feel extremley anxious when outside any help or words of wisdom, much appreciated

  73. Douglas Says:


    Al I can offer is my own experience: it comes, it goes, there are bad days and weeks, but also good ones. I enjoy the good times and just try not to worry about or anticipate the bad ones. I too overthink things WAY to much in the bad phases, but I have to believe that it’s possible to “unlearn” this. After all, even single-cell organisms are capable of learning!

    Hope this helps…

  74. Diane Says:

    Thanks Douglas, i suppose accepting and trying to live a normal life, I will take your advice much thanks

  75. Matt Says:

    I haven’t posted in a few days, just trying to get on with my life and not focusing on the DP. This week has been, well, really good for the most part. I learned to develop that “so what” attitude again and things have gotten a lot easier. It’s amazing how not caring gives yourself so much relief in the process. If things feel strange or weird, or I feel strange or weird, so what?
    It gives me so much freedom just being that way. I haven’t really been that scared of anything lately and seem to feel more at peace. I understand that it is gonna take time, but I am learning to be patient.

    Before this week, I was a complete wreck for the past month. I became severely depressed and withdrawn, and couldn’t focus on any conversation’s whatsoever because I was so stuck in my head.

    Now, it’s getting a little easier to pay attention to others and focus on what they are saying and not stay so focused on myself. It’s hard, but it really does take practice. I refuse to take AD’s that my doctor wants me to take because I am terrified of this getting worse as a result. Anyways, hope everyone is doing well.

  76. Chris Says:

    I just spent ten minutes crying not because of anxiety but because it is over. After a full year of severe anxiety/depression, it is all over. I hadn’t been to this sight in some time but I am returning now to give words of inspiration. Everyone, You can all recover 100%. There were so many times when I just thought that anxiety would rule me forever, but it is now all over. What did I do? Followed every piece of advice that Paul has given. I finally just said “forget this” I will not live my life like this anymore. It was hard at first but little by little it disappeared until I finally just stopped thinking about it as much. When I did think about I just didn’t care about it. Everyone suffering, trust me when I say your day will come when you shed tears of joy and realize that the end has finally come. This day will happen long after you stopped caring and thinking about anxiety and will happen when you look back and realize that you wasted so much time living the the way you did. Everyone suffering, please just step away from anxiety, put away your laptops, step outside and embrace life without fear. Life is all about perception, so change your fearful, depressed, and sad outlook on life into a positive one by simply allowing positivity to flood your life. Negativity and fear has been apart of you for so long that it almost feels right, but believe when I say that your happiness will return when you allowing positive things enter your life. I now understand how Paul could right a book on the topic because all I want to do is help anyone who is suffering overcome. Once you come through it you feel almost like a new person, in fact, I feel like a stronger person. So everyone, please, for your own sake and happiness, step away from the computer, forget all of the setbacks, all of the intense moments of fear and depression, all of the symptoms (they will all go away (: ), and just begin to live your life despite how you feel. No matter how you feel, don’t let anything stop you. You can overcome this and will only if you practice what Paul has taught. We are all the same and can all recover. Do not fear how you feel anymore, embrace life, and slowly a new and more positive person will arise with whole new outlook in life. Follow Pauls advice and you will recover! The rest of your life starts today

  77. Elaine Says:


  78. JAN TURNER Says:

    Thank you Chris for that, will take you advice and put the laptop down and go to the library, and will not look for any self help books, as I have Pauls book!!

  79. Sally Young Says:

    Thankyou Chris I hope I can be as brave as you had a terrible day yesterday went to buy clothes for my new granddaughter in a shop where I had bad anxiety a couple of years ago and as Claire Weekes said habit and memory triggered it,felt so bad had some wine to escape last night regretting that now as it intensifys the anxiety this morning.Oh well onwards and upwards only thing to do.Sally X

  80. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi all,

    This message is directed towards Sara but can be related to all who are stuck in obsessive and negative thinking towards one particular subject. Sara I have felt the same as you in regards to forgetting all the reasons why I fell in love with my partner and so many other obsessive thoughts in the past. I have convinced myself of their truth whilst fighting and battling against them in order to rid myself of them for many years. Through this website I have slowly realised that this is the wrong approach in tackling those thoughts which make you fearful and get stuck in your head like a broken record.

    Sara it is truly your anxiety and your constant need to check in on the thoughts all the time which fuels more and more negativity and reasons to believe that intial thought which spurned the anxious cycle you are in. When you are anxious you start looking for reasons to justify your anxiety and that is what is happening now. Take some comfort in knowing that anxiety picks on the things which in fact don’t relect your real feelings and emotions and just let those thoughts be there. Don’t try to remember all the reasons you fell in love with your husband just let thoughts that you are not in love be there and they will lose their power. As soon as you give up fighting you are showing anxiety that those thoughts can’t affect you in the way they used to and that thoughts cannot cause you or your relationship any harm. I still have anxious thoughts and feelings and I still find it difficult at times but I know that it’s giving up the fight to control anxiety which in the long run will bring you freedom from it. Have patience and don’t expect to feel instantly better overnight but slowly you will begin to see the progress and begin to understand that those negative thoughts cannot harm you in any way.
    I hope that helps Sara… I truly understand where you’re coming from and it’s so frustrating and painful but hang in there and just let the thoughts be and I promise it will get better.
    Take care
    Sara x

  81. Diane Says:

    Hi all, just wanted to say took Pauls advice and went out popped into work, did normal thing this morning, wasn’t comfortable as felt a bot spaced but as paul says we have to live our life normaly to get back to normal, step by step recovery will come ……………………..

  82. Diane Says:

    Hi all, just wanted to say took Pauls advice and went out popped into work, did normal thing this morning, wasn’t comfortable as felt a bot spaced but as paul says we have to live our life normaly to get back to normal, step by step recovery will come …………………….. many thanks to all for advice, its all part of the process

  83. jackie Says:

    Some good words of advice today, thank you. I know i need to let go and get on with it but i am finding it so difficult. I feel scared to actually let go! Im scared of what will happen. But i know it is the only way to go, to let go xx

  84. Faye Says:

    Hell Paul and others

    I’ve been struggling a bit with the symptom tinnitus (ringing in the ears ) does anybody else suffer this ? All the other symptoms I can deal with dizziness and depersonlation. I can’t sleep I feel like I will go mad it’s been like this for a year I have really conquered so many feArs but I feel like I can’t be happy or not anxious with this constant ringing my ears
    Can anyone help or Paul
    Thanks everyone

    Faye xxx

  85. steveo Says:

    Good on you Diane! :-)

  86. JAN TURNER Says:

    Jackie, try and start by lying down and breathing from your tummy not your chest which is what we do when anxious, keep saying let go, its enough to let go of the breath. Keep practising this every day and see if it helps. Nothing bad will happen if you let go, we keep a grip on ourselves by letting go.

  87. JAN TURNER Says:

    Jackie, try lying down and breathing from your tummy not from your chest which is what we do in anxiety. Say let go to yourself as you breath out. its a start, keep prectising every day and see what happens. hope this helps.

  88. Diane Says:

    Hi all after a good day yesterday I couldnt relax and sleep last last night, I had all wierd thoughts like who am I where am I, although I knew, it was freaking me out also started worrying I was going to go pschosis ( not sure if spelt properly) this freaked me out more, I keep thinking maybe I am going mad and its more than just anxiety, has anyone else had these thoughts, or similar and is it just anxiety and to much time in my wn head ? I even feel embarresed talking about it

  89. JP Says:

    Diane: the are you going crazy/psychosis stuff are some of the most common things to experience. Basically lots of excess worry/adrenaline and a lack of understanding about what is going on. I found that once you accept that it is just anxiety playing its tricks this fear/thought passed pretty quickly. Again – acceptance and getting on with the things you enjoy/need to do.

  90. Diane Says:

    Thank you so much JP will accept and get on with the things I need and want to do

  91. Faye Says:

    Hiya can someone answer my question please
    Much appreciated
    Thanks xxx

  92. jackie Says:

    Thank you jan for your words, i am slowly believing in myself a little more each day and realising that one single negative thought is what sets me off again. I have only been suffering really badly since august so must understand that all these weird strange feelings and thoughts are not really me, it can be hard to come to terms with. Only a few months ago i was me, but yes looking back see all the massive stress going on that bought me here today, and i am so thankful this blog and site is here.

    Re the ringing in ears, i have had this for years now even before anxiety and panic, sometimes it irritates me, most of the time i dont even notice it. From what im learning i think you are noticing it more because you are concentrating on it, listening out for it, sorry i cant be more help at the moment xxx

  93. jackie Says:

    I would just like to add, i really know what true acceptance is and feels like. 6 years ago i had to go into hospital 3 weeks before my daughter was born because of complications in the way in which she was lying sideways. I kicked up a fuss for about 4 days solid, demanding my doctor do something so i wouldnt have to stay in, pacing the ward, crying to every doctor and nurse who came to see me, even stamping my feet lol. I saw my notes, someone had written bored with hospitalisation on them….then, it happened, i knew that i was in the best place at the time to protect me and my unborn baby, i got into a routine of going for a walk, having a shower, started talking to other mums who had to stay in etc and yes it all came together, i was fine… I accepted it all.

    This is how i know i truely have not yet accepted anxiety, i think i have, but i havent. I understand this will take me some time… Xxx

  94. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Faye
    Your symptom of ringing in the ears is not one I have had myself but anxiety plays all sorts of tricks if you have seen your GP and he says your ears are ok then it is just another part of anxiety try not to worry about it too much as it will make it worse.Kind Regards Sally X

  95. Sara Says:

    I feel terrible for being on here again and posting again… I just have to get something off my chest that has been bothering me for awhile now. I’ve been wanting to talk about this for so long now but haven’t known who to turn to or who to talk to about it. I feel so much guilt for how I feel. I have been having all of these relationship doubts and worries for a few months now, and I realize I need to just accept them as anxiety and let them go. One thing that has really been bothering me, though, and that I can’t accept as anxiety, is the fact that I sometimes don’t find my husband attractive. This kills me to even say this, you have no idea. I have been obsessing over this for awhile now and it’s really getting me down. I just can’t dismiss this as anxiety, as how can anxiety make someone less physically attractive? I am so overly aware of this fact day in and day out and it’s taking a huge toll on our relationship. I don’t know what to do about this. I haven’t told a single soul that I feel this way because I feel so bad about it and I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about it. I don’t want to make this post too long as I feel so stupid and so bad and so guilty and so terrible for thinking this way. I guess I’ve just gotten so desperate that I really needed to vent and maybe see if there is anyone else out there who has experienced this? This is causing me so much anguish and anxiety and I am just at the point of desperation of not knowing what to do about this. Along with the other relationship doubts, these things are really affecting my marriage. I am committed to my husband and don’t want to get a divorce, but I don’t know how to improve things – especially the physical attraction issue. Anyway, I’ll just stop here but I would really really appreciate it if anyone could please offer some advice on this issue! It is really affecting me and I don’t know where else to turn for help! Thank you!

  96. JP Says:

    Things like that might be real.. but it also might be anxiety. I have noticed anxiety has a tendency to cling to whatever thoughts will mess your life up the most. Maybe you actually lov ehim and nothing has changed, but thought ‘what if i don’t find him attractive’ and then just have stuck with that thought. One day just try and think deep and find what your true voice says, and then stick with it and start dismissing the thoughts as anxiety. Don’t let it take over your life, accept all this nonsense as anxiety.

  97. jc Says:

    i am still in a setback weekend has been really bad again i am letting it be and carrying on with my day. my anxiety is so high i cant sit still ive done everything to keep busy but when there is nothing to do i feel agitated and like pacing this is frightening me i know i should let it just be there but cant relax .what is the best way to deal with this. ifind if i sit still it just overwhelms me.sorry for having such a negative post again

  98. jc Says:

    can i just add that i think im in asetback because my sister is still seriously ill and i keep worrying about her which sets of waves of panic how do i deal with this sorry to go on

  99. JP Says:

    JC: sometimes you just have to sit them out. might take a few days, tomorrow you might make up and feel crap again, but who cares, in a couple of days it will start to pass. that agitated pacing feeling is horrible, a bit of exercise sometimes helps it. just remember: acceptance and let time pass and you will start to improve.

  100. Rich Says:

    Hello all,

    Just a quick thought to see if anyone agreed with this or had any thoughts.

    I’m someway into recovery I have a few days in a row where i am myself enjoying things and things just come naturally and my anxiety/depression feels a million miles away and when it comes along it is the complete opposite I feel trapped in my head anxious about the slightest things then after a few days of this depression sets in and I can’t imagine what being well feels like strange how it cycles and there’s no external trigger normally an anxious ‘what if’ thought then it snowballs.

    Any opinions or thoughts on this would be appreciated

  101. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Rich
    I do exactly the same as you but when I have been ok like recently I have this tendency to convince myself it has gone for good and then wham its back which makes me feel a failure like I have made myself like it and then I get depressed and start fighting which in turn makes my nervous tension really bad and takes me near to panic.But then we have to dust ourselves off and go down the acceptance road again a hard one to travel but we have no choice if we want to live our lives as best we can Sally X

  102. Rich Says:

    I do the exact same! I’m sure it’s gone for good and I know that feeling when it returns I feel a complete failure too and the exact feelings consume me ! I’ve been down the anti depressants road and had no success saw many therapists that diagnosed me with a ‘depressive illness’ and gave me no more information. I have learnt more from this site and this blog than any other therapist

  103. jc Says:

    thankyou jp i know what you are saying is right i just feel really depressed which makes it harder

  104. JP Says:

    JC; your sister being ill is genuinely concerning, you are allowed to be anxious about it and be a bit down about it as anyone would. but.. think of how most people would react, they would cope and be strong for someone they love. This is what you need to and can do, being anxious isn’t out problem, its being anxious about our anxiety that is, so continue to be anxious, but just don’t worry about it.

    Rich and Sally Young: I know what you mean so much. So many times i think, yes, that’s it its over. After a week of being almost back to normal i thought that i had done it. But then it slowly creeps back up, and instead of accepting it and carrying on, what do we do… we worry and get anxious about a little setback, and turn it into a big setback. and continue this process. I know how hard it is to not give a setback power.. but sometimes the best thing to do is just ride it out as best you can and remember that you can cope with feeling like this and it will pass.

  105. Evelyn Says:

    Hi diane.. what u have described is absolutely normal when in a high anxiety state.. I also had those thoughts and the more u give them attention the more they will feel comfortable and linger around.. so let them be.. when they start their work just allow them. With time they will get tired and leave.. their like a fuzzy child u pay them attention they cry more. U simply let them be. And they im not saying its easy but I promise they will go.. I still get them from time to time along with my d.p. but I simply ignore them and move on with my day. :) hope this helpef

  106. sinead Says:

    i feel a little stupid posting here because i realise so many people are suffering so much worse than me and for so much longer.ive only had intense anxiety for a couple of months but i think its been creeping up on me for years.

    i have searched for answers for the past few months all over the internet been to the doctors tried hypnotherapy tried online psycologists wasted couple of hundred quid in only a few months trying to find a solution for the way i feel, thinking ive been going mad, why do i feel this way the usual.ive been seeing a counsellor who rightly told me to stop searching for answers on the internet because i wouldnt find them and there is no magic cure.i held off for a couple of weeks but knowing my sessions with her were coming to an end, coupled with the fact that i had hoped the counselling would “work” and make me feel so much better (yep im constantly trying to feel better too!) i started googling ways to cope again.

    i have job interviews and exams coming up and fell upon this website completely by accident because at least this time i wasnt searching for a solution for feeling better i had just typed in ways to succeed in interviews when anxious-something i probably would have done “before”-(before i have become consumed by myself and my anxiety!) and this website came up-which i wish i had of found months ago because it it the first time every thing ive read has truly resonated with me!i had previously read about anxiety and read forums and i think they just served further to freak me out whereas your advice and information just hit the nail on the head.

    im anxious about anxiety at the minute consumed by the fact i am anxious and the constant when will i be better how can i make myself better wanting to find a solution am i getting better am i gettting worse what if i never get better what if i am stuck like this!constant going round and round in my head!and to see those exact thoughts on the website-without having deliberately been looking for them was such a shock-i couldnt believe it!and the fact that its described as being the product of a tired mind is so true-ive had so many pressures and strains for so long and had become burnt out and it took just one trigger to push me over the edge!

    and then to read the advice-and thank god it was conclusions i had started to come to by myself-there is no magic cure, there is no point fighting, feel the fear and do it anyway.its not easy it will take time.i still think im at the beginning of a very long journey and thats upsetting but i just have to be upset and get on with life anyway.i feel much better when im at home with my family as i feel safe and warm in their company and the thoughts are there milling away in the back of my head but i seem able to let them pass by.

    whereas in uni i am having the constant internal debate with myself just because its a more stressful place and im by myself and reminded of how much fun i used to have there and what a carefree individual i used to be.i want to give up uni i really do but i wont because i see the longterm-once i find it easier to deal with this and am on the road to recovery i would kick myself for giving up a future that once meant so much to me.

    its so funny because i even feel guilty being on this blog because i know i shouldnt be-because i worry this is another case of me trying to find a “solution”.(but i feel relieved in the fact that at least i recognise thats what im trying to do and there is no need to, i just need to carry on with my life regardless of the anxiety) but i know im starting to come to terms with there not being a quick fix solution because im not going to buy your book-no disrespect because it sounds wonderful but i think it will just compund the issue and make me dwell on things for even longer.i know theres no quick fix now, and i think i have enough knowledge so im going to try and go it alone and even though every part of me want to buy the book because it might “fix” me- i know i dont need it!

    i just wanted to ask a quick question and then im trying to promise myself that this is it! im going to stop with the internet and trying to find ways to cope instead just feel the pain and living life regardless.-the main problems i have are the constant-ill never be better this will never leave me and the constant when will i feel better how will i feel better this will make me feel better thoughts and the am i going mad why cant i just be happy and relax-its 24/7 at the minute or at least FEELs like its 24/7 and i know that the key to this is just relaxing and to be at one with it and not question it and try to fix it-but the problem is that my main thoughts are these questions and this will make me feel better thoughts so do i treat these in the same way i treat anxious thoughts-just let them pass and take no notice of say its important to stop this inner questioning but how?as you say you cant just stop thoughts and the main thing is not to try-so how did you stop the inner questioning, i know you say that you just stopped caring so much and let it be but i just am finding that difficult to do at the minute whenever i get the “i need to make this better how do i do it” thoughts i try and say SOD it it doesnt matter about feeling better ill just go and watch tv, but as im watching tv the thoughts are still there how are you going to make this better this isnt making you better-constant constant constant.does this ease?

    hope i make sense in all of this and sorry for the length of it!and any advice you can give me would be much appreciated!
    thank you for making me feel normal again!

  107. Ann Says:

    Diane, just wanted to chime in to say I’ve been there too (and still struggle with those scary thoughts). I know it’s scary, but these thoughts really are a common symptom of anxiety. There are many examples on this blog of folks who have experienced this and recovered. Hang in there and know it’s just anxiety!

  108. DCYL Says:

    This is for JC but perhaps others will find it useful.

    I have been feeling pretty good the past week or so. I’ve been sleeping late recently and that has gotten me to feeling anxious every now and then. But I was able to get through it. The weather in my area was great this weekend and I was having a good weekend.

    Then TODAY came along. In a very unfortunate incident, my mom was accidentally bitten by a neighbor’s dog. She was very upset over this. We had call police and take her to the hospital for a check up. The good news is the wound wasn’t too bad and the doctor thinks she will be fine.

    Alas, the situation might have set me back a bit. I was overly worried about how my mom would handle this situation (she had some stuff happen a few months ago, which got me to be anxious in the first place). I started focusing on how I was feeling and thinking again.

    Fortunately, I think I got past the worse of it though I am feeling my physical symptoms a bit. Unlike previously, I called one of my close friends and just talked about my worries. I found it helps to release some of the tension.

    In the past, I didn’t realize how my worries were affecting me. As I have gone through anxiety, I realize that our body tells us when we are hurting. We just didn’t listen and that’s why we got anxiety. As Paul says, we just need to take a step back and let the body heal.

  109. elaine Says:

    Does anxiety and depression go hand in hand xx

  110. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi am going thru really high anxiety due to end of relationship, it just seems I cant think about anything else, its driving me insane, I try and think about something else but it just comes back to this, it seems like I cant stop thinking, and its all negative and frightening. Please help!!

  111. Diane Says:

    hi all, just a question, when I get really anxious, I feel as if I not really there, and all these funny moods and feeling come over me and I feel so distant, I have noticed it happens when I am really anxious, feel like I cant focus and everything feels a bit unreal, is this dp? I think it is something more mentally serious, can anyone advice me, and any tips on how to overcome this without wanting to run away from the situation I am in?

  112. Sophia Says:

    Hi Diane
    It is DP..I had gone through the same…its as if u go through a varied range of emotions quite different from whats going on the outside..dont worry about will pass eventually..i have gone past this unreal feeling

    Firstly, I was not afraid when I took a complete change of attittude.. I felt I had complete freedom to do or not to do, to speak or not to speak when we are feeling unreal…we dont have to ‘force’ feelings
    2. the intense feelings which we face arent visible or felt by people dont worry about how u come across
    3. simply be there..u dont have to ‘do’ anything ( to get connected)..remember this ..thats quite important..this relaxes you as we are always in a hurry to somehow connect ourselves with the surroundings..
    4. just carry on with whats going on at ur hurry and no self sabotage…in our case this happens..
    5.gradually u can see the difference..its our attitttude basically that needs to shift as we always watch our actions and thoughts that we fail to conect outside..
    doesnt matter for the time being..cultivate this new habit..”however u feel . just carry on with what u have to” if u cant its ok..u will get better after sometime and this gap reduces in the long run…
    hope this helps a little..:)

  113. Clara Says:

    Hi all,

    I dont have unreal feelings, but there is always a watch on myself 24/7..its so subtle that i never realised my entire life why I took everything so personal and became overemotional ..

    my problem is I have to keep doing things I browsing on fashion, reading magazines..Basically I like to spend time with seems like a tough thing to speak to people..If I meet someone unexpectedly I’ll have to tune in myself if i dont i may look so disinterested as i’m in my own world most of the time..

    initially i thought I was more artistic, more thoughtful hence i went deeper into ”my world” but i was so wrong as i was creating a world of its own far from reality…!

    I dont know if u r getting what I’m trying to say as i havent come across this so far..when i’m browsing social websites or meeting people first reaction in my mind is ”I need to talk now and i prepare myself for that which normal people dont do’ they just carry on..I feel I always watch my feelings I feel exposed and to protect myself i cultivated this habit to speak according to what should be spoken to a particular person or senario.. so that they dont come across what i think..How pathetic..! nnow tahts becoem a deep rooted thought pattern in me that its with me 24/7 and is never changign

    Unlike anxiety condition we are not sure of our feelings we can carry on however u feel..whereas here its like ”hall of mirrors” i’m very aware of myself, my each though, my each feeling so hypersensitive .. feel like I’m on the focus, needs to explain myself to others , when someone questions me feels guilty as i coulnt reply back and to make things worse a whole lot of mind chater comes forth because of this i’m unsure of everything as i m not sure whetehr to take in whats going through my mind and act according to that or simply ignore..

    this is nagging as after each sentence i get a feeling ”its not kind of me to say that” so next line i may try to rectify that feeling so its going like a viscious cycle…( its so fast that i dont realise i’m going on the wrong track)i’m not able to free myself and talk indulgently..instead i’m always on the fence watching out for where I’m going wrong or whats coming around..this self focus is taunting me..

    Pls help..hope u guys understood what I’m trying to say..’
    Is this anxiety at its last hurdle or is this something I have to deal in a different way? Pls help me as this is manipulating my interpretation and is always constaining me

  114. JP Says:

    I’m not sure about the etiquette of linking another article on this blog… but as I have been using this blog for a few months I hope you will trust that its helpful.

    basically it is just about not believing in the negative thoughts of the brain, and cultivating the positive/creative. it explains how the mind/thoughts are not facts.

    “Negative thoughts can arise in the brain, but if you don’t believe in them, they will have no power to manifest in your reality – life is always moving in the direction of your well-being. So just relax and enjoy your moment.”

  115. jc Says:

    thankyou jp iseem to have got my anxiety and normal emotions all mixed up you are right of course i will cope and stay strong for my sister.
    thankyou also dcyl the worry also made me start focusing on my self again instead of accepting i was having a normal reaction

  116. Steff Says:

    I feel I am getting better, I am beginning to face my fears now and trying to let nothing hold me back! Just one problem I’m almost 5 months pregnant at the mo and I am now anxious about giving birth, I think say if I have a panic attack and I can’t cope what will the midwives think of me? what if I completely lose it? This will be my 2nd child and I had an awful labour first time round but coped really well, is this just anxiety playing it’s games again? I want to enjoy this pregnancy not worrying about the labour already :(

  117. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I agree with JP about things like this could be real but it also is more likely to be anxiety picking on the things that scare you the most. For eg: it is quite normal to look at your loved one and have the thought that they are not at their most attractive at that particular moment in time. People without anxiety are able to dismiss this thought and move on, finding their partner attractive without the intense concentration on whether they do or not- it comes naturally. People with anxiety however take these normal thoughts as a negative, a reason to feel anxious and guilty and I think this is what is happening here. You said you have been having anxiety about your relationship for a while now, in my experience an initial thought which makes you anxious can spur a whole host of other “what ifs” “maybes” and before you know it you’re convincing yourself of all manor of things which are not based in reality. I too had anxieties based around my relationship and the same worry that I didn’t find him attractive anymore, just like you and like every other anxious thought in the past the more I took the thought seriously the more I dug myself in deeper and began convincing myself of it’s truth even though deep down I knew it wasn’t real-that’s why is was so frightening for me! Anxiety is a bully and it likes to prey on the things which scare us the most. By not giving the thought any respect we are telling it that we are not frightened. When you have the thoughts think “oh you again” and move on. Try this for a while and see if there is any improvement however slight. Have a look back through previous blogs particulary Helen and Kat’s as these were really helpful to me.
    take care
    Sara x

  118. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Clara I had this for many years when suffering, in fact it was the last thing to go for me. Mine was created my me constantly watching myself, tuning in to how I felt, wondering what this new sensation was. Going over and over things, when will I get better? What was wrong with me? Until the only thing that consumed my thoughts was ME. It was then hard to try and re engage with the world around me and as you say when talking with others or going around my daily business, my mind would keep reverting back to me. I especially would do this when talking with others as I wanted to come across as o.k, normal and would be watching how I was coming across, I made it an issue.

    How I got through this was by engaging more with the world around me. I got fit and went on runs and bike rides, I had a goal, I forced myself to be more social, even when I sometimes did not want to do it. I was not TRYING to take the focus off me, I just did it naturally. I also got involved in voluntary work. At first I still kept reverting back to me, but when I was naturally busy, I would forget myself, I would be concentrating on what I was doing and not how I was feeling. Knowledge also helped as it stopped me going over and over everything, making the subject the focus of my day.

    It really had become a habit, such a habit that I avoided contact with people, I would shy away. Well this just made the problem worse, so I activally went towards conversations, if I felt odd then that was ok, if it went well, then even better. I stopped caring and making an issue out of how I came across and if I felt slow and laboured in conversation, then that’s how it would be, I would not try and act my way through.

    It is like any habit, all habits can be broken, if we create a new habit.

    As I have said before, when someone first comes out of prison they take a while to adjust to their new surroundings, to not have to wait for someone to tell them when to move or where to go. The outside world can seem fast, out of sync, crowds may freak them a little, everything seems so busy, so fast and hectic. With them old habits are ingrained, these take time to adjust to, enviroments need time to readjust to. But after a while they get used to the outside world again, it becomes more and more part of them, it becomes their new habit.


  119. Clara Says:

    Thanks Paul…

    I understood what u said..its like freedom which we get all of a sudden but u become so disillutioned to see the fast flow of life that makes it difficult to cope ..I hope I go on the right track and not misguided by false interpretations (which plays non-stop in my head) thats my only fear..

    when i go ahead and make conversations I am already in a frustrated mode (guess thats the result of my inability to retort back and my emotions are completely things hurt) i can go on chatting but mine becomes more confrontational and make people defensive..

    I take things personal , feels guilty & on the edge and make me defensive as i feel they are blaming me..this mindset has to be reformed for that i need to believe in myself…

    that will take a while i guess..just praying that i dont follow the wrong track of accepting the blame and sabotaging myself..sometimes there is no route in front of me…if i feel ”I am at fault” this becoems the backdrop for any conversations thereafter and spoils the rest of things for me…i just cannot forget it…

    will follow ur advice—
    ”It is like any habit, all habits can be broken if we create a new habit”

    hope will learn to live life as and when it comes rather than building fences one after the other and keeping oneself locked up in it..!

    Thanks Paul once again..!

  120. sal Says:

    this is in answer to Faye: Faye I also get an ear symptom. the pressure seems to alter in my ears – especially one in particular – when I am on my way somewhere to meet people and feeling stressed. Also last year I suffered vertigo i.e. dizziness which persisted for some months. This is also related to ears and pressure in the ear. I went back and forth to the doctors over this. It was scary as I didn’t want to keel over in public or fall down steps while I was out and about. It affected my sense of security. I even had it while on a business trip abroad. Eventually the vertigo subsided and then the new feeling in the ear of pressure altering started. I realise now these were all stress symptoms. I don’t believe there is anything wrong in my ears – the doctors checked me out physically and couldn’t find anything wrong. One doctor did prescribe antihistamines for the vertigo but I never took them. The feelings have subsided although I get other horrible new stress symptoms which I have mentioned in a separate comment.

  121. Jen Says:

    hi everybody,
    and thanks to chris who has really inspired me. i have had a few very bad setbacks but GRADUALLY i am learning that they DO pass. Also, my intrusive thoughts came back with a big almighty BANG lol. but i remembered something that paul had taught and that was to give up the fight. instead of battling with the thought and thinking ‘oh my god’ think of something else, i followed the thought through and let it come to me. i thought to myself, i’m ALLOWED to think this. i’m going to keep practising this. its been 5 horrific months since this started but slowly i am seein little tiny pieces of the old me resurface. im going to take chris and pauls advice and step away from the subject now. just wanted to help anybody with a few positive words :):)


  122. Carlie Says:

    Hey everyone, I’d been doing better over the past week or so… at least I think that’s how long it’s been. That’s one of the things that’s bothering me the most, that my mind is constantly a mess and everything seems like a blur to me lately. :/ Is this a big problem for anyone else? I just can’t think clearly, like my mind is blank. And it seemed like my anxiety was better. I don’t even know how to tell if it is anymore. I think maybe that even when I don’t THINK I’m feeling anxious, I actually am, just because I’m so used to feeling that way that I don’t even notice it sometimes? I don’t know.

    I just felt weird all day today. Pretty much out of it, can’t think clearly, and feeling negative again. It doesn’t help that I’m not sleeping at normal hours. My whole life just seems different now. Will it ever be the same again? I stay in the house a lot, so I know that’s not helping. I’m hoping to get a job soon, but it’s so hard to make myself get up and do things sometimes. I just feel such a disconnect from my own mind sometimes, it’s such an eerie feeling. I’m feeling discouraged I guess… I’ll have a few days where I feel better, but then I analyze those and somehow convince myself that I still feel weird and I’m not getting better. :( I feel so lost and trapped and I just want out of this bizarro land I’m living in.

    Hopefully I won’t be feeling so negative tomorrow. :(

  123. Barbara Says:


    this is so insightful what you are saying. Not only “fear of fear” becomes a powerful, magnified force, but in anxiety sufferers it is directed at the individual having the thoughts.

    In other words, this concept implies preoccupation with anxious thoughts and the thoughts are usually self-centered, often critical, filled with guilt or shame. It truly is all about “me:” “what will they say about me? Will they like me? What if they will think that I am totally stupid and inadequate?” In a way, this is like a “run-away-mind,” mind that runs in circles and lost ability for a fresh and self-accepting reflection. Not only the mind is “running in circles’ without finding a solution or a sense of peace, but by being constantly directed at itself (in a punitive way), becomes self-centered, unable to redirect attention towards the environment.

    Therefore, redirecting one’s attention towards the environment, even if the sufferer does it slowly and gradually, may be extremely healing and empowering, So, instead of concentrating on self (so painfully felt if one has social anxiety), it helps to start paying attention to others.

    For example, in case of a party or some other social gathering, one needs to turn to other participants, even if in the beginning this is only done in one’s thoughts. Curiosity is of a great help, because it propels such questions as, “I wonder what this person has to say? I wonder about the stories he/she could say about his extensive work/ research / trips abroad,” etc., etc.

    So, in other words, it has a lot to do with a CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE, from outside-in to inside-out. Stop looking inside, stop analyzing, judging yourself, instead – look around, become curious about other people, about Life. By the way, I have never seen a depressed or anxious person who at the same time would be curious about people and the world. Have you? I believe that if we could evoke a touch of curiosity in a suicidal person, that itself would change his/her mind. After all, he would be curious what exactly will happen the next day! ;)

    Also, practicing mindfulness can be very helpful for promoting a healthy redirection of the tortured mind. I think it may work better that Transcendental Meditation that implies “emptying” one’s mind; people suffering from anxiety who have a problem with “a racing mind/thoughts” do better when they can occupy their thoughts in a concrete way, but in a healthier, more controlled manner. Mindfulness redirects the thoughts gently back to the reality, to one’s body, to bodily sensations, providing grounding and calm, allowing the mind to rest… finally.

    That’s my thinking… I wonder if that resonates with anybody?

    By the way, do you guys know that most people who suffer from anxiety are very creative and imaginative (after all they imagine ALL possible calamities!)? It truly is a “run-away- mind”! However, the same quality, if used properly, allows the healing to occur. One of the wonders of a human mind/body unity.

    Blessings to all of you…

  124. KM Says:

    When you post its as almost as if I’ve written the post for you. I feel EXACTLY the same. I know i’ve had better days/parts of the day, I’ve seen improvements in my sleep and appetitite, but I’m still having trouble getting through the day, some are just plain horrible and gruelling. I haven’t missed a days work, I’m making sure I go to all my social commitments and connecting with people and the world around me. I fear being on my own and spending extended periods of time at home and always need to plan things to do during the day to break up my day and give me a change of focus. None of this seems to making one bit of difference. I’m hyper alert of myself, my thoughts are all over the place, one minute I could feel ok and feel like i’m really making progress, then ten minutes later could feel in the depths of despair again. I have started to get some confidence back socially, today I even gave a presentation at work. But there are times in the day I still feel so overwhelmed I want to crawl into a foetal position. I feel i’m going to snap/ crack up/ loose it all of the things this horrible debiltating condition has us feeling. My rational brain knows this will never happen but my sensitive nervous system and habit still go back to it many many times. Some days i’m upbeat and positive, then others I want to retreat into nothingness! I agree with you I want all this weirdness to stop and am desperate for my old life back, I feel like I’m stuck in some vortex I cant escape from, while the world goes on happily around me, and I join in only momentarily :(

  125. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Babara That’s one of the best posts of the year and YES exactly what I am trying to say and get across. Never ever forget that the people around you will hardly notice anything, they don’t look or see how you are feeling. They notice far, far less than we think, we go around trying to cover something up that is not even noticable to people. I remember saying to my mother or very close friends who knew what I was going through, ‘Sorry about last night, I felt awful’ only to be told, I did not notice anything, you may have been quiter than normal, but I noticed nothing’. It hit me then that no matter how I felt, people could not see through me, feel how I was feeling, I looked the same, was it really worth creating such an issue over it?

    Also it is our anxiety that heightens everything, we care far more, feel more guilt, think people will notice, worry how we come across etc. Remember it is just our anxious state that causes this, it is not real.

    We must meet and speak to many anxiety sufferers in our lifetime, I have yet to notice it in anyone. I have seen shy/quiet people, but I just presume this is their personality. I could not point anyone out, even now when I would think I know what to look for.

    Clara your own post is full of ‘I worry that…….’ you say you are already in furstrated mode when chatting…..You are trying to worry your way out, you are trying to constantly fight to fix it, this is where the frustration comes from, you will just not accept that this is how it will have to be for a while, until you give into it, then the same pattern will continue.

    Try to stop worrying about your path, take it as it comes, feel and think anything you want with questioning it all, without worry and without frustration, just give in to it. I had the same worrys and concerns, felt if I kept going over things I would find an answer, felt I could worry it all away, no one got as frustrated as me, I even one day tried to pound my anxiety out of my head. Looking back I had no chance of ever moving forward, I was in full fight mode. I was anxious that I was anxious, I was frustrated, I was never once going to try and live alongside my anxiety, no way, I had to get rid of this damn thing. Well I spent 10 years like this until I educated myself and did the opposite.

    Every worry and concern about what others thought or how I came across went straight over my head, I had no time to worry about this, my mind needed a break, not to be more pounded by worry and concern.

    I started to make friends with the way I felt, I stopped getting so frustrated, realised this was me for the time being, the fight with myself was over. I would have to feel bloody awful, anxious and detached, but I had to care far less about this. I had to give my body the freedom to recover, me fighting myself each day was never going to achieve this. I had bad nerves, nerves that needed a break and all I did was pound them more each day. I was worrying and stressing about the way I was feeling, which was worried and stressed, hence why the cycle never broke.

    You really are letting anxiety take you down the path of worry, don’t listen to it’s voice. The next time the same worry or concern comes up, just let it have it’s space and move on, let it go, you will eventually become a master at this. Don’t investigate it, don’t get frustrated by it, it is just anxiety bringing another ‘Yes but Clara what if……..’ ‘You can’t do it Clara, you will fail’ an anxious mind creates anxious thoughts, but always remember they are not real.

    I don’t have anxious thoughts now, as I don’t have anxiety, when I did, then yes I had them all, but they were not real. I look back and smile at the things that I used to think when anxious, it seems trivial now and was certainly due to the way I felt at the time.

    It is just the same as when we get drunk, we think in a different way, our emotions change, it’s the alcohol that does it, we wake and think totally differently. When we feel anxious we think differently and our emotions change, just see it this way, DON’T take it seriously or give it the respect it does not deserve, just smile and move on.


  126. sinead Says:

    KM-that is exactly where i was a week ago-maybe where i still am however maybe with one small difference-i desperately want my own life back too, feel like im stuck in a vortex watching everyone else be normal and thinking if this hadnt of happened imagine how easily id be getting on with life just sitting back enjoying it living it instead of somehow watching from the sidelines and feeling miserable for no reason but now thanks to stumbling across this blog i see that its important to feel like this but not i dont.the thoughts are still running through my mind it seems 90% time but before it was 100% and it will steadily reduce and reduce but i think the main change ive seen in myself is that even if they dont, i dont care its fine-its scary but its fine i can live with it.i desperately want to be better but i think the most important way for me to get there is to accept the fact that i might never but strangely at the same time knowing that being ok with never being better is making me feel better!lol does that make any sense?!

    some days are hard because some days i think im ok with being this anxious im ok with being stuck like this ill just get on with life anyway and repeat it to myself over and over cos that niggly part of my brain still wants me to be better and to feel better and if i think if i keep repeating to myself its ok to be afraid of that ill just let it sit in the back of my mind then ill get better…and then i just have to tell myself to stop-youre trying to make yourself “feel better” again, you dont have to sit and repeat things in your head its better just say to myself my biggest fear- you know you may never even get better, being ok with these fears may mean youre still stuck, feeling the fear but getting on with life anyway may make me feel worse, these recovery stories may all be lies, there might be no way out of this ever-and accept it and just get on with my uni work.its the accepting it that takes the hard work.and i still dont think ive fully accepted being ok with it-otherwise i still wouldnt be replying on this even though i said i wouldnt ;-)- and you know what im ok with the fear that i havent fully accepted it and maybe never will- thats ok-and thats why i am feeling a million times better this week!

  127. marcb Says:

    Hi all, I purchased the book a few months ago, and initially the improvement was amazing! then however an old anxious trait of mine popped up, ill explain. Nearly 20 years ago I was feeling amazing because i basically let the thoughts come and go, then, whilst sitting down watching tv a thought popped into my head, it was “right then, if im ok now mentally, i should find something wrong with me physically” my mind then done a quick search and almost instantly found something, it was my penis which has a slight curve and is slightly thinner at the base (ladies I hope you dont mind me mentioning this) I then proceeded in the following months and years to focus and worry on this “imperfection”, which proceeded in myself getting lots and lots of anxious thoughts and sure enough I became a complete mess, almost housebound. Well the exact same thing has happened again, its as if my mind is telling me that this isnt anxiety, that I cant be happy/anxiety free as im not perfect and im finding it particually difficult to accept this thought (again, probably cos im being tricked into believing it isnt anxiety). When it happened 20 years ago I was a virgin so my cause of concern was greater, but this time around im not, and the even crazier thing is ive got myself a lovely girlfriend with whom I had sex with at the weekend and it went absolutely fine…… better than fine!!. So my question is what do I do when the “physical imperfection thoughts” rear their ugly head and has anyone else had this type of anxious thought regarding a physical part of themselves they are unhappy about and obsess about? Why am I finding it so hard to “accept” this? I honestly and truly feel if I could get over this hurdle I would be close to an anxious free life, but its starting to pull into the cycle again. Many many thanks….. Marc x

  128. Barbara Says:

    Yey, Paul, you just made my day, especially since this was my very first post EVER!
    Anyway, there are a few points that I would like to make:

    1. First of all, anxiety is a HIGHLY CURABLE disorder and it doesn’t have to rule or overshadow a person’s life. Having said that, I realize that there is a lot of confusion “out there” regarding a question, “what is the reason for one’s anxiety.” Unfortunately most people, including counselors and psychologists, don’t really know enough about it “to connect the dots.”

    2. Expanding on the previous thought, most of the time there is a very specific reason (usually many of them!) for people to develop an anxiety disorder but…. very few people pay attention to it. Let me explain: how many times, you guys go to a psychiatrist, who doesn’t even try to know you better, but instead – immediately gives you a prescription? Or maybe you go to a counselor who… starts teaching you CBT techniques (I call them “crutches”), and even though they are very useful and should be utilized, they will seldom resolve the situation. Consequently, the sufferer may feel a little bit better for a while – only to succumb to another horrible bout of anxiety, more guilt, shame, and disappointment. The reason for it is the fact that the real cause of anxiety was never recovered, addressed, and resolved. Yes, there is a good and valid reason for all this anxiety.

    3. And that’s my next point: anxiety may be caused by current events in our lives, and we all can relate to that (loss of a job, illness, divorce, death of a loved one, etc.). This kind of anxiety is natural and valid; it’s simply a part of our life. Of course, it may get out of control, but most of the time – one gets a new job, starts a new, and a better relationship, and the anxiety goes away.

    However, sometimes one has no idea why the anxiety is coming back again and again. It’s because the events that predisposed this person for anxiety could have happened in one’s childhood, even infancy. It could have been a disrupted
    bonding with mother/father/caretaker (think Bowlby!), or maybe a cruel teacher in the 3rd grade, or parents divorcing, leaving, etc. I won’t even mention neglect, abuse, and sexual molestation. I recently talked to a woman who told me a story of her difficult childhood, full of neglect , abandonment and rejection, to only tell me that she… has NO CLUE whatsoever why she suffers from anxiety and panic attacks(!!!!!!). For years, her treatment consisted only of heavy antianxiety medication. So sad… In other words, anxiety is often caused by early childhood experiences, most of the time events that we don’t even remember, or dismiss as not such important. It is essential though to remember that what we understand and justify now, as adults, was experienced differently by a small child we once were (Adult: “Mom worked two or three jobs, so she was never home but she had to do that in order to take care of us” vs: Child: “Mommy is not home again, she doesn’t love me… I’m lonely… She abandoned me… Nobody cares…”). The problem is, this little child’s trauma (yes: trauma!) has been pushed into the unconscious mind. Our unconscious mind consists of layers upon layers of such disfrenchised traumas, memories, experiences. They are still there: alive and unresolved. Then a little trigger event comes (by the way, it can also be an “internal event,” like for example a doubting or self-loathing thought!) and here we go again: another anxiety attack.

    4. Therefore, most people would benefit from getting a really good psychotherapist (psychologist or counselor, not psychiatrist) and start chipping that gunk away.

    5. In my last post I mentioned the role of imagination. Actually there is more to that: it’s also the heightened, out of control suggestibility (“the run-away-mind”). Basically, people suffering from anxiety practically “hypnotize” themselves into a panic attack, sometimes phobia. It may start with just one thought, that becomes magnified, supplemented by other distorted thoughts, until it snowballs. Don’t take me wrong; imagination and suggestibility are wonderful gifts if they function properly; they help us learn, focus, heal, be more resilient, but they are disastrous when they get out of control. It’s a proven fact that people who suffer from PTSD, anxiety and phobias, are more suggestible than the rest of the population, however, they turned that wonderful gift against themselves (think: negative self-talk). Again, there is a positive side to that: since they possess this incredible natural ability, with proper guidance, they can learn how to utilize it properly and heal themselves. Imagination is the missing link in the “anxiety loop.”

    6. Last point: anxiety has an unfortunate propensity to expand and “multiply.” Somebody may start with fear of driving over bridges, then move to being afraid of driving, period, and eventually become completely homebound. Therefore, anxiety should be treated as soon as possible in order to stop it’s destructive progression. Anxiety is an extremely painful condition and nobody deserves it. Also, they don’t bring it on themselves, they just happen to be more vulnerable, more sensitive, oftentimes – more hurt. And there is no reason to just “endure it” or “accept it” – it CAN be successfully treated. The goal is not to just remove anxiety from one’s life, but to fill that life with joy, happiness and success.

    That is our true birthright….

    Blessings to all!

  129. steveo Says:

    Good posts Barbara, very interesting.

    Do you suffer with anxiety now or have you recovered? Your explanations would suggest that you’ve recovered from it.

    Great helpful posts.

  130. Barbara Says:

    Thanks, Steve. Actually neither is true. I experienced a touch of anxiety after I suffered a great personal loss, but I was aware of what was happening to me, so I was able to avoid it. However, I am a psychologist and I treated many patients suffering from anxiety. I stumbled onto this blog while doing some research and I was seduced by Paul’s comment about how self-centered anxiety really is (it would be very helpful if more people would understand it!). And this tendency is so much present in all the posts I reviewed. The pain that you guys experience just breaks my heart….

    I wish everyone the best …

  131. Barbara Says:

    Actually, Steve, I forgot one thing: when I was a young girl (which, mind you, wasn’t such a long time ago ;) I was quite shy and I didn’t feel comfortable in social situations.

    I remember sitting in my high school classroom and getting frustrated, because all my classmates would take credit for what I wanted to say!

    Finally, I was so fed up that… I started talking, participating, and actually… having fun. Well, there are some side effects to that, though: now you can’t shut me up! :)


  132. Kat Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Sorry for taking so long to respond to your post! I’ve been busy and have been making a conscious effort not to ‘haunt the board’, lol.

    What you’re feeling is absolutely horrific, as I know full-well. For me, it is the worst symptom of my anxiety pattern, because my relationship has been the most important thing in my life for the past nine years. I understand completely how frightened you must be feeling, as well as doubtful, but as you may have read through my interactions with Helen (as kindly noted by Sara H.), things have become slightly better on my end. I went from thinking my relationship was over, to catching small glimpses of my happier times with my partner, to having a few days at a time of feeling almost ‘normal’.

    I am not recovered, yet. I still have moments of extreme doubt, and that’s usually when I breathlessly type out a post to Helen, or whomever may be able to share some insight on the matter (again, Sara H., your posts have been very helpful), hoping that I will somehow get back on track. I still feel frustrated and anxious about things, but I’ve come to understand that my impatience to feel ‘normal’ again is a huge part of my problem. Also, trust is an issue, as in, I need to trust that what I’m feeling is what Helen felt, and what others feel, and that I will recover and reclaim my relationship. I am working at it, everyday, and whenever I feel some flutter of ‘good’, I think to myself ‘I need to trust in what others are saying more’, because I have a tendency to second-guess everything. Also, I am allowing myself to have ‘good days’, because my normal pattern is to worry about them ending, instead of enjoying them when they’re actually happening. So, if I feel not so great about my partner, I tell myself that these thoughts are normal for my situation, and that it’s okay to have them because they will leave at some point. It helps me a great deal.

    As suggested to me by Helen, do things with your partner, even if you don’t want to. Go for walks, have dinner together, watch a movie, etc. Even if you only feel your connection for a moment or two, it will comfort you to realize that it’s still there, under the layers of fear and doubt. It’s hard, but it’s necessary. For a time, I didn’t even want to look at my partner, because I was trying so hard to feel for him what I used to, until I realized that forcing myself wasn’t going to help at all. It was only when I let go that I felt attraction again, and while it is hardly consistent (I seriously wonder if the good hormones are broken!), knowing that I can feel attraction toward him has been extremely comforting.

    I feel very awkward in offering advice since I’m still in the middle of trying to recover myself, and again, I still worry that I’ll never feel as I did about my partner again. However, this is where the trust comes in, and I choose to trust in Helen’s words, and everyone else who has been kind enough to offer their support and wisdom, because it has been the greatest source of strength I’ve known when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Give yourself time. You fell in love with your husband for a reason, and those reasons do not simply vanish. Trust yourself, and stop trusting anxiety.

    You have my best thoughts! You are not alone. Remember, I’m working along with you, and we have a great refuge in Paul’s board, so don’t give up!


  133. Josh Says:

    Paul & Other

    I am on my recovery path and despite setbacks I personally feel , i am improving day by day. I am able to keep a positive attitude. My question is;

    In the heaviest and worst of anxiety fellings like racing thoughts, feel very odd, feeling spatial, if we have the calmth and knowledge , is it advisable to go out and do all work? I am ready to take that plunge now…only thing keeping me a bit out is an apprehension that I should not venture out during heavy anxiety… at the same time I also feel that unless i see the peak i will not be able to recover…

    Please advice

  134. Josh Says:

    Hi Paul & Other

    I have recovered to a great extent now, but there is still some apprehension in moving out and and doing things.

    Specially during peak anxiety i prefer to stay back, my question is;

    Despite heavy anxiety, racing thoughts, feeling odd, feeling spatial, should i take a plunge with total faith and go out to work? I feel I should do it… just need some expert advice…

  135. Steveo Says:

    Barbara… that explains it.

    They are really well written posts and i’m sure a massive help to many of the people on this board!

    Keep up the excellent work :-)

  136. Nick Says:

    Hi folks,

    Just need a bit of help at the minute. Had a really good summer with living with everything, however I am in the middle of definitely my worst setback. it is the scary thoughts at the minute that just won’t diminish. Out of every symptom this one has been my downfall, and I have always found it the most difficult to accept. At the moment, out of nowhere yesterday I started worrying I had HIV. This was the very problem that got me into the anxiety cycle in the first place. I got myself tested last year and it came back all clear but now my mind has suddenly come out and told me that there’s a chance that something went wrong at the clinic and that I do actually have it. I fully recognise how ridiculous these thoughts are but i somehow just can’t accept them at the moment. From then it is the usual, what if im thinking about it when I’m eating then struggle to eat. The usual downward spiral occurs and at the moment i’m finding it hard to accept. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Hope you are all getting on well yourselves.


  137. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Josh says: Hi Paul & Other

    I have recovered to a great extent now, but there is still some apprehension in moving out and and doing things.

    Specially during peak anxiety i prefer to stay back, my question is;

    Despite heavy anxiety, racing thoughts, feeling odd, feeling spatial, should i take a plunge with total faith and go out to work? I feel I should do it… just need some expert advice…

    Josh a lot of people make the mistake of waiting until they feel good to do something, they sit and wait for the day when it all goes away so they can go about their lives as they normally did. The real progress comes when you stop waiting for that day and do it anyway. This is what I mean when I say take it with you, let it sit beside you whilst you live your life.

    I eventually did this and the more I put myself out there, the more reactions dampened and the outside world was no longer the enemy, it never was, it was me I was afraid of, the way I felt and I tried to hide away, as I did not want to feel uncomfortable, when really it was putting myself out there that was truly going to save me and give me my life back.

    So the answer is yes, go out to work and trust in yourself more, again our anxious minds always have us thinking the worst, it builds up a picture that rarely comes true. Truly nothing can happen, apart from you begin to open more doors and broaden your life. Truly trust in yourself, all we feel are surface symptoms, symptoms that can truly do us no harm.

  138. marcb Says:

    Hi, If possible could someone answer my question please. I feel I am getting worse by the day as I’m struggling so much to accept this. Many thanks marc x

  139. Steveo Says:


    i think everyone has a bit of the physical problems as i certainly did. i kept thinking my eyes were blood shot and thta i looked pale etc

    the more you worry about it, the worse it will get.

    everyone’s genitals (male and female) are very different shapes and sizes.

    i would suggest is to let the thoughts be there and just say ‘whatever’ to them. maybe i do look a bit pale today, maybe my eyes are a little bloodshot, maybe my penis is a little different to the next man…

    so what, everyone has these general thoughts but people with anxiety (myself included) obsess about them. if we give them no thought, they will pass.

    keep it up – you’ve done it before and you’ll do it again.

    your girlfriend obviously likes it ;-)

  140. Barbara Says:

    Nick, if you were sexually active during that last year, just get tested again and get over it. It’s not worth to worry about it and agonize. If you were not sexually active and you still keep worrying – get help!

    Good luck!

  141. Barbara Says:

    Thank you, Steveo, for your kind words. I’m glad you found my posts helpful.

  142. marcb Says:

    Thank you steveo. What I would like to ask also is….. And this will sound weird, but I feel i can’t let these thoughts just be there as there is something “wrong” with me. So I ask, even tho the thing that bothers me is a physical thing, can i still accept and ignore these thoughts knowing they r anxiety based? Many thanks marc

  143. JP Says:

    Something that i find effective: you can’t shut off the thoughts in your head, they are automatic and symptoms of anxiety/depression. but we can choose what thoughts we want to define us, we want to pay attention to, we want to act on: make those thoughts the positive and creative ones, the one that says life is beautiful and you can cope. ignore the nonsense thoughts, its just our anxiety over having them that keeps them alive.

    now, I am off to play football, because there is nothing wrong with me and I can do whatever I want. :) x

  144. Nick Says:


    I have had the same girlfriend for the past 3 years and never been with anybody else since. This makes the thoughts I have been having even more ridiculous now doesn’t it!? I’m not going to get tested as it is utterly pointless, though giving blood soon will i guess confirm everything that i need not be worried about. To suggest “getting help” is exactly why I’m here! I know that recovery is within me and all the help I need is here. To “get help” elsewhere would prolong things for me when I just need to stick by what has been getting along so nicely until recently, it would continue the thoughts of “having a problem”, which is not the case. Thanks though, I do know what you’re trying to say!


  145. steveo Says:

    marcb – you have to learn to live alongside it as you have done previously.

    what does your girlfriend think?

    why do you think these thoughts, have you looked at pics of ‘others’ as they’re not all the same… :-)

  146. Barbara Says:

    Nick – it looks like you recognize the fact that these thoughts seem to be irrational and are not based in reality. I that case, try this technique: as soon as you recognize the disturbing thought, don’t try to push it away (it will stick!), but imagine a large “STOP!” sign and replace the negative thought with a pleasant and positive one. It may be useful to identify thoughts that you find pleasant and comforting beforehand. Then – distract yourself with some activity: call your friend, talk to your girlfriend, play with a dog, etc. If the thought returns, follow the same routine. It takes some practice, but many people find it helpful :)

  147. SarahS Says:


    Your message on this site is so important and so helpful to so many people. It makes me wonder if there’s any other way to get the message across to others. EG., is this something you could take into schools so that this sort of thing is known about from a young age and kids/parents will get to have some sort of insight into anxiety and how the body can work in certain situations and how it’s important not to be afraid of symptoms as perfectly normal, will go etc. Also, the Daily Express do articles entitled Express Yourself where all sorts of people write about their experiences with all sorts of situations. Could this be some way to get your message across to more people? Not sure how many people would read the DE though ha ha, kidding! Just think what you have done so far is so remarkable that it’s a shame to keep it to this website.

    Sarah x

  148. jackie Says:

    I agree entirely with you sarahs, so little is known and yet all you need to know is here on this site :) i truely think paul deserves a medal!!

  149. Nick Says:

    Thanks Barbara, however doesn’t this “trying” to replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts kind of go against the whole “not trying” to do anything and just accept all these thoughts and feelings for what they are? This is where I have been confused in my setbacks. Living with the physical symptoms has always been fine but the thoughts have always been the thing I find hardest to accept! In terms of distraction there’s no problems there, I work, play football and tennis, go to the gym etc, I do it all as I always have done. So I shall just carry on as I do with the tip you gave me. I know I’m close to clarity! :)

  150. marcb Says:

    Hi again steveo, Well in answer to your question “why do I get these thoughts” i imagine (and hope!) its my anxiety trying to do its level best to put me down a peg or 2! When I was really bad back in May these thoughts about my penis were non exhistant as at the time there were other things going on in my head, I managed to de sensitise those, was feeling good then…..bang! I also feel guilty about having these thoughts about my penis when I see those brave soldiers coming home minus their limbs, as I know im a lucky so and so.

  151. Matt Says:

    Carly….me and you are going through the exact same thing. For a week, I was feeling a lot better, I don’t remember how or why to be honest. This week has been up and down and I feel so lost and disconnected with my family and myself. It’s really a pain when you have a good week and then all of a sudden you’re back to the confused lost state again. My head is blank and I seem to to have the 24/7 fear again and I don’t know what the fear is about. My memory seems to be fading, I can’t remember what I did a few days ago, and short-term memory problems still exist.

    I don’t understand, a month ago it wasn’t this bad. I mean, I was more optimistic then and didn’t have these memory problems and constant fear of everything. When I talk, it feels like someone else, like I am outside myself watching and observing and I can’t do anything about it. It feels like I am losing myself completely and it scares me to death. My thinking was more clearly last week and a few days ago, but now it’s back to feeling blank again. I guess I just have to keep pressing on because if I had a good week, then I believe i’ll have another and I have to keep my confidence up no matter how lifeless and hopeless I feel.

  152. Steveo Says:

    marcb – sorry mate, I thought that was the only reason you were anxious. i didn’t understand from your posts that this is something that your anxiety has got hold of.

    it will pass if you give it time and try not to focus too much attention on it. my anxiety has had a hold of a lot of things throughout this ‘process’ and is slowly passing.

    you will do it :-)

  153. marcb Says:

    Yes steveo its grabbing alright! A couple years ago I was obsessed by these tiny little spots around my eyes, with thoughts like “how on earth am i going to get myself a.partner with these”! Going on. I suppose I’m just looking for reassurence that what I’m going thru ar the moment IS anxiety, yet the mere fact it comes automatically and almost 24/7 now tells me it is.

  154. Steveo Says:

    :-) I had that exact same thing, they are still there now for me. They are on my actual eye ball but I am not bothered by them.

    It is anxiety and that is all it is. It will get bored once you start paying it attention – a bit like a bully!

  155. steveo Says:

    *less attention (once you start paying it less attention)

  156. Clara Says:

    Hi Barbara,

    your post was so insightful..

    ”In a way, this is like a “run-away-mind,” mind that runs in circles and lost ability for a fresh and self-accepting reflection. Not only the mind is “running in circles’ without finding a solution or a sense of peace, but by being constantly directed at itself (in a punitive way), becomes self-centered, unable to redirect attention towards the environment.” —- this is so very true…

    people having anxiety never realise when this pattern creeps in during their normal thinking..actually I simply had one or 2 fearful thoughts..but since i worried about them it came often finally drowning me in them..

    now that i have realised its a little late as I have become a chronic worrior and an anxious person..but I’m believing in what Paul said—-& trying to inculcate that in me
    ”It is like any habit, all habits can be broken if we create a new habit”

    As u said try to be more outward..I had been more outward at one point of time as i could speak on and on with any person i meet..i was so happy until one day i felt like a ”need to keep talking”… fill the gaps as i have been unnecessarily focusing on should i speak to her about this? is it too much of talking? and it just went on until i really got effected when someone just raised a comment..somewhere my confidence just dimmed…I think it was a result of getting caught up in my own world..

    so i dont want to be more outward and more inward..because whatever i try to do i get more attached to it by repetetive thoughts…i’m trying to live a life where I’m not watching my flow with life…to have complete freedom from thoughts..i had always been a slave to my thoughts that i dont know what i ”actually want” in my life so right now i’m following this—- however i feel to carry on with life…instead of living my life through my imagination..” its a journey to know who I am actually…sounds philosophical but its true… :)

    I guess all my life whichever track of thinking i take, attention slowly comes back to me as to ”how” ”what” I should go about living my life which infact should be a flow which is hardly noticed by the individual…mindfulness will also help in bringing back the mind to the present situation…I so yearn for a life to be lived CAREFREE as i hardly remember those days..

    I so agree with what u’v said…about having an imagainative mind..mine is one like that…i can go on day dreaming to no end reaching the other end of the world..before i truly enjoyed it as it helped me achieve things but when i got anxiety it just spiralled back to the depth of negative thinking.

    Its good to read your insights on the subject…
    Many thanks..Clara

  157. DCYL Says:

    Like Clara, I think I am a bit of a worrier. I don’t like uncertainty and always go through a ton of “what if” situations in my head. I think I’ve had this “habit” prior to anxiety and my feelings have been a lot more magnified since I’ve gotten my anxiety.

    Has anyone found a way that has been effective to change this habit of worry? A book I read that habits are just energy and they can be changed. It just takes some mindfulness to be aware that you are “worrying” and then shift your attention elsewhere. However, this is a little easier said than done.

    Any thoughts from people on this would be appreciated.

  158. Rich Says:


    I have tons of what ifs daily I’ve had general anxiety disorder for three years now and the thoughts are the only thing that trouble me now. Acceptance seems to be the only way to deal with them, I get some shocking thoughts especially when depressed as well that horrify me but I do my best to continue with my day, my work and my hobbies it’s unbelievably difficuilt to express in words how tough I find it sometimes but I can’t go back to just sitting in front of the telly all day frozen with fear by every thought that ‘invades my mind’. Pauls right when he says we have to start living again! I hope this helps as I can relate to these thoughts and the effect they have.

  159. DCYL Says:


    Thanks. You know, the super troubling thoughts don’t come up as much for me recently (thank goodness for small favors). For me, it just seems that when stress comes up, my anxiety kicks in a bit and the worry feels a ton stronger.

    Perhaps I just sensitive and more aware of my worry than I was before and it just drives my anxiety higher. But I do feel you. It’s an up and down affair.

  160. Clara Says:

    Hi DCYL

    our mind is so used to worry that we hardly see them as ”distorted perception” we accept them as reality..our thought pattern is such that we magnify and play in our minds every scenario and picturise whats going to happen n we believe what we imagine might turn out to be true…but thats purely imagination far from REALITY…

    replacing old habits with new ones…each time u feel bad tell urself its anxiety playing its tricks on u..its not u or the people around that made u feel that way..connect urself with whats happening around or do nothing and simply watch whats happening around…slowly you will regain ur perspective…

    best is to
    1 acknowlege we have anxiety, reason for being on the edge always!..its not reality its magnified through habitual thinking.

    2 when we get overwhelmed with thoughts making us indecisive, ask urself what you actually need? just dont heed to other what ifs..and be content with ur decision..

    3 do things that makes u genuinely happy rather than attempting to make others happy..cos it may end up making others happy for us to feel good.. alongside anxiety– let it be there for as long as it wants– i will do things which i want to do in life..let it be there beside me ..learning to do things however i feel.. we start giving less importance to the way we feel giving our focus more on the work we do…

    5. always be content urself..all the weird feelings n thoughts r outer layers of anxiety…”i am not what i think i am” its just our distorted thoughts that tells us i am so n so…Trust urself..move ahead..i am what i consciously decide and do in my life..the more we train ourselves to ignore thoughts (by not adding emotions to it) the more we wil be able to live in the present moment..!

  161. Fran Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Some great posts lately. Clara i like your comment about asking yourself what you actually need, not heeding what ifs and be content with your decision. I find that if what i need is in conflict with other people i have huge anxiety about it and any decision i make feels like the wrong one.
    For example yesterday i had a really bad day and was looking forward to getting home and relaxing. However my stepson had called my husband to ask if he could stay the night and was told yes without asking me. I told my husband that it wasn’t ok for me this time (he stays very often). I knew that i just didn’t need another stress and felt like this was the last straw of the day. The fallout of saying no to someone was so much more stressfull than if i had just put up with it. I have been obsessively worrying about it all night feeling powerless, wrong, that they feel bad about me, guilty etc etc. How can i feel comfortable with saying no to others to get what i know i needed which was a peaceful evening in my own home. I am in a really bad setback at the moment and feel like it is hard enough to just get through the day with the thoughts in my head without any extra stress. Sorry for the negative post but i could really use some advice.
    Thanks Fran

  162. sinead Says:

    hey everyone
    i have been feeling much better this past week but just wondered if people who have recovered could give me a bit of information about the constant self-introspection-this is the most annoying thing for me i just am constantly analysing myself how im thinking what im doing constantly -im just letting the thoughts come and go, but this constant attention on me is tiring but i put up with it cos i dont care anymore.i just feel a bit weird because i feel like my mind can/will never shift its focus away from me-my mind also keeps going over things ive thought before -if all this hadnt happened i wouldnt pay attention to it or it wouldnt alarm me because after all im just remembering remembering is completely normal!but it makes me feel uncomfortable because instead of just walking down the street and taking in my surroundings my mind is trying to remember what i was thinking the last time i walked down the same street.this constant attention on my thoughts is soooo annoying!so my question is did you suffer from this during your recovery?im not really that anxious any more but its as if the memories are very strong and even more uncomfortable to think of than the sometimes feels like ill never think of anything else but anxiety!im ok with that, i doubt its true but it seems funny that my mind is so stuck on me.just hearing what someone else has to say about my crazy thoughts id appreciate. :) thanks

  163. Jackie Says:

    Something I just came across whilst for once not searching for anxiety!!
    whilst helping out on some homework…


    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
    meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whatever comes.
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

  164. Elaine Says:

    Hi I have realised if i dint have depression as well as anxiety i would be well on my way to recovery .I can accept the anxiety now and dont fear it at all its took 5mmonths to get to thais stage.If i didnt have very bad depression i would be fine .How do i get past the depression xxx

  165. Rich Says:


    I’m also in a stage of recovery similar to you. Constantly analysing how I feel how didi feel when I was here yday or would I like something more if this had never of happened, it’s like a constant rating system scoring how I feel and react to everything daily. It is just anxiety! when things were really bad I felt I had to ‘watch myself’ every move, motion, every journey I took etc. I think it’s all part of watching yourself! Am I enjoying today as much as yesterday? How did I feel when I last come to the pub? Oh god I feel the same as last time I was here, I’m going to be stuck like this forever!

    Before anxiety I wouldnt care how I felt or sing into a depressed mood because I wasn’t as good as yesterday! I’ve stopped it all no one else around me is doing it there getting involved in life, enjoying things rather than asking internal questions which we have learnt from habiat

  166. Rich Says:

    Sink* and habit * apologies lol


  167. Vic Says:


    I hope all is well with all everyone. I just had a question, wanted to see if anyone can relate or give insight.

    I myself am about to hit my 3 year “anniversary” of sorts to when I became an anxiety “sufferer”. However, with this anniversary upon me, I have begun to think about how far I have come and how much I still have to go.

    The thing I wanted to talk about, or ask about is that I could remember being 15 years old and doing certain things that most teenagers do, like drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, except usually I never enjoyed these activities because this hyper awareness would kick in and I would be worried about how I felt. I still get this feeling sometimes now, except obviously it does not take as much for it to kick in. Sometimes I can be busy at work all day and be fine, but once I leave work I “zone in” and sometimes I let this zoning in bother me.

    Can anyone relate to this? And how do I handle this? Obviously its an issue I have always have before I even became a “sufferer”. Now that I am educated on the subject, I understand its anxiety. Is this just a version of fight or flight? becoming hyperaware of oneself? I think understanding fully will help me a lot more. Thank you

  168. Matt Says:


    Most of my depression is from anxiety. I don’t feel nearly as depressed as I did three weeks ago so that is a good sign. If your depression is from anxiety, then, like anxiety, it might take a little time to get back to feeling good about yourself. Personally, I have felt a lot better over the past two days with DP and anxiety, I just allowed it to be there and stopped focusing on it. In fact, it has gotten much better over two weeks, except for a few bad days. It’s hard because when I have a bad day, it’s really hard to focus on all those good days I had because I am so focused on the bad. It shows me that I just have to change my attitude towards it and, by doing that I make good progress.

    Since you have learned how to deal with your anxiety, I would be happy with that progress you’ve made. I mean, if you were anxious and depressed and the anxiety has gotten better then that should be something to be proud of. Anxiety is more of just negative thought habits and when I get out of those particular habits of thought or whatever was causing me anxiety at the time, I would focus on something entirely new. Be happy with what you’ve accomplished, because that is something to definitely be positive about.

  169. sinead Says:

    Hey Rich
    thanks for the reply. sounds like you’re in exactly the same place as me!i hate it its so frustrating and i think “when will i stop doing this questioning?!” -whoops thats another question!at the minute im preparing for job interviews and finals in uni-heaven only knows how i have a hope of getting a job or passing because i cant remember something i read 20 times these days lol but ive come to terms with that!(its extra annoying because i can remember every single THOUGHT ive had in th past few weeks in extensive detail but actually remember something useful NO!)i would love if all i could do would be to sit and worry myself silly about the interviews and exams-because thats what i would have done before but now im worrying about the interview exams PLUS the constant internal dialogue.i wonder if people who have fully recovered or paul have any advice?cos i know from what ive read and what youre saying that its important to stop this constant internal questioning -but i just dont know how to practically do it-its like all the rest of the anxious thoughts-its just an automatic voice nattering away. do i ignore that inner voice the way ive come to ignore my greatest fears (youre never going to be happy again :() and whenever i feel myself think when you were walking down this street before you were thinking this do i just let myself think it and move on with my day??past few days ive lost a bit of my sleep pattern too-which is a bit gutting but i think oh well itll probs come back and if not at least ill be awake and can TRY revising!

  170. Rich Says:

    Sinead I’ve found the less you pay attention to these thoughts or moments the less of a monster they turn into then I don’t refer back to them as much as the importance is not there! that’s not too say they are not there though!

    I do think this is an extremely difficuilt illness to get over as its so easy to cycle into things, one thought can be a catalyst to conjour up so much anxiety and negativity feeling like your back to square one!

  171. sinead Says:

    Ive been putting that into practice and im not doing it as much which is good!went for a walk with my dad there and something came up that annoyed me a bit-i hate going back to uni after a weekend at home and my dad said to just to try and enjoy myself while im there instead of constantly wishing i was back home where its marginally easier to deal with this anxiety!well thankfully i dont mind going back to uni as much any more-because i think here or there im still going to be letting this anxiety flow and i dont really mind being by myself.but what he said about enjoying myself-i dont really enjoy anything any more-i feel safer at home but not happy-literally nothing makes me happy.and part of me wonders is this just a thought-anxiety trying to fool me?

    i dont really know.i used to love reading shopping and watching movies and am still doing those things-and sometimes i feel relaxed doing them-not happy but relaxed so maybe i am enjoying them and dont even realise?its a very odd feeling.and a very odd illness.i guess thats what i miss the most.cant remember the last time i felt actually happy.thats when i know im truly on the road to recovery when my mind forgets itself and lets itself feel warmth lookng forward to that day!:)

  172. Mark M Says:

    I totally have that feeling too, Sinead, of not being able to enjoy many things, I’ve had anxiety for nearly 3 years and it’s so on and off for me. Recently, I’ve tried just going slower and not rushing myself, and something as simple as that has helped a lot, and overall I feel like I’ve made progress and have been feeling better than I ever have. Actually yeah, I feel like I’ve made huge strides in accepting my anxiety and just living my life.But every now and then, like today, I feel so incredibly frustrated with myself and depressed and anxious, and I feel like I hide it and don’t express it enough to the people in my life, but at the same time I feel like I ‘should be recovered’ by now and I hate talking about it because it doesn’t seem to do much long term good. I understand to not give recovery a time limit, and I try not to, but man sometimes it’s frustrating as all hell and I just want to be better, you know?

  173. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Mark
    I am having a bad day today too and am with you in everything you just said.And I totally agree about talking about it to others I went through a phase where I thought it would be ok to talk about it but actually it made me focus on it more and feel worse.Sally X

  174. Rich Says:

    Mark M

    Your post just summed up my situation perfectly not connecting with things and enjoying the things I used to is difficuilt I have also improved leaps and bounds and there’s still a feeling of ‘im not better, I’m not the old me’

    I feel where your coming from man

  175. Gary w Says:


    I’m really struggling with what I think to be derealisation and depersonalisation. This occurred after a 2 year period of worrying and over thinking everything. I’m 18 and it had totally ruined my life (college, sport, socially, girlfriend). I really don’t know what to do or how to get out of this awful situation.

  176. Matt Says:

    Hey guys, my DP has been getting better over the last few days and I have gotten rid of some of my fears associated with having anxiety with particular things. But as soon as I am feeling a lot better, I started to have thoughts about hurting others and have all this gibberish running through my mind that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Like I have thoughts that make no sense whatsoever about anything and everything. It’s like the DP is trying to hold on for dear life because I am getting my confidence back.

    It’s strange, as soon as I let go and moved past certain pointless fears I had, these weird thoughts and fears cropped up out of nowhere. I know I am not going to hurt anyone, but these silly irrational thoughts about anything and everything is really strange. It’s frustrating because as soon as I make progress in one area, some new scary thought arises. I guess it’s because my mind is just so tired that it’s not the thoughts that are the problem, but the actual anxiety/DP that is. It’s hard sometimes because it’s almost like I try to convince myself that I am going to hurt someone or go nuts. Anyways, I know I am not the only one that has gone through this, but has anyone else had this happen to them as well? Thanks.

  177. DCYL Says:

    Clara – Thanks. I fully agree with your post (especially #2 and #3). In fact, to that effect, I took a leave of absence from a “side job” that I have done for years. The side job was nice (money was cool, get some exercise at the same time) but the expense was some personal time get sacrificed. I decided that I wanted to get some of my personal time back was more important than money.

    Fran – I certainly understand what you are feeling. I didn’t have the exact same situation. However, when I wanted some peace, someone at home starts nagging me and that gets my anxiety kicking. Most people who have recovered usually talk about outside activities but these family things do cause their share of stress which really can get frustrating. The recent situation I posted about earlier also did not help things.

    To end on a positive note (for everyone): I am quite a bit better than I was a few months ago. Yes, it is indeed frustrating when you’ve made progress and then you go back a little bit. Do try to keep your head up. I know it’s hard but we can do it. :)

  178. Fran Says:

    That seems to be the nature of anxiety, it jumps from one thing to another and it seems as soon as one thing improves another thing will take its place. I had a phase where the thoughts of hurting someone else were so bad and terrifying that i thought i would never be rid of them. I used all the advice from this site and had some great support from someone who i could be totally honest with, who didnt judge me which was a huge help. I let the thought be there but did my best to recognise that it is just anxiety and give it as little attention as possible. Gradually that particular obsessive thought went and it hasnt come back thank god.

    Thanks for the reply,
    I know that home life is a huge stress for me, particularly my relationship with my husband. I worry constantly that i dont love him and i would be better off without him etc etc. Yes we do have reccurring issues that have been there for years, but he has been suppoting me as best he can through all my stuff and he hasnt left me. I feel so guilty that i have these thoughts.
    It really is anxiety playing tricks i know, but its so tiring when it goes from one fear to another all the time.

    Just a question. Does anyone have a fear of getting better and being happy. Its like i am scared when things dont feel so scary as they did, like im so used to feeling like this that feeling not like it is somehow more scary. Not sure im making sense, but i thought id ask.
    Thanks Fran

  179. Jackie Says:

    Hi Gary, have you had a look round the whole of the site? Here is a link to the depersonalisation page :)

  180. Sinead Says:

    Hey.well I had a crap day at uni-the worst-did everything wrong wanted to give up,hated every minute of it,hate my life full stop,cried all the way home and just let myself feel rubbish.and lo and behold I feel a little bit better because of it ;-) my anxieties trying to tell me no-it’s cos it’s night and you always feel better at night -well maybe it is maybe it isn’t the walk home prob blew off some excess adrenaline and blew a few cobwebs away.but I’m gonna go to my brothers for dinner because I want to despite anxiety telling me you can run but you cant hide your gonna feel crap at his house too-well so what if I do-im hungry,I want to see my brother and watch some tv even if I don’t enjoy it!so I will!happy Halloween everyone-on a side note saw a black cat at my front today was a truly awful day but I’ve just had a strange thought-I think I’d have felt worse if I’d had a day like today when I was ‘normal’ it’s like my anxieties helping me cope with truly being rubbish at something?weird!

  181. Sinead Says:

    Fran I did have a fear of being happy because I was happy before and look how easy that was snatched away.I think I’m refusing to let myself be happy at the minute because the fall back down is so hard-but the more I let this anxiety in and stop fighting it,the stronger I’m feeling(i
    Still at the bottom of a huge mountain though!)and I know when I feel happy again It will be because I’ve truly learnt to live alongside this monster and that will mean being ok with the thought that I might fall so far again and for that very reason I never will!x

  182. Teresa Says:

    Matt, yes it can be very tiresome when you think you have shifted a ‘fixation’ with anxiety and then another one pops along – i expect that relates to the fact that although you may have reduced the fear of a symptom we have not reduced the anxiety or thinking pattern in general and therefore it picks up on the next thing. It all feels very easy when you lose the fear. One thing I did notice is that you mention that although you notice the DP is reduced and fading this is replaced with thoughts – if it is any help to you when i was getting better i noticed that although i was losing ‘fear’ and syptoms which i had had for a very long time – it was as if my head was throwing up junk/fear type thoughts – almost as if it was shouting boo, I’m still here – but because i was stronger they were not frightening me – so it may well be a sign you are improving/recoveriing.
    Fran – the same story with you, I noticed when I was improving physically that I would have an empty feeling for the lack of anxiety, almost as if something was missing and a sort of ‘oh gosh’ can i really cope with being me again – I did, and you slip into it (recovery) without realising it. And when you do life just carries on as normal – like it never happened but better.

    If anyone who has been here a while has experienced coming out of it and then finding themselves with full focus on how they are feeling again – i would appreciate some back up /reassurance – I expect the real answer is i should not be looking for reassurance at this stage but I have gone from putting everything to do with anxiety away thinking that’s it – (something I never believed could happen) and now i feel trapped by an urge to run from the symptoms its giving me. What frustrates me is – i know all the answers, I also have watched this pain go when I am distracted but it is so determined and I feel I have lost the ability to ‘leave it go’. I should know by all the postings etc that I have to drop it – but what I KNEW a few months ago seems to be forgotten. I could explain it all to someone else and know that it is correct advice and it would make sense, this makes it even harder to understand why I don’t follow it. Thanks.

  183. Matt Says:

    Teresa…Thank you so much for that post. My DP feels like it is fading, and like you said, I started to have these junk thoughts, as you put it, that have no meaning or basis at all. It’s like the DP is holding on for dear life and sometimes I can just laugh at this nonsense flowing through my head and other times, it feels like I can’t shake them. Also, this may sound weird, but when I had severe DP I couldn’t feel anything or had no clue what was going on with my body. Now, I can feel the adrenalin like I used to before DP and it kinda makes me happy in a weird way. It’s like, “oh I remember you, I know what you’re about” and it hasn’t bothered me that bad.

    I believe a lot of it is that my head was so distracted in severe DP states that now my mind is coming back online, producing the weird distorted, strange thoughts. Before, I had trouble thinking clearly at all, now I can think clearer, but have this excess junk flowing through my head. Hope that made some sense. It doesn’t feel as difficult now dealing with the DP and anxiety, just the excess gunk that is called my mind.

  184. Teresa Says:

    It’s like your mind is having a clear out Matt – stick with it, looks like you’re en route. I think you are right about the fact when you are so caught up in it you cannot even think – but now you are starting to notice things , and i know what you mean about the happy in a weird way – it means you are feeling things but your attitude has changed towards them – that’s good.

  185. Matt Says:

    Yeah, that’s what it feels like. If feels like my mind is having one last go with this nonsense, because some days I was at about 90% with this feeling good, my emotions are coming back little by little. It went from feeling like I had a 200 pound gorilla on my back to a monkey jumping up and down saying, “notice me! fear me! you are supposed to be scared and confused, remember?” And even though I feel lost and weird sometimes, some days I don’t and I wasn’t looking for recovery, just to feel better. I believe developing the attitude of “so what” and just looking for progress instead of recovery gave me a break and didn’t add unwanted pressure to myself. I’m not saying that I am out of it completely yet, but am gradually feeling better and better. DP put so much nonsense and ridiculous thoughts into my head that I can see that it was just excess adrenalin and 24/7 worry. Heck, at one point I started to believe that I was possessed by something else and couldn’t stop the worrying and obsessing because I didn’t know how to turn it off.

    The key for me, so far, is truly accepting that I have this and understanding it, along with not caring. I put my body and mind through such hell that it’s no wonder my head was foggy and I couldn’t think at times. with the whole mind clearing out thing, it’s been weird because every single fear and worry started to just race around my mind, and even new and stranger thoughts came. At first, I couldn’t understand where all this was coming from. But, now I know that this is straight up anxiety and once I realized that, the thoughts have mostly diminished and i’ve been able to get on with it.

  186. Josh Says:

    Dear All

    Few points which I have learned over a period in time…hope it helps others…

    1)Once you have the knowledge that the symptoms are anxiety related…then anxiety is bound to go out of our life… the time taken is different for different people…

    2) We subconsciously see Anxiety as something to recover from…at this very moment… just leave alongside…

    3) Every setback is good….even if it gets us into thinking if we have really recovered? the fact is we have recovered…

    4) Despite heavy anxiety…our rational mind is very stable and helps us to function normally…use more of this and try to overcome the irrational thoughts… we let the anxiety related mind overpower our rational mind…

    5) No matter how strong are anxiety levels… we can do most difficult of tasks… if we wish for…

  187. Teresa Says:

    Thats some good advice Josh – after feeling recovery for a few months earlier this year (after being affected for a very long time) I find setback quite difficult to cope with – but it wouldn’t be setback if it were easy. I find your 5 points good advice and succinct.
    My problem at the moment is that I do KNOW that my symptoms are anxiety they are very impressive and demand attention, as is the will of anxiety – it is strong muscular pain. however I also realise that it is all the ‘slow’ realisations that really are the building blocks of recovery – and that sometimes even in full recovery we may consider ourselves anxious – I think at that stage its time to realise we need to make some changes of a gradual nature to the way we think.
    I am walking beside my setback at the moment – although I do feel very much in ‘it’s’ power rather than the other way around – I can watch the pain fizzle out when really engaged in something and back when not. so onwards we must go. And yes the most difficult tasks are easy with anxiety, lol. Thanks

  188. Josh Says:

    Thanks Teresa


  189. Joe Says:

    Hello everyone, this is may sound like a wierd question but can anxiety cause IBS?


  190. Clara Says:

    Hi Fran

    When we are in the midst of anxiety our thinking pattern is so distrupted and we are so used to that we hardly realise that our thinking is distorted…

    so firsty accept that all the thoughts that flow through our minds are mostly ‘EXAGERRATED’ and ‘SELF CENTRED’..we focus on ”us” in any scenario…
    how others think of me?, how can I speak for myself? , am i taking the right decision or not? so much of confusion going haywire through our minds…

    this stage usually comes once we get past anxiety symptoms and we start getting in touch with the outside world….As Paul takes a while to get connected once again..! so never get disheartened by any day..there is yet another day to go out and have a life the way we want.

    when u need to speak out ur opinion u should..! u dont have to feel guilty for that..Tell urself ”I’m speaking what I should,there is nothing wrong about it..!!! Its anxiety stopping me ( all the bad feelings like guilt, naiveness goes under the umbrella of anxiety) when u r feeling bad at such moments tell urself its ok however I feel , just move on..
    so ur mindset changes from ”how can I say no? wont they think bad about me? and the like”

    in certain cases its better to evaluate rationally the situation if in doubt…like in ur case u can tell ur husband it would be better if ur son could get back home by the time u think is fine..or u can ask him to give u a call ..when ur husband feels that ur intension is good and is caring he will listen to u..and if they dont u dont have to feel bad u have said what is required, u have done the right thing as a protective mother…FULL STOP..! move on…

    As anxiety sufferers its difficult for us to ”move on” from the way we let the feelings be there…meanwhile carry on with what u have to do..eventually it will pass..
    we need to practise a lot with positive talk and rationally see things rather than adding emotions to thoughts which makes it look 10 times bigger..

    hope it helps a little..

  191. sinead Says:

    hey-was going to pose this as a question but then realised-youre looking for answers again!lol i find it tough with depression at the minute because i find im letting the thoughts come and go, but they’re always negative and make me feel miserable.and i know i should think positively-but at the minute if i try to think positively that becomes a coping mantra and an annoying voice-youre ok youll feel better soon over and over and i guess at the minute i just have to learn to live with my anxiety and the positive thinking will come naturally when i learn to accept this anxiety a bit still going out there doing things letting the thoughts come and go but i just feel weird and unhappy all the time and very disconnected.but i know this is all to do with the anxiety.just wish i could have one wee happy moment!oh well

  192. Teresa Says:

    Sinead – you will come out of this and have many happy moments, lots of them. It can be so convincing – and sometimes it seems so difficult trying to understand the way through. It will come – the less you try the better – although i know that this is difficult. Your mind is tired – so try to give it a rest by not fighting with it. It will improve – and do you know what, you don’t need to do anything!
    Josh – Thank you, you are OF COURSE A RIGHT. Sometimes it’s a litle difficult listening to yourself – I seem to know all the answers, have even experienced them – but at the moment the anxiety is trying to make me believe differently, so hearing it from someone else, helps .

  193. Diane Says:

    hi all, I have been of work for about 5 weeks and am in a step up to get back into work, I have been going in daily for and hour and that will step up by an hour each week, just one thing when I am at work I am really anxious, shaky and although engaing with people I am aware that am am restless, and wonder if this is coming across to my co workers, anyone got any tips on how to deal with is anxiety so I dont feel like running out the door! :)

  194. elaine Says:

    Can anyone tell me if paul as done a blog on depression i cant find one . thanx x

  195. Josh Says:

    Diane, I feel exactly the same thing in office.That’s the place I am most uncomfortable. I guess it’s the disicipline which put the added pressure and hence the anxiety. Just be there..that’s what i do for most of times…it will go over a period in time…

  196. DCYL Says:

    All – I have a question. While at work a couple of weeks ago, I suddenly felt a little lightheaded and off balance. I wasn’t sure what the cause but it scared me a bit. I may have developed some anxiety over this as I seem to very sensitive to any feelings of being lightheaded or off balance whether I am working, exercising or playing sports.

    However, I saw that Paul put down lightheadedness as a symptom of anxiety. I was curious if anyone else has felt like this? I thought perhaps I had some form of vertigo but it’s not like I am feeling 100% dizzy where I can’t walk. Just certain times, I feel a little off.

    Thoughts appreciated!

  197. Carlie Says:

    Matt, I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing better lately! I was too, I think… but something happened a few days ago that upset me a little and it set me back again. I’m just caught up in such a cycle and I always find myself going back to my old habits. I even started googling depersonalization again a few nights ago, but I finally stopped myself. I think I already know everything I need to know, and even just reading about depersonalization elsewhere puts my anxiety level through the roof.

    I kind of feel like some of what I have isn’t even depersonalization (because I don’t really have a lack of emotion a lot of the time) but really just an obsession with it and other existential thoughts. Last December I started having a lot of anxiety regarding my religious beliefs and every little mention of something having to do with religion would trigger the anxiety again. That finally let up in May. And now it’s been replaced by this! I’ve been diagnosed with OCD, which I know is just an anxiety disorder, so anxiety is really the whole problem here. It’s so episodic for me, like I went about 2 years without a single obsession, but for the last year it’s been bad again. It’s like I’m just really vulnerable for some reason and EVERYTHING triggers the feelings. Even just coming across certain words that I’ve linked to depersonalization makes me feel so anxious. I also feel depressed a lot during the fall/winter months (I’ve been struggling with that for the last 8 years), so that’s not helping. :(

    I still can’t shake the thought/feeling that I’m a different person now and everything around me is different. Like someone else is living in my body, and I’ll never be me again. I don’t even know who “me” is anymore. Sometimes I even forget what I’ve been worrying about, but then it hits me again. It’s like it’s telling me “You need to worry about this!” It makes it seem so much more important than it really is. I know I need to fill my days with something… I can’t just keep doing nothing all day. I’m trying to fill out some job applications, but it’s so hard to do because everything feels so overwhelming.

  198. Sara Says:

    This post is for Kat, Sara H., or Helen (or anyone else that can relate to the relationship anxiety). First of all, thank you for your responses and advice – I really do appreciate it! It’s so comforting to know that others have gone thru and experienced the same things and it’s so nice to receive advice and encouragement from you! I was wondering if any of you can answer or relate to the questions I have regarding the anxiety about my husband and our relationship. One question I have is if the anxiety you experience(d) was whether or not you were in love with and attracted to your husband. For me, I will now sometimes realize that I do love my husband – but my mind questions if that is just a friend-type of love or if I am in love with him in a romantic way and if I am attracted to him. It’s like when I realize that I do love him and care about him I get these doubts about whether it’s a romantic love, though. I have friends that I love and care about but that doesn’t mean I should be married to them. Does that make sense? I was just wondering if that is/was the same for any of you or if you just doubted the love all together or what. I guess I’m still just trying to figure this all out and figure out if this is anxiety or if it’s just that I’m not in love with or attracted to my husband – or if I just love and care about him in a non-romantic way. Also, I will sometimes get a thought or a feeling about why he’s a good husband or why I do or should love him, but then I get a bunch of following thoughts like, “Yeah, but what about…. (fill in the blank)?” It’s like my mind will not let me realize anything positive without realizing all of the negative (and I don’t know if the negative is a real problem or if it is anxiety blowing things out of proportion). Also, did it take awhile to start seeing glimpses of those old feelings or did you have glimpses the entire time throughout? I have gone a couple of months without really feeling or noticing those old feelings (at least I don’t think I have), and this makes me wonder if it’s because it’s not anxiety based and it’s real. Should I have glimpses throughout or is it normal with anxiety to not notice these for longer periods of time? Well, I think that’s all for now. Again, I thank you for your help and I’m sorry again to be posting and to be questioning and needing help again. I really look forward to the day that I am past this and I can come on here and give others the help and advice instead of always needing it. I hope you are all doing well!

  199. Teresa Says:

    Carlie – I believe that what you describe is anxiety – i am sure we have all suffered the intensity of anxiety to the point it makes us feel obsessive – however i don’t believe it is ocd, once the anxiety subsides it goes.
    Anxiety does go round and round looking for your greatest fear, the fact that you accept that it is anxiety is a big step, it’s not easy, i know but try and follow josh’s advice higher up this blog. He does say to settle for improvement and not recovery – that does seem to be the continous message from all the people who have recovered – you see, although we want to be away from this thing by trying to be ‘normal’ we are making it worse – if we can accept for the time being that things are getting better then we will give it a helping hand. I did come to a point where I looked back and could not understand why i was so easily ‘triggered’ by thoughts, words, etc and when you are at that point you realise that there is nothing to fear. The reason we come back to the blog is that sometimes we need someone else’s ‘perception’ because temporarily we have lost our own. as you get stronger – you will too. So lets take it Josh’s advice and realise the reversal process has started. Hope that helps.

  200. Jennifer Says:

    I have been away from this website for 2 weeks now and managed to have some peace whilst on holiday with my family. As antidepressants helped me last time (1 or 2 years ago) I made a difficult decision to go back onto them to help me have a step up to recover with the help of this website as before. However I am now having a side effect of nausea and sickness which is really hard because you need to eat to keep up the strength to recover/go out etc. Anyway I wondered if anyone could relate to feeling fine and well and then how physical illness/sickness can then trigger an anxiety setback?? I did mentioned here a few weeks ago that I had my wisdom teeth out and how the antibiotics made me feel unwell. Its so frustrating, I so want to be able to just be unwell, without all this strong anxiety that seems to come from nowhere! I think im ok with coughs and colds, its just anything more serious. Thing is I know I can and will be ‘me’ and normal one day soon but im just so fed up and sick of it at the moment and this website is the only place I can turn. Thank god its here.

  201. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    elaine Says:

    November 2nd, 2011 at 1:07 pm e

    Can anyone tell me if paul as done a blog on depression i cant find one . thanx x

    Elaine there is no blog post, but a small page on my site about this, I really could do with going into more detail on the page as it is a bit short, something to put on my list.

    Here it is below;

  202. Helen Says:

    Hi Sara,
    I can put a tick against all the things you have mentioned in your post above as I experienced them all. You just have to trust in yourself and let all the questions come at you without trying to answer them. Believe me, I was in the lowest place at one point and never ever thought I would feel like I once did about my partner but something just made me stick with it, your guiding light I suppose.
    Snatches of relief would come to me and when that happens you know that you have to stick with it, there is nothing to answer, nothing to fight. Anxiety will throw every possible negative at you imaginable and the way to get over it is to do nothing, don’t try and answer any of those ‘questions’, don’t try and think your way out of it. Just carry on as normal even when normal is the last thing you feel. By doing this you give yourself the opportunity to feel your real feelings and ultimately moments of relief that will feed your desire to recover in the right way.

    All the best

  203. Ezra Says:

    Hi All,

    I haven’t posted on here for a while because generally I feel sooooo much better.
    DP has totally gone, weird scary thoughts pretty much gone or if they do pop up they can be dismissed in a heartbeat.
    I am, however still suffering with recurrent guilty thoughts about things I have done in the past weeks/months/years ?
    These cause me a great amount of stress and anxiety and its only when I confess they go.
    Now (apart from Sunday!) I have STOPPED confessing as I am aware this is not helping matters.
    My mind will just ‘lock’ onto an action and I cannot get it out of my head, it will spin round and round and I will magnify the problem, dissect what actually happened and what impact this could of had on myself/my family.
    I just hate feeling so guilty, it drags me down especially when I know I am a good, kind person.
    Is this anxiety related and should I just continue with Pauls advice or do I need to look at another form of therapy for Pure O I wonder ??
    I do try and post positive things and I’m sorry to sound so negative but was just wondering if any words of advice could be given or even if this is a symptom that others suffer from ?? Aaaarrrgghh !! Right !! Moan over I have a day to be getting on with !!

    Thanks for letting me get it off my chest :-)

  204. Ezra Says:

    Ooops meant to add…..

    As these fears and thoughts are ‘actual’ things I have done, I do find them harder to dismiss than I did for example fears that I knew deep down were irrational.

    Thanks Guys and hope you all have a good day :-)

  205. Jennifer Says:

    The anxiety/panic feel so high today that I just feel so ill and helpless. When I have a break from it I know I can see clearly but I feel like I can’t remember the last time I had a break. Not being able to eat as I posted above is also making me feel weak and horrible. I wish I could fall asleep and wake up from this nightmare. I recovered in 2009/10 and I have to do it again, I love my life normally and feel so embarrassed and upset that I feel this way again. It is so overwhelming. It is very hard not to feel self pity which Paul advises not to do.

  206. Diane Says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    it is difficult, I like can also find if I am unwell physically this can be a trigger for anxiety, and setbacks are hard, as you feel you have turned a corner then wham, you feel you are stepping backwords. You
    have recovered before and will again, remember you are stronger than you think. Maybe ask your doctor for some of those drinlks to help build you up as you have nausea, and be kind and not hard on yourself, step by step with anxiety we will all get through it look at Paul, take care x

  207. ch Says:

    Hey people
    Ive been reading this website and blog space for a while now and it makes me really sad seeing people panicing and analysing theyr symptoms. Guys the way i see anxiety and how i feel ,which includes me having d.p, is that its ts as simple as not doing anything …apart from being YoU and getting on with life..thats all ur brain needs to be doing and theres no mental effort doing this! .Whatever ur anxiety wants to do to u let it…nothing is gunna happen to you. Just let it happen in the background. However u feel just let urself feel it n that includes depression etc ..n by me saying just let yourself feel like how u do is not me saying watch how u feel or ‘listening in’ to the symptoms. its just ‘being’ but without any dwelling of questioning..! Some people think by ‘not doing’ its stopping yourself from feelin this way but its reli jus letting gooooo n by letting go it really is just doing nothing! I swear this method workssss u just gota stop trying so hard …just be!xxxx ch

  208. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Diane

    Thank u very much for your response, it does help especially as I am at my lowest point. I just had a build up drink actually and was then sick again. The thought of feeling just a bit better keeps me going. take care x x

  209. Steveo Says:

    Hi Ezra

    I’m not able to offer any advice with reagrds to your thoughts, but it is good to see you have coe such a long way.

    I remember a while back and you were posting LOADS!!

    You have done really well :-)

    Well done!

  210. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all, just a quick tip! I have not been eating much and went round to see a friend, felt spaced out as it i was slipping away. She is a nurse and quicky made me drink sugar in milk, the effect was immediate, was something called a hypo or really low blood sugar, it can also cause anxiety so its a vicious circle. Make sure you get eat or if you cant get some lucozade or horlicks. Hope everyone has a peaceful nite.I f we all realise we are all connected we can sent each other peaceful vibes! nite nite.

  211. Sydney Carton Says:

    Thanks JAN – I am sure that the common ‘connection’ means much to all on here – hope you slept well.

  212. Carlie Says:

    Teresa – Thank you for your post! I could really relate with the part about trying too hard to feel normal again, which only makes me feel worse. Certain words and thoughts have been triggering for me in the past, but it was a different obsession. Now when I look back at that, it all seems silly! Hopefully I’ll feel the same way about this soon.

    Matt – I read your reply to my post and it was one of the best I’ve seen on here (mostly because you seem to have/have had the same thoughts as me), but I’m not seeing it now for some reason! :( Not sure if it was deleted or what, but I wish I had saved it because it was really helpful.

    Jennifer – I know exactly how you feel. I started an antidepressant almost 2 months ago and I only took it once… that’s how bad the side effects were. I can’t even really describe how it felt, but it was WAY beyond feeling just “jittery”, like the doctor said could happen. I woke up in the middle of the night and my hands felt weak. I felt like there was an electric current running through my body. And when I got up and walked downstairs, my legs were shaking. Besides that, it was almost like I had flu-like symptoms. It was so awful, and I never want to feel that way again. But to answer your question, it definitely did set me back because I started worrying about those new physical sensations, but once those wore off, I felt a lot better.

  213. Diane Says:

    Hi all, was wondering if anyone has any tips on dealing with sort of DP in the morning . Sometimes when I wake up I feel this and I automatically go into the anxiety cycle with lots of anxiety driven thoughts and pateerns racing in my head, thanks for help

  214. jackie Says:

    Hi diane, i know how hard it is and exactly how you are feeling, but when you get up just get up feeling like this and carry on with what you would usually do even though you feel terrible and with all the racing thoughts and feelings of unreality. I realise now after many many months that this is actually the only way to do it. Try not to question it all and try not to think to negatively about it. Try to say to yourself ahhh here it is again but i know this feeling wont last and i’ll feel better later. Xxxx

  215. helen Says:

    Hi everyone, i was just wondering what your feelings of unreality feel like to you …My home and surroundings feel real but my husband and friends do not’s so hard to explain, also when i look in the mirror i feel strange also…I have bladder cancer and i am in remission now but all of this came after a panic attack after a vacation when i came home i get so scared that i’ll never feel normal again

  216. SarahS Says:

    Really good advice Jackie. You are right it is the only way to do it. Go through it and not round it as Paul says. Feel every feeling and let the thoughts be there, let them race around, but try not to get too involved. This can be a little tricky though sometimes Diane and it often feels like it’s not working as there is often no immediate huge relief but there is some relief even if only a teeny bit and really this sort of allowing and practising adds up to show you the benefits in the future. Keep going and stay patient, you will get there. x

  217. SarahS Says:

    Ezra – well done for coming so far. It’s anxiety I would defo say, it latches onto something, feelings, thoughts, behavious and your are overcoming lots at the mo, there’s still some anxiety lingering though and for you you are trying to get rid of it by confessing to things you have done in the past. Try not to get rid and just let it be. Feel the guilt and then tell yourself we are all in the same boat, all guilty of lots of stuff but then laugh at it and let it be, no matter how strong the feelings to confess. The confessions only help temporarily until the next thought about something else you have done so it shows it doesn’t work long term and that it is anxiety. It’s okay to have not been perfect, allow that and those thoughts. x

  218. Ezra Says:


    Thanks Steveo for the words of encouragement. I have come so far and shouldn’t punish myself so much. Sounds like you have improved a ton too so all good.

    Thanks SarahS for the advice, your right it is anxiety linked. You dont often see much to do with the whole guilt thing, its cropped up a few times in old blogs gone by and I found something when googling yesterday (I know I’m sorry!!!) but it did actually help as it is just anxiety manifesting itself into guilty, anxious thoughts. I guess I cant turn the clock back and I look at things other people have done FAR FAR worse than me and they dont give it a second thought.
    Another proof that anxiety magnifies feelings and will react very easily and quickly to real or perceived guilt and that the guilt I feel, whilst I do regret some stuff is totally irrational and over the top.

    I WILL NOT CONFESS ANOTHER THING …….easier said than done but everyday I am just waking with a new thought and beating myself up for confessing yesterdays ‘sin’!! I guess it ‘feels’ easier than sweating, shaking and general high adrenaline feelings.

    I feel so stupid for writing all this down !! Its almost like I am ‘afraid’ of these thoughts, scared they will reappear but again,I know that’s wrong and infact keeping the thoughts alive. We all need to move towards our fears to lose the grip they have on us.

    Anyhoo, such a lovely supportive online community as always, so thank you :-)

  219. Diane Says:

    Hi Jackie, thanks for your words of wisdom and help

  220. Carly Says:

    Arrrgghhh need big time help people……!!!

    Matt – really really glad you are doing so much better, you’re posts are a great comfort and I think about you a lot, it’s interesting to hear you say you now feel the adrenaline again….did you get to a point where you no longer felt it?? Can you elaborate? I feel like I have no recognition of any normal body functions at all (see below) and it’s freaking me out!!

    I am having the worst time ever at the moment, all I feel like is that I dont care about anything at all even my kids, I feel so ill all the time (flu type symptoms) with completely no energy. I cant tell whether I am actually ill or whether it’s anxiety! i never feel anxious anymore, just really ill. I’ve lost so much weight since this all started, I’m talking almost 6 stone (I was only 12 stone when pregnant!) I hate it so much, I’m eating all the time even though my body no longer tells me when it’s hungry, thirsty, tired, ill with infection etc. Everything irritates me almost to the point that I could do someone some serious damage. I dont enjoy a single thing even stuff that I know is so important to me. It’s like my old self is half a centimetre tall inside and is screaming out to be let out but it’s even becoming an effort to talk. I feel like I’m possessed! Some days I look like Ray Liotta’s carachter in Hannibal when he’s having his brains eaten! Another thing, does DP make you feel like you cant ‘see’, if you know what I mean??
    Life is nightmarish and I’m struggling to hold on to the fact that this is just anxiety…..
    much love everyone xxxx

  221. Carly Says:

    Also, as my brain no longer seems to remember a single damn thing, so I cant remember if I’ve asked this before…. does anyone experience DP as feeling as though they are ‘not here’? I feel so far removed from my body, sometimes I feel like just a pair of eyes…arrggghhhh HELP!!!

  222. Carlie Says:

    Carly – At one point I felt a lot like what you described, but it’s gotten a lot better. I definitely felt like I couldn’t actually “feel” my body for awhile there. I mean, I could, but I often couldn’t recognize if I felt tired because my MIND was so tired. I also went through a phase where I was just EXHAUSTED. I still have that some (I have fibromyalgia), but that’s also better than it was. I lost some weight too, which is a little worrying because I’m already underweight. But I stopped focusing on it so much because that was only making my anxiety worse. I also totally get what you mean when you say you feel like you “can’t see”. That’s also WAY better than it was. But I can pretty much relate with almost everything you said, although my physical symptoms have improved a LOT. I’m not having the blurry vision anymore, hardly any headaches, and my heart doesn’t really race. For me it’s mainly just the intrusive/obsessive thoughts that are fueling the weird feelings. Just remember that other people here can relate. Don’t give up!

  223. sinead Says:

    i have a job interview on friday for jobs in my area.terrified isnt even the word because if i dont get it ill be forced to move at least a plane ride away from my family and every ounce of my body says theres not a chance of me coping by myself.and then with “this” i freeze and my mind goes blank under pressure so the interviews going to be a barrel of laughs…
    but-despite this-
    i went to the cinema this week a walk with my sister watched a dvd and although i wasnt on cloud 9-and as much as i try to analyse and analyse how i felt so that in the end i often convince myself ive been miserable-i enjoyed it-like yesterday i really enjoyed-walk and a dvd and just being with people!i probably enjoyed myself because i was avoiding doing work for this interview but this is more like how i want to feel-still worrying about the future and my job and the fact im unhappy so often and going back to uni by myself for another week of torture-but worrying about it and chilling out at the same time.i also woke up this morning and forgot about all of “this” it was fleeting but it was bliss and shows that like yesterday if i just give my mind a break then i can feel better.i also feel motivated for the first time this week.when i feel good like this i become terrified of the lows though because they inevitably come.but its about having the right attitude whenever they do i guess-and this attitude of not trying to fix is very very hard to get used to!

  224. Vanessa Says:

    Hi Everyone,
    i am quite new to the blog, I have read a lot of peoples comments which are always so helpful but never really posted, but I thought I could offer some of my experience with anxiety. I have suffered for almost 7months with high anxiety and thick DP after a stressful hospital operation last October, starting a new job when I probably wasn’t physically ready and leaving uni, moving home all in all a lot of things. It has thrown me as all these things I thought would have been perfectly manageable as I have never really been a stressful person but they seem to have taken their toll. Anyway, in the last 2 months I was having some great moments of normality, the DP was subsiding, the blurred vision was gone, I had some emotions back, I was feeling alive again and my mind felt rested! However, in the last couple of weeks I seem to have taken a massive step back. I have yet another new job managing a very busy restaurant, so my hours are long, tiring and the job can be hectic. The physical aspects of DP are at an all time high and I find it hard to do my job when I feel like I also ‘can’t see’ or feel so physically week I just need to sit down. I also find it very hurtful not having a sense of recognition of my surroundings that i have gown up very happily in, if that makes sense. I know times will get better as I felt some incredibly moments of normality not even that long ago, but can anyone offer some advice. Do I listen to my body and take some time out or continue with the way I am going? Also does anyone know of any good ways to relieve the ‘stress’ you can often feel in the head after a days work? the physical head pain can be overwhelming sometimes and impede me trying to get on with my life!! Also I often find the most intrusive though of mind to be, you need to get some professional help and see a therapist. I did CBT which was helpful, although has not cured me but at the same time I found therapy quite traumatic. But often I find talking to family difficult as they are very supportive but can’t really relate to what I feel and I wonder if professional help may push me along the path to recovery in faster or in a more manageable way. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Also to offer reassurance to those above I lost a lot of weight whilst I have suffered, but once I stopped viewing eating and lack of appetite as an anxiety in itself but as a normal routine everyday thing that was essential to maintain my strength, especially as sleep was limited, I found my appetite returned and eating has become a tool to aid recovery. Again as always, however hard it is, paul is correct that we must change our attitude to all of this, Once we are able to acknowledge the world is not actually blurry, our headaches are not going to kill us etc it becomes a lot easier! I wish you all well and one day we shall all appreciate life far more than anyone that has never seen dark days so see this journey as a positive thing in making your life ultimately richer!!
    Vanessa x

  225. james Says:

    Hello Everyone, I haven’t been on here in awhile. It’s been a year since I had my anxiety attack and I have to say it’s been better lately. However, I still have my moments where I have a fear of hurting someone. I’m probably the nicest guy ever hah but I don’t know why I get these thoughts it’s like I can’t control them they just pop up. I tell myself this is just the side affects of anxiety and just to ignore them. It’s like I can’t watch scary movies or listen to news where someone does something because then I get scared. Anyone have this problem? I keep feeling I’m going crazy and this constant thinking will hurt me in the long run.

    Thanks! :)

  226. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all on here, James I read somewhere that its the really nice people who get scary thoughts as it goes against what they are really like. dont worry you are not going to do anything bad!!! We are all extremely sensitive people and thats why/ I know people who are more laid back and am convinced its partly inate. No two people handle stress the same, and stress is the bottom line, its mainly the stress we put on ourselves to be the ideal person, and when we feel we cannot achieve this we suffer. How many people on here feel they are not good enough? Just a though you can disagree with me if you like. Its about accepting ourselves as we are in the end, not just symptoms but as a person. Not easy I know!!! Well that very deep for a Sunday!!! love Jan.

  227. james Says:

    Thanks Jan! Yea I know I’m a good person, it kind of just hits me at times and then when it does I get upset and try to just ignore it. I beat myself up sometimes over this and get discouraged but I mean from the day it happened when I first got my panic attack to right now I’m so much better. I just gotta accept what happened and totally move on.

  228. Teresa Says:

    That is a really good point, I think it probably something we all do suffer with and as you said, apart from learning to accept anxiety we probably need to accept who we are too.

  229. Stacey Says:

    Hi I’ve had anxiety now for 5 years using this website and cbt I’ m slowly getting better,is a very slow process and at times I get frustrated, have been reading everyone’s posts and find them so helpful and feel myself going through the same things especially with anxious thoughts which I know many have commented on, just wanted to ask had anyone had good/bad experiences about telling loved ones about your disorder ? Told my mum once but she just shrugged it off, as if I was making a big deal over nothing,been thinking about telling best friend any advice? And does anyone find there job really hard? I get so anxious and others comment and tell me to stop stressing,or why do u look so stressed? Find it really hard and upsetting, I also makes lot of stupid mistakes and at times my colleagues question this!!

  230. Stacey Says:

    Oh and just read your post Vanessa counciling did help me I learnt alot of techniques to question thoughts and was good having someone to talk to,did get frustrating at times as my therapist didn’t always understand me or my anxious thoughts it depends what your looking for and only you can decide,I know how lonely it can be with no one understanding what you are going through, but I find this site comforting, oh and just wanted to say at work the other day my friend was telling me about how he was having panic attacks before work, I was very surprised as he always seemed relaxed but reminded me everyone has anxiety of some level it’s not just us suffering, they just accept and wait until it goes , hope it helped

  231. Jackie Says:

    I agree with you Jan absolutely, in my case the amount of stress that brought me to where I am today with anxiety was the huge amount of stress I placed upon myself, which was totally unessassary! Everything was down to me (or so I thought) to make sure everyone else was happy and ticking along fine and then totally neglecting myself. Thinking everything had to be done perfectly or what was the point, thinking I was at the bottom of the chain when it came to importance.

    Where you say … “its mainly the stress we put on ourselves to be the ideal person, and when we feel we cannot achieve this we suffer. How many people on here feel they are not good enough?”… is totally totally true in my case, absolutely!!

    Thank you for your post :) it has made me think a lot (which isn’t too hard lol) .. but in a good way xx

  232. ch Says:

    Hey people
    Ive been reading this website and blog space for a while now and it makes me really sad seeing people panicing and analysing theyr symptoms. Guys the way i see anxiety and how i feel ,which includes me having d.p, is that its ts as simple as not doing anything …apart from being YoU and getting on with life..thats all ur brain needs to be doing and theres no mental effort doing this! .Whatever ur anxiety wants to do to u let it…nothing is gunna happen to you. Just let it happen in the background. However u feel just let urself feel it n that includes depression etc ..n by me saying just let yourself feel like how u do is not me saying watch how u feel or ‘listening in’ to the symptoms. its just ‘being’ but without any dwelling of questioning..! Some people think by ‘not doing’ its stopping yourself from feelin this way but its reli jus letting gooooo n by letting go it really is just doing nothing! I swear pauls methods work jus stop trying to do anything n just be! Xxx

  233. Douglas Says:

    Hi all and a quick question. Barbara writes “Therefore, most people would benefit from getting a really good psychotherapist (psychologist or counselor, not psychiatrist) and start chipping that gunk away.”
    I did have an early trauma seeing my mother flip out and hallucinate when I was 2. Have been through at least 4 major depressions, been through all sorts of therapy with professionals, tried so many medications, etc. But here I am, still questioning everything, including my sanity, just can’t let it go (I feel I have NO control over where my head wants to go, and it ALWAYS goes back to IT, whenever I’m not totally absorbed in something else…) I recently started seeing a new shrink I think is good, but she thinks there is no point in going further into causes, reasons, etc. and is treating me with meds.
    So how does one go about chipping the gunk away?

  234. Sinead Says:

    Ch,I see what you’re saying and I totally agree but I think it’s easier said than done.I think it takes a while and can’t happen overnight if it was just as easy as letting go this blog wouldnt exist.letting go takes time to get used to if I make sense,if the brains has been trained to worry and question and analyse then it takes a bit of time to relax it again.I struggle because when I feel crap like really down-It’s very hard just letting go and feeling like that because natural instinct is to want to feel better.I know this is counterproductive because I then question why don’t I feel better come on Sinead pull yourself out of this hole cheer up wise to get used to feeling crap will take time because ultimately-no one wants to feel like crap!and when I feel bad if I was just to let myself feel bad and not try and fight it that would mean staying in bed all day every u mean let yourself feel depressed and live life anyway?So I see what u mean but it does take practice and is a process.I find it very difficult to not question and analyse my every thought-that’s my main issue.and it’s just the practice of when my mind starts to question-just trying to ignore and get on with the task in hand

  235. ch Says:

    Hey sinead, i mean as in let everything happen to u..jus kno the depression is part of anxiety n it will pass. It takes time to understand the method paul is sayin..personally i havent found it hard once its clicked… I have found altho i feel like crap alot jus being n not payin it to much attention i feel so much more calmer and its becoming less and less n tbh i reli jus dnt care abou anxiety i concentrate on other things. Its a process to do this… It does get easier. At first i had to consciously focus on outside life. For abit .. I remember the turning point . Its not about trying not to do anything its just not doing anything..let go of the tension ..its jus thought paralysis u thinkin its reli hard to focus on what ur doin right now.. U can do it alongisde the anxiety.. I hope i make sense

  236. ch Says:

    N let ur thoughts b there let them flow in flow out its okay they arent guna harm you y pay them atten tion ..the more u let them b there the less u react to them..the more u keep trying to get rid the more u cnt..u cnt fight the mind wit the mind u just hav to just be n let them go when they wana go..if ur body stil wnts to react to them for abit then let it, all of it, just let it b n carry on wit ur day x

  237. Teresa Says:

    Hi Ch and Sinead – having watched them all go once and not reac to them I can see where CH is coming from, however what was as clear as a bell when I was ‘out of my fear of them’ has now become difficult to follow again. So I fully understand what you are saying too sinead.
    The only thing i can say to you sinead – is no matter how hard you find it, it will lift, we are not thinking straight and perhaps the best advice CH has given us is – you cannot fight the mind with the mind, believe me I really understand how difficult this is but even if you ‘can’t do it’ for now believe that eventually you will stop fighting.

  238. Sinead Says:

    Thanks for the support.and I know your words are true too.and the thing is – I have started to put it into practice and it is getting easier.I’m generally nowhere near as anxious and the good days are great and coming more frequently-sometimes I lose sight of how much progress I’ve made-driving home tonight I looked out and remembered at my worst counting trees on the way home because the scary racing thoughts were terrifying me-and I smiled-I didn’t become terrified oh my god what if I get like that again,I just smiled.and that-is major progress!think I’ll take a break from here for a while because i know i can go it alone get prepared for this job interview :-)

  239. Lisa Says:

    Hello everyone!
    I just wanted to share my good news. Its been a while since I posted and the last time was back in Aug when I was going through a setback. I can say that I consider myself recovered. My anxiety is low and I am enjoying things and feel pretty much back to my normal self. The dp and obsessive thoughts have pretty much gone. Even though some of it still lingers I still see myself as recovered because I have adopted the right attitude.I just let everything be, and have found this peace within myself. I really grasped the message of just letting go and keeping the faith that things would get better. I have been living alongside my feelings for months and was able to find inner peace. I remember a setback I had back in Aug where I felt horrible again and although it was bad I just said ok its temporary so ill just ride this out and I will go back to feeling good and sure enough after a week I felt better than ever. I experienced several setbacks but I can say that everytime you go through one with the right attitude towards it and don’t give it any respect it gets easier and you feel stronger. Its a very gradual progress but things really improved quickly for me as soon as I lost the fear of it. It took time to get to that point but really its all about trusting yourself and knowing that you have to love yourself and accept the good and bad and just get on the best you can without trying to work any of it out.
    I know for the me the obsessive thoughts were the worst but after a point I just would laugh at them because I knew that I had put them there , I was the driving force behind them with my worrying and fear of everything that was happening. The thoughts stopped coming and when they did I just said ok that’s funny and then I got to the point where they would come and I wouldn’t even acknowledge them anymore until eventually they ceased. There are still moments where I get a crazy thought and i just let it be and it vanishes.
    I think the hardest part of my recovery was believing that I would be ok and that things wouldn’t get worse. My biggest fear was that things would get better and then go back to being the same or worse. This never happened you have to really trust in yourself. There was a point where I was feeling so odd and just spaced out and I told myself this is just going to be me for a while and no biggie I can do this and even when I was feeling strange I wouldn’t let it stop me from going out and enjoying life , the more positive you can be the better in the long run.Of course I was lucky to have found this site right in the beginning when I first experienced anxiety and its bag of tricks.
    Keep the faith and try to find something positive to occupy your mind with, trust in yourself know that you are you in every way trust that you will find the courage to believe and then once you reach that place I promise you peace will follow.

  240. Jennifer Says:

    Great post Lisa, just what I needed. At work and cracking on with the day the best I can. Like Paul says, just letting the symptoms rage around you and let them be there. I just can’t wait to get my appetite back, as I have drowned on about in previous posts, the lack of apptite is making it a bit harder to have the energy and patience to get through the day. I know my appetite will come back at somepoint. Its just frustrating because some mornings I am sick because my belly is telling me off for not eating enough and then when I force myself to eat or drink or don’t sleep enough, I am then sick. I know this is a symptom of anxiety/not eating enough, but does anyone else experience a bit of vomiting. Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences, It really does help. I can’t wait for my nerves to return to a more normal place and having faith that it will happen will pull me through I hope.

  241. jackie Says:

    Hi jennifer

    I was the same, i couldn’t even look at food at one point. I lost 2 and a half stone in 3 months. Even though i felt like this i started to eat small amounts regularly throughout the day and slowly but surely my apetite has come back. At the worst point when i just couldn’t face eating and felt so sick i would just start with an apple and a banana and have a bottle of that flavoured vitamin water. Xx

    Also thank you lisa for a wonderful post, just what i needed to read xx

  242. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Great post Lisa and your right it is that faith that you will be o.k and things will get better, as every instinct is telling you not to be o.k with it and that you must try and ‘do’ something about it, instinct is also to hide away, when the true progress is to put yourself out there.

    The next post will be called 2 roads and it will tell people they have 2 choices, one road that may look more daunting at first but will lead to a beautiful place or a road that looks safe and o.k but leads nowhere.


  243. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks Jackie, Its is great to remember that feeling of feeling better, even though I know need to be ok with all the feeling bad. Losing weight is just another thing to worry yourself about so its very frustrating and this is what the cycle is like. If my eating would improve and I stopped being sick some morning then the other symptoms would alieviate and then I could move nearer towards recovery, but I just feel stuck in this place of constant panic, muscle pain and nausea. I don’t like bringing the mood down and being negative as its not ‘me’ usually, just very frustrating. I just want to old me back again.

  244. Lucy Says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post and I guess it’s out of desperation that I write this. I am an anxiety sufferer and compared to a lot of people on here I would say I only have moderate anxiety. Since finding Paul’s website and buying his book, a lot of the fear of anxiety has been taken away and I have been able to understand a lot more about why I feel like I do. My anxiety was caused by a long period of being under pressure and feeling very stressed and it started with pains in my left ribcage, almost like a muscle cramp, loss of appetite and a general feeling of unhappiness which meant i would end up crying for no apparant reason! I’m glad to say the physical symptoms have pretty much gone now but one symptom remains and i can safely say it is the worst of the lot! Like Sara and also Kat, whose posts I have just been reading, I also suffer from relationship doubts and scary thoughts which are just awful. I know I love my boyfriend to bits but I can’t seem to stop these random thoughts that I’m not attracted to him, that I don’t love him, that we’ll never last.. I am SO glad to hear that I am not alone in this. I think I have struggled for so long in accepting that these are part of anxiety because I have never really come across anyone else mentioning these symptoms. I have reached a point where I know they are caused by anxiety, but it’s like I can’t quite accept that or believe it. I don’t feel anything towards my boyfriend and it is so upsetting, but i’m sure feeling upset doesn’t help at all! Just wanted to let people know that they are not alone and hopefully we can get past this! if anyone has any success stories regarding overcoming their relationship anxiety, i’d love to hear them! Lucy x

  245. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Douglas
    From previous posts I think you and I are long standing anxiety sufferers and I will agree with you totally in saying about the chipping away the gunk as was posted by Barbara.I too have had councelling etc till it came out of my ears and gave up on that ”miracle cure” years ago.Yes I did have a volatile childhood and I was an anxious child but as Claire Weekes said although the original cause may be interesting she has never known it to help the sufferer as they are concerned with the way they are NOW not in something that happened many many years ago.Gave up on Doctors and pills years ago too Claire Weekes and Pauls method is the only thing I get a bit of peace from and one day I hope that all my days will be this way if I keep practising acceptance.Kind Regards Sally

  246. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi Sally I am a long term sufferer as well. Am going thru the mill due to personal problems at the moment, anxiety is high but depression today was horrendous!!! Have had Clare Weekes books many years and have Pauls as well. Have had councelling as well which gives me support. It is acceptance in the end. At least we are not alone with it.

  247. sophia Says:

    Hi all

    I have a great concern since past few weeks..i am a person who had been anxious all through my life…i hit the saturation point since 3 years
    i had gone past DP and anxiety symptoms..I felt spaced out and all other respective symptoms..i had all those symptoms before but it really never bothered me to live my normal life as I could absorb all of them under the pretext of anxiety and would move on . it never got in my relationship with others

    But recently when i had gone past all the symptoms, for the past few weeks I am so irritable, frustrated, overly emotional often ending up with arguments and fights.. but actuallyI couldnt trace out the reason..!
    its so frustrating becauseI am always grumpy..
    I always feel i’m at the recieving end
    so tuned in to my emotions and emotions are ten fold
    cannot see things rational and often ending up in confrontations
    and the list goes on..i’m finding it very difficult to go on as the mind chatter is so simultaneous with what i’m saying i have said things which i never meant and wasnt able to say which i should have said..! i dont realise what i’m saying because i’m just saying what I’m ”FEELING” and i’m so tuned in to it..

    its like my thoughts and emotions are running at such a great speed with totally wrong perceptions that i just cant overule them and i’m becoming super conscious of myself and overly following others actions( had a bad experience with people living with me)
    its all about day today life and its issues and feel so ”real”…it feels so normal to have them that i cannot disbelieve them i think it was better to have anxiety symptoms which feels unreal…


    its like i cannot live without worries…i often keep in touch with how i’m feeling without me realising it(hall of mirrors) ..its like i forgot all what i’v learnt…i’m not able to get the right perspective…i can just feel one thing and which is so REAL…i’m in an irritated mode always n everyone is expecting me to be nice and i’m not able to be nice and i try to do as much as i can do stil ending up as grumpy annoying depressed individual for no reason..!

    Pls help me… :(

  248. Sara Says:

    This message is for Helen, Sara H., Kat again (or anyone else that can help). I promise this isn’t a negative post – I just have a couple of questions again to help me understand and head in the right direction. I am trying to not get too down about this relationship anxiety I’m having and trying to handle it the right way. The questions I have are as follows: First, is it helpful to sort of force myself to do those things with my husband like hold hands, cuddle, hug or kiss, etc, even if I don’t feel like I want to or even if I feel a sort of dread about it? I obviously have been avoiding these things and withdrawing more and more because of the way I feel. I’m wondering if forcing myself will eventually lead to it becoming easier and eventually it will be more natural and even pleasant?
    Secondly, is it helpful to accept those negative and doubting thoughts to be there and not fight against them, even if you aren’t fully confident in doing so? I am trying to not fight against them and leave them alone, but I admit that I’m not always fully confident when I do this. I will tell myself to leave them alone and ignore them even though there is still a part of me that feels like they might be true. It is still helpful, though, even if I’m not fully confident? Will this eventually become easier and more of a habit and then I’ll start to see things more clearly and then I’ll eventually lose all doubt?
    Just a couple questions I had that I thought you might be able to give some clarity to since you’ve been there. Thanks for the help as always – I am really going to try to lose the negativity and do this the right way – just want to make sure I am doing it the right way before I continue on. :)

  249. Sara Says:

    Sorry – one more thing. Did you experience agitation/irritation with your spouse because of the anxiety? I notice that I am quick to get annoyed or angered sometimes with my husband and he notices, too. I feel bad about this and know it’s making things worse. I’m wondering if you have any tips or advice on how to deal with this? I feel like sometimes it’s so easy and I don’t even realize how quickly I can get irritated with him. I want to try to address this, but I’m not sure how. Will this just eventually go away?
    Thanks again.

  250. Diane Says:

    Hi all, I feel I am getting better, have been going to work on phased return, then this morning I woke up and went back to old ways and phoned in sick, I then spend the rest of the day worrying and beating myself up. one of my main problems is like ocd and i go through rituals and thought patterns to make sure that eveyone is ok, this can go on and on and is exhausting, does anyone else have this and if so any tips on how to overcome this, I really do appreciate all the tips in the past

  251. Vee Says:

    Hi Diane

    I have got onto this blog purely because someone very dear to me is an anxiety and Dissasociation sufferer and I wanted to see what she’s going through. I have just been emailing her to tell her, apart from a lot of things I hope will help, that I am OCD also, as she says she is. I would say mine is a mild form, not knowing what you go through of course, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I truly believe it is a form of anxiety but it doesn’t control my life in any way. I just do what I have to do and find it quite comical actually. If I tried to stop, it would no doubt stress me worrying about the consequences – so just live with it and laugh at yourself, if you can! What’s there to actually worry about, if you do have to double-check everything or whatever rituals you go through mentally, surely it is a very small part of your life, after all? I hope this helps a bit. You take care.

  252. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Jan
    Thankyou for the post and I do hope the depression improves soon.I love the sun and the beach with it and find that I have a tendency to be more depressed about the anxiety in the winter,but not a lot I can do about that this is after all England not Barbados.I Just try to concentrate on how lucky I am to have a lovely husband of 40 years who totally understands and is sympathetic to my condition and 3 wonderful sons and 3 gorgeous gran kids,but I still hate the way I feel some days.Wishing you well Sally X

  253. Lucy Says:

    Hi Sara

    I experience the irritation and annoyance towards my partner too. There are things he does that I used to laugh at that I now find so annoying! I keep asking him to stop doing this or that and calling him immature etc. but then feel bad as i know he hasn’t changed, it’s just the anxiety talking. Have no idea what we can do to stop it happening, but I totally sympathise with you and coupled with the total lack of feelings I have, it is so upsetting :-( hopefully someone can post some tips!! it helps to know that at least I’m not the only one who gets it though. Relationship anxiety is 100% the worst symptom I have experienced! Lucy x

  254. Victor Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Just a quick question. This past couple of weeks have been tough, I think its because as I previously mentioned this month marks 3 years since my anxiety really kicked in. I feel subconsciously it is effecting me. I find myself “zoning in” and getting hyperaware more often these past couple of weeks. My mind can be running smoothly, but as soon as i “zone in” or “check in” I become anxious. This is not happening all the time, but more often than usual.

    When zoning in is it normal to feel anxious or is this just me over thinking it? I guess my other question is “zoning in” is it just habit or a symptom of anxiety? Paul or anyone who has deep understanding in this it would be much appreciated if someone gave me feedback. This has been my biggest anxiety issue in these past 3 years, when I was doing really good at one point one for about 8 months what set me back was zoning in one day, getting anxious, and letting is set me back. I feel once I fully understand this and how to handle it I can get back to where I was at one point in the recovery process and who knows even fully recover one day!

  255. Kat Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Though I’m definitely not back to ‘normal’ when it comes to my relationship, I will try to lend you some advice.

    You asked: “Is it helpful to sort of force myself to do those things with my husband like hold hands, cuddle, hug or kiss, etc, even if I don’t feel like I want to or even if I feel a sort of dread about it?”

    My answer is: absolutely. When my anxiety about my partner started, I would literally shake when he tried to hold me. Paradoxically, he was also the person I would go to for comfort. I would cringe at the very idea of sexual contact, and had a hard time even looking at him without feeling like I was going to collapse into tears. It was such a confusing time, and I basically assumed that our relationship might have reached its end. That thought scared me more than anything, and the anxiety intensified and intensified until I really started to think that he and my daughter might be happier if I left, because how could I put such a wonderful person and our daughter through the experience of an emotionally fragile partner/mother. The hugs began to feel more reassuring with time, though, and there were times when hand-holding felt natural as well. I would make a point of kissing him when I left for work, and hugging him tight when I returned. I didn’t always feel loving feelings, but with time, I stopped dreading it. Occasionally, now, the dread returns, but it is far less intense than it used to be.

    You asked: “Is it helpful to accept those negative and doubting thoughts to be there and not fight against them, even if you aren’t fully confident in doing so?”

    This has been my biggest hurdle, accepting the thoughts as ‘anxious nonsense’ and not constantly wondering if I’m different than Helen, who managed to recover from the problem. What if this isn’t anxiety and I have a different situation than Helen did? Those kinds of questions popped up constantly, until I began to realize that I was experiencing the same symptoms she did, and, furthermore, had begun to feel signs of recovery much like described. The more I accept that this is anxiety and not just the effects of an unsuccessful relationship, the less I feel all the negative emotions, and the less of an impact they have on me. I admit that I am cringing as I type this, because I worry (still!) that I will fall backward again, but the key difference now is that when I feel good about things, I let myself acknowledge it, something I never did before.

    You asked: Did you experience agitation/irritation with your spouse because of the anxiety?

    Oh my, yes. Sometimes, the irritation would actually feel ‘heavy’ to me, slowly morphing into depression, to the point that I could barely stand to be in the same room as he and our daughter. Their voices would grate on my nerves, particularly if they were happy and bantering back and forth, and I’d have to go to a different room where I would feel angry, sad and indifferent all at once. This was a horrible symptom which has lessened considerably with time. That said, it is normal to get annoyed with one’s partner every now and then, but the level of irritation you allude to was really one of the most difficult issues for me, mostly because the guilt of it weighed on me and caused me to feel very depressed. What I started doing was reminding myself, mentally, that because of how exhausted I was emotionally, it was perfectly understandable why I felt the way I did. I slowly began to let myself feel the irritation, while allowing myself to ‘glimpse’ the situation from a normal angle. Again, eventually, I started to feel more appreciative of my family.

    Sara, this has been the hardest struggle of my 11 years of anxiety, probably because my family is the most important thing in my life. When my anxiety presented itself to me in 2000, I was in a different relationship, and my partner at the time was not understanding. Our relationship fell apart when I stopped feeling attraction toward him, but also, trust. I became so obsessed with my feelings and how I couldn’t get out of my head that I stopped caring about him, and he became so frustrated with me that he began to behave defiantly. At one point, when I realized that we were headed toward a break, I started to scramble, trying to find my old feelings, but the more I scrambled, the further away the feelings fell. We broke up after 13 years together, and I am still haunted by that, because of the guilt I feel about how I handled it. That said, I am realizing that it wasn’t my fault alone, because I needed an understanding and patient partner, and he wasn’t able, or willing, to be such a support.

    My current partner has been wonderful. He listens, does not pressure me, and seems to tune in to my state of mind without me saying anything. I believe that this is a huge reason for me making progress, and further to this, I believe that what I sometimes feel when I am feeling dread, fear and panic about him is really anxiety, because there is no way he doesn’t merit love. When I do feel love and attraction toward him, I take the opportunity to express it now. Sometimes it’s hard, but I do it because, as Helen told me before, it strengthens things. Try to move toward the fear. Honestly, you will be surprised at the results.

    Sorry for the length of the post! I just wanted to share as much as I could with you because I understand how alone and frightened you feel. Most of us have experienced panic and anxiety symptoms in the general way, but to have it attach itself to our significant relationships is extremely disturbing, largely because there is not as much discussion about it. Thank goodness for this board, and people like Paul and Helen, is all I can say.

    Be patient. It will get better. Remember, I’m going through it, too, so you’re not alone.


  256. marcb Says:

    Hi, could someone please tell me the name of the Claire weekes book that gets mentioned a lot on here, thank you, marc

  257. Douglas Says:

    Hi Sally and Jan, and thanks for the kind words. Lately, I’m finding it much harder to cope with the depression than the anxiety, as I know one can produce only so much adrenaline, and it always passes. But the black moods, the hopelessness, guilt, confusion, and despair, how do you guys cope with that?!

  258. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Douglas
    I suppose in answer to your question is I am sorry I don’t really cope some days but just get through on automatic pilot and hope the next day will be better.The worse for me is after feeling comparitively free from anxiety for a short time thinking on its return that I have yet again failed myself and completely despair for days of ever being free from it.Maybe as your depression is so bad you need some help.My gp offered me Pregabalin {think thats how you spell it} it has just been licensed to treat GAD you might like to look it up on the net.But because of some very nasty expeiriences with meds in the past I declined.I really hope your depression lifts soon.Best Wishes SallyX

  259. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Marc
    The book you need is Self Help for Your Nerves then there is Hope and Help for Your Nerves and a few others by Claire Weekes.You can get them on Amazon,you can buy audio from Thorsons audio and I believe there is a site called Pacific recordings for her stuff.When you read the 1st book Self Help for your Nerves you will be amazed as she describes us all to a tee the woman certainly knew what she was talking about and reading it was the first time I realised at last what was wrong with me.This was a long time before wonderful Paul came along.Sally X

  260. marcb Says:

    Nice one! Thank you Sally x

  261. sinead Says:

    job interview tomorrow- first real “test” since this anxiety “thing” happened.and im not scared!feeling anxious like i would have before but not unbearably so.feeling good :) mightnt be feeling so good tomorrow…but so be it…i wish i hadnt wasted so much time worrying about “this” worrying about the thoughts waiting to this passed cos then i might be more prepared but c’est la vie.the scary thoughts are still coming but im still getting some preparation and work done nevertheless.thank you to ch and teresa for your words of wisdom-helped me focus when i needed to most

  262. ch Says:

    No probs sinead. Good luck for ur interview :)

  263. Jackie Says:

    Good luck today for your interview Sinead :) xx

  264. Sara. H. Says:

    Wow, great post Kat. It’s so lovely to hear how far you’ve come. Sara and Lucy-I completley back up Kat’s views on the questions you asked. For me too the irratation towards my partner was one of the most difficult aspects of my anxiety as Kat expressed I knew he hadn’t changed and I knew my reactions to him were completley irrational and over the top. The feelings of guilt and sadness that would then follow were completley overwhelming at times. However, I worked at letting the thoughts be there and trusting it was anxiety, even at times when I couldn’t completley believe it, I trusted the experiences of those on this blog who had been through the same. The same as Kat I took opportunities to be physically close to him and when glimpses of love came through I made sure that I made the most of those feelings. Slowly and over time my old feelings have come back and I can say that our relationship is going from strength to strength. I didn’t talk to him all the time about my feelings, maybe only a couple of times but I also think that explaining the nature of anxiety really helped. I forwarded him Paul’s advice to partners and family and I really think that helped him to understand too, having that support and acceptance is part of recovery. It’s a hard and difficult road but you must also recognise the positive when it’s there, how far you have come and realise that it is a journey with many bumps, twists and turns along the way. I think it’s amazing how many people have gone through/are going through this-so trust that it is a symptom of your anxiety and it’s not forever.
    Hope everyone has a lovely weekend

  265. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sara it is a great idea for partners/family members to have some info on why people feel the way they do, the more they understand, the more compassion they tend to give. Having that support is so important as I found out.

    I have told the story before, but it always sticks in my mind when a lady told me she was put under pressure by her husband to do this, go here, go there, pull herself together and that it was all in her head, until one day she shouted at him and said ‘Do you think for one minute I want to feel like this, do you think I bloody enjoy it?” I think through the internet that things are improving although many still suffer in silence and that’s a real shame.

    Also I will be back and be more active on the blog soon. I am just in the middle of a project at the minute. It includes me writing a lot of new information and it is very time consuming. More will be revealed when it is done.

    T.J please email me when it’s done, I have your email and will reply, I will just have to finish this first, which should be done at the end of the week.


  266. Vamanan Says:

    I would like to ask this to Paul, Lisa or anyone who could give me some understanding.

    One thing Anxiety or My Mind does to me and I fall for it quite often is leave confusion about some subject. Specially this confusion is about something I believe at the moment. For example I believe on Acceptance and how not fighting is helping me, my mind will throw some confusing thoughts and I get the urge to think it through or clarify. In other words I have hard times in seeing them as anxiety trick while being caught up in it.

    It is like anxiety knows what I believe or happy about at the moment and tries to ruin it. Or it might be a subconscious negative thinking pattern I have developed.

    I was feeling the process of recovery couple of weeks ago, but not somehow feels like in a confused state and not sure what I am even confused about.

    Also is Paul’s method of not fighting is same principle as of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

    Thanks for all the support everyone.


  267. Jennifer Says:

    After the last post at the beginning of the week, I am now pleased to say that I am eating and the being sick in the mornings seemed to have stopped now for the last few days. never thought that bit would pass, so i guess I have to take a message from that in that all the symptoms will eventually pass. I am feeling better, even though Im still doubting it…typical. It has been tough to sit it out at work and let the electric current feeling just ‘be’. But I have not let anxiety stop me doing anything as usual.

    “I wondered if anyone else can relate to having to go through feeling a lot worse, before being able to feel a lot better during a setback or period of anxiety? if that makes sense. ”

    I really related to Sally’s post on 23 Oct that said:
    I have this tendency to convince myself it has gone for good and then wham its back which makes me feel a failure like I have made myself like it and then I get depressed and start fighting which in turn makes my nervous tension really bad and takes me near to panic.But then we have to dust ourselves off and go down the acceptance road again a hard one to travel but we have no choice if we want to live our lives as best we can.

    Once again Paul, your website, others words on here and having a strong wish to continue with my life have helped me to feel a bit better. Its just a big knock to my confidence and the constant doubtful thoughts and empty feelings are difficult.

  268. SarahS Says:

    Hi Douglas

    My advice as someone who has suffered for a long time but also as someone who has made great strides in improving (yay!) would be to let all of what you describe go. You are explaining basically how you are trying to get better. Don’t try. Let all those feelings and thoughts, guilt, confusion, depression happen, don’t try and change them, or make them better, let them take you back to IT. By doing this you will, eventually, see that it all will start to lift. I found that my habits were pretty strong due to the length of time that my anxiety had been going on and that I had to practice at allowing for a long time before I really got any results whatsoever. As soon as I had a sign, however, I knew that this could be changed, my brain could be re-tuned and I could re-learn new habits. My recovery has been over about 3 years or so now and I’m doing really well, sometimes it’s still hard and when you feel as if you are in a bit of a setback it always feels like you will never get out of it but you will. That’s just part of the symptoms of being in a setback. Allow, feel it all, go through it, carry on with your day as best you can, don’t force the feelings to come, do things you don’t feel like doing, be as patient as you can and you WILL see the results.


  269. Douglas Says:

    Thanks Sarah and Sally for the good input. Yesterday was a real dread-sod- it-want-to-stay-in-bed day, as I had a dress rehearsal in the morning, a solo performance in the afternoon, and a symphony concert at night. And all the dread and worry was for nothing (once again!) as everything went really well…not without a bit of the brick in the stomach, mind you, but otherwise, musically, just fine. SO: onwards and upwards, and today was so much better, perhaps because of these small successes…

    And I have discovered that several of my colleagues are going through much the same, though you would never notice it in their manner or performance. I have referred the English-speaking ones here, and am trying to do some translations for the non-English speakers. And a short aside to any musicians here: extreme self-criticism seems to be one of our occupational hazards; without a healthy faculty for critical self-evaluation we would be forever consigned to the minor leagues. But sometimes it can be a fine balancing act to keep this healthy and in check. And I’m sure this is true of other professions as well…

  270. Steveo Says:

    @ Jennifer and Sarah S and Douglas

    Excellent work to all 3 of you. It is great to see how we are all making strides to recovery.

    If we just take a couple of minutes to think back when it all started, we can all see how far each of us have come.

    Some have suffered longer so have come further but we will all end up in the same place… 100% RECOVERED :-)

  271. Sally Young Says:

    Hello Douglas
    Good to hear you sound more positive you are starting to accept again and not fight I am pleased for you Sally XX

  272. ch Says:

    Hey Vam…thats anxiety jus playing tricks still. Its hard wen ur cauught up in it yes bu instead of waiting for it to happen n listening into it just know that okay it may happen during the day bu itl comen go so wen its passed u can say that was jus anxiety again it doesntmatter n carry on with ur day. Itl get easier to have tht attitude but just treat any oddness like that as anxiety nutin will happen to u its jus weird thorts n feelins dnt dwell on it xx

  273. Shell Says:

    Hiya, I need advice on how to change habits and trigger thoughts. I love my boyfriend so much, but 2 years ago i had DP for the 1st time, and because i didnt know what it was i questioned and doubted everything including my feelings for him, and it has stuck ever since, my grandad has recently died and so my anxiety and all the thoughts i have each day came full whack and it all seems so magnified and real. How can i decipher whats real and whats not, feelings wise?? Its driving me mad, and im scared i might lose my boyfriend by confusing the anxious feelings with reality.

  274. Teresa Says:

    your post has given me so much hope – thank you. I have had anxiety a long time and my recovery was slow – then for a short while this summer i felt as if I had cracked it, I then found very soon i had developed an obsession regarding a minor health issue and this grew, I then managed to reduce the health issue almost completely and i have gone back into a setback which seems to have undervalued my faith in recovery, believing i have been ‘ill’ for too long to reverse things – now my logical side of my brain tells me this is not so and i suppose that’s what keeps me going but the other side is producing such strong symptoms i sometimes feel I’m not going to get there. It seems even worse after feeling better for a bit. So reading that you had it for a long time, and your recovery has been slow makes me feel less of a failure – I just keep thinking that i must be weak as I get rid of one thing only to focus on another, always trying to rid myself of one symptom or another – things are opening slightly as I think i am realising that the exageration of normal health issues or aches and pains are not isolated from the way I think. The only problem with this is that i try to then eliminate the symptoms by altering my thinking by trying to accept – I can see my problem, and if i was replying to anyone else on here I would say. stop trying, lol. It is great to see so many people improving which only goes to show that we will get better. Good positive post Steveo – yes we will.
    Thank you Paul.
    Thanks for all your help Paul

  275. Diane Says:

    Glad to hear you are feeling better Jennifer

  276. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    There is a lot of positive posts on here recently and it’s great to see not only people recovering, but also being there for each other and giving great advice, it really is good to see the blog create so many great, positive stories. A lot of these come from people who were desperate and could not see a way out many months ago, it just shows you need patience and it will come.

    Trust me when I say this, however you feel now, things do improve if you stick with it, it tends to just creep up on you. I had so many up and down periods, doubts, insecurities all the way to my own recovery. Days when I felt like giving in, days when I felt I had cracked it, days with little emotions, days when I felt happy and at one with life. Days when I felt clogged up, distant, days when I could see clearly and smell and touch life again. It’s a confusing ride at times, but the main thing is and is repeated on here is don’t waste time trying to work it all out or try to unravel it all, just let it ride the way it wants to whilst carrying on with your life.


  277. Sally Says:

    Hi Teresa
    Just wanted to tell you that you are not alone in the thoughts that tell us we have been this way too long to recover as I too get days like that and have had anxiety many many years.But as Paul says just carry on with life we both know from the respite we have had that acceptance certainly dampens down the fire within and gives some peace.It is better to keep accepting going back to constant fighting is not an option it only fuels the adrenalin and the bad feelings.So keep the faith and we will all get there as others have before.Sally X

  278. Teresa Says:

    Sally – thanks for picking up on my post, I can’t agree with you more. When ‘acceptance dampens the fire’ all of a sudden you seem to be able to see the whole picture and understand it all. I think that is why the blog is so helpful – anxiety is so clever at twisting your vision that sometimes you really need people who truly understand what you are going through to speak to you and help you believe what you already ‘know’. It really helps to know someone who has had it a while too and is walking the same path to recovery. Yes we will get there too! Paul’s post tells us what a roller coaster it is but as he says, we must let it ride the way it wants. Thanks again Sally.

  279. John J Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I have been going quite well recently and I thought I was on to a good recovery. I was getting on with work, enjoying life, doing more round the house, eating healthy, reading, going out and I had stopped researching symptoms.

    Then on Wednesday, I was flicking through a newspaper at work (I don’t often follow the news) and I came across a tragic story of a mother who had ended her childrens and her own life. The story disturbed me and has stuck with me, as from all outward appearances she was fine.

    Since reading this, it has brought back all my fears and I feel so ‘spaced out’ and fearful. I just feel like I have gone back even worse than before. I feel really detached and scared that I might ‘flip’.

    It sounds so silly, but obsessive thoughts have returned especially when I think of my family. It has really shook me.

    I thought I was getting control back, and now its like I have never even been on the road to recovery.

    Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Is it normal to read something in a newspaper and get so worried? Does this mean that I am more likely to get depressed or go crazy? I’m worried that because I’ve got these fears that there is something deep within me just waiting to go ‘pop’.

    The worst thing about it this time is the feeling of hopelessness and detachment.

    Its left me wondering if i’ll ever lose this feeling.

    I want to enjoy life again, and not be afraid of reading a newspaper!

  280. Douglas Says:

    John J,

    I too have been thru EXACTLY the same sort of thing, and I suspect many of us here have as well. The thing to remember is, it’s just your little imp of the mind (and all of us humans seem to have one) digging his little spade in about the things that scare you the most:loss of control, ‘flipping out’, etc. etc. These worries are in no way connected to reality. Just let ‘em be there, they’re just the entirely too common worries of an anxious brain, and mean less than nothing. Believe me, cuz I been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt!

  281. Matt Says:

    John…..the fact that you are so scared means it isn’t going to happen. It’s just your anxiety, that’s all it is. I have went throught the same things and got serious anxiety and fear from reading newspapers or seeing murder’s happen. Because you have certain fears and worries, that sound a lot like mine, certain triggers can bring them back. My huge fears are of losing my mind and hurting someone. You have to just accept it as anxiety playing it’s tricks on you and let it go. If you dwell on it and ruminate about it, then it will just get worse. But i’m sure you already knew that. I’m learning to take an outside perspective with anxiety, because when I am caught up in it, it is really hard to see the truth. I have to settle down and acknowledge what is going on, then it lose’s it’s impact on me.

  282. DCYL Says:


    Do not worry. Lots of us have gone through something similar. I went through it deeply a few months ago and have gotten better about it recently. However, a friend of mine mentioned some topics you noted and that set off some anxiety though I was able to get past it.

    I still get the odd “thought” here and there at times and a lot of what Paul has mentioned is making a lot of sense as you go through things over time. One is accepting the thoughts and not analyzing. The other is not “focusing on how you feel”. I went through that phase because you keep focusing on when you’re feeling good and then when you feel “bad”, you start to wonder why.

    Lastly, I have found that just the MEMORY of some of our experiences can be a trigger. The memories tend to trigger worries of “oh crap, am I going through this again?” But if you keep your cool, you will realize it’s just a memory and has nothing to do with the present.

  283. Matt Says:

    Carly….sorry I didn’t respond to your post last week. I hope you are doing better. I am doing a little better. My DP isn’t as bad but I am suffering from bad depression. I had to accept that I will have good days, and bad days with this thing. DP is very draining and can make me feel like I am ill. Some days I am so exhausted I can barely function. I can also relate with not feeling like you care about your kids, I’ve gone through that a lot and felt tremendous guilt because of it. I then started to play with them and try to connect with them no matter how horrible I felt. After awhile, it got easier. But when you are so consumed with yourself 24/7, you aren’t going to care about much of anything outside yourself, at all. When I forced myself to connect with my surroundings, no matter how lousy I felt, it got a little easier.

    Paul talked about in his book that you have to allow the obsessions and worries to be there, because we have created a habit of worrying and obsessing and it isn’t going to just stop. The key is to not add anymore to it and get on with it. It’s easier said then done, but it does work. I am trying to practice acceptance and allow the weird thoughts and feelings to be there.

    I had to understand that as long as I constantly obsessed and worried then I was only making matters worse. I would ask what this symptom is and is it still there and all these other questions that were just feeding it. It goes nowhere and just prolongs the suffering. Learn to accept that you have DP right now and that it will get better. The more I replace negative thought habits with positive thoughts, the more hopeful and better I feel. So try to replace a negative thought with a positive one. Anyways hope everyone is doing well.

  284. SarahS Says:

    Thanks all for your replies to mine above. Sally yes my recoery has been quite slow but then to be honest I wouldn’t expect it to be any other way as I’ve had anxiety for so long and fiim set habits and behaviours which needed wor. Also, this is a positive thing anyway because it means new formed habits are being worked on over this “slow” process and will stand firm in the not too distant future as my new habits and behaviours. It’s not been easy but then Paul has never said it would be so I no longer feel sorry for myself as I did in the past, I for most of it get on with it and let it all come and be there, that’s the best way. Sometimes it gets on my nerves and I feel frustrated but that’s part of the recovery process too. When you feel hopeless again, this too is normal, that’s part of being human to have these instincts and to want to go with them and fix it all. The key, however, is to know that when you have bad days it always feels like it will go on forever and you will never recover but you know that this isn’t true so you can feel like that knowing it’s false. Also to go against your instincts to fight and let it be, keep praticising this allowing. Don’t try and handle it all perfectly, you will get fed up of course! But the direction you are going in is the right one so you might as well make it as easy for yourself as possible and allow. You’re doing well, just like me and we are on the right route and getting good results. Well done all! xxx

  285. SarahS Says:

    Ooops sorry Teresa my post was in reply to you above (and others also of course who have been chatting) xxx

  286. E Says:

    Please could someone advise me?
    have had anxiety symptoms for years, but since finding this site 2 years ago, have follliowed the advice given.For the past couple of months i have had physical symptoms of anxiety ie stomach churning in mornings, trembling etc. Am just carrying on with my day, and usual activities. However what is really starting to bother me is the continual tension and dizziness. Also have very tired and aching eyes.Is this part of DP, not really sure?

    My doctor has basically given up on whats causing what, so would just like a little reassurance that this annoying feeling will pass eventually, by following the advice on here.

    Wishing everyone well, keep up the good work. Best wishes E.

  287. Rich Says:

    Had a good couple of weeks then boom it comes over me again, so strange because you never get use to the feeling, I’ve have extremely good days and extremely bad ones (anxiety/mood wise I’m not bipolar) full recovery just seems unrealistic does anyone else agree? I’m not being pessimistic, more realistic I think lol

  288. Sara Says:

    Thank you Kat, Helen, and Sara H. as always. The hardest things for me right now is the loss of attraction toward my husband, which has led to depression and pretty severe insomnia for me. I just don’t know if and how that attraction can come back. I have spent so many days and nights in tears over the past few months and the sleeping – it’s horrible! I can’t even count how many nights I’ve been wide awake over this. I don’t know how I even function with the small amount of sleep I get. I sometimes wonder and worry how much longer I can go on like this. I’ve debated so many different things – counseling, medication, etc. I just don’t know that anything can really help and then that leads to even more depression and insomnia. I now also worry all the time what others are thinking – about me and about my husband. I feel so heavy and so drained and sometimes so hopeless. I am sorry for being so negative, I just really, really struggle with this and wonder how much longer I can keep going this way. This is definitely the worst I’ve ever been – ever. I’m trying to keep going forward, but I feel like I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Anyway, I better stop now – I feel bad for being so negative. I do appreciate all the help and advice – I just wish I could understand it better and handle it better. I’m not sure where I’m going wrong. Thanks everyone for everything – really!

  289. Michelle M Says:


    I totally agree. I have just had 6 really good weeks (was signed off work sick). Went back to work yesterday and guess what…back googling and feeling generally awful. The most annoying thing is that whilst i felt better and thought i was recovering i couldnt even remember how bad i felt and it seemed like a million years ago i felt so bad…but its back!

    My main cause of my anxiety is the fear of hurting my daughter/family. I know i never will, my GP has confirmed that i never will and my CBT therapist has confirmed that i am not the type of person that ever will, but why does it feel so real? I feel so sad all the time that i have had these awful thoughts and they make me feel so guilty. I then question again my sanity. I feel as though I am never going to get over these horrendous thoughts. I have tried to accept them as just thoughts but they make me feel so sick and anxious when they come. Any ideas from anyone who is going through the same or have got over intrusive thoughts. Thanks.

  290. Rich Says:

    Michelle I’m exactly the same thoughts of what if I hurt myself or someone close to me Ive seen five therapists and three doctors all said the same thing to me too id never act out on them, yet the fear is so REAL.

    John J mentioned in an earlier post ant a mother who killed her kids then herself in the paper and it sent him off, I too saw that article I was having a good day then it just swamped me, what if I did that ? I must be a terrible sick person to think this and then I’m obsessing watching myself every knife I see sends me to high alert all because of one trigger.

    A terrible cycle to be in.

  291. Michelle M Says:


    I didnt see that article thankfully but I would have had the same response I know!

    My therapist said that people who harm their children certainly dont feel bad about having the thoughts – they just do it.

    I also have the fear that i will just flip. Again, i know that this will not happen as I have worried about this for the past 3 years and nothing has happened. Oh god this is awful but I know that it wont be around forever (or so I hope).


  292. Rich Says:

    Three years with me too, and it’s the what ifs that make it never ending !!

  293. Michelle M Says:

    I end up wishing my daughters life away just so I know that she will always be safe (which of course I know she will). I then get into worries about my grandchildren, by the way, my daughters only 3!!!

    Why do we do this to ourselves. It really is laughable ;-)

  294. Teresa Says:

    Thanks SarahS – It really all is to do with our attitude towards ourselves and I have found your posts so helpful. It’s not as if i don’t know the route – and i also know there is nothing you should do apart from keep knowing ‘tomorrow could be your best day yet’ – you speak with a calm and accepting voice. I am accepting at the moment, at present it’s a very up down affair but like you said, long term habits take a while to turn around but as long as we know the way to improve our lives we are well on the road to recovery. As Josh said last week, it only takes the signs of relief from this method for a day/week, however long, to know that we have the answer and that the reversal process has started. I feel confident that I am learning a lot through this setback, so even if it has been difficult it is breaking down attitudes, learning new responses – and even when I think i am beaten – it always proves I am not!
    E – it is anxiety, believe me – i have had them all. Although I have had a setback recently, I can tell you those symptoms will go. I know how hard it is to let go, Your doctor has seen you, you know it is anxiety – you need us to tell you it is, it is! Leave it go – carry on and it will all go away in time. take care.

  295. ch Says:

    Apparantly it takes 21 days for a habit to really click in!! Guys everyone should just be accepting everything the feelins the thoughts ups n downs.. All of it. I feel extremely anxious etc bu it dnt matterrrrrr im much more happier focusing on the outside world with all my anxiety still going on . The fact people still seem to be ‘watching their progress’ is again another reason that it may feel like its neva guna go. How can u forget something if it is still being dwelled on n checked up on. x x x. I hope i dont sound blunt x x

  296. Kat Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Everything you’ve described in how you’re feeling is what I’ve experienced over the last year. The insomnia was a problem for a while, especially since when I did sleep, I had the most horrific dreams! Then, probably due to the exhaustion I’d brought on myself, both emotionally and physically, I started to sleep more than usual, often napping for hours in the afternoon when I could. It moved in stages, the insomnia morphing into too much sleep, and eventually, things returned to normal, but it took time. That’s the key! Let it take the time it needs. If you’re tired, sleep. If you’re awake, try not to worry about it (believe me, I know how hard that is). You’ve worked yourself up to this by the obsession you’ve built around your relationship. Trust me, I know!

    The best advice I can give will be second-hand, as it came from Helen: if you don’t feel attracted toward your partner and are feeling fearful instead, so what? So what if you’re not in the mood for sex? So what if it scares you to look at him? Obviously, this was not how you felt about him when you married him, and the fact that this is all scaring you so much shows that it is anxiety-based and reality-based.

    If you can talk to your partner, do so. I always felt some of the heaviness you’re referring to lift after I talked to my partner. He was so accepting of what I was saying, never took it personally which helped me to take the time I needed to get my thoughts back on track.

    I still have trouble with the ‘romantic’ thoughts. What amazed me was how even watching something sexual on television would repulse me, or romantically-themed plotlines, even. It was like that part of my life was over. However, it wasn’t. There have been moments when the ‘old me’ comes back, and when I feel that, I allow it and acknowledge it. It’s taken me almost a year to get there, but I did. Does this mean I’m recovered? No, but I have improved so much that I know the problem has never been my partner. The anxiety has attached itself to so many things over the past eleven years: driving, being away from home, eating in restaurants, disturbing news stories filling me with unrelenting dread and disturbing thoughts, my health, etc. My relationship was the one thing I felt safe in, and then, wham!

    I drive now, though not on fast-paced roads which I’m embarrassed to admit. I go out now, though I seldom shop on my own outside of my ‘safety zone’. I desperately want to travel, especially to Paris where I’ve never been and where my partner lived for many years, but the fear is keeping me grounded. I eat in restaurants, though, and I have taken the train by myself to see friends. These are huge signs of improvement, in my opinion, though I recognize I’m a work in progress. The point is that no matter how low you feel, you can always improve, and with patience, knowledge and understanding, there is every reason to assume you will be better than ever one day.

    Allow yourself to feel as you do, Sara. Beating yourself up over it is part of the reason you feel so awful. This isn’t your relationship! When I was freshly panicked over my own relationship, I really needed to hear that. This is just anxiety telling lies and it’s doing it so well that you’re believing it. Like I said, I still have horrible days, but they’re not constant like they were a year ago. Clearly, that means something.

    Take care,


  297. Shell Says:

    Kat that info even helps me so much as i wrote a similar problem up a few posts. I need to keep letting it go, even though it’s so hard and bogs my head down, i need to stop with the what if’s, buts and maybes and just live in the moment as each passes. I will try to take your experience on board and see anxiety for what it is. Thankyou. and Sara, I hope that post has helped you too x

  298. Stacey Says:

    Hi been reading through your posts on scary thoughts,and I have been through the same thing,at the start of my anxiety I had extreme thoughts about hurting children it was at that time I was going to work at a summer camp and while there working with kids all around me the obessive thoughts came on very strong I was terrified all the time and couldn’t understand why I was such a bad person I felt so guilty all the time. When I got back I started learning about anxiety and found an anxiety book that mentioned obessive thoughts like these, it said the more you try not to think about them the more they will come which is very true so I stopped fighting and just let them be in the background .i hardly have them now and when I do I accept as anxiety and they pass within is very hard but the bigger the deal you make out of something the bigger it will become

  299. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    C.H can you please try and not use text talk please in your posts, I had to delete the last part of your post as it was unreadable to people not familiar with it, also google can penalise a site that is full of spelling errors/txt talk.

    Thanks a lot

  300. Michelle M Says:

    Hi stacey

    Thanks for your post – it really does mean alot.

    Michelle (at work so cant write too much) x

  301. Sally Says:

    Hi E
    I suffer from terrible nervous tension but don’t get dp its just part and parcel of my anxiety some days its worse than others.A relaxation cd once a day helps sometimes.Sally X

  302. Lucy Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Have just read your post and I thought I’d post a message to let you know that you aren’t alone. I also am suffering in the same way as you – I do not feel any attraction towards my boyfriend anymore and I hate it. I have reached a point where I can tell myself it is anxiety and I can push any scary thoughts out of my mind but my feelings towards him have not returned. I spend every weekend with him and often find myself irritable and just not enjoying the things that I used to as much. I feel as though I am half way there but just can’t seem to get my old feelings back. It’s awful to not be able to sleep because of the worrying and fear and at first this was exactly what happened to me. Once you accept that it is just anxiety and nothing more, these symptoms will disappear and you should be able to function a bit more normally. Something that helps me sometimes is to remember that if you didn’t love your partner anymore and you didn’t care, then these thoughts and feelings wouldn’t cause the total fear and panic that you feel when you get them. Unfortuntely I can’t say how or when the attraction comes back.. I wish I knew as it is just horrible to not feel anything towards someone you know you love! It’s really helpful to know that I am not alone in this though and I hope it helps you too to know that there are others going through the same thing. Maybe we could exchange email addresses via Paul so we are able to chat some more? Am finding it a great help that I am not alone in this. Lucy x

  303. ch Says:

    Didnt realise. Sorry paul.

  304. Sophie Says:

    I really just wanted to put a quick post on here to send encouragement to all of you in recovery. I come on here occassionally out of interest really, maybe it’s that five percent of me that is not recovered yet! and read your posts. I have suffered with what all of you describe and after reading Paul’s book I feel that I have almost 100 perecent recovered. Paul advices in his book just really clicked with me and I think simply the relief that I felt in learning that there was a logical explaination to what was happening to me really did lift a lot of the anxiety. The key things for me to remember through recovery and setbacks is to just get on with it, live alongside it, lose the fear and let go. It really does work and it takes work to break old habits. Stop obsessing and choose to move on. I am obviously not a trained psychologist but I don’t even think my psychologist got it! I think she found it hard to beleive that it could be so simple, but it really is.

    Also a massive thanks to you Paul for caring for all of us who have suffered with this, you really are reaching out to people all over the world (Australia here!). I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I had not stumbled over your website.

    Believe in recovery being achievable for you and it will be. I wish you all the best.

  305. Sara Says:

    Thanks Kat and Lucy. As you both know, this relationship anxiety is so difficult – much more difficult for me than any other aspect of anxiety I’ve experienced. I suppose that’s why it’s so hard to accept as anxiety and not as real-life truth that my relationship is essentially over. I completely understand what you mean, Kat, when you say you struggle with the “romantic” thoughts/feelings. I’m the same way – it’s like that part of my relationship with my husband is over and gone. It’s not even fear that I feel – it’s like a total repulsion. My husband has even commented that I seem disgusted when he tries to get close to me or kiss me or anything. I just don’t have that attraction – it’s been replaced with repulsion and dread. Sometimes I feel very sad and depressed when I notice other couples who seem to be so in love or when I see or hear something romantic. It’s so hard to believe that I’ll ever have that again with my husband – it just feels like it’s gone forever.

    I am in the same spot as you, Lucy – I’ve just started to try and not fight the thoughts and feelings and try to just dismiss them as anxiety, but the attraction and old feelings just haven’t returned. Right now it seems like they’ll never come back, but I’m trying to keep hope that they will return at some time. The hope I have right now is so small but I’m trying to hold on to even that small amount as much as I can. I, too, just don’t enjoy the same things with my partner like I used to. Sometimes it even makes me wonder if I ever enjoyed those things with him – it’s like the anxiety is making me see any past good times together as “made up” or “imagined” – not sure if that makes sense. The anxiety is also making everything negative stand out to me ten-fold – like giant warning signs and confirmations that yep – our relationship is over and we shouldn’t be together. Unfortunately my poor husband is getting the brunt of a lot of this and that does just add guilt to the anxiety. I’m trying to not let that get me down too much but it’s hard sometimes.

    I truly appreciate the help and advice I’ve been given – it is good to hear that it’s not my relationship, Kat, it’s just hard to believe sometimes as you know. :) But it’s so nice to hear that and to get advice from someone who has been in the same position – I really appreciate yours and everyone else’s (Helen, Sara H., Lucy, etc.) responses! I know I probably come across as pretty negative a lot of times and I hate to be that way – it’s just a big struggle for me right now. I do appreciate you all, though! It sounds like you’ve made a lot of progress, Kat – that’s great! I hope things continue to improve for you and for everyone else!

    I’m sure I’ll be on here again sometime ;), but I will try hard to take on the advice I’ve been given and try to stay as positive as I can. Thank you all so much! Oh – and yes, Lucy – I would love to exchange email addresses. It would be nice to chat more with someone who can relate. If Kat or Sara H. or anyone else wants to exchange emails, let me know. (If not, I won’t be offended – just thought I’d put the offer out there in case you were interested :) )

    Paul – would you be able to exchange emails for me and Lucy, please? Thanks!

  306. Ian Says:

    Hi there. Popped back for a bit. I still feel pretty awful but have had some respite on occassion over the last couple of months (and of course some horrendous times). Like so many I know just how hard I have been/am fighting, but it seems so very hard not to – such a obvious and common theme I doubt it really needs saying at all. Finding quite a lot positive here, and of course it’s all perception – I can come here and feel overwhelmingly negative (and again no offence). I shall try and take the postive with me (like the recent tweets from Paul around this) I am still hanging onto old advice, old feelings of feeling OK. Don’t want to self analyse here, again, just saying hello really. I have got 10 gallons of apple juice on it’s way to being cider (hopefully) after a marathon pressing with a friends press over the weekend. Wonder if that will be good for me?!

    Best wishes to you all.


  307. Sara.H. Says:

    Hi Sara, Lucy and Kat.

    I find it so comforting that we are all experiencing/have experienced the same difficulties in regard to relationship anxiety. Although I wrote a very positive post above I have had a bit of tricky weekend myself and have had quite a sleepless night too with thoughts going round and round. For me it is the irritation and the way I hang on to situations in my relationship which is so difficult and causes me so much anxiety. When I feel particularly anxious I too look around at other people’s relationships and compare mine, I also worry that people might be judging myself and my partner’s relationship. It is so frustrating as I feel I have come so far but can’t quite get ovet the last hurdle. I suppose again, it’s patience, time and letting the thoughts and anxiety just be there.
    I am now in work and feeling a bit more with it and together having something to concentrate on really helps but I have been experiencing anxiety around what if he leaves me type of thoughts recently. I don’t know if this is a self esteem issue but I just feel with my behaviour over the past few years I might end up pushing him away?? I am telling myself that this is anxiety driven and also to look at how far I’ve come. A few years ago obsessive thoughts were pretty much constant but now I can go for weeks at a time without excessive worrying. I think it still throws me when I have a blip though as I believe I have come so far. Pretty much what I am doing in this post is reassuring myself I think!! I do have to remember how far I have come and after years of suffering also to remember that it won’t disapear over night.
    Sorry for the rambling message! Sara, yes it would be good to swap emails if Paul can arrange that. Also sorry for the negative post, think I am having a few bad days but I will also remember that they always pass and it’s all part of the process :) Take care all

  308. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sara yes no problem, please don’t put your email on here for obvious reasons.

    As long as the other person is o.k with it, just let me know exactly who you would wish to stay in touch with and I will pass you on their email, they are all stored when you register.


  309. peter Says:

    This is really directed at anyone who has recovered or is close to recovery.

    I have suffered from anxiety for a long time. Three years ago I suppose I had a breakdown. My wife was pregnant at the time. After finding a very good therapist and having a course of CBT, I started to get better. I have to say I think it was the support from the therapist rather than the CBT which I feel didn’t do a lot for me.

    I then discovered Pauls book which really helped me to kick on and after having a beautiful daughter I gradually got better and better.

    I had been having horrendous horrid thoughts which plagued me terribly until I took up Pauls advice and gradually they drifted away. This Summer was brilliant. I had been taking a small dose of Escitalopram and decided to come off it. About 4/5 weeks ago my wife had a very bad miscarriage and nearly died. Since then I have been struggling badly although at the time I was very strong and tried to be there for her. I am now going down bank. The disturbing thoughts have returned although they are more bizarre than horrific. I have tried to just carry on but unfortunately I am in full frustration mode. I hate this thing, why me again, I’m going to be really ill, my mind is trying to destroy me. I am very emotional about everything and instead of an understandable reaction to a trauma, the anxiety is fast becoming an obsession and problem again.

    My wife says I’m not fighting, but I’m certainly not accepting either. All the old memories and doubts have come flooding back and its given me a right kicking. I have tried revisting the advice that worked before but it isn’t having the same effect. Can anyone advise. Do I just carry on and hope the confidence returns???

  310. Steveo Says:


    Sorry to hear you news. I can not offer any advice myself but you have done it before and I’m sure you will do it again.

    You probably felt even more frustrated the first time than you do now.

    You can and will do it. Look after your wife and yourself.


  311. Teresa Says:

    Peter – I am sorry to hear of your problem. you will see that when you needed to be strong you were, which only shows you that what is happening now is ‘what you ‘think’ is happening’ – it is thoughts and your fear of them. I know it is very frustrating to find yourself feeling these feelings again – it’s hard, but as hard as it is – you came out of it before and you will do again, but quicker. you probably are fighting – sometimes it’s impossible not to and with the best will in the world anyone who has not suffered this will not really understand it so your wife is trying to be supposrtive. I know how hard this is believe me – I am fighting/accepting/fighting at the moment – carry on, it will lift – the best advice I can give you is what I do not feel at the moment but know somewhere inside – accept – even if it is to accept that you are fighting, accept everything, say to hell with it – whatever I think or feel, and you will come through this again, you will see a glimmer and that will grow. You will get better. Take care.

  312. Sara Says:


    Please feel free to exchange emails with myself and Lucy and myself and Sara H.


  313. peter Says:

    Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it.

  314. James Says:

    Does anyone find that when the DR/DP gets really intense, you get a heavy, numb feeing in your head behind your eyes?

    I find it very unpleasant. It could be depression related too.

  315. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Not a problem C.H it is just unreadable to many as there are some not familiar with it, the last thing I want to do is act like some blog policeman, so thanks again.

    Sara I have passed on the email addys to you, I am glad that people wish to keep in touch with each other.


  316. MLK Says:

    Hi Everyone!
    Havent been on here in some time, but I thought I would come on here and offer some words of encouragement before I get into my question. I can say for a fact, that Paul’s book and advice on this blog have brought me out of one of the most confusing and scary times of my life. Feeling so lost, alone and stuck in your own thoughts can be so hard, and everything that people come on here for asking for advice, is something that I have gone through as well. Now, this isnt to say that I am 100%, but i am close! I havent had a panic attack in months, my depersonalization is mostly gone and I am no longer stuck at home feeling that going places will trigger my anxiety. Everyone can pull through this! Paul’s advice is so simple, but can be hard to apply to yourself, but once you learn to trust in yourself and to let go of being fearful of your feelings, then you can move on!

    Now with all that being said, I could use some advice. I do struggle with obsessive thoughts that scare me. Something that happened almost 10 years ago is bothering me because I am convincing myself that I did something wrong. Then I go into a whole scenario of what ifs…and the cycle continues. I am getting married this summer and we are looking into buying a house as well, and I think with all of these BIG life changes, these thoughts are stronger than ever. Can anyone offer a bit of advice!? Thanks! Hope everyone has a great day!

  317. Teresa Says:

    Hi all
    I am looking for some advice/reassurance off the some of the members who suffer pain/physical symptoms. I have come so far over the last year or so and suddenly i find myself completly consumed by physical symptoms again. I have tried to go back and change my attitude, involve myself – accept. There are times when I feel this is working but I find myself overwhelmed by these symptoms over the last couple of days and seems that this cycle/setback is lasting for weeks, i just don’t know how I can’t leave go. I feel really bad about coming back on here when i really should know better but i am finding it so difficult I could do with a bit of help.

  318. Sinead Says:

    just popping in to say not only did i survive my job interview but got offered a place :) so although i am still depressed/anxious i feel this is proof that me and anxiety can live side by side, theres nothing i “cant” do because of it, and im just going to carry on the way i have been and not let it get in my way any not underestimating it, i know ill have bad days and good days and days ill feel like i cant cope all over again but thats ok-getting the job is a huge achievment for me, im proud for the first time in forever and i know that i can achieve things even when im at my lowest ebb.thanks for the support.this website reminds me to chill and let my brain rest and to stop trying to fight to become “me” again, because the days i stop “trying” the real me is alive and kicking once again.and when the adrenaline was pumping the day of the interview-it was the first day in months and months i stopped thinking about my anxiety :) and that little respite was bliss

  319. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    Hope everyone is well. I was doing decently until this past weekend when I had a few anxious thoughts / feelings pop up unexpectedly. I think it threw me for a loop a bit and I’ve been trying to settle myself down. I was on the blog reading a few things for reassurance and seeing how others were doing. In thinking about Paul’s advice to “live alongside the anxiety”, I had a thought that was interesting and I wanted to share to see what others thought.

    I am a big participant in sports and have played recreationally and in competitive leagues for a long time. I remember to some of my early years of playing in the competitive leagues. I was young, inexperienced, and hadn’t developed the confidence needed to compete with other people who had played for years. I was quite nervous and anxious before most of my competitions and that got to me sometimes. One of the toughest early experiences I had was when my team made it to the championship game. It was my first time playing in such an important game. I was wound up that I ended up playing quite poorly.

    Fast forward to the more recent times. I’ve got a ton of years under my belt and know what I can and can’t do. Not to say I still don’t nervous or anxious before games, but I’ve learn to not let it affect my play. In fact, I try to use the anxious energy to boost my play. I realize not everyone is into sports but replace sports with job interviews or dates and I think you understand what I mean. We all get nervous, anxious and uptight over many things.

    But the key to not letting my nervous and anxious energy affect me was really MENTAL. In my younger days, I remember wondering why I was so nervous. I kept trying to calm myself but the harder I tried, the worst it got. These days, even if I feel nervous, I just keep going about my business and do fine.

    In many ways, my sports experience sounds like the anxiety we are trying to work through. The anxiety we have now is a little tougher because it feels a little more magnified and there are other symptoms (random thoughts, physical things, fear etc). Plus, the anxiety can come at fairly odd times when you’re not prepared.

    However, if I think of Paul’s advice in terms of how I approach sports, it is making more much sense. After all, if you’re out playing sports and feeling anxious, you can’t exactly “run away”. You still have to go through and do it.

    Hopefully this made some sense and people will find it useful.

  320. Patrick Says:

    Hi Paul,
    What is the difference between fatalism and acceptance?
    Where does acceptance differ from fatalism?


  321. sophia Says:


    my issue has shifted its focus from anxiety related thoughts to random thoughts that pop in and grows in to a big reality i can feel the effects of really effects my mood, my interaction with others..I simply feel extremely sad, excited, agitated scared because of them..I am not able to point out and stay aside from these thoughts as i dont even recognise that m thinking these weird thoughts…

    it comes so randomly and naturally that i cannot tell myself they are odd thoughts…. its so vivid and clear which seems like ”REAL” thoughts which anyone can have…but I cant differentiate why i ”feel” certain extreme emotions and how its alters my perspective totally..feels like i dont have a grip on my life..i dont know what to decide for myself…what should i go for and the list is endless..m totally clueless

    can anyone relate to that? what do u say Paul? how do i deal with it? as i have started leading a normal life with no DP or thoughts on anxiety..i’m just moving on with life (i feel) but i cannot draw a line between normal thoughts and weird all comes in one stretch..i found a lil difference when i was aware i am an an anxiety victim..the moment i forget that fact and live like anyone else the problems start…and something will creep into my cannot stay peaceful and sane..! :(

    Paul or anyone who recovered pls add ur thoughts on this

  322. Jennifer Says:

    I am eating more and have not let how I fell stop me doing my normal routine, but as selfish as this sounds, does anyone else feel like their anxiety must be worse than anyone else’s?? I mean surely being so anxious that your sometimes sick, thats not great is it.

    I feel I am being so strong and just living alongside it, but I am still feeling nausea and wretching most morning (alhtough less than before) and feel like I am never without anxiety, ever, I just kid myself thats its not there sometimes. God knows how im making it through work, by the skin of my teeth I think. It is hard to concentrate with the symptoms raging around you.

    I do recognise that I am reasuring myself a lot by coming on here and at times becoming obessessed with recovering but I can’t blame myself when I feel bad. I have taken a few days away from coming on here. But it does help to hear from and get support from others. Just feel so sad beacuse I do love my life and so want to be able to just relax again.

  323. Diane Says:

    Vee, thanks for you help with the OCD, I am doin dome cognitve work now and mindfulness therefore hope this helps,
    take care Diane

  324. Matt Says:

    Sophia….I am exactly in your situation. The DP has seem to faded for the most part, but now I am left with very odd, strange thoughts that I know are stupid and silly. I wonder sometimes am I thinking these? or is it just anxiety popping them into my head? What has worked for me is to pay no mind to them and don’t be scared of them. When I can do that, they seem to go away and I have more normal thoughts. But if I focus on the weird thoughts, then they will just keep coming and I will then become afraid of them. It’s a cycle that can be broken, as I am trying to do right now. Right now I am just accepting that I have them right now and that they will go away eventually by just not being scared of them and obsessing about them. Again, some days there aren’t many at all and if there are I can dismiss them pretty easily, and some days are rough. Just accept and don’t be scared of them, they need fear to fuel them, without it they go away.

  325. Eli Says:

    Hi all, I guess i have had anxiety episodes here and there throughout my life and never really noticed it was anxiety until the one episode that started in August/July. I have read most of Claire Weekes’ book and Paul’s book as well since then but seem to be confused regarding a problem i am sure most of us have- indecision. At one point do you know whether you are doing something or going somewhere because you want to actually do it or because you want to prove to your anxiety you are not afraid?

    What i mean by this is sometimes our minds play tricks on us by telling us “I bet you won’t go to this place because you will get anxious” but realistically I don’t have the issue of going to places and I know going there will not make me feel worse. Hope that makes sense. Additionally, does anyone actually get a reverse feeling where going out actually makes you feel better sometimes and coming home makes you feel worse?

    Thanks for any replies.

  326. Vic Says:

    Hello everyone,

    Just a quick question, I have had this issue for sometime and it has really held me back from recovery, although I have to say I have come very far I still find myself anticipating anxiety. For example, During the Summer I took a trip to Atlanta. I have never had a fear of airplanes, and still dont. But i found myself anticipating the flight because I was worried I would feel anxious and worry…can anyone relate? I know I am giving it way too much power.

  327. Nez Says:

    Hi everyone, this is my first time commenting on this blog. I just wanted to say thank you to Paul David for making his journey through anxiety available for everyone to read. 3 years ago when i first got anxiety and panic attacks, i thought i was losing my mind. Until i stumbled upon Paul David’s website and book. Before this website and book, i could not understand what was causing me to have palpitations, scary intrusive thoughts, dizziness, and much more. I used to be very active in sports, dances, and just a overall outgoing person. I thought this life was gone forever. I couldn’t watch tv, cook ( just holding a knife used to scare me), or read the newspaper, without having scary thoughts. However, after applying Pauls advice about accepting and not fighting the thoughts and sensations of Anxiety, the layers of my happy true self started to slowly but surely come back. I go out and watch movies, tv, hiking and cooking again for my love ones and not afraid of holding knives anymore. Although I definitely had many “setback” days, someone once told me that in life we sometimes take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, but you are still 1 step ahead to a positive achievement and goal. Eating healthy meals, taking supplements, and exercising helped me to calm my nerves and release a lot of adrenaline, which left me with not much adrenaline to release itself into scary thoughts. Even though, i still have some anxiety here and there, thanks to the advice from Paul and many other peoples positive advice and stories from this website, I dont let anxiety get in the way of my daily life anymore. I live in California and i recently accomplished one of my dreams, which was to fly and travel across the world to Europe for two weeks. Although I had many scary thoughts, i just accepted them for what they were just thoughts, and i had the time of my life with my friends and family. 2 and 1/2 years ago when i was afraid to even leave my own home due to anxiety and scary thoughts, i never thought i was gonna be able to travel across the world. Because of Pauls Book and seeking Holistic/integrative guidance, i was able to do a speech in front of 500 people and was featured in Beyond Medicine Magazine to help raise money for people who were just like me and felt lost and trapped in our stressed over worked minds and looking for answers. I can gladly say thanks to Paul, and because of him I’m about 98% recovered, but i feel even stronger than before i got anxiety…Learning how to laugh at many of anxiety’s silly thoughts, understanding what anxiety is, PATIENCE, and ACCEPTING ANXIETY as just TEMPORARY FALSE SENSATIONS, will Guide you to the road of recovery. Thanks again Paul David for guiding me back to life.

  328. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    That’s a great story Nez and I am glad the site/book had such an influence, but you must also take credit as sometimes it does test your patience and courage, the flight a case in point.

    Sinaed the following statement is so very true

    “to stop trying to fight to become “me” again, because the days i stop “trying” the real me is alive and kicking once again”

    Hi Paul,
    What is the difference between fatalism and acceptance?
    Where does acceptance differ from fatalism?


    Patrick I am not familiar with the word ‘Fatalism’ so I can’t really answer that question, but the below may help

    Patrick if you try to accept something, then this can become a battle within itself. It is just about giving up, lettting go of the battle, dropping all the coping behaviours. I basically just dropped the need to be in control, supress and fix. The opposite of what I did through my years of suffering.


  329. Ezra Says:

    Morning all (midnight here but the nocturnal fridge activities of a pregnant lady mean’s I’m eating!!)

    Great story Nez, inspirational, well done!

    MLK, just wanted to offer some support and to let you know that I think I’m in a similar place to you recovery wise. I am on the ‘last legs’ of my anxiety (started in Feb 10) however a remaining part for me is guilty thoughts and these play on my mind and make me believe that more happened on a particular occasion and I will recreate the scenarios in my head, blow them out of proportion, and feel crappy about them until I ‘confess’ and another one comes along and the same happens etc etc etc.

    Guilt is a very similar emotion to anxiety and intrinsictly linked, you cant change the past, it makes you feel anxious and your imagination is let loose!! Claire Weekes covers guilt about past actions in her book ‘Self help for your nerves’ which I find comforting as there is little mention of it anywhere else.
    In a nutshell, you are used to a habit of ‘over reacting’ negatively when a random thought pops up, we all are, hence why we have this in the first place. Its another bad habit picked up to rake through your memory bank and anything which is frightening, scary,guilty etc etc pops up, we make it worse than it is and we worry about it.

    It is purely our knackered old mind trying to hang on to whatever it has, and we will keep that ‘stuck’ thought there as we fret, dissect, worry and obsess about it. This random thought about a past action is exactly that a random thought, however as you have linked a negative emotion to it, its going to stick about ‘for now’ Accept that 1) its there 2) it pointless obsessing 3) let time pass and eventually it will ‘dislodge’
    A big problem we as anxiety sufferers have is that we don’t like unanswered questions; ie, did I do something wrong that night 10 years ago ……….well, your logical brain is sure you didn’t but your anxiety is trying to pull you back in by casting some fear and doubt into the situation

    So, my words of advice to you (and myself) is acknowledge, accept and give it space. You can NEVER answer a question in your mind so a good way is to accept the risk, ie, Maybe I did something wrong that night…..Answer; Ill take the risk that I did…..all this is doing is taking away some of the fear and the need to unravel.

    Sorry to ramble, its something I have been suffering with for a while so just thought it may help.

    Anyway, off to ‘fridge raid !! ……………………….:-)

  330. Vic Says:


    Great post and definitely gives us hope. Although I have never suffered as bad as you did, at this point currently I could not imagine flying to europe, that long of a plane trip would have me worried my anxiety is going to act up.

    You talk about holistic health…any particular books you read or any suggestions? I have always had sensitive nerves as a kid, and truly believe with a healthier diet they could improve. I know they can improve without the healthier diet, but I feel the process would be that much easier.

  331. Jackie Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks Nez, I really enjoyed reading your post and it gives me great hope,

    Hi Eli, when you said about does anyone actually get a reverse feeling where going out actually makes you feel better sometimes and coming home makes you feel worse?

    Well yes :) exactly how I am at the moment. I get all the worries about going out but pass through them and when I am actually out I feel fine. Then find that I don’t then actually want to go home. When I get home I can actually feel worse than if I had never gone out in the first place lol

    Isn’t anxiety strange :) but then I realise that this is all part of anxiety and when I get home realise this and still get on with it feeling all weird again, knowing that it will pass and the more I go and get on with it the less the weirdness will come back. It is very easy to say and the practising is the hard part, but I know I will get there in the end.

    I found it so difficult to understand Paul when he says make friends with your anxiety and really couldn’t see how you could be friends with feeling soooo bad, but slowly I am coming to realise. Yes anxiety is making me feel bad, but only because it is trying to protect me from things I have made myself fear. I see that now, slowly putting myself back in situations that I have feared my anxiety levels will rise but it is only because my body thinks there is something to be afraid of here and it is letting me know this, even though there isn’t nothing to fear, so if I pass through with the knowledge that this is why my body is doing this to me, it will soon see that no, actually there is nothing to be afraid of here and will calm.

    So yes, anxiety is my friend, thank you for protecting me when you think I am in danger and you can come along with me, home or out, and then soon you will see that I do not need you in my life so much and I won’t need you at all in my everyday situations.

    Hope that made sense, just started and couldn’t stop :) xxxx

  332. jennifer Says:

    Great posts of Nez and Ezra. really well written.

    I am frustrated that I feel the need to come on here every so often and post desperate posts about how bad im feeling. and yes, I do feel ‘bad’…but I am practicing the ‘SO WHAT’ attitude. I suppose guilt about posting is just another thing to beat myself up about. This anxiety business really can feel like a big old mess of confusion can’t it.

    VIC, yes its good old anxiety about anxiety. Its hard but the anxiety leads to nothing in the end and like Paul says it is a pointless to worry about anxiety. Easier said than done, I know. Wish I could take my own advice :)

  333. Patrick Says:

    Hi Paul,
    Fatalism is the same as what you call “putting up with” in your book so I guess my question can be phrased as:
    What is the difference between putting up with and acceptance?
    Where does acceptance differ from putting up with?


  334. Matt Says:

    Hey Patrick,

    I thought I would try to answer your question because I too struggled with this concept for a long time. For me, putting up with it meant I was still fighting anxiety in some way. For instance, I would get frustrated by it and angry with myself because of how I was feeling and felt that I shouldn’t be this way. I understood what was causing the anxiety, while trying to move on with my life. The actual frustration and anger was feeding my anxiety, and it feeds on negativity. I finally learned to accept it by letting go and that truly came from within. What I mean by that is that I knew I would feel depressed, negative, all those things but to actually allow them to be there and surrender to it.

    I believe surrender and acceptance go hand in hand. If I am just putting up with it, then I am not truly surrendering and letting go. I finally learned to accept, not just with my mind, but within that I had to give up the fight. For me, that’s where the little victories come from.

    I used to be bad into drugs 12 years ago, and learned the concept of acceptance with my addiction. I learned that I had to accept that for that time being I would crave drugs and feel miserable, I surrendered, let go of the battle that couldn’t be won. Anxiety is the same thing, you have to let go of the battle that can’t be won because you can’t win when you’re fighting yourself, it just isn’t going to work. I learned that I have two decisions with anxiety. I can make the decision to engage with it, or I can make the decision to do nothing about it. And that’s the thing, when you do nothing, you are still making a decision.

    This week has been really good for me, I feel almost myself again and it is very weird to experience. I felt so odd and disconnected for so long that now, being normal is something that is taking time to getting used to. I have the odd days where something doesn’t quite feel right, but that’s ok, it won’t be there forever.

  335. Carlie Says:

    Hey everyone! I have to say that over the past week, I’ve been doing much better. But I think my main problem is that I’ll have a few good days in a row, and I suddenly convince myself that I’m over it. Like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m a part of the world around me again. It’s almost like a few good days can seem MUCH longer than they really are because I’m not struggling as much. Then when I have a little bit of a setback, I get so frustrated because I thought I was finally over it… but then I realize that I’ve only been doing better for a few days at a time, and it can’t possibly be gone that soon, since I’ve been dealing with this for nearly 5 months now (I can’t believe it’s been that long). I just thought I would mention that, because I feel like some people here might be able to relate.

    I have a lot of moments where I feel just… lost or confused. I’m having a bad night, and it was triggered by something so simple. I went to see a movie, and after it was over, I walked out of the theater feeling a little out of it. Which I think is VERY normal if you’ve been sitting in front of a big screen for 2 hours. But that combined with how tired I was (I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night), AND the DP obsession, triggered a small setback I think. And I’m just telling myself that it only feels so bad because I’m getting better overall. Just thought I would keep everyone updated. I hope you’re all doing well. :)

  336. Vee Says:

    Hi Diane

    Thanks for replying back. It’s good to see you are taking positive steps. I KNOW you will get there! All the very best to you – and to everyone else on this Blog.

  337. angela Says:

    i am making massive improvements there is just 2 things? i had a massive panic attack just over a year ago (didnt no it was one at the time) i thought i was going mad!! i remember my husband was out and i was on my own feeling strange.. when he got back i lost it and had a massive panic attack as i no that is what it is now!!! i will explain a bit.. i lost my mom very suddenly a couple of years back and my youngest brother gained custody of his children… it was a very bad time and i was under imense stress.. anyway at the exact tiem i had the panic attack i had a thought!!! it was to hurt my youngest son i dint no at the time it was justa thought and i lived in fear of this thought for over 6 months.. instantly after the thoguht happened i went to a.e to try and get myself sectioned.. thought i was going mad and was very frightened.. i recovered over time. and then a few months ago i had a relapse.. i found pauls book which is amazing.. i had a few weeks of my life were i have never felt so good almost undescribable happiness?? then it came back but this time the thoughts of harming my son was accompanied with the fear of using a knife!! and the fear of hopelessness the thoughts are subsiding and im left with occasional thoughts of harming my son (which thats all they are) and thoguhts of hopelsessness, whats the point, your lifes crap, you wnat to die etc.. i no there not real cus i dont actually feel depressed? i just wondered if anyone else feels like this.. i made the mistake of googling again.. im back on it now and the only advice for me is pauls.. im currently coming off medication as my doc wont diagnose me but all of a sudden the bipolar which no way on this earth i had has now turned into anxiety…my dp is quite bad still!! want myself back….
    if only i had found this book and site before all this i would have never gone to the docs in such a weak state.. as i dont beleive in medication at all!!! not for anxiety.. anyone had anything similar thankyou you paul i am slowly recovering from the hole i was in

  338. Eli Says:

    Thanks for the reply Jackie. In a way if there is some positives to draw on, having this anxiety now and not in the future can be an advantage because you at least know how to handle it as you mature.

    To be honest i find a lot of my days in a situation where i am not introverted enough to have DP neither the clarity, focus and joy to have a good day or to be normal but at times i will feel more of either as many here before.

  339. Eli Says:

    To add to my previous post, this might sound like a very dumb question but one that i wonder a lot and do not want to spend time on Google looking up: what exactly is Bipolar or having bipolar? To my understanding it is having extreme mood swings but that is the extend of my knowledge. Whenever i go from having bad days to good days this is something i fear however i know it is faulty thinking.

  340. SarahS Says:

    Brilliant post Matt! And glad you are getting there. sarah x

  341. Patrick Says:

    Thanks Matt that helped a lot.

    My problem is that I dont know when I’m actually doing something or when its just the anxiety and I should let it be.

    When im actually doing something I should stop doing it and I dont know when that is. The other problem is when its just the anxiety I should let it be, but this is when I “put up with.”
    I know its supposed to be an attitude but I don’t feel like I have control over what attitude to have. I end up telling myself “have this attitude”. I can have an attitude of acceptance when I’m in a good mood because then it feels I’m on another level but when I’m in a low mood its like everything is just words.
    I think the problem starts with that I don’t allow myself to be in a low mood and I dont know how to stop doing that.

  342. Matt Says:


    You are doing the exact same things I was doing that I shouldn’t have been doing. And that is over-analyzing it to death. I would ask myself how do you accept? how do you have an attitude? I was wearing myself out further to the point to where I was totally lost and confused with everything. That sort of thinking is a form of habit that you created for yourself, all you have to do to change it is allow the questioning be there in the background and don’t question the question’s, which I’m sure you’re doing.

    Anxiety isn’t something you figure yourself out of, as I am learning myself. It’s allowing your body and mind to rest. Look at it this way, I am an obsessive nail-biter, I do it so much that I don’t even know I am doing it most of the time. It’s the same thing with the questioning, it happens even when I don’t realize it, so I had to realize what I was doing and also realize that I do have some control over how I deal with this. The control that I have is how I react, I can’t stop the questioning or silly thoughts sometimes, but I don’t have to keep going over it in my mind. It is extremely difficult sometimes, but you can change this habit over time if you just learn to react differently.

    The low mood’s come and go for me too. It’s one of the most difficult things to deal with for me. I am learning, by understanding, that my low moods are because of my current condition and that it won’t be like this forever. I spent so long letting anxiety affect me and rule my life that it is gonna take time to get my mood back to normal. But, I look back on days when it’s been good and be happy about that because there were days when I was depressed everyday and felt completely hopeless. So, in the beginning, recovering starts with small victories that turn into bigger ones, you just have to keep the understanding of what you are going through with you and just move on through it.

  343. Matt Says:

    Hey Carlie,

    I wanted to say that it makes me really happy that you are doing better. I think it’s kinda ironic that we got DP at the same time, mine started 5 months ago too, and seem to be recovering similarly as well as suffering the same symptoms. It’s so nice to be able to focus on people’s conversations again and not have that constant self-awareness of everything. DP is easier to deal with now because it isn’t constant. When I feel it coming on, I know how to deal with it now, just accept it for what it is and allow myself to feel it and don’t dwell on it. It’s kinda strange because it seems to be more in my subconscious now then in the forefront of my mind. Like, it’s way back there in the back of my head and it’s silent for the most part, but I can notice it. The voice went from a deafening noise to more of a whisper, huh, guess that means i’m getting better.

    It’s funny, cause the other day I was watching a football game and that DP voice came into my head, saying i’m worthless, no good. I then said out loud that you can stay as long as you want but I don’t care about you anymore. Right when I said that my mom overheard me and asked why I didn’t want here there. LOL!! It feels so good to feel like myself again after this horror of an existence for the past five months. I can go anywhere and do anything, and though feelings may be there, who cares? They feel almost dead and I can’t thank Paul and this website enough for the spot on advice and lifesaving techniques. Anyways, sorry to double-dip guys.

  344. Michael Says:

    Dear Paul and all who is living with anxiety,

    This is my story.

    I first experienced anxiety when I was 17. It was a highly stressful time in my life and without proper stress relief, I found myself noticing ‘black spots’ in my vision. ‘It’s just a headache’ I thought, a lie down will fix it. And it did, in the short term. One early evening however, I found myself driving at 110 kms per hour down a country round when BANG! PANIC! I’m going crazy! Oh no! What’s happening?

    Luckily I managed to pull over, fall out the car and call my parents. I was calmed down, reassured and told that I had just experienced my first ever panic attack. At least this ‘thing’ has a name I thought. I continued my journey (It was either that or be stranded in the middle of the country all night). And, I arrived home safely.

    It would be a further three years until my next episode (although during those three years, the fear was still at the back of my mind that it would happen again).

    Three years later…

    It came again. Oh no! This time I fell into the cycle very quickly. Thinking nothing was real, feeling distant from the world and fearing that life would never be the same.

    I went to the Doctor who rushed me out the room with a prescription. I have an issue with being dependant on drugs to live a ‘normal’ life but If this would make it go away, so be it. I’ll deal with the other issues later.

    I duly collected the medicine and started to take it. It did two things,

    Firstly it numbed my body and mind and secondly, created an ever bigger distance between me and the world. I was numb and I hated it. I thought I would rather feel something than nothing at all. I went back to the Doctor and asked ‘can I control this by myself’? He replied yes, you can. With no instruction on how to, I still felt reassured, ‘well if a doctor says I can, I CAN!

    Off I went back into the world and got on with my life. I was Panic free for the most part. I’m not sure how I got over it, I just kept on living.

    That was ten years ago.

    But then, here we go again. I slipped back into the cycle.
    Nearly every day for the last three weeks I was sat at my desk at work, staring at the clock and filled with anxiety as the time ticked closer to lunch time. I knew soon that I would have to leave the office taking this daze, distance and panic into the real world.
    HELP!! Just get me back to me quickly! PLEASE! Oh wait, don’t think that! Why are you thinking that? The mind would race! And so, the anxiety grew and grew and grew.

    Lunch time would roll around and I would find myself in the lift staring into the mirror thinking ‘who is that’? ‘I hope the lift doesn’t stop and let anyone in’. ‘Oh, and wait, what if I get trapped in here forever’! My phone won’t work, what will I do? HELP! The fight continued.

    The lift doors would open and I would find myself in the park, sitting on a bench and staring at the world wondering if and how I would ever come back.

    Anxiety can feel like such a lonely place.

    My partner would call for our lunch time chat. I would casually say ‘I’m ok, just having a few anxiety issues today’. If I don’t make a big deal, it isn’t, right?

    Hiding behind this facade, the mind was screaming out for HELP! And worse still, the heart feels a broken spirit and then the mind comes back with thoughts of your dreams and future being robbed of you.

    Back at my desk. ‘I feel ok now’ (trying to trick myself!), I didn’t. I still felt like I was hanging on by a thread. I spent all day at work ‘googling’ everything I could to ‘cure myself. ‘Arrh, this might be the one! Or that’?
    No, nothing helped. And reading several forums of people struggling with anxiety and searching for answers seemed to push me down the slide further.

    Then one evening in despair I stumbled across Paul’s website. The information gave me such relief and soon I was using many of Paul’s suggestions to heal my body.

    I am happy to report that I am doing much better. I’m back in my car, going to the gym, shopping, calling family and friends and, essentially, living my life alongside anxiety.

    It all makes so much more sense and I know deep in my heart that anxiety will leave, once I allow myself the time to recover, without the fight.

    I now realise that I had the answer 10 years ago, I kept on living and anxiety faded into the background each day, until it was gone.

    It seems like I got lost again. But now I have the tools to move on.

    Thank you Paul, and to everyone else, as long as we still have the breath in our lungs we have the power to move on from this time in our lives.

  345. angela Says:

    hi i posted a few posts up i just wondered if anyone else has any similar experiences as me and how is your recovery.. mine is slow.. i get good days then some really dark days can anyone else relate? im finding it very difficult at times to “run with the bad thought” xxxx

  346. Rich Says:

    After months of getting better the past week has to be the darkest lowest most anxious so far, for the life of me I can’t give a reason. Last nite was my anniversary with my partner we had to come home earlier cause I could not cope!

    I had made such progress, had really good days now every news article containing certain trigger words sets me off on a downward spiral, thoughts from years ago plague me again like their new! I had such a good life before this but this is not going to be a negative post, no matter how bad it gets I believe there will always be better days. I hope everyone else believes that life is too important and precious. One thing worse than this suffering is giving up hope which we should never lose!

    Hope everyone is as well as possible

  347. Steff Says:

    Seem to be having a bad week, frightened of everything again! I’m panicking incase I panic which is just awful! I’m pushing myself to do things that I feel uncomfortable with and instead of praising myself I come home and beat myself up, I find I am so hard on myself. I’m scared of the smallest things, going into a hairdressers incase I have a panic attack (when I feel like this I need to pee which makes the situation so much worse). I mentioned on here before that I am 5 months pregnant and I’m so frightened of having a panic attack in labour and just completely losing it, and what will the midwives think of me! I’m doing all the things Paul advises in his book, but I wish I could just stop being frightened of being frightened!!

  348. Sophie Says:

    I just want to say a big thanks to you Paul for all of your advice on the website and in your book. I can really relate to Nez’s story above and also recovered from debilitating anxiety by using your methods as well as a good diet and healthy lifestyle. Scary thoughts no more! So thanks Paul, you really are reaching out to people all over the world (Australia here) and it’s very much appreciated. Best of luck to all of you on the blog too. Recovery really is possible for everyone.

  349. JP Says:

    Hi all. I haven’t posted on here in over a month, because I haven’t been on here, because I have been busy doing things and living, which feels great to say. CBT and the advice here have been the main reasons behind this, and I have noticed such big improvements, especially in my confidence returning.

    I am still struggling with a few things and wanted to ask if anyone can relate/help. I spend a lot of time thinking about death/the meaning of life/the end of the world and abstract things like this, and it makes me a little anxious or depressed sometimes, but my mind seems to want to resolve the issue and wont just move on from it. I don’t really know what to do, its becoming a real pain and a newspaper article/comment can really trigger something.

    Any advice?

    Hope all is well/improving with everyone.

  350. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    That’s a great post Matt and very true, accepting is actually a word I don’t use often as I understand it can turn into a battle to do so, ‘I am accepting this damn thing and it is still there’ well their not really as they are using it as a tool to rid themselves of it.

    When I felt detached, anxious, odd, full of dread etc, then I had to feel it all at will and with no resistance, I had to ‘fall into a hole’ and not try to escape it, that really is the key. Trying to escape from the way you feel is like being stuck in quicksand, the more you struggle, the deeper you sink. Nothing, but nothing had me falling deeper into the condition than me fighting to escape it.

    Matt really sums it all up in that one post

    Steff allow yourself to be frightened, to feel any fear and stop trying not to feel it or worry you will. I know it is hard, but it is the only way forward, move towards it and see what it has got, this is the way to unravel it and stop being scared of being scared. All it is , is adrenalin, it can do you no harm, it is harmless, but you wont find out unless you allow yourself to feel it.

    Sophie that’s great, every success story is a great inspiration for everyone else. Now go out and enjoy that wonderful world, let nothing hold you back :-)

  351. Steff Says:

    Thanks for the advice Paul! I am doing something on wednesday that I have avoided for months now! Going to face it head on!! After reading everyone’s stories I have faith that I will recover too :)

  352. CR123 Says:

    Hi all… Just need a little help if possible… I finally went to the doctor and he confirmed I was not mad or schizophrenic.. (which I had been told plenty of times before on here lol) my problem is that although I accept this as much as I can it’s like anxiety is trying it’s hardest to make me doubt it… When I was at my worst I became hyper aware of everything especially sound and obviously with my amazing imagination would exaggerate sounds when I heard them and always questioned them… I’m still struggling with this and sometimes it really scares me I pick up on alot of sounds… Has anyone else been through this and could give me any advice/reassurance that can get me over this little hurdle… Thank you c x x

  353. Matt Says:

    CR123…I went through that as well. What got me through it was knowing that whatever I am anxious about and fear, it will keep happening. Because you’re scared of being schizophrenic and you have scared yourself into believing it, you exaggerate things in your mind that aren’t true. Mine wasn’t a fear of schizophrenia, it was a fear of developing multiple personalities. I struggled with it for two months straight, scared I was going to have it or get lost in the woods naked because I lost my identity and that sort of thing. It sounds silly to me now just even talking about it, but during the time I was totally scared of it and almost convinced that I had it.

    What got me through it was confronting it head on. Part of the anxiety leads to obsessions, and when I obsessed I would spend the majority of my day ruminating and trying to convince myself that I didn’t have this or that disorder. What finally worked was to stop the ruminating and allow the obsessions. It’s hard, but it’s the ruminating and fear that allows it to keep going. Even if I reassured you, you would probably still seek for reassurance by ruminating and trying to convince yourself that you aren’t crazy. It’s a vicious cycle that can be broken, but it starts with getting rid of the ruminating. If you exaggerate sounds, just learn to understand why you did this to begin with. Everytime you focus on a sound or whatever it is that is causing you anxiety, remind yourself that you created this nonsensical fear that has no basis and anxiety is feeding off of it. It’s a habit that can be broken, and like me, once it is you will laugh about it when looking back because of how silly it really is. I look back on my silly obsessions and can’t believe I wasted so much time on them when there was nothing to fear. Anyways, good luck.

  354. Carlie Says:

    Matt – Your posts really help me a lot! We seem to have a lot in common with this anxiety stuff. The past few days have definitely not been as good as the week before it… and I’m back into constantly thinking about the DP again. Even when I’m doing other things, it’s kinda there in the back of my mind. Last night it was hard to fall asleep because everything just felt so weird and scary to me. And my memory is still terrible. Well, it’s more like I lose my train of thought easily. I can forget what I was about to do or say in 5 seconds and then I drive myself crazy trying to remember what it was! It’s like my mind is just a mess. This has definitely been the one constant. I’m trying not to worry about it because Paul has explained why it’s happening, but it’s difficult. I keep telling myself that I don’t even feel that anxious anymore, but I know I do… it’s just in a different way. I’m still easily triggered by certain thoughts/words/images, so I know I’m still right in the middle of it. I guess it just doesn’t make sense to me because I feel like I’m not as anxious now, so shouldn’t it be gone? I just wish I could think clearly. And I still feel so disconnected from myself a lot of the time. That’s the worst part. It’s like the whole concept of myself seems weird to me? I sorta feel like a different person. I know you said you’d felt like this too, but it’s just such an eerie feeling and it doesn’t make sense when I try to explain it to people who have no idea what I’m going through. But I’m the same way… I can focus on conversations again without feeling completely spaced out, which is great. I’ve made so much progress, I should be happy. But I’m so hard on myself.

    I’m gonna try to get some sleep though. I’ve found that when I only get a few hours of sleep, I definitely feel a whole lot worse!

  355. angela Says:

    i have recently been coming of quitiapine and have just started anti depressants.. as i am not doing to well at the moment.. justas i think im getting there bam!! im waking up early mornings with a sense of whats the point… i cant go on etc its crippling and feels real but as the day goes on i seem to get better and better.. im not happy in taking meds as i dont beleive they work for anxiety!!! but im that bad at the moment that anything will do like im clutchingat straws.. im desperate to get better and have read the book 3 times so far.. im just really worried about these crappy depressve thoughts they are so horrible when they come i dont no what to do? can anyone help or have similar symptoms!!! need a bit of clarity :(

  356. Steff Says:

    It’s so hard isnt it! My mind hasn’t stopped chattering all day! Just need to accept that’s it’s just a set back, but it’s so hard when you feel so goddam awful :(
    If this anxiety would clear off I would be so happy, I have so many good things in my life a beautiful little girl and a baby on the way! I just wish all these scary thoughts would stop ruining it all for me :(

  357. angela Says:

    same here steff i just want my life back ive been through so much in my life and come so far.. i just want to live my life without this but cant stand the depression.. think its partly down to withdrawal from meds aswell :)

  358. Steff Says:

    See I don’t really feel depressed, I feel a bit sorry for myself at times as Im sick of feeling like this but more than anything I just want to feel normal again! I have had those moments and I felt like I was in a convertible car with the wind blowing through my hair, that feeling is amazing! It’s just my mind has got a thought chattering away and it wont seem to let go of it! Oh well im gonna get my boots on and go and collect my daughter from school, that always makes me happy!

  359. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Everyone

    Carlie – I can so relate to your post, that is exactly how I feel at the moment. And the worst thing is, I went through this cycle before around 2 years ago, so I should know that this condition can leave you completely. I felt normal levels of anxiety for ages.

    I have taken a break from this website for 3 days because I recognised that I was relying on it too much. I have come back on here today because I started to feel surges of crapness and it made me feel better as usual. I know that one of the keys to recovering it letting go of your coping tools, but this site is mine. Can anyone else relate?

  360. CR123 Says:

    Hi matt.. Thank you for your reply… It’s so hard to just let it be there my mind is in auto with the questioning and I have rushes of fear as soon as I hear a sound that I can’t place or exaggerate..(if that makes sense) I just seem to zone in and the mind chatter doesn’t help much… But thank you for your advice.. I will try to stop all this questioning thank you c x

  361. Matt Says:

    Carlie….I know what you mean. I still have a fuzzy mind where I have trouble thinking clearly, but it has gotten better. I still have bad days here and there. But look at it this way, you had a good week last week. If I remember correctly a few months ago you had no good days, neither did I. So you have been making improvements and you have to look at the positive. DP is there in the back of my head most of the time too, it’s like a dull existence in my subconscious right now, which is good because it doesn’t bother me at all. I expect it to be there for awhile because I know I can’t recover in a day from this thing. But, when I go out and do things and keep myself busy, I hardly notice it at all. It feels more like a nuisance now then some major problem that I have to fix right away. Also, my memory has gotten better because I stopped messing with it, like questioning if I did this and testing my memory of what I did yesterday and all that stuff. I just left it alone and it kinda worked itself out without my need to investigate.

    I also went through the whole everything seems scary to me thing for awhile. What helped me was realizing that that is what DP is. When your emotions shut down and your body protects you, it looks for danger. Sometimes my bedroom would be scary or my family or whatever, but it was just DP looking for danger because it’s in shutdown mode. There is no mugger, or foreseen danger, so your mind get’s confused and says, “It must be the environment that is something to be feared”. So that’s where the fear comes from. I went through fear everyday for no reason and couldn’t understand why I was so afraid and until I did more research and understood that was what was happening. You have to coax your mind from the invisible fear that doesn’t exist. That’s all it is, DP protecting you so closely that everything can be scary because it shouldn’t still be in shutdown mode for this long. I was so bad that I was afraid of leaving the house at times because I had fear all the time, of nothing. Again, your body is protecting you from dangers that don’t exist and the more you show your body and mind that there isn’t anything to be scared of, it will go away.

  362. jackie Says:

    I would just like to say thanks to matt as well for your recent posts :)

  363. alex Says:


    I was wondering if you could help me out with a technical aspect of recovery.

    I have been pursuing Paul’s teaching of acceptance and have managed to reduce the amount of fighting, which used to be constant!
    I feel a little worse but I am convinced this is normal in the beginning since i have let go of my coping strategies and forceful behaviors. I feel worse but it bothers me less! :)

    Now here is where I am confused.

    I am combining Paul’s teachings with Will Beswick’s, one of remaining with your calm, natural imperfect thoughts.

    I manage to force myself to remain calm and unaffected by all emotions and surroundings, like an automatic pilot.

    I don’t know whether this is me fighting or not….

  364. sophia Says:

    Hi Paul or anyone who could relate,

    I have a doubt regarding recovery..

    I can go out and do whatever i want inhibitions..but the problem exists where I see the world in my way..where i am concerned only about my behaviour..I am an autopilot when I am around people where i can go on talking and i respond immediately to every thought i dont even see if its right or not..i cannot relax or keep quiet..i cannot wait to see whats the other person thinking…i am on a non-stop flow wherein thought flows one after another and i follow them as anyone will…

    the flaw is if i feel wonderful..i get easily overexcited and am not grounded to reality..again i am in my own world where there is no negative reactions or situations.. i am in the habit of thinking over a thought and in 10 seconds even without my knowlege i would have thought 20 thoughts and make it 10 fold bigger be it something negative or positive even without my knowlege…i doubt whether i have OCT? how do i know whether i have it or not?

    i am always in my imaginary world where i am always in conversation with myself and i simply react to thoughts instead of people around however they r..

    how do i differenciate normal thinking with this sort of behaviour becomes hyper and my decisions r purely based on emotions..i often get defensive, hyper reactive to situations…

    how do i rationalise them? or how do i get on with life when i feel something is wrong with someone or situation? should i react or should i leave it as an anxious thought? how do i know if its real or not?
    i am doubting my instincts as im getting all sorts of instincts all at once and i dont know whether to react or not…

    Pls help me with a simple and stable way of dealing such dilemnas

  365. Jennifer Says:

    Sophia, I can relate to how you feel. As I also go out about about everywhere but have racing and/or obsessive thoughts. It is just more adrenaline and you sometimes get what I have seen named on hear as flooding where you just have lots of random thoughts, songs in your mind all the time. ALL of which DO pass.

    Anxiety is all about DOUBTING YOUR INSTINCTS and it manifests itself in different ways for different people. It tricks you into thinking you needs to figure this out and work out some brilliant solution but the key is to DO NOTHING I know how you feel, coz I sometimes feel like I should do the same – work it all out, but just keep coming back to this website and method and you will see this phase through. Just ‘let it be’ like every other symptom.

    Hope this helps

    p.s i am going to try and take my own advice

  366. sophia Says:

    thanks Jennifer…

    will try to just ”let it pass” only issue is me being not aware that this is ”adrenaline pumped up thoughts” i wish if it was easy to distinguish as irrational…it is so coined with emotions that i live with be honest it was far more easier to deal with anxiety thoughts….

    will keep that in mind…” its ok to feel ”anyways” just carry on as if nothing went through my mind..its when i react to certain thoughts i bring them to reality i guess with that i can stay rooted to reality..would like to hear if anyone else suffering from the same and how they differentiate from normal feelings…..

  367. Steff Says:

    Okay so I have booked a hair appointment on Friday, last time I went to the hairdressers I felt terrible – thinking what if I pass out, oh I feel hot, my lips are going numb so found the whole thing an awful experience and have avoided it ever since! So this week my plan was to face everything and recover and I’m now terrified! Lots of what ifs, what if I want to pass out, what if I can’t do it! What will they think of me :( I’m hoping I can stick to this appointment, will feel even worse if I don’t go :(

  368. Julie Says:

    Hi steff I have a hair app too but not until nxt mnth and am going through all the “what ifs” too!!!! I find it really really hard to live my life along side anxiety and “just go with it” I know that’s what’s probably going to get us through but when the physical feelings are there 24/7 it’s pretty damn hard. Pauls book is fab and also Claire weekes basically saying the same things. Try to go to your hair app who knows you may be fine and come out soooo proud of yourself and also looking a million dollars!!!!! GOOD LUCK :))

  369. Diane Says:

    Hi Steff, I know how thst feels, but go with it and get your hair done , you will feel so proud of yourself, remember what Paul says its adreniline, it cant harm you and nothing bad will happen, thats what I say to myself, I know its not easy but you can do it, the what ifs are so hard but try a positive spin what if all will go well! what if are tiring and come and go , I hope you get you hair done, think of how you will fell overcoming this once you have done it :) good luck x

  370. KM Says:

    Hi Steff,
    I’ve had issues going to the hairdressers, anxiety attaches itself to what we love the most! I used to love getting my hair done and always looked forward to that ‘time out and pampering session’, anxiety strips all this from you and makes you dread the whole process, because we feel like we are trapped and are going to make fools of yourself, or even for me its, the resentment of having to go through the process feeling terrible! I always go, i make myself, I have several distractions techniques, reading magazines, chatting to hair dresser, playing on my iphone! I know this is a form of avoidance but if your confronting something that your genuinely scared off have some back up, at least your still going and confronting and you’ll probably find you wont need to use these! Take the power back, it may take a long time to enjoy getting your hair done again, but still get it done!! The end result is the same :) Hope this helps xxx Kat